Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Art and Community Commission Time

Almost skipped right by this one. For those willing to partake, we seem to be having a Tuesday night 2fer. According to their agendas, the Cultural Arts Commission is meeting tonight @ 6PM in the Library Public Conference Room and the Community Life Commission is in the Council Chambers @ 7PM.

The Art folks will be discussing (1) high schools mural project update, (2) 2008-09 budget-approval of expenditures, (3)public art presentation by Planning and Housing Department, (4) Goldline artwork selection committee, and (5) Blockbuster concerts.
Also included is the draft for the Public Art Policy Ordinance

The Life folks will be discussing the (1)Home Beautification judging, (2) roles and responsibilities of the commission, and (3) a Litterbug Campaign.

Speaking of litterbug campaigns, how about reintroducing the "Crying Indian" public service announcement. Here's another one from Chief Iron Eyes Cody. Sorry to get a little nostalgic, but the world's become a pit.

If any willing commissioner would like to color my very black-and-white summary of your commissions, please don't be shy. Anons are welcome!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bedeviled by Boredom?

Pomona Fairplex
"Ag is our Bag" runs from 4/22-26
A show for Walking Horses runs 4/24-26
Computer Fair runs from 4/25-26
Public Auction 4/24-25
Beach Boy Scouts (don't fully grasp this one) 4/26

Glass House (Friday)
Black Kids and Mates of State

Pomona Fox

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday


Metro Night Out

Last Saturday Art Walk

Farmer's Market

Photo by Sally Egan

4th Annual Children's Day Celebration is Sunday
Ganesha Park
Games, hot dogs, face painting
Free (How cool is that!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Council meeting wrapup

  • One of the unusually contentious items was the proposed ban on public drinking. Now, I don't have a problem with this in the slightest, but apparently there are some paranoid people at Pomona Habla who thinks this gives permission for coppers to barge onto porches and send folks drinking beer to County, or randomly arrest people walking around Downtown carrying a red cup from one art gallery to another. Their unease with the ordinance is bizarre because you can't leave a ABC-regulated restaurant or bar with alcohol in your hand, and the cops wouldn't have time to enforce the first unless the situation was egregious.

    It may be good to have that power in reserve to prevent debacles like Fourth of July in Huntington Beach, where there was once massive drinking adjacent to the public street, causing public disturbances. This could also be used as encouragement to break up large parties. However, "public place" will now only include businesses and the road right of way, and will specifically exclude residences, unless they become a public place by charging for admission (which won't address the issue of big "private" parties).
  • Speaking of which, there will be a checkpoint somewhere in the city on Wednesday, Earth Day, between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. When I find out where, I'll post it, or just look for members of the aforementioned association diverting traffic with their protest signs.
  • In the "locking the stable door after the horse has already left" category, you have David Armstrong appealing the determination of adequate parking for the Fox Theater, which opened on Saturday. The Fox management has agreed to place signs to divert concertgoers to remote lots within the downtown, and the City will extend parking time limits on streets within the commercial zone to include evening hours, but apparently that wasn't enough for Mr. Armstrong. Not surprisingly, this appeal was turned down.

City Council and Planning

The City Council meets tonight:
Items include possible new trash trucks, volunteer to provide input on artwork slated for Metro Gold Line, parking citation fee increase, possible ownership agreement with Fairplex regarding a Trade and Conference Center ($2.7 million), approving an affordable housing agreement for the purchase of rental convenants at 1101 McKinley ($3.3 million), amend the Capital Improvement Program budget, appeal a Planning Commission decision, 2nd reading of the fence and wall ordinance, 1st reading of an ordinance to further regulate alcoholic beverage consumption in public places, etc.

Planning Commission meets on Wednesday:
Consent Calendar includes closure of Monroe at Orange Grove, time extension request for housing development at 600 Bonita, 2nd time extension for industrial development at 101 N. Mountain View Ave
Public Hearing includes Sakura Ichi wants to extend Friday and Saturday hours from the current 10:30PM to 2AM, and a CUP request to convert warehouse space into some office space at 1383 Signal Drive.

Theft Alert: If you're planning on going green by riding your bicycle to the Council Chambers, don't lock it up in front of the building.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pomona Fox

Others will describe the event far better than I ever could, so here's just a thanks to all involved, both in saving it from destruction and then restoring it to its current state. It's truly a beautiful venue and.........hint, hint,..........................for those who just couldn't make it to the Sneak Peak, Smogdance is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ok, I guess I should have been wowed by the celebrities, but for me, the biggest thrill was to speak to George Hunter for a few minutes.

Since historic preservation can usually be found on the top rungs of the 'thankless' ladder, it was wonderful to see those in the community who work tirelessly to preserve elements of Pomona's past get some much deserved recognition.

Here's a piece from David Allen and some photos from Ren.

Friday, April 17, 2009

P-town this weekend


Quite of few events at the Pomona Fairplex:

Autoskills competition for High School Juniors and Seniors
(Friday 7:30AM to 11:30AM)
Free Spring Home and Garden Show
(Friday -Sunday)
Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Show
Radio Controlled Expo
Divine Mercy Mass Celebration

Metro Pomona
Pomona Fox Sneak Peak night on Saturday (sold out)
GlassHouse.......Coachella Music and Arts Festival

Pomona Unified School District
7th annual Cesar Chavez Pilgrimage
Saturday (9:30AM) starts at Pomona City Hall
Grandaughter of Cesar Chavez will speak at the event

City of Pomona
First Annual Relay for Life at Pomona City Hall Quad
Starts at 9AM Saturday and finishes 9AM Sunday

Cultural Arts Commission met on Thursday
No agenda online and I couldn't make it down to the City Hall, so
my apologies to the hard-working city volunteers

Pomona Ted Greene Little League (I couldn't help myself)
5PM Marlins vs Dodgers (TBall) (Friday)
7PM Pirates vs Angels (Majors) (Friday)
10AM Indians vs Cardinals (Majors) (Saturday)
2PM Dodgers vs Pirates (Majors) (Saturday)
7PM White Sox vs Yankees (Junior) (Saturday)

Pomona Public Library
PPL bloggers do a great job calendaring the children's events
I don't know why the regular events don't make it in the Daily Bulletin

As always, if I missed something please add it in a comment.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lincoln Elementary School Fundraiser Today (Thursday)

Just a quick note that if you wouldn't mind stopping by McDonald's on Garey (north of the Pomona Valley Hospital) today between 4PM and 9PM (I think it's 9), the overachievers at Lincoln would certainly appreciate it. Several teachers will be dressed in McDonald's attire and taking orders......hopefully the budget mess will clear up and this won't be a long-term gig.

It's a wonderful school with a great group of teachers and staff.
Please support the local schools!!

If you know of any other Pomona schools doing fundraisers now or in the future, leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fox re-re-re-re Grand Opening

Well, we're three days from the Fox First Night event that will mark the reopening of the Pomona Fox Theater. Were you aware that this will be the fourth opening of the theater? That is if you count "official" opening events.

The first opening was on April 24, 1931. The theater opened to a matinee at noon, but the big opening was in the evening and included all of the glitz and glitter of a Hollywood premiere with Spencer Tracy arriving for the PREMIERE screening of his film, The Minute Man (which was called Six Cylinder Love when it finally opened).

The next grand opening was for the remodel of the Theater in 1957. [David Allen reminded me that the actual date for this grand reopening was Dec. 5--thanks David]. This one included a Premiere of The Enemy Below and had the film's stars attending the event including Charles Coburn, Chill Wills, Penny Edwards, and Ruta Lee. This one was sponsored by the Pomona Rotary.

The last opening was on Dec. 9, 1977, after the city had leased the building and was repositioned as the "Fox Theater of the Arts." Pomona's first civic auditorium.

Now we get ready for a grand gala opening on Saturday, April 18. Stars will once again walk the red carpet led by Carol Channing, with Ann Robinson (War of the Worlds, both versions), Jane Withers (Giant, Bright Eyes--with Shirley Temple, and many others), and Pauline Wagner who was a star from the late '20s. And there are promised to be some other special surprises as well.

A few tickets are still available, although we anticipate closing ticket sales shortly as we're nearing our capacity. The black-tie optional evening will include a cocktail reception and ribbon cutting, a sumptuous dinner catered by Saffron, a show hosted by Charles Phoenix, and dessert and dancing to the sounds of the Donavan / Muradian Quartet DMQ on the new rooftop patios. AND guests will be able to view the restored theater up close and personal.

For further information, go to the Friends of the Pomona Fox web site: www.pomonafox.org. Hope to see you on Saturday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 H-word through March

Here's a google map with the homicides from January, February, and March. By my count from the newspapers and coroner's websites, big, bad Pomona saw 5 homicides, Claremont (1), Montclair (2), Chino (1), Ontario (2), Rancho Cucamonga (3), and Upland (1). Of the 15 in Pomona Valley, 3 were officer-involved shootings.

In Pomona, I believe arrests have been made in 4 of the 5 homicides. Congrats to the Pomona PD.

For the first 3 months of 2009, I don't see a discernable difference between Pomona Valley and the adjacent San Gabriel and San Bernardino areas, but I'm open to opposing views. For a westside view, take a look at the Los Angeles Times Homicide map.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trees and Planning Commission

I'm just throwing crap together here (intentionally, this time), so excuse the unrelated info in this post.

First, the Planning Commission meets tonight to discuss the Downtown Parking Plan. Based on the item description this appears to be a presentation of a plan that was previously approved by the Vehicle Parking District Commission in October. I have another commitment at the exact same time, so I can't make it. If anyone wants to head on down, the meeting starts in the Council Chambers at 7PM.

Now for trees........I see a lot of demands coming from the city that residents should plant 36 inch box trees, but I've also heard that planting 15 gallon trees is more prudent, since the smaller tree will recover from the transplant faster, and that the two trees may be almost indistinguishable in just a few years. Given the 15 gallon tree is cheaper and easier to plant, can some tree people step in to offer their opinion on this? Maybe Andrew could do a post, because I'm curious about the best option. Is the city placing a substantial financial burden on residents for very little gain? Thanks for any help that you can provide.

Btw for all you tree huggers out there............at the upcoming 4/22 Planning Commission meeting, the Fairplex will present a request to relocate 6 oak trees and remove 3 others. I do believe that required a $500 oak tree permit. I hope it wasn't $500 for each oak tree.

That's all "Chainsaw" has for you today.

Brief addition: Check out these "words of wisdom" from the bloggers at the Pomona Public Library.

Monday, April 6, 2009


The City Council meeting agenda is online. After clicking on the agenda, hit the "Browse" tab on the left to see all the agenda items.

I'll start with the mildly ugly and then jump head first into the really ugly.

First, the major rewrite of the city's rules governing landscaping and fencing is up for its second reading. In an earlier post, I rattled on about how intrusive this revision will be, and if I get the chance tonight or tomorrow, I'll take one more stab at trying to get the word out. If it passes in its current form and you find yourself under the code compliance microscope, I'd suggest you hold your Council member responsible. After all, I'd be surprised if even 1% of Pomona residents even know about the ordinance, so who else should we blame but our elected representatives. If you care to read it, here you go!

Next in the ugly list is the Public Hearing appealing the Historic Preservation Commission's denial of a Certificate of Appropriateness. Although I belong to Pomona Heritage, on the issue of trees is where I diverge from their publicly stated opinion. I don't believe that every tree in every yard should reach a protected status simply because it's trunk diameter exceeds 10 inches. I also disagree with taxing historic district residents $500 just to find out if their tree CAN be removed. If trees are so precious in this city, why not extend the tree preservation to the rest of the city? Is a mature tree in south Pomona less beneficial to that Pomona neighborhood? Won't future generations from those neighborhoods also benefit from a mature tree canopy if we take the time today to plant trees and also protect the larger specimen trees.
  • The particular case before the City Council has to do with several trees in the backyard of a home on McKinley. According to the report, one of the trees is a mere 36 inches from the house and the residents were denied permission for removal. The residents were also denied permission for the removal of several queen palms that are running over and under electrical lines. As stated, all these trees are in the resident's backyard. This lot is not overly large and one carefully chosen shade tree to replace this hodgepodge could provide shade for generations of homeowners. I should also point out that even the city arborist suggested removal, so the city is looking at potential litigation if they deny the appeal and an individual is injured or the structure is damaged. Just as a reminder, this resident has now paid $500 to the city and achieved nothing. This $500 could have gone to a mortgage payment, a car payment, groceries, or to buying clothing. I wonder, if given a vote, how many historic district residents would support tree protection if they knew it would cost $500 just to ask permission. Hmmmmm.

Okay, now for the really ugly. If you didn't know, the recently deceased, long-time elected representative from Pomona, Nell Soto, had been an advocate of the Safe Routes to School program for many years. This program makes funds available for cities to encourage children to walk or ride their bikes to school. I've written posts about biking and traffic safety in the past and will have a few more during bike-to-work week, so I'll limit my discussion to what I find particular egregious in this City Council agenda. In Item 5, we find several projects that the public works department would like to submit for possible funding through the Safe Routes to School program. Of the 5 projects initially identified, three have been considered to be a higher priority and therefore have become the basis for this request. The project I find disconcerting (well, downright ugly) is the proposal to close off Monroe ave at Orange Grove as a higher priority project than traffic alterations in front of Yorba Elementary and Garey High School. How a city can justify using this money for the closure of Monroe when it's intended for encouraging children to walk or bike to school is beyond even the greatest leaps of my imagination? At a time when childhood obesity is at record levels and in a community where forcing parents to drive their children to school creates a financial burden on families, city employees believing a project that will benefit only a handful of residents in one of the historic districts is a higher priority than the two other identified projects should be raising more than a few highbrows on the city council. Here is the school boundary map for PUSD and you can see that it's unlikely to benefit few if any Lincoln Elementary students and in fact, this closure will probably encourage more drivers to cut through other residential streets (particularly Garfield), making the Lincoln Park neighborhood less conducive to pedestrian and bike traffic. If you take the time to drive by our city's schools, I think even the most ambivalent could generate a list of projects that will encourage child safety more than the closure of a side street next to the freeway.

I'm not opposed to closing the street, but when we're requesting money that is intended to benefit children, let's actually put the interest of the city's children first. Sorry for venting, but I felt nauseous after reading this agenda item late Saturday night. Please take a few minutes to send a message to the city that the residents do care and we are watching.

Items I still need to read:
Redevelopment Agency Annual Report

Saturday, April 4, 2009

mairzy doats and dozy doats

Hey, did you know there's a Sustainability Workshop AND a Renovation Workshop going on?

I'm not there, though. I'm sitting here at my desk, working hard. Or, rather, taking a coffee break from working hard, in order to ask the assembled company a question:

Does anyone have a favorite tailor/seamster/alterations place? I can't be trusted to do my own alterations; I would look like a character out of Li'l Abner, or perhaps Alley Oop.

In other mercantile news, Corner Butcher Shop has 25% off all lamb products today. Maybe I'll see you there right before closing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

SATURDAY: Restore and Sustain

Free! Free! Free! Free! Free!

Restoration Workshop sponsored by the Pomona Heritage.
Runs from 9AM to 4PM @ the Trinity United Methodist Church.

Free! Free! Free! Free! Free!

Sustainability Seminar sponsored by the Regenerative Co-Op of Pomona
Runs from 8AM to 6:30 (or midnight).
Several locations with different classes so check their website.
Free! Free! Free! Free! Free!
Map for Workshop and Seminar.