Hot off the Progress-Bulletin linotype machine

The former Progress-Bulletin newspaper headquarters in downtown Pomona is still around, now dubbed the Progress Building and used for lofts, retail, a bar and an art gallery. The latter, the Prog Gallery, is in the basement. And in the basement, off in a corner, stands the Prog’s old linotype machine.

That’s the machine on which articles were typeset for decades. It looks like a beast, but at the time the linotype was an advancement over handsetting of type, i.e., a human picking out metal bits of type from boxes for each letter and form of punctuation.

The linotype would set, yes, entire lines of type all at once when an operator typed out the lines on a 90-character keyboard. The Prog’s machine was made by the leading manufacturer, the Mergenthaler Linotype Co. It was in use until about 1976, retired Prog/Daily Bulletin staffer Mike Brossart tells me. That’s when phototypesetting was introduced.

I was in the basement looking at art a few weeks ago and noticed the machine. I must have seen it before, but it caught my eye, so I snapped a couple of photos for posterity.

Here’s a Wikipedia entry for linotype if you want to delve more deeply.

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Column: Many readers still like the news that’s fit to print

I set out to crank out a column before vacation rounding up recent comments by readers, starting with ones on my recent effort about trying to find a print New York Times for sale after Starbucks quit carrying newspapers. And there were so many of those comments, that turned into my entire Sunday column. Well, I’ll get back to those comments on other topics another time, perhaps.

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Column: Latte edition: Starbucks quits selling newspapers

Perhaps the most well-trafficked place that sold newspapers has stopped doing so. Starting a week ago, all Starbucks outlets nationwide dropped newspapers. I write about that, along with my related quest to find a print copy of the New York Times in the absence of Starbucks selling them, in Sunday’s column.

Above, a Starbucks news rack in Ontario on Aug. 5; below, a Starbucks news rack in Ontario, different location, on Aug. 30. I took the earlier photo after finding the rack gone at a Claremont Starbucks, which gave me the sense (before looking it up and confirming it) that newspapers were on their way out at the chain.

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The Pomona Clarion

A friend recently showed me a stack of copies of a rare newspaper: the Pomona Clarion. Motto: “Serving Beautiful People.” It was published for the black community from 1969 to 1974 by Moody Law and his wife, Norma.

The paper was a sideline for both; he was a lab manager and she was in corrections. She died March 7 at age 81.

As Moody Law told the Daily Bulletin in 2008 about the Clarion: “I swept the floor, put together the ads, and delivered the paper with my kids and Norma.”

The Clarion apparently was not a moneymaker, as Law said he and his wife had to subsidize the operation. But he said: “We needed some way to get the story told from our point of view. It’s amazing. This stuff is now history.”

It’s even more a part of history a decade down the line. My friend is going to donate his Clarions, but he let me flip through them. There were success stories about black figures in the community, and stories, opinion pieces and satirical cartoons about local injustices, including a bar that refused to serve a black couple and a march against the Chino Valley Unified School District over a racial matter.

The ads were of interest too, often of long-gone stores and restaurants that catered to blacks. Here are a few. Note that the addresses of all three businesses is the 2400 block of North Towne, apparently the same center, or its predecessor, that now has a Walmart Neighborhood Market, Dino’s Burgers and more. Click on them, or the newspaper above, for a clearer view.

I wish I could try the soul food at Jennie’s Kitchen and check out the records at Dynamic Sound Center and Lord Esquire, while also surreptitiously ogling the latter’s “afro wigs” (in “8 colors”) and “oil on velvet” paintings.

Here’s the staff box from the same 1971 issue as pictured above. It must be said, it would be hard to invent a name with more gravitas than Moody Law.

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IVDB in Dubai

Reader Andy Sze of Rancho Cucamonga does a lot of traveling for work. Sightseeing recently in Dubai, he accidentally left his Daily Bulletin in his hotel, but he improvised a Daily Bulletin on Vacation photo, recalling that I’d once said some readers used their phone or tablet to call up our paper.

For his photo, Sze opened up one of my columns while in the world’s tallest building, the 163-floor, 2,722-foot-high Burj Khalifa. See below. Why, it’s almost like I was there, at least in spirit. Thanks, Andy. It’s probably just as well I wasn’t there, as I’m scared of heights.

Click on his photos for a larger view. But you may wish to hold onto something when you open the one with the view down.

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Column: Honoring a reporter and what she represents

Sunday’s column pays tribute to my former colleague Monica Rodriguez, who got a warm sendoff from the Pomona City Council last Monday. I went there to be supportive and thought I might write an item on it, but some of the comments were really touching, and the whole thing provided an opportunity to reflect on newspapers and on Pomona.

Left to right above, Rubio Gonzalez, Adriana Robledo, Ginna Escobar, Monica Rodriguez, Robert Torres, Cristina Carrizosa, Elizabeth Ontiveros-Cole and Tim Sandoval.

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Consider subscribing! Here’s why

Significant layoffs, 20 percent or more, will fall in the coming weeks on the newsroom of the Daily Bulletin and the 10 other papers in the Southern California News Group. It’s been widely reported, so I feel comfortable in sharing that. The Times wrote a detailed account last week, which you can read here.

You might be asking: What can I do? Here’s what journalist Luis Gomez wrote:

Ken Doctor, like many journalism experts and practitioners, was recently asked about this conundrum: “What can citizens do?

And like everyone else, he said what people should do is subscribe to a newspaper. It sounds self-serving, but it’s a simple question of economics. People vote with their wallets. If they don’t buy a subscription, they are essentially telling newspapers that they are not worth keeping around.

A lot of people are essentially telling us that, unfortunately. (I’ve lost track of how many people who recognize me then ask me if I still write for the newspaper.) And we’ve made it easy to tell us that by offering our product online largely for free as we, and other newspapers, tried to figure out whether increased readership would pay for itself via increased advertising. Turns out it, er, didn’t.

Now, I’m hesitant to tell people how they should spend their money, and I’m sensitive to the fact that, like other print publications, we’re charging you more for less content.

Still, paying for the news you’re getting seems only fair. We’re not working for free. A print subscription or a digital one is fine with us, whichever you prefer. It’s a relative bargain, in my eyes, and your support may keep us going. Even a reduced level of local news is better than no local news — right?

Home delivery price on our website is $25 for 28 days — that’s under $1 a day, and cheaper than the newsstand price, and comes with unlimited online access.

An online-only subscription is $10 for 28 days — that’s 28 cents a day, daily and Sunday. Why, that’s like 1970s pricing. You get unlimited access to our website and a web facsimile of each day’s paper, with the ability to read recent past issues. And the carrier won’t throw it under your car.

May we sign you up? Operators, as they used to say in the commercials, are standing by.

Above, a (slightly messy) view of a portion of our office; below, art on the wall of another room.

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Former IVDB office now dust

For 30 years the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin had its offices at 2041 E. 4th St. in Ontario, the first home the newspaper had after consolidating the Ontario Daily Report and Pomona Progress-Bulletin into one modern headquarters in 1985.

But as has become the way of things for newspapers, we no longer needed all that space due to staff cuts, consolidation elsewhere and an end to printing the paper in Ontario. (The back half of this 2013 column talks about our printing presses.) So we moved a few blocks east to leased quarters at 9616 Archibald Ave. in late 2015, our printing is now done in Riverside and our old property was put on the market, where it languished — until recently.

KB Homes bought it up, bulldozed the building and ground up the concrete to make way for a housing development to be named The Cottages on 4th. They will replace what we might have called The Bunker on 4th, as it had no windows.

I wonder if KB Homes will give preference to former Bulletin employees? On second thought, nah. We spent more than enough of our lives on that piece of ground. Time to let someone else occupy it.

Photo above and below by Wayne Iverson; bottom two photos by me.

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