Friday, December 23, 2011

City holiday closures

Claremont City Hall will be closed for the holidays this Monday, December, 26, as well as the following Monday, January 2. The Hughes Community center will also be closed through Friday, January 3.

Despite city closures, the city's trash delivery will still proceed as scheduled. In addition to normal trash collection, Claremont residents can place Christmas trees on the curb for pickup during their regular collection day starting Monday, December 26 through January 5. Trees must be stripped of all decoration and cut if larger than 6 feet tall. Call Community and Human Services at 399-5431 for more information.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Village business vandalized, woman arrested

A Riverside woman was arrested Tuesday evening after being accused of vandalizing an antique at Viva Madrid, located at 225 Yale Ave.

Witnesses say Irma Nugent, 29, stumbled into a wooden confessional on display with a sign that forbid entering. Once inside, witnesses say Ms. Nugent began to destroy the antique.

Police located Ms. Nugent shortly after the incident walking along Second Street. Police arrested her on charges of vandalism and being drunk in public. The cost of repairs is unknown. Ms. Nugent says she only had 2 drinks and is not guilty of the vandalism charge.

See the COURIER's Saturday edition for more on the Police Blotter.

Studio Claremont holiday camp starts next week

Keep the kids entertained during the holiday break at Studio Claremont’s Candy Ice Castle Art Camp Tuesday, December 27 through Friday, December 30, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The morning art class will teach those of all ages how to make your own holiday Candy Ice Castle. The class is $110 with an additional $20 registration. All materials are included.

Studio Claremont, led by artist Gabrielle Heide, provides art instruction for students ages 4 and up. Studio Claremont is located on the first floor of The Packing House at 522 W. First St. To reserve your child’s place in the camp, visit, call 626-6137 or e-mail

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Senior Holiday party tomorrow

The Claremont Senior Program will host its annual holiday party tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Taylor Hall, located at 1775 N. Indian Hill Blvd.

Participants will be served a festive lunch and enjoy live entertainment, door prizes and a special visit from Old Saint Nick. Tickets are $5. For more information contact 399-5488.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Donations wanted for TRACKS toy drive

Claremont’s TRACKS Teen Activity Center (TAC) is hosting its first annual toy drive now through Friday, December 16. All donations will be packaged and sent to a nearby shelter.

Donated toys may be dropped off at TAC located on the El Roble Intermediate School campus at 665 N. Mountain Ave. For more information call 399-5378.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Golden State Water Company hearings tomorrow

Claremont’s Taylor Hall will host the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) public hearings on the Golden State Water Company’s proposed rate increases on Tuesday, December 6 at 2 and 6 p.m. An administrative law judge will preside over the hearing and all comments will be included in the company’s general rate case.

The public may comment or protest the rate increase at the public hearing, by e-mail, or writing to the Public Advisor's Office. All public comments are provided to the CPUC Commissioners and Administrative Law Judge assigned to the proceedings. Comments may be sent to 
the Public Advisor's Office
 at 320 W. Fourth St., Ste. 500 
Los Angeles, CA 90013
 or by e-mail to

Friday, December 2, 2011

Council Priorities Workshop tomorrow

Claremont City Council will hold its yearly Priority and Goal Setting Workshop tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the City Council Chamber at 225 Second St.

The public is invited to listen to the council review last year's plans and discuss new goals for the coming year. Visit for more information.

Holiday Promenade tonight

The City of Claremont will be hosting its annual Holiday Promenade starting tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Claremont Village. The event will continue through tomorrow.

A tree lighting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. tonight at the Depot. Other holiday festivities will include entertainment from the Claremont High School Chamber Singers, the Moultrie Academy, and holiday carolers. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be at City Hall from 5 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. for photos. An outdoor skating rink will be open at Indian Hill Boulevard and Second Street from 1 to 9 p.m. for $5 both today and tomorrow.

Resident will have the opportunity to fill the Metrolink with donated toys at 6: 30 p.m. on Saturday for the "Spark of Love Toy Drive," sponsored by ABC7 and Southland Firefighters.

For more information on this 2-day holiday event, visit

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tony Ramos hired as city manager

City council announced Wednesday night that Tony Ramos will be promoted from his
current role as assistant city manager. He will begin as city manager in late December.

Mr. Ramos will replace Jeff Parker, who announced his resignation earlier this month. The Claremont City Council's decision to promote Mr. Ramos was unanimous.

“I am committed to this community and the public administration profession,” Mr.
Ramos said. “I pledge to all of you with every bit of my being that I will continue to work
tirelessly with commitment and with the passion I have had for this city for the past 6

According to the approved 3-year contract, Mr. Ramos will make a yearly income of
$198,000. He will also receive an additional $1000 a month in deferred compensation
plus an extra $1194 monthly to be used for medical benefits. Fifty percent of the medical
benefits that remain unused will be placed in Mr. Ramos’ deferred compensation plan.
Mr. Ramos’ total for salary and benefits is $224,328 annually, up from his current salary
of $176,806 as assistant city manager.

He will contribute his 8 percent Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)
contribution and will receive cost of living adjustments similar to other employee groups.
Mr. Ramos will also receive a vehicle with maintenance and insurance covered by the

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Claremont expected to hire new city manager tonight

Claremont City Council will vote on promoting Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos tonight in a special open session meeting to be held in the City Council Chamber at 6:30 p.m.

Mr. Ramos is being considered to take over city manager after the resignation of Jeff Parker earlier this month. If approved, Mr. Ramos will make $198,000, according to the proposed contract recommended at Monday night's special meeting of the city council. Mr. Ramos will receive an additional $1000 a month in deferred compensation plus an additional $1194 monthly to be used for medical benefits. Fifty percent of the medical benefits that remain unused will be placed in Mr. Ramos’ deferred compensation plan. Mr. Ramos’ total for salary and benefits on the proposed contract is $224,328 annually, up from his current salary of $176,806 as assistant city manager.

He will contribute his 8 percent Public Employment Retirement System (PERS) contribution and will receive cost of living adjustments similar to other employee groups. Mr. Ramos will also receive a vehicle with maintenance and insurance covered by the city.

The contract claims a proposed $26,630 in savings compared to the current city manager contract. Mr. Parker now earns an estimated $211,554 a year, according to employee salaries provided by City Clerk Lynne Fryman dated August 18, 2011.

In October of 2005, Mr. Parker was selected as city manager from about 60 applicants. The city began the search with an outside recruiting company the previous June. According to his original 3-year contract, Mr. Parker made a yearly salary of $175,000 with $13,000 a year toward his deferred compensation plan.

Those wishing to participate in public comment during tonight's meeting should arrive promptly at 6:30 p.m. To view the agenda visit

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Claremont set to promote Tony Ramos to City Manager

Claremont City Council approved a city manager’s contract with current Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos Monday night in a special closed meeting.

The announcement comes 13 days after City Manager Jeff Parker announced his resignation with the city of Claremont. Mr. Parker will leave to become city manager of Tustin. His last day with Claremont is December 26.

The council announced its plan to negotiate a contract with Mr. Ramos at a special meeting held November 21. The decision was made to hire from within the city instead of opting for an outside hiring process. An ad hoc committee made up of Mayor Sam Pedroza and Mayor Pro Tem Larry Schroeder negotiated with Mr. Ramos over the Thanksgiving holiday, bringing their proposed contract for review at last night’s meeting.

The proposed contract will be made available by 6 p.m. today, Mr. Pedroza announced last night after 3 hours of deliberating behind closed doors. The council will review the contract and give final approval in an open session tomorrow, November 30, at 6:30 p.m. To view the agenda and contract, visit

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review of city manager contract begins tonight

Claremont City Council will meet in closed session tonight to negotiate a city manager’s contract with current Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos.

The special meeting was scheduled after City Manager Jeff Parker announced his resignation Tuesday, November 16. Mr. Parker will leave his post in Claremont to become Tustin’s new city manager. His last day is December 26.

An ad hoc committee, consisting of both Mayor Sam Pedroza and Mayor Pro Tem Larry Schroeder, has been responsible for contract negotiations with Mr. Ramos. The city council will revisit the decisions made by the ad hoc committee tonight, November 28 at 6 p.m. Public comment is invited before the council goes into closed session. The contract will be reviewed in open session on Wednesday, November 30, at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

PD ask for help to identify armed ATM thief

Police are seeking help to find a man suspected of ATM robberies in Claremont, Diamond Bar, and Rancho Cucamonga last month.

The Claremont robbery took place at the Chase Bank in the 400 block of North Indian Hill Boulevard. On Wednesday, October 19, around 1:30 a.m., a 22-year-old victim was using the ATM when a Hispanic male pulled out a handgun and demanded $500. The victim only had $100 in his account, withdrew the money, and gave it to the robber, who fled eastbound. Instead of calling 911, the victim went over to a friend’s house, Google searched Claremont Police, and went down to the station to report the incident.

Police have been unable to locate the thief, but have been reviewing surveillance footage of the crime. Similar attacks with a man matching the same description took place within the same week at the Chase Bank in the 1000 block of Grand Avenue in Diamond Bar and Bank of America in the 7000 block of Day Creek Boulevard in Rancho Cucamonga, according to reports.

The man is described as a 25-year-old Hispanic with black hair, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds. At the time of incident he was wearing white tennis shoes, black sweat pants, and a blue/white checkered hooded sweatshirt.

Any information should be reported to the Claremont Police Department Detective Bureau at 399-5420 or 399-5411.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rod Gilfry in concert

The Claremont Community Foundation is hosting a benefit concert this Saturday, November 19, with Grammy-nominated singer and actor Rod Gilfry.

The musical evening, running 7:30-10:30 p.m., will feature a variety of numbers including musical theater favorites, opera, and other standards. All proceeds will support the foundation's 2012 Community Impact and Arts funds grants programs.

General tickets are $25. Reserved seats including a post-concert reception with Mr. Gilfry are $50. Tickets are available at and at the Claremont Community Foundation's office at 205 Yale Ave.

For more information call 398-1060 or email

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Golden State Water Company at city council tonight

Residents interested in learning more about water rates are invited to Claremont City Council tonight to engage in discussion with a representative of the Golden State Water Company.

Foothill District Manager Ben Lewis will discuss proposed water rate increases and answer residents’ questions and concerns.

The city council open session begins at 6:30 p.m. in the city chambers at 225 Second Street. For more information visit

Friday, November 4, 2011

Super King Market open for business

South Claremont residents have finally received their grocery store.

Super King Markets officially opened its doors for business Friday morning, providing Claremont with a brand new full-service food store just south of the 10 freeway.

The Claremont store, located within the Auto Center Drive Shopping Center, is the fourth Super King’s location to open up in Southern California and the first grocery store to serve the Claremont area south of Foothill Boulevard for almost 4 years.

Stocked with both national and international cuisine items, Super King officials feel their wide range of products will perfectly serve the needs of its eager Claremont and Pomona customers.

“A mixed demographic is perfect for us and being on the southern border of Claremont with the freeway in close proximity, Pomona on the other side, lends to a wide variety of people coming to our store,” said Daniel Barth, Super King’s General Manager. “We successfully serve and satisfy a demographic that really represents Southern California.”

Super King Shoppers can expect a full line of grocery products that include fresh produce, a meat department, deli, and bakery. Opening week deals include 4 Roma tomatoes for $0.99, white chicken drumsticks $0.49 per pound, and Mexican sweet bread 5 for $1.

Super King is open everyday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information call 267-7252 or visit

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Public forum with Golden State Water Company tonight

Golden State Water Company will host a public forum tonight to address concerns regarding water rate increases. The event, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will be held at the Claremont University Consortium Administrative Campus Center at 101 South Mills Avenue. Representatives will be available to answer questions regarding the rate increases in an open house setting.

“We understand their concerns and want to show that we are providing improvements,” said Ben Lewis, manager of Golden State’s Foothill District. “It is important to us to keep the process as transparent as possible.”

Police seek man in armed robbery

Claremont Police are searching for a man involved in an armed robbery at the Chevron Gas Station located at 699 E. Foothill Blvd.

At around 10:52 p.m. Saturday, a male Hispanic wearing a black beanie and black knit gloves entered the Chevron convenience store, pulled a semi-automatic handgun out of his gray sweatshirt and pointed the weapon at the clerk. After forcing the cashier to hand over an estimated $500 in cash, the man ordered the victim at gunpoint to lie on the ground as he retreated from the store. Surveillance shows the man fled westbound on foot. Police are currently reviewing surveillance footage, and an investigation is being conducted.

The man is described as being in his late 30s to early 40s, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, approximately 180 pounds, salt and pepper facial stubble with a connecting black moustache and goatee, according to Detective Robert Ewing. Anyone with information should contact the Claremont Police Department at 399-5411.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Claraboya homes still in the dark

Southern California Edison is working to restore power to more than 200 residents in Claremont’s Claraboya neighborhood left in the dark since Sunday afternoon.

More than 1700 homes in Claraboya lost power around noon Sunday due to failed underground cables, according to Lois Pitter Bruce, spokesperson for Southern California Edison. Though power was restored to most homes within the hour, the power company is still working to restore power to 259 customers near Mountain Avenue and Valparaiso Drive.

Southern California Edison is currently working to fix the underground cables, and expects the remaining homes to have restored power by 4 p.m. today.

For more information visit

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scripps zombies to "thrill" with dance this Saturday

Local Michael Jackson enthusiasts are invited to take part in a "Thrill the World" dance event this Saturday at the Scripps College Jaqua quad.

The undead dance party is part of a global plan to break the world record for "largest simultaneous dance." Groups in more than 100 countries are slipping on their dancing shoes and moving to the king of pop's "Thriller."

Led by Scripps Senior Jenna Tico, participants will learn the dance at 5 p.m. The simultaneous dance will take place at 7 p.m. Attendees are welcome to dress in their finest zombie attire.

For more information, contact Jenna Tico at or visit

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Council to decide on police negotiations, Chase appeal

Two Claremont hot button topics are slated for discussion at tonight's city council meeting.

The council will address negotiations with its police unions, as well as an appeal against a Chase Bank with drive-through to be built in the Sprouts Shopping Center.

The council will discuss the police impasse in open session for the first time since negotiations began. The city is proposing that the council should adopt a resolution that will have police paying 6 percent of their Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) contribution within the first year. This PERS amount will replace the previously proposed 3 percent. The 1.5 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will still be a part of the contract.

The construction of a Chase bank on the corner of Mountain Avenue and Foothill Boulevard will also be discussed. The proposed bank was appealed by Tony Husson, co-owner of 21 Choices located behind where the proposed Chase lot will be. Mr. Husson says the Chase building would block his store from sight, creating a “window of opportunity” for potential crooks.

The meeting will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers located at 225 Second Street.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Make A Difference Project kicks off this weekend

Claremont residents are giving a local twist to a national volunteer campaign.

Claremont’s Make a Difference Project, inspired by the national Make a Difference Day, is leading the Claremont community in a series of collaborative volunteer projects. The program kicks off this weekend at Village Venture.

Led by the Community Services and Participation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Aging, the Make a Difference Project provides a series of long-term volunteer opportunities for locals looking to give back.

“This is an opportunity for those in Claremont that want to volunteer, but haven’t found the right place,” said Bobbie Hill, co-chair of the Make a Difference Project. “We are looking to expand the ways ‘soon-to-be-retired people’ can get involved in our community.”

More than 15 nonprofit organizations and other service groups from across the city have come together to head up the campaign’s service projects. Featured organizations include Meals on Wheels, CERT, Claremont Public Library, and Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens.

“We aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel, Claremont already does a great job of giving back to the community,” Ms. Hester said. “We are just looking to give Claremont residents some new ideas on how to get involved and enhance the community at the same time.”

The Claremont cause was inspired by the national Make a Difference Day, the country’s largest 1-day community service event, which has taken place on the fourth Saturday in October for the past 20 years. Claremont will participate in the service day along with more than 20 million other American volunteers on Saturday, October 22. Claremont participants, however, will be continuing on long after those 24 hours are up.

“We want to keep those efforts going,” Ms. Hester said.

Volunteers will work for 4 to 6 months on projects that range from painting benches in local parks to setting up a community service bulletin board dedicated to holding service opportunity pamphlets and other volunteer announcements and brochures, said Ms. Hill.

“Right now the ideas are really fragmented… we're looking for anything that appeals to a resident. We are looking to expand on people’s different interests,” she said. “If someone loved model trains, they could get a group of people together and create a display. There are all sorts of ways to make a difference.”

A citywide celebration highlighting the success of their campaign will take place on Saturday, May 5. Volunteers will have the chance to present their finished projects to the Claremont community at that time.

The campaign will kick off on Saturday at the city’s Village Venture Booth. A program orientation will be held Wednesday, November 16, at the Alexander Hughes Community Center.

For more information, visit or contact the Joslyn Center at 399-5488.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Motorcycle crash causes commotion for Base Line commuters

A series of traffic accidents caused problems for Claremont commuters Tuesday morning.

Claremont Police received a call around 7:28 a.m. regarding a solo motorcycle accident near the intersection of Base Line Road and Monte Vista Avenue. The motorcyclist, heading westbound on Base Line Road, slammed on his brakes for stopped traffic and lost control of his bike, according to Lieutenant Shelly Vander Veen. Though the motorcyclist was still conscious, he was flown to USC Medical Center for possible head injuries.

During that time, an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff stopped his vehicle in the eastbound lanes of Base Line Road to provide assistance to the motorcyclist. While helping the man, another vehicle rear-ended the officer’s car. No one was hurt during the second incident.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wilderness park fines in place

New fines for violators of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park hours have officially gone into effect.

First-time park abusers will be hit with a $50 charge, an increase of $15 from past park fines. A $100 citation will be given for the second violation, a $200 for the third. Current park hours are posted as "dawn until dusk."

Claremont City Council approved the resolution at its meeting in early September. Changes took effect late last week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Heirloom hosts grand opening Saturday

Heirloom, the newest edition to The Village, is hosting its grand opening celebration Saturday evening from 5:30 to 10 p.m. with the hopes of making its cozy quarters more of a community living room than a routine shopping spot.

“We wanted to provide a place where people can feel at home in the community, like the idea of the old-fashioned general stores,” said Rob Lewbel, who co-owns the store with girlfriend Becky Morgan. “In lieu of gathering around the potbelly stove, you can gather around our craft table.”

The crafty new store draws in locals with its homemade retail items, many hand-tailored by Claremonters themselves, from jewelry pieces to greeting cards.

“We’re tired of big box stores that don’t have a heart filled with people who don’t know what they sell,” Mr. Lewbel explained. “We wanted a store that brought the community together.”

Grand opening partygoers will be treated to food and drink while checking out hand-crafted specialties or making a stop for a party favor at the craft table. Participants will also have the opportunity to enter into raffle drawings. Prizes will be given away every hour.

“We want people to see [Heirloom] as a place where they can come and actually have an experience… a store with a little something for everybody,” Mr. Lewbel said. “We are already overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of support from the Claremont community.”

Heirloom is located at 175 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Unit B101A. For more information, visit

Monday, October 10, 2011

After Work series premieres this Wednesday

The Claremont Senior Program and Committee on Aging is presenting “It Happened at Pomona” this Wednesday at 5 p.m. Located at the Seaver House at 305 N. College Ave., the presentation is free and open to adults of all ages.

Presented by Kathleen Howe, director of the Pomona College Museum of Art and professor of art history, the lecture will discuss the college’s 3-part art exhibit highlighting the art movement at Pomona College in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s. Showcasing the works of alumni, the museum runs through January 21.

The presentation is a part of the new “After Work” series, sponsoring free activities and lectures for both working and retired individuals. Call to reserve your place at the free lecture by calling the Joslyn Center at 399-5488.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Claremont man arrested in domestic violence case

Police arrested a 40-year-old Claremont man accused of domestic violence on Wednesday morning near Our Lady of the Assumption in the 400 block of Berkeley Avenue. The man was arrested for spousal abuse, corporal punishment to a child, and criminal threats.

The man's girlfriend met with police on Sunday, September 25, to report acts of physical and verbal abuse to her and her 2 children. Fights erupted between the couple after the man accused his girlfriend of stealing money from him among other allegations. He threatened to kill his girlfriend and everyone she loved, and at one point picked up a gun and told her she was going to die, according to Lieutenant Shelly Vander Veen.

Police noticed the woman had a bruised eye socket, wrists and arms. One child had a cut lip and bruises on the face; the other had red swelling to the back. The woman was frightened and believed the man was in possession of a firearm. Police went to the residence, but were unable to locate him.

On Wednesday morning, police saw the accused get into a car in The Village. Police attempted to do a traffic stop on the vehicle at Indian Hill Boulevard and Bonita Avenue, but he continued driving, eventually pulling over on Berkeley Avenue across the street from Our Lady of the Assumption. Officers immediately barricaded the east side of the school to ensure student safety. Police arrested him by gunpoint because of warnings that he had a firearm. No students were harmed.

See Saturday's edition of the COURIER for more Claremont crime and police happenings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Claremont to voice water rates concerns at meeting this Thursday

As Golden State Water Company proposes a new set of spikes in the region’s water prices, Claremont is setting to take a stand against the steadily increasing burden on its residents.

The higher water rates, which may increase an additional 27 percent by 2015, have caused residents and officials to question the burden the water company is placing on its customers, said City Manager Jeff Parker. City officials, who have already filed a petition against the increase, intend to bring their concerns to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Los Angeles tomorrow evening.

“The rates have increased drastically over the past 3 years. No one can afford water anymore,” Mr. Parker said. “We are trying to protect our citizens from being gouged.”

Residents are invited to join staff in voicing their concerns during the public comment portion of Thursday’s CPUC meeting at the Ronald Reagan building located at 300 South Spring Street.

Those unable to attend are invited to listen in to the meeting by calling 800-857-1917, password: 92105. A meeting agenda and webcast is also available on the CPUC's website at

“We want to be an advocate for our citizens,” Mr. Parker said. “We are going to let the CPUC know we are here and we are concerned. We want to get the ball rolling for eventually meeting up in Sacramento.”

Monday, October 3, 2011

California Beer Festival serves up brews in Claremont this weekend

Village West is preparing to close down street access and make way for the 2nd annual California Beer Festival this Saturday, October 8, from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

Sweeping across First Street near The Packing House, the creations of more than 60 microbreweries across the Golden State will be flowing for Inland Empire beer enthusiasts.

“There is more to beer than Bud Light, and that’s exactly what this event proves,” said event organizer Vincenzo Giammanco. “It educates people about all the craft breweries so that the next time they go out they will be asking for a Dale Bros. instead of a Coors Light.”

Lined along the north and south sides of First Street between Oberlin and Cornell Avenues, participants of the 21+ street party will enjoy beers special to the Golden Coast, ranging from the festive flavors of Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale to the hoppy kick of Kat Daddy Brewery’s IPAs.

Live music from 4 different bands will set the backdrop for the day. Food vendors will include Claremont favorites such as Casablanca Bar & Grill, Eddie’s Pizzeria & Eatery, Espiaus Restaurant and Cantina, Eureka Burger, It’s In the Sauce, and The Corner Butcher Shop. Pulled pork sandwiches, burgers and more will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $40, and include a souvenir tasting cup and unlimited drink samples. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Gen Giammanco Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to student athletes in the city of Claremont.

Tickets are available ahead of time as well as at the event itself. No one under the age of 21 will be admitted. For more information on the event or for the full list of vendors, visit

Friday, September 30, 2011

Suspected Pixie Donuts imposter in custody

Claremont Police have arrested Los Angeles resident Efren Arceo, 47, suspected of robbing Pixie Donuts in the 500 block of East Base Line Road last week. Mr. Arceo is suspected of committing at least 30 similar burglaries throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties, according to police.

On Monday, Sept. 19, a man entered Pixie Donuts posing as a health inspector sent to investigate animals being housed at the donut store. The employee let the subject walk behind the counter and when the employee wasn’t looking, stole $300 in U.S. currency.

Following the incident, Claremont detectives reviewed surveillance footage and were able to identify a car and license plate number in connection with the burglary. Police obtained a search warrant Thursday morning and arrested Mr. Arceo at his Los Angeles residence. Mr. Arceo is being held at the Claremont City Jail for $20,000 bail.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

City awards bid in solar panel project

Shorebreak Energy Developers, an Orange County-based solar design and
construction company, was awarded the bid to install 96 photovoltaic solar panels
at the City Yard. This marks the first time a city facility will be fitted with solar
panels, according to Chris Veirs, senior planner and sustainability coordinator with
the city of Claremont.

The new solar installations are being made possible through a $92,600 grant
received by the city last April. The panels will save the city about $4,000 a year
over the next 25 years, according to Mr. Veirs.

“Every incremental savings and investment in this kind of technology will pay
benefits in the future,” said Council Member Joe Lyons. “It will afford us the
opportunity to acquire other funds, working toward a day where we can anticipate
our city facilities coming ‘off the grid.’”

Installation of the panels may start as early as next month, according to Mr. Veirs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Healthcare costs take a climb in 2011, study says

Employer-sponsored health insurance costs have hit an all-time high for Americans.

The average annual premium for family coverage by employers reached $15,073 this year, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation released Tuesday. The increased rate, which is 9 percent higher than last year, marks the first time coverage has surpassed $15,000.

Single coverage has also risen within the last year, the study says, climbing 8 percent over 2010 rates. Kaiser officials credit insurer profits, the health care overhaul, and the continued rise in health care costs as factors in the increase.

The COURIER wants to know what you think of health insurance rates, and how it is affecting you and your family. Leave a comment or write us at

Monday, September 26, 2011

Claremont Day takes over the fair this week

The L.A. County Fair will host its annual Claremont Day this Thursday, Sept. 29.

Claremont residents are invited to join in on a community reception at the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts at 4 p.m., followed by a Community Parade at 5 p.m. A business expo will also take place from noon to 7 p.m.

Residents Jack Shih and Marilee Scaff will be honored as this year’s Claremont Community Heroes for their dedication to volunteerism and leadership in and around the city. A special presentation of the 2 heroes will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the Building 4 Stage. The Claremont High School Band will serenade attendees following the salute.

Claremont residents will receive free admission to the fair from noon to 6 p.m. with the donation of a new or slightly used book to the fair’s book drive.

For more information, visit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Update: grocery strike may hit stores next week

Grocery unions called a 72-hour notice of canceling grocery contracts on Thursday morning, setting the path for a strike that may hit stores early next week.

A grocery strike, which was voted in favor by more than 90 percent of employees last month, comes on the heels of more than 8 months of failed contract negotiations between Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons and its nearly 62,000 employees.

“No one is getting rich working in a grocery store, but what has made the job workable is the health care benefits,” said Connie Leyva, president of Claremont’s local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). “They want to save money at the expense of their workers. It’s just greedy.”

Existing contracts expired last March, and despite months of negotiations and meetings with a federal mediator, the 2 groups have yet to come to a compromise. A major area of dispute involves proposed spikes in employees’ health care plans.

“[Grocery workers] just want to keep what we have. We aren’t asking for anything better or worse,” Ms. Leyva said. “They want to save money at the expense of their workers who are barely hanging on.”

The last time the 2 groups were unable to reach an agreement, in 2003-2004, a 141-day strike ensued at grocery chains throughout Southern California. Though employees are hoping for a solution over the weekend, the prospects seem bleak.

“Our members are very reasonable, but nothing seems to be good enough,” Ms. Leyva said. “We are tired of them dragging their feet. They are taking advantage of the economy and of their employees. We need to show them that we have a bottom line.”

Five Cities Marathon canceled...again.

The Inaugural Five Cities Marathon, scheduled to come through Claremont on Saturday, October 9, has once again been canceled.

A lack of registered runners forced organizer Lori Calderon to call off the race. The marathon—which would include the neighboring cities of Glendora, La Verne, Pomona, and San Dimas—had previously been canceled in October 2010 for similar problems.

"We are quite disappointed, but do hope to return with a great event [next year]," Ms. Calderon said.

Those eager to start testing their racing skills can check out the San Dimas 5k and 1 mile Family Fun Run or Walk on Saturday, Sept. 24, or the Azusa for Clean Water 5k and 2k Family Fun Run on Sunday, Oct. 2. For a full list of local races, check out

Friday, September 9, 2011

Update to Fourth Street closures near Pomona College's Bridge's Auditorium

Locals worried about accessing Little Bridges this weekend for the opening of Pomona College's fall concert series can put their mind at ease.

Pomona College has announced that Fourth Street will be reopened to vehicular traffic, according to an E-mail sent Thursday.

The narrow roadway was closed off last month in an effort to make the campus more pedestrian friendly, the COURIER reported in Wednesday’s issue. The change raised questions from residents who worried that the closure would make it difficult to access.

“I love Pomona College, and I agree with the beautification of the campus, but I don’t think closing off Fourth Street is the smartest way to accomplish this,” said Georgia McManigal, Pomona College alumna and supporter of the music department. “It’s going to make it difficult to drop people in and out of that area, and presents challenges for those unable to walk long distances.”

In addition to vehicle access on Fourth Street, a drop-off zone will be created in front of Bridges Auditorium to give residents easier access. However, parking will still be prohibited.

Parking can be found on Bonita and College Avenues, or at the new south campus parking structure located at First Street and Columbia Avenue. Additional parking can also be found at the Sumner Hall lot located off College Way east of Bridges Hall of Music.

For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New community and human services director to be introduced to public tonight

An informal meet-and-greet event for Michele McNeill, the new community and human services director, will be held tonight at the Alexander Hughes Community Center from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Ms. McNeill officially started her position in Claremont yesterday, filling the spot after more than 2 months of its vacancy. Ms. McNeill will be the first to head Community and Human Services since the 2 previously separate departments were combined last May.

Having the opportunity to improve quality of life for others is at the core of continuing her career path here in Claremont, she said.

“I genuinely value serving other people,” Ms. McNeill said. “I enjoy the opportunity to have people come to me with problems, break them down, find elements that can be adjusted, and create something that we didn’t think possible.”

As the community and human services director, Ms. McNeill will oversee the City’s recreation, social services, sanitation, and fleet divisions, as well as special projects and community partnerships. Amid all of the job responsibilities Ms. McNeill will be responsible for, encouraging environmental responsibility is she is most looking forward to tacking in the months ahead.

“I want to help sustain Claremont’s small town atmosphere ensure its long-term presence,” Ms. McNeill said. “Claremont has such a long and beautiful history. Environmental responsibility is the only way to sustain what we have now to forever preserve what has been.”

The Alexander Hughes Community Center is located at 1700 Danbury Road. For more information on tonight's event, contact the center at 399-5490.

A full profile on Ms. McNeill will be published in a future issue of the COURIER.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wilderness Park citations receive city council approval

More than 300 wilderness park citations issued by Claremont police within the past 3 weeks for violating park hours will continue to be upheld despite recent proposals for dismissal.

At a special meeting held Thursday morning, Claremont police presented city council with a series of options to handle the onslaught of tickets, including an altogether waiving of the fines. Pomona court officials raised concerns over the large amount of citations and the backlog it would create for the court system.

The council voted unanimously to uphold citations, despite complaints against the ambiguity of park hours and confusion over court law changes, in order to set a precedent for the city, according to officials.

“Nobody likes getting a ticket, but as long as you have a law, you need to follow the law,” said Council Member Corey Calaycay. “That is the key issue here that we need to remember.”

Do you feel the increase in citations at the wilderness park are just or unfair?

Full story to be published in a future edition of the COURIER.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Merit increases in the cards for key city officials

Two Claremont officials received salary increases last month totaling more than $1,800 per month, according to city officials.

Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos and Chief of Police Paul Cooper each received a 5 percent raise effective July 1 as part of an annual merit increase, a performance-based raise in conjunction with an employee’s contract. Mr. Ramos will make an additional $926 per month, while Mr. Cooper is making $972.

According to a list of employee salaries effective August 18, Mr. Ramos will now be making a monthly salary of about $14,733, with a yearly total of $176,806. Mr. Cooper’s new total is $15,485 per month, $185,825 yearly.

Both city employees’ pay increases come in response to taking on additional workloads that exceed their normal duties, stated City Manager Jeff Parker.

“Both went above and beyond their job responsibilities,” Mr. Parker said. “There is still opportunity for growth, and if [employees] are performing at the level they are being asked, then it is only fair that they receive that increase. That goes for all employees all the way through assistant city manager.”

The full story can be viewed in this Saturday's edition of the COURIER. In the mean time, what do you think of pay raises and merit increases for Claremont officials?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Norms in Claremont is open for business!

The towering neon orange sign is lit, and Norms Claremont is serving up the pancakes.

The diner officially opened for business this morning, bringing locals a brand new dining alternative.

Norms is located south of the 10 freeway at Indian Hill Boulevard and Auto Center Drive. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, contact the store at 909-293-7871, or view the menu at

Update: grocery workers vote in favor of strike

Grocery store workers voted over the weekend on whether or not to go ahead with a strike. More than 90 percent of workers voted in favor, according to union officials.

The strike vote came in response to months of negotiations with nearly 62,000 Southern California grocery store employees. After existing contracts expired last March, the 2 groups have struggled to come to a compromise. A major area of dispute involves proposed spikes in employees’ health care plans.

Vote results will be reported to a federal mediator in an attempt to reach a contract on settlements before the strike is called. Representatives of workers and management will resume negotiations beginning Aug. 29, giving both sides time to prepare for bargaining, according to officials.