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.)
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.
I got a small scoop — a scooplet? — during a break in the Chino council meeting last week: a long-time councilman disclosed that he’s going to retire rather than seek re-election. That, plus a Valley Vignette, makes up Sunday’s column.
I attended my first Chino council meeting in seven months and caught up. Development issues seem likely to dominate 2018 as they did in 2017. Also, a councilman is in hot water. Join me for Friday’s column, won’t you?
Driving on Schaefer Avenue in Chino recently, my attention was grabbed by Edwin Rhodes Elementary‘s slogan: “Home of the Scholars.” Rhodes Scholars, get it? It was a Saturday, so I pulled into the lot and snapped a photo.
In downtown Chino, walking from El Pueblo to Aguiar Square, I noticed this WCTU fountain for the first time. It’s at Sixth and D streets, southeast corner. According to the plaque, it’s a replica of a 1908 fountain erected by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, an organization of anti-alcohol crusaders that built fountains so that men could get a drink of water without entering a saloon.
Now get a load of this, as it’s a rare thing to read an official plaque and laugh out loud: “Records show that not long after the dedication, a runaway ‘horseless’ buggy plowed into the fountain and destroyed it.”
Click on the photo below for a larger view of the plaque, although the lettering is such that it’s tough to read at any size.
This replica was dedicated in October 2010 for Chino’s centennial, recognizing “an important issue that led to Chino’s incorporation.”
The fountain isn’t meant to be operational, but as you can see, a working water fountain is next to it. I got a refreshing drink of water and thought about Chino.
Returning to the Chino Council Chambers after the applicant interviews from last week, I watch as the City Council deadlocks on the first vote to fill a council vacancy before picking a different person on a 3-1 vote. The intrigue didn’t stop there. Also, I crack a few jokes. Because every council meeting column needs jokes. Read all about it in Friday’s column.