You were probably on pins and needles, you may have had your bets in in Las Vegas, but the wait is over: Ontario’s historic preservation awards were announced recently. I list them and describe them in Sunday’s column, followed by news about a library card catalog, some cultural notes, a plug for this blog and a vignette. Above, the home at 214 E. 4th St., one of the winners. Clearly the awards are not based on size.
Illustrating once again that there’s a local angle to everything, a longtime Upland man, Cornelius Van Dam, was the structural engineer who oversaw the new version of the Hollywood Sign in 1978. The modest Van Dam, long retired, now lives in a retirement home in Ontario and says he was never a publicity hound. Nevertheless, at his wife’s urging, he talked to me for Wednesday’s column.
Sunday’s column is about a retired air traffic controller at ONT, Bill Wheeler, who tells me about what it was like working at the airport in the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s and recounts a few notable moments. Hope you like it. Above, Wheeler on his last shift in 2010.
My annual film series at the Ontario Library is imminent! The schedule is in Wednesday’s column, as are some Culture Corner and other items. I’m taking a few days off, so this is my last column for a week.
Ontario managed to limit the public relations damage from a plan to cut down dead or diseased trees on Euclid Avenue, unlike Upland. Only one resident spoke at the council meeting last week. I attended and write about the situation in my Sunday column.
Palm Lake Golf Course in Pomona, established in 1960, is closed at least temporarily after the operator couldn’t make enough money to pay his bills. The city hopes to find a new operator. I explain the situation and the history in Wednesday’s column. Above, a dispiriting view of the course from the south.
The blog of CarRentals.com chose the “30 Best Neighborhoods in America” — among them: The Woodlands, Texas; Minnetonka, Minnesota; Beaverton, Oregon; and Salem, Massachusetts — and Ontario was among them. The city is described as being in the Riverside Metro area rather than a suburb of LA. Here’s what the blog says in full, under a photo of the Improv stage:
The Inland Empire of Southern California is loaded with cheeky towns that are perfect for weekend getaways. One such town is Ontario, where the Chaffey Community Museum of Art will invigorate your passion for fine paintings. After talking in hushed tones at the art gallery, enjoy side-splitting laughs at the Improv Comedy Club. Who knows, you might just witness the next Eddie Murphy take the stage.
Perhaps not how many of us would think of Ontario, but it’s always interesting to see ourselves as others see us. Still: “cheeky”?
There was intrigue in and out of Tuesday’s Ontario City Council meeting as for various reasons people objected to the process of naming appointees to city panels and hinted at behind-the-scenes forces. I listen attentively and attempt to sort it out in Sunday’s column.
There are new signs (see headline pun), new landscaping and more at the Ontario Museum of History and Art, which remains little-known in the community. Will the changes make the museum more visible? They should. My Sunday column can’t hurt either.
At top, a student passes by at the perfect moment to add human scale to this photo, for which he has my thanks. Dig the high-style modern sign. Below, a view of the museum from Euclid Avenue, what was once the entrance when the building was City Hall, and showing the area now called the courtyard. At bottom, museum director John Worden with the new sign at Euclid and Transit, the Frankish Fountain behind him. The diamonds on the sign mirror a design on the building exterior.
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.