Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Near the Chino Hills Earthquake Epicenter

Carbon Canyon & Canon.

RedFusion Media Internet Seminar Series 2008

From the RedFusion Media website:

Internet Marketing By RedFusion Media

Internet Seminar Series 2008

The Internet continues to be a playing field where everyone has an equal opportunity to compete. At RedFusion Media™, keeping current with the continually changing Internet terrain is our business. We understand how important it is to make your website stand out from the competition.

Keeping our clients informed about changes and the latest Internet developments is our responsibility. We want to inform you about a series of new seminars that we will be offering in the next two months.
You will soon be receiving a brochure in the mail for Internet Seminar Series 2008, which will be taking place during the second weeks of August and September at the Redlands Chamber of Commerce.

Internet Seminar Series
for Business Managers, Owners & Executives

Seminar I: Basics of the Internet

Tuesday, August 12
8:30 -11:00 a.m. Redlands Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room Check-in & Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Seminar begins 9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, September 9
8:30 -11:00 a.m. Redlands Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room Check-in & Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Seminar begins 9:00 a.m.

Seminar II: Online Marketing

Thursday, August 14
2:00 - 4:30 p.m. Redlands Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room

Thursday, September 11
2:00 - 4:30 p.m. Redlands Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room

The seminar is free for RedFusion Media clients, $39 per seminar for others. You need to sign up.

So who is RedFusion Media?

We are a leading web content design and maintenance company in the Inland Empire, the 13th largest U.S. economic market. RedFusion Media, Inc. was named as a Top Design firm in the I.E by the Business Press. While we have clients from other states, our primary market is in the area of Southern California, known as the Inland Empire. We manage over 200 client websites and our 3 regional directory sites.

Location of the Chino Hills earthquake

The USGS reports that the epicenter of the Chino Hills earthquake was at 33.955°N, 117.765°W.

Realizing that 33.955/117.765 is probably an approximation, we still get a good idea of the location. This places the earthquake in the hill area of Chino Hills.

View Larger Map

As you can see, the Western Hills Golf and Country Club is just north of the epicenter. If I were a golfer, I think I'd have an excuse to replay a hole that was played during the earthquake. Or, better still, to just go to the clubhouse and call it a day.

P.S. As of now, according to Caltrans, State Route 142 is open. This is understandable, since I don't think there was much if any damage, but I didn't know if they'd close the road as a precautionary measure.

The Chino Hills earthquake - the (non)-local angle

I am in Anaheim Hills today, which is fairly close to Chino Hills, so I definitely felt the initial quake (although I haven't felt any of the aftershocks).

Although not Inland Empire-specific, I did write my observations down here (11:45) and here (1:30).

If I pick up any more from the Inland Empire angle, I'll be sure to post it here.

Excellent coverage at the Claremont Insider and the Foothill Cities Blog.

Little League Regional Champsionships Come Back to the IE

It's that time of the year again. The Daily Bulletin explains:

On Sunday, teams from Aliso Viejo; Glendale, Ariz.; Mill Creek, Wash.; and Boise, Idaho; advanced to the West and Northwest tournaments, which are held in San Bernardino's Al Houghton Stadium. All told, 12 teams from 11 western states will play in the tournament, which begins Friday and concludes with a pair of nationally televised games Aug. 9 and 10.

The Western Regional Tournament is the final step in qualifying for the Little League World Series, an event that has become a worldwide phenomenon with live television coverage of every game. Playing the games are 11- and 12-year-old boys - although there are some 13-year-olds and the occasional girl - but the level of play often attracts huge crowds, including more than 10,000 in San Bernardino.

The Little League West Region website is here.

Either you get in, or you don't - is the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce acting like a bunch of juniors?

While certain organizations will let anybody join, others are more selective.

One group known for being selective is the Junior League. I suspect that a 13 year old teen girl with a green mohawk and a well-known heroin habit won't be welcomed with open arms. But Jennifer Whittaker has news for those who think they have what it takes:

The Junior League of Riverside will be hosting a Potential Member Reception on Wednesday, August 20th at the California State Historic Citrus Park located at 9400 Dufferin Ave in Riverside from 6:30-8:00 pm. Women who are interested in learning about JLR and its commitment to Riverside's past, present and future are encouraged to attend.

Now one would think that a local Chamber of Commerce would be less selective. One would think wrong, as Brian Day reports from San Dimas:

Sid Maksoudian, owner of Chalet Gourmet in the 100 block of West Bonita Avenue, said he runs a legitimate business and believes the denial of his application last week was motivated by the biases of board members....

Ted Powl, the San Dimas chamber president, defended the rejection.

"We just don't understand why he would apply, given the positions he's stated in the past," Powl said.

Maksoudian has been an outspoken critic of the chamber and city government.

In recent weeks, Maksoudian has accused the chamber of engaging in fraud. He was also involved in a long-standing dispute with the city over the proposed opening of his upscale liquor store on West Bonita Avenue.

Fraud? But Chambers of Commerce are happy places. Just ask Ted Powl:

We are here to help all of the businesses located and doing business in San Dimas. Membership in the Chamber makes our task easier by enabling us to get to know your business better and allowing us to offer the advice and services tailored to your needs. It also enables us to offer you the valuable experiences that help develop your leadership skills that will move you and your business to the next level. Membership also puts you in direct touch with other members who are potential customers, suppliers, associates or mentors.

All in all, membership in the Chamber is an investment that you cannot afford to pass up.

Unless, of course, the Chamber passes YOU up.

Temecula Valley Computer User Group meeting August 2

There are more technical user groups in the Inland Empire than I realized. I just ran across the following announcement in the Riverside Press-Enterprise community blog. Here's a part of the announcement:

The next Temecula Valley Computer Users Group meeting will be on Saturday, August 2, 2008, at the Temecula Public Library, 30600 Pauba Road, in Community room A, at 10:15 A.M.

The Temecula Valley Computer User Group website is here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Not all of us love Vince's Spaghetti

Yahoo! has its own restaurant review service in its local section, and I learned that, while some have a positive opinion of Vince's Spaghetti in Ontario, others do not:

by LoveGoodFood 07/26/2008
Ketchup over noodles. Cheap, yes. As is the flavor. No wonder their Glendora location failed.

by old-time spaghetti lover 05/08/2008
Ever since Ma & Pa Cuccia have stepped away from the
business they had started, Vince's spaghetti has slowly been sinking lower and lower in quality, portions, and taste. It seems as the owners are never
there during business hours and only stop by to pick up the cashola at the end of the day. The only thing
that has gone up of course, is the price!
It's a real shame the Cuccia kids (management) only
care about their lavish lifestyles...
Vince's Spaghetti used to be really a great restaurant and I sure miss going there for a meal.

by a Yahoo! Local User 10/15/2007
What is wrong with you people! The sauce tasted like it was nothing more than tomato paste and water, secret recipe? Where was the flavor? The beef on the french dip was thick and flavorless. As everything else, the meatballs did not have enough flavor and were over worked. Obviously Vince's has a big following, but so does the Olive Garden. If you are looking for good, inexpensive Italian(Like Mama's), this is not the place.

However, it should be noted that the vast majority of reviewers gave Vince's 4 or 5 stars. This only goes to show that you can't please everyone.


A new website from Dr. William Domb of Upland.

Don't know what zt4bg stands for? Go to http://zt4bg.com/

Another "Kaboom" in Riverside County

On Sunday afternoon I referenced a post in the "Housing Kaboom" blog. The Inland Empire News Blog references another type of "kaboom," courtesy a Riverside County Sheriff's Department Press Release:

Sheriff Stanley Sniff
Perris Station
Press Release
Date/Time Written: July 25, 2008 / 8:00 p.m.
Type of Incident: Found Explosives
Date/Time of Incident: July 25, 2008 / 4:30 p.m.
Location of Incident: Washington x Van Buren, Woodcrest
Reporting Officer: Sgt. Cheryl Evans
File Number: PC08207077

On Friday, July 25, 2008, deputies responded to the area of Washington and Van Buren reference found explosives. The Riverside County Sheriff's Hazardous Device Team responded. They determined that there were old, abandoned, explosives located in a field. A 500 foot radius was cleared. There was no need to evacuate residences. Some nearby businesses were evacuated for a short period of time causing minimal impact to the businesses.

The California Highway Patrol assisted with the road closure of Van Buren and Washington in the immediate area. Traffic was stopped only for the time necessary to render the explosives safe.

View Larger Map

Sunday, July 27, 2008

You don't want this "biggest loser" title

The Riverside/San Bernardino real estate blog known as "Housing Kaboom" recently published a post entitled "The Biggest Loser". As you can probably guess from the subject matter, this particular "biggest loser" has to do with housing values. And this is a biggie:

1015 Lowry Ranch Rd is a large estate home up in Crown Ranch [in Corona, California]. According [to] the description this was a model home. It is 5400 sq/ft and has 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. The home was purchased new in May 2006 for 1.83 million. It does not say that this is a REO on the listing but I will assume it is as it shows a sale in June for 1.49 million. It is currently listed for $875K. That is a loss of 53% or $955K!

But this isn't new to Corona. Housing Kaboom shared some similar stories in January:

3350 Cashel LN, Corona, CA 92882...[is] now listed as an REO for....drumroll please........$530k! This home sold in late 2006 for $890k, the bank got it back a short 11 months later for $760k. I'm guessing 1st payment default on this one. This home, if it sells at $530 will have dropped $360K in just over a year. That's 41% in one year!

Going back to 2007, my mrontemp blog previously linked to a similar story from Eastvale, north of Corona. The Orange County Register reported, in part:

Former Fountain Valley residents Billy and Betty Lambright moved to this dairy land east of Chino in July, paying $620,000 for a new two-story house near brand new shopping centers and medical facilities the retired couple needs.

A few months after they moved into their tile-roofed dwelling and landscaped the back yard with lush grass, rose bushes, a trickling fountain and spindly fruit trees, the builder dropped the price for the same model by $45,000, plus free upgrades.

"They gave me a good deal, they said. But after that, they dropped the price to $575,000," Lambright said. "You can't cry over spilled milk."

The OC Register article was written over a year ago, in April 2007. No word on whether the Lambrights have tried to sell since then.

Make This Begonia Pretty

There's a Begonia that could use a bit of sprucing up, and Ontario is doing just that to the 200 block of Begonia Street, as Andrea Bennett reported on Thursday.

"There's good people in this neighborhood," said Sgt. David McBride. "They may just be apartment renters, but they still have a stake in the neighborhood. And they see that we care."

An interdepartmental team from the city towed away old cars, hauled off abandoned couches and trash, and rounded up stray dogs.

View Larger Map

I used to live a little northeast of the area (behind the current 99 Cents Only store) about 20 years ago. I wish the city luck in cleaning the place up.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Inland Empire Music News - Hip Pocket and Vampire Weekend

Various sources are publishing music news about bands appearing in the Inland Empire.

The Inland Empire News reported that "Redlands-based straightahead jazz group" Hip Pocket is having a CD signing on Saturday afternoon at the Barnes & Noble in Redlands' Citrus Plaza from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

And The Inland Empire News also announced that Hip Pocket would appear at RAXX Barbeque & Brewery in Riverside on Sunday at 6:30 pm.

They'll also appear at the Redlands Bowl's Summer Music Festival on August 12th.

(Warning: there are a ton of jazz bands that have a name using "Hip Pocket" in some form. This Hip Pocket is the Sandy Megas-led group.)

Meanwhile, David Allen announced that Vampire Weekend would appear at the Glass House in Pomona on September 16.

(There doesn't appear to be a lot of bands named Vampire Weekend; I could only find one.)

Frankly, I'm waiting for Alexa's Wish to re-form...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Christopher Laurie Dies At Age 33

Local newspapers are reporting the death of Christopher Laurie, son of Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor Greg Laurie. This message currently appears on the front page of the Harvest website:

Statement on the Passing of Christopher Laurie, Son of Pastor Greg Laurie
July 24, 2008

Christopher Laurie, son of Pastor Greg Laurie and Cathe Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, died Thursday morning in a car accident. A resident of Huntington Beach, Laurie, 33, served as the art director at Harvest Christian Fellowship for the past three years.

In addition to his parents, Christopher is survived by his wife, Brittany, and daughter, Stella, as well as his brother Jonathan. Christopher and his wife are expecting another daughter in November.

Memorial plans for Christopher are pending. More information will be posted to the Harvest website as details become available. You may pass along condolences and thoughts for the Laurie family by posting a comment on Pastor Greg's blog by clicking here.

In lieu of flowers, Harvest Christian Fellowship has established the Christopher Laurie Memorial Fund in memory of our friend, co-worker, family member, and brother in Christ. Proceeds from the fund will go to Brittany Laurie, Stella Laurie, and the soon-to-be daughter in order to assist them financially.

To make a donation to the Christopher Laurie Memorial Fund, you may make a credit card donation by clicking here. You can also make out a check to Harvest Christian Fellowship with the notation "Christopher Laurie Memorial Fund" on the memo line.

Regarding the accident, here's what the Los Angeles Times reported:

The accident occurred around 9 a.m. on the eastbound Riverside Freeway near Serfas Club Drive in Corona.

Laurie's station wagon collided with a Caltrans truck involved in roadwork in the carpool lane. Authorities were still piecing together exactly how the accident occurred.

Laurie, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thousands upon thousands of condolence messages are pouring in to father Greg Laurie's blog. A few weeks ago, Greg's blog was a different place:

Since you seemed to like those Montana pics I posted yesterday, I thought I would post a few more. My son Christopher shot these.

The first picture is of Christopher's daughter Stella. It is followed a picture of Christopher, Brittany, and Stella.

I know of a father who died relatively young, and I know that this can shake up a family enormously. Pray for the Laurie family.

You gotta eat

If I were still doing my Empoprise-IE Rooster series, the Inland Empire Restaurant and Food Reviews blog would be a good one to feature. The blog even featured Wolfe's Market in Claremont. (H/T David Allen.)

Before this, the only thing I knew about Inland Empire dining was about the Let's Dine Out show on KVCR Channel 24. Obviously I didn't watch it all that much, since it's been off the air for over a year and I didn't know it. But Allan Borgen moved to radio:

Borgen began hosting "Let's Dine Out" June 9 [2007] on KTIE-AM 590 in San....Borgen's show is about restaurants, entertainment and travel destinations in the Inland region.

The show's website is here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It can happen to you - identity theft in Pomona

The Goddess of Pomona is no dummy, but she likes to buy local and support her city. So, on Wednesday...

it was with a great sense of pride that I pulled in Fuel It Up on N. Garey at Arrow....

The first thing that was sort of odd, is that when I went inside the store to pay, no one was there, and it was a good two minutes before anyone came inside. The man who came inside did not have a name tag on and that sort of bothered me too. I paid by credit card and what was irregular about that was that it looked like a normal cash receipt, but there was no pre-printed line for my signature. Instead, the checker drew a line in pen along the side of the receipt and had me sign my name perpendicular to the rest of the receipt.

So why didn't she leave?

I convinced myself that these irregularities were rather charming in a funky Pomona kind of way.

It wasn't until later that she saw the web alert from the Pomona Police Department.

Fraudulent Use of Compromised ATM/Credit

The Pomona Police Department has initiated a Fraud Investigation after receiving multiple complaints from victims of Identity Theft and the unauthorized use of their ATM/Credit accounts resulting in the cumulative loss of thousands of dollars from their accounts.

A common thread of many of these complaints is the use of an ATM card for a PIN-based transaction or a credit card at the "Fuel-It-Up" gasoline station located at the southwest corner of Garey Avenue and Arrow Highway in the City of Pomona. Victims discovered that monies had been illegally withdrawn from their accounts at various locations after they had made a PIN-based or credit card purchase at that location. Victims discovered that cash had been withdrawn from their accounts at the Pechanga Casino in Temecula, Ca and various casinos in Las Vegas, NV.

In a process known as "card skimming", account information and PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) are electronically copied when an ATM/credit card is used to make a purchase. That information is then used to produce a counterfeit ATM/credit card or to make internet transactions. The victim will often not detect the theft until much later when they review their accounts.

The La Verne Police Department has also received several complaints from residents of La Verne and is also investigating similar losses. The United States Secret Service has been contacted and an investigation by that agency is pending.

On July 17, 2008, investigators from the Pomona Police Department visited Fuel-It-Up and seized equipment suspected of being used to obtain ATM/credit card account information and PINs. That equipment consisted of a card reader, computer, and video equipment which was found in plain sight within the business. Also observed were notes on the fuel pumps directing customers to go inside to make ATM/credit purchases rather than using the pay-at-the pump option.

It is unknown at this time who was involved in using the compromised information to commit the fraudulent transactions. Management for the business reported that the equipment seized by this agency was in place when they bought the location from the previous owners in July of 2007.

The investigation is continuing. At this time it appears that fraudulent transactions may have been made as early as May 2008, but the problem was not reported to Pomona Police until July 2008. The investigation has indicated that as much as $57,000 was fraudulently obtained via various compromised accounts in one day. The total amount of loss has yet to be determined.

This Press Release is issued as an advisory to consumers to attempt to prevent losses by alerting them to potential fraudulent card skimming. Also, persons who have been victims of theft from their accounts after making a purchase or other transaction at the "Fuel-It-Up" business are asked to contact the Pomona Police Department to make a theft report. Reports may be made at the Pomona Police Department Front Desk daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Victims are asked to bring bank statements or transaction records showing suspected fraudulent transactions and purchases made at the location.

For further information, Det. Bob Nelson may be contacted at (909) 620-2095.

Persons who may have additional information but wish to remain anonymous may contact We Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Sgt. Rick Baker

Well, as far as we know, the good Goddess' identity was not compromised. Although I don't know if her identity can be compromised; even David Allen doesn't know her real name.

Blue About JetBlue, and Expressly Blue About ExpressJet

KFI radio was airing a promo about its news coverage, and the promo included an audio clip stating that JetBlue wouldn't be flying out of Ontario International Airport (a/k/a LA/Ontario International Airport - argh) on September 3.

According to Andrea Bennett, they won't be flying out on September 4 or 5, either. Or the 6th. Or the 7th. You get the idea.

Bennett quotes CEO Dave Barger:

The dramatic rise in fuel prices has forced us to make the difficult decision to discontinue operations in Ontario. While we understand the impact this decision has on our customers and our crew members, we need to make appropriate network adjustments to better match our capacity with customer demand.

But JetBlue isn't the only airline ceasing operations at Ontario. The Los Angeles Times reports:

JetBlue's move came a week after ExpressJet announced it would stop all service at Ontario on Sept. 2, eliminating 15 nonstop flights to such destinations as Austin, Texas, and Tulsa, Okla.

In all, Ontario airport is expected to lose 37% of its flights in the fall, making the airport one of the nation's hardest hit by an industrywide rush to cut flights amid soaring fuel costs.

With the service cutbacks, area travelers can expect higher fares, more stopovers and driving farther to catch flights that may no longer be available at a nearby airport.

Why September? The Prague Post explains:

Spiraling fuel prices are hitting the airline industry especially hard during peak season, forcing airlines to cut routes and raise prices when demand tapers off this fall. Budget airlines have been especially hard-hit, as the low fares they build their business model on become increasingly difficult to maintain.

But whenever you're talking about Ontario International Airport, you have to remember the big gorilla at the airport, namely Southwest Airlines. And they're holding steady, according to the Press-Enterprise. Sort of:

Southwest Airlines, the airport's largest carrier, will cut one of the 10 flights it has between Ontario and Phoenix in November, a seasonal shift, but has no intention to cut back flights at Ontario, said Southwest spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger.

The Press-Enterprise also reported the overall numbers.

LA/Ontario International

May 2008: 575,407 passengers

May 2007: 622,239 passengers

Who knows whether the apparent drop in fuel prices will help rally the airline industry next summer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reading is fundamental

Cati Porter announced that she will be reading at the downtown Riverside Public Library on August 2 (2:00 pm - 4:00 pm) in conjunction with Judy Kronenfeld and Maureen Alsop.

More details about Porter's Seven Floors Up can be found here.

Hey, Peet, let's get alternative

Yesterday, I wrote about the Inland Empire Starbucks that are closing.

On Friday, Volkan Uzun (MVM) asked a semi-related question:

when will Peet's Coffee come to Inland Empire

Let's catch everyone up. If Starbucks or Coffee Klatch (see the February 2008 mrontemp post, or watch Heather Perry talk about farmers) isn't your thing perhaps Peet's Coffee & Tea is for you. They started in 1966 in Berkeley, California, five years before you-know-who. In fact, without Alfred Peet, there may not have been a Starbucks:

[Peet's] reputation was well in place in 1971, when he was approached by a group of entrepreneurs who asked him to provide his roasted coffee beans for their new venture, Starbucks, in Seattle.

"Peet supplied us with roasted coffee, and he taught me how to roast coffee," [Starbucks co-founder Jerry] Baldwin said. "He was very generous."

So I began wondering - how many Peet's Coffee & Tea locations were within 50 miles of 562 West Holt (the Ontario Starbucks that is scheduled to close?).

30 locations are within 50 miles, but only one - Peet's Chino Hills at 13855 City Center Dr., Suite 3015 - is within the Inland Empire. The store just opened in May, along with the rest of the Shoppes at Chino Hills. As of this afternoon, Yelp contained two reviews of the location, one of which was happy with the store except for the parking experience, and the other concerned about slow service.

We'll have to see if Peet's expands elsewhere in the Inland Empire. I understand that several coffeeshop locations are becoming available.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pass the (Star)bucks - or don't

Yesterday, my father in law gave me a copy of a Daily Bulletin article that listed the local Starbucks that are closing, two of which are close to me.

The one on South Mountain Avenue in Upland used to be my favorite Starbucks, back when the Pavilions was there. At one point a picture of my family was on the bulletin board there.

But over the years, the quality of that Starbucks deteriorated, and after the Pavilions closed, and after the Starbucks opened just across the freeway in Ontario at Mountain & 6th, I figured it was a matter of time before the one at Mountain and 7th would close.

I'm sadder, however, to see the Starbucks at San Antonio & Holt be on the closure list, although in retrospect, I see why that one is closing also.

I'd usually only visit the Ontario Starbucks early in the morning, between 6:30 and 7:00 (for example, on April 15). The place looked immaculate, there was hardly ever a wait to get your drink, and when there was a long wait one day, I got a free drink coupon without even asking for one.

But once I put two and two together, I realized that the short waits at this Starbucks were obviously not good for business. That one will be missed.

The Daily Bulletin printed the local Starbucks closure list on July 18:

2795 Cabot Drive, at Dos Lagos, Corona
115 N. McKinley St., near Magnolia Avenue, Corona
3840 Sierra Ave., at the 15 Freeway, Fontana
16645 Sierra Lakes Parkway, near Sierra Avenue, Fontana
6253 Pats Ranch Road, near Limonite Avenue, Mira Loma
4467 Mission Blvd., near Ramona Avenue, Montclair
2254 S. Euclid Ave., near Philadelphia Street, Ontario
2200 S. Grove Ave., near Philadelphia Street, Ontario
562 W. Holt Blvd., near San Antonio Avenue, Ontario
12592 Foothill Blvd., near the 15 Freeway, Rancho Cucamonga
386 S. Mountain Ave., at Mountain Square, Upland

Originally it appeared that the list would be much shorter. When M-m-m-my Pomona and David Allen got their preliminary information on July 14 and July 17, it appeared that only the Montclair location would be closing. David Allen later clarified:

The link I provided was to Starbucks.com's July 11-dated list of closures. That list apparently was a work in progress.

Actually, it was a list of the first stores to close:

As we announced on July 1, 2008, Starbucks will close approximately 600 company-operated stores in the U.S. beginning this month and continuing through the first half of FY09. Partners (employees) in the stores listed below have now been given notification that their stores will close by the end of this month.

The full list, which includes all eleven stores cited above, does not provide specific closure dates.

In the spirit of transparency with our partners, customers and communities, we have provided the full list of stores below for general information purposes. Store partners will receive advance notice and more details from their leadership team once a specific closure date has been confirmed. After specific closure dates have been communicated to all affected partners, we will continue to update the confirmed store list....

And there's an important caveat:

This list is provided solely for general information purposes, and does not create any obligation or commitment by Starbucks Coffee Company with respect to the closure of any particular store. This list is based on currently available operating, financial and competitive information. Actual store closures may differ depending on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, risks related to finalization of third party agreements, expected costs savings, income tax and other benefits associated with the store closures in the anticipated time frame, if at all. Starbucks undertakes no obligation to notify third parties of such changes.

To be continued.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A sign on the door is a bad sign

V.I.P.'s Pizza in Upland is closed.

The sign begins, "Unfortunately, due to the present economic times we have been forced to close our doors."

When we lived in Upland, we used to order from them at their old location.

My late brother-in-law used to work for them.

They will be missed.

Why Albert Dominguez doesn't like mobile fingerprinting in Claremont

This CBS 2 report describes the mobile fingerprinting devices that are used in Claremont, California.


New Device Gets Immediate Fingerprint Results
July 14, 2008, 11:55 p.m. PDT

A new technology helps authorities match fingerprints to a crime almost immediately. Lisa Sigell reports.

The TV story is also told via this press release.

Paul Cooper, Chief of Police
Police Department
For Immediate Release
July 14, 2008
Contact: Gary Jenkins, Captain
(909) 399-5411
Case #: 08-2431
Mobile ID Device Identifies Suspect Wanted for Violating Parole for Murder

Claremont, CA – On Friday, July 11, 2008, at about 6:00 p.m., the Claremont Police
Department began a DUI / Drivers License checkpoint on Indian Hill Blvd. just south of I-10. At about 6:15 p.m., a male subject driving through the checkpoint was detained when he was found to have no drivers license in his possession. He initially gave a name that resulted in “no match” with DMV. Officers then utilized the “Blue Check” mobile identification device to wirelessly run the subject’s index fingerprints through the Los Angeles County automated fingerprint identification system. In less than 5 minutes the subject was identified as Albert Dominguez, a 26-year-old Chino resident, who was wanted for violating parole from a murder conviction. Dominguez was immediately arrested and held at Claremont PD jail. He was subsequently released to the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on July 14, who will arrange for his transfer to the California Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

Claremont PD received the “Blue Check” device from the Los Angeles County Regional
Identification System (LACRIS) on Thursday, July 10, and was used in Claremont for
the first time at the checkpoint the next day. The device was in operation for about 15 minutes before the device resulted in the apprehension of a potentially dangerous

The “Blue Check:” devices were acquired by the Los Angeles Police Department
through a Federal Homeland Security grant, and some have been distributed to other
Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies by LACRIS. The devices cost about
$1,000 each, and are used in conjunction with a mobile phone to transmit the
fingerprints and receive identification results, including a photograph. LACRIS plans to acquire additional devices for wider distribution throughout Los Angeles County.

Additional Contact:
Los Angeles County Regional Identification System
Lt. Leo Norton
(562) 345-4319
# # # # #

More information on the device is here. (Note: As some of you know, I work for a competitor.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tequila Hoppers, the local angle

I just wrote a post in my Empoprise-NTN blog about Tequila Hoppers, in Upland on Mountain between 8th and 9th.

But if you're not into trivia, they have extended happy hour from 2:30 to 8, and a fish sandwich, fries, and beer special for $5 all day.

But if you're not into beer, they have TVs. The bar TVs have the home run contest, American Gladiators, boxing knockouts, and Speed Network.

Back to trivia.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's as good a time as any for the Empoprise-IE Rooster to take a break

For some time now, I've been running a daily feature in this blog called the Empoprise-IE Rooster. The feature, which appeared at 6:00 am (most) every morning, would highlight a different Inland Empire-related blog every day. Of course, I didn't write the features at 6:00, but wrote them in advance using Blogger's scheduled publishing feature.

Initially, the feature was designed to keep content in the blog during my ten-day vacation in early June, but I kept it up afterwards.

A few days ago, however, the list of queued posts ran out (the last one, on July 9, featured Vesuvius Records), and I haven't replenished the feed.

I may or may not start it up again, but will obviously try to keep the blog filled with content.

If I never publish another Empoprise-IE Rooster again, however, no worries. Someone else has taken the series over - sort of.

Back on June 26, I wrote a horse-racing post with a Beaumont connection. Entitled Richard (Dick) Mandella and an Inland Empire perspective on horse racing fatalities, it looked at the California perspective on the recent discussion of horse racing deaths. The post had some introductory information provided via Sharon Cobb, then it quoted from a KPCC post (with an additional observation of my own), and then went on to cover some other items.

Imagine my surprise when I ran across another blog post (at sportpeople.livejournal.com) that didn't link to my content, and didn't link to KPCC's content, but did lift significant portions of my blog post.

The other blog post did make sure to include my additional observation:

So I guess that if you want to make horse's lives better, you should encourage California gambling.

You can guess what type of blog post this was, I think. And you can probably guess that the blog post did include one link - to the Pechanga Casino page at algolworldnews.com. I'd link to algolworldnews.com myself, but it includes a message "© StarRating, 2005-2008. All right reserved." And I don't want to violate their right (in the singular).

But, unlike other really shoddy examples of this, the person who assembled this page did spent more than one second coming up with a title for it.

No, he or she didn't use the title "Richard (Dick) Mandella and an Inland Empire perspective on horse racing fatalities."

No, he or she didn't use a variant of that title.

In a parody of other posts in my blog, this blog post ended up with the title Empoprise-IE Cock - Pechanga Resort Lodge.

So I'll give one point for creativity. But I'm not sure what KPCC would say.

P.S. If you want to see the post, it's - well, it's in my FriendFeed.

P.P.S. I mentioned that the last Empoprise-IE Rooster that I published was for Vesuvius Records. Guess what was featured in the second to last Rooster post? You got it - Pechanga Resort & Casino. And I never got a chance to get to Casino Morongo. Yet.

P.P.P.S. According to Network Solutions, algolworldnews.com is registered via freehost.com.ua (Ukraine). The only contact for the site itself is "(FRANK)
mail:(assistant_1962@list.ru)." Good Ukranian name, Frank.

P.P.P.P.S. I tried to do some more research on algolworldnews.com, which could have been a very bad mistake.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

On the bike trail in Upland

Facing east on Second Avenue.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to engage your user group - Inland Empire .NET Users' Group Most Valuable Members

How do you determine the most valuable members of your user group?


At duringlunch.com, James has posted a list of the most valuable members of the Inland Empire .NET Users' Group. Each member received points based upon "viving back to the community."

So what did the MVM, Volkan Uzun, do?

Volkan has been coming to the meetings for several years, working in several levels of the group, most recently developing and teaching a 12 week Beginner's ASP.NET course affiliated with the IEDOTNET, writing several blog postings per month, and recently received two Microsoft Certifications. He must stay up nights, thinking of new ways to give back to the development community.

Volkan has provided his own account of his experiences with the group:

James Johnson started the Inland Empire .NET user group 5 years ago. I started attending the user group like 2, 2.5 years ago. I watch this user group growing and becoming better every day. Good speakers, good pizza, nice location (hey no parking fee!!!), very friendly people, and really devoting president James....We had a 12 weeks Beginner's Asp.NET course, we recently completed it and i think it was a succesfull training. We opened our forums, i still dont understand why it didnt become popular to help people.

Then Volkan talked about the genesis of the award.

One year ago James started a program which will reward the members who helps back the community, called MVM program; and as you can see from the right corner of this blog, i am this year's winner. I literally got tons of stuf, but one of the best thing is this proves i could give it back to the community. When i started coming the user group, i was more likely a consumer. Now after some time, this shows to me that, i start paying back to the user group which still i owe a lot....

But Volkan isn't keeping all of his point-winning secrets to himself. He listed a number of ways in which people can help the group:

advertising the user group
help tearing down the meeting room
help setting up the room
find a speaker
speak yourself, give a presentation
bring more people
rsvp so we can now how much pizza we should buy
check the forums, help to the people

Read the rest of Volkan's post here. And James' information on the other award winners and participants is here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garden of Yorke

Technically they're outside of the Inland Empire (they're a High Desert band), but Garden of Yorke's song "The Fish From India" was released by Rialto-based Vesuvius Records.

Garden of Yorke's MySpace site is here.

According to a blog post, there will be a CD release party at Blastoff Coffee some time this month (if it hasn't already happened).

And I shouldn't really go into Blastoff Coffee, since it's in Hesperia.

Heck, maybe I'll end up starting "Empoprise-HD." Then I could talk about KAVL all I want.

Empoprise-IE Rooster - Vesuvius Records YouTube site

Rialto, California-based indie record label.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Empoprise-IE Rooster - Pechanga Resort & Casino

Once a glorified tent, this casino has grown, and will continue to grow.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Sneak preview - "The Fish From India"

A little more about this on Wednesday, but here is a video from Vesuvius Records recording artist Garden of Yorke.

C'mon, Bill Gates had extra money; he could have bought PFF for $10 a share

This July 3 Claremont Insider post linked to this June 26 Claremont Insider post, which itself linked to this June 24 Riverside Press-Enterprise article.

A shareholder of PFF Bancorp has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Rancho Cucamonga-based firm and the Illinois-headquartered company that recently agreed to acquire it, alleging company officials breached their responsibilities by selling PFF at too low a price....

The lawsuit was filed June 18 in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorneys for plaintiff Menachem Maiman....

The suit asks the court to stop the merger, or rescind it if a court judgment is not rendered until after the merger is completed.

The theory, of course, if that PFF could have negotiated a better deal than the one they struck with FBOP Corporation.

From a layman's perspective, I'd have to say that I don't see a real persuasive argument on the surface here. PFF couldn't exactly hold out for a better deal.

Empoprise-IE Rooster - Diocese of San Bernardino

Roman Catholicism in the area.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Empoprise-IE Rooster - San Bernardino National Forest

My mother has this strange idea that forests are supposed to have full-sized trees in them. But the desert is the desert.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Empoprise-IE Rooster - Inland Empire Emerald Society

"The primary objective of the Society is to provide immediate financial support to the families of Inland Empire law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, as well as supporting the local, state and national memorials and to foster goodwill among members of the numerous law enforcement communities in Southern California and to celebrate the accomplishments and dedication of Irish-American peace officers."


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Empoprise-IE Rooster - KVCR Radio

Public broadcasting, NPR affiliate.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One way to achieve smaller city government

The Daily Bulletin's Andrea Bennett wrote that the city of Ontario has deleted 25 positions from the city's budget for 2008-2009.

However, no current city employee will lose his or her job, according to Ontario City Manager Greg Devereaux. 17 vacant positions will not be filled, and 8 people will be shifted to other jobs.

Most of the deleted positions, according to Bennett, are in development services - since there is less development at the moment. A Los Angeles Times blog noted:

A financial analyst fresh from a tour of construction sites in the Inland Empire is warning Wall Street of a "ghost town" where finished homes sit vacant and additional homes are still under construction.

Unlike the Specials' ghost town, the LA Times' "IE ghost town" has more desert.

The good and bad about listening to KGGI's Jeff Pope

I mentioned KGGI in this blog a few days ago, and have written about Jeff Pope in other places.

This morning I was listening to KGGI and heard a bad thing and a good thing. Turns out that Jeff wasn't responsible for either of them.

The bad occurred first. KGGI plays urban music in the house, boy, and some of it is pretty good, but (IMHO) some of it could be better. During one song that I heard this morning, I learned the important fact that "L A X" (as in the airport) rhymes with "L A sex."

The good occurred a little bit after that, when a caller asked if he could tell a joke to get Angels tickets. (And I'm calling them the Anaheim Angels, not the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Deal with it, Rita Moreno of Arte.)

Here's the joke that the caller told.

Q: What's the difference between Dodger Dogs and Angel Dogs?

A: Dodger Dogs aren't served in October.

OK, some people might not appreciate that joke...

Empoprise-IE Rooster - KCAA Radio 1050 AM

A talk station that's been around since 2003.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Empoprise-IE Rooster - Victoria Gardens

Is this just the illusion of commmunity, or an actual community?