Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Busy Week in Pomona

A reminder that Saturday is the Pomona Christmas Parade. The parade will begin at 2nd and Gibbs Streets in downtown Pomona and travel west on 2nd Street to Park Ave., where it will turn south to 8th Street.

This year's grand marshal is boxer "Sugar" Shane Mosley. This year's community heroes are the military veterans from all wars and eras. We will have veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom as well as those who served in the all to brief periods between those wars. In addition there will be special color guards and military vehicles.

If you get a viewing spot near the community judging area at Thomas Plaza, there will also be a special presentation of colors and a 21 gun salute to the veterans, as well as play by play announcing as the units pass by. There are about 120 different units in the entire parade (including marching bands, equestrians, floats, dignitaries, and local civic organizations), with an estimated 2,000 individual participants.

The parade steps off at 10:00 am sharp and is expected to last about 2 hours. Bring a chair and come early to get a good seat.

Thursday will see a holiday party by the Pomona Valley Democratic Club at Sakira Ichi restaurant in the Mission Promenade center. Join other Democrats in enjoying some food, beverages, and what will surely be some lively conversation. Click on image at left to enlarge.

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for the passage of the Pomona Public Arts Policy at last Monday's council meeting. This important new ordinance will ensure that all future development will either have a public art element to it, or that the developer will contribute to an arts in public places fund for future arts projects in our public spaces (parks, highway medians, etc.).

The Pomona Cultural Arts Commission is to be lauded for their hard work over the past three+ years to shepherd this legislation through and to create a viable public arts policy for the enhancement of the entire city.

I'd like to with everyone who reads this blog the Happiest of Holidays. I'm sure that we'll have a lot more lively debate in 2012 as we face municipal elections in November and (as noted by CalWatch) possible redistricting for Pomona's council districts by June. As well as other things that will come up in the interim.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

shabby shenanigans -- not ours

I imagine we're all disappointed in city politics to one extent or another, but at least we're not San Fernando. At first glance, this article in LA Observed outlining the city's woes is more amusing (in a Gomer Pyle, "Well, gaaaaaah-leeee!" way) than anything else, but then I got to thinking about what that situation must mean for the city. What a hot mess. I feel sure that dear old Pomona would not and could not sink that low.

Now that I've said that, please, Pomona, don't take it as a challenge!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pomona City Council redistricting possibilities

In so many words, the folks in Phillips Ranch and Westmont are being overrepresented, while people in North Pomona and Northeast Pomona are getting less representation. The "ideal" district population (population of city divided by number of districts) is 24,843, and District 5, where Phillips Ranch and Westmont are, has only 20,354 people, while North Pomona has 27,115 people.

In typical bureaucrat form, City staff gives the Council an option of maintaining the existing districts, using the excuse that because of foreclosures in District 5, "changing district boundaries at this time would likely create future inequality". However, this reason is hollow since the number of foreclosures in District 5 are not likely to be worse than the rest of Pomona. A 18.07% deviation from the ideal population is very high and would violate the U.S. Constitution, which calls for "one person, one vote", as determined in Reynolds vs. Sims. Keeping existing districts would invite a legal challenge from those in North and Northeast Pomona who feel underrepresented. Such legal costs would likely dwarf the several thousand necessary to draw properly apportioned districts.

In addition, since District 5 is considered more affluent and less Hispanic than the other districts (demographically speaking), maintaining the existing district lines could cause problems with the Voting Rights Act, which states that minority groups should have an opportunity to vote for candidates of their own choosing. Incidentally, Phillips Ranch also has a higher than average Asian American population, and it could be argued that by diluting the district, it lessens the ability for Asians to elect a candidate of their own choosing. The City went to district elections partly because of Voting Rights Act concerns.  Other cities have had malapportioned districts as well for some time (Bradbury is a recent example) but it is less of an issue since there are not significant numbers of minority groups that are protected by the Voting Rights Act. This will also affect the ballot initiative by Vernon Price which is proposing to return to at-large elections of candidates who live in individual districts, but may require Voting Rights Act analysis if passed to ensure that Caucasians, Asians, and African Americans have the opportunity to select candidates of their choosing.

However, the current districts correspond with major arterials and easily identifiable neighborhoods. One common complaint is that the current districts split up the Downtown area, but some argue that splitting up Downtown is fine since more councilmembers have a stake in Downtown. Also, District 6 is compact in that it includes all residents north of the 10 freeway. Any redistricting would likely eliminate that - the most obvious way to redistrict District 6 without breaking up neighborhoods is to move the Val Verde neighborhood into District 1 (as part of a compound move that shifts all of Pomona west of the 71 freeway into District 5), but Stephen Atchley lives in Val Verde. It is very unlikely that any redistricting would pass that ousts any sitting councilmember from their seat.

Another possible redistricting could include shifting District 5 north to the Kellogg Park neighborhood and the area around Ganesha High School (Valwood Estates), District 1 north to cover Wilton Heights (while keeping the Fairplex in District 6, allowing for Val Verde and Stephen Atchley to continue to represent that district), and District 3 to come up along Indian Hill to cover the eastern flank of the city. Either way, the citizen voting age population by ethnic group will need to be checked to ensure that minority voting power is not substantially modified.

See the City staff report here. And if you want to do your own redistricting, Dave's Redistricting Application is an example of a basic web-based redistricting application that includes Census block groups. With the City's legal bills mounting with the Avila lawsuit, trash station theater, and other issues, I would doubt that the City Attorney would recommend to invite more legal troubles. But you never know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

strategic gluttony for the win


Just because I'm 367 miles from Pomona doesn't mean I've changed my reading habits. And that includes the pseudo-blog (pseudo because it's actually professional, unlike any blog I've ever been involved with) LA Observed. And today's LA Observed points us to an amazing work of, yes, scholarship:

Sarah at The Delicious Life made a spreadsheet of all of Jonathan Gold's Essential 99 annual columns. It is a thing of wonderment.

Now, I realize that not all of y'all can get outside of our little corner of the West Inland Empire very often, and not all of y'all are big foodies, but surely some of you are and will appreciate this -- or maybe even make use of it. Pasadena is fairly well represented on the list, and most everyone I know ends up having to go to Pasadena at some point.

(BTW, I'll point out that one of the restaurants booted from the Essential 99 list, Zelo Pizza in Arcadia, is just as good as it always was. Meg-Bob and K-Bob say, Check it out!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Claim for damages

20111101_091101_Avila_claim

Maltese Falcon--Sunday at 2:00 pm

Friends of the Pomona Fox 
  Sunday Nov. 13
The Maltese Falcon  



Friends of the Pomona Fox in association with the Pomona Big Read 
THIS Sunday, November 13       
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Maltese Falcon

   The Maltese Falcon    
Doors open at 1:00 pm -- Film Screens at 2:00 pm 
 
1941 Directed by John Huston. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Elisha Cook, Jr., Gladys George, Barton McLane, and Lee Patrick.

TICKETS: Adults $5, Children $3

The Maltese Falcon is considered a classic of the Film Noir genre. With a screenplay by director John Huston, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett, the film tells the story of hard-boiled detect, played to perfection by Humphrey Bogart, in search of the elusive black bird, "The stuff that dreams are made of." Big ReadFor the past year the citizens of Pomona have been encouraged to read the same book, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.

The Big Read program is put on by the Pomona Public Library with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This screening of the classic 1941 film is the culmination of a month of events inspired by the book. A murder mystery dinner, a trivia contest, a Chalk Art contest are but some of the events of Pomona's Big Read program. The program has included discussions by individuals who have been associated with detective literature including authors Denise Hamilton, Judith Freeman, Tom Nolan, Patt Morrison, Hector Tobar, and Gary Phillips, as well as Hammett's Granddaughter, Julie Rivett.
Discussion following the film with Denise Hamilton author of Los Angeles Noir, Los Angeles Noir 2, and her latest Damage Control. Denise will discuss the impact of authors like Hammett on the detective film and the Noir genre in particular. Denise will also be available to sign her books. Books will be available for purchase. Sorry, not credit cards (there is an ATM in the theater lobby)

Thanks to our Sponsors for helping to make this program possible:
Thanks to our sponsors

Food and Beverages at the Pomona Fox
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Friends of the Pomona Fox operates a concession stand at all of our programs which provides a selection of Popcorn, cold sodas, and candy favorites. For more "Adult" options, Drink, the bar just off the theater lobby, will be open with a full-service bar and a menu of tapas items all of which can be taken into the theater for your enjoyment.
After the Movie
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We invite you to head to any of the fine establishments in our downtown area, including our sponsor, dba256 Wine Bar as well as 2nd on Second Street Bistro, Vive, Joey's BBQ, Fox Sports Bar. For more information on the amenities in Downtown Pomona, visit the DPOA's web site, MetroPomona.com Please walk around our historic downtown. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

What do you make of this?...

The following request for support appeared in my inbox last night. I find it upsetting for many reasons, in particular: the assumption PD must have done something wrong, the expectation that people would blindly protest something they don't (can't) have any real information about, and the scattered, illogical narrative. What do you make of this?...

On 11/6/2011 8:37 PM, [name removed] wrote:
The family of Andres Avila, a 26 year old student and activist at Mt. SAC was shot and killed by Pomona Police on October 16th at 8:40 am. The family says he was asleep in his car with his girlfriend when he was approached and shot by a Pomona police officer. The family was not contacted for several hours after the shooting. Witnesses said that the officer who shot Andres was the same officer that Andres had filed a complaint against for use of excessive force in early July when the officer used a taser on Andres while he was handcuffed on the ground. The official police comment was that Andres was being uncooperative, and therefore he was shot and killed.

Tomorrow evening, Monday November 7th at Pomona City Hall the family of Andres will be speaking at the city hall meeting, asking for an investigation into Andres' death by a neutral party. They will be putting pressure on the Pomona Police Dept. and attempting to garner support for Andres to prevent the incident from being swept under the rug.

The family is asking for support at the city hall council meeting TOMORROW NOV 7th at 6PM. If there is not sufficient support, the investigation will most likely be dropped. Please Please Please let me know if you can go to support the family and please forward this email widely. Pomona City Hall is located at the corner of Garey and Mission in pomona.

We need to support our local community. Thank you

Rod Gilfry sings locally


Our local boy turned World Class performer is giving a concert in Claremont. Here's a chance to see him before he whirls off again to Paris and Dallas. He will
present a romantic, humorous, family-friendly concert with New York music director Christopher Denny, that includes opera, standards, songs from classic musicals and much more!"

You can get more info at www.claremontfoundation.org/index.cfm .

Proceeds will support CCF’s 2012 Community Impact and Arts grants programs in the local area.



See you there?

LizBeth

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Joe Romero update

Good news, everyone! (That's for the Futurama fans out there.)

Joe Romero's sister wrote me this morning with an update about his recovery from his stroke. She writes:

He is currently at Country Oaks Care Center in Pomona (recovering slowly, but recovering....). Here is his mailing address; he is so cheered by knowing he is not forgotten!

Joe Romero
8 Village Loop Rd
Suite D, #205
Pomona, CA 91766


I made sure to get her permission -- and she got Joe's permission -- to print his address here. I'm sure he'd love to get cards from well-wishers!

She added that we were welcome to contact her with questions, and I propose posting them here. If she's not reading the blog, then I'll forward them to her.

Go, Joe!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

liberry closure?


Word on the street is that the public library will be closed this saturday "for an event." This "event" may well be the Nazi rally planned -- the thinking being that the fewer people near City Hall, the better all round (which makes sense to me).

This is just through the grapevine, though. If any of you more-knowledgeable folks can confirm or deny, I'm sure we'd all like to know. In any case, make sure and call before you head down to the library on saturday!

The pic of the library, btw, is from a postcard, which I found on sale online for three whole dollars, via an image search on "Pomona public library." Unfortunately, all the sales material actually says "Pamona." Dang, I hate that.

wzup?

Calwatch and sgvscanner both tweeted last night about some kind of police-related excitement south of Emerson Middle School. Anybody know what happened? The Daily Bulletin's only coverage of our fair town involves further belt-tightening at City Hall (sigh).

locoblogging


As some of you know, K. and I are moving north, to San Jose (don't worry, M-M-M-My Pomona isn't going anywhere!). I have accordingly been browsing around SJ blogs, to see what the blogging scene is like up there (and yes, I'm considering starting up a M-M-M-My San Jose, although I'll certainly need a catchier name -- suggestions welcome).

San Jose has a few more blogs than Pomona does, although not by much -- which is impressive given that their population is 946,000 and ours is a mere 149,000, according to the 2010 census. One of those blogs is particularly interesting. It consists of open threads in which anybody can post comments -- which are limited to 77 words and are all in verse. The effect is a public poetry wall about the city. Don't you think we need something like that? Pomona doesn't have a lot going for it -- or so it seems sometimes -- but creativity is something have by the bargeload.

I then got to wondering, as one does, about why 77 words. Why not 79 or 67? Dinking around on the web, it looks like 77 words is some kind of meme, but it's not definable enough to locate an explanation or source. Wikipedia is no help. Can anyone cast more light on the question?

Friday, October 28, 2011

never mind the barricades

If you follow sgvscanner on Twitter* or read the San Gabriel Tribune, you already know this, but the US Nazi party is planning a rally in front of City Hall next Saturday. You'll recall they pulled a similar prank last year in Claremont.

The widely-agreed-upon response is to counterdemonstrate -- to let them know that their views are unacceptable. But I'm of a different mind, myself. I prefer to ignore their little antics, to get across the message that they are beneath our notice (as they are). By all means, have ample police on hand (not just for public safety but also to convey the idea that they are a menace thereunto), but let the civilians keep calm and carry on.

Mind you, this isn't a blanket opinion; crackpot movements should be loudly and publicly objected to when they start to take hold. (If only I'd been alive in the run up to 1919, I would have demonstrated against Prohibition at the top of my lungs!) But enacting the battle plan at this point against the Nazis -- esp. in Pomona -- is just giving them delusions, to say nothing of catering to their fondest wishes. After all, you don't see them marching in [fill in the blank with a town known for its vile ethnic opinions].


*How many of M-M-M-My Pomona's fine readers are on Twitter too? I recommend the aforementioned @sgvscanner, and our own @calwatch is to be found there too. You can even read my own bleatings -- rarely about Pomona -- at @mmwwah. Any other suggestions of tweeting Pomoniacs?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

this, that, and the other

Why am I not surprised that the mj dispensary closed down yesterday was connected with Jason Abboud?

I was downtown yesterday, and a friend who is a business owner told me that the city is going ahead with the plan to put in parking meters everywhere and upping the amount charged for resident parking, all in order to fund a new parking garage for Western. Frankly, this sounds like it's going to seriously injure the fragile ecosystem of our wonderful downtown. So sad.

Finally, Blogger just now informed me of some old comments held as spam -- even though I check the spam folder regularly. For those of you wondering where the hell that comment went, blame Blogger. And for those of you who are wondering why there are brand-new comments from a year ago -- well, blame Blogger!

Trash station theater


It's a classic kabuki theater in five parts... and the second act is ongoing as the Planning Commission just continued their meeting on the proposed Pomona Valley Transfer Station to October 26 at a time after 7:00 p.m. I tweeted the last hour of the meeting when I got there.

The first act in kabuki is to introduce the players - Valley Vista Services, owned by regional power player and Mayor of the City of Industry, David Perez, coming into town promising jobs and a way to respinsibly handle the region's trash without putting them on trucks to the Puente Hills landfill, and the surrounding community, organized successfully by education and faith leaders concerned about economic, environmental, and health impacts of the station. Add the wrinkle that the expansion of the city's existing trash station was stopped through a lawsuit filed by a "Coalition for Environmental Justice"... which mysteriously has decided to support the 9th Street proposal. Of course, the owners of the existing trash station have gone on record opposing the new station, miffed that the City Council rejected not just their project, but failed to certify their Final Environmental Impact Report - unprecedented in the City of Pomona and may be unprecedented countywide (you can certify the EIR without approving the project). Not that there isn't a legal grudge match between the two already.

Now comes the second act and the Planning Commission. You have the players on the dais - some earnest in trying to keep order and civility like Denton Mosier, some with pointed but relevant questions like Arturo Jimenez, and others who apparently return barbs from the audience like Robert Torres. Others grouse about the time this is taking, but they are not going to abdicate their position from the throne - not now.

Also in the foreground are the community members gamely taking their three minutes - and then some - to express any and all of their concerns about the project. Some use the EIR as a jumping point to raise health concerns (all documented in the EIR, and correctly described as requiring a Statement of Overriding Considerations to overrule), others raise image concerns (never mind the fact that Santa Monica, Downey, and Beverly Hills all have them), a few raise questions of statistical validity and disparate impacts to minority communities, and others speak from a position of passion and emotion about the impact of corporations and outsiders on their community that they have lived and worked in for many years. Surprisingly absent are those who support the project, but in reality at this stage their participation is optional.

In the background are the attorneys, who have insisted that the second act last multiple days, other items be damned - because the lawsuit about expanding the existing trash station (described above) questioned the judgment of unpaid commissioners making decisions at 3 am in the morning. Therefore, in order to preserve the rights to end this play at a date certain, each act must also close on a date and time certain. So the meeting ends at 11 pm because the Brown Act said so, and they put the time on the agenda so that they couldn't be sued about accessibility to the public in the future. And so the participants must trudge to each recitation again and again. A decision will be made - what it is will be irrelevant, because then we move to the third act.

The third act is the inevitable appeal to the City Council. Anyone can appeal, and the proponents having spent thousands of dollars on environmental documents will certainly do so. And the opponents, having at least one sympathetic council member, will also do so. The appeal will be scheduled on a Monday evening. Hundreds of people will speak up against the project. The supporters, feeling that this will be the final decision maker, will suddenly rise up and demand to be heard themselves. They'll wear hardhats promising high paying construction jobs, and state that the increase in traffic on local streets will be negligible, and tout their commitment to green construction practices and green transportation methods. They'll come up with economic studies showing the impact of the project, and regional power players will show up to lend their weight, in front of the microphone and behind the scenes.

And because of the attorneys, and the number of players, this will continue - night after night. (If it doesn't, one from the audience will surely object that they had to get up at 6 am to work the next day, or they're a student who is violating the city curfew ordinance by watching government in action, or complain that a good decision was never made at 3 am in the morning. And they might be right.)

Each one of the seven council members on the dais will also speak their peace. A vote will be taken. Each member will make their own calculation to support or deny, based on the evidence printed, testimony provided, and future positions desired. It will likely be 4-2 or 4-3 (depending on whether they can rule Stephen Atchley, by virtue of his investments in the waste handling industry, has an ability to participate).

And regardless of the decision, we move on to Act Four. This becomes a campaign issue in the 2012 elections. The pro trash station side will attract contributions from throughout the region, showing that Pomona is a business friendly community that respects private property rights. The anti trash station side will have their boots on the ground, their union labor, and the respect afforded to leaders in faith communities. Recall papers are filed and served, mailers are delivered to homes, doors are knocked upon. Attorneys are hired and lawsuits served. Maybe even a ballot measure or two gets added. The necessary pitched battle occurs.

The fifth act is "always short, providing a quick and satisfying conclusion." Either the trash station opens, the people that can move move, and more affordable housing is added to the city. Or the trash station doesn't open, and David Perez waves the white flag and expands his existing facility, handling our region's needs while adding more trucks onto the Pomona Freeway. Just like with the original MRF facility in the early 2000's, or the casinos in the 90's, life goes on - until the next controversy.

Friday, September 30, 2011

say it ain't so, Joe!

Anon. posted in a comment on the last post news that I thought you'd all want to know: Our own Joe Romero -- former police chief and lifelong Pomoniac -- suffered a stroke and is hospitalized. We here at M-M-M-My Pomona wish him a speedy and complete recovery, and we invite you all to post any updates you might have in the comments.

I can't remember the exact GI Joe battle cry... wasn't it something like "Yo, Joe!" Anyway, as the Quakers say, I am holding Joe Romero in the light until I hear he's out of the woods.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

singing a different tune

I'm not deeply involved in the issue, but I could not help but roll my eyes when I read in the DB that last night's trash transfer station meeting ended at 11pm without the public having an opportunity to speak. Am I the only one wincing? I sure hope not.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Repertory Opera Company, Pomona's Opera Company,
launches its third season in Pomona with Verdi's stirring masterpiece, Il Trovatore.



Saturdays, October 1, 8 and 15 at 2 pm; and
Wednesday, October 5 at 7 pm.

Performances are at First Christian Church; 1751 N. Park Ave, Pomona, CA 91768


Verdi's Il Trovatore is an opera that defines what opera is. Find out why it's been hot since it debuted in 1853! Consuming love, consuming revenge, fear and obsession bring us the hits (think, Anvil Chorus) that opera is famous for. Be there for the magic!

Wildly popular since its first performance, Il Trovatore's music entertain you with gloriously rich melodies and thrilling coloratura cadenzas. It features one of the most spectacular tenor arias ever written, fiery and dramatic solos for the mezzo-soprano and a couple of Verdi's signature, achingly beautiful baritone arias. Not to mention the famous Anvil Chorus, sung by the gypsies around the campfire. The music throughout communicates intense emotions, vulnerability, self-sacrificial love and passionate ardor.

Tickets are $30
www.repertoryoperacompany.org
(909) 230-4949

with Brian Farrell on the piano
This production is double cast:

Coril Prochnow and Lindsay Feldmeth as Leonora;
James Salazar and Steve Moritsugu as Manrico;
Debbie Dey and LizBeth Lucca as Azucena;
Raul Matas as the Count di Luna;
Sean Hughes and Mark Palmer as Ferrando;
Eddie Sayles and Jonathan Tran as Ruiz
Lawren Donahue and Rachel Payne as Inez

www.repertoryoperacompany.org

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Opera Cafe Monday Night

Repertory Opera Company is restarting OPERA NIGHT in downtown Pomona. The new owners at 2nd on Second St. An American Bistro are now hosting this entertainment tradition on the second Monday of every month.

So this Monday, September 12, bring your appetites and your toes for tappin', because the amazing singers from Repertory Opera Company will sing their hearts out with your supper.

Albert is promising a great meatball for a pasta buffet with spaghetti and meatballs, vegetable garlic bread, salad, tea and lemonade. All this for $20 plus tax and tip. You can make reservations by calling Repertory Opera Company at (909) 230-4949. If you would like to be put on the mailing list for these musical evening, email LizBeth at lizbethlucca@gmail.com.

More music!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rebel Without A Cause & Car Show

Sunday, August 28
Friends of the Pomona Fox
presents a Vintage Car Show and Screening of:
Car Show starts at 1:00 pm
Directly across the street from the theater
Doors open at 2:00 pm, Film Screens at 3:00 pm
Sponsored by:
Sponsors

Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. Directed by Nicholas Ray, it offered both social commentary and an alternative to previous films depicting delinquents in urban slum environments. The film has achieved landmark status for the acting of cultural icon James Dean (who died before the film's release) in his most celebrated role. In 1990, Rebel Without a Cause was added to the preserved films of the United States Library of Congress's National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

The story of a rebellious teenager, who arrives at a new high school, meets a girl, disobeys his parents and defies the local school bullies was a groundbreaking attempt to portray the moral decay of American youth, critique parental style, and explore the differences and conflicts between generations. The title was adopted from psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner's 1944 book, Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath. The film itself, however, does not reference Lindner's book in any way.

Warner Bros. released the film on October 27, 1955, less than one month after Dean's fatal car crash.

Source: Wikipedia
  
Refreshments at our snack bar. Alcoholic beverages and light appetizers available at Drink, accessible from the theater lobby. Food and drinks may be brought into the theater.
Online, tickets will be available at the Will-Call door at the theater.

Prices: Adults $8.00
Children 12 and under $3.00

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No Sopranos or Tenors Allowed!


Saturday, July 2 at 5 pm
ROC is presenting a most unique concert

The Manly Men of Opera!

Its rare to have even two basses in a concert. Here we have gathered eight of the richest, deepest, smoothest bass voices and presented them in one extravaganza.

For tickets or more information go to
www.repertoryoperacompany.org

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Charter Review Commission OVER

The Pomona Charter Review Commission completed its work on May 23 and submitted their final report to the city clerk on May 26. The commission has now been disbanded per the current charter. I've done a complete rundown on the proposed charter amendments on the Eye On Pomona blog. Unfortunately, they don't allow commenting, but I'll certainly read any comments posted here or on the Eye On Pomona Facebook page.

I promised myself that I'd try to keep my posts on this blog social or at least short so as not to move this blog too much into a political diatribe. So I'd like to use this space (thanks Meg) to acknowledge the work of my fellow commissioners.

Co-Chairs Eunice Russell and Lucille Lyons (and Victor Caseres who was replaced after the District 5 election) who, somehow, managed to keep a semblance or order when everyone had an opinion and wanted desperately to express it. And to Celia Gomez, Frank Delgado, Carlos Goytia, Arturo Jimenez, Debra Martin, Veronica Michalowski, John Nolte, Jerry Perez, Julie-Roberts-Fronk, Bernardo Rosa, Luis Rosales, De'Andre Valencia, and Ed Simian (also replaced after the District 5 election). They all contributed greatly to the final document. While we didn't always see eye-to-eye on every issue, we were all respectful of each others opinions and in the end we did a job that I wasn't sure could be done by a 15-member commission.

And lastly I'd like to thank the city staffers who help guide us through the process, Assistant City Manager Mark Gluba, City Clerk Marie Macias (along with her assistants), and Assistant City Attorney Andrew Jared.

The next step is to convince the voters to approve our hard work in November 2012. I look forward to working with many of my colleagues to see that it happens.

Thank you all for the wonderful experience.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Garden Party



Center Street Community Garden Party!
Come and join us in celebrating the second year of the Center Street Community Garden!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
drop by between 10AM and 2PM
Corner of Center and Gibbs in Pomona
(across the street from First Pres Church at 401 N. Gibbs Ave.)

  • Rent a plot today, start planting tomorrow!
  • Free packet of seeds to every new plot holder!
  • Learn how to prepare food from your own plot!
  • Free snacks made from garden vegetables!
  • Children's garden project! Take it home and watch it grow!
  • Take a tour and learn how you can get involved!

Co-sponsored by Pomona Hope and First Presbyterian Church of Pomona
For more info: 909-622-1542 or info@pomonahope.org


Sunday's Movie Cancelled

Unfortunately, there was an unforseen scheduling problem with Sunday's screening of West Side Story. We hope to reschedule it in the very near future. Both Friends of the Pomona Fox and Pomona Fox Theater apologize to anyone whom this may have inconvenienced. We hope to see you soon at one of our future screenings. The next scheduled screening is Selma Heyak in Frida, on Saturday, July 9. Check www.pomonafox.org for more information.

The concert on Sunday evening which caused the conflict is TV on the Radio. We hope those who are interested in this program will support the Fox.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011



Picture from last night's rehearsal of La Boheme. Musetta is trying to get rid of her old sugar daddy Alcindoro by telling him her shoe is broken. Once he takes her shoe off and goes to get it repaired, she can run off with the poor painter Marcello, her on again off again lover. Our other two lovers, Rodolfo and Mimi watch as do the other diners at Cafe Momus.


Hope you can come see the full production! www.repertoryoperacompany.org

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ethics

[eth-iks]
–plural noun
1. (used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. (usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.
We now know, thanks to Pomona's own Xavier Alvarez, that lying is perfectly legal and a part of our first amendment rights. But it is absolutely, by all reasonable standards, unethical. This is what separates ethics from law.

As those of you who have read my posts in the past are aware, I've been championing the formation of an Ethics Commission as a member of the city of Pomona's Charter Review Commission. At the last meeting where this was discussed, March 16, there were numerous questions by the Deputy City Attorney who felt that the way that the proposed charter amendment was worded, it would cause problems. In addition, there were also questions of the cost of such a commission at a time when the city is facing a fiscal crisis.

On Wednesday, the item will once again be presented. This will be a significantly altered version which addresses both the issues of concern from the City Attorney's office, but also as to costs as well. I've added the rewritten item at the bottom of this post and it can also be read (along with the other items on Wednesday's agenda) on the city's web site.

It has been somewhat disheartening that there has been little public reaction to the idea. While there have been numerous letters and public speakers for the idea of a Police Commission and for inclusion of language in the charter for the Pomona Youth and Family Master Plan, only one speaker, Jorge Grajeda, thus far has addressed ethics. I hope that this is not indicative of a malaise in the city regarding ethical conduct of the city council, city commissioners, city staff, and others who represent our interests as a city.

What the new version does is takes out anything that would automatically incur costs to the city beyond the formation of an Ethics Commission. There is no requirement for staff for the commission, nor are the duties of the commission spelled out, except for the primary duty of creating a city Code of Ethics. It is the intent that such a commission would then create its role in how the code is to be administered.

While we pulled much of the original amendment language from the city of San Diego's ethics commission, the Deputy City Attorney argued that, while San Diego has it on their books, that doesn't particularly make it legal. So if you see something here that was changed, it was probably because the lawyers felt that it was unenforceable or would be challenged.

With the daily revelations of shenanigans in Upland, Montebello, San Bernardino County, etc., I feel strongly that we need to create an environment for our officials and city that encourages people to do the right thing. A code of ethics would spell out what the right thing is. Not the "legal" right thing, but the ethical right thing. I've heard ethical behavior described as "doing the right thing even when doing the wrong thing is perfectly legal, because it is the right thing.

I hope to see some of you on Wednesday in the small chambers just to the south of the council chambers. If you can't make it, you can submit your opinion to the commission by emailing to the city clerk. She will make sure the commission gets your thoughts.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free swim lessons


The Pomona YMCA free swimming lessons available for children ages 3 to 14 during next week's Spring Break. The lessons will last one hour each day, Monday through Friday;sessions are available throughout the day. To sign up, you must call the YMCA by THIS Wednesday (March 30th). Call the YMCA at 909-623-6433 to get more details on the free swim lessons (the lessons are paid for by a grant from State Farm).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marine Corps Combat Center Band at Garey HS

The Marine Corps Combat Center Band will perform this weekend at Garey High School.

Here are the details:

Saturday, March 26
6:30 PM
Garey High School Gymnasium
321 W. Lexington Avenue
Pomona, CA 91766

The Japanese Disaster: a Primer for the Public on Geophysics and Radioactivity

In case you're interested...

The Japanese Disaster: a Primer for the Public on Geophysics and Radioactivity

Geophysicist Greg Lyzenga will describe the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and explain why earthquakes of magnitude 9 cannot happen in Southern California. Physicist Peter Saeta will discuss the basics of nuclear power and the challenges facing the Japanese as they seek to regain control of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Harvey Mudd College, Galileo-McAlister, Friday, March 25 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Charter Review--ETHICS

The Pomona Charter Review Commission (CRC) will be meeting once again on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 pm in the small chambers next to the Council Chambers (just to the south). Slated for discussion will be changes to, Article XIV (Ethics) the subject of this post, Article II (boundaries of the council districts), Article X (Financial Procedures), and Article XVII (final changes on Charter Review Commission passed by the commission). Under new business (if we can get to it) are final reports on Article III (City Powers, a proposal to add the Youth and Family Master Plan language to the charter), Article IV (final approval of amended proposal from last meeting), Article VI (approval of a one word change), and Article VII (no recommended changes). A report by the subcommittee looking at a Police Commission has not yet been presented so is not on the agenda for this meeting.

The work of the commission must be completed by early May to conform to the time limit of one year as specified in the current charter. It is hoped that a draft proposal will be ready by mid-April for presentation to the City Council for their input (NOT approval, as the council has no inherent power to make changes to the work of the CRC).

ETHICS

For me personally, this is a very important part of the proposed changes to the charter. This item was one of the main reasons that I wanted to be part of the Charter Review Process.

Ethics is on everyone's lips today. Whether it's the city of Bell, the actions of the mayor of Upland, the various scandals that have been taking place in San Bernardino County and elsewhere, the public has lost confidence in its elected leaders. It is time to insist that our elected officials act in the best interest of the citizens they serve.

The city of Pomona currently does not have its own code of ethics. It routinely adopts the state code which is, in my opinion, the lowest common denominator for ethical behavior. It covers such things as conflicts of interest and, since the Bell scandals, how compensation is figured. But it doesn't go far enough. Our current charter, has additional conflicts of interest language concerning those who are running for office.

Below is the proposed changes to the City Charter that came out of the subcommittee. I'm proud to say that I had a role in drafting this proposal. One of the main things that this proposal doesn't do, is to try and define what ethics are. It leaves that up to a commission, to be formed, whose sole purpose is to create a citywide code of ethics (covering not only elected officials but city workers as well). It is our hope that a commission who are dedicated to defining and enforcing ethics is what our city desparately needs.

Please take a look at the proposal, and if you having any comments on it, either leave them here, OR better yet, come to the meeting on Wednesday and let your voice be heard.

If the document below doesn't work for you, you can view it at my personal web site at: http://www.johncliffordgraphics.com/uploads/3-16-11%20Item%205A.pdf.  Or on the city's web site at: http://public-records.ci.pomona.ca.us/WebLink8/browse.aspx?startid=22091&&dbid=0.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Council Meeting Tonight

Well, it looks like a very full agenda tonight. Unfortunately, I have a previous commitment which takes me out of town this evening. However, there are a few items of interest that everyone should be aware of:

First off, there is a special meeting at 4:00 pm when the council will get a presentation on the fight by most cities to save their redevelopment agencies. My personal take on this issue is that the city is cutting funding right and left and yet there is still funding, because of redevelopment money, to give money to developers. Right now Pomona is actually at a disadvantage in the RDA situation. Our RDA, because we haven't had any major developments to increase our tax increments, doesn't have the funding that a city like Ontario has. So, right now Ontario can offer developers  a lot more in funding and "concessions." Perhaps, deleting RDAs from every city might re-level the playing field? Note that item 6 on the regular agenda has the city writing off 3/4 of a million dollars owed to the RDA.

One of the things that I'd be all over if I were to attend the meeting is item 12 ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A `CONTRACTING FOR SERVICES' POLICY. This is how the city has decided it's going to operate, to outsource everything and let private industries take our tax money to provide services. Will we see savings in all cases? I find it hard to believe that "profit motivated" private industry can provide a service, in most cases, for a cost lower than we can ourselves. In the reports section of the meeting documents online, there is a report on our current outsourcing and evaluation. I'd certainly love to know if the citizens agree with some of the report's conclusions. (Click Here for Report) I'll probably write more on this later.

Item 16 is a review of Angelo's Pizza's Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Mr. Aboud has refused to sign a certificate that he will abide by the current CUP. While I feel that Angelo's has in the past year not had the kind of issues that lead up to previous modification of the CUP, he has not lived up to the CUP either. While his current modified CUP (MCUP) only allows beer and wine sales, I've heard that he is selling hard liquor. However, it appears that it may be a little different. According to a police report as part of the council report (Click Here) starting on page 24, undercover officers ordered a whiskey and coke, which they were given. When they went back in uniform and retrieved the bottle of "whiskey" they found that it was actually an orange-based wine drink (12% alcohol). So while they may be following the "letter of the law," they're dishonest with their customers. There were also bottles labeled Gin which were likewise wine beverages. In addition, they are sometimes operating the facility as a nightclub and not serving food which is another violation of the MCUP. How can we continue to allow someone to skirt the laws and treat the city and its citizens with such disrespect?

Finally, it looks like staff is still studying the issue of the proposed business park at Fairplex which would convert 20 of the stables to offices and a self-storage facility. Another eating away of the fairgrounds to commercial development as we've seen with the hotel and convention center. At what point will we actually have a fairgrounds? Are fairgrounds important to the city? What of the historic nature of the stables? A lot of questions to consider.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Continue the calendar?

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Pomona Events Google calendar, I find myself contemplating whether its continuation is worth the effort.

The original plan was to create a visible, easy-to-use tool for people to find all the rockin' events folks in our city organize. This goal has been partially realized: local bloggers embedded the calendar feed into their blogs, people mention every now and again that they look to the calendar for activity ideas, and some of the many people/organizations who have been invited to post their events do just that. That said, I know a bunch of great events don't make it onto the calendar.

I had put in a good deal of effort up front in hope the calendar would take on a life of its own, with little energy needed on my part to keep it going. Thus far, this hasn't happened, and I've been doing a poor job keeping up with the posts.

The calendar limps along. I'm not satisfied with it in its current state, but I don't have any more time to contribute to it.

Do people find the calendar helpful? If no, is it time to scrap the calendar? If yes, is anyone willing to volunteer one hour per month to help populate the calendar with content? Are there any folks out there organizing events that would be willing to learn how to post their own events (I can show you everything you need to know in 15 minutes)?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monsters to Invade Pomona

2011 is the 80th Anniversary of the Pomona Fox Theater and what better way to honor that anniversary than with the presentation of the 80th Anniversary screening of both Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein (1931)  on Sunday, Feb. 20. The Fox lobby will be decorated with displays of memorabilia and artwork celebrating the world’s greatest movie monsters. Materials from Famous Monster of Filmland, the classic Monster magazine; Monsterpalooza, the ultimate yearly monster convention; Art of Clay Scupture Studios; and Creature Features, will be displayed.

In addition to the lobby displays, Phantom Coaches Hearse Club will be bringing some vintage hearses which will be on display in front of the theater. PCHC is an organization of owners of car enthusiasts who just happen to enjoy beauty of professional cars - hearses, flower cars, limousines, and ambulances. Their motto is “Putting the ‘fun’ in funeral since 1994.”

Early online ticket sales have come from as far away as Fresno, Arleta, Moorpark, and Torrence. This promises to be a unique experience for the Pomona downtown, as well as for the Pomona Fox Theater.

The doors open at 2:00 pm with the screening of Dracula at 3:00 pm followed by the panel discussion and then the screening of Frankenstein scheduled to begin at 4:45 pm. Moderated by film historian, author, and instructor at the University of La Verne, Scott Essman, the panel will also include confirmed guests:
  • Sara Karloff, daughter of Frankenstein lead Boris Karloff
  • Bela Lugosi, Jr., son of Dracula lead Bela Lugosi
  • Ted Newsom, film historian, producer of Ed Wood—Look Back in Angora, video biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley, and was writer/director of the 26-episode series 100 Years of Horror, with Christopher Lee as host and narrator.
  • Bill Warren, movie/monster historian, contributor to Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, author of Death Is a Lonely Place
  • Craig Reardon, makeup expert/artist, Without a Trace, Wild Wild West, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X Files among others
  • Special Effects master Shane Mahan, Cowboys and Aliens, GI Joe, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, War of the Worlds, Big Fish, Galaxy Quest, and The Lost World; Jurassic Park among others.
  • Actor Dan Robuck., Matlock, Lost, Glee, NCIS, CSI, Bones, Desperate Housewives, The Late Shift playing Jay Leno, Halloween, Agent Cody Banks, Final Destination, The Fugitive and US Marshalls among others.
  • 'Monster Artist' Frank Dietz
All guests are subject to availability.

In addition to the panel, several special guests will be attending the event as well:
  • Don Shay, publisher of Cinefex Magazine in Riverside - magazine about the makeup/special effects/visual effects industry since 1979.
  • Mick Garris, director of many Stephen King TV adaptations, including The Shining and The Stand plus the theatrical feature Sleepwalkers and creator of the TV series Masters of Horror .
  • Tom Woodruff, Jr., co-founder of Amalgamated Dynamics, who have created practical creatures and makeup effects for Alien films of the past 20 years, including Jumangi, Starship Troopers, Santa Clause and many more
Sponsors for the February 20 program include: Downtown Pomona Owners’ Association (DPOA), Creature Features, Famous Monsters of Filmland, Art of Clay Sculpture Studio, Monsterpalooza, Rhino Records in Claremont, Claremont 5-Second Film Festival, Antique Gallery Pomona • Braunstein & Schowalter "Antiques - Estates – Ebay,” UPS Store, Greg’s Refrigeration, Pomona Heritage, and Historical Society of the Pomona Valley.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ethics, Youth & Family, Elected Officials

The city's Charter Review Commission will have its next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16. I know that I'd promised to keep everyone up-to-date on the happenings on this important commission, but to date the work has been mostly research and drafting of proposals. This week that all changes as the commission winds down its work and begins the decision process on what should be presented to the voters in 2012 as potential changes to the charter.

To review the process, the Charter Review Commission has 1 year to prepare proposed changes to the city's charter. The charter is akin to the city's constitution and is the basic document that mandates how the city shall be run. Any proposals by the Commission will be placed on the next municipal election (in this case Nov. 2012). The City Council does not have any approval of the work of the Commission. As a courtesy, the Commission will present a draft of the proposed changes to the Council in April for their review and comment, but they are under no more obligation to act on the comments of the Council than they are to act on the comments of any member of the public.

Now on to the items to be discussed on Feb. 16:

Article IV--Elected Officals
The Charter Review Commission has a proposal before it (see the proposal on the city's web site at http://public-records.ci.pomona.ca.us/weblink7/Browse.aspx--see below for instructions) to make substantive changes to the way that elected officials are chosen in the city. It will be proposed that the Mayor be elected in Odd numbered years instead of in years that already have council races. This would eliminate the perceived inequity that some council people have when deciding to run for the mayor's seat. There is also a proposal to change the way that vacancies are filled so that a councilperson who resigns may not be reappointed to their seat. Finally, a section has been added to better define the duties of a councilperson since no such definition currently exists in the charter.

The Commission decided not to take up the issues of district elections since an initiative has already been submitted which would change that part of the charter. Since the initiative is for a special election, it would come prior to the 2012 election where our Charter changes would come up. We decided to let the voters decide in the special election and then leave it to the next Charter Review Commission in 2020 to determine if additional changes need to be made.

Article III--City Powers
A proposal has been made to add a section to this article which includes language regarding the Pomona Youth and Family Master Plan, codifying it as a part of the city commitment to this important activity.

Article XIV--Ethics
This proposal (which, in the spirit of disclosure is something that I've been intimately involved in working on) would rewrite the current Article XIV--Municipal Campaign Financing and Conflict of Interest, to become a more generalized section on Ethics within city government. While it would include the items currently in the charter, it would add the formation of an Ethics Commission which would be charged with writing an Ethics Code for the city (we don't currently have one) and enforcing compliance to said code. The charter proposal doesn't specify what should be in the Ethics Code, but leaves that up to the Ethics Commission.

The last item that we will be taking up is the commission's response to the replacement (with only 3 months left for the commission's tenure) of two of the commissioner's as a result of the recent election. The draft letter is part of the meeting materials online.

You can read the agenda for the meeting and all the proposals online on the city's web site at http://public-records.ci.pomona.ca.us/weblink7/Browse.aspx . The link will take you to the document browser. From there click on COMMISSIONS--AGENDAS AND MINUTES-->CHARTER REVIEW-->Agendas And Reports-->2011-->2-16-2011. This will take you to the page with all of the documents for our meeting. The Agenda, Minutes, and the reports are all there and viewable. They can also be downloaded as PDF files.

Future meetings will be discussing the possible formation of a Police Commission, Elections (slightly different than Elected Officials), Rules for Commission, and other issues within the charter. I promise that I'll report on any upcoming meetings.

If you have comments to make on any of these items, or any other items which may come before the Commission, please feel free to attend. The meetings are open to the public and public comment is appreciated.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

dining with d-bomb

Since Dave "D-Bomb" Allen blogged about our dinner together, I reckon that turnabout is fair play. Or, rather, no fair that he should have the final word.

As he wrote, Dave and I took the train to Union Station, where K. picked us up after work. On the train, we did indeed chat about blogging[1], as well as Claremont and Pomona city politics, books, newspapers, restaurants, and books. Oh, and books.

Park's BBQ is on South Vermont, well south of where we used to live (yes, we spent a year in North Koreatown before we moved to Pomona). When we arrived, we were the only Caucasians in the room, as far as I could tell. Later, a couple of white-dude-Asian-girl couples came in.

Possibly because of our appearance of being clueless noobs, they seated us in the center of the room, and the staff hovered over us as if we were a trio of toddlers using cutlery for the first time. And no WAY were they going to let us grill our own bulgogi! One of half a dozen servers appeared tableside every few minutes to poke at the meat, adjust a dish, wipe our chins, or whatever. At one point they were all standing around us at once, and it was like being at an operating table, with the grill as the incision. Forceps!

The food was very good, but not as superlative as Jonathan Gold suggested. We checked out the basics -- bulgogi and dolsut bibimbap -- as well as the kimchi pancake. All three were good, but I'm sticking by my credo that Holt Avenue's own KBBQ has the best marinade I've ever tasted in the US.

I'm a big fan of the panchan (all the small dishes), and these were pretty good. I was not wild about their kimchi, though. It may very well have special homestyle appeal to a Korean (it had a slightly musty funky taste), but I like KBBQ's better. I also prefer my own homemade and, for that matter, the storebought at either Marukai or Market World.

One nice touch was the two big bowls of salad -- one cabbage and one scallion -- served with the panchan. I particularly feasted on the latter, which was the green tails of scallions sliced lengthwise to make something like spaghetti, and then dressed in vinegar and sesame seeds. I should see if I can replicate it at home.

Overall, an excellent meal with even better company. Now we just need to drag D-Bomb to KBBQ so he can see what real bulgogi's all about.

[1]Although! Let the record show that I started blogging again more frequently before our dinner together -- specifically after a glass of wine with Pride in Garfield Park and Miz Lois, who gave me a whole list of things to blog about.