Column: Unguarded comments fly at Ontario council meeting

All I wanted was a short item, honest, to top off an items column. So I attended Tuesday’s Ontario City Council meeting, in hopes of something happening. My reward was the spectacle of a feisty Ontario-Montclair School Board member speaking during public comment, and four council members firing back. It was among the more ridiculous, but entertaining, meetings I can remember attending.

Instead of a short item, I got an entire column, which you can read here. (Items will run Sunday instead.)

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Valiantly vamping for votes

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He’s running for Assembly in the June 23 special election primary, and Paul Vincent Avila, who was elected to the Ontario City Council in 2012 without a campaign, this time is springing for signs.

“Valiant Vietnam Veteran,” they say, somewhat poetically. Note that the one on the right says he’s running for Assembly while the other doesn’t mention an office, thereby allowing the perennial candidate for everything to reuse them for his next campaign, which may begin any day now.

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Everything’s coming up books

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The Ontario City Library has a new(ish) logo. Playing off the city logo of a sun rising over mountains — an image that looks suspiciously like the one for Folger’s coffee, by the way — the library version substitutes book spines for mountains. Neat, eh?

Credit goes to library staffer Barb Gonzales.

Why it’s new(ish) rather than new: Librarian Helen Fisher gave me a copy of the logo last time I visited, which was earlier this year, maybe February, and I, er, sort of forgot about it until finding it on my desk the other day.

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Despite retirement, the music won’t stop for Jack Mercer

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Above, Jack Mercer reads a farewell during Monday’s Ontario Show Band concert, seen below.

On Monday I attended a concert by the Ontario Show Band, the city’s community band, the last for founding director Jack Mercer, who is retiring (although he swears he’ll still be involved). You can read about it in Wednesday’s column. Feel free to comment here about Jack or the band.

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Ontario Orioles: the team, the cap

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Above, clockwise from left: Ontario Orioles, Illinois State University (Normal) Redbirds Wichita Falls Spudders and Denver Bears.

I’d never heard of the Ontario Orioles, but the minor league team dated to the days before the West Coast had a major league ballclub. The Orioles, in the Sunset League, lasted all of one season, 1947, compiling an unimpressive 66-73 record, according to baseball-reference.com, which has a full roster and stats for the team. (The Internet, man. Whew.) The Orioles played in Ontario Baseball Park, now known as Jay Littleton Field.

This comes up because reader Don J. alerted me to the existence of Ebbets Field Flannels, a Seattle company that produces authentic reproductions of uniforms, caps and jackets for vanished baseball, hockey and football teams. According to its website, you can currently get caps for such teams as the 1951 Kansas City Blues, the 1933 San Francisco Seals and the 1947 New York Cubans, generally for $40 each.

And according to its Facebook page, you can now buy a cap for the 1947 Ontario Orioles. In the photo above, it’s the cap at far left. For whatever reason, the cap doesn’t seem to be on the company’s website yet, but they say they’re selling it.

Just think, you could own a hand-crafted (and made in America) Ontario baseball cap! You could even outfit a whole team in them! As long as you had $360. Seems like the ultimate niche product, but cool that there are enough baseball nerds to support something as out there as this.

Just like a real Ontario Oriole, you could wear your cap to Littleton Field. The all-wood stadium itself is considered so vintage-looking that an “X-Files” episode, “The Unnatural,” set in the 1940s was filmed there in 1999.

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