Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh, the Indignity!!!!!

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

Pomona Photos Survive

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

Just another Tuesday in Pomona

Me again!

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)
Grabbed from the DB:
PUSD FYI: In only its first year, the API for Cortez Elementary almost reached the API scores found at Claremont's lofty Condit and Chaparral elementary schools. Cortez is the new K-8 Math and Science magnet school near the 10 freeway on Dudley that opened in Fall 2007. Btw the students choice for a mascot......the "Wizards".

Monday, November 24, 2008

Web utilization in Pomona

Pomona Police
The Pomona PD recently updated their Webwatch crime map interface. I still wish you could vary the time period beyond the default 7 days, but the new page is more informative and a little easier to use. If you crave all the pedantic information as much as I do, superimposing the Council districts on the citywide map is a nice option. I'm a little uneasy about the regularity of the updates. To be particularly useful, the map needs to be continually updated, and I'm just not confident that the police department has all the ducks in a row yet.

Pomona USD
At the bottom of the Pomona Unified website, they've now included an email signup to receive updates on our local school district. I only just signed up, so I'm in the dark about the info they'll send out, but what do you have to lose, follow the link and become a friend of Pomona Unified.

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.

City of Pomona
Looks like the city staff is still trying to figure out how to upload information. I believe the Youth Advisory Committee meets tonight in the Pomona Public Library from 5-7PM. Tomorrow @ 7PM the Community Life Commission will meet for its monthly meeting. The agenda (which isn't online) includes an overview of the commission's role and the upcoming Holiday Lane Decorating Contest. The website has CLC agendas for April-July.........what happened after July? Quarterly uploads?

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

Teased again!

Why do the city employees tease me so? Here, I was so excited over seeing the Cultural Arts Agendas online (well at least the September and October agendas), that I leaped to the conclusion a new day had indeed come to the city of Pomona. But no, it's still the same Pomona.

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

the death of journalism -- news at 11

I thought about emailing our own David Allen about this, but then I decided to bleat to you all instead. Namely:

(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

oddness abounds

I'll post about the NO ON 8 rally later today, after I get my pictures downloaded (I left the cable at work -- doh!).

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

tomorrow morning! yes, you!

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.

Cultural Arts Commission

Here's a little cut-paste action from the September minutes.

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.

Garfield Park
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.

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.

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 ($) Pit

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.

Other News:

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

Missed Opportunity?

While sipping my coffee on Saturday morning, I came across a snippet in the DB on the Ganesha High School Bandfest. Anyone catch it? It apparently started at 9:30AM and was running north on Fairplex drive, from Holt to Ganesha High School. I don't remember all the participants, but I think Ganesha, Pomona, Garey, and even Santa Monica high school were competing.

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

one for Ed, one for Tibbi...

For Ed:
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).

For Tibbi:

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

Tonight's police checkpoint

Who says checkpoints never happen in Lincoln Park? Tonight's police checkpoint is at Pearl and Garey, adjacent to Pomona Flowers. Checkpoints go from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. the next morning.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pomona's Own First Responder

On Thursdays I take the metrolink to and from my teaching assignment in downtown LA. Today I was heading back to Pomona's North Metrolink station on the 12:20 pm train. When we got to Cal State LA (the first stop after leaving Union Station), we were delayed. An announcement came on that there was a bus accident on the freeway ahead and they'd have another announcement in about 20 minutes. 20 MINUTES? Then the rumors started down the train that there would be a 4 HOUR delay.

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

This Weekend

Metro Pomona

the Glasshouse: KCXX 103.9 Presents: Hawthorne Heights, Emery,
Tickle Me Pink, The Mile After, The Malheruex

Chalk Art Festival @ Thomas Street Plaza
Sponsored by Cultural Arts Commission

Artists begin at 7:30AM
Prizes awarded at 4PM

Art Walk Starting @ 6PM
the Glasshouse : Turisas, Powerglove, Iron Klad, Cromwell

and now for something completely different

I confess that I'm happy the elections are all over and I can go back to my usual media-consumption patterns. Over the last couple of months, the only media I've consumed has been news podcasts from foreign nations and David Allen's column in the DB.

So, to catch up on old business:

10,000 Maniacs
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!

Currying favor
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!

Stump speech

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.

Election Results

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

news from the booth

Warning: Lines are long, people! Nonetheless, go out there and do it. If for no other reason than to see your friends and neighbors -- I ran into two couples and two singles from the nabe and had plenty of time to catch up with them.

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

Politics Pomona Style

I'm probably shooting myself in the foot, but I just can't stand it any more. Yesterday (Saturday) I received a piece of campaign literature in the mail that is making my blood boil.

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.