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


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?


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!