I found myself back at a Chino Hills City Council meeting, not intending to stay after I interviewed someone who would be there. Except he wasn’t available until afterward, so I resolved to sit through the meeting. My attendance was rewarded during the public comment period by a congressional candidate criticizing me. Also by a somewhat puzzling invocation. My night out is the subject of Wednesday’s column.
Are you familiar with the Della Robbia Christmas wreaths made by Boys Republic in Chino Hills? They’ve been produced since 1923, an even 100 years. Curious about the wreaths, about which I’ve read yet knew little about, I visited the production barn last week to learn how they turn out 30,000 of these things and how this tradition got started. That story is told in my Sunday column. (As I joked to someone on my tour, I figured I’d better visit for the 100th anniversary, as I hope to be retired by the 150th.)
I return to Chino Hills for the first City Council meeting since the firing of volunteer Bob Goodwin. An activist got the proceedings off to a startling beginning. But this was one of those otherwise-calm meetings that left me space to offer commentary, jokes and asides, all in my Friday column.
Bob Goodwin is a prominent volunteer in Chino Hills who led the successful fight a decade ago against Edison over its 198-foot towers. But when he mocked a proposed “Mayors’ Wall” in Chino Hills City Hall as a waste of money that was driven by ego, the City Council was not amused and fired him from a city panel. I write about the dispute in my (electrifying?) Friday column.
In a rare Chino Hills column, I explore the past and present of its picturesque Sleepy Hollow neighborhood, which turns 100 this month. That’s the subject of my Friday column.
Shelley Stoody was a colorful figure who’s been all but forgotten, an industrialist in Whittier who loved aviation, astronomy and cattle breeding, among other pursuits. He spent his last years on a ranch in Chino Hills, where he met his end in outrageous fashion. I attended a talk about Stoody’s life and death at a Chino Hills Historical Society meeting Monday and write about that in my Friday column.
I return to the subject of famous Disney comic book writer-artist Carl Barks, who lived in remote Riverside County while producing work read by millions of children. A few rare pieces of his art turn out to be in the hands of Chino Hills reader (and frequent commenter here) Doug Evans, who was gifted them as a teenager. I tell that story in my Sunday column.
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.
This weekend brings the 15th annual Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle Show at Boys Republic in Chino Hills. Yes, that Steve McQueen. Did you know the late actor once lived at the reform school, and quietly supported it once he was famous? I write about him, Boys Republic and the car show in my Wednesday column.
It seemed every restaurant meal last week would be my last, until, finally, lunch in Chino Hills last Wednesday really was it. I write about several last lunches and one last dinner in Sunday’s column.