Monday, June 29, 2009

Pomona AYSO takes a hiatus

If you were waiting for Fall 2009 Pomona AYSO registrations, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but due to a lack of volunteers the Pomona AYSO program has been put on hold. I'm still crossing my fingers that the program will be resurrected in the future, but for now, the only Pomona AYSO program still running calls itself Phillips Ranch.

For those interested in staying in AYSO, in addition to Phillips Ranch AYSO, there may still be registration opportunities in Chino AYSO, Ontario AYSO, Walnut AYSO, South Ontario AYSO, Claremont AYSO, and LaVerne/San Dimas AYSO. Whichever program you choose, PLEASE VOLUNTEER! But don't wait to register, Claremont is still open, but most of these regions are only accepting registrants if space is available.

I'll put aside my AYSO bias and point out that we also have Pomona Youth Soccer League and would you believe the Boy Scouts has started a Soccer and Scouting program. Sorry, I couldn't gather much info on these programs.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pomona Baking Company

I was under the impression that the Pomona Baking Company would be written up in the DB. Did I miss it?

Hey, it looks like they twitter.

Thanks to Metro Pomona, I finally found it. Here's the link. (Click Here).

I sorta, kinda expected a little more from the article.......I guess if it's in RCNow, it could be argued that it really isn't an article. Too bad since I really enjoy reading Wendy Leung's take on the world. Here's to hoping she gets a chance to write a little bit more on the little bakery in P-town.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

and now, P-ROK

Now that you've made your plans to see the Repertory Opera Company in Pomona, how about some ROK culture in P-town, for a value of ROK that equals the Republic of Korea?

Yes, Pomona has a new Korean restaurant: Tofu House, on Foothill just east of Towne, in the Darvish shopping center. (What's that you say? That's officially Claremont? La-la-la, I can't hear you...)

Tofu House is in the little fast-food building close to the street that hasn't held a successful business in the five-plus years we've been in the Greater Pomona Metropolitan Area. My pal at work (who also lives down the street) and I have been meaning to try it for lunch, and we finally remembered it before lunch, rather than after we were seated at Pho Ha waiting for a big bowl of noodles to splash on our shirtfronts.

Despite the name, Tofu House isn't all tofu. And it doesn't appear to be related to the many other restaurants of the same name in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and the Korean Peninsula, although I should confirm that the next time I'm there. To be sure, the menu and vibe are very different and very homespun -- not "Denny's with kimchee" at all (which is how the restaurant reviewer of the New York Times described the chain when they opened a Manhattan branch -- pffft).

Tofu House has about a dozen dishes to order from, with pictures on the wall. My pal, who is vegetarian, ordered the sauteed noodles with vegetables, and I had the "special" bibimbap (made special by piles and piles of alfalfa sprouts, as it turned out). Each one was about $6.

The fact is, neither dish was all that great. But I'll be back anyway, because I have the feeling that we ordered badly. I know I did; I don't even like alfalfa sprouts! Next time I'll try something with big piles of meat in it, instead of one of their many vegetarian dishes. Besides, it was healthy, cheap, and Korean -- how can I turn up my nose at that.

My one cavill (non-foodies, you may want to tune out now) was the gochujang, the ubiquitous (and delicious!) Korean sauce made from red peppers, glutinous rice, and soybeans. The gochujang at Tofu House was seriously sad -- weak sauce, you might say. But their banchan (the little side dishes) were good, even if they only give you three. That's pretty good for a $6 lunch, as far as I'm concerned.

All in all, TH isn't going to give Montclair's KBBQ (hi, Tibbi!) a run for its money, but you should give it a try.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Perhaps you were thinking that P-ROC stands for the People's Republic of China, but you would be wrong, at least for the duration of this public announcement.

Tim has written, as promised, with information about the Repertory Opera Company, which has two upcoming performances in Pomona. The first is this Sunday, at St. Paul's on Alvarado -- a pasta lunch followed by a concert. I'm afraid we'll miss it, because we'll be on the Oregon coast (in fact, your humble correspondent is posting from a wi-fi café in Seattle), but you should go. Report back if you do.

The second event we all have time to plan for: L'elisir d'amour (presumably Donizetti's comic opera -- the info doesn't specify) on August 30 at the Fabulous Fox.

More details are available at the ROC website -- and I have the feeling that Tim will answer any questions posed in the comments.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

book 'em, Dan-O

Ms. Lois has written to let us know about the Adult Summer Reading Program that starts down at the one and only Pomona Public Library on June 22.

Not only am I big fan of our municipal library -- no suffering with the LA County System for us! -- but I have a giant soft spot for summer reading programs. In fact, in the summer of fourth grade, back in Murrville, Tennessee, I started keeping a list of all the books I read, and while everyone else stopped when school started in the fall, I just kept on. I still write down every book I read in an ancient three-subject spiral notebook, the cover of which says "79¢" and bears my childhood address in my 7th- or 8th-grade handwriting. I'm up to 4,972 as of today -- a much more meaningful statistic than the car's odometer to my way of thinking.

Not that the Adult Summer Reading Program is that kind of reading program, but I commend it to your attention nonetheless. Meg-Bob sez check it out!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

'H' word for May

Here's the homicide locations that I've collected for the month of May and a little of June. Hopefully you'll find the west LA County data (from the LA Times homicide map) a useful addition.

May homicides

Pomona saw two homicides in the month of May. Roberta Romero, a 24 year-old resident of West Covina, was found in the street at approximately 5:30 AM after being shot by to males, one from Covina and the other from Azusa. Both men have been arrested. Based on the limited reporting it appears that the victim was simply driven to this location before being shot. If anyone can add any further clarifications please do. The second homicide appears to be hit-and-run victim who was struck while a father was attempting to kidnap his child and the child's mother. The child and mother were found safe the next day, but I have no information regarding the status of the suspect.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

so long, big chicken

Okay, who'll be the first to identify the location of the new photo on the blog? There might be a wee prize in it for you.

Cohabitants (with me) and Facebook friends ineligible to participate.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pomona Fox

Sorry to push the DPOA news down the page, but this is so short, it won't be pushed very far.

The Pomona Neighborhood Watch blog caught a recent OC Weekly article about the Pomona Fox (Tussier?). It's very much worth a read. I particularly like the reference to Pomona's stature in the indie music scene. Being from Seattle, I always took the plethora of music venues and indie bands as a given, but it was only in the process of posting the Glass House events on this blog that I realized how few cities these bands actually hit. And (a little drum roll) Pomona is one of them.

Congrats to everyone who continues the fight. You've got to be a little bit.............Hmmm, what's the word................."SPECIAL" to proudly call Pomona your home (whether past, present, or future).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

DPOA Update


UPDATE: The City Council voted unanimously (Paula Lantz attended via teleconference) to submit petitions for all of the city's properties in favor of recertifying the DPOA. That gave the DPOA 54.xx% of the property owners submitting petitions. The process will move to a public hearing and vote on July 20.

Downtown councilmember Freddie Rodriguez was unable to make the meeting. He is an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) working in an ambulance and had been called to an emergency. According to Mayor Rothman, the councilman had requested that the item be rescheduled to a special meeting when he could atttend, on Thursday at 6:00 pm. Councilmember Paula Lantz noted that she was scheduled to be out of town at another meeting on that date and could not make it. While I've (echoing the Mayor) called councilmember Rodriguez the downtown councilmember, actually downtown is shared by three councilmembers, Rodriguez (the bulk of downtown south of 2nd street except between White and Palomares where it's south of 3rd Street), Lantz (most of the Antique Row area and north of 2nd Street east of Garey), and Soto (north of 2nd and west of Garey as well as north of 3rd between White and Garey). A district map can be seen on the city's web site at:

Interestingly, there was a dueling message from councilmember Rodriquez. Mayor Rothman stated that the councilman had asked for the delay. Councilmember Lantz answered that she had spoken to the councilman and that he was OK with it moving forward since there would not be a final vote, but only the acceptance of the petition for recertification. The mayor then countered that he had spoken to Rodriguez AFTER Lantz had and that he had reversed his opinion and DID request the delay.

To some observers, it appeared that the "fix" was in and that this issue had been maneuvered to marginalize Lantz, a supporter of the DPOA. I have no evidence of such, but it was certainly interesting that one councilmember's wishes to be part of the process (a duly noticed meeting, by the way) was deemed more important than another councilperson's and that there appeared to be no consideration of the time and inconvenience that this action caused for those citizens who felt strongly enough to come out for this issue. This kind of action doesn't appear to pass the "smell" test. Council members miss meetings all the time. Do we stop the actions of the city? While I appreciate the nature of the councilman's job, this is something that he knew when he ran for the council. He was surely aware that his job might have to force him to make some important decisions on which service to the community was more important to to have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

The actions of the council will be really stretching the timeline for recertification of the DPOA. In order for the assessment to be collected by the county, all the information MUST be turned in by July 10. This delay will significantly reduce the time for the process.

So, once again, we call on anyone who wishes to speak on this important issue to show up at the council chambers on Thursday, June 4 at 6:00 pm.

REMINDER: The council has, over the past month of so, instituted a new policy on speakers. Speaker cards must be turned in prior to the beginning of discussion at the beginning of the meeting. No late speaker cards are accepted. So it is imperative that if you wish to speak that you be at the meeting ON TIME and that you turn in your speaker card as soon as possible after arriving.

Monday's Council Meeting Report

Hmmm, Where to start?

The council chambers were completely full with standing room only in the outer lobby. About 100 folks were there to discuss the DPOA issue and others for the various issues such as the closing of Monroe St. and the city's budget cut and outsourcing proposals. Here's a a recap of what happened:

This is so complex I've decided to shorten this post and add it as the next post so this is not too long.

With over 30 speaker cards, this became the largest issue of the evening to be heard. Residents of Monroe spoke to the burgeoning problems with "cut through" traffic on Monroe, which juts out from Orange Grove and Garey and curves up to meet McKinley. Monroe has been a convenient shortcut for those who don't want to get caught in the traffic trying to get on the freeway when they want to head east on McKinley. Tales of cars ending up in front yards and accidents as well as fear for the safety of the growing number of families with children in the area made an impression on councilmembers.

In opposition were Frantz Cleaners and the Dentist office at Monroe and Orange Grove, both of whom felt that the closure would have negative impacts on their businesses. Other speakers opposing included residents of surrounding streets who feared that the closure of Monroe would move the problem to their streets.

However, councilmember Lantz gave a very well thought out history of the intersection and the problems that have occurred during the past 20 years or so. She noted that when the street was originally laid out, that there was no freeway and that the changes in traffic patterns necessitate such action.

For myself, a resident of Monroe, I spoke to the historic nature of our district, which was more urban and does not have cul-de-sacs and questioned making such a drastic change while acknowledging the very real problems that exist. I'm afraid that I probably was not as clear as I could have been in my 3-minutes. I was not actually against the closure, but felt that there might be an alternative mitigation.

The council voted unanimously to support the closure of Monroe. At least it should have a positive impact on my personal property value as being on the only "quiet cul-de-sac" in the city's National Historic District.

It was pointed out at the start of discussion that this was not a public hearing, but mearly an exploratory meeting so that staff could better understand the council's direction on preparing the budget. There were several speakers from the city's employees' union decrying the use of outsourcing and the probable reductions in service as jobs are taken over by individuals who don't know the city and have no long-term committment to serving our citizens.

There was a lot of discussion about the impacts of cuts. Councilmember Soto was concerned that if we moved to outsource a service such as street sweeping that we'd have a hard time bringing it back in-house if we wanted to, especially since the plan would be to sell off all of the city's equipment. It was also noted that at one point that we had outsourced the street sweeping of Holt Avenue and that it was so bad that we had to take it back.

Councilmember Lantz spoke at length about the fact that they were not given "apples to apples" comparisons as to where the savings were coming from. In some cases the solution to elimianting a city position was that the duties would fall to others in the department, but how would that affect service? Would there be additional delays in getting jobs done. As for the outsourcing, the proposals note that there would also be a reduction in service, but there was no indication what the costs would be of a similar reduction using current city staff.

Probably most intersting was City Manager Lowry's analogy to the budget process as potentially being a yo-yo diet with the budget getting fat and skinny as conditions change, but what she felt we needed was liposuction. I can only guess that she means getting rid of anything that is fat and then going on a starvation diet. Unfortunately, from my perspective, the patient might be thin, but dead in a very short period.

The next meeting on the budget will be on June 15. Mayor Rothman asked that the meeting be dedicated to the budget and that other items be postponed to later meetings so that they can concentrate on the budgetary matters.

Also on the agenda was an ordinance mandating water conservation throughout the city. This was a requirement by the Metropolitan Water District if the city wanted to be eligible for grant funding for water related projects in the future. Basically MWD was telling the city what it had to do, even though Pomona gets over 75% of its water from local sources and only relies on MWD for a maximum of 25% of its water.

The ordinance includes restrictions on when residents can water their yards, with automatic irrigation limited to three days a week and a maximum run time of 15 minutes. For myself, in my back yard I have a system with three zones that each run for 10 minutes, three times a week. The sytem is a moderate drip system, unlike lawn sprinklers which run full tilt. So will I be out of compliance with this new ordinance? Do my plants have to die?

Speaking on the subject was Dawn Van Allen, owner of The Garden who expressed concerns about her business which relies on irrigation system watering. Ms. Van Allen was assured that her business would be protected under the new ordinance.

With an amount of conern, the council passed the ordinance. Councilmember Lantz noted that with cutbacks and an already overburdened code enforcement division, that we probably have little to worry about from the "water police." However, she did hope that all residents would conserve water as much as possible, especially in this period of drought. Staff noted that they are planning on having "friendly reminder" cards created to give to residents when violations of the new ordinance are noted.