Column: ‘Tangled Vines’ explores wine, the pride of Cucamonga

Wednesday’s column tells some of the history of Rancho Cucamonga as I interview the author of a new book on California wine history.

“It’s amazing to think there were 34,000 acres of grapes here after World War II,” Dinkelspiel said. “This was the largest grape-growing region in the United States. Now there are just a few hundred acres, if that.”

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Column: From rape victim to addict to survivor

Alisa Kaplan was the victim of a gang rape in 2002 that made news around Southern California and beyond for its shocking nature. The Rancho Cucamonga teenager successfully weathered the two trials it took to convict the assailants but descended into alcoholism and drug addiction. Now sober and advocating for victims herself, she’s published a memoir and talks to me for a long, emotional Sunday column. It’s the first time I’ve written anything quite like this, and the first time we’ve run an editor’s note warning readers they’re about to encounter graphic language. Be prepared.

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Goodbye Albertsons, hello Haggen



The Albertsons at Foothill and Vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga is among those transitioning to a new market, Haggen. Albertsons’ parent company had to sell off 83 of its Southern California supermarkets when it bought Vons as part of an antitrust deal, as my colleague Neil Nisperos reported. A Chino Hills store opened Wednesday and an Upland store in the Colonies will open Friday. The RC store will open at 4 p.m. Thursday.

I dropped by Tuesday evening and got farewell photos of the exterior sign and the ungrammatical banner that seems to praise its customer service ironically. Both are seen above. The store closed at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

On Wednesday afternoon, I slipped inside and got a few photos mid-conversion, as seen below. Only the bank and pharmacy were open.




I’m told all but two Albertsons employees are staying on. Other than the new aisle signs with the Haggen name, not much looked different in the portions of the store that were allowing customers, but employees were busy, and the deli and produce sections apparently will have the most dramatic changes. The product mix in the store will change in phases as Haggen gets in gear in a brand new market. Until now the company operated just 18 stores in the Pacific Northwest. Now it’s going to have 164.

The Upland store will reopen Friday, not Thursday as initially planned, and will gain a Starbucks.

The only Albertsons left in the immediate area will be at Milliken and 19th. So much for my Albertsons club card.

My recollection is that the Foothill and Vineyard market opened circa 2000. I’ve been shopping there that whole time, although less so after the infamous grocery store strike. I’ll give Haggen a try too.

Note the undersized Haggen sign and the ghost image of the Albertsons sign underneath. The curb sign was in the process of being changed.



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Column: Citrus grove, and way of life, uprooted in Rancho Cucamonga


Sunday’s column is about the development of the Wilson ranch, a 7-acre property in Alta Loma. A video (with my first attempt at narration) is attached to the online version of my column and can also be seen here.

Above is the view on Friday from Ramona. Below is the nearly identical view from mid-January, when I first visited; below that is the view that same day from Archibald (the “disturbance in the Force” that I mention in the column). Wish I had some “before” pictures.

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