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.
Edwin Rhodes, I learned, was a long-ago banker, newspaper publisher and history buff from Chino who died in 1952. While it’s Cecil Rhodes who founded the scholarship program, it makes for a good name, almost as good as Whittier College’s Poets.
Rhodes opened in 2003. Its mascot is Rhodie, described by the school as “a pencil toting, grad-cap wearing, diploma-come-to-life.”
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.
I attended Wednesday’s special meeting of the Chino City Council in which they interviewed applicants seeking appointment to the vacant seat. Some were woefully unprepared. Entertainment awaits in Friday’s column.
I’m finding the Chino City Council to be an interesting group to follow, especially as Eunice Ulloa, mayor again after a long absence, finds herself on the losing end of a string of votes. We sat down for a chat last week that results in Wednesday’s column, a profile of an unusual mayor.
Tuesday was the last meeting for Chino Councilman Glenn Duncan after 25 years. His farewell was hastily arranged because he kept the news on the down-low, but the comments were fond and heartfelt, not to mention funny. I tell the story in Friday’s column.
Two weeks after one Chino council meeting in which a controversial housing development was approved by a 4-1 margin, I attended another meeting. The meetings had some similarities and some differences, but the same outcome. I return to what we might think of as one of my columns’ great themes, our vanishing way of life, in Sunday’s column.