Monday, June 30, 2008

LP Neighborhood Watch

Two hours before the neighborhood watch meeting and I'm finally posting about.

For those who missed the yellow signs scattered throughout the LP neighborhood.......and if you read this in the next two hours, there is a meeting scheduled for 7PM (6/30/08) @ First Church of the Nazarene (200 E. McKinley, next to Orange Grove and East 10 onramp).

Stay tuned!

But fat chance that I'll write about it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This is your brain!

President Bush and Barack Obama aren't fools.

I'm seeing an explosion of bicycle riders these days, so here is some info to ponder when you witness a non-helmeted rider.

Taken from Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

  • The "typical" bicyclist killed on our roads is a sober male over 16 not wearing a helmet riding on a major road between intersections in an urban area on a summer evening when hit by a car.

  • About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.

  • Bicycle crashes and injuries are under-reported, since the majority are not serious enough for emergency room visits. 44,000 cyclists were reported injured in traffic crashes in 2006.

  • 1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries has a brain injury.

  • Two-thirds of the deaths here are from traumatic brain injury.

  • A very high percentage of cyclists' brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 per cent."

And a few words for those non-helmeted parents that I see riding with their helmeted children.
  • Great example to set for your child!
  • Brain injuries don't have age limitations.
And a few more words.
  • Helmets are required by law for anyone under the age of 18.
  • The current helmets are lighter and better ventilated than the "bone domes" of yesteryear.
Here's my bike after being struck by an SUV about a month ago. My helmet was broken it two places, but I walked away (driven in an ambulance would be more accurate). Accidents between motorized vehicles and bicycles will happen, so please take a few seconds to strap on a helmet. If your helmet is a few years old, consider stopping into Coates to grab one of the newer, lighter models.

That's the end (for now) of my rant on bicycles!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Geriatric Home Lovers

This weekend with the Goddess:

Home and Backyard Show runs from Friday to Sunday. **Free**
Vans Warped Tour on Friday 11-8PM ***not Free***
LA T-Birds on Saturday
Bird Mart on Sunday from 9:30-4PM. Adults $5 U12s **Free**

Bookmark the Fairplex "Scoopster" for quick access to Fairplex events.

City of Pomona
Saturday's 19th annual Juneteenth Celebration at Ganesha Park.
The event runs from 10AM to 8PM

Metro Pomona
Saturday at the Glass House: Marie Digby
Sunday @ the Glass House: Lightspeed Champion
dba256 is exhibiting The American Lifescape
AMOCA is exhibiting America's First Pottery: Pueblo Clay
Armstrong's Gallery is exhibiting "Generations"
**Many other galleries**
Above photo of the Arts Colony taken by Sally Egan

Farmer's Markets
Saturday morning in the Pomona First Baptist Parking Lot
Wednesday night on Garey in downtown Pomona

Geriatric Home Lovers
The Pomona Heritage is having their annual Picnic from 2-6PM
Check their website for more info.

E-Waste Collection
Saint Joseph's School is doing an E-Waste Fundraiser
Drop off old computer, tvs, cell phones, toners, printers, etc. on Saturday from 10-4PM
1200 West Holt, Pomona

If you're getting a little too hot this weekend try Berry Good for some frozen yogurt. Just stopped by last night and it was delicious! 200 block of East Mission Ave.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

$5.8 million for Five Families (!?)

The Daily Bulletin informs me that a judge has ordered Pomona to pay five families a total of $5.8 million to compensate them for damages due to a landslide below their houses. I tried to find more details, but found only a single article describing the start of the suit.

I'm sure that there are a whole bunch of details missing here, and I'd welcome clarification or a bit more history. But in the absence of clarification, my rant:

How on earth is it that the owner of a great big empty hillside (empty, because it can't be built upon due to fear of landslides) is responsible for maintaining the hillside so it doesn't slide or endanger the millions of dollars worth of real estate perched above the hillside!? Call me crazy, but I'd assume that the folks on top of the hill would have a strong interest in maintaining the integrity of the hillside, rather than the folks who own the (relatively) worthless hillside land. Especially when the folks on top picked the hillside location due to the great views.

I'm sure that there's lots and lots of history here, and that something funky went on with the original developer, but I'm still kind of flummoxed here. I mean, my experience is that when the city suggests that someone not build due to these sorts of dangers, the developers threaten to sue, and start talking about how they have every right to build on their private property. It doesn't seem fair to sue because you can't build, then sue because you shouldn't have been allowed to build (not to imply that this happened here).

What's next, the folks in Iowa who are flooded out suing the folks upstream for not soaking up more of the rain before it hit the river? Who should I sue when my house gets destroyed by an earthquake? Perhaps those folks out in Hawaii who are obviously pushing the Pacific plate our way!?

Again, I realize that there is probably some more history here that makes this whole lawsuit at least slightly more reasonable, but it still seems kinda sucky for the city to have to pay up for folks who seem to have failed to do their due diligence, and expect the rest of us to pay for it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

you scream, I scream, we all scream for Fred Van Allen

Actually, perhaps you don't scream for Fred Van Allen, of The Garden fame, who is running for District 1 of the city council. You may be screaming for someone else entirely, which is just fine -- we are nothing if not ecumenical here at M-M-M-My Pomona.

But if you're interested in hearing about what Fred would like to do on city council, he and Dawn are having an ice cream social from 4 to 6pm on Sunday, June 29, at the Garden on Garey. As Dawn told me today when I stopped by to get some dill and a six-pack of kale (I don't know how that horseradish plant crept into my car...), it's a great excuse to have ice cream for dinner.

For the record, I'm happy to promote the meet-and-greet events of other candidates, regardless of their politics, so feel free to drop me a line (

Well, there are probably a few platforms I wouldn't feel comfortable publicizing. All you members of the Worse and Fewer Restaurants In Pomona! party might find a more friendly ear elsewhere.

I woulda linked to the Garden website, but some financial-services company seems to have absconded with the domain name. Harrumph! The photo, however, is from an old Garden newsletter that I still had hanging around in my inbox.

R.I.P., CarGar

On our way to breakfast this morning (separate post to follow), we noticed that Caribbean Gardens is now "Taste of Asia." It's a pity... We always liked the food there, although the service was slower than the itch and we were usually the only ones in there.

Too bad. No more great Caribbean-tinged mac & cheese with a side of collard greens. Unless someone has a favorite place to recommend? Does Hilltop Jamaican do mac & cheese?

Dave, you're gonna hafta post an update to last month's hidden-cuisines article!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pop goes the Weasel

FYI: June is.......National Safety Month, Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month, American Rivers Month, Cancer In The Sun Month, Dairy Month, Turkey Lover's Month, National Accordian Awareness Month, National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, National Ice Tea Month, National Papaya Month, National Pest Control Month, National Rose Month, Fight The Filthy Fly Month, and Zoo and Aquarium Month.

Saturday June 14 is Pop goes the Weasel Day, as well as the earliest sunrise in 2008 if you live in the mid northern latitudes. If you're awake before sunrise look into the southwest sky to catch a glimpse of Jupiter! If you're anxiously waiting for the Summer Solstice, that doesn't arrive until June 20th.

Sunday June 15 is Smile Power Day (Don't ask me!).

Pomona Events

Fairplex has RVs, bunnies, Roadsters, Wine and Cars, Roller Derby, and a Giant Foreclosure Auction.

Farmer's Market
Saturday morning in the Pomona First Baptist Church parking lot.
Wednesday evening at corner of Garey Ave and 2nd Street.

Metro Pomona
Glass House:
Friday Night--- Dax Riggs
Saturday Night--- Russian Circles

Second Saturday Art Walk on Saturday Night

City of Pomona
City Council meeting on Monday night

Pomona Unified
Last day of school for students is June 19th. I guess Pomona students just work harder than students from the other school districts!:-)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

back alley, um, abbey

Friends of our went to Back Abbey, the new beer joint in Claremont, on opening night. Not to be outdone -- and loving beer as we do -- K. and I had to try it the next night, which was yesterday.

Upshot: Good food, good service, good decor, bad crowds, bad noise abatement.

Back Abbey is behind the Laemmle theater, facing Oberlin Avenue. It has a very abbeyish (or at least European) feel both inside and out -- exposed beams, wooden ceiling, furniture that is rustic without being full of splinters.

For food, there's a fairly limited menu, most of it focused on mammals. Burgers, sausages, charcuterie, mussels, that sort of thing. There are two or three salads on the menu (which is displayed on a chalk board over the bar), but I didn't even bother reading them; salads go with wine better than beer, and we were there for the beer. (You can put that on my tombstone: I was here for the beer.)

Our pals praised the Abbey Burger and the vegetable burger. I ordered the Italian sausage sandwich, and K. got the bratwurst. Both were delicious, but I have a strong suspicion that we both got the bratwurst, as there was nothing Italian about my sausage. And yeah, we couldn't tell the difference between the two.

And then there's the fries. They are done Belgian style (I'll get to Belgium in a minute), served in a paper cone with three different accompaniments (American ketchup, an aioli-ish sauce, and a yogurt-chive sauce). I liked them very much, but K. was somewhat critical, insisting that they weren't as good as our favorite Belgian fritterij in San Francisco.

So why haven't I mentioned the beer already, huh?

Well, my feelings on the beer are mixed. On the one hand, they have 30 beers on tap (although they were out of a lot of them, and I suspect partial outages will be a feature of the place). On the other hand, there's no beer list, and it's impossible to read the taps from across the room. [As it turns out, the owner has a list to show his friends, but the servers don't have access to it.]

Also, despite or because of having lived in Belgium, I am not a big fan of the Belgian beers. Homebrewers usually cleave to the hops or the malt, and I'm definitely a hops girl -- while Belgium is a malt country. In fact, that was one of many breaths of fresh air we experienced in the Mountain Time Zone: Instead of going wild for Belgian beers the way that LA does, they are all about the Scotch ale.

In the event, K. got and loved a cherry lambic, which tastes to me like a kir royale (and ain't nothin' wrong with that!). K. was accusing me of being grumpy, so I just said "yes" when our server suggested a Maudité. It's much yeastier and maltier than I like, but it went down fine.

Why was I grumpy, you ask?

The place was a ZOO, I'm telling you. Every available seat was taken, every standing space filled, every oxygen molecule converted to CO2. And it was so noisy that K. and I had to shout into one another's ears to be heard. It was like being at club, and I'm not talking some piddly little Jonathan Richman show but a full-on International Noise Conspiracy performance. Without earplugs.

So don't say you haven't been warned. Until the place calms down some AND (not "or") they add some acoustic dampening, I can't recommend it for a fun evening with friends. It would, however, be a great place to take someone you don't really want to talk to.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

dark days for journalism

K. frequently worries that my not-infrequent imprecations about the state of newspapers in the 21st century will be taken personally by real live journalists (such as our own David Allen). So before I launch off on my latest tirade, let me assure all readers that I have the utmost respect for journalists. Not only was my first job out of high school as a copy-editor at a national magazine, but some of the most important things I've ever read have been in magazines and newspapers. Like teachers, journalists are the underpaid underpinning of a functional society.

Actually, I don't have a tirade to share with you, because Harold Meyerson in yesterday's WaPo already said it better than I can. The LA Times was already rolling downhill by the time we moved down from Northern California, but the din of its current precipitous plummet (was that the sound of an axle breaking?) is now deafening.

Thanks to Princess Siracusa for the link.

Monday, June 9, 2008

monday, monday -- can't trust that day

Has tonight's city council meeting been canceled? There's still no agenda up on the web page...

Thursday, June 5, 2008


It's a secret, there is a police checkpoint in both Claremont and Pomona this Friday from 6PM to 2AM. Location TBD.

Speaking of the police, the not-so-distant rumble is back. Maybe I've been asleep, but didn't we have a couple of months without the helicopter buzzing around. I keep expecting to read about some major crime after seeing it dart north, south, east, and west. And yet again, today I'm left wanting. Any chance the Pomona PD could find someone within their ranks willing to do a comedic police blotter. Poor Wes Woods must be getting tired of regurgitating press releases.

Here's a novel idea, what about posting the Pomona PD press releases online?

Come on, toss the "information junkies" a fix.

On the brighter side for Pomona, anyone ever cruise the police department websites looking for crime info? Yeah, sit there in silence, I know deep down that I'm not the only one. If you're looking for official PD crime maps, here's how I'd rate the local cities:

LaVerne comes soooo close to having a decent site, but if you want to see data on a map, start cutting and pasting.
Claremont doesn't even try. They offer a couple of press releases but no crime summary or even monthly statistics to whet your appetite. Oh yeah, there isn't crime in Claremont! Silly me!
Montclair offers a stats page which is useful for year-to-year comparisons, but if you want anything but numbers, don't bother stoppin' there.
Upland is even worse than Claremont. Clicking on Upland's crime stats link brings up ....2008? No. .....2007? No. ......2006? No. The PD's cutting edge use of the web gives you 2005 data. I guess we should stop by in 2011.
Pomona trumps them all. The little, big city offers a zoomable city-wide map with crime icons ranging from grafitti and larceny to rape and homicide. My only complaint (yeah, I always have one) is that the data covers only seven days. Allowing us to specify the date range, now that would be useful! Oh, and tell me what the darn whirlybird is doing!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The "H" word for May

If you cruise the local papers online, you'll find Pomona's crimes have been popping up on the online versions of the Daily Bulletin, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and San Bernardino Sun. Slow news days, I guess. Tough to shake the Pavlovian association of Pomona and crime when press releases are being uploaded to newspaper websites.

I'll grant to the Pomona naysayers that indeed, our beautiful city shudders a little too often because of the "H" word, and given the social and personal cost even one homicide is one too many. The real shock for me over the last five months of mapping the reported homicides has been the distribution along the Interstate 10 corridor. I was expecting a gradual increase as we moved eastward from San Gabriel Valley. Why I had this bias, I won't really say. Funny how perception can be so inconsistent with reality.

May 2008
March-April 2008
Jan-Feb 2008

FYI: The last two homicides in May were on Saturday in Whittier and Rialto. It's a crazy, crazy world.

Thanks for the photo goes to at Flickr.