Wednesday’s column kicks off with the belated news that the London double-decker bus parked outside a restaurant on Ontario’s Mountain Avenue has left the building for good after the eatery’s sale. Then there’s a clutch of cultural items of note and word that a woman claiming to be Jesus recently visited Upland. Heh.
Sunday’s column recounts highlights of last week’s Ontario council meeting, which offered (mostly) intentional humor from Paul Vincent Avila. Also, a look at the special collection holdings of the Honnold /Mudd Library in Claremont and a few short items from around the valley.
Friday’s column is about Paul Avila, the newly seated Ontario councilman, who ran off his mouth at Tuesday’s meeting in entertaining and sometimes bewildering fashion. “I like to talk,” Avila admitted.
When I shot the photo recently of all the campaign (and other) signs at Fourth and Via Asti, west of Ontario Mills, I was struck by the dead office building there and the state of the landscaping. Part of the Piemonte master planned development, the building, circa 2006, is kind of snazzy but appears entirely vacant, the parking lot is cracked and weeds are about the only thing growing from the dirt.
A few yards to the southeast lies the Best Buy that closed earlier this year; east of that is the still-operating Target, El Pollo Loco and other businesses hanging in there despite the housing crash that prevented hundreds of dwellings from being built to the south. The business center above is our own little ghost town. Call it Ontario’s answer to Bodie.
Sunday’s column (read it here) has items about a trio of Bond movies to screen for free at the Ontario library; a couple of pleasant physical changes to the same facility; some valley vignettes (one about the new sign in front of our building); an anecdote about the “Argo” filming at ONT; and a local astrologer’s prediction for the presidential race.
Just in time for the dog days of summer, Crossroads Car Wash by Ontario Mills has installed a do-it-yourself doggy wash.
On-the-spot correspondent James Rodriguez of Fontana, who recently found the roadside mannequin beckoning customers to an auto glass shop, discovered this oddity while getting his car washed and contributes the photos.
“Upstairs in the same building is a hair salon,” Rodriguez continues, “so a lady can get her Mercedes washed while she washes poochie, then get her hair and nails done all in one outing. Sweet.”
Reader Pamela Arterburn brings to our attention the above film, “Life in Ontario: You and Your Friends.” The footage was found and uploaded by the Ellingwood Model Colony History Room at Ontario’s Ovitt Library. It’s almost an hour long but makes for interesting viewing.
As Arterburn describes the video, evidently compiled from several sources, it includes “a view of the Daily Report’s office (hard-boiled reporters included) and the printing press at work, newspaper boys (some who look about 10) and city officials doing official-looking things at special functions.
“Other highlights include orange juice being processed, Chaffey High students swimming, milling around and engaging in sports, Euclid Avenue before stop signs and lines to separate lanes of traffic, the good people of Ontario leaving church on a Sunday, and fascinating footage of a train crash that must have happened just before the film was taken — and this is just the highlights.
“The silence makes the viewer imagine what people are saying; it’s eerie, like a visual whisper. Even racism seeps through — the only people smiling are white; citizens of color seem almost physically downcast.”
Arterburn also wonders: “Why the heck did ladies’ Sunday hats go out of style, anyway?”
Posters for a Bully Expo have popped up in Ontario and environs, and under the logic that brides are attracted to a Bride Expo (identical signs for that are nearby) and tattoo enthuasiasts to a Tattoo Expo, my worry is that this poster advertises (warns of?) a conclave of bullies.
Be afraid, Ontario. Be very afraid. These are not only bullies, these are bully conventioneers.
What might one expect at a Bully Expo? Submit your ideas and worst nightmares below.
The august Wall Street Journal last week covered the struggle for control of Ontario International Airport (find story here), focusing on the juicy detail that Tommy Lasorda was hired as pitchman for the anti-L.A. side. (We’ll see if that effort has more sustained success than Lasorda’s Slim-Fast ads.) Here are the first four paragraphs of Tamara Audi’s piece:
“ONTARIO, Calif.–The Ontario International Airport, 35 miles east of Los Angeles, offers nonstop flights to just 15 cities. Daily departures have plummeted to 62, less than half the number five years ago.
“The international airport has one nonstop passenger flight out of the country, a three-hour trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. Security officials stand around waiting for a passenger to screen, coffee shops and bookstores are empty, and the runways are quiet enough to hear the rustle of trees and birds chirping.
“Ontario city officials believe part of the problem is the airport’s ownership by Los Angeles and have waged a long battle to wrest back control of it. The campaign hadn’t gained much buzz in L.A., until locals recently brought in a pinch hitter: Tommy Lasorda.
“The 84-year-old Baseball Hall of Famer has pitched for the Dodgers, the antacid tablet Rolaids, the diet drink Slim-Fast and 1990s videogame-maker Sega Genesis. Still, Mr. Lasorda’s latest pitch–on behalf of a struggling regional airport fighting for independence from Los Angeles–is out of left field.”
Ontario’s marketing coup made for good copy. Also worth reading are the online comments, some from disgruntled ONT fliers who’ve watched the airport wither. Be warned, however, that the accompanying video will, over the course of nearly 4 minutes, make you think less of the WSJ.
(Our own Liset Marquez had the Lasorda story weeks ago, of course, but Wall Street Journal coverage gave it a national profile.)
* Update: I was misinformed as to the source of the second press release. It was forwarded to us by Ontario, but they now say it was circulating internally within Los Angeles World Airports and made its way to them. “We don’t know who actually penned it,” says Paul Haney, Ontario’s PR guy. While I’m disappointed (if not surprised) that Ontario gets its sense of humor secondhand, it’s interesting that even within LAWA, someone must be rolling their eyes at the official importance placed on the shuffling of duties. I struck the mistaken wording below.
Ontario Someone has deployed a new weapon in the attempt to take back Ontario International Airport from LA: sarcasm.
Responding to a press release from Los Angeles World Airports about a change in the management structure of the airport,
the city sent out someone wrote their own tongue-in-cheek announcement reflecting the view that the change is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on … well, see for yourself. (I added all the photos.)
First, the top half of the LAWA press release:
REPORTING STRUCTURE CHANGE ANNOUNCED
FOR LA/ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL AND VAN NUYS AIRPORTS
(Los Angeles, California – April 30, 2012) In an effort to provide increased coordination between divisions and improve continuity at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey has announced a structural change in reporting that involves two LAWA airports: LA/Ontario International (ONT) and Van Nuys (VNY) general aviation.
Effectively immediately, Jess Romo, airport manager of both facilities, will report to LAWA’s Chief Operating Officer Steve Martin in an effort to align the expanded duties
associated with his position.
“It has become clear that the daily management demands at both airports have moved progressively and significantly beyond the confines of Airport Operations,” Lindsey said. “Management oversight at ONT and VNY airports includes an ever-expanding set of requirements in areas of public and community relations, effective tenant and stakeholder relations, resource allocation, budget controls and ONT air service development.”
“Jess will actively participate in the ONT Task Force, along with other LAWA executive staff, and will take an active role in determining service levels from other divisions at the two airports for which he has accountability,” Lindsey added.
All other reporting relationships at the two airports remain unchanged.
Ontario bootleg version:
REPORTING STRUCTURE CHANGE ANNOUNCED
FOR RMS OLYMPIC AND RMS TITANTIC STEAMSHIPS
(Liverpool, England – April 14, 1912) In an effort to provide increased coordination between divisions and improve continuity at White Star Lines, Managing Director and Chairman Bruce Isman announced a structural change in reporting that involves two White Star Lines ships: RMS Olympic and RMS Titantic.
Effectively immediately, Captain Edward John Smith, captain of the two ships, will report to White Star’s Chief Operating Officer in an effort to align the expanded duties associated with his position.
“It has become clear that the daily management demands of both ships have moved progressively and significantly beyond the confines of White Star Operations,” Isman said. “Management oversight of the Olympic and Titanic ships includes an ever-expanding set of requirements in areas of public and community relations, effective
passenger and stakeholder relations, resource allocation, budget controls and steamship market development.”
“Captain Smith will actively participate in the Titantic Task Force, along with other White Star executive staff, and will take an active role in determining service levels from other divisions at the two ships for which he has accountability,” Isman added.
All other reporting relationships at the two ships remain unchanged.
While not quite worthy of the Onion, it’s certainly worthy of my blog. Thanks for the chuckle,
Ontario Anonymous. Oh, and good luck to both Jess Romo and Captain Smith on their promotions!