Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Montclair Plaza food court all gussied up

Unfortunately, several of the surrounding food court locations are empty.

But the center looks nice.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to Empoprises readers

When I started creating vertical, special interest blogs, I didn't know what to expect. In some respects I still don't, but I wanted to thank those of you who have chosen to read these blogs.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Grievance-Less Festivus, or whatever. I hope to share more Inland Empire, NTN Buzztime, and music stuff with you in the future.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The best gas price you'll ever see on this blog

Yes, over 17 1/2 gallons for $21.00.

That's $1.199/gallon.

Got it at Vons in Upland, including 50 cents off the regular $1.699 price via a special promotion.

If you're signed up, redeem your savings by 12/31 (when discounts expire).

The malls are deserted!

Of course, this picture was taken before 7:00 am.

Montclair Plaza (JC Penney on the left, Barnes & Noble on the right).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

At Logan's

125 West B in downtown Ontario.

Craft stores are futuristic

Joann's, Ontario Mills.

And they have a ton of Christmas wrapping paper also.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who, the greeter?

America's Next Top Model branded stuff at the Upland, California Wal Mart.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Various views on Pomona's ex-police chief Joe Romero

The Inland Empire blogosphere is chirping away with comments on Joe Romero.

M-M-M-My Pomona wrote on Tuesday December 9 about an emergency Pomona City Council meeting that morning.

Since it takes 4 votes for such an action, and since newly elected councilperson Danielle Soto has not been sworn in yet, it appears that the votes to fire came from Mayor Rothman (who I'm sure is still smarting after being charged, and cleared, of DUI) and the three council persons who have objected to police checkpoints and other issues. As of this point I don't know if councilperson Paula Lantz was even part of that meeting as I earlier noted that she wasn't sworn in until this afternoon.

This prompted an anonymous comment that evening:

Your story is partially correct. Unfortunately the Chief was fired, but the City Manager did the deed, not an emergency meeting of the City Council. No doubt direction was given to the City Mgr. from the City Council. Thinking back..there was a closed session meeting of the City Council last week dealing with the termination of one employee.

By Wednesday, Monica Rodriguez was writing about it...sort of:

Romero said he received the news Tuesday morning when he met with City Manager Linda Lowry during one of their regularly scheduled one-on- one meetings.

Romero, who was an at-will employee, said he was not given a reason for his termination, although "the city manager did mention she wants to see the department go in a different direction."

The city administration declined to comment on Romero's employment status.

"At this time, it's an ongoing personnel matter, and we don't comment on personnel matters," said Mark Gluba, assistant to the city manager.

Mayor Elliott Rothman could not be reached for comment.

Council members Cristina Carrizosa and Steve Atchley said they would not comment on the matter because it was a personnel issue.

David Allen blogged about his intent to write a special column Thursday:

And here I thought Ontario was becoming more vicious and political than Pomona. Well, like I always say, never count Pomona out.

And Allen ended up writing that column. In the absence of anyone talking, he tried to connect the dots.

What reason could the four council members present - Rothman, Steve Atchley, Cristina Carrizosa and Freddie Rodriguez - have for dumping Romero?

Two come to mind: Rothman's DUI arrest and police checkpoints.

Rothman was pulled over Oct. 7 after leaving a bar. Unfortunately for police, while he failed a field sobriety test, he wasn't legally drunk.

Adding to the drama, the arrest came five days after Romero had objected publicly to his unauthorized appearance in a Rothman campaign mailer.

"The truth is that I endorse no one - particularly that I don't endorse Elliott Rothman," Romero memorably declared. At least I'm sure Rothman didn't forget it.

Was the DUI arrest payback for the slight against the chief? Probably, although Romero denied it.

In any event, the cops didn't get their man. And it's no stretch to assume that Romero is losing his job because of it....

[T]he DUI checkpoints...have been a bone of contention for Carrizosa. Some of her constituents driving without a license have had their cars seized.

Those checkpoints take place in pretty much every Inland Valley city without much complaint, and I don't think Carrizosa's crusade plays well outside her district. But grasping the bigger picture has never been Pomona politicians' strong suit.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We're number one! (and it's not in meth labs!)

What is Housing Kaboom going to do when the economy recovers?

Here's the latest:

First American Core Logic has placed the IE in the top spot for the highest risk market.

Following Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario were Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall.

So are our local Inland Empire papers financially healthy?

A few days ago, people were noting that the Tribune Company had hired bankruptcy advisors and that they might file for bankruptcy this week. Then they went ahead and filed on Monday.

If the Tribune Company can have difficulties, and if the New York Times can have difficulties, what about our local papers?

As it turns out, three of our local papers - the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the San Bernardino Sun, and the Redlands Daily Facts - are all owned by one company, the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

With nine daily newspapers serving over 1.5 million readers a day and the LA.COM Network reaching more than 2.7 million unique visitors a month, the Los Angeles Newspaper Group (LANG) continues to outdistance competitors as one of the most powerful and effective advertising buys in America today....

Print Readership:
1.5 million daily
1.6 million Sunday
1+ million exclusive daily
1+ million exclusive Sunday

Online viewership:
2.7 million monthly unique visitors

Paid Circulation:
Over 500,000 daily
Over 550,000 Sunday

But this isn't just an El-Lay operation:

LANG is powered by MediaNews Group, one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States situated throughout California, the Rocky Mountain region and the Northwest. MediaNews Group is privately owned and operate nearly 60 daily newspapers in 12 states with combined daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 2.6 million and 2.9 million, respectively....MediaNews Group also owns a television station, a CBS affiliate in Anchorage, AK and a radio station in Texas.

MediaNews Group used to file financial reports with the SEC, but quit doing so on April 4, 2008 as announced in a Form 8-K:

On April 4, 2008, MediaNews Group, Inc. (the “Company”) entered into amendments of its (i) Indenture dated as of November 25, 2003, between the Company and The Bank of New York, as trustee, regarding the Company’s 6-7/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2014, and (ii) Indenture dated as of January 26, 2004 between the Company and The Bank of New York, as trustee, regarding the Company’s 6-3/8% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2014.

The amendments ended MediaNews’ obligation to file reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “1934 Act”) on a voluntary basis. Such obligation has been replaced with an obligation to deliver to Note holders quarterly and annual financials.

Accordingly, the Company will no longer be filing reports under the 1934 Act on a voluntary basis.

So we don't know how they're doing financially, but we know what they're doing to cut costs:

It started with an advert on Craigslist India: "We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA." It ended with Pasadena Now, a local news website, firing seven staffers, including five reporters, and outsourcing research, writing and reporting to six people in India.

But for more on that, see the Foothill Cities Blog.

Here's how MediaNews Group has responded:

Dean Singleton, head of MediaNews Group, which owns 54 daily newspapers across the US, said recently that his company was considering outsourcing everything - including one offshore newsdesk for all the papers.

Luckily much of David Allen's reporting depends upon physical presence in the area - although there are ways to get around that:

They even report local council meetings via video streams (although they once missed two city council members walking out in protest because the camera didn't face that way).

I couldn't find any information on MediaNews Group's current debt, or dangers that they might get in a credit squeeze. Basically, it's none of our business - until the company asks for a bailout.

I have neglected one local paper, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, which is not part of the MediaNews Group conglomerate. The recorded owner of the paper is the Press-Enterprise Company. While I couldn't find any corporate information on the site, I did find some information at BusinessWeek:

Press-Enterprise Company provides news and information for Inland Southern California through newspaper and magazine publishing, printing, Internet, and telephone information services. The company offers Press-Enterprise daily newspaper; six community weekly newspapers in Western Riverside County; The Business Press, which is a weekly Inland Empire business and financial newspaper; PE.net, which is an Internet Service Provider; PE.com, which is a primary online news, sports, information, and entertainment source; NewsLink, which is a 24-hour voice information system; and La Prensa, which is a weekly Spanish-language publication providing information on the Inland Empire’s Hispanic community. Press-Enterprise Company was founded in 1878 and is based in Riverside, California. Press-Enterprise Company operates as a subsidiary of A. H. Belo Corporation.

The A. H. Belo Corporation (not to be confused with the television station owner with a similar name owns four papers (the other three are in Dallas, Denton, and Providence) and is publicly traded on the NYSE. It announced its third quarter results on October 31:

A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC) reported third quarter revenues of $153.8 million and a net loss of $17.3 million or $0.84 per share for the third quarter. The results include charges totaling $11.1 million related to a voluntary severance program and $4.5 million related to the impairment of a printing press....

Robert W. Decherd, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer, said, "These are challenging times for A. H. Belo, the industry and the country. In light of a weak ad environment and ad trends that may not stabilize in the short term, we remain steadfast in delivering highly-valued audiences and marketing solutions to advertisers while maximizing our existing infrastructure and reducing expenses Company-wide."

AHC continues its transformation in streamlining operations and targeting sustainable incremental revenue streams.

One of the streamlining items:

The Press-Enterprise re-evaluated its circulation footprint and eliminated its distribution to Palm Springs, which will improve EBITDA performance by approximately $600,000 for 2009.

And when your numbers are declining, you look for any window of hope you can find:

For the third consecutive quarter, the year-over-year percent decline in The Press-Enterprise's advertising revenues, including print and Internet, improved. The percent decline in The Press-Enterprise's advertising revenues improved 300 basis points from the second quarter to the third quarter.

I don't know enough about the newspaper business to know whether either group is healthy - especially since MediaNews Group isn't talking - but we'll have to see what happens in the coming years - or months - with respect to our local Inland Empire newspapers.

In praise of Caltrans

On Monday afternoon I wrote about Caltrans and SR142 in my personal blog, so it's fitting that I provide this note, courtesy Carbon Canyon Chronicle.

[W]hen it comes to the San Bernardino County side of Carbon Canyon Road (State Highway 142), the folks at District 8 tend to be pretty responsive.
Just a couple of days ago, I stopped to photograph three sites along the Chino Hills portion of the highway in which cars had veered off the road and crashed into two state-owned signs and an old private barbed wire fence.

Today, however, the signs were repaired and back into operation. Let's give credit where it is due--District 8 came through fast on this one!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Richard Branson raked the lawn

I don't make it out to the eastern shopping extravaganzas as much as I'd like to, but perhaps it's just as well, since Victoria Gardens apparently has a theft problem, and Ontario Mills - well, we'll just let Matt Munson tell the story:

Tower Records is gone, the record store around the corner is gone and now Virgin Megastore is another casualty of recorded media sales. I remember going to the Virgin Megastore at the Ontario Mills to buy the latest releases in music and video ever since the mall was opened in 1996.

I valued Virgin also, especially after Tower Records closed its Brea store not too long ago (that's where I got my Solomon Poss CD, by the way).

The Daily Bulletin published additional details:

THE VIRGIN Megastore at Ontario Mills is closing in January, with a storewide clearance sale of CDs, DVDs and other items starting [on the] Friday [after Thanksgiving].

Monday, December 1, 2008

State Route 142 is finally open

I often use State Route 142 (through Carbon Canyon) to get from Orange County to the Inland Empire in the evenings. However, I haven't been able to do so for a few weeks because of the southern California fires.

I haven't had to make this commute since last Tuesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday and other issues, but today it's Monday and I have to get home. I was therefore pleased to read this:

Fire Related State Highway Closures



I don't know exactly when State Route 142 was opened, but it's open now.

And if you want more information about Carbon Canyon (including fire information), check the Carbon Canyon Chronicle blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When the rain comes...

Jay Littleton Ball Park, Ontario.

My driveway drains downhill to my garage, so this is an annual routine.

A thing of beauty

$1.939 at Central and Mission in Montclair.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slinky et al

A full-size metal Slinky, and other stuff, at the Macy's in Montclair Plaza.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rubio's, south Upland

We've been eating at Rubio's so much I might as well feature it.

This one's in Upland, on Mountain north of 8th.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Branching out from meth labs into tattoo love

David Allen links to an E Online page that embeds a YouTube video a seemingly professional woman from Ontario, California who appeared via video on Oprah, starting by praising Pitt on his relationship, then detouring into some detailed questions about Brad Pitt's tattoos.

Pitt was speechless.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I knew Jack Benny was in Cucamonga

David Allen blogged about a Jack Benny visit to Etiwanda in 1966 or 1967. But in case you didn't realize why a Jack Benny visit to Etiwanda was significant, Allen explained the importance of this:

Jack Benny's radio show made Cucamonga famous as part of the train station announcer's cry, "Train leaving on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa and Cuuuucamonga!" Supposedly -- according to an article on an Anaheim history website -- this line was first heard on his Jan. 7, 1945 broadcast and it became a running gag, continuing when Benny transitioned to TV.

Allen knows of no Benny visit to Cucamonga, but he received information about a visit to nearby Etiwanda:

The accompanying photo [in Allen's blog] was taken in either 1966 or 1967 at the Regina Winery. Gino Filippi, who sent it to me, said it was given to him by Mr. C. Boesen of Alta Loma. "The white-haired man opposite Mr. Benny is Tip Brown, GM of the Regina Grape Products Company. I think the event was a promotional event for the grand opening of the Regina Winery Restaurant, 'California's first winery restaurant.' "

Of course, anyone who has ever seen a professional baseball game in Rancho Cucamonga knows that Jack Benny is ALWAYS there.

The [Jack Benny] skit helped put this sleepy winery town, along Foothill Boulevard (Route 66) just west of San Bernardino, on the map. In tribute, when they built [the Epicenter] ballpark just off Interstate 15, it landed at the corner of Jack Benny Boulevard and Rochester Avenue, and they placed a statue of Benny and his violin in the foyer. (The park’s stated capacity of 6615 might pay tribute to the highway numbers, or it might be coincidental.)

It should be noted that the "Rochester" in Rochester Avenue existed long before Benny did his radio and television shows; the Rochester Water Company was incorporated in 1889 by at least one of the Smith Brothers:

View Larger Map

Rochester, Pennsylvania

The Smith Brothers, from Rochester, Pennsylvania, came to the Cucamonga area and began purchasing land in 1886. The property was in the area of what is now Rochester and Eighth Street. A hotel, land office, general store, and post office were established all in one building. They hoped to build a dream city and many acres were sold to settlers from the East. A school was constructed inn 1891.

Although successful for a couple of years, the town of Rochester became involved in litigation with the Etiwanda Water Company over water sources. In 1894 they lost their suit in court. The colony died after a severe drought in 1898-1899. People began to leave the area, and by 1911 the post office was closed. The Rochester Water Company moved its headquarters to Los Angeles that year.

When the Rochester Water Company moved out of the Etiwanda area, Eddie Anderson was only 6 years old.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Upland Vons, Wandering Wifi, and PDAs

I happened to be using my PDA just before I had to go to the Vons in Upland, so I brought it with me to test the "Wandering Wifi" service.

My browser displayed terms of service, and a Login button. I clicked the button and got...a blank screen.

Apparently Wandering Wifi's login process is incompatible with my PDA's browser.

So much for that...

BBSes in the (old) 909 area code

Before the Internet had widespread use, a bunch of people (including myself) would dial into bulletin board systems (BBSes). I was somewhat active on a few BBSes in the early 1990s, and I recently found a site that lists bulletin board systems - most, if not all, of which are not defunct.

Checking the list for the 909 area code (which at the time also included the present 951 area code), I found listings for a few of the BBSes I frequented at the time. Reminder: these BBSes have long since gone away, so don't bother to call the numbers...if you even have a modem any more.

(1988-1994) Johnathan Hart, Jonathan Rothsc PCBoard

ONTARIO, CA DIAMOND BAR HUB, ONTARIO HUB, Ontario/Cucamonga HUB, Pomona Valley Net, SAN DIMAS, The Diamond Bar BBS, UPLAND HUB

A comment is in order here. Frankly, I'm not sure which of these two BBSes I frequented; all I remember is that it was the Diamond Bar BBS, and that it was in Ontario. (If you check the list, you'll find several listings for the Diamond Bar BBS.)

Back to excerpts from the list:

UPLAND, CA Dyson's Sphere [ASV/GSA]

UPLAND, CA Deep Thought, Deep Thought RCP/M


The Grotto (and I believe Dyson's Sphere) ran WWIV software - not the leading BBS software at the time, but it certainly had its adherents. See the Wikipedia article.

Interestingly enough, I also ran across this BBS:

Ontario, CA Parallel BBS, The Parallel
(1997-2002) Matt Munson

Matt is now blogging at Inland Utopia.

Monday, November 17, 2008

State Route 142 is still closed

So Carbon Canyon Village in Chino Hills is still inaccessible (unless they're letting residents in).


When I'm involved in a theater production, just about everything else goes out of my head - especially when I have a cold at the same time. So on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday last week, I was either onstage or doing nothing.

It wasn't until late Saturday afternoon, when I was driving from Ontario back to the theater, that I started hearing about the full ramifications of the various southern California fires, including the fires on the borders of the Inland Empire.

Part of the reason that the fires passed me by was because they had minimal effects in the Ontario and Claremont areas. It wasn't until Sunday morning that I could even smell smoke, and it wasn't until Sunday afternoon that the smoke was heavy enough to obscure the mountains from view. The freeway closures were all outside of the immediate area, and I didn't even see any fire damage until I drove by Tonner Canyon in Orange County on Monday morning.

And I wasn't the only one who wasn't really affected by the situation. Life in Claremont went on rather normally on Sunday:

Temps are in the upper 80s and low 90s this weekend, and the fires are burning all around, but it's pretty calm and clear here in Claremont. We are in desperate need of rain here.

And, for the local blogs that I monitor, that was that about the fire until early Monday morning, when the Claremont Insider provided an update about a two-acre fire in San Bernardino.

So who WAS blogging about the Chino Hills fire?



Carbon Canyon blogger Paul:

Like many Carbon Canyon residents, I have been evacuated and remain away from my house about 36 hours now as the Triangle Complex fire has roared through the Chino Hills range and vicinity in Corona, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Brea and Chino Hills....

On the Chino Hills side, the flames reached to within probably 150 yards or so of our house, having descended the ridge separating Carbon from Soquel canyons and charred a portion of the property of friends of ours. The fire also reached the perimeter of other neighborhoods on both sides of the canyon and affected outlying areas such as the Vellano and Pinehurst areas of Chino Hills to the east and the sections north of Lambert Road and State College Boulevard, east of Brea Boulevard/Brea Canyon Road and up into Diamond Bar on the Brea side.

Long Beach blogger Jose Franco:

Julie and I went to see our nieces play soccer in Chino Hills on Saturday morning. The smoke filled sky behind these little children playing was surreal. The drive home took about two hours.

Anaheim blogger Karen:

[B]y the time we got to Chino, we discovered that the closure of one freeway had affected others. And a second freeway was shut down. The two closed freeways (the 91 and the 57) are my options for getting home to Anaheim.

But I persisted.

After spending two hours going so slowly that my mph couldn't be measured on the speedometer, I finally got a bit of a break. Then there was a major accident. Then there were just a lot of people. It took me three hours to get from Chino to Anaheim, which normally only takes about 30 minutes.

Loud & Obnoxious Vince:

Our friends in the Manahan family had to be evacuated from their home in Chino Hills and from what I've heard, they're still not able to go back to their house yet.

And there are probably others, but this first person account from John Lendl is worthy of note:

we saw glimpses of the sylmar fire when were in la but came home surprised to find a fire over in corona....by the time i got home, the fire got bigger and was over in yorba linda and anaheim hills. had lunch at lucille's for izzy's birthday. it was really nice to see my cousins and their families. i'm glad that a lucille's is now conveniently located two miles from my house. good food as always with a food coma as usual. another tko courtesy of lucille's bbq.

when i woke up, it was dark outside and the fire was even bigger. at this point...i really didn't think it would reach chino hills, let alone my neighborhood, so i went out....i came home around 11pm to find out on the news that the fire is getting more serious and it was making its way through carbon canyon. minutes later...my family realizes the fire is in chino hills state park (which we live near the entrance of) but not yet in our city boundaries. i decide to stay up while my parents sleep.

around 2:30am...i decide to step out of the house and see what's going on with the fire, only to be shocked at the sight of the fire slowly but surely engulfing the hills by our neighborhood. at this point...i knew we weren't safe anymore and we had to leave asap. i immediately woke up my parents and we rushed to pack up our cars with essentials. while i maintained a calm mood...i was definitely nervous and scared....

Read the rest here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Automated CalTrans number for highway information

Now that the "High School Musical" stage production is done, I'm paying attention to local news again - particularly to a series of fires stretching from Brea to Anaheim Hills. Because of road closures, these fires could affect my return to work on Monday.

CalTrans has an automated number - 1 800 427 7623 - to provide road closure information. As of now the 57 and 142 are closed, but the 91 is open.

The auto-voice cannot say "Brea" properly; you'd think it was a type of cheese.

Another way to torment my co-worker - Vader's Fist on November 19

We have a co-worker who hates everything Star Wars and Star Trek - so naturally, we've started a fund to buy him a red shirt.

Peggy at Around Yucaipa shared something that my co-worker would want to avoid - an appearance by the 501st Legion in the Inland Empire.

...The Legion is a volunteer club formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts and giving them a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion's aims are to celebrate the Star Wars movies through the wearing of costumes, to promote the quality and improvement of costumes and props, and most importantly to contribute to the local community through charity and volunteer work...

And as part of that charity and volunteer work, they will appear at a Book Fair Family Night at Chapman Heights Elementary on November 19 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm used to Zappa, but...

...I've never seen Homer and Marge backstage at Bridges before.

(By the way, due to copyright issues, I won't post any pictures of you-know-what.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Continuing the "taking things for granted" theme

Outside the Kohl's in north Upland, California.

I used to take pictures of trash cans. Perhaps I'll take pictures of palm trees instead.

Friday, November 7, 2008

In which I muse about palm trees

I do not work in the Inland Empire. (That's probably a subject for a blog post in and of itself.) Because I do not work in the IE, I have to commute, either via freeway or through Carbon Canyon.

This morning I was driving on the freeway, got sick of the traffic, and took surface streets the rest of the way to work. Taking a shortcut through Placentia, I happened to notice the row of palm trees lining the street. (I subsequently realized that the street upon which I was driving was named Palm Drive.)

As you can see, I didn't take the picture myself, but luckily Google took one for me.

Obviously we have our own palm trees, and we take those for granted too. I knew a homeowner in Ontario who planted a palm tree in his front yard and subsequently regretted it because of all of the required upkeep.

On the other hand, some relatives of mine came to southern California once and were looking for the palm trees that they assumed would be everywhere. They were disappointed to see that the palms were relatively few and far between.

But they're there if you look for them. Or, sometimes they're there, sometimes they're not.

First, a word about selling or giving away your palm tree.


There are many species of palms grown in the Inland Empire. Their value to a landscaper depends upon one primary factor: their ability to sell the palm tree and make a profit.

Yes, it's just like any part of the economy: if someone wants something, you can sell it. Who buys palm trees?

"I haul lots of trees to Vegas. Vegas always grows. A new casino wants huge trees" explains [Don] Walker [owner of Don Walker Trucking Inc. in Camarillo], who charges $1,000 for a typical haul from Camarillo to Las Vegas for six hours travel one way, plus unloading. Years of experience and a true love for trees insure that his tree loads arrive safely, without getting wind damaged or losing their leaves. "Palm trees are fragile. They'll break in the middle. You need to know where to brace them. Sometimes you only get one or two trees on a truck" says Walker, who carries $50,000 cargo insurance, just in case.

So some people are selling them, and some people (like the Ontario homeowner I knew) would just like to get rid of them:

[T]here's a new awareness of the hazards of palm trees, particularly fan palms. In various Inland Empire cities, there's talk now of phasing out the palm trees due to the fire hazard.

The writer above, Alma Jill Dizon, then asks:

What will southern California be like without palm trees?

But Alma points something out:

[C]onsidering that most of these palms are not native to the area and were only planted in the last century, we might not be saying good-bye to a truly California landscape.

Yes, folks, the image that we have of palm-filled southern California is yet another fiction, just like the movies we produce.

Unless, of course, you live south of Palm Springs:

Centuries ago, ancestors of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla (pronounced Kaw-we-ah) Indians settled in the Palm Springs area and developed extensive and complex communities in Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz and Chino Canyons. Abundant water and hundreds of plants and animals found throughout the area ensured stable living conditions. Crops of melons, squash, beans and corn were grown, animals were hunted, and plants and seeds were gathered for food, medicines, basketweaving etc. Many traces of these communities exist in the canyons today, including rock art, house pits and foundations, irrigation ditches, dams, reservoirs, trails, and food processing areas....

Fifteen miles long, Palm Canyon is one of the great beauty spots in Western North America. Its indigenous flora and fauna, which the Cahuilla peoples so expertly used, and its abundant Washingtonia filifera (California Fan palm trees), are breathtaking contrasts to the stark, rocky gorges and barren desert lands beyond. A moderately graded, paved foot path winds down into the canyon for picnicking near the stream, meditating, exploring, hiking or horseback riding.

Yes, a place where you can just get away and enjoy stuff. Maybe.

While in Palm Canyon, visit the Trading Post for hiking maps, refreshments, Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weavings and conversational cultural lore.

Just don't try to buy a palm tree to take back to Minnesota with you. Don't laugh:

I grow several palms here in Minneapolis! Chamaedorea cataractarum, Livistona chinensis, Raevena palm. All go outside when there is no danger of frost and get sunk to their rims in the garden beds. They like the dapled shade of the maple but the Raevena rivularis will take wuite a bit of sun with acclimation. before frost in the fall I take them back into the 3 season porch for about another month and then they go up to the 2nd story plant room. Benn doing this now for 3 years.

The whole idea of brining the tree indoors for winter is a little odd, but if you love your palm tree, that's what you gotta do.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Statewide results, Wednesday 12:30 pm

We STILL haven't counted all the ballots, but we're getting closer.

First, the propositions:

96.8% ( 24,625 of 25,423 ) precincts partially
or fully reporting as of Nov. 5, 2008, at 12:19 p.m.

State Ballot Measures

1A - Safe, Reliable High-Speed Train Bond Act
YES: 4,977,377 52.3%
NO: 4,551,388 47.7%
02 - Standards for Confining Farm Animals
YES: 6,135,270 63.3%
NO: 3,569,365 36.7%
03 - Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program.
YES: 5,197,224 54.8%
NO: 4,291,905 45.2%
04 - Parent Notif. Before Terminating Minor's Pregnancy
YES: 4,635,460 47.7%
NO: 5,071,449 52.3%
05 - Nonviolent Drug Offense. Sentencing, Parole, Rehab
YES: 3,836,811 40.1%
NO: 5,708,968 59.9%
06 - Police, Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Laws.
YES: 2,851,278 30.6%
NO: 6,453,861 69.4%
07 - Renewable Energy Generation
YES: 3,340,238 35.1%
NO: 6,174,080 64.9%
08 - Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry
YES: 5,240,930 52.2%
NO: 4,806,595 47.8%
09 - Criminal Justice System. Victims' Rights. Parole.
YES: 4,972,076 53.3%
NO: 4,357,052 46.7%
10 - Altern. Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy Bonds
YES: 3,798,456 40.2%
NO: 5,643,235 59.8%
11 - Redistricting
YES: 4,561,736 50.6%
NO: 4,469,284 49.4%
12 - Veterans' Bond
YES: 5,864,227 63.5%
NO: 3,380,672 36.5%

And here are some Congressional results:

District 26
Candidate Votes %
Russell Warner
74,444 40.4%
David Dreier
97,613 53.0%
Ted Brown
12,206 6.6%

District 38
Candidate Votes %
Grace F. Napolitano
109,938 81.9%
Christopher M. Agrella
24,370 18.1%

District 41
Candidate Votes %
Tim Prince
55,716 38.7%
Jerry Lewis
88,186 61.3%

District 42
Candidate Votes %
Edwin "Ed" Chau
75,478 39.3%
Gary G. Miller
116,444 60.7%

District 43
Candidate Votes %
Joe Baca
62,735 68.1%
John Roberts
29,413 31.9%

District 44
Candidate Votes %
Bill Hedrick
73,601 48.0%
Ken Calvert
79,666 52.0%

District 45
Candidate Votes %
Julie Bornstein
63,974 44.0%
Mary Bono Mack
81,302 56.0%

District 49
Candidate Votes %
Robert Hamilton
58,489 37.1%
Darrell E. Issa
92,557 58.9%
Lars R. Grossmith
6,303 4.0%

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Statewide results, Tuesday 11:30 pm

The excitement may have died down a bit now, so let's see what results I can grab from the Secretary of State's website.

Actually, it's still taking forever to load, so this may be a partial result again.


State Ballot Measures 44.2% ( 11248 of 25423 ) precincts
reporting as of Nov. 4, 2008, at 11:38 p.m.

Statewide Results
Name Yes Votes % No Votes %
1A Y Safe, Reliable High-Speed Train Bond Act 2,568,349 51.2% 2,455,053 48.8%
2 Y Standards for Confining Farm Animals 3,206,326 62.4% 1,939,703 37.6%
3 Y Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. 2,601,736 51.7% 2,439,382 48.3%
4 N Parent Notif. Before Terminating Minor's Pregnancy 2,479,862 48.2% 2,659,922 51.8%
5 N Nonviolent Drug Offense. Sentencing, Parole, Rehab 1,959,455 38.6% 3,109,518 61.4%
6 N Police, Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Laws. 1,504,654 30.3% 3,449,262 69.7%
7 N Renewable Energy Generation 1,728,642 34.1% 3,338,358 65.9%
8 Y Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry 2,831,351 53.3% 2,482,161 46.7%
9 Y Criminal Justice System. Victims' Rights. Parole. 2,673,364 53.9% 2,294,093 46.1%
10 N Altern. Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy Bonds 1,912,788 38.4% 3,065,080 61.6%
11 Y Redistricting 2,507,124 52.0% 2,320,337 48.0%
12 Y Veterans' Bond 3,086,809 62.5% 1,852,589 37.5%

With less than 45% of the vote, some of these (including MSNBC's hot buttons, 4 and 8) are probably too close to call. But some of these are probably pretty well decided.

2: It looks like farm animals will roam free...until they go to the slaughterhouse.

5: No change for non-violent drug offenses.

6: No dedicated police/law enforcement funding.

7/10: We ain't gonna do the government green thingie.

12: Veterans are cool.

I got some statewide results!

I finally got through to a specific link at the California Secretary of State website. http://vote.sos.ca.gov/Returns/props/59.htm is a direct link to the propositions. Here's where they currently stand, statewide:

State Ballot Measures 22.4% ( 5706 of 25429 ) precincts
reporting as of Nov. 4, 2008, at 9:33 p.m.

Statewide Results
Name Yes
Votes % No
Votes %
1A N Safe, Reliable High-Speed Train Bond Act 1,489,236 48.5% 1,578,868 51.5% Map

2 Y Standards for Confining Farm Animals 1,959,649 62.1% 1,199,254 37.9% Map

3 N Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. 1,499,862 48.4% 1,598,304 51.6% Map

4 N Parent Notif. Before Terminating Minor's Pregnancy 1,565,518 49.7% 1,582,677 50.3% Map

5 N Nonviolent Drug Offense. Sentencing, Parole, Rehab 1,129,236 36.2% 1,987,451 63.8% Map

6 N Police, Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Laws. 942,673 30.8% 2,112,462 69.2% Map

7 N Renewable Energy Generation 1,055,436 33.7% 2,067,541 66.3% Map

8 Y Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry 1,691,250 54.6% 1,411,329 45.4% Map

9 Y Criminal Justice System. Victims' Rights. Parole. 1,707,659 55.5% 1,370,023 44.5%

Oops...I only got part of the results.

Inland Empire Results, Tuesday 9:30 pm

After a brief break to drive to Claremont and back (I heard Obama's speech on the radio), I'm back at the computer. I haven't successfully loaded the California Secretary of State's website yet, but I did discover that the Daily Bulletin page http://www.dailybulletin.com/electionresults is showing results from Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

The 44th U.S. Congressional District is interesting:

United States Representative, 44th District
96/356 26.97%
Vote Count Percent
DEM - BILL HEDRICK 16,936 51.55%
REP - KEN CALVERT 15,917 48.45%
Total 32,853 100.00%

The San Bernardino results haven't updated since my last post, and the website claims that they won't have another updated for an hour and a half (11:00 pm PST).

I checked the Pomona mayor's race, but they haven't had an update since 8:06 pm. Here is Los Angeles County's preliminary (again, 8:06) votes on the propositions:

As of Date: 11/04/2008 Time: 20:06 Votes Percent


(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 169,181 49.47

(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 114,636 33.07

3 - CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL BOND - YES 176,787 52.46
(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 160,239 47.54

4 - PREGNANCY OF MINORS - YES 161,839 47.46
(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 179,166 52.54

(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 216,257 63.65

6 - POLICE/LAW ENFORCEMENT - YES 108,020 32.70
(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 222,301 67.30

7 - RENEWABLE ENERGY - YES 113,554 33.47
(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 225,718 66.53

8 - SAME-SEX INITIATIVE - YES 190,390 52.91
(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 169,468 47.09

(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 148,380 44.84

(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 199,244 58.77

(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 156,308 48.16

12 - VETERANS' BOND ACT 2008 - YES 209,279 62.93
(MAJORITY OF VOTES CAST) - NO 123,274 37.07


But this could be a long night in California, especially if the Secretary of State's website is down for a while.

Let's focus inward

Now that the national election has been called for Obama, we can focus in on events locally.

The San Bernardino County election results site at the http://www.sbcounty.gov/rovelectionresults/ is getting some preliminary results. Here are some of them:

Vote For 1 258 of 1391 Precincts Reporting

Vote For 1 50 of 360 Precincts Reporting
DEM - JOE BACA 19157 60.02%
REP - JOHN ROBERTS 12762 39.98%

Vote For 1 23 of 147 Precincts Reporting
DEM - NORMA J. TORRES 7504 49.04%
REP - WENDY A. MAIER 7055 46.10%

Vote For 2 6 of 69 Precincts Reporting
SHEILA MAUTZ 3090 22.92%
JASON ANDERSON 2798 20.76%
DEBRA PORADA 2484 18.43%
KEN WHITE 1741 12.91%

Vote For 1 5 of 47 Precincts Reporting
JOHN ''JP'' POMIERSKI 4079 54.34%
RAY M. MUSSER 3427 45.66%

Vote For 2 19 of 201 Precincts Reporting
SHARI MEGAW 14355 37.78%
SUE OVITT 13756 36.20%
MIKE EDWARDS 5392 14.19%
ANDREA WOORE 2149 5.66%
FRED A CORRAL 1459 3.84%

Vote For 2 6 of 65 Precincts Reporting
SAMUEL CROWE 2390 20.87%
MAUREEN ''MOE'' MENDOZA 2251 19.65%
JAMES B. DOWNS 2081 18.17%
DAVID CAMPIO 1677 14.64%
GABRIEL ''GABE'' CHAVEZ 1331 11.62%
MARIO SOLIS JR. 583 5.09%

Vote For 1 258 of 1391 Precincts Reporting
YES 104356 68.70%
NO 47537 31.30%

Remember that these are only results from San Bernardino County, and they are very early results.

MSNBC Election Results Widget

H/T the Eastvale Housing blog. It's configurable - I've configured this to show California results by county.

I voted. What's next? (Empoprise-IE)

[Note: this is a rare cross-post between the mrontemp and Empoprise-IE blogs.]

I went to my polling place in Ontario this morning. Although it was more crowded than I have ever seen it, I'm really comparing apples and oranges, since I usually vote at 7:00 am but voted at 7:35 am this year. They handed out ballots by last name, and luckily the A-F last name line was very short.

I then went on to Starbucks after voting and got my free tall coffee. Thanks to Franklin Avenue for the tip.

As my long-time readers know, my blogs tend to go in spurts depending upon what is happening in my life at the moment. They get really techy around Oracle OpenWorld time, they'll get really theatrical next week, but today they'll obviously be political. So here's how things will probably divvy up as the day, and evening, progresses:

So there you have it. Stay tuned. And if you're American, vote. (I truly believe that a vote cast in the wrong way is better than a vote that is not cast at all.)

P.S. Because I voted, I was late coming to work and heard a bit of Rush Limbaugh in the car. I'll grant him one good line; he claimed that it took Obama 15 minutes to vote because he was looking for the place where he could vote "Present."

In case you forgot.

Monday, November 3, 2008

In which I tell you where to go on Election Day

You'll recall that back on October 15, I provided links to election results pages for Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

But before we have results, you have to vote. Here are some resources that may or may not apply to you:

State of California online Voter Information Guide (including both principal and supplemental information) - the page includes the ability to download voter information in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese

San Bernardino County list of candidates

San Bernardino County local measures

San Bernardino County polling place lookup

The statewide results web site, incidentally, will not be available until after 6:00 pm tomorrow, with no results until after 8:00 pm tomorrow. Access this site (once created) via http://vote.sos.ca.gov/. (And would someone please tell the Secretary of State that "SOS" may not be the best acronym to use?)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Free wi-fi at the Upland Vons

Don't know if this is available at other Vons (or Safeway) stores, but it's available at Euclid and Foothill.

If you bring your laptop to a grocery store...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


At the Arco at Mountain and Mission in Ontario. (And it's cheaper in Chino Hills.)

I filled up my car for less than $40.

I almost feel sorry for the oil companies.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Another view of Pomona, from Brian "Bex" Ruff - I mean Huff

It's interesting to see how other people perceive your area.

I met Brian "Bex" Huff at Oracle OpenWorld 2008 (he gave two presentations at the Unconference which I enjoyed), and I guess he must be visiting Southern California, because he just tweeted this:

staying in a pomona hotel that allows dogs. Very, very barky dogs. Yip yip yip. Joy.

Perhaps because I never travel with my dog, I never think of Pomona as The Land of Hotels Allowing Very Very Barky Dogs.

I hope the dogs are empathizing with each other. And perhaps Mr. Huff can buy a Team Pomona dog t-shirt or two.

Shake, shake, shake just got a little more complicated

Perhaps you saw my October 18 post regarding the ShakeOut Drill on November 13. If you're not familiar with the ShakeOut Drill, it will be a simulation of a 7.8 earthquake. Numerous organizations and businesses, including my employer, are planning to participate in this drill at 10:00 am on the 13th.

Because of the earthquake threat in this area, I was really looking forward to it.

But I recently realized that I will not be at work that day.

I will be a Bridges Auditorium in Claremont, as part of the ensemble for the Childrens' Theatre Experience production of "High School Musical."

Our first field trip performance is scheduled to begin at 9:15. The drill will occur at 10:00.

What if the Claremont Colleges are participating in the drill?


Isn't the author of a musical like the playmaker in basketball?




The person who makes everyone else look good. Without you, there is no show. You're the playmaker here, Kelsi.


I am? ... You want to hear the way that song is supposed to sound?



Uh, maybe not. Perhaps I should just stick with the basketball team.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fundamental rights and wrongs - the police issues behind Proposition 8

Yes, the police issues. In my mrontemp blog, I've run general-interest posts about the legal and religious issues surrounding Proposition 8. But I uncovered another story that hits closer to home.

From the October 16 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

CHINO HILLS - About 300 signs supporting Proposition 8 were stolen Tuesday from the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church courtyard.

The signs - which were piled loosely in the courtyard at 14085 Peyton Drive - were there for parishioners to take home to place in their yards, said Josie Dumdum, St. Paul the Apostle director of ministries....

The stolen signs were not visible from the street, and the thieves would have had to gone onto church property to take them, Dumdum said.

Church officials said they have filed a report with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The crime is considered grand theft because of the amount of signs taken.

Sheriff's Sgt. Rick Swigert with the Chino Hills station confirmed the theft Thursday afternoon.

Swigert estimated that the signs were stolen between Monday and Wednesday nights.


Signs supporting the proposition...were vandalized at the Solid Ground Church of Brethren & Christ in Rancho Cucamonga.

Senior Pastor Ron Graff of the Rancho Cucamonga church said after attending a pro-Proposition 8 meeting at an Ontario restaurant, he discovered a "No on Prop. 8" label placed on his vehicle.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Them fish are a'stockin'

Back in the good old days, a person would take his (I'm being sexist here) fishing pole out to the water and just see what would happen.

Nowadays, you have the Outdoor News Service to assist you. Here are relevant portions of their weekly fishing report for October 23:


Compiled by Cyndi Gollaz and Jim Matthews

Outdoor News Service

The fish report is weekly. Its accuracy depends on marina operators, tackle shops and local fishermen we contact. Anglers catching large fish should send the information to Outdoor News Service, P.O. Box 9007, San Bernardino, CA 92427, or telephone 909-887-3444, so it can be included in this report. Faxes can be sent to 909-887-8180. E-mail messages or fishing reports can also be posted to Jim Matthews at odwriter@charter.net and/or Cyndi Gollaz at cagurrola@charter.net....

CUCAMONGA-GUASTI: Fair catfish bite on mackerel or nightcrawlers. Trout season to [begin] in early November. Information: 909-481-4205.

PRADO: Catfish bite fair with some limits reported. Top baits have been nightcrawlers, mackerel, and shrimp. Also a fair bite on bass and bluegill. Trout plants begin in early November. Information: 909-597-4260.

YUCAIPA: Fair catfish action on anchovies, nightcrawlers, meal worms, or anything dipped in Sonny's stink bait. Action is best in the afternoons. The daytime bite is sluggish. No more channel catfish plants will go in this year. Good bluegill action on wax or meal worms. Mostly quarter- to half-pounders on stringers, fish to one pound are rare. Fair bite for carp and a few bass also showing on plastic worms. Trout plants will begin next month. Lake information: 909-790-3127.

GLEN HELEN: Fair catfish fishing on mackerel, shrimp, Hog Wild or anything dipped in Sonny's. Trout plants should start in early November. Information: 909-887-7540.

MOUNT BALDY TROUT POOLS: The heavily stocked pools are open every Saturday and Sunday. No fishing license is needed. Information: 909-982-4246.

SECCOMBE LAKE: No recent plants. Information: 909-384-5233.

DIAMOND VALLEY: Launch ramp remains closed due to low water levels. Shoreline access has been expanded and rental boats will remain available. Bass anglers are struggling, but have found periods of fair action, especially near the marina and east dam on swimbaits, LA Sliders, and shad. The trout bite is slow, but a few trollers are pulling out fish from 40 to 50 feet on Needlefish or nightcrawlers. Striper boils have been spotted with a few fish reported off the north shore points on floating swimbaits or large topwater lures. Bluegill action is fair to good, and the fish are easy to come by on live worms or mini jigs along the dam. Lake information: 800-590-LAKE, marina 951-926-7201, Last Chance Bait & Tackle 951-658-7410 or www.dvmarina.com.

PERRIS: The bass bite is dominating with good to excellent action on plastic worms, crawdads or spinnerbaits. The dam remains the hot area for the bass. Bass over five pounds are common, and this week a 7-8 was caught by Mike Espinoza, Corona, on nightcrawlers. The bluegill action is good with fish reported all over on crickets or wax worms. Dock fishing is allowed for a $3 fee during store hours only. Information: marina 951-657-2179, state park 951-940-5600.

SKINNER: Catfish action good to excellent and still the top producing species. The best bite remains off Ramp No. 2 and off the east end on mackerel. Top cat was a 4-3 caught by Dan Burton, Menifee, on mackerel from the inlet. Largemouth bass bite good for anglers fishing the east end and south shore on worms and dark-colored plastics. The striper bite is just fair with a lot of action reported off Ramp No. 2 on small swimbaits, anchovies, or frozen shad. Steve Hofman, Riverside, caught two stripers totaling eight pounds. Top fish was a 4-5 on anchovies. Bluegill action good for anglers using nightcrawlers or worms off the east end. Josh Reynolds, Fallbrook, caught a 1-5 bluegill. Information: store 951-926-1505 or marina 951-926-8515.

ELSINORE: Crappie bite fair in deeper water on nightcrawlers and small jigs. Bluegill still biting, although the bite is only fair, with moments of good action. Crickets and meal worms are the top producers for the √ęgills. Wiper (striper-hybrid) action fair, but slower than usual lately. Carp fair to good off the east end on dough balls. Catfish and bass are hit and miss. Information: Catfishing R Us at 877-685-7752.

CORONA LAKE: The trout bite took off after Nebraska Tailwakers were planted early Wednesday morning this week, but the catfish bite has been top billing for a month and some real quality fish were posted this week. Top catfish 38 1/2-pounder landed by Fred Broughton, Los Angeles, while shrimp from a boat, while fishing buddy Hyden Toney, also Los Angeles, caught a 28-pounder on Saturday. The pair also fished the lake last Wednesday and landed cats at 15 1/2 and 14 1/2 pounds, but with Toney landing the bigger fish that trip. Other big fish included a 10-pound channel landed by Donald Marshall, Fontana, and a nine-pounder that topped off a five-fish, 16 1/2-pound stringer caught by Oliver Valdez, Corona. Dave Berry, Elsinore, had a 15-fish, 36-pound catch that included a 6 1/2-pounder. Leroy Chacon, Fontana, landed 15-fish stringer that weighed in at 33-pounds. Some of the first Nebraska rainbows reported were posted by two anglers tossing flies. Dick Ponce and Fred Hernandez, both of Perris, had three-fish catches that weighed 13 1/2 and 12 1/2 pounds respectively. Ponce's big fish was a four-pounder. Garrett and Alan Verhagea, Wildomar, had four rainbows that weighed 10 1/2 pounds total, including one at 3 1/2 pounds. Trout are now being planted each week, and the plants will alternate between the Nebraska Tailwalkers and the Mt. Lassen Trout Farms rainbows. Fishing prices have jumped from $20 to $22 for regular passes. Senior passes have gone from $18 to $20, with a special $17 pass sold on Wednesdays. All of these passes have a five-fish limit. For kids 4 to 13, a three-fish pass is just $9. The once-monthly 24-hour passes remain just $60. Information: 951-277-4489 or www.fishinglakes.com.

EVANS LAKE: Catfish action fair with the most action reported on mackerel and nightcrawlers. Still some slow to fair bass action on plastics and crankbaits, and fair action on small bluegill action around the shorelines.

RANCHO JURUPA: Catfish remain the name of the game here. Anglers are catching a fair number of fish to four pounds with an occasional bigger fish. No more catfish plants this season, but trout plants are slated to begin the first week of November. Upcoming events: Trout tournament scheduled for January 24. Information: 951-684-7032.

FISHERMAN'S RETREAT: Fair to good catfish bite from both lakes, with times of better action in the evenings through dusk. Top baits are shrimp, mackerel or DuMongæ#045;s. Information: 909-795-2411....

REFLECTION LAKE: Fair to good catfish action on nightcrawlers or shrimp. No more catfish plants will go in, but trout plants will begin in late October or early November, so expect better action soon. The lake's hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Information: 951-654-7906 or www.reflectionlakerv.com.

JEAN'S CHANNEL CATS: Catfish bite good to excellent. Mornings to about 11:30 a.m. is when the bite is best, and then things pick back up from 2 p.m. until sunset off the island. Mackerel, shrimp and stink baits are producing the most. Trout plants will begin on Halloween. The lake is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Monday holidays. Information: 951-679-6562 or 951-259-2021.

Two odd words can be found in this description - "plant" (a synonym for "stock") and "Sonny's." Basically, what happens is that they throw a lot of fish in a pond, and then get some stinky stuff to help you catch the fish.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why David Allen goes to Ontario City Council meetings

When promoting tonight's Tip a Cop event at Applebee's on Milliken Avenue, David Allen recorded an Ontario City Council exchange related to the event.

Councilwoman Sheila Mautz announced the event -- in which police officers act as food servers, with the tips going to various nonprofit organizations -- at Tuesday's council meeting, urging people "to tip a cop, and tip a cop well."

"Is that anything like tip a cow?" Mayor Paul Leon quipped.

"Jeff," Leon said, indicating a police employee in the room, "would you like to come up and demonstrate cop tipping?" Apparently he didn't.

I am otherwise occupied in Costa Mesa, but tonight's tip a cop event is from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Come to the United States and Drive Up Haven Avenue

If you live in the western end of the Inland Empire, you know how Chaffey College is marketed to you.

But do you know how it's marketed to...other countries?

Yes, Chaffey College attracts an international presence.

The website studyusa.com includes a Chaffey College profile designed for international students:

Chaffey College students and staff appreciate the opportunity to work and study with students from more than 50 countries. The campus community values international students' contribution to the learning environment and is committed to ensuring a successful academic experience for all students....

The International Student Office is pleased to welcome new students and provide ongoing service to address the unique needs of international students. Available services include application processing, orientation, immigration information, academic guidance, career planning, campus employment and housing referrals.
Social and cultural activities are planned throughout the year to provide opportunities for international students to make friends, celebrate special events and learn about American culture....

International students must show proof of English proficiency by providing one of the following: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 450 or 133 computer-based or 45-46 (IBT), or a transcript indicating 6 years of English instruction, or a letter or certificate documenting completion of Intensive English School. International students may also enroll Chaffey College's English as a Second Language Program to prepare for the TOEFL exam and placement into college courses.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't throw stones - I mean acorns

Matt Munson, a Republican, takes issue with someone in his own party. (Editorial aside: other than Jimmy Carter in his Presidential years, how many Democrats have ever opposed their own party? Read into that what you will.)

California Republicans tried their hardest to keep San Bernardino County Republican, but they utilized an infamous group called Young Political Majors to keep the party as the majority in the county.

Young Political Majors was accused of slamming people into the Republican party in order to profit from the voter bounty that was established by Insurance commissioner Steve Poizner. YPM used the bait of encouraging people to sign for initiatives that people would care about like protecting children from sex offenders and misleading voters about regulations trying to urge them to register as Republicans. YPM has a reputation that is far from stellar in states such as Arizona and Florida where they used these same tactics in order to pad the registration statistics or get initiatives on the ballot such as saying they were signing for a petition to ban gay marriage, but they are signing a petition to liberalize alcohol sales at supermarkets....

The funny thing is the founder of YPM got arrested for voter fraud because he registered himself at an address that he does not live in, to meet the requirements that petition circulars have to be California registered voters.

Then Munson drives the point home.

Perhaps after discovering more of the dirty tricks that Mark Jacoby has used, maybe the state party will be shamed just as much as ACORN.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Perhaps silk tires will do the trick

Housing Kaboom occasionally uncovers a true gem, or at least something pretty close to a TRUE gem.

I've mentioned this blog before, but its (current) sole purpose in life is to faithfully record the drastic reductions in housing prices in the Inland Empire of California. As part of this, Housing Kaboom sometimes looks at not-so-nice houses for which sellers are quoting very high prices...and sometimes the blog looks at nice houses.

Last Monday, it profiled a house that was a little too nice:

In the heady days of the real estate boom the fastest way to maximize your profit was to upgrade. High end appliances, travertine, granite, and fancy landscaping were all used to maximize profits. But how much is too much? Well here's your answer:

Marble tile on the garage floor is TOO MUCH!

The post then shows a picture of said garage floor, along with this additional observation:

And layed at a 45 too! with a fancy beveled edge to boot. What the hell was this guy thinking. How many people want a marble floor in the garage?

Now, to be fair, I don't put a car in my garage. But that's because of all the other stuff that happens to be in my garage - stuff that I wouldn't want to be resting on top of a marble floor.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shake, shake, shake

If you missed the reminder of the Chino Hills earthquake a few months back, you'll get another reminder soon that we live in earthquake country.

Luckily, it won't be the real thing. It will be a drill.

At 10 a.m. on November 13, 2008, millions of people in homes, schools, businesses, government offices, and public places all over southern California will Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Why? An enormous earthquake is in our future, and the ShakeOut Drill is our chance to practice what to do when it happens.

But this isn't just any old quake that will be simulated. We're gonna simulate the big one:

The first major product of the USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project is an earthquake scenario that describes what will happen during and after a magnitude 7.8 on the southernmost 300 km of the San Andreas fault, a plausible event on the fault most likely to produce a major earthquake. An earthquake like this - large enough to cause strong shaking over much of southern California - is inevitable and understanding its impacts is an important step in preparing for the event.

The ShakeOut Scenario considered a range of effects from the direct physical impacts to the long-term, social, cultural, and economic consequences. The ShakeOut Scenario also identified factors that will determine whether the event would be a disaster or a catastrophe, that is, whether the event would disrupt southern California for a few years, or for decades. This unprecedented project brought together a diverse collaboration of more than 300 scientists, academics, engineers, industry professionals, emergency managers, and public servants.

In November, 2008, the ShakeOut Scenario will be the centerpiece of the Nation’s largest ever emergency response and public preparedness exercises, taking place during The Great Southern California ShakeOut.

If you want to read the entire scenario, you can go here (short version) or here (long version).

You can also follow the blog at http://greatsocalshakeout.blogspot.com/.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just call us Patentland

From a press release:

CORONA, CALIFORNIA -- Even with the financial concerns in the market place the creative and entrepreneurial effort have continued as business and individual inventors file more patents. "We are on track to double the number of patents issued for our clients this year." says Kirk Buhler "Clients are looking for a patent firm that provides personal quick service. We provide a free one-hour consultation that often includes a preliminary patent search that allows insight into similar patented inventions." Kirk is founding partner of Buhler & Associates and has written and prepared hundreds of patent application.
The inland empire including the cities of Corona, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario continues to be an expanding technology area with Mechanical, Electrical, and Software companies making it their corporate headquarters. The need to secure inventions has never been greater. Inventors and companies must file for patents within one year of sale or use of the invention so patents must be filed within the one year timeline to avoid a loss of patent filing rights.

The patent process and procedures are complicated and requires a special license. Buhler & Associates works with both individuals that start the process by themselves and companies that provide a basic disclosure of the invention where a complete application is prepared, filed and prosecuted with the patent office. Individual inventors that write and file a patent by them self and later become overwhelmed by the process are also assisted to avoid a loss of patent rights or abandonment.

Media Contact:
Kirk A. Buhler
USPTO Registration #52,670
Buhler & Associates Patent Law
1101 California Ave, Suite 208
Corona, CA 92881
Tel: (951) 735-4001
Fax: (866) 493-7458


Another view of Colton - Local 364

Yesterday, I talked about a nudist colony in Colton, California. Well, thankfully, the people I'm talking about today are fully clothed (well, unless the back of their pants slip down).

United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry

Welcome to Local 364. We are a combination Local with Plumbers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters, Welders and Refrigeration Technicians.

Our employment opportunities include Commercial and Residential Plumbing, Industrial Pipefitting, Steamfitting, Refrigeration and HVAC.

We offer apprenticeship in all of the above trades.

We are actively recruiting experienced Journeymen and Apprentices.

223 S. Rancho Avenue, Colton, CA 92324

PH 909 825 0359 FX 909 824 8362

Job line 909 825 0364

And if you were wondering how much a plumber, pipefitter, or refrigeration technician makes, they'll tell you.

Plumbers and Pipefitters

Journeyman $32.61
1st year apprentice $16.31
2nd year apprentice $19.57
3rd year apprentice $22.83
4th year apprentice $26.08
5th year apprentice $29.35

This is the taxable wage.
Our additional benefits include Medical and Pension

Refrigeration Technicians

Journeyman $32.92
1st year apprentice $16.46
2nd year apprentice $19.75
3rd year apprentice $23.04
4th year apprentice $26.34
5th year apprentice $29.63

This is the taxable wage.
Our additional benefits include Medical and Pension.

Yes, Americans know what "vat" is (Graber Olive House post)

Remember my visit to the Graber Olive House in May?

Well, I called them recently to find out when activity would begin there. It won't start this month - check back in November.

I've meant to go down there during olive season for years, but haven't made it yet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, it's not like we live in France or anything - who does Jerry Lewis talk to?

This place can be very confusing.

When I received a job interview request in 1983, I was told to fly to Ontario, and I was told that Ontario was in southern California.

Then I arrived here, and I was told that Jerry Lewis was my Congressman.

Eventually the area was redistricted (yes, Jay Kim was my Congressman), but Jerry Lewis has hung around the Hill, long enough for George Watson and Andrew Edwards to write some things about him.


[Q]uestions have hovered around the congressman for three years because of a federal investigation into his relationships with lobbyists and contractors.

Two years ago, Lewis snubbed The [San Bernardino] Sun editorial board's annual endorsement meeting with candidates. On Wednesday, Lewis came before the board and for the first time discussed the issue with modest detail.

In some ways, it was enlightening. In others, it was quite disappointing.

Lewis complained that the ongoing investigation sounded like a fishing expedition, which prompted Watson to review some things in the article:

Lewis was good friends with Bill Lowery, a former congressman whose D.C. lobbying firm gave more than a third of the $1.3million raised by Lewis' political action committee over a five-year span. In turn, Lowery's defense contractor clients received hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts.

Two of Lewis' aides went to work for Lowery's firm, receiving huge pay boosts. One of them, Letitia White, bought a $1million house with one of the defense contractors.

White and the contractor then started a political action committee. They hired Lewis' stepdaughter, Julia Willis-Leon, whose previous job was planning weddings, to be the director of the PAC and lobby DC lawmakers ... from Las Vegas. The PAC then paid her $42,000, about a third of the $115,000 it raised and more than it gave out to anyone else.

But the Sun's editorial board isn't the only group that's been snubbed by Lewis. Edwards:

Campaign officials for Tim Prince, a San Bernardino Democrat attempting to oust long-serving Redlands Republican Jerry Lewis from the House of Representatives, are upset by what they see as Lewis' persistent efforts to avoid a head-to-head debate.

Lewis then offered this comment:

"I really believe that there should be a free exchange here, but I'm really concerned about why people want to be in public affairs, and it seems my opponent desperately wants to be in public office."

Pot? Kettle?

P.S. For those who know me, the title of this post merely refers to the fame of the other Jerry Lewis, and is not meant in any way to be a commentary on any business transactions with which I may be familiar. Although I am practicing my "bonjour."

Nudists in Colton? Sort of.

In an effort to bring the finest material to you, I conducted a Google search for Colton, California. Once you got past the city website and all of the real estate junk, one of the links that stood out was the one for the Olive Dell Ranch Nudist Resort.

I knew that there was a nudist place up north in Devore, but I didn't know of one that far south.

I'd tell you more about what they say about themselves, but the firewall won't let me. Good for the firewall.


However, I did find this brief description:

Olive Dell Ranch features a restaurant, sleeping cabins, swimming pool, jacuzzi spa, sauna, tennis, volleyball and shuffleboard courts. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, and more.

Well, if you want to enjoy nude shuffleboard, the ranch is at 26520 Keissel Rd.

View Larger Map

Needless to say, this isn't downtown Colton.

The Inland Empire Business Journal and Propositions 7 and 11

From the Inland Empire Business Journal:

Proposition 7 is a Renewable Energy Generation initiative that may sound good for the environment but is neither feasible or practical. It will only serve to increase energy costs while decreasing research and development by small independent companies. We urge a NO vote.

Proposition 11 is a redistricting initiative that will finally bring some sanity to legislative boundaries that right now have no cohesiveness. This proposition will take the responsibility away from the legislature, where there is a huge conflict of interest, and place it with an independent commission. Vote YES to bring fairness back to politics and make your vote worthwhile.

As far as I know, Matt Munson has not expressed his opinion on either proposition yet.