Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nell Soto has passed away

The Claremont Insider notes that local politician Nell Soto passed away on Thursday.

Former state senator and assemblymember Nell Soto passed away Thursday. She was 82.

Soto represented California's 32nd Senate District and stepped down last March because of declining health. Soto also served on the Pomona City Council from 1986 to 1998.


In a few days, I plan to blog about a local real estate agent who has created MySpace and YouTube accounts to promote his business.

But when you think MySpace and YouTube, you don't normally think about real estate agents. You think about musicians.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Starbucks on east Foothill Blvd. in Claremont and grabbed a flyer for Rizorkestra, "one-man-roots-blues-band."

You can find out more about Rizorkestra at

And speaking of Claremont, take a look at this:

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Piece of the P.I.E. - Client Advocate Network

When I went to the Professionals of the Inland Empire meeting on February 24, one of the people that I met was Stephen Jester, Director of Technology Resources of Client Advocate Network.

So, what do they do?

The NETWORK connects clients with NEEDS to clients with the right SOLUTIONS to those needs.

Our first set of clients are owners, operators and key managers of entrepreneurial companies. They are busy working in their business, have limited and leveraged internal resources, an endless "to do" list and want to succeed.

For them, the value of the NETWORK is:

  • A general business advisor and a strategic sounding board

  • A group of impartial, 3rd party diagnostic consultants with subject matter expertise in a variety of areas

  • An effective, efficient and economical clearinghouse for qualified solutions to their specific CAPITAL, PEOPLE & KNOWLEDGE needs
For a listing of entrepreneurial companies served by the NETWORK, please click HERE.

Our second set of clients are partners and principals of professional services firms. They are technical experts in their vocation and busy serving clients. They have limited time and energy to market to their ideal clients.

For them, the value of the NETWORK is:
  • An additional channel for marketing and sales support

  • An impartial, 3rd party validation of their core competencies

  • A consultant in the area of practice development
For a listing of professional services firms served by the NETWORK, please click HERE.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I was involved in that project until I wasn't involved in it?

Who was it that said that it's easier to tell the truth because then you don't have to keep all the lies straight? I'd say that George McGovern said it, but then I'd be lying.

Or perhaps there's faulty "I don't recall" memory.

Take a look at this Claremont Insider post, which documents two differences of opinion on Bridget Healy's involvement in various projects in Claremont.

The only problem is, both opinions come from Healy herself.

Here's the first, from a recent campaign flyer:

Healy's campaign very clearly states that it is presenting us with a mere "partial list of accomplishments to which Bridget made significant contributions during her years of public service to Claremont's citizens."...The first item on the list is the acquisition of "1,600 acres of Wilderness Park as well as the Padua Theater [sic] at no cost to the tax payers [sic] of Claremont...."

Here's the second, from a legal deposition:

Grotefeld: As you sit here today do you recall being involved with any special projects that related to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park?

Healy: No.

. . . . .

Grotefeld: As you sit here today do you recall any special projects that you worked on that dealt with the Padua Theatre?

Healy: No.

. . . . .

Grotefeld: Would it be a fair statement to say that the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park was not something that you, in terms of your work as the assistant city manager performed any job function with respect to?

Healy: Correct.

For the record, Healy did not choose to mention these items in her statement at

Tip - if your company makes "People You'll See in Hell," that's usually a bad sign

You remember the Broadstone Foothill Apartments controversy from earlier this month. See my prior post in Empoprise-BI, and the follow-up in Empoprise-IE, and the final post in Empoprise-BI. In the third post, I noted that Candyse Wardlow noted that "corporate" would send a response, but that the situation would be resolved.

Well, the whole story has made the blog "People You'll See in Hell." I've quoted from this blog previously, in recounting the story of Arielle Smith, accused of putting Andre Jenkins in a clothes dryer until he died.

As you can imagine, getting cited in "People You'll See In Hell" is not a good thing.

Excerpts from the post:

Carlos Ortiz recently received a bill for $2,821 from [Broadstone] Foothill Apartment Homes, the landlords of his ex-wife Alicia Ortiz’s apartment in Upland, California. The bill was for rent and penalties incurred when she broke her lease with the company back in December of 2008. He had co-signed for her, and since she seems to be unable to pay herself, Carlos got stuck with the tab.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Hey now Max, that doesn’t sound unreasonable at all, much less Hellworthy.” Yeah, you wouldn’t think so, would you?

Except Alicia Ortiz is, or was, the Sister-In-Law of Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, the asshole who dressed up like Santa Claus, crashed his In-Laws Christmas party, shot eight people to death in cold blood and burned the house down with a homemade flamethrower. Mrs. Ortiz and her 17-year-old son were among the dead.

People You'll See in Hell subsequently reprinted the followup article from the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which included this:

Officials with the Alliance Rental Company, which manages the Broadstone Foothill Apartment homes in Upland, said the company will no longer seek $2,200 from Ortiz's daughters nor her ex-husband.

"The company did not plan to pursue and will not pursue that," Alliance Spokeswoman Marcia Scott said Thursday.

But a Jan. 29, itemized invoice sent to Ortiz's survivors and stamped "balance due" indicated the dead woman's estate owed $1,655 to the apartment community for "insufficient notice to vacate."

It billed Ortiz for 12 days' rent and other fees accrued weeks after she was murdered.

When asked about sending the bill with a balance due to the surviving family Scott said it is "part of California law to send out a closing statement."

The post itself ended with a voting question. I didn't vote, but over 130 people did.

Does [Broadstone] Foothill Apartment Homes Deserve To Do The Rest Of Their Business In Hell?

Yes (87.0%, 117 Votes)
No (13.0%, 17 Votes)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Understatement of the week - "the economy affects newspapers too"

Perhaps it's a matter of perspective.

A lot of my reading is of social media types who are constantly talking about new media and old media and things like that. Are newspaper economics relevant in the new age? How can a newspaper attract newer customers to its web properties? Bla bla bla.

So when I read this February 23 post by David Allen, my first thought was, "Of course." My second thought was, "Yeah, it hit there too."

Here's part of Allen's post:

As noted here previously, I'm on furlough this week -- no work, no pay, for those who don't know the term; everyone in our chain is affected at varying points in February and March....

What can I tell ya? The economy affects newspapers too.

Read the rest here.

Janie's Crying

No, this doesn't have to do with Van Halen.

It has to do with David Allen - not just a gigolo, not Diamond Dave, but the local Daily Bulletin columnist.

Specifically, this has to do with something from one of Allen's readers:

Reader Shirley Wofford writes:

"Do you think you could come up with any information on...Janie's Sports Lounge, formerly in Montclair?...

"Janie's Sports Lounge was a fixture at the strip mall anchored by Stater Bros. Market (Montclair's only supermarket) for many years and was very popular with its regulars. I was not a patron, but it always seemed to be an integral part of that neighborhood."

Allen then commented:

The owner of Janie's, Janie McLaren, sent me a nice note a year or so ago, inviting me in for lunch sometime. Sorry to say, I never took advantage of the offer. Oh well. Anyone able to share any memories of the place?

My apologies to Barbeques Galore fans - I am extremely focused here. And Mo was also focused in a comment:

I am so sorry to hear Janie's is no more. I only went in a few times but it seemed to be a nice little place. Janie is a very sweet lady. I met her about 20 years ago when she was a bartender at the Hi-Brow in Claremont/Pomona.

I searched various review sites, including Yelp, but was hard-pressed to even find a review of the place, much less an account of its closure. Eventually, I found two reviews at Insider Pages. The first dates from 2006:

Local bar
By Sula V. | Insider | Rank: 22,363
Awesome local bar with lots of regulars. Two pool tables with many worthy opponents and a shuffleboard. Good live music on weekends, cool mini-pitchers of beer.

First Review! Posted 09/26/06

The only other review was from a few months ago:

By Andrea K. | Insider Expert | Rank: 2,968
fun place to go and have drink.. place game and just hang out with friends. i went here a few times and everyone is incredibly nice! you will have a good time here and i recommend going

Posted 09/06/08

I haven't gone to the site to confirm Janie's demise, but I trust David Allen and figure that it's too late to go.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Spirit of Rancho Cucamonga

After I left the Professionals of the Inland Empire meeting earlier this evening, I went up to my church for a meeting with two representatives of the Rancho Cucamonga, California Planning Department.

Because, you see, they're planning. And, like good Inland Empire professionals, they're networking.

Specifically, they've developed a draft of a visionary document called "The Spirit of Rancho Cucamonga" and they've visiting various organizations in the city to see how the organizations feel about the draft.

Do these Guiding Principles statements reflect your vision for the City? Review the Guiding Principles and tell us what is missing, what needs to be refined, and what should perhaps not be included. These statements are written to reflect future conditions – what we aspire to achieve. Share your thoughts!

And we shared them.

But what if you're not a member of one of the approximately 40 organizations that the city has been, and will be, visiting? Well, you'll get your chance too, on March 12 at 6:30 pm. Go to the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, Celebration Hall South and you can speak your piece on the draft "Spirit" statements.

As of today, the Spirit of Rancho Cucamonga reads as follows:

Spirit of Rancho Cucamonga - Draft Guiding Principles:

The Spirit of Family

Rancho Cucamonga is a people-first community with a focus on families. We strive to create an environment that leads to stable and healthy families.

Our economic development priorities are to support individuals and families by providing high-quality services and facilities.

We continue to develop and maintain a system of high-quality, world-class community parks and sports complexes that appeal to all ages and all interests, from local leagues to national tournaments.

We celebrate the family through community events such as the Founders Day Parade, critically acclaimed performing arts programs, and promotion of other family activities.

We encourage the retention, rehabilitation, and development of a diverse housing stock that caters to residents in all stages of their lives.

The Spirit of Discovery and Knowledge

Rancho Cucamonga is a community committed to life-long learning. We promote educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Rancho Cucamonga’s schools are a valuable asset. The quality of our schools draws people to our City. Our coalition of partnerships among the City, schools, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, and businesses is a model for all California cities. We partner with our school districts through joint-use facilities and extended day programs.

We promote participation in the arts, offering a variety of entertainment and education venues for enrichment, as well as providing opportunities for people to gather with friends and neighbors.

We promote diverse programs and high-quality facilities such as our City-owned libraries and our Community Centers.

The Spirit of Community

We recognize the link between a healthy mind, body, and Earth, and this is reflected in our programs and facilities for our residents and businesses. The high quality of services the City provides strengthens community bonds and contributes to healthy lifestyles.

Through our Healthy RC program, we inspire a lifestyle that embraces a healthy mind, body and Earth through lifelong learning and enrichment, active and healthy living, and environmental sustainability.

We depend upon one another, and this is demonstrated by encouraging volunteerism at rates that are proportionally higher than any other Inland Empire city.

We recognize the importance of our faith-based organizations and the impact they have within the community.

The Spirit of Heritage

We have an abiding respect for the heritage we share. Our historic communities – Alta Loma, Cucamonga, and Etiwanda – are at the heart of our City and must be preserved, honored, and enhanced. We encourage the preservation and restoration of historical buildings and cultural resources to recognize the contributions of our forefathers.

Foothill Boulevard (Route 66) is the historic thread that ties our community together. We must continually modernize the corridor while telling the story of the past and balancing preservation. This will be done through the adaptive re-use of buildings, strong architectural design, and public art.

We promote the use of citrus and vineyard plantings to remind us of our agricultural past.

Our outstanding views of the mountains, the varied natural topography of the area, and the trails that allow us to access these open spaces are an asset and must be preserved.

The Spirit of Independence and Self-Reliance

Our City is committed to being a leader in providing a safe place to live, work, and play.

We have a strong dedication to community planning. The quality of our built environment is by design. Our government leads by example. We are committed to achieve higher standards for community development, architecture, and landscaping. Our streetscapes reflect the high-quality development that we demand while embracing the concept of water conservation and ease of maintenance.

We promote sustainable neighborhood and building design.

The City promotes a balanced approach towards development that pays attention to long-term economic strength and fiscal responsibility. A sustainable economy requires a diversified employment and fiscal base. We take pride in the fiscal soundness enjoyed by our City as a result of solid development decisions, prudent financial management, and a strong commitment by residents to add value through their efforts.

The Spirit of Innovation

We emphasize development of a balanced, integrated, multi-modal circulation system which includes streets, sidewalks, bikeways, and equestrian trails. The system is efficient and safe, and connects neighborhoods to jobs, shopping, services, and active and passive open space.

We maximize the industrial economic development power of our rail and highway connections. The Foothill Boulevard, State Route 210, and I-15 corridors are the core of our commercial development and provide both jobs for our families and revenues for our community services. Our economic base must maintain a mix of cultural, residential, local and regional commercial, and industrial uses with stable - not transitory - types of development.

As we mature as a city, infill development will reflect our high standards and will complement existing development.

We are a business-friendly community. We are committed to a fair, entrepreneurial, and successful structure of fees, assessments, and community contributions which provide the funding for the city governance, public safety, and the development and maintenance of quality infrastructure, recreational programs, and open space-related facilities.

The Spirit of Tomorrow

We are dedicated to a sustainable balance in land use patterns (residential, business, agricultural, recreational, open space, and historic uses) and supporting transportation.

We are proactive in the design and development of lands within our Sphere of Influence, being vigilant in maintaining open space whenever possible.

Rancho Cucamonga will lead the way to a healthy environment. We are committed to environmental sustainability, which means meeting the needs of the present while conserving the ability of future generations to do the same.

We strive for a stable City government which respects the decisions of the past while being committed to long-range planning initiatives and the positive impacts of future development.

We recognize there is an interdependent relationship between an educated citizenry, economic development, and a thriving community.

Or, if you don't want to go to a meeting, go to the bottom of this page and click on Share your thoughts! to...share your thoughts.

A Piece of the P.I.E. - Introduction

I am suddenly surprisingly social. Sure I go to the occasional meetup here and there, but it's rare that I go to two meetups in four days.

On Saturday, I went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Cerritos in connection with a Los Angeles area FriendFeed meetup.

Earlier this evening, I went (as planned) to Omaha Jack's in Rancho Cucamonga in connection with a Professionals of the Inland Empire meetup. This meetup was arranged via the LinkedIn group Professionals of the Inland Empire - specifically by Joe Mabry of Inland Empire Consultants, and Theresa Godinez of Amtec Communications.

I didn't count the room, but I'd guess that there were well over 20 people in attendance - some (like me) from big companies, some from small. But some of us, if not all of us, agreed that one of the potential benefits of the group would be to counter the negative impression of the Inland Empire.

Unfortunately, I had another commitment (more on that in a later post), so I was only able to stay for an hour and only really had a chance to talk with two people in any great detail. However, there was a table of handouts from various people/companies, and I did get a chance to grab those before I left.

In fact, what I'd like to do is to feature some of the companies from the handouts on my blog. I've previously featured a P.I.E. member (Executive VIP Airport Shuttle) in this blog, and I'm happy to do it for the firms that I learned about tonight. And I even came up with a handy-dandy name for the post series - "A Piece of the P.I.E." (You may groan now.)

I'll try to start sharing those companies within the next few days, but now I have to write about the other meeting that I attended tonight.

Holt Boulevard of Broken Dreams

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Revitalize downtown Ontario, California, build some really nice houses, then watch the downtown area grow. And promote it all with a cool website.

But then the worldwide financial crisis kicked in, as this February 18, 2009 Daily Bulletin article notes.

A turn onto Robin Privado from B Street reveals a community of 140 new, bright yellow town homes.

But as a recent tour showed, the town houses across from City Hall remain empty, the streets void of life.

"No trespassing" signs are posted at entrances to the project. From the south side of the development on Holt Boulevard, broken windows are visible....

Prior to the financial crunch, the city had banked on the Kincaid Series Townhome edevelopment project to spark the transformation of downtown into a pedestrian-friendly, vibrant destination.

But that was before the housing market crash.

On City Hall's advice, J.H. Snyder has been encouraged to put sales of the town houses on hold.

The developer has not closed any sales on the town houses and may turn them into apartments, City Manager Greg Devereaux said.

More here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Get all your bills in line? Citi Financial, heal thyself.

960 N Mountain, Ontario.

How long will Ontario tolerate a graffiti-ridden eyesore?

Matt Munson wrote about the continuing Wal Mart fight in Ontario on February 17, 2009.

Ironically, I wrote about the vacant, graffiti-ridden lot back in November 2005.

It is now February 2009, and the graffiti-ridden lot is still there, still vacant, still an eyesore.

And even today, continues to proclaim that "the city does not need the revenue." And they continue to hide who is behind the effort, as they did in 2007. Oh, and you may recall that another Cory Briggs group, "Murrietans for Smart Growth," was only able to produce a single Murrietan for Smart Growth - who coincidentally works at a Ralphs.

Briggs continues to be active against Wal Marts, and is now tying up the construction of a Wal Mart in Hesperia. Estimates are that the project is now delayed by two years. Based upon Briggs' ability to preserve a graffiti-ridden eyesore in Ontario, that estimate is probably light.

Meanwhile, in Ontario, a legal hearing on the matter has been delayed to April 10.

And people from Ontario continue to shop in Chino.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

It's not really a secret that I enjoy taking material out of one of my blogs, and somehow shoehorning it into as many of my other blogs as possible.

Therefore, when I wrote a February 10 post in my personal blog about osteopathic medicine (a followup to a 2007 post), and when that post subsequently received some attention from a "DO Fan," I immediately thought to myself: "Hey, my Inland Empire blog is a little light these days. Can I work this into the Inland Empire blog?"

As it turns out, I could...well, when I use my fairly elastic definition of the Inland Empire, anyway.

Because, you see, Pomona has its own college of osteopathic medicine:

The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) supports Western University of Health Sciences in its mission to increase the availability of Physicians to serve the needs of the people living in the western region of the United States. The College provides the educational basis for internship and residencies in all medical specialties. The academic environment fosters respect for the uniqueness of humanity. Students are provided with classroom and clinical experiences designed to prepare them to function as competent, caring, life long learners with a distinctive Osteopathic Philosophy.

The college started in 1977 and has subsequently been reorganized into a university, the Western University of Health Sciences.

According to U.S. News and World Report, as of 2007 the college had 39 full-time faculty, 829 students, and a faculty-student ratio of 0.0. (Perhaps this is one of the reasons why my alma mater does not cooperate with U.S. News and World Report.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cucamonga Challenge on Saturday May 9


A Pacific Electric Trail announcement:

Mark your calendar! The date is set and registration is now open for the 2009 Cucamonga Challenge. This is the event formerly known as the Friends of Pacific Electric Trail Bike-A-Thon - we've renamed the event to closer match the multi-user aspect of the trail, but it's the same great event you've come to know and love, now in [its] 4th year.

More in this post in the Pacific Electric Trail blog.

You can register here (via

View Larger Map

Friday, February 13, 2009

School's not out for winter

You've probably heard of cases in which members of a church congregation are at odds with the church's governing body, resulting in arguments over who really controls the local church.

The same thing can happen with schools.

A brief background from Sandra Emerson of the Daily Bulletin:

An arbitration panel ruled Jan. 15 that Western Christian Schools - which is purchasing Upland Christian from the Anaheim District Church of the Nazarene - can proceed with its acquisition of certain assets of Upland Christian Schools.

The parents [of current Upland Christian Schools students] attempted to make a formal offer on the property, but the district was non-responsive.

So, what happened?

[T]he Save UCS parent association decided to form their own school.
In the last three weeks, the association - comprised of parents of students enrolled at Upland Christian Schools - has managed to get the K-12 private school incorporated and registered with the state under the name Upland Christian Academy.

The school will be an independent school run by a selected board of directors with no affiliation with a church or Upland Christian Schools.

In the Upland Now blog, Emerson noted the reaction of Western Christian Schools:

In a recent interview with Karen Winter, superintendent of Western Christian Schools in Claremont and Covina, she expressed her feelings over the Save UCS Parent Association's decision to relocate.

She also addressed the plans being made for transition of Western Christian Schools with Upland Christian Schools.

"We are obviously disappointed for the families that feel the need to being their own separate school, but we are optimistic and positive about moving forward with the many families from Upland who have confirmed their commitment to Western and we're excited about our school coming to the Upland Campus."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Solution for the IE housing slump - send realtors to Beijing

I don't know if Housing Kaboom has uncovered this yet, but MSNBC has:

Beijing lawyer Ying Guohua is heading to the United States on a shopping trip, looking not for designer clothes or jewelry, but for a $1 million home in New York City or Los Angeles.

He expects to get a bargain. Ying is part of a growing number of Chinese who are joining tours organized especially for investors who want to take advantage of slumping U.S. real estate prices amid a financial crisis.

But how do you get the potential buyers away from El-Lay and out to the IE? I'll grant that Diamond Bar may be attractive, but how do you lure a Chinese businessman to Fontana?

The Inland Empire in the 1860s

Back in 2007, the San Bernardino County Sun posted an Inland Empire timeline. Beginning on November 26, 1826 (with Jebediah Strong Smith crossing the Inland Empire to get to the San Gabriel Mission), the Sun posted a list of events in the Inland Empire.

Here are the events that transpired in the 1860s:

Jan. 22 - A flood struck that was probably the greatest in the Inland Valley in recorded history. In the East Fork of the San Gabriel River just west of today's Mt. Baldy Village, the flood wiped out the thriving gold camp of Eldoradoville. Flood control experts estimate the Santa Ana River was carrying 100,000 cubic feet of water per second at its height. The Missouri River by contrast carries 76,000 cubic feet on average. The first real community in the Inland Valley, Agua Mansa, was wiped out by the flood.

Nov. 17 - John Rains was murdered near Mud Springs (San Dimas). He owned Rancho Cucamonga. He was married to Maria Merced Williams, daughter of the former owner of Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, Isaac Williams. Rains' killers were never found though his radical pro-Southern friends believed his wife was somehow to blame.

Nicholas Earp brought his family from Iowa to Redlands. Sons Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan later went east to become lawmen. Virgil would later become the first marshal of Colton.

Billy Rubottom opens a hotel and inn at what is Spadra in west Pomona, which served the Butterfield stage route.

See the entire list here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For the historical record - Carbon Canyon fire DVD available

The Carbon Canyon Chronicle has announced that Sleepy Hollow resident Jose Hernandez has created a approximately 5 minute DVD of last November's fire. As the Chronicle states:

Jose's keen eye captured so much of the danger of the fire, the determined efforts of firefighting personnel from many areas of the state, and the devastation left afterwards, as well as offering impressive aesthetic renderings of the impact of the fire on Sleepy Hollow, Vellano, Olinda Village and other Canyon settings.

More here. To order the DVD, contact The DVD sells for $5.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Pacific Electric Trail grows by hops and skips

I haven' about the Pacific Electric Trail since last May. It's time for an update.

The Daily Bulletin has reported that Fontana is about to build another leg of the trail.

Don't get too excited, however - it's a one-block leg, from Tokay to Almeria Avenues in Fontana.

Staff writer Josh Dulaney says that the leg should be completed by June.

Another view of jury duty

I'll be honest. At times, jury duty can be perceived as a hassle. I've had employers that wouldn't pay you during jury duty, and I've had occasions when I've been in the middle of some project when a jury duty call intervened. People who take care of small children have to worry about child care while they are on jury duty.

But what if you're unemployed or underemployed, and you don't have kids? Then perhaps you may WANT jury duty. But it still may be too hard to serve.

Matt Munson:

I am required to call after 6 in the evening to find out if I have been canceled, postponed or I have to show up at the exact time. However I do lack the transportation to easily get to the court house within a hour window if I call between 11 and 12 in the afternoon to get to the court house by 12:45. In recent years, I ended up getting ready to the court house and while I am on the bus I find out that my jury duty service is not needed for the year.

Due to my employer going down the toilet due to working in the retail industry I would like to know if I am going to be part of this process. Sadly jury duty will pay more than my part time job and I would love the opportunity to serve on the jury and at least get some nominal money for my time.

Matt has shared some suggestions to improve jury duty in his February 4 post. Here's one of his suggestions:

Give more than a hour window for those who do not have access to a car or a drivers license to get to the court house. Having people call at 8 or 9 in the morning instead of calling between 11 and 12 would be easier for those who have to use mass transit.

Frankly, that suggestion is also good for people who DO have transporation. For example, I work in Orange County, but my courthouse is in Rancho Cucamonga. If I had to call between 11 and 12, I can't even guarantee that I'd make it to the courthouse on time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Love stinks

This is why I like David Allen. Allen has taken the time to note that on Saturday, February 14 - a day that many will celebrate as Valentine's Day - a member of the Pomona Valley Genealogical Society will speak on the lovely topic "Beware: Modern Records Can Be Just as Inaccurate as Older Records."

I did find a Saturday event that makes a little more sense - a blood drive in Murietta. According to the poster, it will be held at 25125 Madison Avenue in Murietta and is sponsored by Ashley Furniture.

And for the romantic in you, blood donors get a coupon for a complimentary Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich.


A 3,000-word restaurant review

You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words?

Well, Inland Empire Restaurant Reviews just posted a review of Fuddrucker's in Ontario, California.

The review consists of three pictures.

But they're nice pictures.

If you want to take your own pictures, go to the northwest corner of Ontario Mills.

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All about the Price to Income Ratio

Housing Kaboom recently discussed a possible way to predict when the housing prices would hit bottom...and noted that there is not one bottom for every locality.

Recently Beacon Economics predicted that the SoCal housing market won’t hit bottom until the summer of 2011. Many other forecasters are predicting a similar time frame. The thing is, in the real world, the bottom will be hit at different times in different places. If you go out to Perris or San Jacinto, those areas are already so close to the bottom the are kicking up sediment. Corona and the areas around it are still a long way from hitting mud. Go out to Laguna or Palos Verdes and they are years behind us.

The post then discussed Price to Income Ratio.

Historically the Price to Income Ratio in the IE is 2.7. at the Peak it was 7.1! even though there have been massive price drops, it's still around 4 in most areas.

The post then calculates current price to income ratios for several areas. Here's an example:

The median family income in Corona is around $75k. That means the median house needs to be around $200k. Currently the median home is $325k. That's still a large difference from where it is to where is should be. Current ratio 4.33

For calculations for other cities, see the post.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

St. Luke Lutheran Church, Claremont, CA

Indian Hill & Baseline.

I was married here nearly 20 years ago.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Update from Tequila Hoppers

Last Wednesday, I wrote about someone who has visited Tequila Hoppers in Upland. As it turns out, I went to Tequila Hoppers this afternoon, playing NTN Buzztime Trivia and talking about the economy.

In addition to Russ, my trivia opponent, I was talking with the bartender, Terri, who was busily slicing lemons for later this evening. So if you're in the mood for a lemony drink tonight, rest assured that the lemons are ready.

On my way out, I grabbed some of their promotional cards. Here are some of Tequila Hoppers' current promotions:

  • Classic Rock Wednesday. Also includes various drink specials.

  • Nothing but Bull!!! Thursday. And if you thought that mechanical bull rides died out after John Travolta and Urban Cowboy, you're wrong.

  • Friday nights have a dance floor after 9:00 pm, $5 cover (I don't think they have a cover charge any other time of the week), and a $3.50 liquer U-Call after 8:00 pm.

  • Their happy hour, by the way, lasts from 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm, seven days a week. (I left at 2:00 pm today. I need better planning.)

  • They even have a religious typo. While talking about their Buy One Get One Free Lunch, they include the words "God for a limited time only...." Sorry, Tequila Hoppers, but my God is eternal. :)
Tequila Hoppers is located at 60 North Mountain Avenue in Upland, California, on the east side of the street just north of the train tracks.

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Don't forget the lemons.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More on Broadstone Foothill Apartments

At the time that I wrote my Empoprise-BI post about murder victim Alice Ortiz, it was unclear whether the Upland apartment complex that she lived in was called Broadcrest Foothill Apartments or Broadstone Foothill Apartments.

If it's the latter, it should be noted that it's a relatively new apartment complex.

And like all apartment complexes, people use the language called Realestate-ese to talk about it:

An oasis.... Broadstone Foothills welcomes you home.. Resting in the shadows of the mountains, an oasis set in the idyllic San Gabriel Valley, Broadstone Foothills welcomes you home. Designed to enhance and enrich the surrounding community, Broadstone Foothills features elegant architectural details and beautiful landscaping, delivering an abundance of rich amenities both inside and out. Conveniently located near the prestigious Claremont Colleges and within walking distance to shops and restaurants. Broadstone Foothills provides a rich environment and quality of life that will exceed your highest expectations.

Of course, the description above neglects the fact that one of the "shops" within walking distance is a strip club.

And any realestate-ese description doesn't get around to describing the papers that you have to sign, or the clause "if you die before the end of the month, your rent is still due on the 31st."


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

909party is not an oxymoron

So anyways, this morning I was driving through Brea Canyon at 7:25 am, and I saw a red SUV in a nearby lane that had the words "" on the back window.

Somehow "party" and "7:25 am" didn't compute with me. Immediately my series of 909 jokes kicked in. (If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.)

  • Of course, if the party had been in the 310, the party would still be going on at 7:25 am.

  • Of course the 909 party people were awake. With all the fumes from the meth labs, everyone in the 909 is awake at 7:25 am.
Tip your waitresses, I'm here all week.

Which actually segues into what really is. is a flashy place, devoted to two locations.
  • Happy's Grill, 23545 Palomino Dr., Diamond Bar CA 91765.

  • Godfather's, 12570 Central Ave., Chino CA 91710.
The two places are somewhat different - Happy's allows kids, while Godfather's is 21 and over only.

Actually, I've been to Godfather's, but it was several years ago. Alexa's Wish played there once, and I saw them there. (For the record, Alexa's Wish has also played at Goodfellas.)

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Need to check out Happy's.

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Outgrowing the 909 and macro beers

As you may or may not know, I likes me the trivia - specifically, the NTN/Buzztime variety. (If you like NTN/Buzztime trivia, I have a whole blog devoted to it.)

My official home base for NTN/Buzztime is Tequila Hopper's in Upland, and although I play at other places, I like to try to get back there every once in a while. (See my Tequila Hoppers post in this blog, and my several Tequila Hoppers posts in Empoprise-NTN.)

So I was pleased to see that someone else has written about Tequila Hopper's. However, he doesn't look back on the place fondly, for two reasons.

First, it's in the 909.

In my last year or so of undergrad (about 2004-5, just when I started to get into craft beer), my friends and I frequented a place about a mile down the street called Tequilahoppers. After having been to this place weekly for over a year or two span I stopped going. The scene was just not my thing (think 909 bros) and I had moved to LA....

The place is the quintessential 909 sports bar. About 100 tv's, lots of tattoos, waitresses with 5 lbs of silicone in them (yeah!) and lots of Fox Racing or Skin shirts.

Second, he's outgrown the college beer he used to drink.

[T]hey did boast 80 taps, about 50 of which are macro swill. Yeah, seriously, they somehow fill about 50 taps with macro crap. They have about every Michelob, Bud, Coors, and domestic or import fizz water you could ever think of....The picture to the right was taken at one of the Wednesday Bud Light nights a handful of years ago. I didn't know better, lol.

However, the author (Steve) was able to find some Stone IPA on his most recent visit that pleased him.

And Steve said something else that rings true for me, not for Tequila Hoppers, but probably for...everywhere:

Upland is your standard just-outside-of-LA suburb, but it really doesn't have much in the way of beer. We have an English pub a few blocks up with a few good beers on tap but occupied by tons of people you went to high school with and wish to never see again, and a bunch of other really lame dive bars.

His high school comment reminded me of something from my post-bachelor party party. This would have been in 1989, and after my bachelor party was over, a couple of us went to Central and 9th in Upland to get a beer. (I've forgotten what the place was called at the time, but it's been through a couple of name changes in the last 20 years.) I didn't grow up in the area, but the other two guys did; ironically, one of them knew my wife when both of them were in high school. The other one (Danny) grew up in Upland, and looked around the bar as we sat there drinking. After we left, he commented that the people in the bar were the people who graduated from high school, but never really left high school.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

At least it wasn't a state forest

On February 2, the Carbon Canyon Chronicle ran a post that began as follows:

A press release was issued at the end of last week announcing that Chino Hills State Park was officially reopening yesterday after being closed two-and-a-half months since 90-95% of the park burned in November's Triangle Complex Fire.

Which means that the park is probably seriously denuded - or with what passes for "seriously denuded" in this part of the country.

You see, southern California is a desert, and therefore our flora do not exactly look like the flora you'd find in other parts of the country, or even in northern California. Once we took some visitors from the East Coast through the Cajon Pass, and the visitors saw the signs for the San Bernardino National Forest. "What forest?" they asked.

Back to Chino Hills State Park. This is what Neil Nisperos of the Daily Bulletin said on January 31:

Park Superintendent John Rowe said 90 percent of the trails will now be open, though five of the less visited trails would remain closed because of burned bridges....

The park is still missing many trail signs, so Rowe advises only those familiar with the park to venture into the backcountry.

About 95 percent of the 14,000-acre park, which spans three counties, was consumed by the inferno.

Despite the loss of most of the park's habitat from the fire, park officials are hopeful for the return of wildlife. They have observed signs of vegetative regrowth, with green hillsides and trees growing back from their roots.

The one hidden blessing from all this is that as life renews in the park, new animals will start to populate the park, and the whole (for lack of a better term) circle of life will circle around again.

Denny's, Mountain & 7th, Upland, 6:25 am

Too crowded!

Perhaps I should go to Jack in the Box...

CSI San Bernardino

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the San Bernardino County Crime Lab has a new director, Steve Johnson. And he has his work cut out for him.

DNA samples continue to stack up, with not enough trained analysts and not enough space to fit the experts the department would like.

A long-planned new crime lab is on hold as the budget picture gets bleaker.

But there are things that Johnson would like to do.

Since taking over this month, the 55-year-old has sent two of his examiners for specialized DNA and firearms training, and let administrators know that more space and more employees still are a priority....

Walking around his new lab, Johnson pointed out the increasing use of robotics to extract DNA samples and the need for a larger covered area to test-fire weapons.

He said he hopes to soon have the ability to get into the backlog of DNA cases and test more guns than just the ones tied to the highest-priority cases.

More here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

An Inland Empire tweeter of interest

If you're on Twitter, and you live in the Inland Empire, you may want to check out The account is relatively new - its first tweet was on January 19 - but it's already gaining some popularity.

My Empoprises Twitter account, by the way, is at