Thursday, April 28, 2011

Food trucks without the wheels...and with the fees

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

In Los Angeles and Orange Counties, it's easy to find food trucks in any industrial park. Right around break time, the trucks will drive into the parking lot, and employees will swarm around the food trucks to buy stuff.

It's a different situation in San Bernardino County. Liset Marquez:

As you may know, San Bernardino County has an ordinance which prohibits food trucks from roaming the streets.

But there's a solution - sort of. Liset Marquez:

Ordering a Korean barbecue taco or a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich from a food truck in San Bernardino County will soon be possible - at least for a day.

I.E. Food Truck Fest has been organized for June 18 in the parking lot of Citizens Business Bank Arena. At least 50 food trucks will participate.

Now this is on a Saturday, so you won't have a lot of employees lining up to get stuff.

Oh, and there's one other difference between getting to a San Bernardino County food truck and one in another county. In San Bernardino County, you have to pay to get in.

Tickets can be purchased at - a fee will apply - or at the arena's box office, 4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway.

VIP tickets are being sold for $25, and allow the ticket holder to enter the festival an hour before it opens to the public.

General-admission tickets are $10, and tickets purchased before June 15 are $8.

The website and Facebook page don't say, but I would assume that the food itself costs extra.

I never thought that I'd have to pay a Ticketmaster fee to buy a taco. Presumably Pearl Jam won't have a food truck there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why is there no sound on this July 4 Ontario parade video? There's a good reason.

A family friend will be visiting us in July, and I was searching for YouTube videos for her to see. (Her friends visited us one July several years ago, and we took them to KABOOM! in Pomona to see fireworks and a monster truck rally. I don't think they have a lot of monster truck rallies in Europe.)

So anyways, I ran across this video of the Fourth of July parade in Ontario, California. If you view the video, you will notice that it has no sound.

That's because the video was shot in 1956.

Frankly, it doesn't look all that different from today's version of the parade.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Logan's Candies Honored by Gary Ovitt

Liset Marquez shared the following in an April 20 post:

Logan's Candies, a downtown Ontario fixture since 1933, has gained notoriety for their handmade candy canes.

On Tuesday, San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt held a ceremony to recognize the candy store as the March Small Business of the Month.

Read the rest of her post here, including the story of Hannah Rowley. See my 2005 post on Rowley.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Orange County company expands into Ontario - but will it remain in California?

I work in Orange County in an area with older commercial and industrial buildings. The building in which I work, for example, is at least a quarter century old. (For professional sports team owners, a building of that age is an immediate excuse to relocate to a new city. For all other businesses, a building of that age is par for the course.)

Some of the buildings in this area have partially filled parking lots, while others have nearly empty parking lots. But there's one company that owns three buildings with parking lots that are filled to the brim.

That company is C Brewer Co:

We are Michael and Chuck Brewer III.

We are second-generation molders and third-generation mold makers. Our company is our namesake, and we place our family name on the line with every part we mold.

More than thirty years ago, our father created C. Brewer Company as a proving ground for resourceful people with a passion for excellence with unmatched responsiveness. Today we blend technology and technique to deliver scientific molding solutions — solutions built upon our father's formula for success in exceeding a customer's expectations.

The company's facilities in Orange County (they have more than the three buildings that I've seen) are all ISO 9000:2001 certified.

And they have recently expanded into San Bernardino County:

C. Brewer Co. of Anaheim is integrating a recently acquired Ontario, Calif., operation. The company is introducing C. Brewer-oriented culture to the plant, as well as cavity-sensor and scientific-molding practices.

C. Brewer bought the assets of the former Kipp Group plant from CareFusion Corp. and took charge of the location on Nov. 22, said Chuck Brewer III, CEO of C. Brewer. Terms were not disclosed.

The Ontario site has 17 Engel, Nissei, Sumitomo and Toyo injection molding machines with clamping forces ranging from 55-260 tons. The plant, which is ISO 13485-certified, also has a Class 8 clean room, and is running around the clock on a five-day schedule.

The Kipp Group/Care Fusion/C Brewer facility is on the east side of town.

View Larger Map

But another article that talked about the Ontario purchase made some points about doing doing business in California:

By leasing the Ontario building instead of buying one, the company is keeping its options open about remaining in California or moving.

“My mom is a past assemblywoman; all my brothers are native Californians. We have real affection for California,” Chuck Brewer said.

“But we have to wait and see if we can remain competitive in California or are we going to have to exercise other options.”

How does C Brewer's California location hurt business? One example is California's sales tax:

Brewer Co.’s customers pay $20,000 to $100,000 for a mold that then is used to make their products. The sales tax in Anaheim currently is 8.75%, which adds $1,750 to $8,750 to the price of a mold.

California’s sales tax rate is second highest in the United States, and five states don’t charge any sales tax, according to the Tax Foundation. California’s rate is due to drop to 8.75% July 1, but Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to get a five-year extension of that one percentage point and other taxes to help deal with the state’s $26.4 billion budget deficit.

As a point of clarification, it should be noted that counties can added their own sales taxes on top of the state sales tax. Thus a drop in the state sales tax to 8.75% will allow Orange County to drop its current sales tax BELOW 8.75%.

But it's not just tax. The article also notes that California workers compensation costs, wages, and cost of living exceed the national average.

I don't know the Brewers, so I don't know if their statements are merely negotiating ploys, or whether they're actually planning their California exit right now. But it's certainly something to consider as California fights to get out of its own recession. Some of those cars in the C Brewer parking lots may be relocated to states with lower vehicle registration fees...while other cars may stay behind as their owners scramble for new jobs.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Civilc pride fail - Orange County holds an event in San Bernardino County

Does this strike anyone else as funny?

Orange County Department of Education’s Inside the Outdoors program will host the annual Get Outdoors! OC event at the Wildlands Conservancy at Oak Glen Preserve in Yucaipa on Saturday, April 16th from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. The event challenges families to get outdoors and enjoy all that the surrounding landscape has to offer.

Yes, you read that right - Orange County residents are encouraged to go to the outdoors - in Yucaipa, which is in San Bernardino County and is over 50 miles away from Orange County.

William M. Habermehl, Orange County Superintendent of Schools stated, “As summer fast approaches, the Get Outdoors! OC event serves as a reminder to families that any place can be a place to play. With trees to climb, rocks to skip, and trails to explore, nature is the ultimate playground.”

Well, if any place can be a place to play, then why not find a place to play within Orange County? Perhaps I shouldn't be tooting Orange County's horn - this is an Inland Empire blog, after all - but Superintendent Habermehl may want to check out, a listing of parks within Orange County itself.

OC Parks manages nearly 60,000 acres of parks, historical and coastal facilities and open space for the County of Orange as part of OC Community Resources.

OC Parks includes roughly 32,000 acres in more than 20 urban and wilderness parks, 7 miles of beaches and other coastal facilities and 27,000 acres of open space lands.

Do you think that the Orange County families could find a place to play in Orange County? Bet they can. Perhaps the Orange County Department of Education, whose "Inside the Outdoors" office is located in REDLANDS, should try to cooperate with OC Parks.

And people still think that the government is working against us. The government can't even work with itself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

But Ontario has always been interesting...

No, this post doesn't have anything to do with corruption.

A brief history - for a brief period after my arrival in California in late 1983, I semi-regularly attended the young adult group at the First Baptist Church of San Antonio Heights. One of the people that I met there was Tad Decker, whose father Bruce owned the Paint Bucket store in Ontario and the newer Paint Bucket location in Upland.

I had lost track of the Deckers, but I recently happened upon this David Allen post from February 2009 that I had somehow missed the first time around. The article was devoted to two long-gone restaurants, including this one as shared by Dave Linck:

"Another long-gone fave was O'Reilly's Buffet Burger on Holt near Mountain, which is now housing The Paint Bucket. O'Reilly's was beloved among we kids because they sent you a coupon for a free 'Buffet Burger' on your birthday. O'Reilly's served burgers, broasted chicken and dip sandwiches.

"There was a 'buffet bar' where you could dress your burger as you liked, as well as a twin 'sundae bar' where you could do so with ice cream sundaes. It was always crowded and I am sure lots of people will respond with their own memories of this long-gone icon of burger cool."

Ms. Lois shared a comment praising O'Reilly's and closed it as follows:

I really hate that Paint Bucket. :)

So who should post a follow-up comment? My old long-lost friend Tad Decker. Noting the smiley face on Ms. Lois' comment, Decker responded in kind:

Hey, Ms. Lois, don't blame us for O'Reilly's was long gone before we moved here in 1978 :)

Faithfully yours since 1948,
Paint Bucket, Inc.

That gave David Allen his opening:

[Nice to know the Paint Bucket isn't seeing red over this. -- DA]

The Paint Bucket is still going strong, at least in its Ontario location (I haven't been on that stretch of East Foothill Boulevard lately).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Now Ontario is getting interesting...

I subscribe to Matt Munson's blog Inland Utopia, and I was intrigued with the opening of this blog post:

If it is true that Supervisor and former mayor of the city Ontario gets arrested for his alleged political corruption, I guess the city of Ontario will have to rename the city library because one, some of these crimes were related to him being city councilman and mayor, and two we should not reward a black stain in the history of our city.

For those who don't know who Munson is talking about, the official name of the city's library is the Ovitt Family Community Library. One member of the Ovitt family, Gary, is a former mayor (and former high school teacher at Chaffey High) and current San Bernardino County Supervisor.

Munson didn't give any more specifics, so I went to iePolitics (Munson either was or still is associated with this site), and they provided a little more detail:

We have now heard from multiply (sic) sources connected to law enforcement that the FBI investigation in Upland is far from over. We have heard the current target is Supervisor Gary Ovitt.

That particular post elicited a comment from a name from Ontario's past - Debbie Acker:

When I faced lawsuits while serving in my capacity as an Ontario citycouncil member, Ovitt was Mayor. He and the rest of the council chose not to indeminify me. As a result I had to get my own attorney. I filed a cross-complaint and ultimately the city paid for my attorneys fees. Ovitt is a dirty guy and soon he will be found out!!

By the time I started blogging, Acker's political career was almost over, but I still worked in some references to the Ovitt-Acker enmity. For example, when I reproduced a portion of a Deborah Acker real estate ad in April 2005, I gave my post the title "I Bet Gary Ovitt Won't Use This Real Estate Agent." Acker, by the way, is no longer listed as a real estate agent with Century 21 King Real Estate, although she still has a valid real estate license.