Column: Library tutors boost young readers. Comprehend?

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.

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Column: Long and short of a 20-minute RC meeting

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!

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Column: It’s hooray for Cucamonga at Chaffey College

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.

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When Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope visited Chaffey College

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.

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