Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Organizational chaos

I like organizations.

Throughout my life, I've been involved in a number of organizations.

There was the Fairlington Fun Group (FFG), who entertained other kids in the neighborhood.

There was the Independent Republic of New Concord, which was unsuccessful in its attempt to liberate Theodore Roosevelt Island from American rule.

There was the Campus Planning Commission (of Reed College), which was unsuccessful in building a subway system at the small college.

And there was the Ontario Vineyard Village Association (OVVA), which was unsuccessful at a lot of things.

As locals may realize, the latter non-existent entity was a parody of the Ontario Mountain Village Assocation (OMVA), which was extremely successful for years in preserving a dangerous eyesore near some residential areas. Oh, and it got fifty thousand bucks - not quite the $487,000 it wanted.

Of course, while the Ontario Mountain Village Association (which used to have a website - I quoted from it - but the website is long gone) was doing its thing, there were a number of other organizations that were fighting the good fight against evil non-union corporations.

There were the various "smart growth" associations in Blythe, Menifee, and Murrieta. After some delays, two members of Murrietans for Smart Growth were produced - the president of the organization, from San Diego, and one of the founders of the organization, from Murrieta - and the founder had never heard of the president.

What links the Ontario Mountain Village Association, the Blythe Citizens for Smart Growth, the Menifee Citizens for Smart Growth, and the Murrietans for Smart Growth - other than their concern with large non-union stores with no parallel concern of union stores?

All of them are associated with the same lawyer, Cory Briggs.

But Briggs is branching out. His new organization - whoops, I mean a new organization which he just happens to represent - is the Inland Oversight Committee. Liset Marquez of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the committee seeks an injunction to prohibit the city of Ontario from promoting Christianity via City Council meeting invocations.

And if you want the Inland Oversight Committee members identified to see if they're really the Murrietans for Smart Growth, don't hold your breath.

Members of the Inland Oversight Committee have asked to remain anonymous, Briggs said.

"They are very concerned about retaliation and incrimination because they are taking on institution of government," he said.

This differs from Patrick Greene, another past opponent of the establishment of Christianity in Ontario. When Greene takes action, his name is prominently displayed.

However, the Inland Oversight Committee is not only concerned with the First Amendment.

Earlier this month, with Briggs acting as its lawyer, IOC filed a lawsuit asking for a refund for taxpayers of the $102 million settlement made by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2006 with Rancho Cucamonga-based developers Colonies Partners LP.

The Daily Bulletin has posted the IOC's lawsuit against Ontario (see the link at the top of the article). The lawsuit seeks injunctions preventing the city from (in its words) violating the U.S. and California Constitutions. It also seeks attorneys' fees and "[c]osts as authorized by law."

Oddly enough - probably due to some legal tradition - the items sought by the plaintiffs are in a section of the document entitled "Prayer," which includes the words "Plaintiff respectfully prays for the following relief." I'm sure that the IOC meeting got really heated when Briggs explained to the IOC members that such language was necessary.

Incidentally, the prayer includes items A, B, C, E, and F. Don't know what happened to item D - I guess point D asked to remain anonymous.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Indoor football in Ontario - the Ontario Warriors

While reading Bill Cortus' Facebook page, I discovered that a new indoor football team is coming to Ontario - the Ontario Warriors.

The Warriors are part of American Indoor Football, a league that has existed in some form or another since 2005. It's not quite at the level of the Arena Football League, but it presumably offers the same football experience that the AFL (or to some old-timers, the "new" AFL) offers. (As of today, nine indoor football leagues exist.)

The first Ontario Warriors home game is on Sunday, March 4 at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Montclair then? (I guess "Montclair Now" is me)

I like to read several of the city blogs associated with the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, including Ontario Now (I live in Ontario), Upland Now (I used to live in Upland), and RC Now (I used to work in Rancho Cucamonga).

So when Jimmy and Julio moved J&J Auto Service to its new location on Holt Boulevard in Montclair, I began wondering if there is a Montclair Now.

The answer? Yes - and no.

Yes, there is a Montclair Now blog at http://www.insidesocal.com/montclairnow/.

Unfortunately, the blog hasn't been updated since last July.

So, for what it's worth, I'll announce that J&J Auto Service has moved to 5533 Holt Boulevard in Montclair.

View Larger Map

Their Facebook page is here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Commerce is based upon your customer's location, not the location of the business

Wendy Leung was recently musing about city borders, and noted that the Upland Chamber of Commerce was hosting a meeting in Rancho Cucamonga. She then noted:

But I guess the Upland Chamber of Commerce is a bit of a misnomer. Its members spread across the Inland Valley making it more like a regional chamber.

The Upland Chamber of Commerce isn't the only one. I live in Ontario, and I checked the membership list for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The list, in alphabetical order, begins with companies based in Upland, Redlands, and Belmont Shore before it gets to its first business that is actually located within Ontario's city limits (Aaren Scientific).

But there's a reason for this inter-city membership.

While we like to think that a chamber of commerce's sole purpose is to promote the businesses within a city, it can also be used to promote BUSINESS within a city. There's a difference - in the latter case, you're looking for customers.

So when KSGN radio wants to get listeners in Ontario, it joins the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

I wonder how many chambers of commerce the average small-to-medium sized business actually joins. Even if the business only has a single location, I bet some of them join a half dozen chambers or more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Go fly a kite

Liset Marquez reports that there will be a kite-flying event on February 23 at the Dorothy Quesada Center, 1010 S. Bon View Ave, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

And you don't even need a kite - you can buy one at the event.

More details here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How will you split up the airports?

If Ontario International Airport is "set free" from the control of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a lot of details will have to be worked out. For decades, the airport has been run as an integral part of the entire set of airports managed by LAWA. Take this recent example (disclosure: ImageWare is a competitor of my employer):

ImageWare Systems, Inc., a leader in multimodal biometric security solutions, today announced that Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT) and Van Nuys (VNY) airports, has placed an order for a number of biometric identity management and credentialing software products developed by ImageWare Systems, Inc. These software products will provide the foundation for a new biometrically enabled identity management and credentialing system used to identify airport employees, contractors, and police at LAX and Ontario airports.

So if the two entities split up, they'll have to work out new contracts with ImageWare so that Ontario International Airport has its contract, and Los Angeles International Airport has its separate contract.

And there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of these contracts that will have to be worked out.

Obviously these deals aren't insurmountable - Motorola, Safran, and their suppliers were able to work out a transition when my business unit was sold by Motorola to Safran - but it's something to take into consideration. Even if Ontario were to give LAWA umpty dumpty dillion dollars for Ontario Airport, it still would take time to work out the kinks.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Medical company with local presence acquires a chunk of NCR

While Quadramed is not headquartered in the Inland Empire - its headquarters are in Reston, Virginia - it does have an Ontario office, so this press release is of local interest.

QuadraMed Acquires NCR Healthcare Solutions
Self-Service Solutions Streamline Patient Access and Improve Patient Satisfaction

January 04, 2012 10:03 AM Eastern Time

RESTON, Va.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--QuadraMed® Corporation, a leading provider of healthcare technologies and services that improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care, today announced it has closed a definitive agreement with NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) to acquire NCR healthcare solutions, including its market-leading MediKiosk™ patient access software, NCR Payment Manager, Patient Portal, Patient Tracking, Physician Referral Portal and eForms software solutions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The healthcare solutions acquired by QuadraMed automate and streamline routine patient interactions, resulting in improved workflow, increased revenue and an increase in patient satisfaction.

“This addition to QuadraMed’s portfolio is a logical extension of our existing Access and Identity Management offerings,” said Duncan W. James, QuadraMed CEO. “NCR’s healthcare solutions will improve our clients’ ability to meet the increasing demand for patients to control and self-direct their healthcare experience at hospitals, clinics and physician practices. When combined with our #1 in KLAS Identity Management solutions and our proven enterprise scheduling capabilities, QuadraMed will advance its mission of improving the quality and efficiency of care for healthcare providers.”

Under the terms of the agreement, NCR Corporation has entered into a reseller agreement with QuadraMed to provide hardware and self-service devices for its check-in and identification management solutions.

“In this rapidly changing and complex healthcare environment, our clients will gain the advantage of QuadraMed’s broader healthcare portfolio and dedicated industry focus,” said John Bruno, NCR Chief Technology Officer and executive vice president, Corporate Development. “Transitioning this business to QuadraMed is great for our customers, healthcare division employees, and shareholders as NCR continues our efforts to focus on growing our core industries and global services and support business.”

NCR’s healthcare employees who sell, develop, and service these solutions will join QuadraMed on January 5, 2012 and will remain in Lake Mary, Florida, and Hyderabad, India.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a global technology company leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business. NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, gaming, public sector, telecom carrier and equipment organizations in more than 100 countries. NCR (http://www.ncr.com/) is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.

About QuadraMed Corporation

QuadraMed® is a leading provider of award-winning healthcare technologies and services that improve the safety and quality of patient care and enable financial health. Founded in 1993, QuadraMed provides proven, flexible solutions that help make our clients successful by streamlining processes, increasing productivity and driving positive clinical outcomes. Behind the Company's products and services is a staff of 600 professionals who support clients at over 2,000 healthcare provider facilities. For more information about QuadraMed, visit http://www.quadramed.com.

QuadraMed is a registered trademark of QuadraMed Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.

QuadraMed Corporation
Public Relations
Laura Adams
Director of Marketing

Friday, February 3, 2012

YISEBY (Yes in someone else's backyard)

David Allen recently wrote a column that talked about business signs at the Claremont Promenade.

If the name "Claremeont Promenade" doesn't ring a bell, think of the businesses that are off of Indian Hill and south of Interstate 10.

Yes, that strip of land is officially part of the city of Claremont - but it bears no relation to the rest of the city.

As some of the commenters to David Allen's blog post noted, different rules apply to different portions of Claremont. Imagine, if you will, a 90 foot tall sign in downtown Claremont. Now, imagine further that this 90 foot tall sign in downtown Claremont advertised a McDonalds with a drive thru. If such a business were established in downtown, residents would have a huge hissy fit.

But it's OK if it's on the other side of the freeway. Why? Because the restaurants and the auto dealer bring in a whole bunch of revenue to the city of Claremont - but because of their remote location to the rest of Claremont, they don't have any real impact on the residents of Claremont.

The residents of Pomona, of course, are another matter. But the people of Pomona don't vote in Claremont.

And before you get all huffy about the evil things that are done to the city of Pomona, consider the location of the Los Angeles County Fair - right on the periphery of the city of Pomona itself. Which doesn't necessarily make the residents of the city of La Verne all that happy.

Let's face it, every city is doing this. A city will tolerate certain things on the borders of the city that wouldn't be tolerated in the city center.

Imagine the Ontario Auto Center at the corner of Euclid and Holt. Now there used to be, and still are, auto dealers within a mile of Euclid and Holt, but they're nowhere as big as the ones several miles east. The prime example is Citrus Ford, which used to be located roughly where the Superior market is today. Now Citrus Ford is out by Interstate 15, and I'm pretty sure the new location is bigger than the old one.

Of course, decisions by cities often have adverse impacts on other cities. La Verne has to put up with traffic jams during the Los Angeles County Fair, but gets very litle of the resulting revenue. Pomona deals with traffic from the Claremont Promenade, but all the tax revenue from the businesses goes to Claremont.

So you end up having a lot of inter-city and intra-city wars. Target's relocation from northwest Ontario to Montclair was one of the catalysts for Wal-Mart's proposed move to northwest Ontario - a move that was blocked for years by a lawyer and a small group of residents who wanted Wal-Mart to choose a different location - say, several miles away, out by the auto center. And there's always the possibility that a thriving Super Wal-Mart in Ontario could lead to the closure of the not-so-super Wal-Mart in Upland, which would then lead Upland to try to poach a business from a neighboring city to fill the empty space.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The power of parody (and the IE's the target)

As you may have heard, the city of Ontario is mounting a public relations campaign to get "our" airport back from the City of Los Angeles, to whom the City of Ontario sold the airport several decades ago.

Needless to say, some of the residents of the city of Los Angeles don't think that this is such a good idea.

David Allen notes that Venice resident Len Talan has created a parody of my city's "Set ONTario Free" logo. Talan's version uses the slogan "Get ONTario 4 free?"

You can see Talan's logo on David Allen's blog post.