Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Staying in the Ontario Airport area for $15 a night

Travel can be costly, but if you know what you're doing you can cut down on your costs. It just takes a bit of effort.

The writer of The Perpetual Traveler blog, Glenn Campbell, ran into some unexpected expenses when he arrived at Ontario airport too late to miss his flight. This meant that he wouldn't be able to get a flight out until the next day...and also meant that he'd have to find a place to stay. He had only been to Ontario Airport once before, but he surmised (correctly) that he wouldn't be able to sleep at the airport itself. But as he approached the airport to turn in his rental car, he hit upon a solution:

I had no real worry that I would find a place to camp. I knew that the airport was in a relatively sterile industrial area, away from any housing and probably without any homeless population. The aerial photos showed lots of open land and landscaping where I could easily hide. I could resolve exactly where after I dropped the car.

Campbell had a sleeping bag, but it didn't seem to be suitable for outdoor camping, so he bought a second one for $15. He dropped off his supplies in a field before turning in the rental car, then returned to the field afterwards.

More here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I bet that Jeff Pope disagreed with David Courtney on one thing

If you haven't already read it, KGGI deejay Jeff Pope wrote a touching recollection of David Courtney, longtime announcer who suddenly passed away.

Pope has known Courtney for years and years, since they both worked at Metro Networks (some of you may recall the days when Pope did traffic on X103.9). Pope's post mentioned several favors that he received from Courtney over the years, including opportunities to announce both Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks games.

Pope then says:

Later, when I got the PA announcing job with the Ontario Reign 4 years ago, I sent him an e-mail, thanking him for helping me get the gig (thinking he had called someone with the Reign to recommend me for the job)

He responded, "I never contacted the team, you got that job all on your own."

I suspect that Pope disagreed on that point. Perhaps he technically got the Reign job on his own, but he probably wouldn't have gotten it if it hadn't been for the favors that David Courtney provided in the past.

There's much more in Pope's post - read it here.

P.S. Years ago, I knew two small businessmen in Rancho Cucamonga who got Rick Monday to record their business answering machine greeting. Not sure what happened to Steve Louderback and Alan Smith...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

#IngressResistanceOntarioCalifornia

http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=37512

From August 14, 1888, to September 24th, 1895, the Ontario & San Antonio Heights R.R. Company’s gravity mule car transported citizens up-and-down Euclid Avenue from Holt Boulevard to 24th Street. The cars were designed by John H. Tayes. After the termination of service, the original cars disappeared...

Ingress in downtown Ontario

You may have heard of Google's newest location-based game, Ingress. The game, which is (currently) only available for smartphones using the Android platform, is basically an online geocaching game, in which the geocaches only exist in the virtual world. Using the Ingress application and your phone's GPS capabilities, you locate these virtual geocaches (called "portals"). There are various game mechanics that are also used - for example, the game itself is a contest between two different teams trying to take over the portals. If you're interested, this review explains the game mechanics.

The portals themselves are intended to be fairly unique. Google's general portal criteria include the following:

Should be safe and accessible to the public

Example types of objects:

Statues

Unique architecture

Outdoor murals

Historic buildings

Special outdoor buildings

Unique local businesses

Note that they're looking for unique local businesses. Apparently Google doesn't intend for you to mark your local Applebee's. For example, I have suggested that Logan's Candies would make a good portal.

While players such as myself are beginning to suggest some portals to Google and the Ingress team, some portals were set up before the game's recent expansion to beta mode.

Perhaps I'm giving away game secrets that can be used by the other side, but there are several portals in downtown Ontario, most notably on Euclid Avenue between Holt and C Streets. For example, one portal is located at the Ontario Mule Car exhibit in the median of Euclid Avenue. The link goes to hmdb.org, the Historical Marker DataBase; I have noticed that several other items in that database are also portals in Ingress.

So, while some people have concerns over the Ingress game, there are positives. It does get you out walking around (although some portables are accessible by automobile), and you can learn something from many of the portals.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Empoprises RCDCR Rule of Insider Food Talk

One of my goals in life is to establish stunningly informative rules that will guide your life for decades to come. Earlier this year, I coined (and copyrighted) the Empoprises FECES Rule of Corporate Me-Tooism, and the time has come to add a second rule: the Empoprises RCDCR Rule of Insider Food Talk. This rule, copyright 2012 John E. Bredehoft, is worded as follows:

Anyone who explicitly uses the words "restaurant concept" when addressing a potential diner should be exposed to continuous ridicule.

Now I have no problem with restaurant concepts per se. If you want to say that your restaurant is a Chinese-Mexican fusion restaurant, go for it. The problem occurs when you explicitly prattle on about your restaurant concept.

Earlier today I wrote a post in my Empoprise-BI business blog about a Washington, DC restaurant called Woodward Takeout Food. And while the post concentrated on the acronym for this restaurant, I also spent looked at the concept of this restaurant, taken from the restaurant's website. There are actually two concepts; here is how the second one is described.

...Woodward Takeout Food, a sprite artisanal alternative for breakfast and lunch.

But it's not just snooty northwest Washington restaurants that blather on about their concepts. Take Portillo's. People in the Chicago area are probably familiar with Portillo's, which originally gained fame as a hot dog place. The restaurant has expanded geographically, and now has a location in Moreno Valley, California (and a second California location in Buena Park). And if you go to the Moreno Valley location, you can see a big sign talking about Portillo's...RESTAURANT CONCEPTS.

If you don't want to drive to Moreno Valley or fly to Chicago, you can see the same yammering at Portillo's website:

Hi, I'm Dick Portillo and I welcome you to The Portillo Restaurant Group and its five different concepts (Portillo's Hot Dogs, Barnelli's Pasta Bowl, Honey-Jam Cafe, Luigi's House and Julian's Piano Bar). I hope you will find the time to visit each of the concepts and enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed developing them.

I'm sorry, but when I hear a restaurant owner talking about his or her "restaurant concept," I feel like I'm looking at the owner in his or her underwear. And unless your name is Giada, it's not a pretty picture.

Using insider terminology such as "restaurant concept" is almost as bad as using acronyms. When someone outside of the fingerprint identification industry asks me what I do for a living, I don't immediately start talking about "NIST Type 2." And if the person isn't involved in proposals, I don't immediately share our company's approach to red teams.

If I go to your restaurant to eat, just tell me what you're serving. Don't explain your concept, and don't prattle about your 7-Ups from artesian wells. (What is a sprite artisanal alternative, anyway?)

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Empoprise-IE Guide to Every Single Ballot Proposition

I wrote something on Google+ a few days ago, and I've decided to share it in this blog. I'm sharing it for two reasons: one, because I thought you might like it, and two, because I haven't written anything in this particular blog in a while and this would help me add some content. I'm going to try to blog about more IE-related stuff this month.

For my fellow California residents, I hereby present the argument for and against every single California proposition.

THE PRO ARGUMENT:

Help take power back from the evil politicians in Sacramento and the evil special interests! Proposition [ANY OF EM] puts the power back in your hands and preserves our California way of life. Supported by workers, small business owners, and people just like you.

THE CON ARGUMENT

Proposition [ANY OF EM] is a scam, written by the special interests that you hate for their own personal benefit. Proposition [ANY OF EM] does not guarantee that gas prices will go down, takes money out of your pocket, and it isn't gluten free. Vote NO and tell the special interests to go away! Supported by workers, small business owners, and people just like you.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Billy Kilmer's Inland Valley connection

Many of you probably don't know the name Billy Kilmer, but I certainly knew that name when growing up in the Washington DC area in the 1970s. Kilmer was one of three Washington Redskins quarterbacks during that decade (Sonny Jurgensen and Joe Theismann were the others), and Kilmer was the quarterback during the Redskins' Super Bowl loss to the perfect Miami Dolphins during that decade.

When I was growing up, however, I did not know that Kilmer grew up in Azusa, California. Not that this would have made any difference to me, since I wouldn't have known where Azusa was.

Kilmer was a local hero out here, playing for Citrus Union High School and UCLA, and turning down an offer from the AFL's Los Angeles Chargers to sign with the San Francisco 49'ers.

Then he broke his leg in a traffic accident.

If Kilmer had listened to his father, he probably would have become an dry cleaner out here in the Inland Valley. But Kilmer had other ideas.

He was determined to come back for the `64 season. “I always wanted to be a professional athlete and I wasn’t going to give it up easy. I loved the life and I loved to play, I loved everything about it. So I was determined that I would come back and play quarterback.

“Another motivating factor was that my dad owned a dry cleaning business. When I got out of the hospital and went back home he said, `You’ll never play again. So you might as well learn the dry cleaning business.’ I was pressing pants in Pomona, California in August when it was 100 degrees outside and the steam from the press was hitting me in the face. I said, `I am not going to do this for the rest of my life.’ So I worked even harder in re-hab.” He did return for the `64 season and played in 10 games for the 49′ers at quarterback.

Kilmer eventually moved eastward, playing for the New Orleans Saints until they drafted Archie Manning, and then moving to the Washington Redskins to battle Sonny Jurgensen for the starting quarterback job. But for Kilmer, there was no "controversy":

As far as Kilmer was concerned, there was no controversy. “Allen liked me, there’s no doubt about that. But when I won, he played me. When I lost, he put Jurgensen back in. Then Jurgensen would get hurt and I would go back in. It had nothing to do with me and Sonny. And Allen never tried to put a wedge between me and Sonny.

“There was a personality conflict between George and Sonny but I didn’t know why. George wanted Sonny to go along with the program and Sonny would bump his system from time to time. But there was never anything between me and Sonny. The way I look at it is that I got my shot. When you get a chance to play, you better perform. That’s what an athlete does and if you don’t perform, you’re not going to play. I don’t care what sport it is. When I got my chance to perform, I won and it was hard to get me out of there when I won. I didn’t have a controversy with Sonny. I knew my place and I knew that if Jurgensen was healthy he’d be playing.”

And it certainly beats dry cleaning in 100 degree heat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Dragon Loco Ontario, and the reviews, and the reviews of the reviewers

I never got around to writing about Dragon Loco on this blog. But I wrote about it elsewhere.

A little history: David Allen blogged about Dragon Loco and admitted that he didn't care for the way that the Chinese-Mexican fusion was executed. He noted, however, that Yelp reviewers tended to be positive. One of those reviewers happened to be Allan Borgen, by the way.

I posted my own review on Yelp, which I am reproducing below.

Allan Borgen liked it (see his review here on Yelp), David Allen didn't care for it (see his Daily Bulletin column). I figured that I'd play it safe and just order a taco, rather than one of the larger dishes (burrito, quesadilla, etc.). If I loved it, I'd return some other time. If I hated it, not much lost.

Having heard of the small number of tables, I decided to order for take-out one night. This was a good thing, because when I arrived, all the tables were taken.

I ordered the orange chicken taco...and LOVED it. I'm glad that I didn't order the spicy orange chicken, because the one that I got was spicy enough for me.

I definitely plan a return visit!

Upon re-reading this, I realize that I made an error in confusing Allen's blog post (which included negative comments on Dragon Loco's food) with his Daily Bulletin column, which merely said "I'm not so sure the items that made the menu are successful either."

But the review that has people talking is the review by Jeff - not a review of Dragon Loco, but a review of David Allen's review of Dragon Loco. Allen quotes Jeff's complete comment here, which primarily boiled down to Jeff referring to Allen as "antique."

Allen, incidentally, resisted the urge to comment on some of Jeff's statements, such as the phrase "We seen it ate it, been their." Instead, Allen raised a question about reviewing in general:

But regarding your comment that my criticism showed that I was "ungrateful": Surely you don't think I should give somebody a good review simply because they contacted me? That doesn't seem fair to readers, does it, to purposely steer them wrong? Being "grateful" in exchange for favors isn't ethical behavior.

Even if Dragon Loco granted Allen no favors, Allen's mode of reviewing (and the mode of Borgen) is to provide honest reviews - sometimes positive, sometimes negative. There are those who provide uniformly positive reviews of things, but I don't necessarily remember their names.

And it's worthwhile to remember that even if David Allen and Allan Borgen and my wife all loved a particular restaurant, that doesn't necessarily mean that I would like it. And if I didn't like it, I'd have no problem telling David and Allan that I didn't like it.

(Actually, my wife would be fine with my honesty. She'd just feed me green peppers for dinner instead.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cagles does what a big business would never dare to do

There are plenty of big businesses that spend all sorts of money on social media and other efforts to engage their customers.

Why do they do it? They have to.

Take this example. I bet that there are a lot of appliance superstores that are very busy with Labor Day weekend sales. These businesses are pumping out ads and Facebook messages and the like encouraging people to shop this weekend.

Cagles Appliance in Ontario is not doing this. Oh, they're putting out Facebook messages - but it's a very different message.

Remember Cagles Appliance is going to be closed till Tuesday Have a great Weekend

That's right. Cagles is closed on Labor Day itself, which is a refreshing thought. And they're closed on Sunday. And they're even closed today, Saturday.

And I bet that 99% of their customers are extremely happy about it. Cagles doesn't need to hire so-called "social media experts" to engage their customers. They just engage them. And when they're closed, Cagles customers don't think "This is terrible! I'm going somewhere else to shop!" Instead, they think "Hope they're having a great weekend! I'll see them next week."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Two local business blogs

I guess I'm not giving away any deep dark secret, but I would be extremely ecstatic if my name, or one of my blogs, came up first in a search for Ontario California blogs. (Actually, I'd be happy if I were third - I will gladly go behind Liset Marquez and David Allen. Heck, I'll go fourth and let Matt Munson go ahead of me.)

I'm not first in such a search - yet - but I did find a couple of Ontario business blogs of interest while searching.

Bumstead's Bicycles (now in northwest Ontario) - http://bumsteadsbicycles.blogspot.com/

Treasures N Junk - http://treasuresnjunkantiques.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Make-a-Wish, and an update on a June 2009 post

In the process of commenting on a Drew Olanoff share on Google+, I had occasion to remember the story of Travis Clark and Gene Kranz.

You may recall this story from a few years ago. Travis Clark was a young boy who was, among other things, a huge fan of NASA. After Clark was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Los Angeles Fox television station KTTV made arrangements for Clark to speak to former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz via video hookup.

Sadly, the Fox report on this video conversation is apparently no longer online. However, I still remember the part of the video that gave me a smile. At one point Kranz asked Clark if he had any specific questions that he wanted to ask...and Clark pulled out some papers with a huge amount of questions.

And Kranz answered them.

I recently discovered a North County Times article from 2010 that discussed the wish. The article was written on the occasion of the opening of a Riverside office for the Make a Wish Foundation. Clark had unfortunately passed away by this time, but the article included several quotes from Clark's father, Barry Clark (whom I know personally). Here is some of what Barry Clark said:

"Initially, I hesitated to contact Make-A-Wish," said Travis’s father, Barry Clark, of Rancho Cucamonga. "I thought it was only for terminal cases. I learned it was for children with life-threatening illnesses."

Travis got to meet Kranz via satellite from a Houston television station. They spent an hour talking, Barry Clark said.

"He was thrilled to get to meet Gene Kranz. We were all so excited. It was a wonderful moment in midst of a tough time," he said, his voice filling with emotion.

Travis died June 9, 2009, a few months after meeting Kranz.

"On one hand, you’re going through the worst thing you can imagine and on the other hand, you get to experience something so wonderful that you're smiling from ear to ear," Barry Clark said. "We think about it frequently."

For more information about the local Make a Wish office, visit http://www.wishoc.org/default.asp.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

On the late Rodney King

I just learned that Rodney King died today.

Why am I writing about King in my Inland Empire blog? Because in the last years of his life, King lived out here with us. Earlier today, he was found at the bottom of the pool at his Rialto home. He was pronounced dead at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

Views on King often span two extremes. Some considered him a heroic symbol. Some considered him a drunken criminal. The truth is somewhere in between.

King certainly was not perfect. Then again, neither am I.

Whatever else he did in his life, or was done to him in his life, King secured his place in history by his reaction to the Los Angeles riots - riots that began because of the initial jury verdict for the people accused of beating him. The Los Angeles Times records King's reaction to the riots:

King said he was shocked to see the destruction of the riots that followed the not-guilty verdicts.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," he says. "Mayhem, people everywhere ... looting, burning. Gunshots. I turned back and went home. I looked at all of that and I thought to the way I was raised, with good morals from my mother, even though I didn't always follow them.

"I said to myself, 'That is not who I am, all this hate. I am not that guy. This does not represent me or my family, killing people over this. No, sir, that is not the way I was raised by my mother.' I began to realize that I had to say something to the people, had to try to get them to stop."

So, on the third day of the rioting, he pleaded on television: "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?"

A simple question, but a powerful one.

Rest in peace, Rodney.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Redirected from the 909 party (Gorilla Cookies band news)

In early 2009, I wrote a post in this very blog entitled 909party is not an oxymoron. Among other things, it referred to a club in Chino called Godfather's. http://909party.com/ 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. Well, the years have passed. Alexa's Wish broke up, and Godfather's closed. But I recently read this announcement from the band Gorilla Cookies. Update!! Gorilla Cookies debut show at Happy's Chino (formally Godfathers) on July 13th! Also, as an added bonus, we will also be having a special guest band.......TAVO! I am extremely happy to have Mark Taylor and Gus Garcia be a part of this special evening. Please save the date and do not miss this event! More details to follow! This is a full circle event in many respects, since Ralph Tomaselli of Alexa's Wish is now in Gorilla Cookies. The Happy's people no longer own the 909party domain, and my attempts to go to Happy's new website resulted in "too many redirects" errors. But the band Gorilla Cookies (not to be confused with other similarly-named bands) has a Facebook page here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Pacific Electric Trail revisited

When I started the Empoprise-IE blog on May 11, 2008, its first post concerned the Pacific Electric Trail. For those who aren't familiar with the trail, it is a bicycle/walking trail that stretches through a good deal of the Inland Empire, following the path of a former railroad.

At the time that I wrote my May 2008 post, portions of the trail had been completed, while other portions were still in progress.

I blogged about the trail on February 10, 2009, and returned to the topic on February 14, in a post that referenced the first occurrence of the "Cucamonga Challenge" under its new name. There was a brief post on April 9, and another brief post on May 11.

I have not blogged about the Pacific Electric Trail or the Cucamonga Challenge since.

My bad.

A lot has happened in the last few years, including a complete reworking of the bridge on the west side of Rancho Cucamonga over Foothill Boulevard. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reporter Wendy Leung has blogged about the bridge work, and also mentioned that the 2012 Cucamonga Challenge is coming up, on May 12, with a variety of events. See Leung's post for events and fees.

Also see http://www.cucamongachallenge.com/.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

In which I visit Shirlee's Fitness Club for Women (but it's OK)

On occasion I have to begin my blog posts with an FCC-suggested disclosure statement, usually related to my employment. But today I must start with a more basic disclosure.

DISCLOSURE: I AM NOT A WOMAN.

Ordinarily this fact would not make a lot of difference, but in this case it affects my background knowledge about a fitness club for women.

But let me back up a bit.

Last year, The Spa Fitness Club for Women suddenly closed without warning, adversely affecting the many people who had paid for memberships and other services at the club. There aren't a lot of women-only fitness clubs in the area, so the closure of The Spa definitely left a void.

As Sandra Emerson noted in a February 3rd Daily Bulletin article, someone stepped in to fill that void.

Gary Peterson, lessor of the property at 1275 W. Foothill Blvd., has been working on renovating the fitness club for several months since it closed abruptly in October....

Peterson is no stranger to the women's fitness club. He purchased the business in 1982 when it was [Shirle's] Fitness Center. He renamed it Spa Fitness for Women and made several changes to the two-acre facility, including the addition of the cabanas, an extended workout room and an area for boot camp.

Peterson has renamed the business "Shirlee's," which is an acronym for the club's philosophy: "Strengthen, Hearten, Inspire, Restore, Love, Encourage, Empower and Support."


Peterson has been reaching out to the former members of The Spa, and I was there on Sunday when he spent an hour with one of the former members, answering her questions.

Peterson has taken the opportunity to perform some major structural work on the facility, including the flooring and the roof. As you will recall, it was raining pretty hard on Sunday, but there were no roof leaks in any of the buildings - and from what I understand, that's a significant improvement.

Since I am not a woman, I had never seen the entire facility before - I had never gotten any farther than the front desk. So I can't tell you exactly what changes are being made over the former facility configuration. However, I did gather that the new facility will be ADA-friendly, and it sounds like the new configuration will offer some new opportunities for the members.

There's still some more work to be done, and an opening date has not been officially set, but if you want to get updated information, you can go to Shirlee's website (http://shirlees.com/), its Facebook page, or the @Shirleesfitness Twitter page.

And if you're thinking about joining, I can assure that you once the facility reopens, I'll probably never be going in there again. But maybe Sandra Emerson will go in there and tell you more.

Shirlee's will be located at 1275 W. Foothill Boulevard, Upland, CA 91786.


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Monday, March 19, 2012

Classic.

Remember the Carbon Canyon Chronicle?

It recently posted an item with the title California Conservation Corps Crews Continue Carbon Canyon Creek Cleanup.

C?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Do you see green in the IE?

David Allen links to the IEShineOn blog, noting that it offers a number of St. Patrick's Day tips.

Allen wasn't kidding.

This post alone lists 12 IE events from Pomona to Temecula, and this post lists another 19.

As for me, I'm going to two private events, one with family, and one with people from my BBS days.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Graber Olive House honored by the local dude

Every fall, I try to remember to go to Graber Olive House during the canning season. Every fall, I fail to go to Graber Olive house during the canning season. Granted, it's still nice to go there at any time of the year.

Gary Ovitt went to Graber Olive House in early March, but he had a purpose in doing so, according to Liset Marquez.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt honored the company as his February Small Business of the Month because of the impact the family-owned enterprise has had on the community.

Of course, Ovitt is familiar with Graber's business. Not too long ago, he worked just down the street from Graber Olive House, over at Chaffey High School.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

False excitement about the Ontario Wal-Mart Supercenter

The press release title was certainly promising.

Ontario Wal-Mart Supercenter Celebrates Grand Opening

Store’s impact seen in 255 new jobs, benefits and $19,000 in charitable donations


And the first paragraph also included some promising words:

Creating 255 new jobs and focusing on charitable support and every day low prices, the ... Wal-Mart Supercenter in Ontario will celebrate its grand opening at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20. Doors will open at 8 a.m.

But there are two problems.

First, this is a 2005 press release.

Second, this is not for Ontario, California. It's for Ontario, Ohio.

But there's encouraging words for those of us out here also. I had thought that the Wal-Mart was a done deal, but Liset Marquez set me straight with her March 5 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin article:

After years of litigation and more than $1 million spent in attorney fees, a dispute over an environmental report related to the building of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in this city has finally drawn to a close.
The seven-year battle ended when an attorney for Ontario Mountain Village Association - a group of residents who have opposed the building of the facility at the northwest corner of Mountain Avenue and Fifth Street - dropped the last appeal involving the case.

Attorney Cory Briggs said he decided against appealing an October court decision that only rewarded him $54,000 for court fees.


Read the rest here.

Do you want to know how long this story has gone on? When I initially started talking about my parody "Ontario Vineyard Village Association" several years ago, I joked that the OVVA was located in a high-rise building in Guasti.

Today, there actually ARE high-rise buildings in Guasti. OK, maybe none of them has a 25th floor - yet - but as long as the planes don't hit them, a 25-story Guasti building could be in our future.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Organizational chaos

I like organizations.

Throughout my life, I've been involved in a number of organizations.

There was the Fairlington Fun Group (FFG), who entertained other kids in the neighborhood.

There was the Independent Republic of New Concord, which was unsuccessful in its attempt to liberate Theodore Roosevelt Island from American rule.

There was the Campus Planning Commission (of Reed College), which was unsuccessful in building a subway system at the small college.

And there was the Ontario Vineyard Village Association (OVVA), which was unsuccessful at a lot of things.

As locals may realize, the latter non-existent entity was a parody of the Ontario Mountain Village Assocation (OMVA), which was extremely successful for years in preserving a dangerous eyesore near some residential areas. Oh, and it got fifty thousand bucks - not quite the $487,000 it wanted.

Of course, while the Ontario Mountain Village Association (which used to have a website - I quoted from it - but the website is long gone) was doing its thing, there were a number of other organizations that were fighting the good fight against evil non-union corporations.

There were the various "smart growth" associations in Blythe, Menifee, and Murrieta. After some delays, two members of Murrietans for Smart Growth were produced - the president of the organization, from San Diego, and one of the founders of the organization, from Murrieta - and the founder had never heard of the president.

What links the Ontario Mountain Village Association, the Blythe Citizens for Smart Growth, the Menifee Citizens for Smart Growth, and the Murrietans for Smart Growth - other than their concern with large non-union stores with no parallel concern of union stores?

All of them are associated with the same lawyer, Cory Briggs.

But Briggs is branching out. His new organization - whoops, I mean a new organization which he just happens to represent - is the Inland Oversight Committee. Liset Marquez of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the committee seeks an injunction to prohibit the city of Ontario from promoting Christianity via City Council meeting invocations.

And if you want the Inland Oversight Committee members identified to see if they're really the Murrietans for Smart Growth, don't hold your breath.

Members of the Inland Oversight Committee have asked to remain anonymous, Briggs said.

"They are very concerned about retaliation and incrimination because they are taking on institution of government," he said.


This differs from Patrick Greene, another past opponent of the establishment of Christianity in Ontario. When Greene takes action, his name is prominently displayed.

However, the Inland Oversight Committee is not only concerned with the First Amendment.

Earlier this month, with Briggs acting as its lawyer, IOC filed a lawsuit asking for a refund for taxpayers of the $102 million settlement made by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2006 with Rancho Cucamonga-based developers Colonies Partners LP.

The Daily Bulletin has posted the IOC's lawsuit against Ontario (see the link at the top of the article). The lawsuit seeks injunctions preventing the city from (in its words) violating the U.S. and California Constitutions. It also seeks attorneys' fees and "[c]osts as authorized by law."

Oddly enough - probably due to some legal tradition - the items sought by the plaintiffs are in a section of the document entitled "Prayer," which includes the words "Plaintiff respectfully prays for the following relief." I'm sure that the IOC meeting got really heated when Briggs explained to the IOC members that such language was necessary.

Incidentally, the prayer includes items A, B, C, E, and F. Don't know what happened to item D - I guess point D asked to remain anonymous.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Indoor football in Ontario - the Ontario Warriors

While reading Bill Cortus' Facebook page, I discovered that a new indoor football team is coming to Ontario - the Ontario Warriors.

The Warriors are part of American Indoor Football, a league that has existed in some form or another since 2005. It's not quite at the level of the Arena Football League, but it presumably offers the same football experience that the AFL (or to some old-timers, the "new" AFL) offers. (As of today, nine indoor football leagues exist.)

The first Ontario Warriors home game is on Sunday, March 4 at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Montclair then? (I guess "Montclair Now" is me)

I like to read several of the city blogs associated with the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, including Ontario Now (I live in Ontario), Upland Now (I used to live in Upland), and RC Now (I used to work in Rancho Cucamonga).

So when Jimmy and Julio moved J&J Auto Service to its new location on Holt Boulevard in Montclair, I began wondering if there is a Montclair Now.

The answer? Yes - and no.

Yes, there is a Montclair Now blog at http://www.insidesocal.com/montclairnow/.

Unfortunately, the blog hasn't been updated since last July.

So, for what it's worth, I'll announce that J&J Auto Service has moved to 5533 Holt Boulevard in Montclair.


View Larger Map

Their Facebook page is here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Commerce is based upon your customer's location, not the location of the business

Wendy Leung was recently musing about city borders, and noted that the Upland Chamber of Commerce was hosting a meeting in Rancho Cucamonga. She then noted:

But I guess the Upland Chamber of Commerce is a bit of a misnomer. Its members spread across the Inland Valley making it more like a regional chamber.

The Upland Chamber of Commerce isn't the only one. I live in Ontario, and I checked the membership list for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The list, in alphabetical order, begins with companies based in Upland, Redlands, and Belmont Shore before it gets to its first business that is actually located within Ontario's city limits (Aaren Scientific).

But there's a reason for this inter-city membership.

While we like to think that a chamber of commerce's sole purpose is to promote the businesses within a city, it can also be used to promote BUSINESS within a city. There's a difference - in the latter case, you're looking for customers.

So when KSGN radio wants to get listeners in Ontario, it joins the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

I wonder how many chambers of commerce the average small-to-medium sized business actually joins. Even if the business only has a single location, I bet some of them join a half dozen chambers or more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Go fly a kite

Liset Marquez reports that there will be a kite-flying event on February 23 at the Dorothy Quesada Center, 1010 S. Bon View Ave, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

And you don't even need a kite - you can buy one at the event.

More details here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How will you split up the airports?

If Ontario International Airport is "set free" from the control of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a lot of details will have to be worked out. For decades, the airport has been run as an integral part of the entire set of airports managed by LAWA. Take this recent example (disclosure: ImageWare is a competitor of my employer):

ImageWare Systems, Inc., a leader in multimodal biometric security solutions, today announced that Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT) and Van Nuys (VNY) airports, has placed an order for a number of biometric identity management and credentialing software products developed by ImageWare Systems, Inc. These software products will provide the foundation for a new biometrically enabled identity management and credentialing system used to identify airport employees, contractors, and police at LAX and Ontario airports.

So if the two entities split up, they'll have to work out new contracts with ImageWare so that Ontario International Airport has its contract, and Los Angeles International Airport has its separate contract.

And there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of these contracts that will have to be worked out.

Obviously these deals aren't insurmountable - Motorola, Safran, and their suppliers were able to work out a transition when my business unit was sold by Motorola to Safran - but it's something to take into consideration. Even if Ontario were to give LAWA umpty dumpty dillion dollars for Ontario Airport, it still would take time to work out the kinks.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Medical company with local presence acquires a chunk of NCR

While Quadramed is not headquartered in the Inland Empire - its headquarters are in Reston, Virginia - it does have an Ontario office, so this press release is of local interest.

QuadraMed Acquires NCR Healthcare Solutions
Self-Service Solutions Streamline Patient Access and Improve Patient Satisfaction

January 04, 2012 10:03 AM Eastern Time

RESTON, Va.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--QuadraMed® Corporation, a leading provider of healthcare technologies and services that improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care, today announced it has closed a definitive agreement with NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) to acquire NCR healthcare solutions, including its market-leading MediKiosk™ patient access software, NCR Payment Manager, Patient Portal, Patient Tracking, Physician Referral Portal and eForms software solutions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The healthcare solutions acquired by QuadraMed automate and streamline routine patient interactions, resulting in improved workflow, increased revenue and an increase in patient satisfaction.

“This addition to QuadraMed’s portfolio is a logical extension of our existing Access and Identity Management offerings,” said Duncan W. James, QuadraMed CEO. “NCR’s healthcare solutions will improve our clients’ ability to meet the increasing demand for patients to control and self-direct their healthcare experience at hospitals, clinics and physician practices. When combined with our #1 in KLAS Identity Management solutions and our proven enterprise scheduling capabilities, QuadraMed will advance its mission of improving the quality and efficiency of care for healthcare providers.”

Under the terms of the agreement, NCR Corporation has entered into a reseller agreement with QuadraMed to provide hardware and self-service devices for its check-in and identification management solutions.

“In this rapidly changing and complex healthcare environment, our clients will gain the advantage of QuadraMed’s broader healthcare portfolio and dedicated industry focus,” said John Bruno, NCR Chief Technology Officer and executive vice president, Corporate Development. “Transitioning this business to QuadraMed is great for our customers, healthcare division employees, and shareholders as NCR continues our efforts to focus on growing our core industries and global services and support business.”

NCR’s healthcare employees who sell, develop, and service these solutions will join QuadraMed on January 5, 2012 and will remain in Lake Mary, Florida, and Hyderabad, India.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a global technology company leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business. NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, gaming, public sector, telecom carrier and equipment organizations in more than 100 countries. NCR (http://www.ncr.com/) is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.

About QuadraMed Corporation

QuadraMed® is a leading provider of award-winning healthcare technologies and services that improve the safety and quality of patient care and enable financial health. Founded in 1993, QuadraMed provides proven, flexible solutions that help make our clients successful by streamlining processes, increasing productivity and driving positive clinical outcomes. Behind the Company's products and services is a staff of 600 professionals who support clients at over 2,000 healthcare provider facilities. For more information about QuadraMed, visit http://www.quadramed.com.

QuadraMed is a registered trademark of QuadraMed Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.


Contacts
QuadraMed Corporation
Public Relations
Laura Adams
Director of Marketing
703-742-5311

Friday, February 3, 2012

YISEBY (Yes in someone else's backyard)

David Allen recently wrote a column that talked about business signs at the Claremont Promenade.

If the name "Claremeont Promenade" doesn't ring a bell, think of the businesses that are off of Indian Hill and south of Interstate 10.

Yes, that strip of land is officially part of the city of Claremont - but it bears no relation to the rest of the city.

As some of the commenters to David Allen's blog post noted, different rules apply to different portions of Claremont. Imagine, if you will, a 90 foot tall sign in downtown Claremont. Now, imagine further that this 90 foot tall sign in downtown Claremont advertised a McDonalds with a drive thru. If such a business were established in downtown, residents would have a huge hissy fit.

But it's OK if it's on the other side of the freeway. Why? Because the restaurants and the auto dealer bring in a whole bunch of revenue to the city of Claremont - but because of their remote location to the rest of Claremont, they don't have any real impact on the residents of Claremont.

The residents of Pomona, of course, are another matter. But the people of Pomona don't vote in Claremont.

And before you get all huffy about the evil things that are done to the city of Pomona, consider the location of the Los Angeles County Fair - right on the periphery of the city of Pomona itself. Which doesn't necessarily make the residents of the city of La Verne all that happy.

Let's face it, every city is doing this. A city will tolerate certain things on the borders of the city that wouldn't be tolerated in the city center.

Imagine the Ontario Auto Center at the corner of Euclid and Holt. Now there used to be, and still are, auto dealers within a mile of Euclid and Holt, but they're nowhere as big as the ones several miles east. The prime example is Citrus Ford, which used to be located roughly where the Superior market is today. Now Citrus Ford is out by Interstate 15, and I'm pretty sure the new location is bigger than the old one.

Of course, decisions by cities often have adverse impacts on other cities. La Verne has to put up with traffic jams during the Los Angeles County Fair, but gets very litle of the resulting revenue. Pomona deals with traffic from the Claremont Promenade, but all the tax revenue from the businesses goes to Claremont.

So you end up having a lot of inter-city and intra-city wars. Target's relocation from northwest Ontario to Montclair was one of the catalysts for Wal-Mart's proposed move to northwest Ontario - a move that was blocked for years by a lawyer and a small group of residents who wanted Wal-Mart to choose a different location - say, several miles away, out by the auto center. And there's always the possibility that a thriving Super Wal-Mart in Ontario could lead to the closure of the not-so-super Wal-Mart in Upland, which would then lead Upland to try to poach a business from a neighboring city to fill the empty space.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The power of parody (and the IE's the target)

As you may have heard, the city of Ontario is mounting a public relations campaign to get "our" airport back from the City of Los Angeles, to whom the City of Ontario sold the airport several decades ago.

Needless to say, some of the residents of the city of Los Angeles don't think that this is such a good idea.

David Allen notes that Venice resident Len Talan has created a parody of my city's "Set ONTario Free" logo. Talan's version uses the slogan "Get ONTario 4 free?"

You can see Talan's logo on David Allen's blog post.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In which I belatedly announce PlantCML's name change to Cassidian Communications

As some of my readers may know, I work in the biometric industry. For most of the last two decades, I've worked out of an office in Orange County, California for a company that has gone through several different owners (and thus several different names).

People have left this company at various times to join other firms. In a few cases, several ex-employees have ended up at the same firm. One example was an Orange County company called Viacore, which was the destination for a number of former co-workers of mine - technical people, financial people, human resources people. Viacore was eventually acquired by IBM.

Some of my former co-workers ended up across the country, in North Carolina, at a company called VisionAIR. This company is still going strong today.

Another popular destination, also on the East Coast, is a company called DataWorks Plus. (Long story.)

What does all of this have to do with an Inland Empire business blog? Well, another population destination for former co-workers was a company called Plant Equipment, right here in the Inland Empire. Well, it's on the opposite end of the Inland Empire, based in Temecula. Plant Equipment wasn't a biometric firm, but a 9-1-1 firm (as it turns out, my employer was involved in 9-1-1 systems also - another long story). At one point I knew of at least four people who worked for Plant Equipment or an associated company.

As time passes, people continue to change jobs, and when I discovered the Twitter account of one of my former co-workers - actually, a former boss of mine - I discovered that he was now working for a company called Cassidian Communications. I checked into my former boss' new company...and discovered that it was actually his old company.

You see, Plant Equipment (which actually went by the business name PlantCML) changed its name to Cassidian Communications.

Back in March of 2011.

I really need to follow up on these things a little more closely.

So if you missed the news also, here's the press release:

PlantCML® changes name to Cassidian Communications, Inc., an EADS North America Company

PlantCML conducts complete rebrand: name and logo
A clear signal of the business unit’s ambition to further expand globally
New brand reflects the CASSIDIAN mission to support those who protect the world

Temecula, Calif., March 1, 2011 – Plant Equipment Inc., dba PlantCML®, an industry leader in mission critical communications, today announced its official name change to Cassidian Communications, Inc., an EADS North America company. As the largest and most trusted source of mission critical communications in North America, Cassidian Communications is leading the way in standards-based 9-1-1 call center applications, notification solutions and services and P25 land mobile radio networks.

Over the last several years, the company has gone through a series of acquisitions and was most recently acquired by EADS North America in the spring of 2008. Consolidating the company and portfolio of brands under that of the Defense & Security division of EADS, Cassidian, adheres to the strategic goals of enabling public and private operations to improve situational awareness, expedite response, promote collaboration and increase response efficiency.

The name Cassidian is derived from the Latin term cassida (helmet) and meridian (imaginary line running north and south). It symbolizes worldwide protection and security. The name is accompanied by a logo that represents a globe encompassed by two hands – hands that are protecting the world.

“The challenges of today’s mission critical communications require innovative solutions,” said Dave Rutan, chief executive officer. “Our customers expect our solutions and services to make everyday operations easier and more efficient. Now, these same solutions must easily scale to support larger incidents, geographic areas and security initiatives throughout the world, ultimately saving more lives. Becoming a fundamental part of the Cassidian master brand will allow us to leverage established market leadership and the global assets of EADS, and better deliver on these expectations.”

While the PlantCML brand has changed, its offices and employees, located in Temecula, California; Frisco, Texas; Franklin, Tennessee and Gatineau, Quebec, remain the same, serving clients ranging from public safety operations to Fortune 1000 corporations to federal agencies. Its solutions are resident in two out of three U.S. Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and more than 50 U.S. military operations. Cassidian Communications provides notifications to people in more than 100 countries, as well as to organizations in over 20 different industries.

Collectively, the company has more than 40 years of experience deploying 9-1-1 solutions, notification solutions and first responder radio networks.

About Cassidian Communications (www.CassidianCommunications.com)
As the largest and most trusted source of mission critical communications solutions, Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, is leading the way in standards-based E9-1-1 call center applications, notification solutions and services and P25 land mobile radio systems. Headquartered in Temecula, California.

About CASSIDIAN (www.cassidian.com)
Cassidian, an EADS company, is a worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems, providing Lead Systems Integration and value-added products and services to civil and military customers around the globe: air systems (aircraft and unmanned aerial systems), land, naval and joint systems, intelligence and surveillance, cyber security, secure communications, test systems, missiles, services and support solutions. In 2009, Cassidian – with around 28,000 employees – achieved revenues of € 5.4 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, the Group – comprising the Divisions Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.

About EADS North America (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

# # #

Monday, January 2, 2012

Note to students - economics laws apply, even in the Inland Empire

College is the time when many people transition into what is known as "the real world" - one in which you have to pay bills, and in which bad things happen if you don't.

But the college experience itself is giving many students a hard lesson in the intricacies of economics.

The Huffington Post recently ran a report on for-profit colleges and the nursing profession, and focused some of its story on two Inland Empire educational institutions - Riverside Community College, a public institution, and Ontario's Everest College, a private one.

The opening of the article sets the stage:

ONTARIO, Calif. -- Just after she started working for an ambulance company in this suburban enclave east of Los Angeles, Cierra Nelson came to admire the quick decision making and street smarts of the nurses she met on runs to local hospitals. She soon opted to pursue a nursing degree, settling on a low-cost, two-year program at a nearby community college that has an excellent job placement record.

But despite her efforts to complete the coursework in the ensuing four years, Nelson is still not a nurse. California's budget cuts have forced the state's community college system to scale back the availability of crucial science classes. Nelson found herself repeatedly turned away from the oversubscribed courses required for her degree.

Frustrated and seeking an alternative, she took out more than $50,000 in student loans to enroll last winter in a nursing program at Everest College, one of many for-profit institutions that have sprung up in the area amid massive cutbacks in public funding for higher education.


Nelson's experience is not unique. I know of a college student who spent last year at an out-of-state university. The student decided to come home and take courses at Rancho Cucamonga's Chaffey College - but couldn't get any courses. Next year, he's heading back out of state.

Many local students are facing this decision - pay more money by going somewhere where you can get courses, or staying in California's community college system and not getting the courses for years, if ever?

Some condemn the private institutions (Everest, University of Phoenix, DeVry, etc.) for several reasons. First, their students do not pass tests such as the nursing tests as much as public college students.

More than 90 percent of the nursing students at nearby community colleges last year passed state licensing exams, which are required to practice in California. Fewer than 70 percent of Everest students passed the exams, registering the lowest success rate of all nursing programs in the state.

Second, their more expensive tuition costs affect the use of Federal monies:

The Obama administration has significantly boosted funding for Pell Grants, which are available to low-income students. Over the last three years of the program, the federal government has more than doubled spending on Pell grants, budgeting $20 billion more this year than in the 2007-08 school year. For-profit colleges have captured an outsized share of this pool -- roughly 25 percent -- despite educating only 12 percent of college students nationwide, according to the most recent federal data.

Third, this translates into less money for public colleges:

Had the $7.5 billion that for-profit institutions received via Pell Grants during the 2009-2010 school year gone instead to fund community college systems nationwide, that money could have created capacity for an additional 629,000 community college students, The Huffington Post calculated, using available estimates for the average expenditure per student. That would represent a 20 percent increase in the number of full-time community college students currently enrolled nationwide.

Yet, anyone who has a basic understanding of economics would realize that this scenario is easily predictable. When a market good - in this case, a public community college education - is offered for less than the market rate, there will be scarcities of the good, and competitors will enter the market to meet the demand. And strange behaviors will result to provide economic benefit. One community college student uses various tactics to get registered for required courses:

Izaak Ramirez, a biochemistry major from Riverside, remembers stocking his first semester schedule with loads of unneeded electives, just to get courses under his belt. Having more credits means higher priority registration the next time....

As a science major, Ramirez has among the toughest times getting the courses he needs. For many of the classes, which require lab components, there are only about 40 seats for hundreds trying to get in. He eventually decided to join student government, partially to get involved, but also because it would move him up the chain for priority registration.


Even the community college administrators, such realize that the days of rock-bottom tuition may need to end:

Gray said that eliminating costs for students was an admirable goal decades ago, but no longer makes sense due to disinvestment in the system. He advocates raising fees to a level more in line with other states, or perhaps differentiating fees so that higher-cost programs, such as nursing, cost more than lecture classes like English or history.

However, Gray does not have the power to set tuition for Riverside Community College. That power rests several hundred miles away, in Sacramento. And any talk of a tuition increase results in hundreds of students protesting, so politicians are leery to raise fees - unintentionally resulting in the promotion of the cause of the private institutions.

Once you start analyzing the various players in the game and their economic interests, you can paint a pretty fascinating picture. The students who have classes. The students who don't have classes. The faculty members at public colleges. The faculty members at private colleges. The administrators at both types of institutions. The state politicians. The federal politicians. Other entities who are affected, such as the hospitals that want to hire nurses, the prison guards that want to keep their jobs, and the taxpayers.

So even when they can't get courses, California students are getting a real education.