Sunday’s column is about last week’s State of the City luncheon in Upland, in which the typical dullness of the speech was punctuated now and then by humor — generally involving me.
Wednesday’s column is about Monday’s council meeting, where after a spirited debate, council members decided to grant members of the public four minutes to speak from now on, up from the current three.
You can’t say the Upland City Council never gave you anything.
My first draft of the column was slightly longer, but I decided that chopping the last four paragraphs would result in a stronger ending. As an online bonus, here’s the last bit:
On my way home, as part of my continuing effort to prop up Upland’s economy, I spent $36.55 on gas. (I also tried to buy groceries but the store had closed, and might have bought a hot dog but the adjacent restaurant was closing. It’s not easy conducting business in Upland at the late hour of 8:20 p.m.)
As I was pumping gas, a hapless man was hitting up customers for “50 cents or a dollar” for gas. The driver in front of me claimed he had no cash, just cards. He was driving a Lexus SUV.
Despite my refusal to make eye contact in hopes he would pass me by, the man asked me for money. I stopped cleaning the windshield of my battered Corolla and gave him a dollar.
Make that $37.55 to prop up Upland’s economy.
In the spirit of “why not?,” as well as the spirit of trying to entice people to read my city council coverage, I melded Walt Whitman’s epic poem “Song of Myself” into my account of the latest Upland council meeting. (Probably doing a disservice to both.) One thing’s certain, nobody else has ever done it before. Read my column here and let me know what you think.
For the third anniversary of Rabi’s Cafe in Upland, a group of customers composed a song and had an entire dining room of customers surprise the owner with it. How about that? Also, another Upland council mistake surfaces, a Rancho Cucamonga newspaper resurfaces, a Claremont newspaper cuts its frequency and the movie schedule at the Ontario library is presented again in my column, this time with (oops) the dates attached. All of this can be found in my Friday column.
Wednesday’s column is my latest report from an Upland City Council meeting. The theme this time is mistakes, including fixing one of my own. As an addendum, the city manager phoned the newsroom today to say he’d misspoken during the meeting and next week’s special meeting is March 5, not March 6. No one is immune, apparently.
You could call it counterprogramming, but writing about an Upland council meeting instead of the Big Bear shootout was what you do when your deadline is 2 p.m. I might tackle that topic for Friday’s column. In the meantime, it was an interesting council meeting. You can read my column here.
What happened to the two statues that stood at the roofline of Hoyt Lumber in Upland before its demolition? They’re now in the yard of Bob Koranda, who bought them days before the lumber yard was demolished. Read more in my Friday column.
The Colonies gets all the major retailers (Target, Toys R Us, Nordstrom Rack, etc.), but the humble corner of Monte Vista Avenue and Arrow Route has a few smaller-scale businesses coming. It might seem like Montclair or Claremont, but it’s Upland.
There’s a small irony that a 7-Eleven will be located a block or so east of Claremont’s border; a planned 7-Eleven on Foothill Boulevard in Claremont was blocked by neighbors a couple of years ago. Now there will be a 7-Eleven close to the colleges anyway, but Claremont won’t get any money from it.
…and yet its Monday council meeting wasn’t bad at all. Read about it in my Friday column.
It’s now known as Upland Feed and Groom, but the store at 164 N. 2nd Ave. in downtown Upland is closing any day now. Signs outside say everything is half off and a peek inside on Tuesday showed there wasn’t a lot left.
The store opened in 1896 and I believe it’s been in continuous operation ever since. Ray Stump was involved with the store for 50 years, working his way up from employee to owner, before selling it in 2008. The store sold pets as well as feed for horses, rabbits, chickens and birds, a function that was more important in a more rural era; ditto with the fuel, presumably firewood, that was part of the original name but fell by the wayside long ago.
Owner/landlord Mike Cobb, who took over the ailing store in 2010, hasn’t returned calls from our Upland reporter, but it seems evident the store has had trouble repurposing itself despite adding pet grooming and altering the name in 2011. Too bad. In the age of Petco, it’s tough to make it as an independent pet store, especially in a sleepy downtown.
Feel free to share any memories or history of the store by leaving a comment.