Monday, May 28, 2012

I've Quit Facebook

There are times when you just have to take a stand and I've decided that the greed in this country is just too much to handle. The latest example of this is that Eduardo Saverin (image at left), a co-founder of Facebook who has renounced his US citizenship.

The news has pointed out that he did this one day before the Facebook IPO which created millions of dollars of profit for him and which he now, since he's a foreign citizen, doesn't have to pay taxes on. While he defends his actions as a desire to become a citizen of Singapore, it doesn't really jibe with his timing.

While I gladly do business with companies that are foreign (I purchase gas from Arco, which is British Petroleum, or Royal Dutch Shell, for example) at least I'm aware of the foreign nature of the business and agree to that.

This situation is different. What is really galling about this situation is that he was born in Brazil, came to this country and was educated in our finest schools and at Harvard, then went on to make $2 billion from the country that he became a citizen of. Now that he's gotten it, he's taking it and leaving and renouncing that country that gave him the opportunity to get rich.

While he currently has no personal involvement with FaceBook, he is still a 5% owner and my only way of reacting to this is to ensure that he won't make any money in the future from ME. Facebook will not have my eyeballs for their advertising messages so in a small way I will diminish their potential profit.

That this information comes right around Memorial Day, when we honor those who sacrificed for our country, this %$&# is doing the exact opposite of sacrifice. You'll now be able to find me on Google+.

Again, as a result, I've gotten rid of my account and don't plan to be back.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pomona Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Program!

Pomona Public Library’s
 Adult Summer Reading Program!

June 4, 2012 – July 25, 2012

Nook Glow Light Join us this summer at the Pomona Public Library!
Open to adults 16 years and older. No minimum reading requirements! The Grand Prize Drawing will be a NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight! Signups start June 4 at the Pomona Library Adult Reference Desk. For more information call (909) 620-2043 x2701.

Celebrate Our Local Pomona Valley Authors
June 16, 1:00 - 3:00pm, Public Conference Room, Free

Meet Bob Smith and take a trip through Inland Valley history. Listen to Bill Wallace and his memories of growing up in post World War II Pomona. Learn about the misadventures and hidden past of fictional character Dulcie Clascock brought to life by Janet Beech.

Thanks to the Friends of the Pomona Public Library for their generous support of the Adult Summer Reading Program.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pomona's war on recycling and Stater Brothers' future

At Monday's City Council meeting, the Council is poised to reject, without a public hearing, the existing recycling center located at Pomona's Stater Brothers at 1045 North Garey Avenue.

According to the City's own staff report, this recycling center has been in operation for about 23 years, with no complaints until a recent examination by a Planning Commissioner after other recycling centers were being considered for adoption.

The applicant makes several points regarding the operation of the recycling center. State law creates "convenience zones" within a half mile of supermarkets. What the staff report glosses over is that "convenience zones" offer a convenience not necessarily to the consumer, but to the supermarket. The supermarket can redirect persons who have recyclables to a location within a half mile, and absolve themselves of the responsibility under State law to redeem cans and bottles at the site.

Otherwise, the supermarket must either redeem cans and bottles at all open hours within its walls, causing issues with Public Health and possibly resulting in violation of other City and State Codes, or pay $36,500 a year in fees to exempt themselves of this rule. With the growing competition from low priced supermarkets like Cardenas, Super King, and El Super, and "Anglo" supermarkets like Vons and Winco only a few minutes away by car, it is possible that Stater Brothers may opt to reevaluate their business plans if they have to manage the cans and bottles redeemed by residents, or pay a large fee.

In addition, a state mandate, AB 712 passed unanimously by the State Assembly and State Senate and signed by the Governor. Pomona could lose grant funding. As stated in the bill, "This bill would, notwithstanding the above expenditure requirement, prohibit the department, on and after July 1, 2012, from making any payments, grants, or loans, as provided, to a city, county, or city and county, if the city, county, or city and county has adopted or is enforcing a land use restriction that prevents the siting or operation of a certified recycling center at a supermarket site, as defined, as may be required pursuant to a specified law." 

As the City is enforcing this land use restriction, supplemental payments that the City is entitled to receive for its curbside recycling will now be cut off. The City will also be ineligible for grants related to recycling. In a year where the City Council considered holding a special election to increase the hotel tax and property transfer tax just to get a few more months of revenue, any loss of easily obtainable funds should not be acceptable. It also increases the risk that the City will not comply with trash diversion mandates, and subject the City to fines.

City staff has not identified any other location within a half mile of Stater Brothers that would be desirable for a recycling center, as most of the commercial sites along Garey abut neighborhoods.

The bottom line is, if the recycling center goes, Stater Brothers could go with it, as it has at its South and North Pomona locations, thus creating a huge blight on the neighborhood. While some markets would have no issues with redeeming containers within their walls, it is doubtful that Staters would allow cans and bottles to be stored within their boundaries. In order to maintain a quality supermarket in the Lincoln Park area, this Planning Commission decision must be overturned and the original City planning staff recommendation, which offered reasonable limitations on its operation, be upheld.

The meeting is May 18 at Pomona City Council Chambers in the Civic Center. This is Item No. 14, which if the current staff recommendation is turned down, would only allow for a new public hearing to be held, possibly on June 18. If the staff recommendation is upheld, there is no date set for closure of the recycling center, or of the market.