Friday, May 30, 2008

Call it an expansion

You may have noticed a lack of posts here at mrontario lately.

That's because I've created a new blog, under the "Empoprises" banner, that is devoted to the entire Inland Empire.

So please visit Empoprise-IE at

Saturday, May 10, 2008

If I look like this later, I only have myself to blame

At Marinello School of Beauty in Ontario for a men's haircut. I hope today's lesson isn't on "the Hilary Duff makeup style."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

If you're going to steal a car, that's the one to steal. Maybe.

Ouch. Daily Bulletin:

A Los Angeles gang member in police custody on a drug violation kicked through the metal cage of an Ontario police squad car, jumped in the driver's seat and led officers on a high-speed chase late Wednesday.

Jose Mora, 24, was arrested in the 5000 block of Flora Street in Montclair after he abandoned the patrol car and ran.

According to the article, Mora reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour during the chase.

Well, the good thing about stealing a police car is that it goes really fast, and it has sirens that you can turn on to help you go faster.

The bad news about stealing a police car? The police REALLY want to get that car back. And in this case, they did.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Doubletree Hotel Ontario Airport

On Vineland - I mean Vineyard.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ontario, the city of uninspected apartments

Yes, I know I'm supposed to be a danged libertarian, but this just doesn't strike me as right.

Andrea Bennett covered this story.

It seems that there was a proposal before the City Council to require city inspections of apartments, at a charge of $36 per unit, at the astonishingly high frequency of once every 48 months.

Most if not all of the City Council members indicated their support for the measure at an April 15 meeting, either personally or by letter.

But now, the Council has deferred implementation of the measure, delaying its discussion until June 3.


Karen Fricke, executive director of the Apartment Association of the Greater Inland Empire or AAGIE, said her organization, which represents more than 5,000 units within the city, said she had planned a rally at the Euclid Avenue bandstand before Tuesday's meeting.

The scheduled protest was canceled, however, when city officials agreed to revise the ordinance, Fricke said....

Fricke said with the $36 per door fee, a few Ontario landlords in her association will pay $17,000 a year.

That fee was too high, and the proposed entry of every single unit would be too time-consuming for city staff, apartment managers and residents, she said.

Let's look at that $17,000 fee that is so detrimental to the landlords. For a landlord to have to pay $17,000 a year, that means that the landlord has at least 472apartments that need to be inspected that year. And, since inspections are on a four year cycle, that means that the landlord actually owns 1,888 apartments.

Now let's figure that the 1,888 apartments have an average monthly rental of $500 per month. (That's probably low, but humor me.) This means that each of the 1,888 apartments takes in gross rentals of $6,000 per year.

In other words, the landlord that has to pay $17,000 a year is already grossing over $11 million a year.

And, what's more, the landlord doesn't have to pay the money. You can guess what's going to happen once this gets ratified. Anyone who rents an apartment in Ontario will suddenly find themselves subject to a $36 inspection fee. Even if they stay in the apartment for less than four years, they'll still have to pay a $36 inspection fee.

But what the hey, the Apartment Association Greater Inland Empire (AAGIE) is just doing its advocacy. But they can't plead poverty.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yard sale at Christ Church Parish

On San Antonio at 4th.

We're getting our junk - I mean, valuable treasures. (TV tables and Pyrex.)

And I didn't even have to pledge to uphold the Millennium Development Goals!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tent City Has No Suburbs (and a video report)

From the Daily Bulletin:

Dusty, vacant campsites surrounded the city's secured homeless site Thursday, the day after police and code enforcement officers passed out dozens of warning tickets for "trespassing on public property."

In late April, MobLogic.TV produced this video report on Ontario.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This one!

El Pollo Loco, Holt Ave, Ontario, California.

Picture taken from the east near sunset.

Now to order - whoops, I already got our dinner. They're quick.

@karenswim is missing California right now...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Well, at least they didn't say that it was in Canada

There's a work related conference coming up in May, and one of my co-workers mailed me some information about it that he received from another party. Since the conference is in Ontario, I'm naturally interested in it.

Here's the information that he had on the location of the conference:

Ontario Doubletree
222 N. Vineland Ave.
Ontario, CA 91764

I was the one who had to tell him, "By the way, the hotel is not on Vineland Avenue, it's on Vineyard."

We all then went through a period of self-doubt, and had to confirm things on Hilton's website:

Doubletree Hotel Ontario Airport
222 North Vineyard Ave, Ontario, California, United States 91764-4431
Tel: 1-909-937-0900 Fax: 1-909-937-1999

Although I haven't visited the hotel in years, it's one of my first impressions of southern California. Back in November 1983 it was the Red Lion, and when I came to the Inland Empire for a job interview, the company put me up there. It made a good impression, but not as good as the impression that I got when the company owner interviewed me from his office in Rancho Cucamonga.

His office with a north-facing window.

On a clear, non-smoggy day. (Kaiser had already closed by this time.)

If you're not familiar with the area, there is a series of mountains just north of Rancho Cucamonga which, when you can see them, are absolutely beautiful. My church also has north-facing windows, so I get to enjoy the view weekly.

But I haven't ever stayed in the Red Lion/Doubletree again. My loss.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Electronic Waste and Tire Collection Event on Saturday

I tried to moblog a newspaper article about this, but was unsuccessful. Here's the announcement from the city itself:

The City is sponsoring a FREE collection event on Saturday, April 26th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The event will be held at the City of Ontario Public Works Agency located at 1425 South Bon View Avenue. Residents can drop off electronic waste as well as used tires from residential passenger vehicles. The event is FREE to Ontario residents; however, businesses are not eligible. Proof of residency is required.

See the announcement for additional details.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

RoHS, RoHS, RoHS your boat

Actually not RoHS since it's Ontario CA, which is not in Europe no matter how you slice it.

But Saturday is the day for Ontario California residents to dispose of old electronics (and tires).

What's in a two letter abbreviation (CA)?

I just ran across this tweet from Jim Weirich:

reading the tracking info from UPS and suddenly realized that there is a big difference between "Ontario, CA" and "Ontario, CA, US"

A Google search of the words "ontario ca" yields a hodgepodge of results:

As you can see, Google shows a link to the Google Map for Ontario, Canada; the official website for the city of Ontario, California; a Wikipedia entry for Ontario, California; and the home page for the Government of Ontario, Canada.

The confusion is the result of two competing standards: the official state abbreviations as maintained by the US Postal Service (in which "CA" stands for California), and the list of top-level domains as maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (in which "CA" stands for Canada). And, of course, there's the underlying fact that the California city was named after the home of the Chaffey brothers who founded the place. (Not sure where they got the "Mildura" name from when they went to Australia, but did you know that there is a Chaffey Secondary College down under?)

But despite this confusion, Canada and California have learned to work together. The Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership does a lot of things that I'm sure are strategic and innovative.

Just don't refer to the organization as CACA. That's a Japanese seminar devoted to the categorical aspects of constructive algorithmics. It ended up changing its name to TOPS (The Tokyo Programming Seminar).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Permit me

Ontario's "Tent City" has been revamped for safety and other reasons, and there are new procedures:

Ontario's improved Homeless Services Area will start admitting permit-holding homeless people Tuesday, said Brent Schultz, the city's housing manager, at a meeting of service providers at the Ontario Convention Center....

The first order of business for volunteers who plan to continue feeding, counseling or otherwise helping those at Tent City is getting "provider permits."

Schultz said those who can show affiliation with a legal organization (such as a nonprofit), who have insurance, and county approvals for things such as kitchen inspections would qualify for permits.

"Anyone within the Homeless Services Area will need a permit to be there," he said. "This is to respect privacy, limit illegal dumping and reduce crime and keep people from coming in to prey upon the homeless."

And perhaps permits sound like Hitler tactics, but one could argue that if a restaurant needs a permit to provide food outside of Tent City, then permits should be required inside of Tent City.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Unfortunately, I don't care for Counting Crows

Mrs. Jones was not spotted at the Starbucks at San Antonio and Holt.

Friday, April 11, 2008

McDonalds - Starbucks Round Four

Now if this is the only blog you read, you may be wondering about rounds one, two, and three. Well, those rounds appeared in my general interest blog, mrontemp.

Round one, entitled You think Feldman-Israel is a bad war? Wait until McDonalds-Starbucks gets into battle mode!, ventured the opinion that Starbucks would do better by differentiating itself from McDonalds, rather than trying to grab the McDonalds crowd.

But then I remembered how businesses work. Round two concentrated on the needs of stakeholders other than the customer - namely, the investors. Investors, whether public company shareholders or private company investors or venture capitalists, wants businesses to grow and expand and continue to show growth, and growth, and growth. A Starbucks that maintains the same level of revenues and profits is a failure for those folks.

I just wrote round three, which concentrated on cost optimization, or whatever euphemism you want to use for cost cutting - another thing that the investors want to see, since lower costs result in higher profits, don't they?

Well, I saved round four for this blog, because it's taking place right in Ontario. Continuing on the cost-cutting theme, but adding a new twist.

From the Daily Bulletin:

Mervyns distribution warehouse in Ontario is laying off 200 employees and will outsource to a manager of third-party logistics vendors called Kalserve....

Mervyns expects to save $4million. It will keep about 30 employees in Ontario to oversee its third-party vendors.

More here. While Matthew Wrye took the local point of view, the Sacramento Business Journal noted that layoffs took place in northern California also. (By the way, I didn't realize that Mervyns was no longer part of Target. But hey, it's only been independent for four years now.)

As for Kalserve...well, I can't find out anything about any logistics company called Kalserve, or for that matter any company called Kalserve, other than an unidentified company in Dublin, Ireland.

But Mervyns would probably like it better that way.