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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‘Greetings From Pomona’

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Jason Christman has created what he calls “vintage-style travel posters for downtown Pomona,” and they’ll be on view at the Metro Art Gallery, 119 W. Second St., Pomona, starting Saturday (the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk) and continuing during business hours through December. The invitation with thumbnail images is above, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest. An artist’s reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Christman, who used to own the Celtic Gallery downtown and now lives in Portland, Ore., says: “These 6 prints are 24×36. Limited to 10 each numbered and signed. Plus 100 4×6 postcards of each as well. Something for everyone. Prints are $125 ($250 mounted like in the gallery). Postcards are $3 each or $15 for the set.”

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Pomona Gold Line station would be a fun zone

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The best part of last week’s “kickoff meeting” for the Gold Line light-rail extension from Azusa to Montclair was the conceptual art for Pomona’s station. Artist Steve Farley incorporated the L.A. County Fair’s old Fun Zone arch — see below — into his station design.

Not only that, but to spell out “Pomona,” Farley used individual letters, ransom note-style, from notable signs around town. Farley, who like the artists for the Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont and Montclair platforms was at the meeting, stresses that this is just an initial design and that a committee would help him refine the approach.

Farley explains his concept to me in this video. Note his Bob’s Big Boy T-shirt.

The Ontario native, who grew up across from Chaffey High School, now lives in Arizona, where he’s a rarity, an artist and a state senator. He’s friends with fellow Ontario native Charles Phoenix, the source of the image below. Phoenix says the Fun Zone arch was in existence from 1950 to 1980. “The entrance to the Fun Zone at the fair was one of Southern California’s most spectacular works of neon ever,” he declares.

The $950 million Gold Line extension may never be built, as currently there’s no funding source, but never count it out. If nothing else, they should build Pomona’s station. Put it on wheels and cart it around town.

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