Sunday, December 19, 2010

Loving the lights of the season?


Hello Holiday Revelers,

Do you know of some particularly well done holiday yard decorations here in Pomona? We would like to know, too, so we can write residents a letter of thanks for beautifying our neighborhoods.

Representatives of the Pomona North Weed & Seed (a board given a grant by the Department of Justice and comprised of city employees and Pomona residents) will be touring neighborhoods Tuesday night looking for properties to award a commendation for their holiday decorations. We are looking for both single family dwellings and apartments.

There is no nomination process. We will simply note homes we feel have gone the extra mile and will send a thank you/commendation. WE DON'T WANT TO MISS ANY GEMS! If you would like to point out any particularly well done residences, please let us know via a reply to this post and we will make sure to swing by.

The area we will be touring is from San Antonio on the West to Mills on the East and from First Street north until the 10 Freeway. We will especially appreciate recommendations within these boundaries.

Thanks much,


Stew Wattson
Weed & Seed Board Member

Thursday, December 16, 2010

lonely cat is lonely

Does anyone recognize this fine feline?


He turned up on the 500 block of Columbia, acting as if every house was his home and every human exclusively his human. Yes, he arrived dressed as you see him -- I hear it's the latest in kitty kouture.

If you know where he belongs, leave a comment or email me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pomona Holiday Parade


Show us some love when you see us tomorrow in the Pomona Holiday Parade. Festivities start at 10AM in Downtown Pomona.

Friday, December 3, 2010

my morning outrage

Hey, folks, sorry to have been AWOL! And thanks to John, PiGP, and all our fabulous commenters for keeping the blog alive. I've been meaning to start posting again, but my life is such that I can barely find the time to send birthday cards these days, much less sit down and compose something that meets the exacting standards of the M-M-M-My Pomona readership.

But this morning I was writing a protest letter to the editors of the Daily Bulletin regarding their new policy of only allowing comments on their website via Facebook, when it suddenly occurred to me that I should post a copy of my letter here. I hope you will share my indignation -- and if you don't, you'll tell me about it. No FB login necessary!

Dear editors of the Daily Bulletin:

I learned about your new commenting system from Dave Allen's blog, and I'm writing to say how disappointed and unhappy I am with this decision. Requiring everyone to log in via Facebook is a solution to your current problems, I realize, but it will cause greater problems in the long run.

You are now in the process of alienating several constituencies, which hardly seems wise when quality journalism is under attack from all sides. There are plenty of excellent reasons not to use Facebook at all, and many of us who do use it are careful not to open ourselves to attack via the Facebook API by allowing login information to be shared between sites. Moreover, Facebook is in open opposition to the ADA Standards for Accessible (Web) Design and the US Government's Section 508, so people with a range of disabilities cannot use it. Everyone who fits in these categories is now explicitly unwelcome at the Daily Bulletin site, or at least gagged.

That is no way to run a newspaper in the 21st century, and it particularly violates the principles of electronic journalism. I really thought you understood the digital world better than this -- and, in fact, I would argue that it is incumbent upon you to do so. If no one in the organization is aware of the threats Facebook poses to data privacy, net neutrality, and the free flow of information, you have betrayed the very nature of journalism. I encourage you to rethink this policy immediately.

They're Baaaccckkkk!!

Yesterday was out in the yard adding to the Christmas lights/decorations (something that goes on for at least 3 weeks) when I heard them. Moments later the sky was full of green and the sound rivaled the roar from the dragsters at the fairgrounds.

Yes, the yearly migration of the Arcadia / Temple City parrots has begun. Last year Meg blogged about it on November 27, so it seems they're a little late this year.

Let's just hope they don't "rain on our parade."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Care to join us in the Pomona Holiday Parade?

Calling all Pomona bloggers and blog readers! We're putting together a float (well, probably more like a small pick-up truck) for the Pomona Holiday Parade. Care to join us? We need to submit the names of all the blogs that will be represented on the float by this Wednesday. Please shoot an e-mail to pomonaevents@gmail.com if you can join us. Here are the details:

Parade date: December 11

Time: We'll gather at 9AM in the south east parking lot at 3rd and Gibbs. Parade starts at 10AM.

What we'll do: We'll have a couple runners along side the pick-up handing out fliers and, if we can figure out how to pay for it, candy. The fliers will describe what a blog is and will list the names of all the blogs represented on the float. And, of course, we'll wave and look merry.

What to wear: We can discuss this later. But plan on wearing something. Perhaps we can all wear blues? Or maybe that rockin' t-shirt shop downtown can hook us up with some sweet Pomona Ps shirts (you know, the six Ps in the wagon wheel shape).

Holler back.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Holiday Extra

I was just at Stater Brothers and on my way out noticed that there were some guys working on the abandoned gas station on the northeast corner of Alvarado and Garey. They had out a ladder and were working on the lights. So what to my wondering eyes is this?

Looking closer I noted that there was a banner stating that this would be a Christmas Tree lot. So we'll have some festive activity on a long dormant corner.

Now I just hope that they've gotten all their permits so that the city gets its due!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 2--VOTE

Tomorrow, November 2 is election day.

While M-M-M-My Pomona is a place where diverse opinions often clash, I'm sure that all of us here at can agree, your vote counts. Regardless of party, candidates supported, or issues, PLEASE, get out and vote.

In Pomona, we have two tax initiatives, one for an increase in the utility tax, and a parcel tax for schools in PUSD. In Districts 2, 3, and 5 we have council seats up for election.

If you need to know where to vote, you can get polling place information at http://www.lavote.net/LOCATOR/. Just type in your address and it will tell you where to go and vote.

The message? VOTE.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lisbeth Solander Returns

For those of you who have read all three of the Steig Larsson books in the Milleneum Trilogy, you may be interested to know that the movie version of the third book is coming to Claremont's Laemmle theater the week of November 26. While Hollywood is looking to make a film of the first book, The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, the entire trilogy has been filmed in Larsson's native Sweden. While the film is in Swedish, with English subtitles, based on the first two, it should be a very good adaptation of the books, and, of course, the locales are authentic to the books as well.

If you enjoyed the books, this is the film version you should see. We don't yet know how Hollywood will actually treat it, the Swedes have done an excellent job.
IMDB.com's synopsis of the story is: "After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in a hospital and is set to face trial for attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must prove her innocence. In doing this she plays against powerful enemies and her own past."

I know I'll be there for the conclusion.

For those who just must wait for the American version of Dragon Tattoo, Wikipedia reports:

David Fincher is set to direct a Hollywood adaptation of the book, for release in December 2011. According to The Guardian, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt were all interested in playing the central role of Mikael Blomkvist, but Daniel Craig was officially confirmed as the lead in July. On August 16, 2010, it was officially confirmed that Rooney Mara will play Lisbeth Salander.[14] Robin Wright is currently in talks to play Erika Berger, while Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgård are attached to play Hendrik and Martin Vanger.


Producer Søren Stærmose of Yellow Bird, who holds the screen rights to the books, has been approached by directors including Ridley Scott, and Martin Scorsese.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friends of the Pomona Fox Halloween Special

Friends of the Pomona Fox
Sunday, October 24
Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO

Alfred Hitchcock's
Psycho
Doors open 1:00 pm
Screening 2:00 pm
With Halloween just around the corner, it's the perfect time for a timeless tale of murder and intrigue. Just when you thought it was safe to take a shower!

It's the Friends of the Pomona Fox's first Halloween program. Come in costume, or come as you are. But watch out for Norman Bates.

In June of 1960, 50 years ago, the master of the macabre, Alfred Hitchcock, released the film Psycho. It would forever change people's attitudes toward taking showers.

While the main star was Janet Leigh (nominated for an Oscar®and winner of a Golden Globe as best actress), the action actually revolved around newcomer Anthony Perkins and his character Norman Bates.

But it is the powerful direction of master Alfred Hitchcock which makes this film a truly frightening look into the mind of a truly disturbed individual. Also starring Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, and John McIntire, the film is also notable for the truly haunting score by Bernard Herrmann.

Thanks to Universal, our raffle this month will include the chance to win a copy of the 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray DVD of Psycho. We'll also be giving a DVD to the best costume.

Prices: Adults $5.00
           Children 12 and under $3.00

We'll have popcorn, sodas, and candy available. Food and "adult" beverages will be available at Drink (direct entrance from the theater lobby). Food and beverages purchased at Drink may be brought into the theater!

Online Ticket sales. Tickets purchased online include a $1 per ticket convenience fee. All tickets will be available at will-call on the day of the screening. Online sales will cease as of 10/22/2010.:

Tickets will be sold at the door. Online sales over for this screening.


Special Guest
Marli Renfro Peterson

Marli Renfro as she appeared in the Hitchcock Classic, Psycho
Marli Renfro as she appeared in Hitchcock's classic Psycho

Marli Renfro Peterson, known as "The Girl In Hitchcock's Shower" has agreed to appear at our October 24 screening of Psycho. Ms. Peterson, as Marli Renfro, was a model who was hired by Universal to do be Janet Leigh's body double for the nude shots in the infamous shower sequence. She will be available to answer questions and to sign autographed photos. We will also be raffling an personally autographed copy of the book, The Girl in Hitchcock's Shower.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bring On Your Best SCREAM!!!!
Got a really terrifying scream? We're looking for the next great screamer. You're invited to take the stage at the Pomona Fox in front of our special "Psycho Shower Curtain" and to give your best and loudest scream!!

The winning scream will receive a special 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray DVD of Psycho. So bring on your best scream.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Charter Review Meeting Wednesday Oct. 20

When I was appointed to the Charter Review Commission, I promised that I would periodically give you updates as to what is going on. While it's now been over 5 months since our first meeting, we're still in the process of gathering information and developing ideas. That is about to change.

As a recap, the Charter Review Commission is charged with reviewing the city's charter and coming up with an amended charter (if needed) to present to the voters at a future election. Whatever comes out of the commission will be placed on a future ballot and the voters will decide if they want whatever comes out of the commission. The commission has 1 year to come up with such a document. (April 2010)

The 15 member commission has been meeting both as a group and in smaller subcommittees to formulate such a document. Each subcommittee is responsible for doing the research and coming up with plans that will be put forward to the entire commission for possible inclusion in the final document.

The first subcommittee recommendation was made at last month's meeting. This one dealt with proposed changes to Article XVII, which created the charter review commission. Because of the drama that surrounded the formation of the current commission, it was felt that certain things, like the number of commissioners and how they are chosen, should be codified within the charter itself. No action was taken on this item, whether to approve or not, and it was held over to the next meeting, which is Wednesday.

All sections of the charter were assigned to subcommittees, with the exception of Article IV, which deals with elective offices, the city council, how vacancies are handled, districts, and compensation and expenses. You can read the charter HERE (pdf file).  Because this is such an important issue, it was decided that the entire commission would take it up as a group instead of going to subcommittees. This Wednesday's meeting is when that will occur. It is anticipated that we will be getting a lot of public input, especially from those who are pushing for a new plan for district elections. To accommodate anticipated public input, the meeting will be held at the Ganesha Park Community Center at 7:00 pm.

If you have input on how you feel districts elections should be held, or if you don't want districts at all, or if you feel that we should have more or fewer council seats or anything else regarding Article IV, please be sure to attend the meeting and let us know. We value your input.

Charter Review Commission
Wednesday, October 20
7:00 pm
Ganesha Park Community Center
1575 North White Avenue, Pomona
Some of the issues that are currently being discussed in the subcommittees include the formation of an Ethics Commission, a Police Commission, and a wide variety of minor and major adjustments to the current Charter. The Commission meets the  4th Wednesday of each month, usually in the Council Chambers annex (to the south of the council chambers where the council usually holds their closed session meetings). Because of theIt's a Brown Act Commission so the public is always welcome.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Home Tour Sunday


Pomona Heritage 26th Annual
Historic Home Tour


Sunday, October 17, 2010
11:00 am to 5:00 pm


The Tour will Start at Pomona Ebell Museum of History
585 East Holt Ave., Pomona

If you've never been to one before, the Pomona Heritage Old Home Tour is a great opportunity to see the wide variety of historic homes in Pomona. You'll get to tour 5 historic homes in a variety of architectural styles, as well as the Ebell Museum of Pomona History.

Doors open at 10 am
Antique and Craft Fair: 10 am - 3 pm
Tour: 11 am - 5 pm

Purchase Tickets online via PayPal: $20 per ticket

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Magic Flute Saturday

Claremont Courier gives a shout out this week to Pomona's Repertory Opera Company on the cover and with a three page photo spread inside. Pick up a copy or to see the pictures, click "Galleries". http://www.claremont-courier.com/

"The Magic Flute cast members deliver a rich, heart-filling, comedic, dazzling, emotional performance..." Brenda Bolinger

David Allen also wrote about ROC in his off schedule column Thursday: http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_16208334

May have some people drivin' in to Pomona this weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blazing Saddles At The Fox

Sunday, September 26


Doors open at 5:00 pm
Screening begins at 6:00 pm
A Friends of the Pomona Fox Screening of

Blazing Saddles

Mel Brooks' classic taken on the Western. Blazing Saddles is at times offensive, but always funny. Written by Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Andrew Berman, Norman Steinberg, and Alan Unger, it stars a pantheon of comic actors, Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, Mel Brooks, Alex Karras, George Furth, and even jazz orchestra great Count Basie.



Special Added Attraction!

Following the screening of Blazing Saddles, Friends of the Pomona Fox is proud to be able to present The 909 Film Festival.
A selection of short films, non over 9 minutes and 9 seconds, by and shot in the Inland Valley. Come join us in celebrating the creative film community in the Inland Valley. Sure to be a lot of fun, and maybe you’ll even find a hidden gem.


Prices: Adults $5.00
              Children 12 and under $3.00



This film is rated R. Due to language that some may find objectionable, this program is not recommended for children. Racial and sexual language and themes may be objectionable to some members of the community.

Fatburger Comes to Pomona

Thanks to




















Sunday, September 5, 2010

neighborhood report

Seen from my window this morning:

1. A young family out for a walk -- mom pushing double stroller, dad zoom around her on a Razor scooter. If she gets a turn at the scooter while he pushes, three cheers for them. Otherwise, she's got three kids to look out for.

2. A guy on a souped-up road bike, with aerobars and everything, all kitted out in lycra with a fancy helmet and Oakley shades -- stopping in front of our house to smoke a cigarette (pulled out from his underseat bag).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Library air conditioner is fixed!

Ms. Lois asked us to help spread the good news: the air conditioner at the library is fixed. Yahoo!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ms. Lois reports

In case you're not following the comments as eagerly as the posts themselves, I thought I'd repost a public service announcement our own Ms. Lois just posted as a comment:

"The Pomona Public Library is closed today due to excessive heat. Since our air conditioning is out, it was way too hot for people to be inside. Word is that Tuesday and Wednesday we will be open from 8am to noon.

Help spread the word!"


Thanks, Ms. Lois! (And I'd just like to add that it's a sad thing when civic buildings get closed -- albeit temporarily -- rather than repaired.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Willy Wonka @ Fox

A Friends of the Pomona Fox Family Screening of
Willy Wonka & the
Chocolate Factory

Sunday, August 22

Doors open at 1:00 pm
Screening begins at 2:00 pm

"A world of pure imagination . . . " From the imaginative mind of Roald Dahl and music of Leslie Bricusse, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is a classic family film. A morality tale that takes on gluttony, television, and gum chewing, the visually stunning Chocolate Factory is a stark contrast to the "real world" of Charlie Bucket and his grandfather. Starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, and Peter Ostrum as Charlie.
 
Mel Stuart Book
SPECIAL IN-PERSON GUEST: Director Mel Stuart will be answering questions about the making of the film and signing his book, "Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory."

Popcorn, sodas, and candy will be available from the snack bar. Hot food and "adult" beverages will be available from Drink, the adjacent restaurant before, during, and after the screening.

BUY A WONKA BAR & LOOK FOR THE GOLDEN TICKET

100 Wonka Bars will be on-sale at our concession stand and 5 of them will include "Golden Tickets" which can be redeemed for special prizes.
Prices: Adults $5.00
  Children 12 and under $3.00
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ALSO Up-Coming
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jerry Lee LewisJERRY LEE LEWIS IN CONCERT AT THE POMONA FOX THEATER
  The incomparable Jerry Lee Lewis, Mr. Great Balls of Fire himself, will be making a rare appearance at the Pomona Fox Theater on Saturday, September 25, the occasion of his 75th Birthday.

  Joining Jerry Lee will be special guests Nick 13 The Head Cat and we're promised that there will be other surprises.

Ticket are now on-sale from
www.PomonaFox.com.
Good seats are $30 with special seating for $44 and $77.


Don't miss this special Pomona event!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Civilian review for Pomona PD - is it necessary?

At tomorrow night's Charter Review Commission meeting, there is a proposal by a local citizen to create, in the Pomona City Charter, a civilian review commission for police discipline.

In the letter, the author, a member of the local NAACP, argues that this would address the ongoing issues in the relationship between the Pomona Police Department and the community at-large. It cites 50 lawsuits between individuals who have had contact with the PD and the City, yet gives no indication whether that is a large number or not. It argues that there is a lack of diversity in the police, yet I see no statistics to back up that claim.

The most recent big "incident" of the police was related to the checkpoints, and when some officers "infiltrated" (attended out of uniform as private citizens) a community meeting on this issue. Personally, I support the checkpoints. I know others on this blog don't, but the way that Pomona PD conducts checkpoints, with advance signage and not blocking all four directions of traffic (after the Mission/San Antonio incident), they are legal and serve a purpose in catching unsafe drivers while allowing anyone paying attention to the road to divert (and no, the police don't automatically pull people that divert over, as I always divert with no incident). As far as "selective enforcement" and "lack of relationship", I saw a diverse group of people supporting the Pomona PD a couple of months ago - whites, Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and the multi-racial.

All this would be moot if civilian review commissions didn't strain internal relationships in police departments. If it was an advisory commission like Claremont's Police Commission it would just be a forum for obtaining information and expressing concerns. But the model Berkeley Police Review Commission creates a separate bureaucracy of independent investigators to complaints, in parallel with the Internal Affairs section of the department. They have subpoena power and can issue decisions.

Police officers will feel second guessed, when they are already second guessed by superiors, politicians, and through the civil lawsuit process. As appointees of City Councilmembers, they will be perceived as, and may in fact be, puppets of City Councilmembers trying to score points on the back of the police. (When has that ever happened?) Opening up these hearings actually just results in targeted officers to lawyer up and not share "lessons learned" that might occur in an internal disciplinary situation. The District Attorney already reviews situations of officer-involved shootings and many cases of use of force, so this would just duplicate their work. Indeed, there are indications that the work of the commission would either never be public, or there would never be any information shared with the commission, because of the strong protections offered peace officers under State law. Similarly, a review commission is no substitute for a strong internal affairs division, background investigation prior to hire, and a strong grounding in ethics and integrity of the individual officers.

There is no evidence that the City Manager is going to do something stupid like offer an employee of the year award to a cop who kills someone, when the investigation was still ongoing. In my experience, Chiefs Lewis, Romero, and now Keetle have had good to excellent relationships with the community. Former Police Chief Richard Tefank is the chair of the Los Angeles Police Commission, which was created as a result of the Los Angeles Riots. But police agencies have shifted dramatically since 1992, and for the better. Nor I am aware of any cases where there have been issues of complaints being investigated unfairly. If that is happening, the ombudsman model may be more effective than what officers perceive as an anti-cop dog and pony show. But in a small agency (and Pomona PD is small, even compared to Berkeley, with 30% less officers patrolling 50% more population), such an entity shouldn't be necessary.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

big ups

Hello from the Rocky Mountains! K. and I are on our annual while-there's-still-gas road trip, but that doesn't mean I'm not keeping my eye on m-m-m-my Pomona and environs.

I notice that there were 12 homicides in LA County last week, and that none of them were in Pomona. That carried me back to the LAT homicide map, where I note with pleasure that we haven't had a homicide since May. MAY!!! You know what that makes us? Sweetness and light distilled.

I'm probably jinxing it by pointing it out, but civic boosterism should never succumb to the quirky demands of superstition.

Get out there and continue to be peaceful law-abiding non-homicidal maniacs, people!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The disconnect between voters and schools

Second in an occasional series

From the poll posted yesterday, almost half of all voters have never sent their children or grandchildren to schools in the Pomona Unified School District. Therefore, out of the 68% of voters who are age 35 and up, about a third of them, and probably more, have no experience whatsoever with the school district, other than as a student.

Attendance is declining. Average daily attendance, the measurement used for State funding of schools, has dropped from a high of 33,976 in the 2002-2003 school year to 26,538 in 2010-11, a 22% decrease over the span of just eight years. PUSD's ambitious bond program opened many schools in the last couple of decades, and as attendance has dropped, year round schooling has been eliminated, portables have been disassembled, and programs that consume additional space beyond the classroom have been implemented.

But does that mean that the population of school age children are dropping, or that parents are consciously deciding not to use the services of PUSD? Surprisingly, despite the anecdotes that people hear, there is not a wholesale shift of the student population to non-PUSD schools. The Census data shows that in 2008, there were 34,332 children enrolled in school. Average daily attendance was 30,150 in the 2007-08 school year, for a "shrinkage" rate of 12%. Some of that 11% went to private schools, some were home schooled, others went to schools in other districts, and a few are simply dropouts. The difference is greatest in the high school ages, with 11,832 high school age students and about 7,521 high school students in PUSD, with a shrinkage rate of 37%. Even so, this is better that at, say, Pasadena, where there are 28,268 school age students and an average daily attendance of 18,765 - a shrinkage rate of 34%. In Upland, the shrinkage rate from school age population to actual enrollment is 31%, so Pomona (and Diamond Bar residents) are keeping their kids in local schools.

The difference is really individuals without school aged children at all, rather than families with kids who consciously decided to not send their kids to PUSD schools. Here's the challenge. With only 36% of voters having children or grandchildren in the district, that means that advocates for the parcel tax will have to reach the 64% that don't. Voters, especially those registered Republican or Decline to State, will be literally swamped with information from Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina as they attempt to buy their way into office. Other traditional forms of local communication, such as ads on local cable television, are in decline as viewers switch to satellite and FIOS, which do not have local insert commercials in their programming. Door to door communication has become less and less effective as voters lead busier lives and refuse to answer the door to solicitors. How will the pro-tax forces overcome this disadvantage?

Incidentally, one of the side effects of this disconnect is that there is no organized opposition either. Will an organized opposition form, and take out a statement in the ballot pamphlet? Without an opposition, the pro-tax side can easily buy all the slate mailers in the area - Republican, Democratic, and decline to state. Although most voters seem to know that slate mailers are just paid advertising, they are surprisingly effective. As a veteran election worker, there is a large percentage of voters that take slates into the ballot box with them. They are especially effective on low-information elections and nonpartisan elections.

In the next installment, I'll look at where the voters come from, and past support for school district bonds - will Diamond Bar residents step up to the plate again?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

School district votes to place parcel tax on ballot

Tonight, the Pomona Unified School District placed a $96 parcel tax increase on the November ballot. I live tweeted the meeting as it happened.

Some background: In May, the PUSD board requested in closed session to gather information pertaining to a possible parcel tax for schools. It showed up on the July PUSD board agenda but was pulled due to a legal noticing snafu, and rescheduled for tonight's meeting.

The tax will appear on the ballot in substantially the same form as it does below. An amendment was made to add that no consultants, except those that directly serve students, would be paid for through the tax (although, of course, money from other sources could be shifted to pay for consultants).

PUSD Parcel Tax

I do appreciate the school district's transparency in this matter. The school district was the first one to respond to my public records requests on the salaries of top employees and the contract of the Superintendent of Education, within 3 business days of their receipt. The City of Pomona just hit the ten day mark to provide a response, without any documents. Neither has the City of Los Angeles or the County Sheriff's Department responded to my requests.

However, the school district attorney denied my request for the poll, which was cited in an article by Monica Rodriguez in the Daily Bulletin. Ultimately, at the meeting where the parcel tax was placed on the ballot, the attorney was told by the Board of Education to release the poll to the public, and I received a copy that evening. The attorney explained that he was directed to hire the pollster, and since he was the conduit for the information, the poll was protected by attorney-client privilege until it was waived. Monica Rodriguez of the newspaper got results fed to her verbally by the school board president and the superintendent, but the attorney said that she did not receive a copy of the poll. They did not play the games that some school districts do of having a private campaign committee do the poll and feed board members the data, so they deserve credit in that regard.

Pomona Unified School District Parcel Tax Survey

With exactly 66% of voters supporting or leaning yes, and a two-thirds vote required for this measure to climb, the PUSD has a high hurdle to climb. It's even more daunting with the unexpected no votes of Andrew Wong and Jason Rothman to the parcel tax. Neither chose to make their cases against putting the measure on the ballot from the dais, although I saw Wong being interviewed by Monica Rodriguez. I would have expected a unified front on the issue, but without that, opponents have even more ammunition to kill the tax, with or without Wong and Rothman's active help.

In the coming days I'll discuss some of the challenges the school district has in facing the poll, and some possible arguments that supporters might use in order to convince voters to vote for this tax increase. If no one else will write a ballot argument against the measure, I will, if only to ask some hard questions of the PUSD that have gone long unanswered. The deadline for ballot arguments is August 16, at the Registrar-Recorder's office in Norwalk.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ethics and Pensions

With the scandals that rocked the city of Bell, it's been suggested that we need to look in our own back yard. Anonymous asked if someone wouldn't bring forth the evidence of wrongdoing in our city. I'm not personally privy to anything that would rise to that level where a prosecutor would be interested, but I'm very aware of some things going on that are of very questionable ethics.

The most recent case-in-point was the "gaming" of the system by Councilmember Cristina Carrizosa to significantly increase her retirement once she leaves the city council. While it appears that she did nothing illegal, the ethics of this situation is certainly in question.

But even more importantly to me, is that the problems in Bell have been linked to citizens' not being aware of what was going wrong with their city. Here in Pomona, we have several blogs and some decent reporting that has stanched many of the grevious problems. A few years ago a few members of the city council decided that they should also get paid (separately) for being the redevelopment agency. Citizens found out about it and rose up and stopped it. I'm currently on the city's Charter Review Commission and we are looking at the possibility of creating an ethics oversight commission within the city and strengthening the ethics for the council, commissions, city management, police, candidates for office, and others under the perview of the charter, all to enhance citizen oversight to avoid the problems that Bell ran into.

However, I have an even more basic question. SHOULD PART-TIME COUNCILMEMBERS BE GETTING A PENSION AT ALL? Those in the private sector who work part-time usually don't get any benefits. This is the way that banks, grocery stores, and WalMart have been keeping their costs down for years. By hiring people and limiting their work hours to under 30 per week, they don't pay retirement, medical, and other benefits. Why are we so generous to our city council members?

Public service is not supposed to enrich those who are serving. To suggest that council members are doing such an extraordinary job as part-time employees negates the work of all of the others who work part time at little or no personal benefit (do you hear me unpaid commissioners?). Councilwoman Carrizosa stated that she "earned" the additional pension money. So that means that she worked harder than councilmembers Lantz, Atcheley, Saunders, Rodriquez, Soto, and Mayor Rothman? I undestand that their pension will be based on a $9600/year salary (the mayor twice that) and not what they got from their full-time jobs.

Again, this is not about what is legal, but about what is ETHICAL and FAIR.

I look forward to the comments on this item.

_________________________

Remember, August 2nd the council will decide whether or not to put replacing Pomona's Police Department on the ballot. I will be out of town and can't attend. I'm fairly sure that the council knows where I stand on this issues as I've spoken on it in the past. If you haven't spoken out, do so!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

American Graffiti at the Fox

American Graffiti
Sunday, July 25
TIME CHANGE
Doors open at 5:00 pm
Screening begins at 6:00 pm

A Friends of the Pomona Fox Family Screening of American Graffiti
Awoooohhhh, the Wolfman is calling you to get in your hot rod and cruise on over to the Pomona Fox Theater for the classic film, American Graffiti. Join Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfus, Harrison Ford, Susanne Summers, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Philips, Paul LeMat, and Charles Martin Smith as they spend their first night of freedom after high school crusin' the streets and hangin' out at Mel's Drive-In. So "Where Were You in '62?"
SPECIAL ADDED ATTRACTION!
Susanne Summers--American GrafittiAppearing just outside the theater will be the actual 1956 Ford Thunderbird driven by Susanne Summer in the film. "The '56 Thunderbird convertible was purchased by Clay Daily and his wife in 1964 on a used Ford car lot in San Bernardino, CA. It had been painted red and had 55,000 miles showing. A few years later the Dailys moved to Petaluma, CA. This where they had the car painted white. In 1972, Clay's wife had the car parked in downtown Petaluma. When she returned to the car to go home, she found a piece of a brown paper bag on the windshield. Someone had written a note on the paper and asked if the car's owner would like to have the car in a movie. They left a telephone number and said to call if interested. The Daily T-Bird American GrafittiDailys thought it was a joke, but they called anyway. To their surprise, it was Lucas Films and they wanted to use the car! The Dailys agreed and the T-Bird appeared in the movie. All of the night shots were done in downtown Petaluma, so Clay and his wife were able to watch some of them."
The Daily's, now living in the Diamond Bar area, have graciously agreed to display the classic car at our July 24 screening after showing it at the Petaluma salute to American Grafitti in May and prior to it's going to Reno, NV for the Hot August Nights Festival. In addition, there will be a number of cars from the era on display outside the theater as well. Join us for Cars, Music, and a classic American film.
Popcorn, sodas, and candy will be available from the snack bar. Hot food and "adult" beverages will be available from Drink, the adjacent restaurant before, during, and after the screening. There will also be a door prizes and other surprises
Prices: Adults $3.00
Children 12 and under $2.00

Monday, July 19, 2010

let the sun shine in


Well, I'm back from my jaunt to southern Indiana and East Tennessee. Thanks to my fabulous co-authors for keeping the blog going in my absence!

Thanks also to AnonyMark for alerting me to Dave Allen's article on Cristina Carrizosa's pension and the discussion that resulted from it. I must say, D-Bomb does some stellar investigative journalism when the mood strikes him -- and that's more than I can say for most of the other newspapers I read.

Fair warning, though: A few of the comments in the discussion are pretty anti-Mexican. (I would say "racist," but Mexican isn't a race. Still, I suspect those commenters feel similarly about anyone brown.)

I'm posting the links because I don't know if everyone has seen the article, and frankly, one of our problems seems to be dissemination and discussion of information. We here at M-M-M-My Pomona make no claims to journalistic integrity (or writing quality, for that matter), but we can at least help out with the goal of opening up discussion. Open discussion leads to open government leads to healthy cities.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

All Pomona middle schools on state emergency transfer list

Parents of Pomona middle schoolers, you can pull them out ASAP, under a new state regulation adopted by the State Board of Education yesterday in compliance with the state "Race To The Top" federal grant. In fact, every single traditional middle school in the City of Pomona was on the "open enrollment" list. From Palomares to the north, Emerson to the east, Marshall to the west, and Simons and Fremont to the south, every single one was an "open enrollment" school. Previously, the list was titled "low achievement" schools, but that was changed due to a quirk with the state law, which classified some well-performing schools as poor even though they were above the state average.

However, no one would identify the middle schools in the City of Pomona as well performing. All of them are in the lower two deciles, although some are above average when demographics of the student and parent population are considered. Nevertheless, it is interesting that Pomona schools actually do well at the elementary school level - with even the ones in the "bad" areas doing well above average when demographic considerations are included - the high schools, despite the bad reputation, are also performing above average when demographics are considered, with respectable high school exit exam pass rates - while the middle schools are doing a poor enough job to get put on the state list.

The emergency regulation calls for school districts to notify all parents with students in the schools on the "open enrollment list" by the first day of school that they can transfer their kids out. Unfortunately, the only performing middle school in the Pomona Unified School District is Lorbeer Middle School, in Diamond Bar. There are also the K-8 schools that former Superintendent Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana created, but most of them are geared for students to continue forward from the elementary school level. However, the Open Enrollment Act also allows parents to transfer to schools outside of the district, and many of them, such as Bonita, Walnut Valley, and Claremont, have been interested in interdistrict transfers due to declining child populations in those cities. The regulation states that once a student is enrolled outside of their home school, that they will not have to reapply.

Although districts are permitted to set their own due dates for applications, the districts that parents are transferring their kids to will need to respond back to the home district by September 30, 2010, with all transfers concluding by November 1, 2010. Subsequently, notification will be made at the start of the calendar year, with transfers effective the fall of that year. Districts are not require to permit transfers out of the district if it would upset the "racial and ethnic balance" of the district. In the past, as I personally experienced, Pomona Unified has used that to prohibit non-Hispanics from transferring out of Pomona city schools. However, some legal reviewers have cautioned against using that as a rationale, for it violates Proposition 209. Each district will have to come up with a procedure within the next month as to how they wish to arrange for transfers, and the ability for districts to reject students transferring in is limited.

To have all Pomona middle schools on a list that many will interpret as "failing" could be devastating to the district as it attempts to have voters pass a $96 parcel tax increase on all property. I am sure that the ballot argument opposing the tax will be made that highlights this uncomfortable fact. Or advocates of the tax increase could argue that the fact that since all Pomona middle schools were put on the state emergency list, it is evidence that we should put money into Pomona schools to improve. With the utility tax and school parcel tax increase, possible Sheriff's contracting, and other hot topics, there are real choices for our community.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Calfironia Bank and Trust closing down in downtown p-town

I just read this article last night (about the California Bank and Trust closing the Pomona branch) and got to thinking. There are three banks in the downtown area that have huge parking lots. Now it's no secret that I'm no friend of parking lots. I consider them to be something that discourages walking and heavily encourages driving. I never enjoy walking across the BofA parking lot to get to downtown and even less enjoy walking past the Chase parking lot to get to Antique Row. Now I can understand that the Chase building has other offices in it but, with the closure of the CBofT Pomona has an opportunity to increase foot traffic to larger areas of Downtown Pomona.

I know this is a long ways off, since we still need to find something to do with the Pomona Pond/Pit. But, I never like to miss an opportunity when I see one. I know we have some council members that are big fans of cars and parking lots. But, what are the the residence's thoughts? We've got a great plan infrastructure that can easily be converted to pedestrian and mass transit oriented movement. Not to mention some of our poorer residents walk, ride bikes, and take the bus anyways. But is this something we'd all want?

Friday, July 2, 2010

claremont, city of trees and felonies


This article is just too, too sweet. All of Claremont's efforts to be a classy joint are for naught -- turns out a prominent citizen was smuggling arms to Somalia. I would say, "You're slayin' me here!" except that I wouldn't wish to be taken literally.

The question remains: What international crimes do you think Pomona's seemingly-upstanding citizens might be hiding? I've done a fair bit of smuggling myself -- cheese from England, sausage from Germany (minds out of the gutter, people!), drugs in Asia back in my wild youth. Perhaps our John sold nuclear-weapon plans to Ptomania in his own wild youth? Or Chainsaw Ed, not Ramón Mercader, was the man behind the icepick that killed Leon Trotsky?

Come on, we can't let Claremont get one over on us this way! We have a reputation to protect! Let's go do some crimes!

Bonus points for anyone recognizing the movie quotation. And I'll have a post soon about the Sheriffs Dept. proposal, which Calwatch posted to Twitter, but I need to read through the damn thing first.

Monday, June 28, 2010

July events for community calendar

If you are aware of any Pomona-based events in July that do not already appear on the calendar in the right hand column of this blog, kindly let us know about it by sending a note to pomonaevents@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

sheriff taylor would have been SO disappointed in you boys


Original Skrip sent me this little tidbit from the Daily News the other day: LA County Sheriffs are drinking on the job more than usual. (Take a moment to ponder the first sentence of the article, I implore you.)

You gotta wonder what is driving them to drink -- is the inevitability of covering poor benighted Maywood or the possibility of trying to match the Pomona Police Department? I'm sure the LA County Sheriffs are fine women and men, but I have to say, I've never seen a member of the Pomona PD soused on the job.

Suddenly I have floating through my head that old Commander Cody song. "My pappy said, Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop driving that hot rod Lincoln"....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Health Reform information session


The following message is from Pastor Rick DeBruyne:

"Just a reminder for those of you in the region, tonight [June 23] at Lincoln Ave. Church is hosting an informational meeting on Health Reform @ 6:30 PM in Timmer Hall, 1547 Lincoln Ave., Pomona, CA. I have attached a flier for your convenience.

"Dr. Faisal Quazi from Western University in Pomona will be presenting. No matter where you stand, this is an opportunity to learn more. It will not be a debate on the pros and cons, rather information on how it might affect you.

"If you are not able to attend but would be interested in participating in or hosting a future presentation, please email Dr. Qazi and cc. me.

"Please note: We are hosting this as a service to the community at the request of a colleague in the city. This invitation and the presentation should not be taken as an endorsement or reflection of the views of Lincoln Ave. Church."

It's Summer--A good time for a Movie and Ice Cream

Two great events this weekend, in addition to 4th Saturday ArtWalk.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Friends of the Pomona Fox Family Film!
Sunday, June 27
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sunday is your chance to hiss the Nazi villains and cheer the daring-do of America's favorite hero, Indiana Jones.

Friends of the Pomona Fox, in association with the Pomona Fox Theater and the City of Pomona, is pleased to announce our next film program at the Pomona Fox Theater. We will be screening the first adventure film to chronicle the exploits of Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys Davies, and Denholm Elliott. Directed by Stephen Spielberg and produced by George Lucas, Raiders is one of the most popular films of all time. Doors will open at 1:00 and the film will screen at 2:00 pm.

Price: Adults $3.00
         Children 12 and under: $2.00
Time: Doors open 1:00
         Films screen 2:00 pm

Your favorite movie munchies will also be available with fresh-popped popcorn, a selection of fountain soft drinks, and delicious candy.

For the adults, there will be beer and wine, as well as hot food available from DRINK restaurant/bar located just off the lobby next to the theater's entrance (and yes, you can eat and drink inside the theater).

Have your photo taken with Indy! We'll have a life-size cutout of the Raiders character should you desire a souvenir photo.

DOOR PRIZES: Some lucky attendees will be able to walk away with some great prizes, just for showing up. Drawing will be held just prior to the screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark



Ice Cream Social--After Raiders!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HSPV Ice Cream Social The Historical Society of the Pomona Valley will be holding their annual Ice Cream Social at Phillips Mansion on Sunday, June 27 beginning at 4:00 pm.

Ice cream, fish toss, bubbles and demonstrations of life during the period of the historic Phillips Mansion will all be part of the fun. The mansion was recently restored and furnished with period furnishings and will be available for tours.

There will be plenty of time to both enjoy the Friends of the Pomona Fox's screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark as well as enjoying this fabulous historic site and ice cream social. We invite all our members to join us for this event.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Its a party!


Pictures are in from last Saturday's Carmen. There's a whole lot of shaking going on. Meg wrote about two people she particularly like: Nicholas Shelton is on the far left. Danielle Marcelle Bond, Carmen, is the one dancing on the table, of course. Meg also gave a shout out to the children's chorus, here they are:

Allie Casillas; Carmella Porcelli; Courtney Pocock; Donna Borges; Emily Pocock; Hannah Borges; Jacqueline San Nicolas; Leonie Casper; Maddie Waasdorp; Melissa Sutha; Monica Dortha; Nicolas Pinal; Sean Marcum; Sophia Lin; and Vanessa Casillas.

There's one last performance, this Saturday. For info and more pics go to the ROC website: http://www.repertoryoperacompany.org/ and Repertory Opera Company's Facebook page.

Meg has invited me to contribute to the glorious m-m-m-my Pomona blog. Thank you. I'll try to highlight all the "Cultcha" and fun goin' on.

To that end, here's a reminder that we get to see movies at the Pomona Fox Theater all summer. This Sunday, June 27 at 2 pm is "Raiders of the Lost Ark"; adults $3; children $2. For more info go to http://www.pomonafox.org/



Friday, June 18, 2010

Repertory Opera Company redux

Flash mobs -- you gotta love 'em. My favorite flash mobs are when a sizable proportion of the people in some crowded place break out into song and/or dance, like "Doe a Deer" in Antwerp's Central Station.

The most recent musical flash mob I've seen is "Brindisi" sung in Philadelphia's Reading Market (you know the tune, even if you don't know the name of it), from La Traviata -- which of course put me in mind of the ROC, which staged this opera not long ago.

Here's the vid:


I got to thinking... what if the ROC did flash-mob publicity for their next opera? I know they sang some of the greatest hits from Carmen at the Palomares Adobe to publicize the performance, but that was planned. How about an unplanned performance -- guerrilla aria? And if they were to do it, what would be good venues? Aside from Art Walk (too easy), I propose the LaVerne Target store on a sunday afternoon (because if I have to stand in line for 10 minutes, I'd like to have something interesting to listen to). Other ideas?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

just curious

We're getting a whole bunch of hits on the most recent post that are coming directly from Facebook. Is there a M-m-m-my Pomona page on FB or something? If so, somebody let me know -- I wanna join! Or if someone has linked to the post from their own FB page, that would be cool to know, too.

Actually, I wouldn't join a M-m-m-my Pomona Facebook page, mainly because I refuse to join or like anything on FB, for privacy reasons. Those are the things that FB datamines for advertising, and by not liking or joining anything, I never see any ads. But I'd still love to know if such a page is out there.

it ain't over till the slim vamp dies


I have to say, it's rather disturbing how much opera depends on domestic violence for its story lines. But that didn't impede my enjoyment of the Repertory Opera Company's staging of Carmen yesterday afternoon, not one bit.

As I learned in the Introduction to Opera class I took as an undergrad (where I acquired my love of opera -- before that, I thought it was just goofy screeching), opera is a combination of carefully-schooled voices, fine acting, and stage spectacle. The ROC's production of Carmen lacked the stage spectacle of the Met (after all, it's community opera, directed by our own Lizbeth Lucca, not Plácido Domingo or Peter Gelb), but it made up for it with the other two components.

If you don't know Carmen, it's a pretty basic story, based on a novella by Merimée: Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy kills girl. At least this is one Pomona homicide that won't make the LAT crime map. The music is some of the most memorable in the repertoire of western opera; apparently, when Carmen debuted, people were humming the songs in the streets of Paris. I defy you to do otherwise; I'd bet dollars to donuts that the 150 or so folks at yesterday's performance are all whistling "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle," "Prés des rampartes des Seville," or good old "Tor-e-a-dor en ga-a-a-arde!"

I wouldn't want to be be mistaken for an opera critic, but I'll single out three things that really struck me: the voice of Nicolas Shelton, who played Zuniga; the acting skill of Danielle Marcelle Bond, who inhabited her role better than most grand divas I've seen at the LA Opera; and the children's chorus, who were utterly adorable (make sure you say that weeth a Franche accent). Every aspect of the production ranged from very good to fantastic, though; I'm sure other things struck other folks, and feel free to post about them in the comments.

There are two more performances left: Saturdays the 19th and 26th, at 2pm at the First Christian Church. You can buy tickets at the door, and if you show up an hour early, there is a lecture about the opera. A show at the Dorothy Chandler pavilion will run you at least a benjamin, but this is well under two jacksons -- what a deal.

Now, people, go out there and get some Culcha!

The first photo is of Maria Callas, who was probably the most famous Carmen ever (and deservedly so). The second one is of Enrico Caruso as Don José -- who, I must say, rather resembles the ROC's James Salazar, or, rather, the other way round.

Friday, June 11, 2010

following up

Over at the Metro Pomona blog, they're running a poll as to whether filming Love, Barack was good or bad for downtown. Head on over and cast your vote!

Meanwhile, up the road a piece, I verified that someone has taped a handmade "ARE" over the ungrammatical construction sign. It certainly doesn't look like city work -- for one thing, it's on a piece of fancy stationery (the kind you use for inkjet party invitations). Sistas be doin' it for themselves, I guess.


See you at the Opry tomorrow afternoon? C'mon, Carmen's just about the best introduction to opera I can think of. Try it, you'll like it! Be there or be scared: 2pm, the church behind the CVS on Garey.

Friday, June 4, 2010

meanwhile, up the road a piece...

Spotted in the City of Trees and Ph.D.s. Further, deponent sayeth not.



(I realize this is more of a Dave Allen-type post, but he's on vacation, and the rest of us just have to pick up the slack.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

our safety • our police

This just showed up on the LAT website:
LA County Sheriff's Department Might Be Booted Out of Compton

I'll update with more info as it drifts in over my transom.

As promised, here's the update from this morning's mullet-wrapper. And indeed, they've gone and done it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

PUSD dual-language immersion programs?


I can't seem to find evidence of any dual-language immersion programs in the Pomona Unified School District. Am I missing them or do they not exist? Such programs exist in a some relatively nearby cities (e.g., Ontario).

If they don't exist here, what are the chances PUSD would ever create them? Should such programs be a priority?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cardamom?

Does anyone know where I can find some cardamom pods? I struck out at Hoa Binh, Cardenas, and WinCo (though WinCo has plenty of ground cardamom in their amazing bulk section). At this point, instead of wasting gas driving around town, I figured I should turn to your collective wisdom.

I'll trade you homemade chai in exchange for your cardamom knowledge.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Overheard at the farmers market

As I loaded the car with all the goodies acquired at this morning's farmers market, I overhead the following half of a cell phone conversation:

[paraphrasing ]

"Sweetie, I'm going to start coming here every Saturday. I just picked up what would have been $40 worth of produce at [insert some store name here I had never heard of] for $10...yes, all organic..."

Indeed, the prices are stunning. And the stone fruits are in!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

goodbye, historic Pomona, it's been nice knowin' ya

I just finished reading through the city manager's budget recommendations that Anonymous just posted in the comments to John's comedy club report, and it's a doozie. Go read it now -- I'll wait.

There are some things that make perfect sense to me, like reducing graffiti removal, deferring median maintenance, and not keeping the cop-chopper up in the air circling over my house when there's no crime underway/reported (for a savings of $132k). All of these cuts will have negative effects on the city, but they seem easy enough to beef back up in better times (assuming we ever have better times).

The library cuts -- $800k worth -- pain me enormously. If these proposals are accepted, we'll be going from 18 positions to 10, with many of our favorite library employees being cut to halftime. The library would be open only four days a week, and they'd close the computer lab (which, as someone mentioned in the April 19 city council meeting, is the only place to get on the internet for free in the city). It's enough to make you weep.

The budget proposal also pretty much does away with the historic district entirely, leaving only the fancy signs. No more in-progress violation support (whether it's stripping materials from foreclosed homes, unpermitted construction, or illegal tree-trimming; greatly-reduced enforcement overall.

Moreover, the report recommends the dissolution of the Historic Planning Commission (among others), and that is what I interpret as the city manager's complete dismissal of the historic districts. Without code enforcement or the HPC, tearing down your Craftsman bungalow and building a zero lot-line McMansion in its place will be officially in violation, but there won't be anyone to do anything about. At least, not unless the neighbors go vigilante. Want to cut down the city-owned sweetgum or linden tree in front of your house? The city says, "Go right ahead!"

There are many terrible cuts recommended in the budget report. Most departments are getting it in the neck, the police most of all (from what I can tell). There will be many negative effects for our fair city, on nearly every level and for nearly every citizen. Over and over, the budget report describes the impact as reduced property values and increased crime.

I am not saying that historic preservation is more important than library services, after-school programs for kids, or police protection; it's not. But the historic districts are what drew me and K. to Pomona in the first place, and several of our friends have followed us here for the same reason. If historic preservation becomes a thing of the past, the city will lose cultural diversity and become even more the cesspool that the rest of the county thinks we are now.

Claremont Insider used to call us Poor-Moana, and I -- ever the optimist -- thought that was unfair. But not any more. Our city is poor, and I'm moaning.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Comedy in Claremont

I had the opportunity on Saturday evening to take the lovely Mrs. C and daughter C to to the new Flapper's Comedy Club in the Claremont Packing House. Located in the interior/upstairs of the beautifully restored structure (near the loft apartments -- hopefully the neighbors are OK with this), the club is an intimate venue with seating for 75 and even for the 8:00 pm show, it was near capacity.

Having been to comedy clubs in Hollywood and Sacramento, I know that you need to get there early if you want to ensure that you're not seated next to the stage where the comedians have a chance to use you as part of their acts (not my favorite thing). So we enjoyed the atmosphere and show from the back row.

Because I wasn't particularly planning on blogging about this, I don't recall the names of the comics (I found some info online), but their acts were very good with the MC warming the crowd up with great aplomb. The first act was, naturally, the weakest. He attempted to be somewhat shocking but pretty much fell flat. The second act, an African American comedienne--Vanessa Graddick, was very good. Her jokes about her day job as an LA County social worker were hilarious. And when she went on a rant about people's grammar, it was right up my alley. The headliner, Bil Dwyer, who has appeared on Conan, |Last Comic Standing, and other shows, was right up there with other shows I've seen featuring comics from Last Comic Standing.  He even personalized his routine for the local crowd pointing out that this was a high class crowd, being CLAREMONT and NOT MONTCLAIR (you know, those guys out in the other county). However, as a Pomonan, I was less appreciative of is comment noting that there's a Pomona Freeway so you can get to Pomona faster. "Why would you want to do that? If I was forced to go to Pomona, I'd lollygag as much as possible."

The show was excellent, the venue was great. If you go, there is a two-drink minimum. Unfortunately, my Merlot, served in a small plastic glass was less than good. With wine at $9 a glass and soft drinks, water, etc. at $4 a small plastic glass, it's about what you expect. The appeal here is the comedy, not the quality or price of the beverages. But the service was very good for a comedy venue. The wait staff tried very hard to not get in the way as they took orders and delivered drinks. Food is available from the neighboring Hip Kitty menu.

You can see their upcoming shows at the Flappers.com web site. There is also a location (with a much larger seating capacity) in Burbank.