In Friday’s column, Upland’s fired city manager (with a name that I love to pun with; see headline above) gets a new job that may seem a lot like his old job. Also: five Concert Corner items, two Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.
Big doings in Upland, where the City Council embarked Monday on a path that may lead to contracting out for fire protection. I report on that in Wednesday’s column.
Goodbye events took place last Thursday for the mayors of Upland and Chino. The former, for Ray Musser, was at the Carnegie Building. Above, he gets a plaque and is applauded by council members, with his wife, Fern, to the right.
Dennis Yates’ more formal event was at Chino’s Planes of Fame Museum, a unique setting. For the speeches, Yates was sat in a rocking chair, not his usual position of authority, as speakers praised and mocked.
There seems to be a spider problem at 1496 Bibiana Way in Upland, where some 200 of the insects, small and large, are crawling around and hanging from the exterior. It’s been a tradition for Don and Kathy Kane for about 15 years, starting with a single fake-spider purchase at Target at the urging of a 2-year-old grandson.
“It kind of expanded from that point,” Don told me in an understatement. Some have been purchases or gifts, and he’s made many of the spiders himself out of PVC pipe, using reflectors from Pep Boys for the eyes and in some cases styrofoam and even medicine balls for heads and bodies.
I learned about them from reader Susan Winderman, who was at a yard sale nearby and stopped to gape at the house, as others did.
I visited one afternoon and left my business card in the door after fighting my way through the spider-festooned porch to the door. Don called me back the next day, too late for a pre-Halloween column, but not too late for a blog post.
“Some people think they’re real,” he admitted, especially when the breeze makes them move.
He’s seen neighbors out for a walk on his side of the street who will get to the corner, cross to the other side for a half-block, then come back to his side of the street.
“A couple of years ago, we had a fellow work on our refrigerator. He was standing in the front yard when my wife answered the door. He said, ‘There’d better be another way into your house or I’m not coming in.’ Apparently he had arachnophobia.” Kathy let him in through the garage.
Most other people seem to like the spiders. The Kanes have been asked as early as August when the spiders would come out. “People thank us. People appreciate the effort,” Don said.
The spiders went up at the end of September and will come down probably Nov. 5 or so — unless they decide to crawl down on their own. Check ’em out on 15th Street (corner of Bibiana Way) halfway between Benson and Central avenues.
Julian Hernandez, 7, wanted to meet Upland Mayor Ray Musser, so he wrote a letter with the help of his godmother and was invited to see him at City Hall.
“Julian told him he wants to be a mayor when he grows up,” grandfather James Rodriguez told me via email. When Musser asked why, Julian said, “So I can tell people what to do!”
I was at Monday’s momentous Upland City Council meeting, at which an interim city manager began work, the fired city manager got a hefty payout and the mayor announced he’s not going to seek re-election. I round up the news and comment on it in Wednesday’s column.
Turning to the political scene in Upland, council members there created more upheaval last week when they fired their city manager of two years. Sunday’s column shares details, speculates, prods and mocks.
A story kind of fell in my lap as I walked out of Upland City Hall to see work being done to the Veterans Monument to deter skaters. That seemed newsworthy and became the top part of Friday’s column, followed by a Cinema Corner and other items. (Several other items prepared for the column are bumped to next week, or never. That’s the way the items crumble, folks.)
John Svenson, a sculptor who lived in San Antonio Heights and often bedeviled the Upland City Council, died in April. A memorial service Sunday at Upland’s Cooper Museum was the scene of laughter and stories. I was there, knew Svenson and pay tribute in Wednesday’s column.
A man with ALS longed for lasagna from a long-closed Upland restaurant, DiCenso’s — and got it. I tell the story in my Wednesday column.