Monday, February 23, 2009

Planning Community Life?

The Community Life Commission meets on Tuesday for their monthly shindig. Show up at 7PM in the City Council Conference Room (next to Council Chambers) for news on sprucing up the freeway ramps, Miss Pomona, community gardens, and much (well, a little) more.

Will the Planning Commission plan to meet at their scheduled time on Wednesday? As of Monday night, the website isn't planning on telling us. Come on guys, point and click! Update: The Planning Commission has been canceled due to a lack of agenda items.

Any thoughts on the dismissal of both the city's utilities services director and community services director? It's anything but dull in the Halls of our City.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

School Days

And the next generation.....

High School Sports
Basketball: Diamond Ranch boys and girls basketball programs came out on top of their respective leagues and advanced to CIF playoffs. After winning a first round game against Magnolia, the boys team will play in Fullerton on Friday. The girls had a bye in the first round and will play on Saturday against a currently undetermined opponent. The boys and girls programs at Pomona, Garey, and Ganesha found themselves in the midst of a rebuilding year. Pomona Catholic........well, what can I say. Playoff Brackets (boys) (girls)

Soccer: Garey, Ganesha, Pomona, and Diamond Ranch boys programs all advanced to the CIF playoffs. The first round games are Friday (2/20) @ 3PM. In girls soccer, only Diamond Ranch squeezed through and will have finished their first round game as I'm writing this. Update: Diamond Ranch Panthers won 1-0 and will go on to the 2nd round. Playoff Brackets (boys) (girls)

Congrats to all those who participated, whether as spectators or athletes.

High School Music
This Saturday from 8 to 5, Garey High School will host the SCSBOA District Solo and Ensemble Festival. Thank goodness they shortened it, SCSBOA stands for Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association.
The association is dedicated to enriching the cultural environment by helping all students to develop a greater appreciation of music, providing students with the means for exploring both vocational and non-vocational opportunities in music, raising performance and adjudication standards, and improving teaching techniques.
Next Saturday (2/28) from 8 to 5, Garey High School will host the SCSBOA District Band and Orchestra Festival.

School of Arts and Enterprise
A talent show is scheduled for 2/28. If anyone out there would like to provide more info, please share.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Out and About in Pomona (Feb 13+)

Metro Pomona
Funeral for a Friend
Friday, February 13
Doors: 7 pm

$13 adv / $15 dos
Bleeding Through
Saturday, February 14
Doors: 6:30 pm

Murder City Devils
Monday, February 16
Doors: 8 pm

Lykke Li
KCRW Presents
Lykke Li
with Wildbirds & Peacedrums
Tuesday, February 17
Doors: 7 pm

Art Colony (Saturday)

Second Saturday Art Walk
Farmers Market @ Thomas Plaza

Pomona Fairplex

Computer Fair 10AM-5PM $6 admission Saturday and Sunday

Saturday Morning Farmers Market
Parking lot of Pomona First Baptist Church

Sponsored by the
Inland Valley Hope Partners

No Council Meeting on Monday night

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friends of the Pomona Fox FIRST NIGHT!

Friends of the Pomona Fox, has announced that the first event at the newly renovated historic landmark theater will be "Fox First Night" on April 18, beginning at 6:00 pm.

The black tie optional fundraising event, will begin with a red-carpet cocktail reception in front of the theater, which will be bathed in klieg lights. Among the plans for the cocktail hour are celebrity arrivals, live music, the lighting of the marquee and tower sign, and a ribbon cutting to officially open the doors.

After the ribbon cutting, guests will be invited to enter the theater where Safron, the official caterers of the theater venue, will be serving dinner, while guests listen to dinner music. After dinner, there will be a program, still be put together, that will include the premiere screening of the Fox Theater renovation documentary, as well as some other special features. Yes, you won't get away from the mandatory speeches, but the program committee has promised to keep them to a minimum.

After the prepared program, guests will be invited to tour the theater complex and enjoy dessert at a number of the theater's newly restored spaces including the rooftop lounges, tower room, and Flyway Ballroom. In addition, there will be dancing in the main auditorium to a '30s swing band as well as other entertainment.

Additional information will be posted as it becomes available. There are a lot of surprises being worked on and we know that this will be an event not to be missed.

There will only be 400 seats availalbe for this event, so it is recommended that you reserve yours as soon as possible. You can order tickets by calling Friends of the Pomona Fox at (909) 753-7903 or you can order and pay online (via PayPal) by visiting the web site.

Friends of the Pomona Fox is
a dba of Pomona Fox Corporation, the non-profit that was created after the city purchased the building--not part of the current ownership. Funds raised by Friends of the Pomona Fox will be used to purchase historic items for the preservation of the theater. Our initial fundraising is to restore the historic box office, and to purchase chandeliers that are not viable for the developer to purchase, to return the theater to its full historic elegance.

Pomona and Tree Preservation

For those who have never read the "Historic Sites Tree Protection and Preservation Program" but live in one of the historic districts, you might want to know if this program affects your property. Let me start by confessing that I love mature trees and wholeheartedly agree that in some cases, public interest can outweigh private property rights when it comes to preserving an urban canopy. One needs only to take a quick drive up Indian Hill Blvd in Claremont to realize the impact of mature trees on the aesthetic elements of a neighborhood, not to mention their role in generating micro-climates and enhancing privacy.

Pomona has embraced conservation of mature trees through a number of resolutions over the years. In 1962, after receiving a proposal from the Street Tree Commission, the City Council passed Resolution 62-65 which sought to mitigate the loss of mature street trees (specimen trees) by altering curbs or sidewalks whenever possible. In 1973, the city identified several "specimen trees" within the city. In 2000, the Council passed a resolution adopting the historic tree preservation ordinance, which protects mature and specimen trees in the historic districts and at historic landmarks. And in 2007, the Council added city-wide protection to oak trees by amending the Zoning ordinance.

From reading the Council minutes and supporting documents, it appears the city may have yet another tree preservation ordinance that I couldn't find, so much appreciated if anyone can offer the info up.

Street tree preservation: CC Resolution 62-65
Specimen tree: CC Resolution 73-68
Historic tree preservation: City Council resolution 2000-72 (page 4+ are supporting documents)
Oak tree preservation: ordinance no. 4076

The evolution from street tree preservation, to specimen tree preservation, then historic tree preservation, and now to every oak with an 8 inch diameter at chest height in the city is actually an interesting read. In a nutshell, the city has moved from "preserving" trees on public space to "preserving" trees on private property, and in the process, the restrictions have become more onerous and the penalties more punitive.

So what is the Street Tree Commission that I mentioned in the earlier paragraph? It's appears to be subcommittee that can be formed by the Parks and Rec Commission. Given the burden being leveled on private property owners, perhaps it's time this generation of Pomona residents actively pursues a plan for planting trees in public right-of-ways. Pomona's tree heritage may lie more in the trees we plant today than in the trees that will more than likely be dead in 50 years.

512 McKinley
According to the documents, the birch tree at 512 McKinley was determined by the city arborist to be dead, and therefore should have probably been exempt from the COA. The Planning Department suggested giving the residents the opportunity to move the queen palms or replace them in the yard with other box trees. As for the gum tree, at 45 feet in height and only 30 inches from the house, the Planning Department's recommendation was to remove the tree, because of the risk to the house. Let's hope the City Council reverses this decision by the Historic Preservation Commission before the tree falls on the house and/or injures a resident, because I don't see the city winning this lawsuit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Planning Commission Meeting Cancelled

Lack of agenda items leads to cancellation. The next regularly scheduled meeting is on Feb. 25.

Parks and Recreation Commission meets on Thursday
The agenda doesn't provide a great deal of information.
Thursday Feb. 12
5:30PM Administration Board Room
2nd Floor City Hall

Board of Parking Place Commissioners
Thursday Feb. 12
6PM City Council Chambers
Agenda: Parking space requests, Farmers market @ Thomas Plaza, alternative fuel vehicles for parking enforcement, potential sale of lots 2-11, 4-1, and 4-2, and a few other items.

**thanks to the city for posting these agendas online**

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Anyone up for a meet-and-greet (read: glass of wine) at dba this Tuesday around 8PM, following the 7PM SARA meeting?

The SARA meeting will take place in Council Chambers. Not sure what the heck SARA is? Check out this earlier post.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Things to do Feb. 6-8

T'he Winternationals is running at the Fairplex from Thursday February 5 to Sunday February 8. Several ticket offers are available. Children under 12 will get in free.

Be Pomonan, buy Pomonan

Cal Poly Pomona

Vagina Monologues on Feb 6, 7 and 13.

Cal Poly Pomona will be staging English and Spanish productions of “The Vagina Monologues” as a tribute to V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. The English production will be Feb. 6 and 7 in the Bronco Student Center’s Ursa Major suite, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The Spanish production will be Feb. 13 at the same time and location.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students.

Pomona Public Library

Laura Ingalls Wilder Sociable on Saturday
Starts @ 1PM with Cowboy Ken telling cowboy/cowgirl stories
@ 2PM Cowgirl Christy will be doing rope tricks, songs and stories
@3-4PM Grandma Sue will be doing crafts (Conestoga Wagons)
And of course BIRTHDAY CAKE and PUNCH!

Friday @ Claremont Packing House

Claremont's Art Walk is the first Friday of the Month
thanks to Pomona Art Colonists for posting

Thursday, February 5, 2009

HPC Meeting Update

Last night, Wednesday, Feb. 4. was the first Pomona Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) meeting since November 2008 and the November elections. We lost three commissioners in the electoral process. Former commissioners Jim Kercheval, Tad Decker, and Scott Hillsman received Goddess Awards at Monday's council meeting and they will be missed. I, personally, wish to thank them for their years of service, at no compensation, in what was often a difficult job.

In addition, Ramon Zavala, is moving away from the area to accept a new job position. While I wish him well, he also will be missed very much. He was a gentleman and always was deliberative in making the tough decisions.

This leaves two seats left to be filled. Councilwoman Christina Carrizosa needs to replace Ramon Zavala, and the Mayor still needs to make his appointment. If you're interested, be sure to fill out an application with the city clerk.

So, out with the old, in with the new.

The new commission retains commissioners Mitch Elias (district 4), Dawn Van Allen (district 5), and Udit de Lange (district 2). New commissioners who were attending their first meeting last night were: Dee Dee Brookshire (district 1) and Ethel Gardener (district 6). Both new commissioners were attentive and worked around a short agenda "learning the ropes" of the electronic voting system and the procedures of the commission.

The first order of business for the new commission was to choose an interim chair for the evening as both the chair and vice chair of the previous commission were no longer there. Dawn Van Allen was chosen to chair for the evening and did a commendable job. At the end of the meeting, the commission chose new leadership and chose Mitch Elias as chair and Dawn as vice chair. Congratulations to them both.

There were two items of interest at the meeting.

TREE REMOVAL: A resident of Lincoln Park, after cutting down a birch tree without a permit, asked to be able to remove 4 trees (including the birch) from their back yard. The residents (bought about 1-1/2 years ago) want to get rid of the trees to "make their yard more usable." Since the trees are living and show no signs of disease or that they are doing damage to the property, the tree ordinance is very clear that cutting down trees should only be a "last resort" measure. Since the birch was deemed to have been dead prior to being cut down, the commission approved that removal and asked that another tree be planted, at a location of the homeowner's choosing, but didn't allow for the removal of the other living trees. A 50+ year old gum tree was of particular concern as it was very mature and a part of the historic landscape. The commission did allow that the resident could move two Queen Palm trees to another location on the property to make their yard more usable. The resident didn't appear happy with the commission's decisions so I'm pretty sure we'll hear more of this in the future.

HISTORIC SIGN ORDINANCE FOR DOWNTOWN SPECIFIC PLAN: Staff gave a report to the HPC on progress toward a sign ordinance to be included as part of the Downtown Specific Plan. This would affect the area of the downtown that includes the Arts Colony and Antique Row, as well as some of the adjacent areas. Staff was just asking for input as the downtown specific plan moves through the process.

An additional public meeting on this subject is in the plans to be hosted by Pomona Heritage and the Historical Society of the Pomona Valley. I'll be sure to let everyone know when this gets scheduled.

All-in-all a good meeting. It looks like the new commission is poised to do a lot of good work. Good luck.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Events at Cal Poly

Events at Cal Poly

Living in a city with a large university should have its perks.

Prakash Chandran, a Google Inc. employee who has helped design innovative applications such as Google Calendar, Gmail and Picasa web album, will be the first guest at the College of Business Administration Alumni Chapter’s Executive Speaker Series on February 5.

The presentation “Put the User First and the Rest Will Follow” will begin at 6:30 p.m. on campus at the Kellogg West Conference Center. Event tickets are $15 for current students, $30 for Alumni Association members and $40 for the general public. There will be a special reception for CBA Alumni Chapter members at 5:30 p.m.

Chandran received the 2008 Gmail Founders Award for his contributions to the Gmail application. He also is a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus (’04) who studied Technology and Operations Management. The Executive Speaker Series will continue May 13 when Khaja Ahmed of Microsoft will speak about “The Trusted Net.” Follow the link above to access the online registration form (limited seats available).

V-Day Campaign:

‘Vagina Monologues’ Performances
Mark V-Day Movement at Cal Poly Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona will be staging English and Spanish productions of “The Vagina Monologues” as a tribute to V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. The English production will be Feb. 6 and 7 in the Bronco Student Center’s Ursa Major suite, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The Spanish production will be Feb. 13 at the same time and location.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students. Proceeds benefit violence prevention programs. As a result, the 2009 V-Day campaign at Cal Poly Pomona is called “Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to Women and Girls in Democratic Republic of Congo,” and is dedicated to drawing attention to dire circumstances in the DRC.

Each year, students produce benefit performances of “The Vagina Monologues” around Valentine’s Day to raise awareness of and funds for the Violence Prevention & Women’s Resource Center, the Cesar E. Chavez Center for Higher Education and the V-Day campaign. For more information, contact Erika Zepeda at (909) 869-3790

Thanks to Uyen Mai
Media Relations
Office of Public Affairs

Monday, February 2, 2009

City Council Meeting Tonight (2/2/09)

City Council is scheduled to meet in the Council Chambers starting @ 5:30PM for closed session and 7PM for the regular meeting.

Agenda and Items

Several outgoing commissioners will be receiving Goddess of Pomona Awards, including three from the Historic Preservation Commission.

Homicides for January 09

So far in 2009, lives have been cut short with apparent geographic indifference. Pomona, Claremont, Upland, and Rancho Cucamonga each saw a death by unnatural causes in the month of January. If the current pattern holds, residents in the little, big city of Pomona may want to stay in bed on March 1st given the two homicides for 2009 have occurred in the early hours of Jan 1st and Feb 1st.

I'll be updating the map throughout the month as homicides are reported, so don't be confused if the dates leap into February. Here's to hoping the rest of February will be homicide free.

Homicides for 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

DUI Checkpoint?

I'm not reading too many howls over last night's DUI checkpoint. Did anyone manage to hit the strategic location?

Was I mistaken or did the powers-that-be really have the Pomona PD do a checkpoint eastbound on Temple Ave. near the 57 freeway? I guess that location could see its fair share of college age drunk drivers, but I just can't shed the thought that demographics and advocacy at the City Council level played a role in a public safety decision.

As for the tally of drivers, I'll probably wait for the unofficial results to be posted on the DB, but if any informed readers want to volunteer the numbers, don't be shy.

1566 drivers were screened in 7.5 hours

3 people were arrested for DUIs
68 traffic citations
48 vehicles impounded

If I learned anything during my drive back from Walnut during the crackdown, I now will officially put my two cents in favor of more saturation patrols. Other than constantly checking my speedometer, double-checking my back pocket for my wallet, and sweating whether I'd make it through the green light, the increased presence of officers on the street explicitly looking for traffic violators was a refreshing change.

And lastly,.........thank you Pomona PD! Walking up to vehicles with unidentified occupants in the wee hours of the morning deserves far more appreciation and compensation than I can muster in a little blog post.