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