Saturday, December 27, 2008
With our daughter home for the holidays from NYU, we decided to have a nice dinner out before starting on the rounds of visits from family and friends. With the demise of Brasserie Astuce, our new favorite place to go for French food is Café Montclair. Located on Central near Kingsley in Montclair (while outside our Pomona boundaries, still close enough to be “home”) this restaurant is in a building that was previously the Plum Tree restaurant and was once, I believe, a Millies. According to the ads which run in the Daily Bulletin, the chef was previously with the Mission Inn in Riverside.
For this occasion, we decided to forgo our usual Calamari (never a disappointment) and start with their homemade potato chips with blu cheese sauce. All I can say is “fabulous.” The chips were what one would expect from made-on-the premises chips (I’m thinking Buffalo Inn), but the sauce was superlative. It was a light white sauce that wasn’t overpowering as one might expect with blu cheese.
For our entrée, the kid and I had the Osso Bucco special, a lamb shank served over mashed potatoes. Deb had the New York steak with a gorgonzola sauce. We all had the white bean soup. Again, the food was everything one might expect. And the wine list is admirable. We can also recommend their meat loaf (yes, but it’s worth it), the beef tips stroganoff, as well as their pasta dishes.
But the main reason to go to Café Montclair is more than the food. The owner is always there to greet you and to make sure everything is going well. And the hostess is someone who we’ve known for some time and has always been a delight. Pia is one of the family that owned and operated DiCenso’s on Foothill in Upland for many years. When the kid was very young (too young to have any memories of it) we used to go there and Pia, her mother, and sister one time took her into the kitchen to show her how pasta was made. While she doesn’t remember it, it must have made an impression on her because she loves to work in the kitchen to this day. DiCenso’s moved and the new location never quite had the wonderful ambiance that the Foothill location had, but at least it had Pia. Pia is now at Montclair and is as effervescent as ever. Like the owner, she checks on you from time to time and makes sure that everything is just right. The waitress is a lovely woman with a lilting French accent, who is likewise delightful. And we can’t ignore the young, again French accented, young man who is the busboy. He is also very attentive to your every need. I’m guessing that, with the exception of Pia, that this is all a family run operation and it has that really good kind of “family” vibe.
All-in-all, this is a place where you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Every time I read the phrase "farmers market" I want to ask how much farmers are going for these days. I realize that the end times are upon us and the apostrophe is doomed; even in newspapers, you pretty much only see it where it doesn't belong and rarely where it does.
But when Metro Pomona posted about efforts to start up a Saturday evening farmers('s) market at Thomas Plaza, I was so excited I forgot to contemplate the purchase of agricultural technicians.
They still have to get an event permit from the city (aside to the DPOA: if y'all need community support, just say the word and we'll rally the troops), but with any luck the first FM-PM will be January 10th. And I'll be there.
[Yes, I realize that "farmers market" is the standard spelling. But I don't have to like it.]
Saturday, December 20, 2008
As David suggested, it was a little tough to find. Google Maps managed to point me at the wrong side of the street, which complicated matters a bit -- it's on the north side of Foothill, back in a little tiny strip mall, impossible to see from the street. Argh.
It's mostly a deli, as the name suggests, chock full of everything German. There were a few dozen German magazines and a German-language California newspaper (who knew!?), and a zillion different German products, most of them unfamiliar to us. I guess I've led a sheltered life, but who knew you could get ketchup and mayonnaise together in a squeeze tube?
To our delight, they had not only sandwiches, but also some dinner specials. Meg had Kassler (smoked pork) and I had cabbage roll; both came with a side of speatzle (funky German egg noodles) and a complementary dessert. It was hearty and comfortable, if not amazing; nobody there is trying to make it a fine dining experience, and that's just fine by me -- it's a deli. I particularly enjoyed Meg's sauerkraut, although I'm not sure it's really supposed to be nearly so sweet.
The service was authentically German, with a very reserved kind of friendliness -- "I like you okay, but don't expect me to crack a smile." I enjoyed the little dining room, with blue-and-white checked tablecloths, a kind of faux brick wallpaper and some hangings on the wall, although, again, it really isn't trying to be anything it isn't. I couldn't ask for more.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I'm dredging this up from the comments on the "Council Meeting Update" post, because a couple of folks have mentioned to me that they don't read comments regularly.
One "Anonymous" writes:
Thursday 12-18-08 7:40 pm...
Was anyone other than me listening to KFI radio at this time (Hosts: Kennedy & Suits).... when they got to talking about Norma Torres AND played exerpts of her "performance" today at the budget vote session in Sacramento????
The Hosts wanted to know WHATTHEHECKGIVESINPOMONA for sending this MORON to Sacramento! They described her as 'unstable' and hysterical and then played the tape.... Yep! She was crying and putting on a true meltdown performance... saying that in Pomona, senior citizens are eating DOGFOOD and she had to sign this tax increase to put cops on the street, knowing it would 'take food out of the mouths of babies and take them out of school'.... incoherent... weepy, but in the middle of it, the radio station had to 'bleep' a big 'GODDAMN' she put in there... she was telling her story about being a 911 dispatcher on the graveyard shift. The radio hosts suggested she go back to that job (then backtracked, saying she is obviously unstable and you would not want to be talking to a nut if you were phoning in an emergency. It was hilarious BUT made Pomona look really stupid, low class and full of incompetents! They asked about how people make voting decisions in Pomona !!!!
Did anyone else catch this segment !!!??????
Now, if you've ever observed a legislative session (in D.C., in Sac, wherever), you know that representative democracy is a performance genre unlike any other (paging Robert Byrd, please totter over to the white courtesy telephone), so I hesitate to judge anyone by their stage antics at the microphone. And after the way that KFI covered the Condit-Mountain View let's-play-Injuns foofaraw, I take everything they say with a grain of salt.
On the other hand, I would not be shocked and appalled if Norma did not represent Pomona to its full advantage.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I spoke with a Pomona PD officer on the scene who told me a press release would be made available sometime this afternoon (I'm not sure where to look for press releases; any ideas?). In the meantime, I called the sheriff's department; not surprisingly, they're not yet able to disclose any information.
So first a guy is shot in the butt, then my neighbor's house gets broken into, and now this. I've lived here for four years and have never felt anything less than safe and secure. I'm feeling on edge now.
Monday, December 15, 2008
- No decision was made on the new District 5 council person, other than that it will be an appointment rather than an election. Three of the candidates showed up, including the presumed top two contenders, planning commissioner Tim Saunders and former community life commissioner Les Hedges. There were five other candidates that didn't show up. Rather than proceeding with interviews that evening, a special meeting ill be held on Friday at 7 p.m. Incidentally, the last appointed councilman was defeated at the next election (Steven Banales), so appointment is no guarantee of reelection. Each candidate will have three minutes to make a personal statement and a few minutes to answer questions from the council.
- Also punted to the Friday night meeting is the question of who will represent Pomona on various regional boards and commissions, including the powerful San Gabriel Valley COG and the ACE Board.
- And let me just take a minute to note Mayor Rothman's lackadaisical style. Several times the City Attorney had to call order and shush the audience, with little or no acknowledgment by the Mayor of how odd this appears. You have the power, it's time to start using it.
Lighting ceremony at Civic Center Plaza tonight scheduled for 5-7:30PM.
City Council Meeting:
This agenda is packed. Capital improvement projects and money is being unappropriated, appropriated, shifted, etc...; Redevelopment Agency conflict of interest and prevailing wage issues; CalHome Grant funds for owner-occupied mobile homes; CUP for alcohol at 342 S. Thomas Street; establishment of a city of Pomona Marketing Partnership Policy?; Safe Routes to School project (I'll do a separate post about this one......really cool!); and many other agenda items.
The agenda mentions an ad hoc committee tasked to review corridor improvement projects (Garey ave, Mission Blvd, SR71 sound walls). Anyone have any idea who was on this committee and the scope of these projects?
If you have some time tonight, take in the tree lighting and then attend the Council meeting. It will be Rothman's first as Mayor and Soto's first as a Council member.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
A meander around the block led us to the much anticipated Acerogami -- this is the new bar and lounge nestled between the Glass House and the record store on Second St. between Thomas and Main. Rob Fisher, production manager/consultant, tells us the bar's name means "folded metal;" the interior design -- not to mention the exterior architectural details -- make clear the relevance of the name. A white russian and a manhattan cost us $17, sans tip. The drinks were tasty and well-mixed. Swanky set up, void of those annoying corporate logos (no glaring neon Budweiser signs in sight). Rob tells us all the interior elements -- from the bar stools to the bathroom stall doors -- were hand-crafted for the site. Definitely worth a look.
Next up on the block: Aladdin Jrs, coming soon to the corner of 2nd and Main (former home of Lela's).
Thursday, December 11, 2008
7:30 PM - Pomona Concert Band's Annual Christmas Concert
They will also be collecting unwrapped gifts for needy children.
Saturday 12/13 @ 3:30 and 8PM
Sunday 12/13 @ 3:30PM
Pomona First Baptist Church presents:
the "Pomona First Baptist Choir, Orchestra, and choirs of all ages usher in the majesty of the seasons with carols, music, and Christmas splendor."
This free event is worth seeing if you have the time.
Los Angeles Philharmonic in Pomona
Pomona First Baptist Church
601 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, CA 91767
Ample church parking available
Los Angeles Philharmonic will be visiting Pomona as part
of their neighborhood concert series.
Anyone know where to buy tickets?
As those who were at dba Wednesday night already know, I ended up not attending the Planning Commission meeting. At the mixer earlier, in talking with many of the chamber and downtown business types I learned that Watt didn't care if they got an extension at all. They weren't even going to show up (so why should I--bad idea? perhaps). I understand that they will go through the process all over again.
We really need to keep an eye on this so that any NEW plans for the area don't undo what was agreed to in the past. I have grave worries. Of course, one of the things they won't have to worry about is getting a demolition permit to tear down two blocks of buildings dating from the 1880s to 1920s. That one's been taken care of already. And Pomona gets vacant lots for at least the next couple of years.
I was told that they are planning an Iron Fence for around the 200 block "hole in the ground." that will include panels upon which local artists can paint murals (an idea that came out of the downtown business owners association (DPOA--better known to most of us as "Metro Pomona"). So Mickey Gallivan was right! We'll see years of vacant lots in exchange for destroying our history.
I’m writing with a request, an invitation, and an announcement. Here goes…
The Request: I’m on the lookout for a place in
The Invitation: Free kids yoga classes on Thursday, December 18 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM and Sunday, January 4 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. Kids ages 6 and older are invited to attend; parents welcomed to stay and play. The sessions will take place at the Om Sweet Om Pilates & Yoga Studio (204 N. Yale,
The Announcement: Beginning January 8, 2009, I will offer a weekly kids yoga class at Om Sweet Om (204 N. Yale,
Perhaps there are other yoga teachers in
Based on the previous comments that I read, I'm not nearly as forgiving as some of you regarding the actions of Linda Lowry. I'll reference the Spike Lee movie title "Do the Right Thing". Is this the 'right thing' for her to do? If this decision transpired at a meeting that didn't include the entire Council, shouldn't she have suggested that all the voices be heard? Let's think for a moment about the message this sends to the rest of the city employees. Piss off a Council member and risk losing your job. This city is her ship and I'm completely lost as to what direction she is taking it and like most of you, I have my house and family at stake.
A Few Thoughts About Recall
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the funny thing about recalls is that the person in 2nd place can actually be the winner. In the last mayoral election, the majority voted against Rothman, but he still won. If we take those election results and apply them to a recall, George Hunter would be the next Mayor. As I understand it, Rothman must have a majority of the voters cast ballots against a recall to stay as mayor. Even if 49% of voters support him, the 51% who vote for the recall will remove him from office and the next mayor will be one of the candidates listed on the ballot which can't include Rothman. Hypothetically, the next mayor could get less than the 49% of voters who support Rothman remaining as mayor and still win the election to be mayor. If I'm right, don't we have a beautiful system.
If Chief Romero wants to make a lasting change in this city, being willing to support a recall effort may be the best way to do it. Sending notice to those in public office to focus on the real issues and rallying the public voice that 'yes' we do need to participate in the politics of our city may be the monumental gesture that broadcasts to both the public and private world that Pomona is ready to turn itself around. If we allow pettiness and cronyism to define the "new" Pomona who are we to complain. It won't be easy and it might be a little ugly, but an individual who has given decades of his life for this city deserves to see that we also want it to change.
Just Ed's (always optimistic) two cents.
As threatened, I made it down to the mixer at the Cal Poly Downtown Center. I mostly gossiped with the few people I knew there, although I did get a chance to say hello to Paula Lantz. I was thirsty and the refreshments were blocked by a wall of suits, so I wandered down the block to dba256 just in time to miss all the speechifying (which didn't start till at least 6:30).
Pride in Garfield Park apparently arrived just as I was leaving, so she heard all the palaver. There was no formal protest about Chief Romero's firing, but PiGP reports that one brave soul did shout out from the crowd, "What about Chief Romero?"
When I walked into dba256, it was dead empty, which was a welcome change -- the last few times I've been there, it has been completely bumping. So it was nice to have a chance to chat with Ron (owner and impresario) and not to have to be patient about getting my wee dram. Shortly after I arrived, one of my neighbors walked in, and then PiGP, and then John & Deb Clifford (and I leave it to John to report about the Planning Commission meeting), and then Pomona Joe, and then Calwatch. Yes, it was old home week.
There was much nattering about various theories and conjectures, which I won't repeat for fear of spreading false information, but you can gather the tenor of our discussion by checking out Calwatch's lengthy comment on the "Chief Romero FIRED!" post below.
All in all a fun evening -- we should have another one soon.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Namely, if you do not give a specific address when calling the police, the location does not get logged for the purpose of cumulative statistics. The result is that Lincoln Park supposedly had between three and seven police calls for the third quarter of 2008, despite the fact that residents made dozens of calls (two by me, in fact). That's right: If you report suspicious activity/burglary/felonious leaf-blowing on the 100 block of Primrose Path, the location will not get logged -- you must give a specific house number.
This is utter codswallop, but it hardly seems like a chief-firing offense.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I have it from very reliable sources that an emergency meeting of the city council was called this morning to discuss a personnel matter. At that meeting Police Chief Joe Romero was fired. Since it takes 4 votes for such an action, and since newly elected councilperson Danielle Soto has not been sworn in yet, it appears that the votes to fire came from Mayor Rothman (who I'm sure is still smarting after being charged, and cleared, of DUI) and the three council persons who have objected to police checkpoints and other issues. As of this point I don't know if councilperson Paula Lantz was even part of that meeting as I earlier noted that she wasn't sworn in until this afternoon.
I personally want to thank Chief Romero for reaching out to the community. I find this to be a terrible loss for our city. We can only guess as to the "reasons" for the firing that created the need for a special meeting just before the holidays.
It's coming up again, maybe? The Pomona Planning Commission is now down to 3 members (according to the agenda--although I know that Paula Lantz's commissioner was just appointed, so why is he off if Paula's new term hasn't even started?) Tim Saunders (who has expressed a desire to be appointed councilperson from the 5th District), Arturo Jimenez, and Andrew Santa Cruz. UPDATE: Evidently, Paula Lantz's commissioner needs to be sworn in again and couldn't be until Paula was sworn in. I spoke with her this evening and she was sworn in this afternoon and Ed Starr (her Planning Commissioner), should be sworn in prior to the meeting and will be able to participate. I'm not sure how quorums work with only three members on a panel that should have 7 members). In the past, the quorum was based either on the number of current members OR the number of members that are supposed to be on the panel. I'm not really sure where that was left off. At one point you could have a quorum with three, but you needed four votes to pass anything. I'm sure that the city attorneys will be busy working on that one.
And all this just in time to take on the issue of the extension of the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) for the Watt Project on West Second St. You can read the agenda on the city's web site. I know I'll be there (if the meeting actually takes place) to let them know that something needs to be done about the vacant lots (and hole in the ground) and that we need to not allow changes to occur to the originally approved plan without scrutiny by the commission and the community (as was done with the Mission Promenade project). NO "VALUE ENGINEERING!!!"
Also on the agenda is the approval of a CUP for a major expansion of Cocoa Palms restaurant (the one on the hill on Fairplex Drive), and a meeting hall on Park Ave (next to the Pomona Fish Market) for the Black Knightz Motorcycle Club, among others.
So, if you're going to be downtown for the Chamber of Commerce Mixer for the new mayor, new council, and new assemblywoman, (hosted by the Pomona Chamber of Commerce, Cal Poly Downtown Center, Pomona Fairplex, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona Valley Hospital, and Arteco Partners--5:00-7:00 pm at the Cal-Poly Downtown Center) why not stop by the council chambers for what could be an interesting Planning Commission meeting. And if you're at the Mixer, be sure to make suggestions as to future commissioners to the corresponding councilmembers.
Monday, December 8, 2008
But no, when I got to page 10 to read the story, Monica Rodriguez had all the facts right, and the story was about our own Pomona election.
So much for the efficiencies of the DB combining staff with the San Bernardino Sun. Evidently copy editors and proofreaders in the far east have no idea which city is which and can't write a teaser with the correct information, even though one would assume that they were looking at Monica's article as reference. I know that mistakes happen (anyone who's read the Pomona Heritage newsletter knows that I make my share), but a newspaper is supposed to have quality control in place. That's why editors and proofreaders are so vital to a news organization.
And although I'm not overly susperstitious, with two murders already in December I'll finally post the October/November maps. Here they are! I'm done with them! Please put the guns away! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!
Oct/Nov Homicide map
So far in December: 2 in Pomona, 1 in Rialto, 1 in San Gabriel, 1 in El Monte. I didn't see the homicide in Rialto mentioned in the Saturday or Sunday DB. Did I miss it?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
At our last NW meeting, we discussed whether the city’s Webwatch program is still up and running. Over the next month, the Community Life Commission will be looking at opportunities that create community. It would be very helpful if I could pull some ideas from my district and take them back to our next meeting. I am specifically interested in ideas that will bring us together and don’t cost a lot of money… initial ideas are beautification projects, community gardens, emergency preparedness plans (by district), litter removal projects… let’s ride the creative wave that is coming our way. Remember – YES WE CAN!
She is the CLC rep for Lincoln Park, but I imagine she would be happy to pass ideas on for other neighborhoods as well. You can write directly to her with ideas at email@example.com.
For my part, there are all sorts of things I'd love to get involved with -- community gardens, the HPC, etc. -- but until my job stops requiring 70 hours and a pint of blood per week, it ain't gonna happen. As the kids say, le sigh.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
What was it that Gandhi said about Western civilization -- he thought it would be a good idea? I feel the same way about a humane society: What a great thought! Let's give it a try!
Courtesy of my neighbor, I bring you an opportunity to vote for our own Inland Valley Humane Society in some contest for $10k, an amount I'm sure they could use. Yeah, it's a random popularity contest, but on the other hand, it's $10k -- and if you've been down to the IVHS (on Mission, down by Aerospace Ghost-Town), you'll know they could really use the bucks. So go throw 'em a bone if the spirit moves you. You don't even hafta give 'em a valid email address.
I feel pretty grateful to them for our own Cranky Bighead of a cat, Voiceover. Thanks to him, K and I aren't the most eccentric creatures -- or worst singers -- on the block.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Here it is, the Friday after Thanksgiving, full from yesterday's turkey and fixin's it should be a morning to relax, read the paper and just chill before the work of climbing through the garage to extract holiday decorations and start the season.
But the paper did not bring me solace this morning. I'm indignant, my hackles have been raised, and I'm just plain angry!!!
First, an admission--I actually read the legal ads in the DB. It's a habit from having past city administrations try to sneak something through figuring no one reads those ads so we'll do the legal notification and maybe no one will notice. Even though the Pomona staff is now much more out front in their dealings with the public, I can't help but be ever vigilant.
So this morning, after the news, weather, and comics, I turned to the classified section of the newspaper to begin reading the legal ads. Lately, the DB has been intermingling classifications 54 and 55 (LA County and SB County) legal notices--Doesn't this defeat the concept of "Classified?" Anyway, within the SB County notices, was an LA County notice that I was sure was misplaced. The FDIC had their notification of the takeover of PFF. But they had the old POMONA address as their corporate address for the notification. PFF decided first to get rid of Pomona from their name, then they moved to Rancho Cucamonga, where they proceeded to destroy a financial institution that had been around for over 100 years, but when the failure notice comes out, suddenly it's a Pomona institution. AAaaarrrrggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!
We just can't cut a break.
So not only was PFF lax with their loans, but they also must have been lax with their paperwork if the FDIC didn't have their current address. The one thing that might come out of this is that the DB should get another ad from it. If someone from the DB is reading this, be sure to let advertising know so that they can get a retraction/correction ad.
So now, it's time to go off and figure out what to do for front yard decorations since the lovely Mrs. C has laid down an edict "No nails in the newly refurbished house." How can I hang my lights? AAaaarrrrggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A couple of days ago I was aghast when I learned that Ren's Corner had disappeared from the blogosphere. Ren has been providing photos to Goddess of Pomona's site, Pomona Heritage, and Historical Society of the Pomona Valley for most of the past year, so having his blog disappear was disconcerting.
Fortunately, I had his email address and was able to contact him regarding what happened. He and I met yesterday at dba257 (my first meeting with him in person) and I learned what happened. Ren (actually Richard E. Nunez) has some health issues which were being negatively impacted by his working on the computer. The repetitive motion was causing his arms to go numb and he decided that he could no longer maintain the blog. Rather than just let it go dormant as other bloggers do, he was concerned that if it was there that he'd feel compelled to continue to post. So, he unceremoniously shut it down.
However, fear not. He has decided that he can still post his photographs, minus the commentary and it wouldn't cause him health problems. He has created a new blog called Images of Pomona. This blog is dedicated to documenting the things that Ren sees around town. It's only been up for a few days and he already has 83 (and counting) images posted. They cover the gamut from the construction at the Fox, the chalk art on 2nd St., The "swimming pool" that is the Watt project, to a lot of wonderful images of various buildings and things around the city. If you have a chance, take a look at Ren's new home. I, for one, am just happy that he's out there contributing what he can.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Pomona PD is doing a toy drive to benefit needy kids in Pomona. Collection boxes can be found at the Library, Police Department, and City Hall. If you want one for your business call CSO Brenda Sutherland @ 909-620-2377. If you have a little money to spare, please donate.
Lost: I recall at this time last year the Pomona city website had information about various charities in the city. Is my memory failing? Any info would be greatly appreciated!! I personally thought it was a great use of technology and would hate to see us take a step back.
- School Board meets at 7PM @ PUSD building on 800 S. Garey (agenda)
- Community Life meets at 7PM @ Council meeting room (agenda--outside City Hall)
- On Monday, a male was shot in the buttocks at Garfield Park.
- Surprise.......Holiday Parade has been canceled!
- Here's a nice T-day story about a Pomona native .......singing in Montclair.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Other PUSD news: If you didn't already hear, the Pomona Superintendent has been named the California Superintendent of the Year. So if you know anyone still driving their kids to Claremont for school, tell them you know yet another reason to keep your tax dollars local.
Does anyone know what the Pomona Avocates for Communication and Trust (PACT) is? They meet 12/2/08 @ 6PM in the City Council Meeting Room. Who's on the committee? Given that the City was suggesting several commissions be merged, what niche is this committee expected to fill? Lastly, given the budget situation what's the cost?
Also, were the E-newsletters a concept from the previous city manager that followed him out the door? If so, do we really need to keep the old ones on the website?
So many questions! Anyone willing to help?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I've been anxiously visiting the city website since Monday and I still got NOTHIN'. Cultural Arts who cares about that. The residents won't notice if it's not online. I'll do the minimum, why not? Why should I care about giving residents quick access to a commission agenda? Who cares whether volunteers on the Commission might want some public interest or input? It's not my problem!
Oops, did I say that with my outside voice.
Here's the information from the agenda:
Meeting tonight (11/20) @ 6PM in the City Council Closed Session Room
Chalk Festival Update--1)approve additional award of plaque for teacher's service, 2) approve additional monetary award for best all-around winners, and 3) approve donation of remaining chalk to participating schools.
Downtown Pomona Specific Plan--Commission recommendations for proposed public art ordinance.
High Schools of Pomona mural project
Next meeting is Thursday January 15th @ 6PM.
In my disgusted state, the real gut buster was reading "In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the Community Services department at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.........." Gee, if you really cared about someone with a disability you would post the bloody agenda online!
Here's my worthless proposal of the day: move the Cultural Arts Commission to the Planning Department. The Historic Preservation agendas and the Planning Commission agendas manage to make it online.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
(Full story here)
Seriously, I thought the threat to real journalism was automation, but apparently not. Will someone please buy the DB a spell-checker, for pete's sake? Feel free to argue that they making a subtle linguistic argument about the extremeness of the group's irreligiosity, but I don't buy it.
(Yes, I'll blog about saturday's rally very soon, I promise.)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
But in the meantime, I'm sitting here at my desk at 8:15 on a sunday morning, and who should walk by but an elderly man in a gray track suit, carrying a coiled bullwhip. No, he wasn't wearing a fedora, and Marion Ravenwood was nowhere to be seen.
If that was you, dear reader, do tell us the backstory. And if it wasn't you, feel free to offer up some wild theories!
Friday, November 14, 2008
As you may be aware, there are protests at City Halls across the country tomorrow against the passage of Prop. 8. And Pomona is going to be having one of its own! From 10:30am to 3pm, we will be letting the community know that it is NOT okay to take away anybody's civil rights. I don't think I'll be able to stay the entire time, but say hey if you see me!
Full information is available on Facebook.
Speaking of Prop. 8, if you haven't seen Keith Olbermann's commentary on the subject, you really need to go see it. Normally I'm not a big fan, but this is both right and quite moving.
If anyone can elaborate on any of these, please help out. David Allen mentioned the Garey Ave Mural a couple of months. Check the link if you want to see the proposal.
Commissioner Gallivan asked about the status of the Garfield Park Serviceman's Memorial statue and landscaping. Commissioner Gallivan suggested an event on Veterans' Day, November 11 th. Staff will inquire on the status of the project and provide an update at the October meeting. October minutes not yet available.
Garey Ave Mural
Larry Egan has experienced some delays with the Garey Avenue mural project proposal. Mr. Egan will resubmit the proposal at a later date. Here is the Council Report from 6/2/08.
2009 YOUTH ART PROJECT
Commissioner Moore distributed a proposal for the 2009 High Schools of Pomona Mural Competition. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal. The sub-committee will consist of Commissioners Moore, McAllister and Gallivan. Commissioner Campos will contact Wal-Mart for donations and Commissioner Romero will assist with the artist reception. A motion was made/seconded by Commissioner Gallivan/Commissioner McAllister to approve the 2009 High Schools of Pomona Mural Competition proposal as reviewed and revised. Vote in favor: 6 - O.
CITY OF POMONA ART POLICY
The Commission discussed Art Policy Item #II, Section B 1 issue. A motion was made/seconded by Commissioner Gallivan/Commissioner Moore recommending that staff prepare a report to the City Council requesting their consideration to review the City of Pomona Art Policy. Vote in favor: 6-0. On the 11/20 agenda.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Planning Commission meets tonight and the Watt project is on the agenda. The Watt Project ? Yes, indeed, that carefully sloped gravel pit was supposed to be only a temporary addition to our bustling downtown. So if you have an opinion about what should be done with our pit, please show up tonight (Wed 11/12) @ 7PM in the Council Chambers to express yourself. Also please write the Council Members and mayor-elect to let them in on the fun.
Several proposals about turning the space into a public park have been offered up. I'm not in the loop, but I've heard Watt doesn't want to put any money into and the city doesn't want to provide any insurance to cover it as a public space. If Pomona really has turned a corner for the better, perhaps this impasse will be remembered as another one of those moments when the city's residents finally spoke up to change Pomona. Who's to blame if we sit in silence?! I for one, would really like to know how much insurance would cost to cover that small parcel, considering the Thomas Street Plaza is right next to it. Anyone thinking Council Members might want to use some of their discretionary funds? Just a thought.
Larry of Metro Pomona broke the news that the Holiday Parade is cancelled for this year. Has my head been in the sand and I'm the last to know, or are many of you also a bit befuddled by this info? While you're writing an email to your elected representatives about the Watt project, would you mind including a few words about the Holiday Parade. In future years, if you'd like to see it make its way down 2nd street then please make a comment on that as well. In all fairness to David Allen, do we really want to leave him with the legacy of being the Grand Marshall who killed the parade (just kidding folks!!!! Btw, he did a great piece on the Fox and preservation).
Pictures came from MetroPomona and Pomona Valley Historical Society and Pomona Public Library.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I'm hoping someone out there might explain (anonymously is fine) why this event couldn't have happened down Garey in downtown or on one of the other streets downtown. Since the city was already putting on the Chalk Art Festival and later in the evening the Art Walk was taking place, why couldn't we bring these high school students and their parents into downtown Pomona?
Was it merely a lack of communication that was the problem? Logistically, would it have been too much work? I'm not looking to blame anyone, but I do wonder if thinking too small is leaving the city with great individual efforts that aren't getting the publicity or showcase that they deserve. If you're going to offer any insight, I'd appreciate keeping it civil. These events demonstrate a vibrancy within the city that I feel deserves a thunderous round of applause.
If you missed the Chalk Art Festival, please consider taking it in next year...............maybe a few marching bands might show up to spice things up!
Here are some pics from the Chalk Art. Sorry about the quality (phone pics).
Even better pics can be found at Metro Pomona's coverage of the event.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Today I was driving down Towne and a cyclist was intentionally f*cking with the cars -- riding a snake-like pattern, veering into the center of the lane as a car approached and then out to the side, back and forth. At first I thought he was just trying to keep cars away from him, claiming the lane, but then I noticed that he was flipping off each car that passed him.
One of our neighbors has a story about yelling "Moron!" at a driver who menaced him while he was cycling: the driver stopped the car, got out, and punched him in the jaw. I would not be a bit surprised if this happened to the Sidewinder Cyclist after I drove past (in the far lane from him, escaping his attention).
A pal of ours is a pollster and sent me the following numbers for Pomona on Prop. 8: 17,820 in favor, 11,177 opposed. Sad but true.
In other news (or not-news, really), we headed down to dba256 last night for a drink before supper. We spotted Dave Allen, but he looked deep in conversation, so we didn't bother him. Then who should wander up but our own John Clifford. As the three of us chatted on a couch, a couple of other Pomona Heritage members came by and joined us. The five of us talked so long, Mix Bowl was the only place open when we finally turned our attention to supper.
That, I must say, is the dictionary definition of the "local," English style -- the pub where you stumble in for a drop to cure what ails you and end up meeting half your neighbors. I haven't had a local since they closed the Salty Dog Saloon for my going away party in 1988, putting a sign up on the door saying "We're at Meg's -- if you know where that is, you're invited."
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
As it turned out, the delay getting out of Cal State was about 45 minutes, but then we got about a mile down the line and were stopped again. Metrolink decided that they needed to inspect the tracks at the site of the accident. About 15 minutes later we were finally on our way. But not very fast.
As we got to where the train (and the busway out of El Monte's bus station) separate from the Freeway, we came upon the accident. An LA County Sheriff's prisoner transport bus had had an accident. There were sheriff's cars and ambulances as far as the eye could see (at least 1-1/2 miles and way too many to count). As we came upon the site, moving very slowly, I was able to see the debris and what was going on.
And then, looking out the train window, i spied, walking from one of the many ambulances parked along the busway, our own Pomona City Councilman Freddie Rodriguez. The councilman is a 23 year EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)/Paramedic. I must say that my chest swelled with pride knowing that it was a dedicated Pomonan who was early on the scene of a major incident.
Just couldn't let this go by without acknowledging him. Nice to have some good news for a change.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So, to catch up on old business:
Yes, I mean trick-or-treaters, not the 80s band. We didn't have nearly as many ghouls, Spidermen, and junior streetwalkers as we did last year, but we still disposed of $50's worth of candy from the 99¢ Store. Only one house on our block was done up in full fettle, so a lot of kids skipped us entirely. Next year, I think, we're going to go all out (for us, anyway) and equip the house in full Mad Scientist rig. Lab coats, joy buzzers, and liquid nitrogen, here we come!
We took Anduhrew's advice the other night and drove down to the corner of Temple & Pomona Blvd. to try out Curry Up, our new Indian joint. I was afraid it would be a branch of the LA chain of the same name (which specializes in Japanese, not Indian, curry), but my fears were immediately allayed.
It's perfectly fine steam-table North Indian fare: navrata korma, mattar aloo, saag tofu, chicken tikka masala, channa daal, that kind of thing. For $7, you get rice, naan, two dishes, and a soda, all on a styrofoam plate. Well, not the soda. Unless that's the way you roll. It has a fast-food vibe, but it's very friendly, and let's not forget, it's Indian food! in Pomona!
Now that all our paperwork is in order, Tom Day Tree Service came and removed our chinaberry tree. Over the phone, he said that plus trimming the pawlonia would take an hour and a half, and we scoffed. But sure enough, a swarm of pixies in workboots arrived, clambered all over the trees, then sawed and ground and blew, and they were gone, leaving us lots of firewood, mulch, and a yard cleaner than it's ever been.
For you landscape architects, HPC commissioners, and other interested parties, here's a picture of the chinaberry stump, showing that it was in fact four separate trunks within a single bark:
The only hitch was when Chainsaw Dude sawed through our phone line. They promised they would pay whatever charges Verizon assessed, but in the event, we weren't charged a thing.
K: "But the tree guys sawed through it with a chainsaw."
Operator: "Sir, I just write down that it was cut. I don't have to say who cut it."
It did take them 24 hours to come fix it, during which time K. was digesting his stomach lining, but once they arrived, it was easy-peasy and didn't cost a dime.
And now we have a whole new back yard! O brave new world that has such creatures in't, indeed.
Here are, without comment, the election results for the races in the city of Pomona:
Mayor: Elliott Rothman defeated George Hunter 6,630 to 6,816
District 1: Danielle Soto defeated Fred Van Allen 1,503 to 752
District 4: Paula Lantz defeated Primo Castro 1,765 to 1,618
District 6: Stephen Atcheley defeated John Mendoza 1,788 to 1,494
Measure PC (utility tax initiative by John Mendoza): defeated 17,720 to 6,772
Measure PS (Pomona School Bond): passed 25,109 to 8,593
Measure RR (Mt. Sac Bond): passed 136,253 to 58,527
Three Valleys Water District: John Mendoza (yes the same John Mendoza): defeated Fred Lantz 7,883 to 6,315
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
One of them was carrying an election mailer from Barack Obama with his endorsements for our local elections. To my surprise, Barack endorses Paula, not Primo. I say "to my surprise" because Paula does (or did) have a McCain sign in her yard, and the county Democratic party stands behind Primo. I guess the local and national parties are not quite in lockstep just yet.
Now I gotta catch up on everything I had planned to do during the time I ended up standing in line to vote.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Let me start by saying that I am a Democrat. I've donated to the Obama campaign and to the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Committee, and others. I believe that the past 8 years of George Bush has been devastating to our country.
However, local politics is different. City council and mayoral elections are NON-PARTISAN!! You can't put your party affiliation next to your name on the ballot. This is a bit of wisdom which has allowed us to work on a local level without getting hung up on what's happening nationally. In an election year when people are fed up, it's understandable that the campaigns are making sure that everyone knows that George Hunter and Paula Lantz have an (R) next to their names because the expected groundswell for Obama will probably have coattails.
Now I get a mailer from the Pomona Valley Democratic Club that sounds like something out of the Karl Rove playbook. They suggest that Rothman is being "Swift Boated." They claim that Hunter has made "trumped-up charges" but never say what they are or even try to defend Rothman. They claim that Hunter is responsible for poor judgement in the Artisan project. I can say that George and I disagreed on the project, but that he worked hard to make the project the best for the city of Pomona. That project was also supported by Rothman, who was ready to sign off on the first version of the project which would have been disasterous. AND Elliott DID vote FOR the project when it came before the council. If it was so bad, where was his opposition?
If Hunter has gone negative, I haven't received any of that in MY mail. No one has used Rothman's DUI that I've heard (except the blogs which is where I'd expect to hear it). Now perhaps I'm "out of the loop," but if I am, then I don't know who is "in the loop."
This kind of action by MY party is obnoxious and I'll have to think twice the next time they ask for a donation. But perhaps supporting a Republican at all makes me "unAmerican" and a disgrace to the party. In that case I hope that they'll have the decency to send me a reimbursement check.
The opinions expressed here are my own. I blog using my real name and take full responsibility for my opinions. M-M-M-My Pomona, Meg, K, Ed, and Calwatch had nothing to do with this and shall remain blamless.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I'll interrupt this gastronomic melancholy to remind us that we live in Pomona.
I've been adding to the September homicide map to visually compare Pomona Valley with the rest of LA County. Special thanks to the homicide map of the LA Times for providing the additional info. A different perspective can be illuminating.
October's map will be in a couple of days.
I'm so behind at work, I got up at 4:30 this morning to try to get caught up. It didn't work, but I'm better off now than I was.
The only place to get coffee at 5:30 in the morning when you're out of milk at home is $tarbuck$. While there, I noticed that our lone Indonesian restaurant -- possibly the only one in the Inland Empire -- is now one sad pondok, torn up inside and for lease.
It's a pity. Never in a million years would I have guessed that the O-Lime next door (a Pinkberry plagiarist) would outlast it.
There's a lesson for us here. On let's-eat-out nights, make sure and patronize the offbeat, the unusual, the wackadoodle (as long as they're good, which PS was). Belly up to the table so they don't go belly up!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Okay, no excitement in La Verne. But I made you keep reading, didn't I?
A colleague tells me that there is a fabulous, hidden-away Indian restaurant in La Verne, although she doesn't know where it is or what the name is. If you do, pleeeeease post it here -- we're dying to know! Because we never did find it.
My first step was a Google search, and as it turned out, that was my last step as well, because I got distracted by the City of La Verne Dining Guide. That's right: The city has an online guide to all the restaurants in the city. It downloads a .pdf, just FYI, and it includes phone numbers, hours, and sometimes URLs.
Reading it over, my eye was caught by Angel's Place, on D Street in downtown La Verne. I've seen Angel's Place before, but I hadn't realized it was a Greek restaurant. So last night we abandoned our quest for Indian and promptly decided to pledge Greek.
Angel's is a fairly low-key diner-style place. The service was prompt and friendly, and while our waitress didn't call us "hon," give her another 20 years and she will. K. had the pastitsio, and I had the "Athenian spaghetti," which our waitress said was "to die for."
Both dishes came with a small Greek salad, pita, and some hummus. The salad was fine, although the dressing used balsamic vinegar (very un-Greek -- I would have far preferred a lemon juice-based vinaigrette). The pita was really good: It's Greek style, meaning it's yeasted, so it has some flavor and lift. The hummus was way too blended, but it tasted perfectly fine.
K's pastitsio tasted good. I'm not a huge fan of the stuff, but it tasted on par with other pastitsios I've tried. My Athenian spaghetti was a basic bolognese with Greek leanings, topped with parmesan and feta. It was nothing fancy, but it was comfort-food spaghetti, the type that reminds you of childhood.
In both cases, we got the largest servings you ever saw in your life. The pastitio was the length, breadth, and height of a brick, I kid you not, and I got about a quart of spaghetti. Considering that both dishes cost about $10 and that we're getting at least one more meal out of them, I'd call that a good deal -- and we could all use a good deal these days.
K was torn between the exotic foreign beer (Mythos) and his natural inclination toward dark beers. When the waitress asked how he liked his Mythos, he said cheerfully, "Pretty good for a yellow beer!" I had a glass of the cabernet (all their wines -- not counting retsina -- are from Salmon Creek Winery), and it was just fine.
All in all, we really liked the place. My one complaint is that they're using commercial-grade chopped feta that tastes very cow-y, not good Greek (or even Bulgarian) stuff. But we'll be back. They're open for breakfast seven days a week, and I feel sure we'll be trying it soon.
 Actually, I'm old enough that spaghetti wasn't something we got at home. All of our mothers cooked meat and two veg; spaghetti was something we ordered in restaurants or got on fridays at school. Even there, spaghetti was an anomaly; our lunch ladies made real home-cooked meat and veg (and the most amazing yeast rolls!) every morning, which we could smell from our classrooms. Every third or fourth friday, however, they would make spaghetti, and the classrooms would be buzzing with anticipation as the aroma of oregano and ground beef floated over the transoms.
Friday, October 24, 2008
According to the police officer who evacuating people from their houses across the alley, an electrical line fell into someone's back yard and started a fire. I could see the fallen wire easily, although cause and effect aren't always clear.
It seems like the fire department was on it pretty quickly -- I saw at least five fire engines along with plenty of police as well. Hopefully there was limited damage (better a garage than a house!).
The police quite wisely kept all of us lookie-lous off of the actual block on Lincoln with all of the excitement, so I had to go back to work writing software. I'm probably better off leaving the color commentary to David Allen, anyway... :-)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The gas station building at the corner of White and Orange Grove is being moved down the street to the rental car location. In its place will rise a two story multi-tenant commercial building. Agenda
Big Read Events:
@Pomona Public Library:
- 1PM-3PM Librarian led booktalk (attendees receive a free bock)
- 4PM-5:30PM Kerry Madden will discuss upcoming biography on Harper Lee and then lead a young adult literary workshop.
Also on Thursday 10/23
Red Ribbon Kickoff: Crime Prevention @ the Civic Center starts @ 9AM and runs to 11AM
Pomona PD Open House: 11AM to 1PM for students, 1-8PM for general public.
Meet and Greet with Mayoral Candidate George Hunter and Council candidates Fred Van Allen, Danilet Querubin, and Paula Lantz. This event is at a private residence with limited space and parking, so plan accordingly. 359 W. Alvarado St. 7PM-9PM.
Monday, October 20, 2008
To all of those who volunteered, purchased tickets, or opened up their homes for the Pomona Heritage Home Tour, I'm throwing out a huge thank you.
Sunday marked my first glimpse of the historical artifacts at the Ebell Museum of History. It's a little embarrassing to admit that I haven't stopped by earlier in my five years in Pomona. With all that the city and Pomona Valley has lost, my hat is off to the handful of volunteers who really work tirelessly (but I'm sure they're a little tired) to preserve some remnants of the area's past. If anyone is interested, they do accept donations and I doubt they'll turn away a volunteer or two if you're interested in helping out. Pomona Valley Historical Society
So cool to go beyond sneaking a peak or two from the sidewalk as I walk by. Special thanks to the other owners who let my wife and I explore your buildings.
For those who visited our home, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed showing it to you. Pomona has a wonderful history and we appreciated the opportunity to show you a small fraction of it.
Without a voice for preservation in the community, the onslaught of 'progress' can quickly overwhelm the history that we take for granted. At times that voice may be annoying, it may slow 'progress', and you may think it impinges on a property owner's desire to change their property, but no one should doubt the huge volunteer investment that goes into putting on a city-wide home tour, the proceeds from which will go on to fund additional community efforts such as the Restoration Workshop. And the 6 hours of the tour is dwarfed by the immense time required to plan such a huge endeavor, so a special thank you to Kathleen and all her volunteers.
It was cool to meet Primo Castro and talk to Paula Lantz, but to be honest, it was even cooler to meet Goddess of Pomona and the Pomona's Art Colonists blogger. Wow, I love living in Pomona.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
K. and I have been trying to find a "No on 8" sign for our yard, as have our neighbors across the street, to no avail. I don't understand why; I don't see many around, so the campaign can't have underestimated demand and run out of them.
In any case, I'm going to repurpose the Pomona Heritage Home Tour sign in our yard -- flip it around and make my own NO ON 8 sign. Driving through the neighborhood, I see that various neighbors have improvised according to their own design sensibilities and strength of feeling. I particularly like the bedsheet hanging from a roofline that reads "vote NO on 8" in five-foot-high letters.
If you're wondering why you should vote no on 8, Tibbi lists his reasons in a recent post on Blurry Memoirs. To those I would add my own grouchiness at the fact that for more than a century (since Oscar Wilde went to Reading Gaol, at least), hetero culture has been criticizing gay people for supposedly being promiscuous... but if they want to settle down in a cozy monogamous relationship, good heavens, they're destroying the fabric of society!