The owner of the Yangtze restaurant in downtown Ontario adamantly refused to sell her buildings to City Hall in the mid-2000s. But now, the buildings have been sold to City Hall, and at a discount. Real estate machinations, history and ambitious plans make up Sunday’s column.
A public sculpture in Ontario Town Square has been broken and repaired twice in less than a year. Now it’s got security cameras trained on it. The piece has an interesting story and has had at least one famous visitor. I tell the story in Wednesday’s column.
Friday’s column reports on this week’s Ontario City Council meeting, namely, the move to give Mayor Paul Leon a big boost in pay, seven years after giving him a big cut in pay. I explain what it’s all about.
Photo courtesy Ontario Library Model Colony History Room
Torley’s was a classic Ontario grocery, located at 416 E. A St., later known as Holt Avenue. According to the city of Ontario’s Facebook page, which has been posting historical photos for the city’s 125th anniversary, Torley’s Big Store opened in 1930.
On Dec. 31, 1935, a fire damaged the building so severely that the remainder was pulled down. The rebuilt structure was larger but did not have the original’s high tower, probably because ostentation didn’t become the depths of the Depression. Says the FB writeup: “Torley’s Big Store appears to be Ontario’s first ‘big box’ retail store.”
Torley’s is often spoken of by longtime residents, along with King Cole and Boney’s, two other locally owned markets. Alas, Torley’s closed its doors for good in 1976 and the building is long gone.
Do you remember Torley’s? What was it like? What did it sell?
Wednesday’s column starts with a cute story about the late musician’s 2010 concert with Elton John in Ontario and continues with two cultural notes and a long item about the two mayoral farewell events last week.
Paul Avila had his last full Ontario City Council meeting last week, and naturally I was there. I write about it in Sunday’s column.
I attended Wednesday’s Ontario International Airport transfer ceremony and wrote about it for Friday’s column. I shot the photo after my flight home from Portland, thinking it might come in handy.
With the milestone return of Ontario International Airport to local control, I contacted somebody who worked there in the “old days,” the early 1980s, as manager for Western Airlines. Doug Neely told me what the airport was like back then: low-key, struggling, friendly. That’s my Wednesday column.
Tuesday morning I was finishing a column related to Ontario International Airport and doing related Google searches. The official ONT page, I noticed, was still on LAWA.org, the parent LA site, with flyontario.com, the local page, said to be coming at noon (see above).
It took a little longer than that, but by mid-afternoon, the local site was live. And thus the transition of the airport to local ownership, effectuated Tuesday morning, was now official online.
Friday’s column starts with news that a car commercial’s filming earlier this week brought fake snow and a Christmas-y air to downtown Ontario, then follows with 12 other items about film screenings, lectures and more around the valley, ending with a people item.