Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bats, Bats, Bats

Sorry no secret invasion, or unfortunate personal adventure to report regarding our furry mammalian flyers. Just patting a few Pomona backs after the recent Spring high school sports season.

In the Christian League, Pomona Catholic took the league's top spot in softball with a 9-1-0 season. The Pacers run for the CIF Championship ended in the semis, with a 6-1 loss to Ocean View from Huntington Beach. Tori Sadlak (soph) pitched her way to the most strike outs and most wins in the league, Mandee Camargo (junior) had the most stolen bases, and Shelby Reis (senior) tied for the most home runs.

The Garey High School baseball team took second place in the Mt. Baldy League. Some notable Viking accomplishments include Alfred Ramirez (senior) topping the league in batting average (.560), slugging percentage (.940), and on base percentage (.608). Dino Mares (junior) and Samuel Garcia (senior) tied for second in RBIs. Gabriel Torres (senior) was the stolen base leader and Manual Romero (senior) was the strike out leader.

The Diamond Ranch Panthers fell one game short of a CIF Championship, losing in the finals to the Northview Vikings from Covina 1-0. Jericho Kelsey (senior) tied for the home run lead in the Miramonte League.

Comment away if I missed something.

Friday, May 30, 2008

No Eminent Domain

Having read that Coates is saying that they were informed that there will be no movement on the Lewis Homes project at Foothill and Towne (which had been noticed in the Daily Bulletin as being up for discussion of the redevelopment agency's intention to use eminent domain for the June 2 council meeting), I sought to get confirmation. I called the office of Raymond Fong, but he was not in today and wouldn't be back until Monday. So I emailed a couple of council people who got back to me letting me know that the item was not moving forward because there was no support for using eminent domain on the council.

I've not gotten further confirmation as the Agenda for Monday's meeting has been posted on the city clerk's web site (click Agenda to view). The item is on the agenda as a public hearing, but the staff recommendation next to it in the right hand column says "Table Indefinitely."

From what I hear, that pretty much kills the proposal in its current form. There is some speculation that there might be another plan proposed sometime next year. We'll be keeping an eye out for any developments.

As to other issues on the agenda . . . There is an "Old Business" item for discussion of the traffic checkpoints, which was last week's hot button item. There is also another demonstration against checkpoints planned for outside the council chambers. Should make for an interesting meeting (I think I'll watch it on cable--cowardly, aren't I).

The other important item on the agenda is the approval of the budget.

on the campaign trail

Hello from Rapid City, South Dakota. In my ongoing attempts to convince my poor dear cat that I don't actually live there (after three conferences, Christmas travels, taking care of my mother during her surgery, and a two-month business trip, all in the last six months), K and I have hit the road for our biennial vacation.

So far we have spent time in Ely, Nevada ("a full-service community," which means "We got brothels! Lots of 'em!"), the west desert of Utah, Green River, Wyoming, and now Rapid City. Everyone around here seems to call it "Rapid," but I prefer to think of it as "RC," just like the cola that goes best with a moon pie.

Yesterday I was in the RC Safeway, and the cashier -- a none-too-bright bulb but very chatty -- asked me where in California I was from. "Pomona!" I proclaimed proudly. As one does.

"Oh, Panoma!" he said, with an air of recognition. "We had someone from there in here not too long ago. Mexican lady, real nice. And her friend, who was from Corona, which she said was the next town down. The Mexican lady's somebody important in Panoma, but she's running for Congress, she said! I'll sure vote for her -- she was real nice."

My friends, it's a small, small world. If I run into Joe Romero in Ranchester, Wyoming, I will not bat an eye.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Events

Dogs from all over North America are competing at the Mission Circuit Dog Show. And if you're into dog but want less show and more action, stop by the So Cal Portuguese Water Dog Club Agility Trials.
For those of you who would rather make gas than buy it, an all breed horse sale is being conducted on Saturday and Sunday.

City of Pomona

Tuesday: Regular City Council Meeting and a Special Meeting starting at 5PM. The meeting didn't make it to their city calendar, but if you follow 8 (maybe you can do it faster) links, eventually you'll find the following two agenda items.
Regular Meeting Agenda
Special Meeting Agenda: 2008-09 Proposed Budget Review

Wednesday: Planning Commission @ 7PM in Council Chambers (agenda)(map)

Metro Pomona

On Saturday, Family Fun Days is scheduled at Cal Poly Downtown Center from 1-4PM. Children who attend will receive a free book.

Also on Saturday, Radio Rodia by Peter Yates is scheduled for the Cal Poly Downtown Center at 7PM. It's a solo puppet opera emphasizing creative impulse, compost, building codes and reincarnation. In following the city's link for more information, I stumbed on the Cal Poly Pomona Music Department's website. If you have few minutes check out their events page.

I'll make a pitch for visiting dA Center for the Arts to see Emerging Artists from Pomona Unified School District. The exhibition runs through Sat. May 31, so you can also check it out during the Second Street Art Walk on May 31.

Saturday: **Set Your Goals** 6PM MySpace page for a preview

Sunday: ** Jaguar Love ** 7PM MySpace page for a preview

Pomona Concert Band

Memorial Day performance at the Pomona Cemetery on Franklin Ave.

Pomona Unified School District
Tues @ 7:30PM Board of Education Meeting (agenda)

Pomona Public Library
Tues-Thurs: Homework club from 4-6PM
Tues: 10:15 Storytime age 2-5
Wed: 3:30 Grandparents & Books

Farmer's Market
Saturday morning: Pomona Valley Certified Farmer's Market
@Pomona First Baptist Church
Wednesday Evening: Metro Pomona's Farmer's Market
@2nd and Garey from 4-8pM

Historic Highlands in Pasadena/Altadena is conducting a historic home tour on Sunday from 12-4PM.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

end-of-the-year report card

Thanks to the Inland Empire Daily Bulletin (whose circulation department is worthy of a separate peroration, which I will leave to K. as he is more eloquent on the subject), I just browsed through the annual report on the state of the state schools. (That link is just for LA County.)

I don't know all that much about how the figures (achieved and target) are ascertained, but I noted with a soupçon of smugness that three of Pomona's elementary schools scored better than any of Claremont's schools.

The next time one of my colleagues asks "How do you like living in Pomona?" in that tone of voice that suggests that we all have "Thug Life 4evah" tattooed on our abs, I'm going to shrug nonchalantly and say, "Oh, Pomona has its problems, but at least it's not Claremont."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The other night we didn't want to stay in, but we did want to stay in town, so we headed down to Pho Vi (pardon the lack of diacritical marks) for supper, followed up by a tipple at dba256.

I'm a big pho phan; K, less so -- he's more of a ramenthusiast. In general, I'd say that Pho Vi is good but not great. The atmosphere is quite pleasant, and the service is friendly (if not very Anglophonic). The broth is good, although it's nowhere near as good as Pho Century, my favorite. They got my order wrong (giving me brisket instead of flank), but it was no big deal. Interestingly, the platter of add-ins (bean sprouts, lime, etc.) didn't include basil, although friends report that they were restocked with basil the next night.

In short, it's not the most stunning pho in the West Inland Empire, but it's good and we'll be back. Probably often, because they're open till 10pm every night (due to K's work schedule, we are late diners).

As for dba256, it's rapidly turning into our local, in the British sense. They now know us there and remember what we like to drink, and it's comfortable to chill at the bar for a drink and a chat (before we head home to geek out at our separate computers). The clientele is a fabulous mix of old fuddy-duddies like us and, ahem, urban youth, which makes us both feel way hipper than we are. The current art show is pretty darn fine, too. My only complaint is that after about 9pm, the cops like to park a car right outside, which makes me paranoid about getting busted for DUI as I'm leaving the bar.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Boob Toob Blues 5/17


Tennessee Walking Horse Show**Parking at Gate 12 on White** 6:30-10PM FREE
Computer Fair **Parking at Gate 9 on White** 10-5PM
LA T-Birds Building 9 7-10PM

Tennessee Walking Horse Show**Parking at Gate 12 on White Ave 1:30-11PM FREE
Computer Fair **Parking at Gate 9 on White** 10-5PM

City of Pomona
City Council Meeting is cancelled for lack of quorum (not posted on city calendar) . Rescheduled for Monday, May 27. I think it could read Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day), but more likely the meeting is Tuesday, May 27.

Metro Pomona
AMOCA **Opening Reception for "America's First Pottery: Pueblo Clay" 6-9PM
Glasshouse ** Featuring Eisley, The Myriad, Vedera** 7PM

Glasshouse ** Featuring Matt Costa** 7PM

The galleries downtown constantly run exhibitions so check out the gallery link at MetroPomona for a list of the galleries, their exhibits and their business hours.

Pomona Public Library
Tues-Thurs: Homework club from 4-6PM
Tues: 10:15 Storytime age 2-5
Wed: 3:30 Grandparents & Books

Coates Cyclery is having a Great American Bike Sale (ends 5/18)
Pasadena Heritage is celebrating Preservation Month with a guided tour on Sunday.
Berry Good Frozen Yogurt on Mission (Sat. open till 8:00PM, Sun open till 6PM)**

Friday, May 16, 2008

petty thievery

This morning I was sitting at my desk, wading through the overnight email, when I saw one of the ubiquitous bicycle men stop in front of our house, pedal partway up our driveway, pick up our newspaper, and pedal off down the street.

K. is grouchy if he doesn't have his morning paper (okay, he's grouchy anyway), and I was outraged on principle, so I called the cops (622-1241, not 911). I did feel compelled to apologize: "I know it's just a newspaper, but I can't help but be outraged." I gave them a very clear description, and they said they'd try to apprehend the evildoer.

You know, I think I'm more up in arms about this than if I had left my iPod in the car and my window got smashed for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bike Week: Hump City

Hump day in Hump City, can the world get any better. I really thought the city was crazy when it started placing humps in the residential neighborhoods. Why not just have Pomona PD patrol the streets and ticket the offenders? Sounds great in principle, but the reality of traffic enforcement is a cruel one. The city of Pomona has 400 miles of roads and nine motor officers to enforce the traffic code (per city website). I'll let you do the math, but at least in physical presence, I think we can all agree that as 24/7 impediments to speeding, humps have won this battle hands down. As for the origin of speed humps, this article from UC Berkeley suggests they started in England and were affectionately referred to as "sleeping policemen." Throw in the "sleeping policemen" and Pomona may just double the size of its police force.

Whether the speed humps actually slow the vehicles down probably depends on the type of vehicle and the owner's respect for his/her vehicle. From my experience, the cars do appear to be traveling slower, but I have no before/after data to support the assertion.

Does it really matter if I drive 30mph in a 25mph zone? The following info appeared in a publication of the Australian Academy of Sciences.
  1. This math problem revolves around Sam. A typical little kid who doesn't always look both ways before riding his bike into the street.
  2. On this day, Sam doesn't see the two cars traveling toward him. Car #1 is plodding along at the 24mph just under the speed limit while car #2 is traveling a little faster at 30mph.
  3. When Sam enters the street, both drivers are paying attention and see Sam at the same time. Sam is about 25 yards up the road.
  4. If we assume an average reaction time, the driver of car #1 can stop in about 75 feet (55 feet to apply the brakes and another 20 feet to stop the car) just missing lucky, little Sam.
  5. With a similar reaction time, the driver of car#2 won't leave Sam so lucky. By traveling 6mph faster, the driver will be only 7 feet away from Sam when he first hits the brakes, and at the point of impact, the car will still be traveling 22 mph. Even after hitting Sam the car won't come to a complete stop for another 25 feet.
Although Sam probably won't die from this impact, he most certainly will visit a hospital. Add on another 5 mph and Sam might not be so lucky since at 35 mph the driver would strike Sam before his foot could even depress the brake pedal. Next time you're about to cross the street consider that the likelihood of a fatality in a pedestrian collision rises from 5% at 20mph to 40% at 30mph and 80% at 40mph (NHTSA).

Add a hump, save a life!

I have only one burning desire -- let me stand next to your fire

Flying into Ontario from Chicago yesterday, we could see the smoke plume coming off of Baldy from the far side of Gorgonio. Now that I'm here on the ground, it's not obvious, but from 10,000 feet up, it's clear that the smoke from the Baldy fire is filling the LA Basin.

Last night on the way to get a bite to eat, we saw a diamond-shaped fire zone up on the mountain. By the time we'd finished eating, there were three separate blazes, spread out a fair distance from each other.

The Daily Bulletin has the best coverage a cursory search turned up, but I know there are better sources of information out there. We here at M-M-M-My Pomona don't aspire to the august heights of the Foothill Cities Blog, but even if we did, we couldn't provide the fabulous photo coverage they had of the Sierra Madre fire, since this fire isn't near any homes (yet!) and no one should bolt up there with a camera.

Here's a map of the fire location that I found on Google -- I can't vouch for the accuracy. Once K is awake, he'll be able to update with his special aviation sources and what not.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bike Week: Going Green

Biking to work in Southern California poses some formidable hurdles for many people, so although I'll advocate for two wheel transit whenever possible, I'm not an idiot when it comes to the reality that most of us face. But there is another group of could be, would be, should be peddlers that in bygone years, regularly traversed our streets. That societal pocket of which I speak is the under 18 crowd that used self-generated locomotion as the primary locomotion to get to and from school. For those of us who remember thirty years ago, students routinely walked or biked to school. In 1972, a Department of Transportation study listed the percentage of all youth (5-18) walking/biking to school at 42%. And for those kids who lived within a mile of school the percentage was a whopping 87%. In 2001, those percentages had fallen to only 15% of all school-age kids walk/bike to school and even for those living within a mile of school, only 63% walk/bike.

Rather than delve into the numerous reasons parents might cite for not having their children "take" themselves to school, I'm going to plug-in numbers so we can glimpse the cost of our choice.

For a school that is 2.5 miles away:
driving miles/day= 10 miles
total school days= approx. 180
driving miles/school year=1800
@ $3.50/gallon and 20mpg= $315/school year
@ $4.00/gallon and 20mpg= $360/school year
**total miles from Kindergarten to 8th grade=16,200.
**total cost of fuel from K-8= $2,835 ($3.50/gallon)
**not included: vehicle maintenance, time, air quality, childhood obesity, car insurance

I'll leave you with this piece of data: 50% of children hit by cars near schools are hit by cars driven by parents of students (USDOT study).

Monday, May 12, 2008

beware the ides of may (and the calends, and the nones, and the...)

I'm off in Chicago on a bidness trip, but our block captain just sent me news about an attack this morning in the other Land of Lincoln, plus some Suspicious Activity.

• At about 5:10am, there was an attempted sexual assault on a woman on the 400 block of Pasadena St., and the bulletin claimed that there have been other incidents of a man following women in the neighbborhood.

• A white BMW and a white Lincoln Navigator have made a habit of loitering at the corner of Alvarado and Palomares, looking like they are up to no good and being hostile to neighbors.

Be careful out there, people!

May Days

May is National Barbecue Month, National Salsa Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, and Bike to Work Month.

May 12-18 is Children's Book Week (see below)
May 12-16 is Bike to Work Week

Wed-Sunday: 48th District Agricultural Association
(Building 10) Schools' Agricultural and Nutritional Fair "Watch your Garden Grow"
From reading their website, this is an agricultural group financed through horse track proceeds, with the mission of educating children on the role of agriculture in our society. Their education outreach includes teaching materials aimed at the elementary and secondary levels. Here is the the link to their website: Ag is our Bag The Fair in Building 10 includes the exhibits from student agricultural projects.

Wed 11:30-1:30 22nd Annual Pomona Police Awards Luncheon
RSVP deadline was May 8th

@ Pomona Public Library (PPL Blog)

Tues-Thurs: Free Homework Assistance 4-6PM for Grades 1-6
Tues: Preschool and Toddler Storytime at 10:15AM
Wed: Toddler Storytime at 10AM
Thurs: Infant Storytime at 10AM (0-18months)

@ Pomona Public Library (PPL Blog)
Children's Book Week: 12th-18th
3PM Wed (14th) Meet and Greet with an author and his reptilian friend.
Author Jay B. Winderman will be at the library to share his love for tortoises.

@ Metro Pomona
Wed: Farmer's Market 4-8PM

@ City of POMONA
Wed: Planning Commission: Canceled (lack of agenda items)
Thurs: Cultural Arts Commission 6PM in Council Meeting Room (Agenda not available online)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fighting the Boob Toob Blues

There are so many events this weekend that next week will get its own post. If dogs, roller skating, or trains are your fancy, the Fairplex has something to offer. On Saturday night the homes around Palomares Community Center will shake with the thunderous sounds of the Pomona Concert Band. If you're into baseball and folksongs, the library could be your stop on Saturday. If National Train Day warms your caboose, activities will be running all day at the Los Angeles Union Station or just stop by the historic trains at the Fairplex for the Pomona-based experience. It's also the hopping time of the month again down in Metro Pomona. Experience the uniquely urban vibe in our sea of suburbia by strolling the sidewalks during the Second Saturday Art Walk.

The Pomona Beautification Day deserved its own paragraph. From 8-12 volunteers will be putting a shine on the Goddess's face and after sweating away some pounds, the Fairplex will open its doors to the volunteers as a thank you. If you find yourself at the Fairplex, consider taking in the dog show or historic train display.

Friday 5/9:
@ Fairplex: Dog Show (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club 10AM-4PM)
@ Palomares Community Center: Pomona Concert Band Spring Performance (7:30PM) FREE!!

Saturday 5/10:
@ POMONA: The 2nd Annual Pomona Beautification Day (Chamber of Commerce)
@ Fairplex: 10AM-4PM Dog Show (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club)
@ Pomona Public Library 3-4:30PM Baseball Hootenanny: Ross Altman will perform original baseball songs and folksongs from the 60's.
@ Los Angeles Union Station: 10:30-4:30PM National Train Day
@ Fairplex: 10-3:30 Open House of the Southern California Railway and Historic Locomotive Society
@Fairplex: LA T-Birds 7-10PM
@Dolce Cafe and Bakery in Montclair (8821 Central) Q&A with Ken White, a candidate for the 61st Assembly District
@ Metro Pomona: Second Saturday Art Walk
@ Italy: Stage one of the 91st Giro d'Italia

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

mustachioed malingerer eminent-domained into Claremont

Apparently the folks in the Los Angeles Times newsroom don't read the blogs, because they have reproduced the misleading information on KABC Channel 7 that Claremont Insider brought to our attention yesterday.

If you've been busy and gotten behind on the latest, Norma's Torregé Xavier Alvarez pleaded guilty on monday to claiming valors that were not his. Lying, we call that. Channel 7 referred to him as "Claremont's Xavier Alvarez," despite the fact that he represents Pomona (although not my Pomona, much less M-M-M-My Pomona). Hence Claremont Insider's exasperated "Claremont to Pomona: Take Him, He's Yours."

Alas, the Times missed the memo. There on page 10 of the California section (online here) it is again: "Claremont Water Official Pleads Guilty to Lying About Medal of Honor."

I'm not really much of a conspiracy theorist, adhering as I do to the maxim "Never attribute to careful planning what can be achieved by stupidity." If I were, however, I'd be wondering about the timing... Just when Norma Torres starts campaigning for the Assembly, X-Alv gets conveniently moved to Claremont, outside of her aspired-to district.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Council Meeting Monday!

I downloaded the agenda for Monday's council meeting. Not much on it but there are a few juicy items:
  • Closed Session discussion of Foothill / Towne project
  • Closed Session discussion of project in the parking lots across from city hall between 7th & 8th (and including a pre-1945 property on Thomas Street)
  • A resolution supporting Prop 99 and opposing 98 (This as they're looking to use eminent domain at the June 2 meeting--might be a place to let the council know how we feel on that issue--item 11 of the consent agenda)
  • Urgent ordinance to expand the anti sexual predator ordinance (gee is someone running for election?)
Something for everyone. And it's one of the shortest agendas I've seen in quite a while.

ALSO: The Historic Preservation Commission meeting for June has been canceled due to a lack of items for the agenda.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Would you care for a pharmacy?

I'm so excited to see a new Walgreen's on the southwest corner of Foothill and Towne (instead of the existing one on the northwest corner), that I figured we all might want to know where the nearest pharmacy is located. I've only mapped out CVS, Walgreen's, Rite-Aid, and Sav-on, but after a quick look, Pomona appears to have at least an additional dozen small, independently-owned pharmacies that aren't included on the map.


Truth be told, I was watching "Atonement" on pay-per-view and after forking $3.99 for the experience, I really needed to stay awake until the end.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Foothill Towne Project Update

Today's Daily Bulletin (abbreviated version--what's with that--NO COMICS!!) has the legal ad for a change in the date of the public hearing on the environmental documents for the Lewis Homes Foothill/Towne project. The date of the hearing has been moved from May 19 to June 2. Public review of the environmental documents deadline is May 6.

Among the approvals being asked for are:
  • Acquisition of the Property
  • Site and elevation plans for the project
  • Tentative parcel map
  • Construction plans, and
You can respond to the environmental documents to the city in writing by the May 6 date. If there is a legal challenge to the environmental issues, only those which have been brought up in the arguments during public comment will be allowed. If you're concerned about noise, traffic, or any other environmental issue, now is the time to respond.

This is all discretionary, so it will be heard by the city council on June 2. You can make arguments during that point to try and convince the council, who will vote on this important issue at that time.

This is the COATES issue!!!!