The student representative to the Chino Valley Unified school board took an active role in board debates, including pushing back on culture-war issues and speaking up from students’ perspective. In May, a lot of that came to a head when she criticized two board members’ proposal to oppose a state abortion-rights bill. Some parents booed her. One of those board members said her parents must be doing a poor job raising her. And that wasn’t the end of it. I recount the drama and speak to a calm and collected Esther Kim for Sunday’s column.
Cassandra Peterson’s memoir has two mentions of Chino, one of them a childhood story about a road trip there that ended abruptly, not to mention humorously, the other about fan mail as an adult. Going from the profane to the sacred, other items are about a Redlands minister in 1907 who became a best-selling author and a screening in Claremont on Thursday of “Fiddler on the Roof.” All this in in my Wednesday column.
I hadn’t been to a city council meeting since April, and withdrawal was setting in. Chino is still meeting in person, and on Tuesday two new members were being sworn in: the retired police chief and a young man who’s a mere 26, by far the youngest council member I’ve ever dealt with. So I drove to Chino, masked up and did what I do for Friday’s column.
I showed up for Tuesday’s Chino City Council to say goodbye to the police chief, who’s retiring and who was the subject of a 2014 column about her promotion to chief, the city’s first woman in the job. A cute item resulted. I also have news about a potential retirement of sorts, as a 94-year-old Claremont musician says he’s wearing down, plus a Valley Vignette about the band the Mountain Goats, all in Sunday’s column.
Above, Karen Comstock puts her bland professional shoes in her bag after putting on her new spangly Dodgers shoes.
In an impish show of support for Mayor Eunice Ulloa, who was wearing dark glasses at the Chino City Council meeting due to eye surgery, officials donned sunglasses too. They also welcomed two new members, the biggest shift on the council since the ’90s. I explain in Friday’s column.
It had been a few months since I’d attended a Chino City Council meeting, and two years (!) since I’d been to a full-fledged Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting. (Last year I did attend an afternoon workshop, though — as part of my effort to attend a council meeting in all nine of our cities.)
So I hit Chino on Tuesday and Rancho on Wednesday, finding enough material, and commentary, for Sunday’s column.
Andrew Cruz is at it again, this time seeming to offer a defense of Hitler at last week’s Chino Valley Unified board meeting. No one reacted, but the community is stirring. I write about the latest weirdness from the school board in Wednesday’s column.
The public TV host devoted an episode of his “Visiting…With Huell Howser” series to Chino’s dairies, past and present. It came up during a Google search Friday for “Chino dairies” and was pleasant to watch. You’ll see Al McCombs of the Chino Champion and the late Phyllis Outhier as well as a dairy family that was pulling up stakes, not to mention the affable Howser.
Mysteriously, Howser’s Chapman archives, while a treasure, don’t list the original air date of the episodes they post, but based on evidence within the show this one must be circa 2006. (I pulled it from YouTube because that video, unlike Chapman’s, would embed.)
J & D Star Dairy has dissolved. Only two dairies now remain in the former dairy capital. (A few more are in Ontario.) I bid it farewell in Sunday’s column.
For nearly nine years I’ve been keeping track of my pie consumption at Flo’s Cafe in Chino, where the diner has its own bake shop. I’ve tried 57 varieties, pretty much everything they’ve made in that time. For a few years now it’s been on my mind to write about it, but I wasn’t sure how to approach it: Did I need to assign a photographer to shoot me being served a slice?
But Pi Day happens to coincide with my column this year, and so I’m pleased to finally tell the story of my quest alongside that of the Flo’s bake shop in Wednesday’s column.