Congratulations DPOA on Receiving the Image Award at the Chamber of Commerce 125 Installation Banquet
Our condolences go out to Mark Brandt’s family and Mike Schowalter, a long time DPOA board member and Downtown Pomona supporter.
Mark Bradley Brandt August 20,1965—June 7, 2013
Mark passed away June 7, 2013, at San Antonio Community Hospital from complications of acute Leukemia, with family at his side. Mark was raised in Cerritos CA, and graduated from Gahr High School in1983. He worked at the family business, Ace Air Manufacturing, for 27 years serving as office manager for the last 12 years. Mark and his devoted partner of 22 years, Mike Schowalter, are residents of Pomona CA. He was an active member of Pomona Heritage and the Pomona Historical Society. Mark was actively involved in social media, where many enjoyed his postings and commentary. He is survived by his loving parents, Roger and Carole Brandt of Cerritos, and two brothers, Christopher Brandt and his wife Lisa, of St. George Utah, and Richard Brandt and daughter Rachel of Henderson, Nevada. His grandmother Doris Gish, and Aunts Marilyn Menges and Bernice Beisch also survive him, along with other family and many friends, all of whom will miss him deeply. Mark was a remarkable man; kind, loving and caring. He had a special love for animals and especially his two dogs Judy and Liza. He further enjoyed Music, Art, Antiques, Architecture, Movies and many hobbies.
A Celebration of Life, honoring Mark’s memory will be held on Sunday, June 16, 2013, 2–5pm with a chance to share memories at 4 pm. This will be held at the Pomona Ebell Museum of History, 585 East Holt Ave, Pomona California. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations in Mark’s name to: American Museum of Ceramic Arts (AMOCA) 399 N. Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91767or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Greater Los Angeles, 6033 W. Century Blvd, #300, Los Angeles CA 90045.
Pocket parks sprouted in downtown Pomona last spring when six parking spaces along Second Street were turned into six individual parklets, adding a bench, two planters, a bike rack and a trash can and blocking the strip from cars. It’s a trend in such cities as New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco to make a block friendlier to pedestrians.
Westways’ June issue has a feature on pocket parks in Los Angeles County, where they’re fairly new. “Here’s where to find L.A. County’s five public parklets, the pint-size pioneers of the coming minipark wave,” the magazine asserts, before presenting photos and details on pocket parks in downtown L.A., Highland Park, Long Beach, Silver Lake and El Sereno.
Poor Pomona, overlooked again. And heck, Silver Lake’s, which debuted in March 2012, was the only one of the five to predate Pomona’s, where the first two parklets opened in May 2012. Pomona was five months ahead of Long Beach and nine months ahead of L.A. Granted, the other parklets are more elaborate — one has polka-dot pavement, another has tetherball poles — but the concept is the same.
Pomona’s parklets were the work of the Downtown Pomona Owners Association, the business improvement district that provides cleanup, extra security, promotion and advocacy. They’re also the fine folks who got downtown a trolley bus for under $15,000.
The pocket parks fulfill a need downtown, the DPOA says.
“There was no place for anyone to sit. They would jump on the planters,” said Larry Egan, its executive director.
“I thought the benefit of pedestrian friendliness outweighed the seven parking spaces we would lose,” Egan explained. “There was a pedestrian mall here in the 1960s so we’re really not doing anything we weren’t doing to begin with.”
The parking spaces in question were awkward to begin with, wedged between stone planters and able only to fit one small car. Now the spaces have a rail on the traffic side. They cost $2,100 each, the pieces fabricated by West Coast Metals a few blocks away.
Three friends were taking a break in a parklet in the 100 block of West Second on Thursday evening: Rosa Cruz, Brisa Castillo and Erick Fernandez. They had been strolling Second and took a load off.
“It’s nice they think of people sitting down,” Cruz, 22, told me. “I like it. It encourages people to walk around.”
A seventh parklet is in the parkway on Main Street just below Second. Strategically located near the former Lytton Savings building with its swooping incline, the parklet has deterred skateboarders who saw the building as a giant ramp. An eighth parklet is at Gordon and Fourth streets on a previously unused, tree-shaded concrete pad in the parkway. Chris Jones was sitting there Wednesday, working a crossword puzzle. He was on his lunch break from his job as a health care claims examiner across the street.
“I come here every day. It’s beautiful. I love it,” Jones said.
Not everyone is sold on Pomona’s pocket parks.
Alan Hess, an architecture critic, mentioned them during a Claremont Heritage appearance last fall, complaining that the generic black benches blight the stonework of Millard Sheets’ 1962 design for the pedestrian mall.
Dwain Kaiser, owner of Magic Door Books, has mixed feelings: He lost a free parking space in front of his store, convenient for customers lugging in books to sell. On the other hand, he admitted, “it’s kind of nice to have a place to sit down and take it easy.”
Egan said the DPOA hopes to establish seven more parklets this coming year, scattered around downtown, if he can get permission from property owners. “We’re just looking for heavy pedestrian areas,” he said.
Westways, take note.
David Allen writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, in case you haven’t taken note. Contactdavid.email@example.com or 909-483-9339, visit insidesocal.com/davidallen, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook and follow @davidallen909 on Facebook.
Summer’s finally here and according to the US Census bureau that means over 294,000 people over the age of three will suddenly be sleeping in past 10AM for the next few months – not to mention descending upon beaches, water parks and Disneyland – but there is, of course, no rest for the wicked in the Pomona Arts Colony.
Temperatures are rarin’ to soar, so come out for an ambient evening stroll before it gets too melty and take in the sights, including some exceptional fare like the all-star cast of the Main Street Gallery’s“Double Feature: The Mad Art of Midnight Movies,” an invitational group show in which some of the nation’s finest artists were paired up with an authentic vintage midnight movie poster and given one year to generate a fantastic response – and from Swamp Thing to Clash of the Titans, boy did they! Featured artists include Greg Adamson, AS Ashley, Angela Beloian, Katy Betz, Matt Blansett, Dee Marcellus Cole, Judy Davies, Wanda Ewing, Joe Forte, Tammy Greenwood, Athena Hahn, Daphne Hill, Kevin Hill & Amy Caterina, Amy Maloof, Cynde Miller, Fr. Bill Moore, Tom Pathe, Leia Steingart, Vonn Sumer, Erns Valdex and Kristina Marroquin Warren. Main Street Gallery
Also going retro, the LOFT on 2nd presents “Paperwork,” a look at the funky and meticulously crafted paper collages of Fred One Litch, all fabricated from his vast collection of vintage books and magazines, which means you’re probably in for a lot of old timey pictures of TVs, hairspray and hotdog ads – yay! www.LOFTon2nd.com
To register log onto www.certpomona.eventbrite.com