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


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 web site. There is also a location (with a much larger seating capacity) in Burbank.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Booty poppin' 7 year olds

Evidently the World of Dance Competition was held in Pomona last month. Who knew? A news story just popped up on the feed at the pomonawatch about a controversy over a routine performed by 7 years to Beyonce's Single Ladies.

I just watched the youtube clip of the performance. These little girls are tremendously talented dancers, but OMG! They are wearing "sexy" black and red knee-highs and lingerie while booty popping.

I'm at once horrified and impressed (and kinda glad I'm not raising a girl in this culture).

Here's the video:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Request for Calendar Contributors

The Pomona Events calendar is up and running. Now, we need people to contribute events to the calendar.

If you are involved with an organization that hosts public events, please e-mail for an invite to contribute content to the calendar. Or, if you know anyone involved with these organizations, please encourage them to get in touch.

The goal is to create a one-stop-shop for information about Pomona events. I, for one, would love to be able to just look at the sidebar of the blogs for information about events rather than going to a bunch of different web pages in search for an activity.

Here is a list of just some of the organizations we'd love to see included on the calendar:

- Cal Poly Pomona's music, dance, and theater departments
- Fox
- Glass House
- Pomona Valley Historical Society
- All things Downtown (e.g., Art Walks, Antique shows)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

General Plan Study Session on Tuesday

The next General Plan study session is set for May 11th at Western University's Cooper Hall (309 E. 2nd Street). The meeting is scheduled to start at 6PM.

The study session will cover a range of topics including the following:
• Pomona Tomorrow—The Future City Structure
  • Mobility
  • Height and Intensity
  • District Character and Market Focus
  • Public Space
  • Community Identity
If you have questions about the study session or the General Plan Update process, you may contact the City of Pomona Planning Division at 909-620-2191, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 12th, has been cancelled.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

mark your calendar

If for some reason you haven't been following the Pomona Neighborhood Watch blog, you should -- not least because Pride in Garfield Park has debuted the Pomona Events Calendar that she and our own Chainsaw Ed have been working on. It's a great resource for all of us, and I'll work on embedding a miniature version of it in the sidebar here.

My first experiment with it was to add an event, based on a mailer that arrived in today's mail: The May 18th community meeting to discuss the building of a new fire station at the request of the LA County Fire Department (and the closure of our two existing stations). This came up in the April 19th city council meeting, during which Councilmembers Atchley and Soto were particularly outspoken in encouraging community participation. I can only reiterate what they said: Come out and make your voice heard!

Although I have as many frustrations with city council as the next chump, I don't envy them the current situation one little bit. We all roar out of our caves at the threat of cutting or diminishing city services, but they still have this $10-million-plus shortfall to deal with. The fact is, we all need to do as one of the public-commenters at the city council meeting said and work together to come up with creative solutions to the funding crisis. It's increasingly obvious that we need to work on revenues, as several folks have pointed out.

Calwatch made the point that John Mendoza's ballot proposal is a step in the right direction, and I'm in complete agreement. We need to speak out with one great voice and let city council know that maintaining the quality of life and unique identity of Pomona is of utmost concern and that they can count on us to help, not just kvetch at their decisions.

To the barricades, comrades!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm just saying...

You can buy one at Cafe Press for some future city council meeting...