Best quotes of 2010

In an annual feature for the newspaper, I compile the most pithy, silly or colorful quotes from the news pages of the Daily Bulletin that year. You can read the 2010 version here.

I type up the quotes and explanatory copy as the year progresses. At the end of the year I winnow out half or more to get to a reasonable number, usually 18 to 20. This year, rather than toss the remainder, I’m — why not? — presenting the outtakes on my blog. Read ‘em and weep … or gape, chuckle or cheer.

***

“This was like the pager of 1915.”

– History buff Ryan Moore, referring to siren atop Upland’s 1915 fire station, which sounded to call volunteer firefighters to a fire. Moore and his group, E Clampus Vitus’s Billy Holcomb chapter, restored the long-unused siren for free as part of the rehabilitation of the station, which will be used as a fire museum.

***

“He is literally an evergreen. He continues to sell year after year.”

– Nick Croce, president of NJ Croce Co., a La Verne company which since 2000 has had the worldwide exclusive right to distribute Gumby bendable figures. Gumby is ever green, all right.

***

“I think she’s going for the record. We’re thinking she’s like 112 in human years. It’s that darn coffee.”

– Mary Cannevas of Rancho Cucamonga about her dachshund, Rosey, who was 16 years old. Rosey insists on a small serving of Costco coffee each morning with cream.

***

“So far, the feedback has been really appreciative of the fact it’s been put into a written form and pictures tell a thousand words.”

– Upland Mayor John Pomierski on his state of the city address, which was mailed to residents as a brochure in May in lieu of the usual gala where the speech would be read.

***

“Although the bicyclist ran into me and was cited, I cooperated fully with the CHP because it was the right thing to do.”

– Chino Councilman Earl Elrod on June 30 after being sentenced to 24 months of probation and $710 in fines stemming from a Feb. 14 traffic collision in which Elrod’s vehicle was struck by a bicyclist and the councilman left the scene of the accident. Highway Patrol officers went to his home but Elrod refused to answer the door or the telephone. He contacted the CHP the following day, too late for them to test him for sobriety.

***

“Many have never heard of Ontario or think it’s in Canada. But Pasadena, it’s known, which doesn’t hurt us.”

– J. Derek Halvorson, president of Providence Christian College, about the small college’s move west in August after five years in Ontario.

***

“It’s time to declare this issue dead on arrival. Close the lid, pray over it and bury it.”

– Pomona resident Deborah Clifford, speaking to the City Council on Aug. 2 against contracting with the Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement. The council voted 7-0 to abandon the idea.

***

“It was great. It was just kind of like ‘Did I really do this?’ Especially driving back, you see how far it is.”

– Joseph Machado, 13, the Upland teen who rode his bicycle nearly 3,000 miles to Washington, D.C., from June 5 to July 13 to raise money for children’s charities. His parents followed him by car and they drove back home together.

***

“I don’t try to fill his shoes. I try to fill his spirit.”

– Tony Sheets, son of Millard Sheets, the late muralist and watercolorist from Claremont, about his job as exhibit director of the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts at the L.A. County Fair. The elder Sheets ran the Fine Arts Exhibition, as it was then known, from 1931 to 1956.

***

“I worked very hard to put this together and I get no support from anybody. Not even something like ‘you’re doing a great job’ or ‘we know it’s a lot of hard work.’ But now that I don’t want to do it…everybody wants to help out.”

– Sandy Coglietti, owner of the Village Grille in Claremont, about the monthly Cruise Night for classic cars downtown, an event she and her late husband founded in 1995. The October cruise might be the last.

***

“Our kids can’t wait for Congress.”

– Beverly Speak, CEO and director of the Kids Come First Community Clinic in Ontario, which serves children whose parents don’t have health insurance.

***

“We can’t legislate courtesy.”

– Claremont Councilman Sam Pedroza, before council members April 27 rejected a proposal to ban smoking in some public places such as outdoor dining areas.

***

“He’s asking voters to make the decision he’s not willing to make. I’m curious why someone would do that.”

– Political scientist Douglas Johnson about Christopher Agrella, who was a candidate for seats on both the Montclair City Council and the Ontario-Montclair School District board in the November election. The offices were incompatible and Agrella, had he won both seats, would have had to give one up.

***

“I’ve worked in homicide for a long time. And few investigations, if any, touched me the way this one did.”

– Pomona police Detective Dan Kono, commenting June 14 on the arrest of a suspect in the 2006 slaying of 3-year-old Ethan Esparza, whose death in his front yard in a drive-by shooting galvanized the community. Kono was retiring later that week after 30 years.

***

“He’s undoubtedly the best mayor we’ve ever had. All you have to do is look at the progress the city has made in the last decade and you’ll see what Mark has accomplished.”

– Fontana Councilman Frank Scialdone, speaking of Mark Nuaimi, who resigned June 30 after eight years as mayor, and six years as a councilman, to become city manager of Yucca Valley.

***

“Don’t get in the water if you don’t have a boat.”

– Johnny Gonzalez of Ontario on Jan. 19, the second day of a four-day storm. Gonzalez was using his Jeep Wrangler to pull stalled cars out of the flooded intersection of Francis and Grove, where water was up to 3 feet deep.

***

“It (the marijuana initiative) doesn’t provide much guidance on the form those taxes would take. Regular sales tax? Excise tax? What would the unit of the excise be? The joint? The ounce? The Cheech? The Chong?”

– Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, on the voter initiative that would have legalized the possession and sale of marijuana in California. It failed in the November election.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Please, no photos

A friend and I splurged on dinner Sunday at Red O, a high-profile new restaurant on Melrose Avenue in L.A. On the sidewalk, we passed a photographer chatting with the valets. Paparazzi? Wow. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one, given that I don’t frequent places a celebrity might be.

Disappointingly, he didn’t even lift his camera. Hey, I could be Anthony Edwards! Or Jeff Zucker! Oh well. He was still there when we left. Was anyone famous inside, or was he just hoping there might be?

The meal, by the way, was very good: upscale takes on taquitos (with duck), shrimp cocktail and tamales, in a classy setting with pleasant service. Here’s a blogger’s very critical take, with multiple photos, and a verbal throwdown between chef Rick Bayless and critic Jonathan Gold.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

At Roberta’s, you’re in with the Inn crowd

48905-villageinn 005.jpg

Francisco Ramirez and Roberta Virgin at the counter of Roberta’s Village Inn, 2326 D St., La Verne. Ramirez, the chef, bought the downtown coffee shop from Virgin at the beginning of 2010. A year later, business continues to do well and customers say the transition has been seamless. Read about the popular restaurant in my Wednesday column — and feel free to add your comments below.

If you click on the “Continue reading” link below, you can find an informal history of the building, with some color about the Village Inn, sent to me by two members of the La Verne Historical Society.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Hit the road, Jack

48835-Jack1.jpg

James Rodriguez of Fontana looked out his window recently while on the 210 Freeway in Upland to find the CEO of Jack in the Box on his motorcycle. Rodriguez said the two of them both exited at Irwindale Avenue. He added: “I don’t know how he did the front of the helmet to see out of.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Christmas Star

48814-xmasstar.jpg

Photo: Will Lester/Daily Bulletin

The photo, from 2005, is of the star above Euclid Avenue, a local tradition going back to the 1950s. The Daily Bulletin has featured the Star and its history many times, but what follows is a new version by Megan Hutter, who wrote it for the Cooper Museum’s newsletter. It was also featured in the San Antonio Heights newsletter. Hutter gave permission (through Ken and Pam McNeil) for the piece to appear here.

Click on the “Continue reading” tag to find her piece.

Feel free to share your thoughts about the Star below. And Merry Christmas.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Festivus pole

48718-festivus 002.jpg

Reader Bob Terry, a “Seinfeld” fan supreme, dropped by our newsroom last week to present me with my very own Festivus pole. It will not be re-gifted. The pole occupies a spot in my spillover cubicle of tchotchkes.

Festivus, a fictional holiday, was created in a 1997 episode of the series by curmudgeonly character Frank Costanza as a way to celebrate the Christmas season without all the pressure and commercialization.

Festivus decorations are a simple aluminum pole, no more. (“I find tinsel distracting,” Costanza said in the episode.) The Festivus celebration involves a dinner, the ritual Airing of Grievances against family members and a post-dinner wrestling bout with the head of the household, an activity dubbed Feats of Strength.

Bob couldn’t find aluminum for the homemade pole, but he improvised. What’s with the paper, clipped to the pole’s top? “That’s for you to list your grievances,” he told me.

Festivus, which has its own Wikipedia page, is celebrated on Dec. 23. Are you ready for Festivus? Thanks to Bob Terry, I am. Giddy-up.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Glorious

48788-Master_Chorale_McKenzie2.jpg

Photo: Tom Zasadzinski/Cal Poly Pomona

Caroline McKenzie, soprano, solos with the Los Angeles Master Chorale on “Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King” on Sunday afternoon at Pomona’s First Baptist Church (the city’s answer to Disney Hall, the chorale’s regular venue). Grant Gershon, at right, is the chorale’s musical director.

The performance was cosponsored by Cal Poly Pomona, City Hall, Pomona Unified School District and other donors.

Were you there? More than 1,000 people were. Read more about the event in my Wednesday column.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email