‘Special K’: grrreeaat!

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I caught “Special K: Cal Poly Pomona’s First 75 Years” on Sunday in its only planned performance. As I won’t get a chance to go into it in my column until later this week, if at all, I’ll take a moment to say how lively it was, especially when it could have been dry as a bone.

The primary characters were cereal magnate Will Kellogg, humorist Will Rogers, poet and Cal Poly prof Virginia Hamilton Adair * and Mike Taylor, a student who surreptitiously built a treehouse on campus (hey, it was the ’70s). With them as narrators and regular stage presences, this was a delightfully off-kilter look at the university’s history. Good show.

* name corrected

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One drowned in earthquake

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A Santa Claus in Pomona met an ignominious end when last Friday’s earthquake sent him tumbling from a storage room shelf into the facilities at Magic Door Books. Given the outcome, can we compare the shaking to the poetic “bowlful of jelly”? Owner Dwain Kaiser sent me the photo with a mournful note: “At least Santa Claus drowned quickly.”

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Column: ‘True Blood’ batwings into Pomona for filming

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The 500 block of West Second Street in Pomona was dressed up with shops for a scene for the HBO vampire drama “True Blood” that filmed Monday. That’s the first item in my Friday column, which also stops into an Ontario council meeting and presents some waitress banter from Rancho Cucamonga and Upland.

Photo above is by Sally Egan. If you know that block, you’ll recognize the Kitron Radio sign, which is permanent; the others were put up for the shoot. You can find more images at The Loft on 2nd, a blog kept by a loft dweller in that block, who shot photos and a video from an upper level, and at True-Blood.net, a fansite.

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Column: Hammers are swinging in downtown Pomona, at last

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Two large apartment complexes are under construction in downtown Pomona, several years after a downtown boom was predicted. Better late than never. That news leads my Friday column, followed by yet more items from Pomona, as well as our other cities. (In fact, one item mentions every city we cover.)

Above, the Daumier apartments under construction in December.

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Column: Chronicling internment, one story at a time

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The Pomona Center News, published twice a week, was written by and for internees at the Pomona fairgrounds during the summer of 1942. Archived at the Public Library, its news, community notices, sports and gossip offer a window into the day-to-day life in the camp: births, weddings, talent shows and softball scores.

Wednesday’s column tells the story.

Above, a farewell page of staff portraits from the final issue. In this version, in the bound copy at the library, the names are signed in ink.

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Column: Big Boy lumbers to life at Pomona fairgrounds

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The world’s largest steam locomotive, Big Boy No. 4014, on Thursday began its journey out of the Rail Giants train museum at Pomona’s Fairplex, its home since 1962, to Wyoming. But it’s a slow journey, as the locomotive isn’t functional and it’s being towed as track can be laid. Friday’s column has the details. The Big Boy was the subject of a column in August. You can watch a 45-second video from Thursday here.

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Spelling refresher might be just the ticket

 

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Downtown Pomona’s ticket machines for its parking lots have been controversial since their installation in 2012, as many people don’t notice the signs or realize they have to check in at the machines and thus get a $58 ticket for time that would have cost $1 or $2. Some 1,000 parking tickets per month are being issued. But the system’s perceived failings run much deeper, into unexpected territory: poor spelling.

A recently installed parking lot sign, above, said rules would be “strickly” enforced. A business owner who is a stickler for good English pointed out the mistake and a strict official made sure the error was fixed — but not before a photo could be snapped for posterity.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I have searched for free street parking to avoid parking in the lots because I didn’t want to have to figure out the technology, but on a recent Sunday I resolved to try it out. Shockingly, when I¬†examined my receipt I learned that I had “payed.”

Is it possible that this misspelling of “paid” has been on every receipt since February 2012, probably tens of thousands of them, and nobody — nobody official, at least — has noticed?

Suggestion for City Hall: Use some of the proceeds from your $58 parking tickets to buy spelling primers!

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