Column: Desk-clearing items on transit, history, Beach Boys

For my last column of 2023, I present some items that hadn’t made previous columns this year: reader emails, observations and loose-end tying. (None of this was pre-written, alas, just notes or emails.) My theory was that a slow news week, and light readership week, was a good time to slip them into print before moving on. That’s my Sunday column. There will be more on Wednesday. Before then, though: Happy New Year!

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Column: More joy in the IE, as you share 2023 highlights

I asked for the best thing that happened to you in 2023 and got nearly 40 responses. A bunch of them were in my Sunday column. Wednesday’s column has most of the rest. (A few remain on the proverbial cutting-room floor, but only a few. It surprised me how many could be squeezed in.)

As a side note, due to Christmas falling on a Monday I had two columns, not one, due last Friday. Whew! I’m glad I had asked readers to help me out. Both columns were written more or less simultaneously, with a few of the items shifted between the two columns to balance them out.

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Column: What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2023?

I pose a question: What’s the best thing to happen to you this year? I’ll excerpt the best answers in an upcoming column. Also, a few items: I make a fellow journalist’s newsletter, a reader prefers us to the LA Times, I am recognized in an out-of-the-way place and a freeway sign makes me ponder. ┬áMy Sunday column is also my most casual column in some time, in part because almost the entirety of it was written Friday afternoon on deadline — yikes!

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Column: Her anti-warehouse art kindles reaction from Amazon

In an internal memo that leaked last week, Amazon said it would no longer donate to The Cheech in Riverside. That was due to a piece of anti-Amazon art displayed in the museum’s community gallery last spring and to the artist’s sentiments in an interview — with me. For my Wednesday column, I talk to Toni Sanchez about her art and her reaction to having drawn Amazon’s attention.

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Column: Citrus days weren’t postcard-perfect, new book argues

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.

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Column: IE to keep adding population through 2060

A new population forecast through 2060 shows L.A. County losing people, as you may have heard. Well, the forecast also shows the IE continuing to add population, as you probably hadn’t heard. Also, Riverside got a state grant for its planned Civil Rights Walk downtown, its version of Boston’s Freedom Trail. Plus a few more items from around Riverside and the IE, all in my Sunday column.

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