Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Village events

Who says Claremont's boring?

There's a lot going on this week to bring the crowds into Claremont. Tonight is the city's first Family Festival, running every Wednesday throughout October from 5 to 8 p.m. Don't forget to head into the Packing House for the Green Market to pick up some tasty organic vegies and other green goods.

On Thursday night, you can have the Mayor serve you up a cone or sundae at Bert & Rocky's Creme Co. Money raised will go to Team Claremont supporting Relay for Life. The event goes from 5 to 7 p.m.

Also be sure to stop by for the re-grand opening of Three French Hens and Wisteria Grove. The 2 businesses have fused into one location along First Street. The celebration includes a ribbon cutting ceremony, hors d'oeuvres and music.

The following evening features the return of Friday Night Live and the Art Walk. There will be live bands and plenty of entertainment for everyone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine flu update

Good news on the grim topic: There's no swine flu in Claremont. The LA County Public Health Department announced this afternoon that the OLA student and her mother who fell ill over the weekend with flu-like symptoms tested negative for swine flu.

Classes at the private school will resume again tomorrow at OLA, according to an announcement from City Manager Jeff Parker at the city council meeting. Parker also said a group of Japanese visitors to the Double Tree Hotel decided to cancel their trip due to swine flu fears. The cancellation apparently lost the hotel a pretty penny.

According to some news reports, 3 private schools in California have closed down due to swine flu threats. One in Sacramento has 3 confirmed cases from students. No public schools have closed.

Thus far, there are 13 confirmed cases across the state, 3 in Sacramento, and 5 each in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine flu scare in Claremont

A student at OLA School in Claremont may have contracted the deadly swine flu virus after a recent trip to Mexico City. The 1st grader and her mother were there last week on vacation.

Over the weekend, the student and her mother fell ill with flu-like symptoms. They've been tested for swine flu but the results won't be in until tomorrow.

From Wednesday to Friday, the student attended classes with other students at OLA. School officials became aware of the health scare Sunday evening. Students are being let out of school early today and classes will be closed tomorrow for cleaning of classrooms and common areas.

Below is a news release from the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which oversees the school. See Wednesday's edition of the COURIER for more coverage.


This past weekend, a student at Our Lady of the Assumption School
in Claremont fell ill with flu-like symptoms four days after
returning from a visit to Mexico with her mother. The mother is
also reportedly suffering from flu-like symptoms. The student and
mother have been tested for the swine flu virus, but the results of
the testing are not yet available.

School officials learned of the student’s illness late Sunday
night, and this morning called both the San Bernardino Health
Department (where the student’s family resides), as well as the Los
Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health advised the
Archdiocese to keep the school open, and to observe precautionary
measures (hand washing, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing,
etc.) to avoid potential contamination.

In addition to these measures, school officials are advising
parents that they may take their children home from school early
today. School officials are advising all parents to monitor their
children’s health and to report any illnesses to health officials

The Archdiocese has decided that there will be no classes at Our
Lady of the Assumption School tomorrow (Tuesday). Parents will be
contacted regarding the resumption of classes, pending the outcome
of the ill student’s test results and further recommendations from
the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The school maintenance staff is in the process of cleaning the
school’s communal areas, including the school auditorium, the
affected student’s classroom and the rest rooms.

School and Archdiocesan officials will continue to monitor
developments and report further information when it is available.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Excellent educators

Claremont has a grand tradition of excellent educators doing wonderful things for the community. Often, their hard work goes unnoticed outside of the classroom, but every now and then they get some recognition.

School Board Member and teacher Steven Llanusa was nominated by the Colton Joint Unified School District for the "Employee Recognition Award."

Llanusa has been a Teacher on assignment at Colton's Science and Technology Magnet School, helping teachers master the software and internet resources in all of the content areas and helping the school become proficient in the different technological hardware introduced to the classrooms.

“Although I didn’t’ win the award,” Llanusa said. “I was proud to learn that my work has inspired my peers.”

Also, from Claremont Graduate University, longtime Claremont resident and former CGU president John Maguire was named as a recipient of a Fulbright National Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here's a link for more info about Maguire and the award.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Base Line Road speed increase

Residents in the north part of town might be interested to know about a potential change in the speed limit on Base Line Road. The current speed limit is 40 mph and city staff is recommending an increase to 45 mph. The increase would only affect the portion of the street between Indian Hill Boulevard and Towne Avenue.

After the city took over Base Line Road from Caltrans last year, engineers conducted an updated speed survey. The results require the city to make the increase.

Here's a link to the staff report.

The Traffic and Transportation Commission will be discussing the results of the survey and recommendations from staff at their meeting on Thursday night. Members of the public are welcome to speak at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers.

Celebrity sightings in Claremont?

Not quite, but Mark Bedol is working hard to make the Village a secret shopping getaway for Hollywood's A-List celebrities.

Bedol is the owner of Village West business, Bedol What's Next, which sells unique clocks, gadgets and office supplies.

Bedol's hottest product is the Water-Powered Drop clock, celebrated as a "green" product as it requires no batteries. Recently, Bedol and his daughter Laura made an appearance at the Bravo award show at the Orpheum Theater to hand out the clock in a gift basket to celebrities.

Whenever Bedol meets a celebrity, he makes sure to promote Claremont and invites them to come to town visit his store. "I know we can stimulate interest in Claremont and get it to be the ‘hip’ destination," Bedol said. “It was really fun meeting these A-Listers. They were very interested to know about our popular product and learn about our store in Claremont."

Unfortunately, Bedol's store is temporarily closed for business. A water leak from a planter outside his store (not from his clocks) caused damage to the wall and floor of the business. The city has to do tests for mold, replace some of the wall and flooring. The store should be up and running sometime next week.

Thanks Mark for sending in these photos. (photo credit:

Mark Bedol and Playmate Kendra Wilkinson of Girls Next Door

Neil Patrick Harris of How I Met Your Mother

Torri Spelling poses with the water clock

Comedian Kathy Griffin

Friday, April 17, 2009

Checkpoint tonight

The Claremont Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint tonight at an undisclosed location in the city. (They usually do them near Foothill and Dartmouth or down on American by the 10 Freeway.)

Police will be stopping all vehicles to make sure nobody is drunk or on drugs and driving with a valid license. The operation runs from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Relay for Life fundraiser tonight

You don't need to go to Vegas to play your favorite card games. Tonight at the Doubletree Hotel, guests can play poker and blackjack at the Relay For Life's Casino Night fundraiser. The event runs from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Aside from the games, there will be live music, hors d'oeuvres and live music. There's a $15 entrance fee and a $10 donation gets you $100 in play money.

Upcoming Relay for Life fundraisers include the Haircut-A-Thon on Monday, April 20 at Essentials Day Spa and Salon, Scoop Night on Thursday, April 30 at Bert and Rocky's and Casual Monday and Potluck on Monday, May 4.

The Relay for Life takes place on May 16 and May 17 at the Claremont High School track.

David Cash moving on

Claremont Unified School District officials confirmed that Superintendent David Cash has accepted a position as the Superintendent of the Clovis Unified School District in central California.

According to this article in the Fresno Bee, Cash signed a 4-year contract effective July 1. Clovis Unified is significantly larger than Claremont, with 37,000 students compared to Claremont's 7000.

Cash will likely make some kind of announcement at tonight's School Board meeting. See Saturday's COURIER for a full story.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Death of the trolley?

Maybe. The fate of the Village trolley remains in the hands of the Claremont city council. At tonight's meeting, the council will decide if the lackluster trolley will have a future trucking around downtown Claremont.

The council basically has 3 options to consider. They could continue with the trolley for a while longer as it is currently running, hoping that warmer weather will attract more people into the Village.

The council could tinker with the schedule or travel route, with consideration for the Claremont Colleges, the Old School House or Claremont High School as possible destinations.

Or they could decide to abandon the pilot program altogether, basically admitting that the trolley was a bad idea to begin with.

Unfortunately, there’s not much going for the trolley. The ridership numbers have sharply dropped off since its inception. In November, there were 12.3 riders per hour, 10.7 in December, about 7 per hour in January, February and March.

Even at its peak, the trolley never attracted its benchmark ridership goals of 15 per hour that the city would consider the pilot program “viable.”

There should be an interesting debate tonight. I would expect new Councilmember Larry Schroeder to speak out more tonight than he did during his first council meeting, where he said very little.

During his campaign, he was critical of the trolley and felt the money ($886,670) should have been used for a more useful purpose. We’ll see if he and other Council Members are already willing to throw in the towel on the trolley idea.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bob Messinger wins journalism awards

Congratulations to Claremont resident Bob Messinger, who will be honored tomorrow night with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles. Messinger had a long career in newspapers around Southern California, covering everything from the Charles Manson trial, East Los Angeles Riots, parades, earthquakes and much more.

He was also the lead author of the Media Guidebook, which both government and media outlets use to understand the rights of journalist in the field. The award ceremony takes place tomorrow night at the Glendale Moose Club. See tomorrow's paper for a full story and along with some of his best photos.

Saturday will be a busy day in Claremont too. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt, sorry, Spring Egg Hunt in the morning at Memorial Park, the International Festival in the afternoon at the Colleges, the Taste of Claremont at Taylor Hall in the evening and a wildflower show all weekend at the Botanic Gardens.

Correction: The Taste of Claremont is next Saturday, April 18 at Taylor Hall.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Census Bureau Canvassing

The Claremont Police Department warns that a wave of Census Bureau canvassers will be hitting the streets of Claremont in the coming weeks.

Here's the statement via the Department's E-Watch system:

The 2010 Census launched its next operation, Address Canvassing. A preliminary wave began on March 29th, and the mass effort launched on April 6, 2009. The entire phase concludes by June 19, 2009.

During Address Canvassing, the Census Bureau will put to work approximately 140,000 people to canvass all known streets and roads throughout the country. The canvassers identify every living quarter where people live or could potentially live, and verify more than 145 million addresses.

For the first time in Decennial Census history, census workers will confirm, add, and delete addresses using a GPS-equipped hand-held computer. Each computer is so secure that it will work only when activated by the fingerprint of its assigned operator.

Each building or structure receives Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates to make sure it is also recorded in the right location. Census workers will also update maps by adding new roads. This work ensures that the census address list is complete so that everyone can be counted in the 2010 census.

For additional information, use the link below to go to the Claremont PD website

Friday, April 3, 2009

Saturday events

There's a couple of noteworthy events happening in Claremont tomorrow.

One is an E-Waste program at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. Residents can drop off old TV sets, cell phones, chargers, toasters and anything else that's taking up space and collecting dust.

The recycling company will be at OLA's parking lot from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. OLA is located at 435 Berkeley Ave.

The second event is the Senior Talent Showcase. Head out to Taylor Hall to watch some very entertaining song, dance, magic and comedy routines performed by seniors from Claremont and neighboring cities.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to noon at 1775 Indian Hill Blvd.