Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Red Cross blood drive comes to Claremont

The city of Claremont will partner with American Red Cross Thursday, August 7, to host a summer blood drive at Taylor Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Blood drive participants will receive 2 VIP tickets to the Laugh Factory and 2 complimentary tickets to a Chivas soccer game. Taylor Hall is located at 1775 N. Indian Hill Blvd. For more information, visit www.givelife.com.

Gas line problems on the mend

From the city of Claremont:

Gas service for approximately 250 residents has bee interrupted after damage to a natural gas line Sunday, July 29. The incident occurred when a plastic water line failed, leaking into the gas line.

Courtesy//Southern California Edison
Southern California Gas Company crews have been working to repair the gas line and begin the process of removing water leakage. Unfortunately, gas regulators and meters have been damaged by water and many will have to be replaced. Replacements began Monday, July 30 and will continue until all customers are fully restored. While many customers will be restored by Tuesday, there may be some customers left without service due to unforeseen circumstances.

Once the meter equipment has been replaced residents affected by this outage will be contacted by a Southern California Gas Company representative to re-light gas-operated appliances. 
This is a very unusual incident and emergency crews are working around the clock to safely repair the damage and restore service. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Questions should be directed to 809-0317.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Foothill break-in prompts investigation

Police are searching for a man involved in an early morning break-in in the 400 block of West Foothill Boulevard. It is believed that the man entered Pacifica Recovery Services through a roof top door, according to a city news release. Though several computer stations had been moved, police believe the crook was stopped before any of computers could be stolen. The business owner is in the process of identifying what might have been taken.

Police describe the man as tall and thin, wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and black shoes. Information should be reported to the Claremont Police Department at 399-5411.  

Sleep talk at Joslyn Center Wednesday

Seniors are invited to attended the next session in a series of healthy living topics presented at Claremont's Joslyn Senior Center, 660 N. Mountain Ave. A representative of the Los Angles County Department of Mental Health will visit the center this Wednesday, July 25, at 10 a.m. to talk about the benefits of sleep and mental well-being. 

The health series, held every Wednesday at the Joslyn Center, is free and open to the public. Future information sessions include a presentation on the Benefits Enrollment Center on August 8 and "Age Well, Drive Smart" to be presented August 15.

To RSVP or for more information, call 399-5488.

Friday, July 20, 2012

THINK Together students gain new experiences in Claremont

Seven hundred kids flooded Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) last week, traveling to Claremont from across the county, many to take their first field trip to a garden area outside of their own backyard.

The Claremont garden teamed up with the Azusa Unified School District and summer program THINK Together to make the field trip a reality for the Title I school children, many struggling both financially and academically.

Providing these kids with hands-on experience—usually unavailable to them because of budget cuts or financial hardships—has proved to be an invaluable learning tool.

“It has given these kids a sense of belonging,” said Irene Bobadilla, quality assurance coach with THINK Together, adding. “It helps them to think outside the box when it comes to academics.”

For 18 years, THINK Together has worked to improve the test scores of under-privileged youth by providing after-school or out-of-school academic programming. In 2011-2012 alone the nonprofit came to the aid of over 100,000 students in more than 30 cities from Sacramento to San Diego. The program’s success is aided by partnering with school administrators and teachers to close achievement gaps.

The collaboration between RSAG and THINK Together began last year, and the relationship has continued to grow in popularity and number since that time. This summer the garden has welcomed more than 2,000 THINK Together students as a part of the summer outreach program.  

“It’s a great opportunity for them, and not typical to what they usually get to experience,” said THINK Together Site Coordinator Veronica Gutierrez, who has worked for the program for the past 3 years. Ms. Gutierrez got involved with the nonprofit while working toward her credential. She felt strongly about reaching out to disadvantaged children because of her own background growing up in a poor neighborhood.

“They need someone to help guide them. That’s something I can really relate to,” Ms. Gutierrez said, thankful for the partnership because she is able to provide new experiences like the botanic garden to these children.

This year that alliance goes from pedagogy to practice for the school kids as they look to put the past several weeks of summer study into practice. This summer’s session, themed “National Treasures”, focused on teaching about California’s National parks and natural habitats, culminating with a visit to RSABG to see one such environment first hand.

The already colorful gardenscape received a further burst of color as the K-6 children, donning multi-colored shirts to identify their separate groups, traipsed the trails of the native gardens with a background of commentary provided by volunteers of RSABG and THINK Together coordinators.

The towering bugs were a particular draw for the curious kids and provided an excellent launching point for discussion on the great outdoors. While the plants and landscape didn’t go unnoticed, the bugs seemed to be the center of excitement.

“I love the ladybug,” said 10-year old Maria Cabanillas, who is preparing to enter sixth grade at Valleydale Elementary School in Azusa this fall. “I like that it’s made of natural materials like wood.”

Several of Maria’s friends agreed, launching into discussion about how they have been able to use their newfound knowledge of critters and creatures at home.

“Do you want to know where black widows get their name?” asked 12-year-old Giselle Vega, a soon-to-be seventh grader at Foothill Middle School, eager to share her insight.

Giselle admitted that she didn’t used to be as eager about the study of insects or school in general and her grades took a serious dive as a result. Things began to change for Giselle when her mother enrolled her in after-school programs through THINK Together.

“I used to be horrible in Math...I used to think school was boring,” Giselle said. That was until Math Blaster and other games introducing academia to her in a new way. “Now it’s a lot of fun, and I’ve met a bunch of new friends.”

Opportunities like visiting the garden are a part of a wealth of welcome new experiences for the now eager learners.

“It’s been really great working with the garden to be able to provide learning about natural habitats not only through books, but by actually walking the routes themselves,” Ms. Bobadilla said. “We are so appreciative.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dial-a-Ride community forum

The public is invited to take part in a review of the Claremont Dial-a-Ride cab service this Thursday, July 19, at 7 p.m. at the City Council Chamber, 225 W. Second St. The discussion—part of a special meeting of the Claremont Community and Human Services Commission—is the second in a series of community workshops gathering stakeholder input on the local non-profit organization.
The past several years have reflected an increase in Dial-a-Ride’s ridership and cost of service. With the way the program is growing, the city’s designated funds will only be able to maintain the program for the next 2.5 years. To address these concerns, the Claremont City Council suggested the community and human services commission analyze potential changes to the service to bring the program in line with available funding.
Those unable to attend Thursday’s meeting may also take part in a final review session to be held Monday, July 23, at 9 a.m. at the Joslyn Center (660 N. Mountain Ave.) Comments may also be submitted to Cari Sneed, management analyst at 399-5306 or csneed@ci.claremont.ca.us, or by mail to the Dial-A-Ride Ad Hoc Committee, 1616 Monte Vista Ave. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Concerts in the Park series starts tonight

Live bands and free entertainment are welcomed back to Memorial Park for Claremont's annual summer concert series, which begins its 2012 run tonight. The weekly Monday performances kicks off this evening  with the sounds of rock n' roll provided by The Ravelers. 

A different band will serenade Claremont concertgoers every Monday through September 3 with the help of sponsorship provided by the city of Claremont and the Claremont Kiwanis Club. Performances will run from 7:30 to 9 p.m, but concertgoers are invited to arrive early to set up a picnic spot and indulge in concessions provided by the Kiwanis Club. Club members will sell burgers, hot dogs, ice cream and other treats starting at 6 p.m. For more information, call 399-5490.

2012 Concert in the Park musical guests:
July 16: Upstream (Reggae)
July 23: The Silverados (Country)
July 30: Hodads (Surf)
August 6: Kulaud (Doo Wop/Motown)
August 13: Neon Nation (80s)
August 20: Stone Soul (60s/70s)
August 27: Night Blooming Jazzmen (Dixieland Jazz)
September 3: The Answer (Classic Rock)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

First Street welcomes apocalypse "mash-up" tomorrow

Claremont’s First Street Gallery presents post-aPOPalyptic, the center’s latest art exhibition opening tomorrow, Friday, July 6 at 6 p.m. The exhibit will run through August 24.
Courtesy First Street Gallery

Post-aPOPalyptic is a group show featuring a mash-up of pop culture-inspired imagery and post-apocalyptic themes. It will include the work of several First Street Gallery artists and the First Street debut of Tierra de Sol artist Gustavo Cruz.  Mr. Cruz's highly detailed and surreal imagery will round out the dark side of this diverse show, which ranges from fun to creepy and from topical to tragic.

Opening night, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m. will feature a live musical performance by the power energy trio Kil the Engineer. Works of art will be on display as well as for sale. Catering will be provided by Spaggi’s Restaurant. For more information call 626-5455.