A developer bought the former YMCA, a prominent building on Pomona’s Garey Avenue, in 2017. Finally it’s close to reopening after a renovation. I take a tour — prior to a Nov. 2 public tour — to see the work and hear about the plans, resulting in my Sunday column.
In a rare Chino Hills column, I explore the past and present of its picturesque Sleepy Hollow neighborhood, which turns 100 this month. That’s the subject of my Friday column.
Not being a runner, I walked in a 5K (my first), Riverside’s Mission Inn Run, on Sunday. This seemed worth doing because the run was drawing the most participation in its 46-year history, and also because the sponsor and the namesake hotel are at odds, the subject of a front-page story Sunday. I write about the event, the dispute and what I saw on my 3.1-mile walk in my Wednesday column.
Demolition of San Bernardino’s Carousel Mall is very visible now that crews and equipment are dismantling the exterior walls. They’d spent months clearing the interior, work that was the hardest part but was largely unseen. In other San Bernardino news, the man who may have done more than anyone to get the city’s name out worldwide has retired. Both these items make up Sunday’s all-Berdoo column.
You may have read about the upcoming West Valley Connector rapid bus that will travel from Pomona through Ontario and Montclair to Rancho Cucamonga. It turns out that it’s going to have a big impact on a few blocks of East Holt Boulevard in Ontario, where 22 structures in a seven-block stretch will be demolished. Currently many are boarded up. I delve into that in a rather sober Friday column.
Historian Ben Jenkins of the University of La Verne has written the story of how railroads and citrus rose and fell in the Inland Empire from 1870 to 1950. “Octopus’s Garden: How Railroads and Citrus Transformed Southern California” is the title. I read it and then talked to the IE native about a time often viewed through rose-colored (orange-colored?) glasses for my Wednesday column.
The collection of six statues of peace or civil rights figures along Riverside’s downtown pedestrian mall has been an occasional topic of mine. Now the MLK statue is surrounded by a construction fence. Why? The plaza around it is getting $250,000 of improvements to be unveiled next month. I go into that, as well as the story behind the 1999 statue, in my Sunday column.
The one-day, and free, Twentynine Palms Book Festival on Oct. 28 will bring together authors and readers in the Mojave Desert. One panel is, naturally, about UFOs. Others are about Louis L’Amour, indie bookstores and crime fiction. Also, the recent Local History Book Fair in Riverside, at which I had a table, offered encounters with readers (mostly positive). Lastly, the author of “Baseline Road,” the noir novel set in 1970s Claremont, will be speaking in Claremont on Saturday. All that makes up my literary-themed Friday column.
Twenty-five years ago, a gunman opened fire in a Riverside City Council conference room, wounding seven, and somehow not killing anyone. Survivors recall the day at a commemorative luncheon and in conversation. The mayhem shook up elected officials around California and led to greater security at council meetings. I write about the event in my Wednesday column.
I make my triumphant (?) return to San Bernardino City Council coverage with my Sunday column, which begins with an adopt-an-animal display outside the meeting hall and slips in a few dog and cat references as appropriate.