Last week I “attended” my first virtual San Bernardino City Council meeting. While video council meetings don’t really interest me, this one had two developers presenting their competing proposals for redeveloping the Carousel Mall site, and that seemed absolutely important enough to tune in. That’s the subject of my slightly sarcastic Sunday column.
On a lark, I write about a woman in Rancho Cucamonga whose orange tree has some mighty large oranges. (It doesn’t have any larks.) Also, more reader jokes about Rancho Cucamonga, while we’re on the subject, and a short farewell to a bookstore owner in Pomona, all in Friday’s column.
Ellen Harper, whose parents established the Folk Music Center in Claremont in 1958, who manages the store and whose son Ben owns it, has published a memoir, “Always a Song,” about her and her family’s musical and political lineage. I read an advance copy — it’s good — and interviewed her (and took photos) for my Wednesday column.
I return to the topic of newspapers, allowing me to quote from two great letters last year from readers who were paperboys (in the ’40s and in the ’70s) and still take the paper today, as well as from some readers who just like their morning paper, all in Sunday’s column.
A misspelled yard sign in Riverside urging “Recall Newsome” kicks off Friday’s column, followed by highlights of my recent visit to downtown Riverside and, while I’m at it, a short plea for two 1964 Riverside newspapers.
Ben Harper contributed a song taped in Claremont to the Biden-Harris pre-inaugural virtual concert “We the People,” news that leads off Wednesday’s column, followed by items about the winds in Fontana and a piece of recognition for a famous Claremonter.
Joe and Helen Draper of J & J’s Fish & BBQ in Pomona have always had posters of Barack Obama and his family, MLK and other Black figures in their restaurant. Now they’ve added Kamala Harris images. I talk to the couple, both 75, about their lives and their hopes for the Biden-Harris administration in Sunday’s column.
Have you hiked Mount Rubidoux in Riverside? I hadn’t, but now I have, an outing I recount in Friday’s column.
I return to the topic of Walter Knott’s 1920s berry farm and stand in Norco, with some fresh information. Also, I inspire a Montclair councilman to clean out his house and I recall an encounter with Tom LaBonge, the former LA councilman who died last week, all in Wednesday’s column.
Items about Frank Zappa and the California Jam festivals, a suddenly timely local theater production and a highly unfortunate vote make up Sunday’s column.