Monday, September 28, 2009

From A to K, new IE shopping experiences

Despite the recession, some businesses are expanding, with new stores opening in the Inland Empire over the next few days.

One store has already opened - a new Apple Store. While I don't mind driving to Rancho Cucamonga for Apple stuff, I'm certainly that a commute to Victoria Gardens would be long if you lived in, say, Temecula. Well, the Press-Enterprise notes that a new Apple Store is opening in Temecula at 40820 Winchester Road.

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The other store opening that I heard of is closer to my Ontario home. You may recall that when Mervyn's went under, Kohl's bought up a bunch of their old locations. Well, one of those locations was in south Upland, and Upland Now notes that the new Kohl's, located at 233 S. Mountain, will open on Wednesday.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sturt Highway in Mildura, and why Johnny's Australia is more advanced than Josh's America

A lot of you, especially those of you who live in Upland, California, know that Mildura, Australia was founded by the Chaffey brothers - the same brothers that founded Ontario, California.

And you've probably heard that there are similarities between Ontario (and Upland) and Mildura, including the fact that Mildura is supposed to have a long, wide, tree-lined street.

Well, thanks to Google Street View, someone like me who has never been to Australia can still see Sturt Highway.

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Now the sharp-eyed among you will notice one goof that the Chaffey brothers apparently made - someone must have looked at the plans backwards, because the people in Mildura are driving on the wrong side of the street.

A New South Wales government site (the border is not too far away from Mildura) tells about the history of the Chaffeys and Mildura. It appears that the Chaffeys' success in Mildura was short-lived:

The creation of Mildura was primarily the result of the enthusiasm of the politician Arthur Deakin and the Canadian proselytiser for irrigation, George Chaffey. Chaffey came to Australia in 1886 after he and his family had founded Ontario on diverted water. He bought Mildura station, eaten out by rabbits and eaten up by drought, because in its garden, under the wind-pump, grapevines still flourished: later in 1886 an agreement between the Victorian government and George and William B Chaffey granted 100,000 hectares around Mildura to establish an irrigation settlement, initially on 20,000 hectares, using Murray water.

Mildura municipality was a corporate reality in 1890: there were already four suburbs, a port, a shipyard. The first dried fruits of the irrigation scheme were sold in 1891. But the bank crashes of 1893 and conflict between the Chaffeys and the Irrigation Trust led to dramatic failure and the dismantling of the Chaffey empire in 1896-7: George went off to irrigate the Colorado desert instead.

But not all was lost. If I ever do make the trip to Mildura, I may be able to stay at the Best Western Chaffey International Motor Inn.

So who or what was the "Sturt" for which Sturt Highway was named? According to Wikipedia, the Sturt Highway actually spans three states, so the Chaffeys probably didn't have a part in naming it. The highway was named after Charles Sturt (1795-1869).

Not sure if the rest of the highway is tree-lined, though.

Oh, and by the way...there is one other thing named after the Chaffeys...a toilet. This information is courtesy the National Continence Management Strategy. I've REALLY got to ask Johnny Worthington about THAT one.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The stimulus is local in Fontana

When you give people money, they're going to spend it. And Fontana is getting money from the Federal Government. Here's what city manager Ken Hunt is saying:

The City of Fontana has received about $6 million from the federal government for the purpose of buying, fixing up, and reselling bank owned properties within our community. The conditions for the expenditure of these monies include a stipulation that the money can only be used to purchase and renovate bank-owned properties. Each property must be purchased at a discount of at least 15% below market, and must be resold to qualified, low-income property owners.

But truth to tell, dedicated funds aren't really dedicated. The fact that the Feds are giving Fontana $6 million to buy up property means that Fontana itself doesn't have to raise $6 million for this purpose, and can therefore spend its own $6 million on whatever it wants. Water fountains or kite flying days or something.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Testing photoblogging; .@foursquare is working!

If you are reading this, then photoblogging is working from my re-imaged phone. If you're reading it twice, then cross-posting works also.

This is the site of my first Foursquare check-in, by the way.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The ripple effect of airport issues

As I've previously noted the Riverside Press-Enterprise has provided extensive coverage of some of the financial issues facing Ontario Airport (the official name has "LA" in it, but I'm ornery - just ask Rita Moreno of Arte). Now if an anchor business such as an airport has a decline in business, then you can expect that certain surrounding businesses would also be affected. And this is the case, according to the aforementioned Riverside Press-Enterprise:

The owner of the 299-room Marriott Ontario Airport hotel has stopped making payments on the $26 million mortgage and will give the hotel back to lenders.

Executives with Sunstone Hotel Investors, the hotel's owner, said in a conference call Wednesday afternoon that the hotel's value had fallen about 36 percent to $16.7 million, making it worth far less than the loan.

Yes, you know that this can happen to residential properties, but it obviously can happen to commercial properties also. And revenue isn't good either:

The Marriott Ontario Airport earned profits of $447,000 in the first quarter of 2008 and $274,000 in the second quarter, but lost $23,000 and $55,000 in the third and fourth quarters respectively.

We'll see how long it takes the airport to get out of the doldrums, and if the lenders - or whoever they sell the hotel to - can make some money off the deal.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The West End Animal Shelter and

Liset Marquez of Ontario Now published an email that she received from the West End Animal Shelter. Here are excerpts:

The Animal Rescue Site started a contest awarding $100,000 in grants to eligible member rescue organizations to help animals. The grand prize is a $20,000 grant, and there are many other prizes!

Basically, if you go to and vote for the West End Animal Shelter, they will be in the running to win a $20,000 grant. Read the entire letter here.

And here is a page (via that contains more information about the Shelter:

West End Shelter for Animals is a private, registered, non-profit organization. We are a no-kill pet placement and adoption center located in Ontario, California. We receive no government funding; our revenues come strictly from fees for services, donations, fundraising efforts, and our low-cost vaccination clinic. The shelter was established in 1954 as the local humane society, and in 1994 was converted to the present no-kill alternative facility. Visitors are always welcome!

The shelter is at 1010 E Mission in Ontario.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The albatross around Fleetwood Enterprises

You would have thought that as the assets of Fleetwood Enterprises go through liquidation, the Fleetwood Enterprises story would be pretty much over.

It's not:

At least four class action suits have been prepared against former executives of Riverside-based Fleetwood Enterprises alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act by issuing false and misleading statements about the company's financial condition between Dec. 6, 2007 and March 10, 2009.

Now to succeed in a lawsuit, you need to show an intent to deceive. And that's just what one set of lawyers claims happened:

In its 38 page filing made Sept. 1, Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP pointed to statements made in press releases by Elden Smith since Dec. 6 that it alleges painted a rosier picture of Fleetwood's condition.

More details can be found in the firm's press release:


New York – September 1, 2009 – Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP (“Coughlin Stoia”) ( today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. (“Fleetwood” or the “Company”) (NYSE:FLE) between December 6, 2007 and March 10, 2009, inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). Fleetwood is not named in this action as a defendant because it and its core operating subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2009.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from today. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Coughlin Stoia at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at If you are a member of this Class, you can view a copy of the complaint as filed or join this class action online at Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges certain of Fleetwood’s former executives with violations of the Exchange Act. Fleetwood, together with its subsidiaries, produces and distributes manufactured housing primarily in the United States and Canada.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants made numerous positive statements regarding the Company's financial condition, business and prospects. The complaint further alleges that these statements were materially false and misleading because defendants failed to disclose the following adverse facts, among others: (i) that demand for Fleetwood’s manufactured houses and the big homes-on-wheels was rapidly declining, and was adversely affecting the Company’s liquidity; (ii) that the Company’s RV Group sales, especially in its travel trailer division, were declining because of softening consumer demand due to high gasoline prices and the credit crisis; (iii) that the Company’s financial condition was declining precipitously such that the Company was nearing insolvency and would have to file for bankruptcy protection; and (iv) based on the foregoing, defendants had no reasonable basis for their positive statements regarding the Company’s ability to control its deteriorating financial condition.

On March 10, 2009, Fleetwood issued a press release announcing that it had “filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions for itself and certain operating subsidiaries in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.” The Company also announced that it was closing its travel trailer division. As a direct result of information disclosed at the end of the Class Period, the price of Fleetwood common stock fell precipitously, falling to $0.0103 per share on March 10, 2009.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of Fleetwood common stock during the Class Period (the “Class”). The plaintiff is represented by Coughlin Stoia, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.

Coughlin Stoia, a 190-lawyer firm with offices in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Boca Raton, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Atlanta, is active in major litigations pending in federal and state courts throughout the United States and has taken a leading role in many important actions on behalf of defrauded investors, consumers, and companies, as well as victims of human rights violations. The Coughlin Stoia Web site ( has more information about the firm. Contact: Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP Samuel H. Rudman, 800-449-4900 David A. Rosenfeld

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Inside Ontario Family Fire Day on October 3

OK, that's not its real name. The real name is the Ontario Fire Expo. Details here:

The Ontario Fire Department will be holding their annual expo on Oct. 3. The free event helps the department kickoff National Fire Prevention Week.

And it sounds like they'll have some cool stuff - no explosions, but close.

The expo will include live demonstrations of firefighters in action such as combating a structure fire or vehicle fire. It will also include demonstrations from the specialty teams, who work on the bomb squad and hazardous materials.

OK, maybe there will be an explosion after all. And they have water hoses too.

The event is at Ontario Fire Station 3, 1408 E. Francis Street.

And no, I don't have any pictures of Ontario, California fire stations. And neither does Flickr. But this fire station in Canada looks pretty nice.

Inside Upland Family Fun Day on September 19

Sandra Emerson wrote about the upcoming Inside Upland Family Fun Day on September 19. According to Emerson, the event

will be from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday September 19 in Memorial Park, 1100 E. Foothill Blvd. in Upland.

A complete news release can be found here.

The City of Upland will be holding its 6th Annual "Inside Upland Family Fun Day". This community event spotlights businesses and organizations in the City of Upland. This year’s event will include information, discussions, and demonstrations on Disaster Preparedness; Animal experts to make sure your pets are ready in the event of a disaster; Lifestream Blood/Bone Marrow Drive; Information booths from our city’s businesses, organizations, and schools; HOPE Pet Adoptions; Blood pressure screening and Teddy Bear Clinic by SACH; Entertainment by Moultrie Academy and performance and demos by many of our own Upland Recreation’s class instructors and participants; Donate Life Signatures Across America Funny Car on display, and food vendors.

Kids: There will be a Kid's Wet Zone sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Emmerson. Come join the fun with a waterslide, and fun games to get you wet and cool you off! $2.00 per person for an all day pass.

For more information, contact (909) 931-4281.

When: Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time: 12:00-4:00 pm

Location: Memorial Park

P.S. When I have time, I like to search Flickr for Creative Commons commercial licensed pictures to adorn my blog posts. When I searched for something to include in this blog post, the picture that caught my eye was one taken The picture above originally appeared in this blog on November 8, 2008. I feel, like, circular. And yes, Kohl's is a couple of miles from the park, but it's still a good picture.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Old Town Upland, a wicked beastly little place, ha ha

On Tuesday evening I ended up watching an infomercial for a Carol Burnett DVD collection that featured appearances by Steve Martin and Alan Alda. In other words, brand spanking new material.

Don't believe me? Look who's scheduled to play the Grove Theatre in Upland:

Jo Anne Worley of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in" fame will be performing her one woman show, "Keep Laughin'" September 19 and 20 at The Grove Theatre, 276 E 9th St. in downtown Upland.

To be fair, Worley's career didn't end when Rowan and Martin left the airwaves.

Worley is also known by her work as the voice of the wardrobe in "The Beauty And The Beast," "Wicked" in Los Angeles and "Drousy Chaperone" on Broadway.

I was vaguely familiar with the fact that she was in Beauty and the Beast, but I was unfamiliar with her "Wicked" appearance:

Jo Anne Worley played the imposing Madame Morrible, headmistress of Shiz University - the school Galinda and Elphaba attended together. According to the Playbill biography she has an impressive number of acting credits. Unfortunately, Madame Morrible appears to be the one role that doesn’t have at least one dedicated song. I am not sure how Worley sings but I can say she was convincing as the crotchety, old Morrible. In person she was also extremely kind as she helped out all of the fans waiting for autographs.

And among Worley's other credits, she appeared on Dick Clark's $20,000 Pyramid in 1979. Her partner was a young comedian named David Letterman. Enjoy.

P.S. No this isn't an empo-tymshft, but it could have been.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm charged up...electricity. Sing in a car, in Korean.

Back in March, I mentioned the Edison International Vehicle Electric Plant in Pomona, California in connection with President Obama's visit. And a Presidential visit brings publicity. Perhaps the Inland Empire will become the electric car capital of the world. Perhaps not. But there is IE news on the electric car front:

A South Korean manufacturer will build battery-powered vehicles at a factory along Interstate 215 near Moreno Valley and create several hundred new jobs, a Riverside County spokesman said Friday.

The company, CT&T United, the American subsidiary of CT&T Korea Ltd., will sign a deal Thursday to take over a vacant recreational vehicle plant....

But this line was a bit amusing:

The identity of the RV firm that is selling the plant to CT&T was withheld at the request of both parties....

Gosh, you wouldn't want people to know the identity of the RV firm. Perhaps the bad publicity might put the RV firm into financial trouble.

But I'd be willing to bet that CT&T will have a pretty festive grand opening. Perhaps they can invite a Fleetwood Mac tribute band to the festivities.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Nine month schools mean only nine months of fundraisers...if you're lucky

Now I like education. My family has been educated. I know teachers.

And I like Christian education.

But there's one thing that disturbed me about the beginning of the school year for Upland Christian Academy. And sadly, it's not unique to the Academy.

They are also holding a fundraiser that day through Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill from 3 p.m. to closing and Marble Slab Creamery from 12 p.m. to closing. Both stores are in the Terra Vista Town Center, 10798 Foothill Blvd. in Rancho Cucamonga.

It's the first day of school, and the fundraisers have already started!

And all of the schools are doing them, and they're doing them constantly, which means that if you know any kids, or live near any kids, you're gonna be hit up over and over again for money.

Ironically, on Friday I participated in a FriendFeed discussion which examined the pros and cons of requiring schoolchildren to engage in six hours of community service every quarter. Valid points were made both for and against the practice. But what about the pros and cons of requiring schoolchildren to engage in six or more hours of peddling candy or decorations every quarter?

Yes, I know that the schools need money, and that taxpayers are evil, bla bla bla. But is it in our best interests to send our kids out to hawk stuff?

Friday, September 4, 2009

What is Steven's Hope For Children in Upland?

Sandra Emerson ran a piece recently about a boutique grand opening:

A ribbon cutting and open house will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. September 10 at the brand new children's boutique at Steven's Hope For Children, 1014 W. Foothill Blvd. Suite C in Upland.

So what is Steven's Hope?

Steven's Hope For Children is an Upland based non-profit organization that provides temporary hospital adjacent housing and other services to families with sick children.

As you can probably guess, there was a Steven. Here is his story:

In the fifth month of pregnancy, Tony & Sandy Cappelli found out that their expectant son had a fatal heart disease and would not be able to live more than a few hours. Even though they lived about 20 miles from one of the best hospitals in the world treating this type of disease, they were too far away and would have to relocate within minutes of the hospital.

Unfortunately, surgery and transplant were not viable options and in December of 2000, Steven Joseph Cappelli was born and lived for 32 hours.

They began thinking of other families who would face the same issue, and Steven's Hope For Children was born. Consider what such families have to face:

[M]any families must temporarily relocate near the hospital while their child is receiving outpatient care. It becomes an even bigger burden once the child is released from the hospital but must remain near the facility for outpatient care and rehabilitation. Depending on the illness, this can be for several months at a time.

The pressure of supporting two households, a possible reduction in income, coping with physical pain of a child and being in an unfamiliar area is too much stress for most families to deal with. One crisis has now caused another.

Again, the grand opening is on September 10.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tequila Hoppers for NTN Buzztime is educational

As I previously shared in this blog, I visited Tequila Hoppers on August 12, but the Upland establishment was closed due to an emergency. Well, the bar was open tonight, and I had the opportunity to play some trivia. You can see the trivia details, as well as a little bit about the waitresses riding a bull (sorry, no pictures), in a post in my Empoprise-NTN blog. I did want to mention a couple of things about Tequila Hoppers, though.

I got an interesting greeting from one of the patrons after I arrived. Perhaps due to my advancing age, I'm not exactly a party animal, and I certainly don't drink as much as I used to 30 years ago. So it was kind of interesting to hear a guy farther down the bar yelling that I should be waterboarded. Luckily he didn't insist on this, and there's a good chance that he forgot his suggestions five seconds after making it.

That's when I noticed that one of the games on the Tequila Hoppers televisions was a pre-season Oakland Raiders game. "Uh oh," I thought. However, things worked out fine, just as they did in 2007 when I went to Oracle OpenWorld in a plane along with the Raider Nation, headed to Oakland Coliseum. Eventually the mechanical bull attracted more attention than the Raiders game. Of course, that's probably because this guy wasn't at the bar tonight.

They had some good specials at Tequila Hoppers tonight. I didn't get the cheap bottled beers, but I did enjoy a couple of spicy 75 cent tacos.

Glad they were open tonight.

Boy, that prison warden job is a bit TOO exciting

So this guy get a new job:

[Aref Fakhoury] had only been on the job as head of CIM since May when the state called on his predecessor, Mike Poulos, to take on an interim position as head of the state's maximum-security prisons.

For those who don't know, "CIM" stands for the "California Institution for Men" at Chino, or the prison that suffered a huge riot last month.

I guess it goes with the territory, but it has to be tough to get a new job in May and face a major crisis in August.

More here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous, Revisited

I wrote about the 19th annual Route 66 Rendezvous last year, and a year has passed. The Inland Empire News has posted an announcement of the "entertainment and celebrity appearances" that will take place at the 20th annual Route 66 Rendezvous. Some highlights:

Football great, big game champion and NFL star Joe Theismann and former NFL wide receiver Mark Seay will be signing autographs on Saturday, September 19, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Stater Bros. Court Street Stage area sponsored by Stater Bros. and Kellogg’s. Photographs will be available for autographs, or one item can be brought for an autograph per celebrity.

But there's also music:

Headliner Buzz Campbell & Hot Rod Lincoln featuring Lee Rocker of The Stray Cats [will play] Saturday, September 19 beginning at 7:00 p.m.

For the complete list, go here. The Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous web site is at