My annual countdown of the strangest local news stories of the year appears in my Wednesday column.
How do I come up with them? I clip and save stories from the Bulletin, and occasionally other papers, throughout the year in a folder labeled “Weird stories of [year],” then sift through them in late December. There were 29 stories in all, some of them from my columns — although none of the 10 selections ended up being anything I’d written about. My choices and the rankings are somewhat random, but if the stories got a lot of attention, they move up in the countdown.
A UC Irvine professor of physics and astronomy, Michael Dennin, makes a compelling case for Santa having superheroic powers, such as the ability to bend space and time and shift shape to slide down chimneys. But Dennin admits Santa doesn’t have any arch-foes. Does the Grinch count? Thanks to Roy Rivenburg for the video.
Friday’s column starts with word that LA Weekly chose Glendora’s Donut Man as the LA area’s best doughnut shop, the only nod to this entire part of the county, grumble, grumble. Then there’s a long item about “The Best American Comics 2015,” a new anthology edited by a writer in Claremont, with an accompanying book signing on Saturday. Lastly, a TV show mentions Pomona.
Above, Donut Man’s famous strawberry doughnut; below, its rare peach version, only available for a few weeks in late summer.
Sunday’s column starts with an item and photo about a construction sign that’s been flashing a typo for weeks. After that, I round up reader reaction to columns last month on Ed Nelson and Classy Mart. And I end with an item about Upland’s mayor.
“The dips,” the subject of a column in late June, drew some interesting reactions from readers. That makes up the bulk of Friday’s column — with a few comments about the malaprops in an early July column as well. Just so you know, this column has been largely written since late July, but what with one thing or another — CVUSD or ONT news, mainly — it’s only getting in now (after some tweaks and additions this week). Good to get it off my plate and into your newspaper or electronic device.
I like palm trees, useless as they are — in contrast to the LA Observed website, which caused a stir last year with anti-palm comments (such as here and here) — but I like them maintained. It must be the orderly, neatnik side of me, but to see layer after layer of dead fronds cascading down the side of a trunk like a hula skirt makes me want to bring out shears, or maybe a flamethrower.
The scenes above and below could have been shot in any city in the Inland Valley, or Southern California for that matter. Both happened to be on Indian Hill Boulevard in Pomona, a couple of blocks apart. The one at bottom is in Claremont and was shot from the Metrolink parking lot.
Why oh why won’t people — and possibly public agencies, in the latter case — trim their trees? Most of us would never notice if an elm weren’t trimmed, but all the beauty of a palm is lost when the dead matter starts accumulating in plain sight. How many years of dead growth are on display in these photos?
Friday’s column presents a series of items, starting with word of the long-awaited episode of “Bar Rescue” taped in Pomona. Also: “Criminal Minds” sets an episode in Diamond Bar, a 1920s airliner is in Chino, I’ll be signing my book Sunday in Upland, I made a cameo in a play in Claremont and a birthday will be celebrated (i.e., mine).