Claremont Insider: March 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Justice O'Connor to Speak at Bridges

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor swings into town tomorrow to deliver Pomona College's 2010 Distinguished Speakers Series lecture tomorrow, March 30, at 4:15pm. The event takes place in Bridges Auditorium on the Pomona College campus.

If you're interested in attending the event, you need to call Bridges at (909) 621-8032. The tickets are free, but they may all be gone at this late date. There is also a two-ticket per person limit.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Strike Up the Band

The verbified nouns were flying freely yesterday morning when the Claremont City Council held a special meeting to "dialogue" their budget problems.

Years of foolish spending on things like overly generous employee benefits have finally caught up with the City in the form of a projected $2.7 million in deficits over the next two fiscal years. As we wrote earlier, the city's staff has come up with a variety of layoffs, cuts in programs and services, and borrowing from Claremont's General Fund Reserve to balance the budget.

As the City's website reports, the City Council approved staff recommendations to cut over $1.3 million from the FY 2010-11. The council deferred dealing with the FY 2011-12 budget until the end of May, when they will hold another special budget meeting:

Council Directs Staff To Bring Back Recommendations For Further Reductions

The City Council directed staff to schedule another Budget Workshop in late May to address the budget shortfall in 2011-12 Fiscal Year. The City Council approved staff recommendations for staff and program reductions for fiscal year 2010-11 resulting in a reduction of $1,318,727 in expenditures. In fiscal year 2011-12, staff has projected a $750,000 shortfall which is dependent on several undecided factors. These factors include the outcome of the State Redevelopment lawsuit, negotiations with labor unions, and the California State budget. At the late May workshop, staff will give an update on these factors, and provide additional reduction recommendations if neccessary.

It's not all bad news, though. The city is still planning on spending thousands on a gala grand opening for Claremont's new multi-million dollar Padua Ave. Sports Park on April 24. As the City's financial situation heaves its aft end skyward just before taking that grand dive to the bottom, think of the April event as the equivalent of the Titanic's band bravely playing "Nearer My God to Thee" for its earthly farewell.

Party on, Claremont!

Click on Image to Enlarge

Friday, March 26, 2010

Blood on the Floor

We don't have a lot of time for this post, as there is a rumor our job is about to be eliminated. However you may want to take note of the special City Council meeting tomorrow, Saturday morning, March 27, 8:00 a.m., at City Council chambers on Second Street.

Council will hear City Manager Jeff Parker discuss his approach to stanch the flow of money out of City Hall, to the tune of projected deficits of $1.6 million in 2010-2011 and $1.1 million in 2011-2012 if nothing is done.

He's proposing an array of job eliminations in his own administrative staff ($217K), Community Development ($619K), Police ($300K), Human Services ($248K), and Community Services, ($235K). When the dust settles he plans on addressing the remaining million-dollar two-year deficit by a combination of fancy footwork ($235K) and $750K from the general fund reserves.

See the staff report here.

The table outlining staff reductions is reproduced below.

click on image to enlarge

Be sure to attend Saturday's morose meeting.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

7-Eleven Foes Take to Social Networking

You have to hand it to the residents who are fighting the proposed 7-Eleven convenience store at Foothill Blvd. and Mills Ave. Now that the applicant is appealing the Claremont Planning Commission's denial of the 7-Eleven's conditional use permit, the residents are gearing up to pressure the City Council into upholding the CUP denial.

Besides the expected opposition from the Preserve Our Neighborhoods (PON) group, whose attorney submitted a letter on behalf of PON to the Planning Commission, Claremont Courier reporter Tony Krickl writes on his COURIER City Blog that the 7-Eleven opponents have a Facebook page and even have a YouTube presentation:

It's a video posted on Youtube by David Sawhill, a resident who lives near the proposed 7-Eleven site. See below. Sawhill can't attend next Tuesday night's city council meeting due to an open house at Claremont High School where he works, so he's asked city staff to show the video during public comment in his absence.

Sawhill, by the way, is a graduate of the Claremont Colleges (Pitzer '01) and teaches math at Claremont High School. He is also a CHS yearbook adviser. In his video, Sawhill also tells us that he got his teaching credential at Claremont Graduate School. Sawhill may have a problem getting an airing of his video before the City Council: There's a four-minute limit on public comment and Sawhill's video runs over seven minutes. Then again, new mayor Linda Elderkin, who is against the 7-Eleven, may show her foolish consistency and allow the video to run.

As an aside, it strikes us as so typically Claremont how, whenever a group of neighbors opposes a project that most of the Claremont 400 would rather not have, the group is considered community activists. On the other hand, when a group opposes something the 400 is for, they are NIMBYs. These quintessential Claremont inconsistencies drive us nuts, and we have some more to illustrate on this and other subjects in the next week or two.

In any case, here's Sawhill's video:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Catching Up


Here are some updates on recent city issues:

  • David Allen visited last week's Claremont City Council meeting and watched as the council approved an ordinance that allows drive-throughs in certain unimportant parts of town, such as south and northwest Claremont. Allen noted that Claremont already had a couple drive-through locations south of the 10 Freeway, and then he summed the issue up in one sentence:
    My assumption is that Claremont officials didn't mind if the area looked tacky because most people will assume it's in Pomona anyway.

  • Allen also noted that the person who wants to put a 7-Eleven in the empty building at Foothill Blvd. and Mills Ave. is appealing the Planning Commission rejection of a conditional use permit for the business. The matter will now go to the City Council. The City's website has some information on the matter:
    7-11 Appeal Filed

    On March 2, 2010 the Planning Commission officially denied a request to allow the establishment of a 7-11 convenience store in a portion of the building located at 601 E. Foothill Boulevard. The proposal included the sale of beer and wine and 24 hour/ day operating hours. The applicant has appealed the Planning Commission decision. The City Council will conduct an appeal hearing on Tuesday March 23, 2010 in the Council Chamber located at 225 W. Second Street. The appeal hearing will not commence before 7 pm. A copy of the appeal document is attached. For more information, please contact the Planning Division at 909-399-5470.

    * View the Appeal (Adobe Acrobat, 2964KB)

    We were surprised that the applicant is proposing to limit the 7-Eleven's hours of operation from 5am to 1am seven days a week. We don't know of any 7-Eleven stores that aren't open 24-7. But, this being Claremont, we have to do everything differently. Just because.

  • The City's has settled its claim for the Dutch Elm that had to be removed from its spot at Indian Hill Blvd. and Tenth St. The City has posted this information:
    City Settles Claim for Dutch Elm Tree (Mar 10, 2010)

    The City has successfully settled the claim with Terno Construction and its insurance company over the removal of a Dutch Elm tree at the corner of Indian Hill Boulevard and Tenth Street. The City will be reimbursed $79,000 for the replacement of the tree.

    The City worked with an arborist to determine the value of the tree and costs associated with replacing it. The City asked for and received $79,000 for the cost of replacing the tree and to compensate for its loss. The City will use the funds to replace the tree after the signal installation is complete. The remaining funds will be used to address the backlog of trees that need replacing in the City.

    The contractor will have materials and hardware to finish the project within two weeks. Staff anticipates the work to be completed March 30, 2010.

  • Allen also tells us on his blog that the future Cheese Cave on Yale Ave. has had some further versification.

  • FiOS Update - A reader wrote in a while ago asking about the status of Verizon's fiber optic system installation north of Base Line Rd. We hadn't heard much about this issue lately, but the City is reporting that the installation has been halted because Verizon has a contractual obligation to complete installations in "diverse underserved cities" before it can finish in other more privileged areas such as Claremont:
    FIOS Halted In Claremont

    Verizon has temporarily halted the FiOS build in Claremont due to contractual agreements with the 18 Local Franchise Agreement cities. Where contracts to finish the builds in those cities have come due, Verizon is obligated to complete the builds per the contracts. Verizon is also obligated, as per our State Franchise, to complete a certain percentage of the FiOS build in diverse underserved cities in California. Claremont does not meet the criteria of a diverse underserved city. In order to meet this obligation, Verizon has had to step up the build in those cities. Verizon hopes to be back in Claremont to continue the FiOS build, however no date has been set. Residents may call Gary George, Verizon Director of Government & External Affairs at 909/261-0663.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Local Eats

Photo courtesy of Euro Café's Facebook page
Claremont's Euro Café was reviewed last week by Daily Bulletin writer Elaine Lehman. Elaine liked her ham and brie pannini, and she was also treated to a side of linguiça, which owner Joe Medeiros makes himself:
Just when I was wishing I had more of this amazing food, the owner came over with a plate filled with slices of toasted bread and linguica (Portuguese-cured pork sausage) for me to try. I had heard that lucky patrons have had the pleasure of hearing him sing to them. His daughter-in-law, who works the counter, says his singing is so beautiful it makes her cry.

One of the things we like about Euro Café is that mom-and-pop feel. The pastries, for instance, are made right there. Where else in Southern California can you find real bolas de Berlim? Those little custard filled confections dusted with powdered sugar may be the best donut around (sorry Pixie Donuts). One of those and an espresso and you'll find yourself transported to Lisboa.

Euro Café
546 E. Base Line Rd.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4666

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Picture Is Worth AThousand Words

There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran:


Animal Farm
George Orwell

We're continually amazed at the awesome sense of entitlement the Claremont 400 possesses, collectively and individually. It's as if the laws of our town apply to everyone other than our ruling elite, who see themselves as a sort of aristocracy.

Former mayors, councilpeople, and commissioners behave as scofflaws. One such former mayor we know built an eight-foot wall on her property when only six-foot walls were permitted in the Claremont Village. When a neighbor complained, the person said not to worry about it and implied she had friends in City Hall.

And, lest you think such things are isolated examples, don't forget the time former mayor Ellen Taylor drove the wrong way down an alley in the Village.

From time to time we receive emails from skeptical readers who find it hard to believe that these paragons of community virtue would behave so boorishly. Well, now comes photo documentation, courtesy of the Insider's local spies.

At the City Council's March 6 budget meeting, town historian and former mayor Judy Wright had a special parking spot reserved for her car--license 4 JDY JDY. We assume that this must be Judy's regular parking place when she visits her subjects at City Hall. Judy certainly has no fear of the Claremont PD's parking enforcement officers (though they may quite rightly fear her):

Seen outside City Hall,
March 6, 2010

When we first received the photo, we weren't sure that it was really Judy's ride, so we asked a friend of the Insider to drive by Judy's digs near Tenth and Berkeley. Sure enough, there was the same wagon--hers--parked at the curb:

* * * * *

We note that 4 JDY JDY appears to have a handicapped tag hanging from it's mirror, and we don't begrudge the differently abled their little regulatory conveniences. But the lot at City Hall was striped "NO PARKING."

Anyway, readers, don't bother yourselves to get worked up about little things like fairness or rule of law. Judy (pictured, left) will just have a good laugh at your expense.

The best thing you can do is remember these photos during the next city council or school board election. When you see the name "Judy Wright" next this or that candidate's name, vote for another person.

That is the only way we'll ever move away from the Claremont 400's arbitrary governance and towards a more rational, fair, and respectful relationship between city officials and the average citizens in town.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our Prurient Town

Don't know how we missed it, but the Pomona College paper The Student Life reported on the Claremont PD stopping about a dozen bicyclists from the Claremont Colleges who were riding naked through the Claremont Village on the evening of February 26.

TSL tells us the students were part of a group of 40 such riders whom Claremont police said were in violation of indecent exposure laws. Three of the bikers were detained and handcuffed, including Pomona College student Erica Reiss, whom a CPD officer physically removed from her bicycle.

The TSL article explained how it all went down:

Participants in the bike ride said 12 students were stopped when a police vehicle tried to block the group’s path on First Street. The rest of the students continued cycling. When a second vehicle tried to cut them off, police Corporal David DeMetz grabbed Reiss, who was not injured in the incident.

Two other students, Eric Stahl-David PI ’11 and Matt Goldbach PI ’11, stopped when they saw DeMetz take Reiss to the ground. All three students were handcuffed and told to sit on the curb. According to police, the students were released when witnesses opted not to press charges against them.

The matter came up at the City Council meeting last night during public comment. Resident and retired LAPD officer Ralph Ruiz brought up the issue. Ruiz called the incident in, and he was unhappy that no one was arrested.

As Tony Krickl over at the Claremont Courier says on his blog, Claremont Police Chief Paul Cooper was present at the council meeting, and he explained his department's stance on the bikers:
Cooper said police will not take action against a nude biker as long as witnesses are not offended by the nudity or the biker is not getting sexual pleasure from his/her activity.

"This is a specific intent crime," Cooper said. "The persons exposing their genitals have to received some type of sexual gratification from this. There's no evidence to support that [in this case]."


You can watch the council video here (just click on the public comment agenda item). You have to wade through some non-nude biking talk, including a little medical marijuana info and a few comments by Citizen Michael John Keenan before you get to Chief Cooper's and the council's comments.

Local News


Well, as we predicted, at their meeting Tuesday night, the Claremont City Council appointed Councilmember Linda Elderkin mayor and named Councilmember Sam Pedroza mayor pro tem. Outgoing mayor Corey Calaycay was honored by a representative of State Senator Bob Huff's office, and Calaycay is off to make a run for the state assembly.

Calaycay hopes to fill the 59th Assembly District seat vacated by Anthony Adams, who, after avoiding being recalled for supporting last year's state budget agreement, decided not to run again.

The Claremont 400 is hoping Calaycay wins the Republican primary in June. Given the gerrymandered nature of our district, winning that race pretty much guarantees a win in the November general election. If Calaycay should win, that would free up the council to appoint a replacement or hold a special election to fill Calaycay's seat. We suspect that they would opt for naming a replacement, and the 400's candidate of choice, former Claremont Assistant City Manager Bridget Healy is waiting in the wings.

Healy couldn't win in last year's council election, so getting a free pass through a council appointment might just be her one chance at finding a seat at the council dais.


A reader wrote in to request a public service announcement about Johnson's Pasture. The reader requests that the City install a doggie bag dispenser at the pasture's trailhead. Apparently, dog owners have not been picking up after their pooches, which makes for a mine field experience for walkers and runners.

Come on people, show some class. Pick up after your pets.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

City Gets New Mayor Tonight

The Claremont City Council convenes tonight for their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers at 225 Second St. in the Claremont Village. There's no closed session tonight. For a change, what you see is what you get. At least, as much as that is possible in our town.

You can preview the council agenda materials on the city's website.

You can also watch the meeting live or later at your leisure here.

Some of tonight's topics are:

  • The council's reorganization. This is the annual voting by council members for mayor and mayor pro tem. Those posts are currently filled by councilmembers Corey Calaycay and Linda Elderkin. By convention, the positions are supposed to rotate each year so that each councilmember gets a turn at mayor. (Except when the powers-that-be don't like you.)

    Expect our process queen Elderkin to be named mayor, which will make for excruciating long council meetings because Linda loves to go on and on about how much she knows about each and every subject. Infallibility being her strong point, she believes she's right only 100% of the time, so Linda will always have the last word.

    Our goofiest councilmember, Sam Pedroza, will be named Mayor Pro Tem. Together, Sam and Linda have been the Claremont 400's most reliable votes. Elderkin is part of the old (and we do mean old) Claremont League of Women Voters ruling class, and Pedroza is former Claremont Mayor Judy Wright's marionette.

    A matched set, these two (trust them as you would adders fang'd):

    Pedrozacrantz and Lindanstern

  • After the reorg, the council will settle down to its regular business with Elderkin at the gavel. The first item they'll consider is the second reading of the City's ordinance on water efficient landscaping.

  • The council will also receive and approve the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which, as usual, paints a rosy picture of the money situations for the City's and the City's Redevelopment Agency. Odd, isn't it, how the report seems to minimize inconvenient things like pension obligations and the likely rise in the city's contribution to the city employee CalPERS pension account.

  • The Claremont Police Department's annual report. Good news, for the most part, violent crime and property crimes were down last year, despite the declining states of the local and national economies.

  • A temporary loan of $825,000 from the Claremont Redevelopment Agency to the Jamboree Housing Corporation for the development at the affordable housing site at 111 S. College Ave. This is in anticipation of the project receiving a $825,000 grant from the L.A. County HOME program. Assuming that money comes in, the CRA will get its $825,000 back, says Housing and Redevelopment Manager Brian Desatnik.

  • A review of the City's investment policy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

City News


Claremont City Manager Jeff Parker's weekly report for March 4 had this news about the ongoing sidewalk construction and upcoming water service interruptions:


The Village Accessibility project continues to progress. The sidewalk on the north side of First Street, from the Post Office alley to Yale Avenue, was installed this past week. Beginning Monday March 8, the work will move to First Street, between Yale Avenue and Indian Hill Boulevard. Westbound First Street, from Yale Avenue to Indian Hill Boulevard, will be closed for approximately two (2) days while the work is being performed.

Golden State Water will have the following service interruptions to update water mains, services, and fire hydrants:
  • Yale Avenue and portions of Second Street and Bonita, from First Street to Fourth Street, starting at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, to 7:00 a.m. Monday, March 8.

  • Bonita Avenue, from Indian Hill to Harvard, starting Tuesday, March 9, at 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 10.

  • Arrow Highway, from Elder Drive to easterly City limit, Oakdale Drive and adjoining areas, beginning Tuesday, March 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (This Golden State Water project is in preparation for the Arrow Highway Resurfacing Project.)
All businesses and property owners are being contacted by the Water Company. The majority of the utility work in the Village, conducted by the Water and Gas companies, is taking place after the businesses are closed.


Parker's newsletter also had information about the annual Health and Wellness Expo on March 20:
Health and Wellness Expo

The City of Claremont Human Services Department and Pomona Valley Hospital are excited to announce a Health & Wellness Expo to be held on Saturday, March 20, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Alexander Hughes Community Center in Claremont. The Expo will include a wide variety of local businesses and non-profit organizations featuring health and wellness programs and services available to the community. Included in the day’s activities will be:
  • Hughes Center Open House & Class Demonstrations – A variety of contract class demonstrations, including cooking, dance, art classes, judo and more.

  • Free Health Screenings - Audiology, 3-D Video Otoscope Inspection of the Ear Canal, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Body Fat Analysis, Chair Massage.

  • Vendor Fair - Various non-profits and businesses displaying their health and wellness programs.

  • Entertainment by the Happy Crowd – Claremont’s very popular children’s entertainers, the Happy Crowd, will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

  • $1 BBQ Lunch hosted by the Kiwanis Club – The Kiwanis Club of Claremont will be hosting a BBQ Lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Presale lunch tickets can be purchased at the Alexander Hughes Center and the Joslyn Center.
For more information, please call either the Alexander Hughes Center at (909) 399-5490 or the Joslyn Center at (909) 399-5488.


The little lame ballonman will be whistling on April 4 when the City and the local Rotary Club will host their annual spring celebration:
Spring Celebration

The City of Claremont and the Rotary Club of Claremont will be hosting the annual Spring Celebration on Saturday, April 3 from 9 - 11 a.m. This FREE community event includes a petting zoo, magician, crafts, and more. The candy egg hunt for children 10 and under will begin at 10:30 a.m. This year, the Kiwanis Club will host a pancake breakfast from 7 - 10 a.m. for $4 per person. For more information, contact the Alexander Hughes Community Center at (909) 399-5490.


If you know of some person or group you think should be honored in this year's 4th of July parade, the city wants your input. Also, the City invites our K-6 readers to submit their ideas for this year's 4th of July theme. Mr. Parker tells us that you don't have much time to put in your two cents worth:

Honorees: The 2010 Independence Day Committee is now accepting nominations for Grand Marshal, Honored Citizen, and Honored Community Group, to be recognized at the 4th of July Celebration. All honorees will be presented with certificates at the pre-parade reception and appear in the official parade in their own decorated vehicle.

Theme Contest: All Claremont students in grades K-6 are invited to enter their ideas for the theme of this year’s 4th of July Celebration. Each theme submitted must be four words or less and have no more than 36 characters. Winners will be recognized at a pre-parade reception, ride in the parade, receive a special prize and firework tickets, as well as see their theme used throughout the event.

Nominations for Honorees and Theme Contest entries are due Thursday, March 18 to the Alexander Hughes Community Center. Entry forms can be found on the 4th of July website at

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Mailbag

The proposted 7-Eleven at Foothill Blvd. and Mills Ave. received a final "No" vote from Claremont's Planning Commission Tuesday night. The commission voted 5-2 for the denial of the 7-Eleven's conditional use permit. Wes Woods II has an article about the meeting in the Daily Bulletin.

According to Woods' article, the 7-Eleven applicant has until March 23 to appeal the CUP denial to the Claremont City Council.

On that subject, a reader wrote us our recent comparison of the 7-Eleven CUP and the Padua Theatre:

SUBJECT: 7-Eleven Padua Hills Theatre
DATE: Wed, March 3, 2010 7:33:52 PM
TO: Claremont Buzz

I was really sorry to have missed the 7-Eleven community meeting. I live on Via Padova and I'm so glad The Insider caught the 7-Eleven and Padua Hills Theatre incident. The Insider as usual hit the nail on the head in the inconsistencies that Claremont shows. Least we forget in our fair city it is who you know and what you can do for them that counts.

As for the 12,000-21,000 in sales revenue I highly doubt that will be gobbled up in law enforcement costs, unless we are talking about a donut shop.

I do find issuing an alcohol license where the proprietor [Padua Theater operator Chantrelles Catering] is requesting alcohol be allowed to be served from 9:00 am-2:00 am, 7 days a week, extreme in a totally residential neighborhood in the most northern la de da part of Claremont. I know of no other precedence set nor of any other city that this has been or would be allowed. But, then again I know of no other city quite like that of Claremont. They do take the cake and they should eat it too.

* * * * *

And then there was this note about some not-so-subtle manipulation by Mercedes Santoro's Human Services Department:
SUBJECT: Using Black Kids
DATE: Mon, February 22, 2010 1:55:13 PM
TO: Claremont Buzz
Dear Buzz,

At the Claremont City Community Budget Workshop on February 16, 2010, three black youths testified in support of the Youth Activity Center (YAC). What made me notice that testimony was the fact that no youths of other racial groups were present to offer their testimony for the YAC program. I also noticed that a staff member from the Human Services Department sat at the same table with the black youths. Coincidence? Maybe! Nevertheless, this seating arrangement made me wonder if the staff person was orchestrating the black youths' testimony. It appeared to me that the staff was - questionably - manipulating public opinion by "using" the black youths.

Why am I concerned? I believe that the YAC program serves youths of various races in the city. Were the black youths the only ones who were concerned about the fate of the program? Or are the black youths the only ones who need the program as their "concern" and presence seemed to imply? I would like to believe that this was all coincidence, but it appeared awfully suspicious that only black youths were the ones sufficiently concerned about the YAC that they came to testify, sitting at the same table with the staff from the Human Services Department which oversees the program.

We don't know, but we've certainly seen this sort of manipulation in the past. We remember nine years ago during the all hoopla over the Padua Park planning process some folks showing up at more than one meeting with a gaggle of children dressed up their soccer or baseball or softball uniforms.

We've also seen plenty of manipulation of Claremont's vaunted public process by people like former Police Commission chair and League of Women Voters doyenne Helaine Goldwater who stand in the foyer of the council chambers deciding who in the assembled group speaks, what part of the overall message they are to deliver, and in what order they are supposed to go.

In the bygone days of the Southard administration, staff contributed to the show as well, offering up reports to buttress the message du jour, and the councils and commissions of those times would echo what the speakers said, often using the same catchphrases heard in public comment (remember words like those old LWV favorites, "vision" and "consensus"?). This still happens, though there is more independence on the council and commissions than we ever saw in the past.

What our Claremonsters never realized, and what some of this city's staff still don't get, is that in the long run, those manipulations end up undermining their credibility and insults their audience. The public is generally more sophisticated than it gets credit for, and people have enough common sense to know when a message fails to ring true.

In any case, it all strikes us as simply more of the faux-liberalism that Official Claremont has showcased for the past 30 years or so. For better or worse, this is still Inland Empire; West L.A. we are not.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Coming Attractions

A glance at the ol' community calendar (really old community, really old calendar) tells us of some upcoming events:


Claremont Human Services Director Mercedes Santoro (Mercy to her Claremont 400 friends) honors her bureaucratic fiefdom with Claremont Night at the California Reign Saturday night, the city's website says:

Claremont Night at the Ontario Reign Game March 6

The City of Claremont and the Ontario Reign Hockey Team are hosting Claremont Night at the Citizen's Bank Arena on Saturday, March 6, 2010. Join Claremont fans as the Ontario Reign take on the Las Vegas Wranglers starting at 7:00pm Proceeds from the ticket sales will be used to support park improvements for Claremont's youth sports organizations.

The City of Claremont's parks and fields are used by more than 3,700 youth each year in organized sports groups. By providing quality sports facilities, the City hopes to encourage the community's youth to engage in healthy behaviors. The benefits of youth sports are numerous and include a reduction in obesity, self esteem building, a sense of teamwork, and improved physical development.

Tickets to the Ontario Reign game can be purchased individually are at a discounted rate for groups. Tickets are available in the upper or lower levels of the arena and range from $12-$20 for adults and $10-$15 for children. To purchase tickets, please contact the Human Services Department at (909) 399-5490. This discounted ticket price offer is not available at the Arena Box Office or TicketMaster.

The Citizen's Bank Arena is located at 4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway, CA 91764.


Fans of the angel in Claremont's Mallows Park, located in at the northeast corner of Indian Hill Blvd. and Harrison Ave., will want to weigh in on whether or not the angel, Ambrosia, should be moved. Again, the city website speaks:

Mallows Park Angel Feedback

The City is considering moving Ambrosia, the angel located at Mallows Park on Indian Hill Blvd.It is one of the City's public art pieces, originally located on the south side of the park. The City is seeking input from the surrounding neighborhood on if they would like it to remain at the park or if they would like to see it moved to a different location. Please contact Francine Baker, Arts Coordinator at (909) 399-5391.


The Claremont City Council is having a budget workshop this Saturday, March 6, from 12pm to 5pm in the council chambers at 225 Second Street.


If you want your thoughts provoked, check out the upcoming speakers at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College. The lectures begin at 6:45pm, except for the one tomorrow, which starts at noon.

The Athenaeum is located at 385 E. 8th St., and the lectures are free and open to the public. You can get more information by calling (909) 621-8244. You can also check their website. Here are the speakers for the next couple weeks:

March 4
Larry Diamond, professor by courtesy of political science and sociology; senior fellow, Hoover Institution; Stanford University; author, The Spirit to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (2008) and Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to bring Democracy to Iraq (2006); "Asian Values and the Future of Democracy in Asia"
March 5
Peter Bossaerts, William D. Hacker professor of economics and management, California Institute of Technology; author, The Paradox of Asset Planning (2002) and Lecture Notes in Corporate Finance (2001); "What Decision Neuroscience Teaches Us about Financial Decision Making" (12:00 p.m.)
March 8
Ian Frazier, author, Gone to New York: Adventures in the City (2005) and On the Rez (2000) and Jamaica Kincaid, Josephine Olp Weeks Chair and Professor of Literature, CMC; author, Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas (2005) and The Autobiography of My Mother (1996); "Ian Frazier and Jamaica Kincaid in Dialogue"
March 9
Abdourahman Waberi, visiting professor of literature, CMC; author, The Land Without Shadows (2005) and In the United States of Africa (2009); "A Nomadic Soul"
March 10
Joanna Strober, senior managing director of private equity, Sterling Stamos; co-author, Getting to 50/50: How Working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing It All, and Why It's Great for Your Marriage, Your Career, Your Kids,... and You (2009); "Getting to 50/50"

Monday, March 1, 2010

7-Eleven: Community Meeting Tonight

The issue of the proposed 7-Eleven in the empty building at the northeast corner of Mills Ave. and Foothill Blvd. is apparently still alive, even though Claremont's Planning Commission voted 6-1 to have city staff draft a denial of the 7-Eleven's conditional use permit application at their February 16 meeting.

We didn't see an announcement for the meeting on the City's website, but we did catch a letter in Saturday's Claremont Courier from resident Jennifer Jaffe--as well as a short article on p. 5-- saying that Claremont Community Development Director Tony Witt has scheduled a community meeting 7pm tonight in the City Council chambers at 225 Second St. in downtown Claremont.

According to Jaffe's letter, "the meeting is intended to provide dialogue between the applicant and the community." Jaffe comes out against the 7-Eleven, and she hopes that others will attend and speak out. Jaffe also said the matter comes back to the Planning Commission at their Tuesday, March 2 meeting. That meeting is at 7pm Tuesday in the council chambers.

You might recall that the planning commissioners expressed their concerns about the issues residents raised about the proposed convenience store. The Daily Bulletin's Wes Woods II reported some of the issues raised at that last Planning Commission meeting:

Lauri Harrison, a resident who lives on Clarion Place, said, "We don't need another place with access to alcohol."

Other residents discussed the possible crime and police issues such a business would cause.

"It seems to me we need to consider the fact the $12,000 to $21,000 in sales tax will be offset by law enforcement costs," Tess Henry told the commission.

The funny thing about the Planning Commission vote is that a different set of residents expressed exactly the same concerns about the City granting the Padua Hills Theatre operators, Chantrelles Catering and Arteco Partners, a conditional use permit to serve alcohol. In fact, the concern about proximity to residences was even greater there, since the Padua Theatre is completely surrounded by single-family homes, some within 100 feet of the theatre. The 7-Eleven site is at least situated on Foothill Blvd., a main, four-lane road, as opposed to the Padua Theatre, whose access is Padua Ave. and Via Padova, both small, curving, two-lane, residential streets.

It seems to us that the City is being awfully inconsistent here. Either they should grant the 7-Eleven their CUP, or they should revoke the one for the Padua Theatre. We don't particularly care one way or the other, but we do believe the City has a duty to act fairly and consistently towards all applicants and residents. The City's inconsistent stances on the 7-Eleven and the Padua Theatre demonstrate precisely how arbitrary Claremont's official processes operate.

Once again, the Official Claremont finds itself hoisted on its own petard.