Remember how I attended a 20-minute Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting last week? And, if you read very closely, how I said there was news from the meeting that I would come back to? That was about the lifting of a moratorium on car wash businesses. I explain what that was about in Friday’s all-RC column.
The Back 2 Basics literacy program at the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library (both branches) offers free tutoring in reading to qualifying youngsters who are behind a grade level. I write about the program in Wednesday’s column. After all, library officials had invited me to address their pint-sized graduates, and first I had to learn what Back 2 Basics was all about.
After a few weeks of wanting to get to a Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting, I finally made one on Wednesday. It was super short and almost nothing happened, naturally. But I wrote about it anyway (and got ideas for future columns), as well as adding some cultural notes and a vignette, for Sunday’s column.
Speaking of cultural notes, one of them is that I’ll be speaking at 11 a.m. May 11 at Chino’s Old Schoolhouse Museum, 5493 B St. It’s my first and possibly only Chino Valley appearance for my book “On Track.” Come see me!
Nancy May’s ’50s Cafe marks dual anniversaries Saturday: 25 years since its founding as Nancy’s Cafe, and 10 years since its reopening under its current name. Both openings took place, improbably, on April 20, and with the same Nancy in charge. I pay tribute to a Rancho Cucamonga institution, and favorite lunch spot, in Friday’s column.
Rancho Cucamonga now has its own Hollywood-style “Cucamonga” sign on the Chaffey College campus. The whimsical piece by artist Amy Maloof has been up for a few weeks but is now finished with lighting and landscaping. I write about that, with a bit about the adjacent Wignall Museum’s renovation and opening, in Friday’s column. Also: Hooray for Fridays. Above, Maloof with her piece, partly blocked by an annoying pole.
Photos courtesy the Images of Pomona blog
On Nov. 3, 1990, former president Ronald Reagan came to Chaffey College to stump for fellow Republican Pete Wilson, who was running for governor.
“You have to make sure people know they are violating their heritage by not going to the polls,” Reagan told an audience of 400, according to news reports. “They are supposed to be telling people elected to office what to do.” He contrasted this with other countries, where he said people in office tell the public what to do.
Wilson was there, as were many other Republicans seeking office. Bob Hope warmed up the crowd. “We’ll all be glad when this election is over,” Hope said. “Pete Wilson will be governor, and the rest of us will be able to get our regular commercials back on television.”
Reagan made at least one phone bank call, to Ontario resident Vena Stout, 78. “Hello, this is Ronald Reagan,” the call began. He urged her to get out and vote, which the lifelong Republican promised to do.
If you’ve forgotten, Wilson did indeed win.
Thanks to the Chaffey College library staff for digging up news clippings of the event, just in time for Presidents Day.
A day before his services, I write a few words about Bill Alexander, the Rancho Cucamonga politico who left office in December and died in January. Also: a Culture Corner and a Valley Vignette, all in Friday’s column.
You may have heard or read over the years about a reputed Sears kit house in Rancho Cucamonga, a 1908 landmark. But is it really a Sears kit house? We may never know, but two experts say it’s unlikely. I assemble the story (folding Piece A into Slot B) for Wednesday’s column.
I’d seen photos of an electrical star on an old, picturesque tower off Base Line Road in Rancho Cucamonga, but I wasn’t sure where it was. A Facebook post gave a closer idea and, thinking a Christmasy column would be a good idea, I went looking for it — successfully. The story of a charming neighborhood feature occupies Sunday’s column.
To the question of where my ideas come from, sometimes they come from my nightstand. I was reading my annual Jack Smith book when a local reference therein sparked my curiosity. The result, a few weeks later, is Sunday’s column. Above and below, the covers of Henry Childs’ book, viewed at Chaffey College.