In the future, new service stations in Rancho Cucamonga will have to install at least one alternative fuel pump for every four gas pumps. That’s a new, forward-thinking rule adopted by the city. I tell you more in my Sunday column.
Have you ever seen the “Ramona” pageant in Hemet? I drove out there last Saturday for opening day. I was impressed and charmed, if admittedly bored at times. But as a fan of tradition, I’d say everyone should see “Ramona” at least once in their lives. I tell you about the experience in my Friday column.
In San Bernardino, they held an unusual ceremony Monday in which city officials brandished sledgehammers to take a whack at the long-dead Carousel Mall to mark the start of demolition. It’s like progress in reverse. I attend and write about it for my Wednesday column.
Private interests want to build a Korean cultural center in Riverside because of the city’s importance to Korea as a onetime home, early in the 20th century, for a leader of the nation’s independence movement. Meanwhile, the mayor of Riverside and three others are in Korea from April 21 to May 2 on a Sister City visit that doubles as a trade mission. I write about all that in my Sunday column, as well as a certain billionaire’s visit last week to The Cheech.
More about Joshua Tree, as the lauded restaurant La Copine secures its future by buying its building (a curious cat is involved) and the Noah Purifoy museum gets a $100,000 arts grant. Also, desert-scented soap is purchased and old-school country music is heard, all in my Friday column, my second of three dispatches from the desert. Look for Part 3 sometime soon.
A “Saturday Night Live” sketch brought back the character “Lisa from Temecula,” the odd and outrageous attorney who is a disruptive force wherever she goes. I couldn’t resist writing about her again. (Candidly, my February column on her debut was by far my most-read of 2023, so I’d be crazy not to do so.) Also, readers react to my Joshua Tree column, and my recent Beach Boys column was better timed than I’d realized, coinciding with a TV tribute show of which I’d bee unaware. All of this is in my Wednesday column.
I visited Joshua Tree for Easter weekend, after having postponed my expected mid-March visit due to our crummy weather. I offer my observations and experiences in my Sunday column. Expect two more desert columns in the near future. I like the change of pace and hope you as readers do too.
I visit Holt x Palm, a new home-goods store in Ontario that has sprouted in an unlikely place, a forgotten corner downtown south of Holt, and with a striking mural on the exterior. The couple behind it are heavily invested in making downtown a success. Also: the children’s room of the Ontario City Library is now named for writer Beverly Cleary, and a business sign in Ontario has been covered up in a curious way. Yes, Friday’s column is all-Ontario. See how you like it.
Raymond Chandler’s debut novel, and the classic film version with Humphrey Bogart, both have scenes set in Realito, apparently a disguised version of Rialto. Also: three modern novels, and a current comedy film, have Inland Empire references. I recount all of these in my Wednesday column.
As a Beach Boys fan, I was delighted to learn recently that two of their first concerts were in San Bernardino, before anyone knew who they were, and that they also had concerts in Pomona, Ontario, Hemet and Indio during this apprenticeship period. I write about that, as well as about a pungent speaker at the Rancho Cucamonga council meeting last week, in my Sunday column.