Tuesday, January 27, 2009

news of the Ponz-economy

Ms. Lois from the Pomona Public Library -- and can I get a wha-wha for the fact that we have our own library and aren't part of the execrable LA County Library system? -- wrote to ask me to commend to your attention an article in the Daily Bulletin. It's about an AP English class at Village Academy High making a DVD about how the economy has affected them personally -- all spinning out of a reading assignment on The Great Gatsby.

I find the DB website really annoying (non-accessability-compliant, pop-ups, you name it), so I'm not going to link to it. That'll show 'em, huh? But I will link to the students' DVD, which they thoughtfully posted on YouTube.

Speaking of the Daily Bulletin, Joe Blackstock, the paper's History Guy (kinda like the Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons but taller and smarter), was the guest speaker at Pomona Heritage's feast on sunday night.

Joe opened his speech with a deep bow to Dave Allen, saying that he was going to riff on the Pomona A-Z columns with a "Top Ten Pomona Personalities of Yore" kind of thing.

I think my favorites were numbers 2 and 5. Two was Reverend F.T. Scott, who fought in the Battle of First Street. What, you didn't learn about the Battle of First Street in school? According to the SB Sun's timeline of the Inland Empire,
Battle of First Street. Pomona resident mobilized to take on Southern Pacific Railroad workers in downtown. SP wanted to build another track along First Street but Pomona officials said no. About 1,000 Pomonans battled with the SP workers and drove them away. Pomona later won the dispute in court.

Number 5 was Clarence Uno (I think I got that right -- I was taking notes on my cellphone, like a big dork. Oh, wait, I am a big dork), who was a World War I vet and president of the El Monte American Legion... and who was nonetheless interned with all the other Japanese-Americans at the Fairplex in 1942. I guess he just hadn't demonstrated his patriotism enough.

In seeing whether I could find out more about American hero Uno, I discovered that in fact a number of WWI vets were interned at Fairplex. You can read about them in this article (which, I have to warn you, puts a happy smiley face on the whole experience), including more about Mr. Uno's death at the more permanent concentration camp in Wyoming, where he was buried in his U.S. Army uniform.

Thanks, Clarence, and thanks, Joe. (And thanks to everyone who worked to make the feast a success.)

The frontispiece is of Clarence Uno's funeral, from Life magazine in 1943. You can see a photo of Mr. Uno upright (and alive) too.


Pride in Garfield Park said...

First, heck yaz to the wha-wha!

Second, note taking on a cell phone? Very impressive.

Third, I watched the video suggested by Ms. Lois. Even more impressive than taking notes on a cell phone. I'd be curious to hear what "action points" are in order.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Sorry for the back-to-back post (can you tell I'm avoiding work?).

Ms. Lois mentioned the class is looking for monetary support to get the video to our state and federal governments.

I'm unclear how monetary support gets the video to Sacramento or Washington. A first-class airline ticket perhaps? Just kidding. But seriously, what would the money be used for?

And, what exactly is the "action point" we'd like our governments to take? If I'm going to ask them to watch a video, I want to also make clear what I'd like them to do with their new-found insight. Any ideas?

I, for one, think phone calls and e-mails to our representatives and their staffers are a quick, effective, and very cheep option.

A call would take all of 1 minute. Just say something quick and simple like, "I am a voting resident of Pomona, California; the children of our community are worried about the economy. I would like the Senator/Representative to view the YouTube video called Is Anybody Listening: A testament by Village Academy High School. It is 9 minutes long and tells how our children are effected by the current state of the economy. Please let my Senator/Representative know I'd like her to ______ [insert here some action]"

Here is contact information for our various representatives at various levels of government (mailing address for a snail mail version of the video, phone number to place a call, and e-mail or web page where an e-mail form is available):

US Representative Grace Napolitano
1610 Longworth
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5256

US Senator Barbara Boxer
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-3553

US Senator Dianne Feinstein
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C 20510
(202) 224-3841

Here's the link for contact info for our state representatives (I admit it, I'm lazy and don't want to type out info for all these folk):