Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The economics of Ontario International Airport

Via podcast, I heard about a Riverside Press-Enterprise article that shared a troubling truth about Ontario International Airport - it's expensive.

A few snippets from Kimberly Pierceall's article:

Airlines land where there's demand, and there had been swelling populations in Riverside and San Bernardino counties wanting flights nearby.

But the region's housing-focused economy has been hit hard, and passenger airlines are cutting back. A larger percentage of seats were cut back at Ontario Airport last year than any other Southern California airport....

What the airport doesn't earn from concessions, parking permits, ATM transactions, rental car fees, advertising and luggage carts, it gets from its airlines. In its last fiscal year that ended in June 2008, the airport earned $72 million in revenue. Of that, $52 million came from airlines....

In March, the airport raised the annual rate it charges airlines for terminal space from $131.36 to $190.23 per square foot until June 30, more than other Southern California airports. It is an effort to overcome a potential $4 million shortfall in annual revenue. The airport may also raise parking rates.

San Diego Airport charges $73.35 per square foot and John Wayne charges $74.29 per square foot. Long Beach Airport and Palm Springs International charge $37.44 and $20.63 respectively.

Read the rest here.

In addition to declining passenger traffic, Ontario International Airport was hit by a case of bad timing and bad luck. Long a small airport, Ontario launched upon an ambitious expansion plan, building two new terminals in 1998 and planning for a third. Then September 11 hit.

Monday, March 30, 2009

So, what did you think of the festival?

Yeah, I missed it too. But the Los Angeles Times didn't:

The fourth annual Paid Dues Festival, held Saturday at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, straddled the tenuous divide between serving as a celebration of the leading lights of the backpack breed of indie rap...and operating as a Petri dish for the flaws of the contemporary underground.

Despite an energetic slate of performers, the 120-acre sprawl of the NOS Events center often felt gloomy and vacant, with a 40,000 capacity but only a few thousand in attendance.

More here. Jeff Weiss notes that $40 tickets and $15 parking fees probably didn't help the attendance, but he did have praise for Atmosphere and Slaughterhouse.

And Antiquiet was ecstatic:

The annual event is a dream come true for fans of the indie/underground/backpacker scene, featuring appearances by hip-hop’s underground elite. Rap icon and core Living Legends member Murs put the festival together- which began in 2006- as a way to showcase the best & newest talent on the scene, as well as a collective of the best names in hip-hop today.

More here.

Let's get historical about Fontana

Here's another city history web page, this one from Fontana:

The earliest recorded landowner in the Fontana area was Don Antonio Maria Lugo, who received a land grant in 1813. A second grant secured the land known as Rancho de San Bernardino for his sons. The Lugo sons sold a portion of their land, which included part of what is now Fontana, to a group of Mormon settlers in 1851. The Mormon settlers eventually returned to Salt Lake City, and the Semi Tropical Land & Water Company gained control of the Rancho. Active development of the area, however, did not begin until the early 1900's when the Fontana Development Company acquired the acreage and began a community called Rosena a name that was changed to Fontana in 1913.

More here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Granted, the Fourth Estate is in need of fixer-upping

The Claremont Insider spent some time looking at the earmarks from David Dreier, Nancy Pelosi, and Jerry Lewis, then asked,

By the way, has anyone seen the Fourth Estate poking around this information? Maybe it's too complicated or unsexy a story for a daily paper to delve into, but we think there's an audience for this, especially in these at a time when everyone's having to pinch pennies and cut back on expenses.

The thing is, the Fourth Estate doesn't have to poke into this, because, as I've noted, people like Jerry Lewis are bragging about what they've done.

The status of wireless 911 in Claremont

Wireless 911 has been problematic. Unlike a landline, where you know the exact jurisdiction in which the landline is located, wireless phones are obviously moving all over the place. While some have GPS, the positions of older phones can only be detected via triangulation between towers.

Pomona Neighborhood Watch noted the 911 capabilities in the neighboring city of Claremont.

When you dial 911 on your cell phone in the City of Claremont, the call no longer goes to the California Highway Patrol communications center; the call now goes to the Claremont Police Department communications center.

What's more interesting, however, is that the capabilities of the service depend upon your specific location, not just the city in which the phone is located.

If the caller is calling from the City boundaries the call could be sent to a surrounding city, additionally if the caller is calling from the freeway, within the City limits, the call is directed to the California Highway Patrol.

More here.

Let's get historical about Ontario

Ontario, California's web site includes the history of the city:

It was in the first week of August, 1881 when George Chaffey, a Canadian engineer, viewed the wastes known as the Cucamonga Desert and decided that this patch of land, if properly watered, could become productive and profitable. George and his brother William bought the "San Antonio lands," 6,218 acres with water rights for $60,000. This was the nucleus of their new model colony. They subsequently expanded to the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on the south. On the north, they took in the Kincaid Ranch at San Antonio Canyon, an all-important source of water.

The Ontario Colony lands were quickly surveyed and went on sale in November, 1882. The centerpiece was Euclid Avenue, eight miles long and two hundred feet wide, the twin "driveways" separated by a parkway which was seeded in grass and lined with pepper trees. George named Euclid Avenue after the great Greek mathematician whose book Elements of Geometry had been a favorite subject for George in school.

The primary requirement, which had to be met before the land could be utilized, was that water had to be found and brought to the town. Chaffey laid miles of cement pipe for this purpose and later the San Antonio Water Co. drove a tunnel into the head of the canyon to tap the underground flow—then an innovation in the field. The need for electric power to lift water from deep wells led to the establishment of the Ontario Power Co.

More here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cal Poly Pomona in NCAA Men's Basketball finals. Yes, that's right.

Everybody and their mother is forgetting about the NCAA Division II basketball tournament.

Unless you track Cal Poly Pomona:

Cal Poly Pomona was the lowest seed in the Elite Eight and the largest school. Now they are in the Final Four of the NCAA Division II Championships.

And according to a link I found here, Cal Poly Pomona defeated Augusta State by a score of 74 to 70 today, and are going to the final on March 28. Also see this link.

I will be occupied elsewhere, but good luck to Cal Poly Pomona.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mid-day car wash

I'm taking the day off to complete various errands, which means I can get a car wash on a weekday, in the middle of the day.

Haven't been to Valero (5515 Holt, Montclair) in a while. The interior store has been reduced in size, but presumably the wash is the same.

If it's Friday, it's checkpoint time - but what kind of checkpoint?

One of the blogs I follow goes by various names, but in essence the most accurate name is the name that is printed in the title area - the Inland Empire Crime Blog.

Last weekend, the blog had two separate posts about checkpoints that were held on Friday, March 20 - one in Coachella (a town southeast of Palm Springs) and one in San Bernardino.

First, in Coachella:

The City of Coachella conducted a DUI Checkpoint on Avenue 49 at Grapefruit Blvd on 3/20/09. The checkpoint was in operation between the hours of 7:00 P.M. and 2:00 A.M. A total of (1600) vehicles passed through the checkpoint during this operation and 1300 vehicles were screened.

Four people were arrested and booked for various crimes. Their names are in the blog post.

In addition:

The checkpoint personnel cited (26) drivers for the following vehicle violations:

1) (3) for driving on a suspended drivers license
2) (15) for driving without a drivers license
3) (8) hazardous equipment violation
4) (18) vehicles were towed

Meanwhile, in San Bernardino,

Traffic Sgt R. Lawhead explains that the San Bernardino Police Department conducted a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint on Friday, March 20, 2009 from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM, in the 600 block of West Highland Avenue, in San Bernardino. During this operation a total of 842 vehicles were screened. A total 36 vehicles were impounded, 28 of which were held for 30 days. Officers wrote 46 citations, 37 of which were for unlicensed or suspended licensed drivers. There were also a total of 5 arrests on various charges.

The San Bernardino press release also took time to explain why they think DUI checkpoints are important:

DUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the street, as well as educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving.

All too often, members of our community are senselessly injured or killed on local roadways by impaired drivers. This DUI/Drivers License checkpoint is an effort to reduce those tragedies, as well as insuring drivers have a valid driver’s license. A major component of these checkpoints is to increase awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and to encourage sober designated drivers.

A DUI checkpoint is a proven effective method for achieving this goal. By publicizing these enforcement and education efforts, the San Bernardino Police Department believes motorists can be deterred from drinking and driving.

As I've said before, however, most of the people who get in trouble at DUI checkpoints don't get in trouble for DUI. Even when you look at the four people who were arrested in Coachella, one was arrested on a weapons charge. While I'm not arguing that people engaging in criminal acts should run free, perhaps the "DUI checkpoint" is not named properly.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Red Cross Walk in Claremont

The Claremont Insider reports that the Claremont Red Cross will have a 5k fundraising walk on Saturday, March 28 at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

You have until Thursday, March 26, to register. Registration for adults is $25, for youths 3-17 it's $20, and it's $80 for families.

More here.

Sadly, there's a local angle to the Montana plane crash

Over the weekend, a plane crashed in Montana, killing all aboard. Both the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the Los Angeles Times are reporting that, despite the fact that the plane crashed in Butte, there is a local angle to the story.

The Times article includes a picture of Amy Jacobson of St. Helena, California, and her family. Amy is the daughter of Redlands dentist Irving M. "Bud" Feldkamp III, and the sister of Vanessa Pullen. Amy and Vanessa were among those who died in the plane crash. Irving had driven ahead and was planning to meet his daughters and the rest of the family and friends who were on the plane.

See the linked news articles for more information.

There is also a statement from Loma Linda University:

On Sunday,March 22, a tragic plane crash inMontana abruptly ended the lives of six Loma Linda University alumni, and seven of their children.The professional pilot of the plane also died in this accident.There were no survivors.Our entire Loma Linda University andMedical Center family joins in expressing our sincerest sympathy to the grieving relatives and other loved ones at this time of unimaginable loss.

The deceased are:

Vanessa Feldkamp Pullen, School of Medicine (’98), husbandMichael Pullen,
School of Dentistry (’99), children Sydney (age 10) and Christopher (age 7) Amy Feldkamp Jacobson,DentalHygiene (’97), husband Erin Jacobson, School of Medicine (’00), children Taylor (age 4),Ava Grace (age 3), Jude (age 2) KristenMautz Ching, School of Nursing (’00), husband Brent Ching, School of Dentistry (’98), childrenHailey (age 5) and Caleb (age 4) Buddy Summerfield, pilot

Words cannot express the sadness we feel for our colleagues who are family members and friends of those who lost their lives.Numbered among the many who now mourn are those who serve with us in our educational and health ministries.

Our prayer is that our Lord will give us a special measure of his mercy as we share the deep sadness of this loss and as we reach out in love to embrace those who are grieving.

From the office of the deans of Loma Linda University School ofMedicine, School of Dentistry, and School of Nursing.

Everest - where to dine when you're getting evicted

Around the same time as the Pomobama hoopla, David Allen went out to eat at Everest in Upland.

It's another of those burger palaces that has a zillion items on the menu, sort of the spiritual opposite of In-N-Out: not only a dozen styles of hamburger but pastrami and other kinds of sandwiches, basic Mexican items, salads, breakfasts, even an "old fashioned Sloppy Joe" ($2.99).

I never even thought of BUYING a Sloppy Joe. Must check out.

One thing that Allen neglected to mention is that Everest Drive-In is a short walk from the Broadstone Foothill Apartment complex, which I haven't discussed in almost a month.

Monday, March 23, 2009


An interesting item from a David Allen reader:

Sometime during the past few weeks, a mistake has appeared in Google Maps: The place name 'Paramount' has appeared on the west side of Pomona. I've lived in this part of town for more than 50 years, and Paramount has never been a local name.

I nosed around, and it's not just Google Maps. CitySquares:

Welcome to CitySquares, your local city guide to Paramount, Pomona! Take a few minutes to browse around and discover the neighborhoods and the businesses in Paramount, Pomona, as well as local news and events.

And then there's this:

We are # 1 Water Damage Restoration Company Proudly Serving Paramount, Narod, Sunsweet, Montclair, San Dimas in Pomona, CA

Now Pomona, Montclair, and San Dimas are local city names, and Narod is a historical name. I'm not familiar with Sunsweet.

Paramount, of course, is a city over 30 miles southwest of Pomona.

But then I found two things that made a bit more sense. Here's a SuperPages business listing:

Paramount Acme Duplex Inc
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 397-9003

And then I found this MySpace profile for a Cal Poly Pomona student who originally comes from Paramount, and therefore lists her hometown as "Paramount/Pomona."

Though I hope that Google, SuperPages, etc. aren't getting their information from city names on MySpace profiles.

However, at least I now know that I can go to Pomona and become a movie star.

PARAMOUNT PICTURES is in the Services, N.E.C. industry in POMONA, CA. This company currently has approximately 250 to 500 employees and annual sales of $75,000,000 to $199,999,999.

POMONA, CA 91766
Phone: (323) 956-5779
Key Facts
Location Type: Branch
Industry: Services, N.E.C.
Ownership: Public
Sales Range: $75,000,000 to $199,999,999
Employees: 250 to 500

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I knew Lindsay Lohan was hanging out in this area at one point, but I thought she was doing community service. I guess she was working.

The next step in brick and mortar elimination - do away with the polling place

Normally California is supposed to be the alfalfa-eating trendsetter for things, but Matt Munson noted that Washington and Oregon beat us to something, and that conservative Orange County was the next to adopt the new idea.

Orange County is doing something novel they are asking for permission from the state govenrment to make all elections mail only so they can save on staffing polling booths and sample ballot printing. Orange County expects to save $200,000 if the state approves this reform that is also used in Washington and Oregon.

It actually makes sense, inasmuch as everything has been computerized and centralized anyway. Provided that the mail works, this could be a good idea.

I just won't get an "I Voted" sticker any more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I was against it before I was for it, part two

You can't have it both ways, Jerry.

From Inland Empire News:

Congress has approved a $410 billion federal spending bill that includes funds for San Bernardino and Riverside County projects sought by Congressman Jerry Lewis for needs ranging from a regional law enforcement fingerprint program to vital transportation and water system improvements.

The projects were approved as part of an omnibus spending bill that funds nearly all of the federal government’s operations beyond defense and homeland security. It will go into effect as soon as it is signed by President Obama.

Now I'm sure that if you honestly ask the rest of Congress about these things in Lewis' district, they'd confess that it's just a bunch of pork. But to Lewis, and to Lewis' constituents, these are extremely vital programs. You see, Congressman Lewis is against pork:

Lewis voted against the bill when it was considered in the House of Representatives because it includes massive new spending on programs that will not have an immediate effect on the faltering national economy.

So, in essence, Lewis is claiming credit for bringing funds to his district, even though he originally opposed the whole idea. And, in fact, the rest of the press release details every dollar that Lewis brought to his district. A sample:

The spending bill approves $2.8 million requested by Congressman Lewis to continue space radiation research through use of the Proton Beam Accelerator at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The project, which has received more than $50 million secured by Lewis over the past nine years, provides the National Aeronautics and Space Administration the ability to test human and spacesuit reaction to radiation levels that are expected to occur in space.

OK, I'm going to say something completely uncaring and cold. We've been sending people into space for almost a half-century now. Is it extremely critical and vital that we perform this testing right now? And how will this, in Lewis' own words, "have an immediate effect on the faltering national economy"?

The nerve.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pomona on Obama in Pomona

When looking at Obama's visit to Pomona, it's best to look at the people who are in Pomona.

Goddess of Pomona has a business idea.

And speaking of t-shirts, the Daily Bulletin records one family's t-shirt inspiration. But they're from Chino Hills, so let's go back to...

Goddess of Pomona (again), talking about a man who was cruising down Holt Boulevard.

As was Original Skrip.

Sustainability Seminar in Pomona

M-M-M-My Pomona links to a Student in Pomona post about the 6th annual Sustainability Seminar, scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 341 Kingsley.

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More information at http://www.regen.org/.


Ontario, California.

Anti-government protest moves due to red tape


Matt Munson's post at IE Politics says it all:

I recently let our readers know about a special event to protest against government abuse and waste in San Bernardino, but due to city red tape it got moved to Rancho Cuccamonga.

Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Time: 5pm-7pm

Place: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Foothill/Day Creek (on Foothill)
by Victoria Gardens

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dinner at Los Alazanes

850 N Mountain (at I), Ontario. The building formerly housed a Taco Bell, but it moved to a new building across the street.

Jim Erwin arrested

I haven't been following this story, and Inland Utopia hasn't discussed the guy. Could someone fill me in?

From IE Politics:

For Immediate Release

MICHAEL A. RAMOS District Attorney
Contact person: Susan Mickey 909-382-3665

Date: March 19, 2009

San Bernardino County District Attorney Arrests Jim Erwin

San Bernardino, CA – Today, as a result of the ongoing criminal investigation into the San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office, District Attorney Investigators from the Public Integrity Unit arrested James H. Erwin, 46. Erwin, who is County Supervisor Neil Derry’s Chief of Staff, was arrested this morning without incident at the County Government Center.

Erwin was charged with ten felony counts including: Eight counts of Perjury by Declaration (PC 118) and two counts of Offering a False or Forged Instrument for Filing (PC 115(a). If convicted on all counts, Erwin could receive as much as 11 years in state prison. Bail was set in the amount of $220,000.The criminal investigation is continuing. A copy of the complaint is attached or may be requested by contacting Susan Mickey at 909-382-3665.

President Obama Visits Pomona

As previously noted, today was the day that President Obama visited Pomona. Claremeont Insider linked to David Allen's pre-visit post:

The president is scheduled to tour the Edison International Vehicle Electrics Plant, 265 N. East End Ave., at 10:30 a.m. Students from Village Academy School, which Obama mentioned in a speech last week, and who will be the subject of a "20/20" report on ABC-TV on Friday, will be brought over to the plant to meet him.

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The public naturally couldn't enter the Edison facility, but the press could. From the New York Times:

President Obama arrived at the Edison International plant to talk up his proposals to promote the development of electric and hybrid vehicles. “Millions of jobs depend” on the work being done at plants like Edison, Mr. Obama said. He checked out prototypes of Ford electric and alternative fuel vehicles, asked lots of questions about batteries and marveled at the gas tank of a Ford Truck with plug-in technology....

He even managed to get a joke in, referring to his time away from the Beltway:

“[T]his is a good place to come and re-charge your batteries.”

President Obama, what a gas.

So much for the Wild West image of San Dimas, part two

If you ever visit downtown San Dimas, you can't help but notice the western motif, which suggests that San Dimas is a "Wild West" kind of town.

It is nothing of the sort, as I previously noted when talking about how Sid Maksoudian's application to join the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce was denied because he...he...he said bad things about the Chamber.

But it's not just private groups that want to keep everything nice and neat and orderly in San Dimas. Take a look at Heidi Daniels' plight:

Since December, the city has been after Wine Shop owner Heidi Daniels to tear down an unpermitted canopy in front of the store, which Daniels said was to keep customers warm. And Daniels defied the city every step of way until Monday, when she finally had the canopy removed after the city threatened to take her landlord to court.

So why did Daniels want the canopy?

Daniels was first ordered to take the canopy down Dec. 19 but refused, citing the down economy and her need to do what is best for her customers.

But the city, you see, is more concerned with having zoning codes than actually having viable businesses in San Dimas. While the Planning Commission has now agreed, via a 3-2 vote, to review the restrictions on temporary structures, not all agree.

"We got a beautiful city and to me a temporary structure can diminish the view of a business," said Planning Commission Chairman Jim Schoonover, who was one of the two dissenting votes. "I think we should have a full understanding (of codes). A permanent structure gives you that understanding, a temporary is there for a couple months and gone, continually changing the view of the property, and I would like to avoid that."

So, Schoonover's concern is that structures may - shudder - temporarily change the view of what people see.

If that's Schoonover's prime worry, then he'd better ban hair salons from San Dimas pronto.

You wouldn't want to upset the consistency of the Wild West image.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

David Allen talks about "Pomona presidential precedent"

"Non-illiterate alliteration rules" is Allen's apparent aphorism.

As I've previously mentioned, President Barack Obama will be coming to Pomona tomorrow. In today's Daily Bulletin column, Allen notes that Obama will be the fifth sitting President to visit the city. The others were Benjamin Harrison, 1891; William McKinley, 1901; William Howard Taft, 1911; and Herbert Hoover, 1932.

But Allen is convinced that some sitting President must have visited Pomona between 1932 and 2009.

You'd think LBJ would have toured General Dynamics, or Nixon would've visited the L.A. County Fair. Or Clinton would've gone to Donut & Burger for one of each.

And Allen has also blogged about Taft's visit. Both the article and the blog post reproduce the end of Taft's speech:

"As I go through this country and see all this beautiful fruit -- and I am a fruit eater -- I feel as if I would like to have a good deal bigger capacity than I have in order that I might carry away even more delightful recollections of Pomona. Good-by."

Well, Obama is significantly slimmer than Taft, but we grow a lot less fruit out here nowadays.

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes sold

Pete Marshall of the Daily Bulletin is reporting that Hank Stickney, majority owner of the minor league baseball team the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, has sold the franchise to a group headed by Bobby Brett. George Brett is also a participant in the deal, as is brother J.B. and the family of deceased brother Ken.

If you thought traffic cameras always made money for a city, you're wrong

Upland is pulling out its traffic cameras:

The Upland City Council and Mayor John Pomierski at the March 9 council meeting approved the cancellation of a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.

The red-light cameras are installed at three intersections - Mountain Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, Mountain and 8th Street, and Euclid Avenue and Foothill.

The city has been losing money on the contract since the cameras were installed five years ago, Police Chief Steve Adams said.

More here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vibrant Pomona, and it's not a marketing term

Pomona isn't just a city where electric cars are tested. But let's take a step back; several years ago there was a marketer for one of the cigarette companies that liked to use words such as "vibrant" - a choice of words that I later parodied. (And the story of the marketer hit a bad bump.)

But the word "vibrant" can also be used in a meaningful context, which is what Metro Pomona did in describing the Arts Walk on Saturday, March 14:

There's no other way to describe last night's Arts Walk....Vibrant! Downtown Pomona was bustling with activity. The sidewalks, galleries, restaurants, and clubs were overflowing with visitors. People of all ages came, saw, enjoyed, and were impressed. The art galleries continued to out-do themselves as they always do with exciting images and talent.

But it wasn't just the brick and mortar:

The farmers market hosted over 1700 visitors and featured a "pirate band" in full regalia, aaarrr!

If you missed the fun, don't fret:

[T]he next Arts Walk will be Saturday, March 28, coupled with the Collector's Street Fair and Metro Night Out.

I have another commitment that day, but I encourage you to go and enjoy yourself.

Read the rest of the Metro Pomona post here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pomona gets Presidential on Thursday

Both David Allen and Original Skrip are reporting that Pomona, California will get a special visitor on Thursday - President Barack Obama. Allen links to an L.A. Observed piece with more details.

Obama will make a private visit to the Edison International Vehicle Electric Plant in Pomona. Edison discussed the Pomona facility in a 2002 press release:

SCE and Toyota began the 100,000-mile RAV-4 EV project in February 2000 to obtain data on costs, maintenance, battery life, charging issues and other factors with EVs that are used continually long-term. Employees with long commutes drive the vehicles daily to and from work-either SCE's headquarters in Rosemead, Calif., or its state-of-the-art EV Technical Center in Pomona, Calif. The test data also showed that EVs with advanced batteries are cost-effective to operate and have an equal lifecycle of comparable internal combustion engine vehicles.

Not only have the EVs met the employees' driving needs, they have proven reliable, with just minimal routine maintenance required, and have demonstrated the long-term durability of the battery packs, motors, controllers and other components. Given the successful operation of these EVs to date, SCE plans to continue using them even after they roll past 100,000 miles.

And coincidentally (or perhaps not), USA Today recently ran an article:

[T]he switch to electric cars is expected to be gradual....To prepare for that day, SoCal Edison runs prototype electric vehicles through their paces at its test facility in Pomona, a few miles east of headquarters. Ford chose SoCal Edison as a testing partner in 2007 for its experimental plug-in hybrid Escape SUVs. It recently announced it's adding seven other utilities to the program. Its goal is to have a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle on the market by 2012.

Other makers contribute models for testing, such as a new Mitsubishi iMiEV subcompact and a Daimler plug-in hybrid van undergoing evaluation recently. Kjaer says SoCal Edison and other utilities are working with General Motors on its Chevy Volt plug-in electric, which is supposed to hit the roads next year.

As for the long term, mechanics work on the fleet of RAV4s that have collectively logged more than 17 million miles since 1999. Today, the fleet achieves 120,000 miles a month.

"We have more data than Toyota does on this fleet," Kjaer says.

I was against it before I was for it

iePolitics shared an article from the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

It details how the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors really really objected to state proposals to jack up taxes to fix the state budget.

In a letter to the county's lawmakers shortly before the budget bills passed the Legislature, Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Ovitt said higher taxes should not be part of any deal. The full board later voted to adopt the position.

"Raising taxes will punish the very individuals that are struggling to make ends meet and potentially prolong California's recession," Ovitt wrote.

I'm proud to see my board standing up for me. And after the budget passed, with the higher taxes that the Board of Supervisors warned about, the Board boldly took a stand.

But don't expect the county to turn away tax-tainted money because of philosophical objections.

"It would only hurt San Bernardino County for residents to pay those higher taxes and not have the money return from the state," Ovitt chief of staff Mark Kirk said.

Which shows that in politics, whether you're conservative or liberal, the goal of your term in office isn't to implement your poltical agenda. The goal of your term in office is to get the goodies.

San Bernardino County Republican Women Federated Newsletter gets a revamp

From Whiterosie at iepolitics:

I am the new editor of the San Bernardino County Republican Women Federated newsletter....

I expect to have the newsletter in everyone’s inbox at 12:01 am on April 1. If you want to receive it, you don’t have to be a member. You don’t even have to be a Republican.

But do you have to be a woman? I assume not, but just asking.

More information on how to subscribe, and how to contribute, can be found here. Look for Facebook and MySpace pages in the future.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One gallon assorted WHAT?

I misread "salvia."

Lowe's, Upland California, earlier today.

That's the night that the lights went on in Olinda

On my afternoon commute home, I often choose to avoid State Route 57 and go through Carbon Canyon instead. Because of this, I'm certain that the residents of Carbon Canyon hate me, and all of the thousands of people like me, who roar through their canyon.

Actually, we don't roar through their canyon. The traffic is often so backed up that we putter through the communities, a bumper-to-bumper line of cars shattering the quaintness of the canyon area.

And if it's tough to drive there through rush hour, then it must be tough to live there.

Technically I've strayed outside of the Inland Empire by talking about Olinda in this post, but this story affects a lot of Inland Empire residents like me who commute through Olinda. From the Carbon Canyon Chronicle:

An 18 February article in the Orange County Register announced that a traffic light will soon be erected on Carbon Canyon Road at Olinda Place/Ruby Drive in Olinda Village. The $350,000 project, largely paid for with federal funds and supplemented on the order of 10% by Brea's Traffic Impact Fee, is slated to begin by late Spring and should take about four months to complete.

The quest for a signal at this location has been going on for many years and has been avidly pursued by residents of Olinda Village (including Hollydale Mobile Home Estates, as well as parishioners at Samsung Presbyterian Church adjacent to Hollydale.)

And there may be more signals on the road in the future.

[O]ne of the negotiated points between the developer and the City of Chino Hills concerning the proposed Stonefield housing project just east of Western Hills Golf Course has been that the former has offered to pay for traffic signals at Fairway Drive and Canon Lane.

Oh - and yes, there is a "Samsung Presbyterian Church" in Olinda. I am not a Calvinist so I probably wouldn't attend anyway, but would I also have problems because of my telephone preferences? And how do they minister to the young iPhone crowd?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nice quiet neighborhood

Housing Kaboom reports about a developer who developed a tract of homes, but didn't sell all of them.

In fact, the developer didn't come close to selling all of them.

Specifically, the developer sold ONE of them.

One poor fella now finds himself the only homeowner in the tract. The builder has packed it it and the tract sits half built. There are 3 beautiful models, 8 partially built homes (they only need flooring, countertops and appliances) and the rest are just graded lots.

Frankly, this calls for some real estate-ese. In addition to "nice quiet neighborhood," I suggest the following:

Room to grow
No noisy neighbors
Feels like your own estate

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Local police and community forum on Saturday

The Pomona Neighborhood Watch Blog announces a police and community forum on Saturday which will include police chiefs from Claremont, LaVerne, Montclair, Ontario, and Pomona.

The forum will take place at the Hughes Community Center, 1700 Danbury Road, Claremont, California 91711 on Saturday, March 14 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

View Larger Map

Contact information at the blog. Check the anonymous comment - there's another reason to go to the meeting, I guess.


Matt Munson has plugged the iePolitics blog to which he contributes.

For example, Munson wrote about a planned protest on April 15.

On tax day 2009, concerned citizens are encouraged to protest against bloated government. Inspired by the previous Taxpayer Tea Parties across the nation...[t]his non-partisan event is on April 15th from 3 to 7 in the afternoon in San Bernardino from Meadowbrook Park to Congressman Baca’s district office.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Steven Hodson isn't going to like this - cameras in Pomona, California

If you've read Steven Hodson's work in WinExtra and the Inquisitr, you know that he is not a fan of the surveillance cameras that have been installed in England.

Well, if he ever decides that the Great White North is too cold for him, he probably won't relocate to Pomona, California:

Smile, you're on the graffiti cam! Using "Weed & Seed" money, the city installed two graffiti cameras in a local park (alas, I neglected to write down which park). The motion-activated cameras become operational at dusk. After giving a verbal warning, the camera takes a flash photo. Why the verbal warning you may ask? It is intended to act as a deterrent. Although the cameras have not yet lead to any arrests, we know they are operational because they captured some stunning images of people mingling at a community event one recent evening. Two more cameras will be mounted soon. Personally, I'm hoping for an end-of-the-year slide show -- except if the cameras capture prostitution; I don't want to see that.

There are quakes, and there are quakes

The Original Skrip notes that there was a quake in Pomona and Chino Hills yesterday morning, although Skrip didn't feel it.

I didn't either. Of course, the quake was a 3.1. Details here.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 3.1
Date-Time Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 13:41:28 UTC
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 06:41:28 AM at epicenter

Location 33.978°N, 117.753°W
Depth 11.2 km (7.0 miles)
Distances 3 km (2 miles) W (276°) from Chino Hills, CA
7 km (4 miles) ESE (113°) from Diamond Bar, CA
7 km (4 miles) SW (233°) from Chino, CA
9 km (6 miles) S (178°) from Pomona, CA
46 km (29 miles) E (101°) from Los Angeles Civic Center, CA

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.8 km (0.5 miles)
Parameters Nph=111, Dmin=7 km, Rmss=0.39 sec, Gp= 18°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=E
Source California Integrated Seismic Net:

Event ID ci10380553

Inland Empire ColdFusion and .NET groups are meeting

So anyways, I was reading my RSS feeds and found this announcement:

Hi everyone, it's that time again. Our March meeting is this Thursday, and our speaker will be Oguz Demirkapi, who is presenting a talk titled "Head First i18N (Internationalization)" -- if you've ever wondered about the nuts and bolts of creating a multi-language or non-English application, you won't want to miss this...

The group meets at Cal Poly Pomona on the second Thursday of every month.

Meanwhile, the Inland Empire .NET Users' Group is meeting on March 17.

March 2009 General Meeting
Riverside Medical Clinic
7117 Brockton Ave., Riverside, CA 92506

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tom Opgenorth, MVP - Viewstate, PostBack, and Page LifeCycle! Oh My!

Please NOTE. This meeting is on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.

The meeting starts at 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An anniversary today - David Allen has been at the Daily Bulletin for 12 years

Read about it in this post at David Allen's blog.

One sad note:

I like to think I have a few good years left. With luck, the Daily Bulletin does too.

Furloughs are bad enough, but outright closures are worse.

Perhaps I should keep an eye on my shoes

I missed this Housing Kaboom item from last week.

Inland Southern California lost a staggering 76,500 jobs last year, by far the most ever, as its unemployment rate climbed to almost 12 percent, the state reported Thursday.

However, this may be mixing apples and oranges - jobs in the Inland Empire vs. people in the Inland Empire who are employed. As a for-example, I lost a job in the Inland Empire almost two decades ago, the position was never filled, and I haven't had permanent employment in the Inland Empire since. But that's only part of the story, because my former employer has since relocated out of state, and because I have had steady work for most of the last two decades.

Outside of the Inland Empire.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Did the Times present a limited picture of the Inland Empire?

Perhaps you saw Susan Straight's piece on the Inland Empire in the Los Angeles Times. If you didn't, here's a taste of it.

The house next door, and the one next to that, have been empty since October. Their yards have gone feral, with hundreds of dandelion heads glistening gray in the night....

Last week, a woman stole a pair of shoes right off my neighbor Maria's front porch. Maria woke her son, who ran down the street and confronted the woman. She threw the shoes back at him. After a pair of clippers disappeared from my yard, I've started taking ladders and anything else of possible worth inside at night.

Our mailman, Randy, said this week that from what he sees in his letter bag (he reminds me that Americans have no secrets from the letter carrier), about one in eight homes in our neighborhood are in foreclosure or a few months away. The street already has six empty houses, some vacant for nearly a year. And people walking aimlessly in the street make life eerie and uncertain.

Here in the Inland Empire, we joke that our people are canaries but we don't die.

Now I could get all haughty and claim that the Times is exaggerating things in a desperate move to get out of bankruptcy itself, or I could point out more reasonably that the experience described here is not the typical experience of the majority of Inland Empire residents, but this is Straight's experience - I don't think she's writing fiction here.

And, even though I can leave shoes on my front porch without fear of losing them, one thing that Straight said does ring true:

But this feels different. More desperate.

And that's true no matter where you live.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ontario doesn't need the revenue

Wal Mart, Chino, California.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Piece of the P.I.E. - Picconi Properties

Todd Picconi spoke a little bit during the February 24 Professionals of the Inland Empire meeting. A real estate professional with 17 years experience, he noted that his current business revolves around foreclosed properties, but that he has also represented sellers.

Regarding places to find Picconi on the web...he's everywhere.




And even


Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Piece of the P.I.E. - Financial Destination, Inc.

One of the pamphlets that I found at the February 24 Professionals of the Inland Empire meeting described the VIP Personal & Financial Concierge Servicees from Financial Destination, Inc.

FDI offers several types of concierge services. For example, the Everything Personal service offers everything from 411 information, traffic information, and dining recommendations/reservations to homework help.

The representative that attended the meeting was Beatrice Willis, available either via http://www.fdimember.com/fdiMemberHome.cfm?r=130055 or via http://www.beatrisswillis.com/.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New I.E. blogs

Blogs a'plenty are popping up in the Inland Empire.

Goddess of Pomona has identified three: Raw Pomona, Original Skrip, and Pomona Neighborhood Watch.

And Claremont Insider has identified one: A Day in the Life Of.... (Oh boy.)

Happy reading.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Piece of the P.I.E. - Amtec Communications

For the February 24 Professionals of the Inland Empire meeting, the person who had to perform a lot of the organizational duties was Theresa Godinez. She is a representative of Amtec Communications, Inc.:

With literally hundreds of telephone system manufacturers presenting their products, how can a business be sure they are making the right decision when purchasing a new phone system? At Amtec Communications we take the guess work out of buying a telephone system, we'll analyze your needs and design a system to meet those needs so you won't have to adapt to us, we'll adapt to you!

Too early

I successfully got through security at Ontario International Airport* at 4:35 am.

But Applebee's apparently doesn't open until 5:00 am.

(*That's what I call it.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

I know some real estate ads exaggerate, but this is ridiculous

There are good real estate agents, and there are bad real estate agents. Housing Kaboom concentrates on the latter, and printed a sample real estate listing as evidence. Here's how it began:


The part that struck me the most about this listing was the 380 degree view claim. Now I know that real estate ads exaggerate, but this is the first one that I've seen that violated the laws of space and time.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Vons Price Fail

Because the 99 cent coupon sale price for this item has a no raincheck policy, you are also unable to get a raincheck at the $2.49 NON-coupon sale price.

Did Quiznos buy Safeway?

A Piece of the P.I.E. - Inland Empire Consultants

Inasmuch as he organized the Professionals of the Inland Empire group, I guess I should mention Joe Mabry.

Clarification to people who know me via the International Association for Identification - this is a different Joe Mabry.

This Joe Mabry's company is called Inland Empire Consultants.

At Inland Empire Consultants...

...we provide fully customized, finely crafted Microsoft Excel spreadsheet solutions, tailored specifically to meet your needs. We operate mainly in Southern California, but we can provide solutions to you wherever you are.