Ontario’s 4th of July parade in photos

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Impressed by Ontario’s parade in 2014, I returned in 2015 to enjoy myself and tweet photos. Here are a few. Above, the parade route was marked by giant arches made of balloons over Euclid. (Unlike St. Louis’, you can’t climb up inside.) Below, Iwo Jima was re-enacted on one float.

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The back end of this float looked to me like the Liberty Bell meets Clifton’s Cafeteria. Speaking of bears, the entry below was not a promo for “Ted 2.”

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The Rancho Cucamonga High School marching band was resplendent in purple and black. As the school’s former principal for a day, I couldn’t have been prouder.

One of my favorite moments was the Shriners whizzing around in their signature tiny cars. No offense to Claremont, which puts on a great Americana parade, but they don’t have the Shriners. I shot a one-minute video of the action. Whee!

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Column: Ontario acts right away on subsidy for giant QVC hub

Friday’s column breaks some news, as a close reading of this week’s Ontario council agenda, if not the actual proceedings, made clear that QVC is interested in leasing a giant warehouse soon to begin construction, for which the council offered a generous incentive. But QVC hasn’t formally agreed yet, meaning that either I got the jump on the news or we’ll all have to avert our eyes if the deal collapses.

I also have other news from the council meeting and two Culture Corner items, one about a Mexican cookbook, the other about a free screening of “Dr. Strangelove.”

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Column: Ontario will truck in recycled water for Euclid

Sunday’s column revisits the question of what Ontario will do regarding the Euclid Avenue median with the pending state ban on irrigation. Answer: The city will truck in recycled water five days a week and spray. Four parks will also get the spray treatment; the Mission median won’t.

By the way, I was stunned to open up Sunday’s paper and find my column is our lead story! That’s a first.

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Trash cans may be a waste

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These trash receptacles line Ontario’s Euclid Avenue downtown, and while they’re obviously needed based on their nearly full state, the plastic lids don’t seem very durable.

On a recent Sunday walk, Councilwoman Debra Dorst-Porada pointed them out to me. The trash pickup claw may be damaging the tops, she said. Some are either skewed, as in the example below, or missing entirely, such as at bottom.

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Column: State librarian checks out Ontario, says it’s fine

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Greg Lucas, the state librarian, visited Ontario this week and yours truly greeted him (with questions). He talked about libraries’ continued relevance and about some of our local libraries in specific. Read my Friday column for more. And do you like the library jokes in my headline?

Above, staffer Alysha Cisneros jokes with Lucas in the library’s Teen Alley section.

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A gift of art, Ontario

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Downtown Ontario’s Chaffey Community Museum of Art has received two gifts, both of them as a result of a new parking structure next door.

The structure, on Transit Street (see bottom picture; view is from the structure’s southeast corner), serves the new San Bernardino County Health Department office building on the long-vacant southeast corner of Holt Boulevard and Euclid Avenue. The museum, housed since 2013 in a 1907-built power building¬†at 217 S. Lemon St., is in the same block as the two-level parking structure.

First, a round concrete pad for sculptures near the museum entrance was added at the city’s request during the cement pours for the parking structure and curbing (see photo above).

Second, and more intriguingly, there’s a rock basket, made as a decorative element for the front lawn (see photo up top). How that came about is worth noting.

Fullmer Construction built the structure. Museum staffer Jenelle Lowry struck up a friendship with the work crew, watching over the site for them, while they kept the front of the museum clear of construction dust and debris, and with supervisor Gary Rue. She asked him to save her some scrap rebar for a future art project.

Rue got inspired, recalling the sight of rock baskets in Boulder City, Arizona, during a recent visit. He hit up some colleagues for materials and built the basket and rocks as a present for the museum.

“The entire project was made with scrap material from the construction of the parking structure,” marveled museum president Nancy DeDiemar Jones. “The rebar is fixed in a cement pad that has been partly sunk into the grass. Before the river rocks were added (and I think those came from the construction site too) the rebar and cement pad weighed 400 pounds, so it is unlikely someone will walk off with the rock basket.”

It’s certainly a novel addition to the museum. Rue will be honored June 14 at the museum’s artists reception. He should exchange his hard hat for a beret.

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