Monday, September 29, 2008

It's (not such) A Wonderful Life

George! Where did you go?

Here's how your elected representatives voted on HR 3997: Economic Stabilization/Bail Out Bill.

26 David Dreier Rep Y
32 Hilda Solis Dem N
38 Grace Napolitano Dem N
39 Linda Sanchez Dem N
40 Edward Royce Rep N
42 Gary Miller Rep Y
43 Joe Baca Dem N
44 Ken Calvert Rep Y

Congressional Map of California
Voting Record on HR 3997

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Want My Mobile Lovin'

Okay, calm down folks, it's not a post about the alleged motorhome-based brothel cruising the streets of our fair city. I'm curious about cell phone coverage in Lincoln Park.

Since moving in, I've gotten used to making calls from the back of the house, or if I really want reception, the back yard. Sprint has definitely not been showing me the lovin'. Meg seems to get great AT&T coverage, but I wonder what other options I have.

T-Mobile claims to have lousy coverage in Lincoln Park (with a big 3G hole over the park itself!), but, then again, Sprint claims to have good coverage, so who knows? What about Verizon? I'd love to hear about personal experiences with the coverage from the different companies (I'm open to other advice, but I'm already steeled to deal with lousy customer service, no matter who I hook up with).

fine dining notes

A pal at work is of Iranian extraction, and we were discussing Persian food in the West Inland Empire. Darvish: okay. Falcon's Nest: deeply mediocre. Then she mentioned a third place I'd never heard of, and never would have tried: Giuseppe's Pizza, at 2433 N. Euclid.

There are two reasons I never would have tried Giuseppe's without her recommendation: Not only do we not try random pizza places (we don't eat that much pizza, so we wait for a friend to rave before we step outside our Eddie's comfort zone), but you would never in a million years know this place was there, unless you lived on Euclid.

You might not even know Giuseppe's was there if you drove past it; we had to turn around, go back, and carefully track the house numbers to find it. It's up in the section of foothills where all the streets are crazy circles, and it's tucked away in a residential neighborhood, across from an evangelical church.

It's definitely worth the drive. We're big fans of Persian food, and this was really good. They don't have the polos/pulaus (pilafs that have been duded up with green beans, barberries, or other things) that Darvish has, but they have all the meat and side dishes that you'd expect.

We split the appetizer platter (dolmas, hummus with eggplant stirred in, and cucumber-yogurt salad) and then split an order of koobideh (the chopped, spiced beef that's grilled on a sword). We should have split one dish, as the portions were huuuuuge. They were also delicious, so the biggest challenge is going to be getting my fair share of the leftovers.

The wine list is pretty poor, but that doesn't matter, because they actually have Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale on the beer list, to our amazement. And with a mark-up of mere pennies.

The waitresses were very friendly and competent, although the hostess (who might have been the owner) was surly. Meg-Bob sez check it out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

news I can use

The Planning Commission apparently was listening when I lamented the dearth of cans and bottles in my recycling bin: They have just voted in another opportunity for us to drown our sorrows, in the form of a high-end tequila bar. Let Claremont have its hipster Belgian beer; Pomona's taking care of the wine and tequila, and that's all right with me. iSalud, camaradas! [1]

[1] According to my elderly cousin who was a child during the Spanish Civil War, "iSalud, camaradas!" was how you could tell a Republican from a Nationalist or Falangist. Not that they have tequila in Spain, of course.

Who needs Laemmle?

This weekend, Pomona has short Films for free, antiques and collectibles to peruse, and of course, if you're yearning for the urban experience it's a Saturday Art Walk weekend. Also check out Trapt, which will be playing at the Glasshouse on Friday.


Ontario........who knows?

Our friends in Claremont are offering a free Friday jazz festival at the Metrolink station from 7-8:30. Not a neighborhood I trust, but that's probably why I live in Pomona.

Visit Metro Pomona for a complete schedule of events and a map of downtown businesses.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

signs of the times

This morning I was at my desk early, spying on my garbage bins to see what they get up to when they socialize with their peers. I wasn't worried about the recycling pillagers, since we only had newspapers in our bin this week (note to self: drink more!).

But wait! One lady spent a good 20 minutes going through every single newspaper in the bin... looking for coupons. Something about that just strikes me as awfully pitiful.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

groucho marx is against it

Our neighborhood block captain (and other NBCs in Lincoln Park, as I understand it) is canvasing the block for opinions on two proposals:

• To restrict overnight parking to those with permits

• To close permanently the restrooms in Lincoln Park and to require permits for a group to use the park.

I believe I've aired my thoughts on the first proposal. Just a wee bit.

As for the second, I confess I don't have strong opinions, mainly out of ignorance. We're far enough away from the park not to have firsthand evidence of evil-doings, and I never know which of the incommensurate reports to believe ("Father-rapers right there on the Group W bench!!!" vs. "There's no crime in Lincoln Park, just a bunch of hysterics"). [I'm fairly sure the truth is somewhere in between, but I don't know where in between.]

Anyway, I'm opening up the floor to folks for discussion of either topic. Let the family squabble commence!

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay

You know you haven't blogged in a long time when your neighbor gets on your case (nicely, of course). Sorry about the silence; it's been a grueling week, including not one but two projects due AND the sudden death of a co-worker.

I've got plenty to say (don't I always?), but I'll start with our adventures with the city. As I've mentioned before, we have a problematic chinaberry tree that is attempting to kill off our fig tree. We got our tree-removal application in under the wire (the wire being the fee hike from $75 to $500 -- ow, ow, ow), and we've been waiting to hear from the city.

Earlier this week, the assigned staff person from the planning department called, then visited, then talked to the arborist, then called again to fill us in. He was friendly, informative, and efficient -- what more could you ask for from city staff?

Next up is going before the Historic Preservation Commission. When I filed the application in August, they said it would be several months before the matter would come before the HPC, but by my count it's about seven weeks. Hurrah for municipal efficiency. Take that, Daily Bullet-In! (Oh, wait, ragging on the DB for its Pomona coverage is Ed's job, not mine.)

We're not keen on killing off trees, by any means, so if the HPC tells us to just trim the heck out of the tree (the only alternative, for a whole bunch of reasons), we'll do that in good cheer. Mainly, I'm just impressed by the whole experience so far. I guess it could all go pear-shaped, but I can't imagine how (famous last words).

In the meantime, I just hope our neighbors don't see the hearing notice posted on our front window and assume we've been foreclosed upon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Watt's Goin' On?

Metro Pomona, our downtown cheerleading blog (that's not a derogatory statement, we need someone to cheerlead downtown and Metro does a great job of doing so), has posted the most negative item I've ever seen there. The blog post at tells that the Artisan project in downtown (remember the demolition of two blocks of East Second St.?) has been removed from the Watt website and, with the yellow tagging of the Vault building, we now have a full 3 blocks of chain link fencing.

I said I'd wait until the first of the year to say "I told you so," but it has become much more obvious lately that the project, which was fast tracked, has now been delayed until ????? So we get to look at chain link fencing and a big hole for how long?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Breathing a little easier in Pomona

Hear ye, hear ye. Give up that lengthy commute from the far off land of Rancho Cu-ca-mon-ga or the cattle fields of Ontario. Why swelter in the heat of the east when you can enjoy the cool coastal climate and fresh air of Pomona. What you say.....the fresh air of Pomona? Yes, its true. According to that all-knowing government guru of everything dirty (in the air) a fresher breather of air can be had in Pomona today than in the distant count(r)ies of San Bernardino and Riverside.

So if you're feeling a bit hot around the collar, maybe a bit choked up, stop by the resort town of Pomona to relax and take in a wonderful breath of fresh air. Our many spa-like amenities should more than entice you stay (especially if your car gets stolen).

This message was not approved by any political candidate and no guarantee of its veracity can be made after September 15, 2008. Picture provided by Kevindooley at

Thursday, September 11, 2008

'H' word for August

Really, nothing new to report. The distribution of homicides has remained the same since the start of the year, with the San Gabriel Valley and the San Bernardino area consistently showing higher numbers than Pomona Valley. Of the cities in Pomona Valley, Pomona shows the most homicides with 2 for the month of August. San Dimas, Upland, and Chino Hills each experienced one.

For the year, Rancho and Claremont appear to be homicide free. Ontario is also having a great year, with two homicides, one of which was an officer-involved shooting. I've recorded 10 homicides in Pomona (not including the murder of Eileen Nicole Orta, whose body was found in a van in Pomona Civic Center parking lot). At this rate, Pomona would reach 15 by the end of 2008. Based on the last 23 years of data from the US Department of Justice, Pomona has never had less than 16 homicides, and the city's homicide count has dropped below 20 only six times.

Combined map of June, July, and August.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tragedy Strikes Again

This time the city of San Bernardino was the location of a deadly interaction between a school kid and moving hunk of steel. Less than a week after the middle school child was struck be a car in Azusa, now a first grader walking to school with his dad and sister stepped into the crosswalk only to be run over by a 1971 Buick Riviera.

The crosswalk was a mere 2 blocks from the school. A couple of hundred more steps and the child would be safe on school grounds. Instead, a few seconds that most of us just ignored on Monday will now haunt a father who was able to yank his daughter out of the way, but couldn't reach his 5-6 year old son.

According to the article in the SBSun, the family appeared to be doing everything right. They weren't crossing in the middle of the block or ignoring the crosswalk lights. They were waiting patiently for the light to change, and when the light changed, the children along with dad entered the intersection. Who would have guessed in that split second, a driver apparently blinded by the morning sun, would plow into an exuberant first grader who was probably just thinking about the school day ahead of him. Maybe he was thinking about new friends or his new teacher. Maybe he was expecting something special in his lunch.

How many lives were changed in that brief moment?

Please take a moment to remember that motor vehicles can kill. In 2006, California saw 2483 homicides, but in the same year, California saw 4240 vehicular deaths. The loss of this first grader won't draw the media attention that our local newspaper bestowed on little Ethan. Politicians won't be clamoring for more police funding or hoping for that fortuitous printed quote. This death will silently drift away for most us. Perhaps the family or friends will compose a little memorial at the location, but I doubt substantive changes will occur to make the intersection safer or to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in any of our cities.

If you made it to the bottom of this, thanks for taking the time. Hopefully, we all will drive a little slower and a little safer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

my first rodeo

Wednesday night I went to the Historic Preservation Commission meeting, just to see what things were like (and because we have an application in to remove a tree that is threatening to commit arboricide on another tree).

I learned a lot of things:
• You have to mention a personal illness if you want to bring an application before the HPC. If not your own, then a family member's. I had no idea that home improvement (or its opposite) was so tied up with the health care industry! Surgery featured in the narrative of every single application I saw.
• The HPC is commendably soft-hearted. If the applicant is really down on his/her luck, they won't let the matter slide, but they'll dictate an extremely generous time period for the work to get done, measured in presidencies if not papacies.
• At least one of our neighbors -- a homeowner -- raids recycling cans for his only source of income. That was one activity I really hadn't expected to put a human face on any time soon. He seemed like a really nice guy (if very much down on his luck).
• Pomona Heritage speaks on every application, as far as I could tell. I didn't realize they were so assiduous -- familiarizing oneself with each proposal must be a ton of work.
• Baby pictures help. Especially if they were taken in 1956 and are shown on a 50s-era slide projector that requires each slide to be inserted manually.
• The HPC rrrrrrrreally cares about windows. No, I mean RRRRRRREALLY. The applicant who wanted to remove an imperializing camphor tree got the response, "Yeah, yeah, the tree, fine, whatever. Now, what about that aluminum window I saw in the third photograph?!?!?" (Lucky for her, the applicant only leased the house -- whew!)

The whole thing was a big old hoot; I may start going every month, just for the entertainment value. And I learned a new phrase, which I intend to use frequently from here on out: "Now, this ain't my first rodeo, but..."

Speaking of adventures in the council chamber, I have every intention of going to the CC meeting tomorrow to give my opinion on "DUI" checkpoints. The meeting begins at 5:00 this week, to give everyone time to speak. If you're coming, do say hello. You'll recognize me as the woman who looks most likely to have had a song entitled "Pixie With An Attitude" written about her (which, in fact, I did).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Schools, bicycles, and cars

OK, here I go again.

With the summer days now a thing of the past, the march of children to their neighborhood (or not so neighborhood) schools has begun. Here's a thought: take a moment before you launch your 2 ton vehicles down the road and remind yourself that between the hours of 7-9AM and 2-4PM children have also hit the streets.

Just this Wednesday, on the very first day of school for Foothill Middle School in Azusa, an 11 year old was struck and killed by a driver. His body was thrown 100-125 feet and he was treated for head injuries. The child appeared to have been riding his bicycle without a helmet in a crosswalk. It's unknown at this time whether he was riding against the signal, and the article didn't mention a crossing guard at the crosswalk less than two blocks from the school.

As reported in the SGVT, the driver was arrested at the scene and booked on 3 previous warrants (two of them traffic-related).

It isn't clear who is at fault, but any accident involving a cyclist or a pedestrian can be deadly. Why wasn't there a crossing guard at that location? Why don't the police seem to enforce the helmet laws? Why do traffic engineers raise speed limits before demanding the police departments enforce the existing speed limits?

On a personal note, while riding with my daughter to school today, two cars coasted through stop signs/lights and barely avoided hitting us. In the 2+ miles to school, we traveled through 3 council districts and never found a bike lane. And how many police officers did I see enforcing traffic laws outside of the!

And why isn't the Daily Bulletin reporting on the story if only for its public service benefit .................I guess they're waiting for a child to be hit in the Inland Empire. Hopefully, it doesn't happen too soon.