Buddhist temple coming

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A Buddhist temple on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Francis Street has been under construction for at least five years, reader Helen Cosner points out in asking me when it might be done (if ever).

City spokeswoman Monica Gutierrez said construction has come in stops and starts as the temple’s financing allows. Public improvements and the burying of utility lines are the last pieces and the temple is expected to be complete this summer.

I remember this complex from visits to the barbecue restaurant across the street, which closed in 2011. I thought it was a stalled office park. In Chino last week, I pulled over to take a fresh look. It looks pretty complete from the street, so sprawling that it’s hard to get it all into one photograph, and with an impressive entry gate. If your view is right, you can see the top of a Buddha statue. Makes me want to see inside.

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Column: Chino’s top cop is a rarity: a woman

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Karen Comstock is the new police chief in Chino. She’s not only Chino’s first female police chief, but the first in any Inland Valley city. She’s the subject of my Friday column.

Above, she’s seen in the police station’s museum, filled with memorabilia of the 1926-established department’s history. Below, she admires a handmade banner created by her alma mater, Don Lugo High, which was on display outside her office.

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Like China, Chino too has a Great Wall

You probably forgot, I almost did myself, but I asked readers recently (okay, three months ago) if they knew of a Great Wall of Chino. No one was more surprised than me to learn there is one. Wednesday’s column goes into detail. Above is one view of the wall’s end, or maybe its start, stretching east from Central Avenue into infinity, shot by reader Linda Takeuchi; below is a view almost two miles east, closer to Euclid Avenue, which I shot.

To the comparisons of the Chino and China Great Walls, I can add two more: Neither is visible from space, despite myths to the contrary concerning China’s, and also that while hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have died building China’s, Chino’s did not cost any lives. Whew.

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A second Great Wall of Chino

For my Great Wall of Chino contest (see Wednesday’s column for more), John Kramer submitted the runner-up nomination, a wall at El Prado Golf Course, which he described as a golf cart bridge that crosses the second hole on the Butterfield Stage course. I think you’ll agree the stonework is quite impressive.

Kramer supplied this handy comparison between this wall and China’s slightly better-known Great Wall:

Year built, China: Circa 220 BC; Year built, Chino: Circa 2000 AD

Length, China: Over 13,000 miles; Length, Chino: Barely over 130 feet

Height, China: Up to 16 feet; Height, Chino: Barely over 4 feet

Purpose, China: To keep out the Mongolians

Purpose, Chino: To keep out the Rancho Cucamongans?

Thanks for putting things in perspective, Mr. Kramer.

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Snow in ’49

A picture on this blog of snow in Upland in January 1949 (see it here) was seen by Steve Graves of Northern California, who was poking around online to confirm memories of a childhood snow he witnessed in Chino that was probably the same year.

I’ll let him tell it.

“I lived at the Boys Republic at the time. My father was director. I recall awaking in the morning and seeing snow across the entire valley to Mt. Baldy. There was a layer of dark smoke from the smudge pots laying across Pomona and the foothills.

“I think I was in the first grade. The other staff children at the Boys Republic took two days off school and played in the snow. It lasted well during the two days and didn’t begin melting in earnest until the second day. Sledding the Chino hills was quite fun, as I recall; great snowmen as well. I wish I had a picture of the view from BR to Mt. Baldy across the valley. It was white as far as the eye could see.

“Do you have any resources that I might review to refresh my memories of that event? I know you mention microfilm at the library but I am now far from the valley.

“Thanks for your consideration. By the way, I was interested to see posts by Bob House. I knew his son at Claremont HS and Bob at Cal Poly and from the Claremont area.”

Bob who? Just kidding. As for the snow, if anyone has a photo of the event in question, send it over and I’ll post it here. I’m wondering if Boys Republic might have such photos.

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