‘Christmas’ in Claremont

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“A Christmas Story” will screen at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Garner House Courtyard in Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., courtesy of Claremont Heritage. Dress warmly as the screening is outdoors — although with a storm expected, the screening will be moved indoors at the same location. Admission is free and hot cocoa and cider will be provided. Film-specific attire is encouraged — but please, don’t bring a BB gun.

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Column: The life artistic? Bill Murray-themed art show coming

A small art show Dec. 13 in Claremont is causing a stir because it will consist of artists’ views of actor Bill Murray — and because some misconstrue the wording of the flier to think Murray will attend. I set the record straight on this crucial matter, as well as offering items from Pomona, Montclair and the cultural scene, and plugging two “Pomona A to Z” events, in Friday’s column.

(Look for references to four examples of Murray’s work, one of them in the headline, although I kept the nods subtle, as Murray would. Can you identify them all?)

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An artistic ‘no thank you’

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This whimsical but pointed placard decorates the front door of John and Karen Neiuber’s home in Claremont. (Nobody says “get lost” like a Claremonter.)

The placard was made by artist Fred Babb, who had a store in Cambria and who died in 2006. The Neiubers own a second Babb piece, which reads, “Art is working on something until YOU like it and then leaving it that way.”

John says of the piece above: “The no-soliciting sign works really well. We get stuff dropped off on our porch, but even the Jehovah’s Witnesses pass us by.”

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Column: Girl Scouts show their grrl power, politely, in Claremont

An unusual protest at a city council meeting is the top item of my Friday column, as Girl Scouts showed up en masse in Claremont to speak up for their campground, La Casita, in the foothills. The larger Girl Scout council in L.A. wants to sell it off and the girls were enlisting the City Council’s support. Also: three Pomona items and a comment about comments at council meetings.

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Column: Air raid siren has left Claremont without warning

Sunday’s column begins with a long item about a hiding-in-plain-sight air raid siren on the Claremont McKenna College campus, left over from the Cold War days. The siren was uprooted last spring and donated to a Cold War museum in Culver City. (My blog post from 2010 on air raid sirens is here.)

Also, my column has three Pomona items and two Culture Corner items, plus a plug for this blog.

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Column: With tribute, coffee house regular gets one last perk

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A tribute at Claremont’s Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to a regular who died leads off my Friday column. There’s a photo with the column of Anthony Raya at the coffee house. If you’re a regular in that area, you’ll say, “Oh, that guy!” And here are two photos from Wednesday morning of the scene so you get a sense of the memorial and Raya’s regular spot.

I happened on this by accident. On a whim, I got breakfast at Jamba Juice that morning before going into work and sat down at one of the outdoor tables. I spotted the memorial across the walkway, walked over and realized who it was for. As a frequent customer at Coffee Bean, I could fill in some of the rest. An employee and the manager came out to check on the table and I got Raya’s name and details from them.

Wish I’d known about the memorial tribute that took place the night before, but I felt like I’d lucked out by seeing the memorial table and by knowing some of the story already. This is one of those small moments in the life of a community. They happen all the time; the general public (and us as journalists) rarely know about them and the people involved don’t think “this is news,” but once in a while, we find one and can make something from it.

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* Update: I saw this addition on Friday. Click on the photo for a more readable view.

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Column: Mandolins, muffins: Just another day in Claremont

Friday’s column is partly about a “Good Day L.A.” segment Tuesday on the Claremont Village that was charming, if a little overdone. You might get more sugar shock from the coverage than from Some Crust. After that: news items from Upland and the cultural scene, and a promo for this blog. If you’ve read my blog this week, my summary of the biggest news is kind of an inside joke for your benefit.

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Bye-bye to the Square

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Renovations to this building on Indian Hill Boulevard at Vista Drive, just above the 10 Freeway, look drastic, but welcome. It was a Bakers Square for years, followed by a brief period as Garden Square. If you look closely at the photo, you can make out a tilted red-and-white checkerboard square from the Bakers Square logo on the vertical white section in the middle. It’s probably been covered by now, but I wanted to document it before that happened.

I’ve been told the restaurant was originally a Sambo’s. Remember them?

The building is going to be Sanamluang Cafe, the popular Thai restaurant now a mile south in Pomona at San Bernardino Road. A banner to that effect went up last week. I like the curves on the exterior, which match the look of the developments on the south side of the freeway.

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Column: Austin, Texas? Claremont couple can’t get enough of it

Friday’s column has some reader reaction to my column on visiting Austin, Texas. I sat down with a retired couple in Claremont who have been to Austin three times in the past three years, and whose most recent visit overlapped with mine. In a related item, I talk with an Ontario man who’s a world traveler and whose photo at the Taj Mahal recently appeared in both the Daily Bulletin and Westways.

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Preview of coming attractions

Friday’s column will be big. I know this because it was going to run Wednesday, as usual, but the editors held it to get more photos, which we weren’t able to accomplish on the fly Tuesday. It was too late then to write a substitute column, so you’re column-less today.

In the meantime, as a teaser, here’s a video¬†of Claudia Lennear that will accompany Friday’s column about her. (I like the part where I have to prompt her to brag.) Alas, “20 Feet From Stardom” was only playing last weekend — we shot the video Friday — but it’s available on DVD if you want to see it…

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