Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hey Claremont, You're Invited

M-M-M-M-My Pomona posts about an all too familiar topic today: Claremont prejudice against all things Pomona.

A few weeks ago, we went to a children's birthday party here in Pomona. Not in Lincoln Park, but south of the 10 freeway. The child invited 15 friends, but in the end, nearly all of the Claremonters invited had come up with truly lame excuses for why they could not attend.

The birthday girl's mother, being from Pomona, brushed it off by saying that she didn't expect them to come. She said she knew they were either just too scared or snobby to cross the 10 freeway. Even though the birthday girl is young, I could tell she was disappointed that some of her closest friends from school were no-shows.

Knocking on wood here, but I have never had anything happen to my property or person here in Pomona. I actually hear about more random violence in Claremont than in Pomona. The recent rape of a woman by a door-to-door salesman off Towne in Claremont and the random stabbing of a woman near the Claremont Village come to mind. In Pomona, if you don't go looking for trouble, it will rarely find you. The abduction of the female student from Holt and Garey was how many years ago? Six, I think. Yet it is replayed over and over....and over as if that sort of thing happens repeatedly here.

Okay, so perhaps it' s not a great argument to say that Claremont is some dangerous place. And two of the coolest women I know are Claremonters, AND they have no problems crossing the Mason Dixon line. Not to mention DAvid "Cross-the-Line-for-a-bowl-of- noodles-any- day" Allen.

I geuss what I'm trying to say is that a bunch of Claremonters missed an awesome party here in the ghetto a few weeks back. Their loss, not ours.



Anonymous said...

Such a classic story. I had a coworker once who told me he got lost somehow and found himself driving down Mission AT NIGHT! and he said he wasn't sure if he'd make it out alive. My wife used the bus system here in Pomona for years, catching a bus at Holt and Garey and riding it to work or, at times to UCLA. Never mugged, never attacked, never threatened. The one time she was mugged, it was on the campus of UCLA in broad daylight!

The Last Duke of Pomona

Garrett Sawyer said...

I have a funny story. One time as I was walking to the bus stop in front of the Pomona Adult School (on my way home), waaaay down Mission close to the 71, some nice African American guy around my age asked me (not in a ghetto gangster way) where I was from and if I was from around here, then before I could answer he said, "You're from like Claremont or Montclair or something huh? I laughed and asked "What makes you think that?" and he said "You look like you are." and I laughed again and said "What, white people can't live in Pomona? How do you know I don't live in Philips Ranch or some trailor park near by or something?" He said "I don't know, you just have that look" I was thinking to myself [ok.....] lol. It just goes to show how people like to stereotype, whether they think its for the good or bad things in life.

Cal Poly is south of the 10, I'm sure Claremonters don't mind sending their kids I'm sorry to say this, but I think the air is thinner in Claremont, resulting in higher concentration of hoity toity anemics. They (some) need a little bit of culture other than their own. lol.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Let's make a list of "10 reasons to go South of the 10." We can put together a nice little publication to share with our neighbors to the north (and south and east and west). We can worry about how best to order these once we get our ideas on "paper." I'll post an online survey where we can rank any ideas that make their way to the blog. Here are some ideas to get us started...

Berry Good
Mission Tiki
Second Saturday Art Walk
La Favorita and/or Winco
December Holiday Parade

A couple of my most annoying "so, you live in Pomona moments":

1. "That must be dangerous."

2. [After I mentioned the helicopter search lights that disrupted my hammock nap one night] "Well, of course, you live in Pomona...there are always police in the air there."

3. Friends from other towns typically leave our parties by sunset.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask, what is this obsession with Claremont? Yes, Pomona suffers from bad PR that makes its problems seem worse - though portions of the city are beset with crime and poverty at FAR higher rates than neighborhing communities. It's schools do not attain the levels of performance of those in neighboring communities.

However, there is an entire portion of the City of Pomona that refuses to be labeled as such. That, to me, is a bigger PR problem than what people in other cities (read Claremont) think about Pomona.

And the letter that Meg referenced did make a cheap generalization about Pomona, but the thrust of the letter is that Norma Torres should not be elected to the State Assembly because of her poor record as Mayor, particularly on the issue of crime - a sentiment that has appeared on this blog and m-m-m-my pomona more than a few times.

Were I a resident of Pomona who cared about the city as you and your posters seem to be, I would be more concerned with electing capable and visionary leaders and taking the abundant resources in the city and improving things, rather than feeling slighted by Claremont.

Just my $0.02.

Garrett Sawyer said...

Claremont obsessed Anonymous-

You're from Claremont aren't you? lol. According to the PUSD website, Diamond Ranch high school (one of 3 high schools I attended) and Village Academy are two of America's top 500 high schools, and Diamond Ranch and Ranch Hills elementary are both California distinguished schools. When I attended Vejar elementary as a child ( a little before and after the new school was built) It was also a distinguished school at the time. So, I don't know what your information source is. Higher level of performance doesn't mean much, the dropout rates do. According to, the dropout percentage in 2006 for Claremont was 15.7%, in Pomona it was 2.5%, state was 8.3%.

Although that data may not be as accurate as it could be, Pomona is still turning out more graduates than Claremont is because we have 6 high schools compared to Claremont’s 2. We also have 4 times if not more schools than Claremont. I think Claremonters misunderstand that the Claremont colleges are not part of the school district and that is what makes them think schools are better there. lol.

On I have found that proficiency of Pomona's best high school, Diamond Ranch, is only a couple percent difference in comparison to Claremont High, and Diamond Ranch is only one high school... Females at Diamond Ranch fare better at math than Females at Claremont high, with males being the opposite and with reading, Claremont High fares better with both genders, leading only by 1 percent. As the other schools in Pomona have poorer scores, there are groups of students at the poorer performing schools who perform higher than the average students. So there are more students attaining "the levels of performance of" neighboring cities.

We may have some schools and students that aren't the best by majority, but there are still students at those schools who out-perform students at Claremont High. Also, it's kind of hard for students to perform when they don't speak English as a first language, that's why many students in Pomona schools don't perform as well, and that is not a negative.

Not to mention, the teacher to students ratio is higher in Pomona, and many of our schools aren't as crowded (with the exception of Garey High).

Seriously, Claremont is so overrated, and it overrates itself even more! Check out the single review from a Claremont High Parent at
She proclaims Claremont High is the "Best High School in the Nation..." (Which it most certainly is not) "Claremont cares about our kids..." (yeah, and only theirs). lol.

Please look at this link:,79223,79471/pid=cmp/up_scid=79427,79223,79471/up_pn=1,1,1/up_ust=CA/up_csa=3

Claremont needs to get over itself, that is partly what these Pomona blog’s are for, to help Claremont with that. lol!

Anonymous said...

It is perhaps fitting that someone named Sawyer would fulfill Twain's quote about lies, damn lies and statistics.

The Califoria Dept. of Education disagrees with on the issue of dropout rates. I found the 2.5% dropout rate for Pomona USD in 2005-06, and the comparable figure for Claremont USD is 2.1%. But we can find all kinds of statistics - again according to the California DoE - Pomona USD failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (whatever that means) for the 2006-07 school year while Claremont did.

I find it interesting that you use Diamond Ranch as the comparison to Claremont High, as DR primarily self-selects the children from the wealthiest backgrounds and is not remotely reflective of Pomona as a whole.

But at the end of the day, my point was to ask why there is this animosity towards Claremont as evidenced by your message? Why do you care what Claremonters think? I have friends in Lincoln Park. When they invite me over, I go South of the 10 with my family without a second thought. I just don't get the mentality that Claremont represents some sort of enemy to some of the bloggers.

me said...

Anonymous in Claremont-
I'm suprised you don't get the running jokes that I make about ugly stepsister Claremont. To me, it's the inland valley version of the Sf/LA rivalry. I usually warn my Claremont friends about the "Claremont bashing" that goes on at the blog. It's not meant to be meanspirited, but rather an effort to make up for all the one-sided abuse that Pomona gets in the press and the minds of neighboring citizens. If you lived in Pomona, believe me, you would get it.

I love the exchange between you and Garrett because it shows Pomona is a contender, in that you are both engaging one another about which City is better.
It gives me hope. Perhaps our stats guy Ed might want to go toe-to-toe with you on the Claremont Schools' issue.

G of P

Garrett Sawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garrett Sawyer said...

How can it be a lie if I was just quoting a website?! LOL! See, that is what some Pomonans dislike about some Claremonters, it's the deprecatory nature towards Pomona and it's citizens. You didn't have to make generalizations about me based on my last name in correlation to a fictional character. That was a little rude.

I wrote that the rates may not be accurate, all the other information I gave is accurate though.

I'm not too sure that Diamond Ranch "self-selects" children from the "wealthiest backgrounds " because I attended DR in 9th and 10th grades and my family isn't at all..."wealthy". The combined income of my family is less than 60 thousand annually, probably less at the time I went to school there. DR also enrolls kids that are even less fortunate than that so I have no clue what you're going on about. DR just happens to be in a "wealthy" area in the hills. As far as I know, most of the students that attend DR reside within the attendance zone. DR caters to both Pomona and Diamond Bar residents, as well as residents outside of the attendance zone.

I fall outside of the attendance zone and I attended because they are required to allow a certain (increased or decreased depending on within zone enrollment) percentage, by lottery, of children outside of the zone who would otherwise attend other Pomona high schools.
In exchange of enrollment by lottery, the children from outside DR's attendance zone who are chosen (by lottery, and in rare cases...complaints from parents to the District) are subject to maintaining a C average in order to secure enrollment, otherwise...any child who does not maintain a C average who reside outside of the schools zone will be replaced with another child on a waiting list. So in part, you're not entirely correct.

I'm glad a Claremonter is recognizing that there ARE "wealthy" people in Pomona though, and outside of Claremont at that! That's an improvement...

I don't care about what Claremonters think, really..., as long as they don't think it out loud. lol! When they start to think out loud about Pomona, that's when I start to care. Usually when it has to do with assumptions.

And by the way Anonymous, there are other places in Pomona besides Lincoln Park, Ganesha Hills, Phillips Ranch, and others where there are intelligent, civil people with class and good taste, they just happen to be poor. Let the record show...

I'm sure you're a nice person, but when it seems like you're defending people who are in the wrong, you're going to read about it. lol.

*edit: sorry, I felt had to delete my previous comment because I had left an n out of Lincoln Park, didn't want to hear about it... ^_^ lol.*

Anonymous said...

I too am a Claremont resident, like anonymous, who does not understand the sudden attack on Claremont residents. I live here because I love this city and all it has to offer me and my family. Why do you feel the need to attack residents of Claremont and start a heated debate? I think it's very short-sided on your part and detect a tone of jealousy, to be honest.

Garrett Sawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garrett Sawyer said...

"I think it's very short-sided on your part and detect a tone of jealousy, to be honest."

Case in point^^^^^^^^ lol.

calwatch said...

Claremont, though, has a superiority complex going back to when they lured Pomona College. That's all. You don't see the same amount of people running away from the name Pomona like they do before, though. On the radio, it's the Fairplex... in Pomona. People in Phillips Ranch put Pomona in their addresses like they're supposed to. Etc.

It is odd and a bit sad that most the local bloggers come from one square mile of the city, but that's to be understood. And there's a lot of bad to Pomona. Aside from the schools in Diamond Ranch's attendance zone (BTW, the trick to getting in DRHS is to send your kid to the elementary and middle schools in the attendance zone... then you get to follow their classmates into Diamond Ranch), Pomona schools, OVERALL, have a tendency of sucking. A lot of Pomona streets are really jacked up. Parts of Holt and Mission look absolutely horrible. Too many streets are poorly lit, and too many homes feel the need to have bars on their windows, etc. But, there is a lot of positives going on here, and it is unfair to lump Pomona in with the Comptons, Santa Anas, and San Bernardinos of the world, which have real problems far beyond the ones here.

Garrett Sawyer said...

That may be the case for some, Calwatch, but that isn't how I got into Diamond Ranch, I went to Fremont Middle School before I started at DR, so I got in the hard honest way. Wan't to know something interesting? When I found out at school one day that I got selected in the lottery to go to Diamond Ranch, I was kind of mad because I knew my mom would make me go but I wanted to go to Garey with all my friends, well...I went to DR for 9th, did good the first simester and starting slipping past the C average limitation and they warned me, then my mom warned me, I brought my grades up a little, and I started ditching, then the next school year I was there for about a month still truent and tardy and one day I was walking up the hill and the office had sent campus security to pick me up in an electric cart thing (that was sooo embarrassing) to bring me to the office and they were wanting to give me one more chance, but my mom was tired of it and she said "no, I'm putting you in Garey."

You could imagine, I was torn away once, then twice from my new friends. I ended up doing better for a while at Garey, but none of my old friends from Fremont at Garey liked me anymore so I started doing badly at Garey too. After that, they put me in the PASS class at Garey, then after that, they sent me to Park West, then Park West made me leave because I was approaching 18. I ended up graduating from the Adult School at 19 ( a year later than I was supposed to) after all that, I don't even talk to anyone anymore that I knew at any of my schools, it's sad really. But, I made it! and I'm starting College at Mt. Sac this Summer. I won't ever regret having to switch colleges though. lol. I'm not proud of all of my past, but I'm proud of my future. I'm smart enough now to know that when it comes to education, friends don't matter much. I realize now I can be a virtual loner with few friends and still end up being successful.

calwatch said...

Actually, this is a former colleague who had his daughter go to Harrison one year, then didn't like the way the school was headed and tried to interdistrict to Bonita Unified. That failed (on PUSD's end, as Bonita could take the money), so he then did an intradistrict transfer to Ranch Hills, making the trek from one side of the city to another.

As for myself, my folks thought that I would get jumped because there were too few people of my race at Pomona High, and there were a lot of opium users (!) out of those who were. So I went to I-Poly instead. There's something to be said about a school with only 400 people, with a graduating class of under 100. I-Poly has grown to the 500 mark now, and the trailers have not aged well, but it's still the best high school with a Pomona zip code. (Technically the Cal Poly campus is on unincorporated land.)

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, property crimes in Pomona, (burglary, auto theft, etc.) are half the state average.
(Violent crime nearly double though.)

More stuff to steal in Glendora?

Last Duke

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Ahem...anyone interested in contributing ideas to the "10 Reasons to Go South of the 10"?

Anonymous said...

Hi - this is the original anonymous who asked why there's so much animosity toward Claremont. I just wanted to respond to a few points and hopefully let this die.

GoP - I've got to tell you, the humor in your Claremont references is rather subtle. Also, you seem to believe there is a rivalry between the two cities, but I was in no way competing or arguing about whether Claremont or Pomona is better. I live in Claremont. I am happy with my community. I wish Pomona well. I live on its border, after all. I read your blog because I like to know what is going on in my area. Of course Pomona has good qualities. I never questioned that - though apparently its inappropriate an outsider to point out some of the challenges facing the city (you can't speak ill of my family, only I can)

For what it's worth, I have only lived in Claremont for 5 years or so, but I have never heard anyone talking about Pomona or any other neighboring city with any sort of comparative tone. I guess I must hang out with the wrong people.

Calwatch - thanks for actually answering some of my questions. I appreciated your constructive tone and intellectual honesty.

Back to my hole North of the 10.

me said...

Anon. in Claremont-

Yeah, that's the bad thing about print communication. The writer and the reader sometimes have two different takes on meaning and tone.

Sometimes I will read a comment or post and want to charge off a response, but read the comment or post later and have a whole different take on it.

I would be lying if I did not admit that this is primarily a blog written by a Pomonan FOR Pomonans. Our experience as an underdog city is going to be different than your experience in Claremont. And we're going to have our own jokes. I think it's cathartic, but I'm sorry if you took it personally. I hope you will continue to read and contribute.

G of P

Ed said...

Just so Meg doesn't get blamed for my poorly written post at M-M-M-My Pomona, I'll confess to writing it. My post was meant more tongue-in-cheek than the Claremont Anon might think, but the image of cities being more or less civilized struck a chord with me. Is it reasonable to question Norma's track record? Yes, but I don't understand why a Claremont resident would do it. I have great faith that the 61st district will make the right choice in the upcoming election, but can we say the same for the 59th, given their elected representative?:-)

Lastly, when I was a Claremont resident, my only view of Pomona was through the eyes of the Daily Bulletin. So when I amusingly found that myopic view parroted in the editorial piece (by yet another non-Pomona resident), I just had to do the post. It wasn't so much a Claremont bash as an illustration of the PR hurdle continually facing Pomona.

me said...


Ren was coming up with a cover on that one. Should we do the survey here, or you mentioned setting up a separate survey website?

Here's my 10 (subject to rethinking):

the children's section of the library

a walking tour of Lincoln Park

Second Street, whether it be looking at antique on the east side or checking out the multi tasking artists on the west side (including an independentaly-owned bookstore, independently-owned coffee shop, the passing trains and train station (you can go able garey for fun), wonderful architecture, an arts walk on the 2nd saturday,etc.)

Ceramic Art museum on Garey

The Museum of History at the Ebell Club on HOlt.

MIx Bowl thai restaurant on Indian Hill

Farmer's Market on garey and pearl on Saturday mornings

Funny Business on Garey - best comic bookstore in the i.e.

Goddess of Pomona statue in Garfield Park - it will take your breath away

Soon-to-be Fox Theater on Garey/3rd
(what's a goodess got to do to attend the grand opening?)

Thanks, Pride, for bringing us back to the up-with-Pomona business at hand,

G of P

John Clifford said...


To attend the Fox opening you just need to buy a ticket (prices to be determined). There will probably be four openings with four different programs with four different price points. I'm sure that there will be one of interest to you at a price you like.

Other things good about Pomona,
I'm sure that I can come up with a lot more, but here are some off the top of my head.:

Adobes (Palomares, Casa Primera, Casa Alvarado).

Phillips Mansion and Courier Mansion.

Cal Poly and its Arabian Horse Shows, farms, culinary school restaurant, etc. (No animals at the Claremont Colleges)

A separate mention of the Farm Store at Cal Poly.

Guasalmex Restaurant--Gautamalan, Salvadorian, and Mexican cuisine.

Fairplex--Not only the LA County Fair but horse shows, wine event, computer swap, custom car shows and swap, drag racing, RV shows, Home and Garden shows, off-track betting, etc.

The NHRA Museum (at Fairplex).

The Sheets Gallery (at Fairplex).

Western University.

dA Gallery and Cal-Poly downtown Center (educational outreach).

and, of course, Pomona Heritage and Historical Society events such as the summer picnic, Holiday Progressive Dinner, Home Tour, Restoration Workshop, et. al.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Hi All, We're off to a great start with a list of reasons to go south of the 10. I'll keep on an eye on this thread for the next few days. By Sunday evening I will send d'Goddess a link to an online survey where Pomona fans can rate and rank their favorite Pomona hot spots and happenings. I'm thinking we might need to add Saturday's hula hoop lesson to the mix (on my to do list: go find a hula hoop so I can join in on the fun!). Keep the ideas flowing. I'm envisioning a "I heart Pomona" t-shirt with a top ten list on the back ;)

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Hi John, As a funny aside, there are animals at Pitzer...chickens next to the Grove House. While there, one can enjoy fresh squeezed lime aid and homemade cookies...and, of course, the chickens :) They definitely don't compare to the animals we've got in Pomona, but they crack me up every time I walk by.

Garrett Sawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garrett Sawyer said...

John- The Fairplex isn't south of the 10 but I suppose it still deserves a spot on the list. With that said, I'll add a some that arent south of the 10 also, lol.

Pride in Garfield Park- That's a great idea about the shirt, I should design one, I consider myself somwhat of a Graphic Artist.
I think it should read
"I ♥
(or a screen print of a Pomona statue and text)
I'm already thinking of several simple designs, lol.

Ok, I'll get to my list, it'll be short but I'll keep adding things later when I think of them.

Ganesha Park (not south of 10)- Hiking, swimming, general recreation, BBQing, great for Birthday parties and summer fun.

The Globe and Radio Futura on 3rd- records, music, tickets, clothing.

GofP mentioned second street already but My favorites are Futures Collide & La Bomba Vintage.
I haven't been on Second in a while so I don't know if a couple of my other favorites are still there, I don't see them in the business directory. *tear*

The Masonic Lodge on Thomas St.- Don't know much about their events but I've had dinner there before and it's really nice inside.

Sakura Ichi @ the Promenade- because it's the only place in Pomona to get good Sushi that I know of and it has a nice feel to it.

Palm Lake Golf Course- How can I not recommend one of the only buisnesses near my house? lol. It might not be the best Golf Course but it's in a somewhat nice setting. AND theres a coffee shop!

Toms Burgers and Mission Family restaurant on Mission, the best family sized portions of food!

(POMONA SHELTER) on humane way.

One of my favorite places to visit while in Pomona is not in physical form, it's online!! And here of couse. lol.

I'll add more later, I have to do something now.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Perhaps d' Goddess would be willing to host a t-shirt design competition here on the blog?

Once we've got a t-shirt design, we could sell the t-shirts for a few dollars over cost, then proceeds could go to support the plantings at the "Welcome to Pomona" sign on Towne off the 10.

John Clifford said...

Sorry Garett, Forgot it was "south of the 10." I was actually trying to list POMONA sites. I'm afraid that, like the Claremont issue, that there is even a "south of the 10" mentality in the city as well. I remember when the Fox Corporation was making a presentation to the city council a number of years ago that then councilmember Norma Torres complained that our group didn't represent Pomona because none of our members was NORTH of the 10 (which was wrong as at that time we had one member from Ganesha Hills and another from the Yorba area, both north of the 10).

Anonymous said...

lol garrett sawyer.... do you do nothing other than sit at your computer waiting for a new response to defend GOP??? lol Let's bash Claremont some more. lol

Anonymous said...

40 year old suburban housewife with 2 small children sick of reading about my beloved town being bashed... get another pastime, hobby or new town to pick on!!

A Claremont Housewife

Anonymous said...

A friend lives in an ugly house on one of the Claremont's busiest thoroughfares. But oh to hear her proclaimations about "that's how we do it in Claremont," and "you know this IS Claremont." La de frikin' da. I don't live in P or C. Still, I've tried to point out to my friend what she sounds like, but she is clueless to how she comes off to outsiders.

She could have left any of these comments. It's a good thing P is the one who always get bashed, because C-town can't even handle a little honesty.

Observant in Ontario

Garrett Sawyer said...

Yes Anonymous, please come remove the cobwebs from in front of my face, my keyboard and screen visibility are getting kind of low. HURRRRR.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Claremont Housewife's post cuts to the heart of the issue. When we feel a part of a community, it hurts when others criticize that community. This is true for people living in Pomona, and it is true for people living in Claremont. I find Pomona-phobic comments annoying precisely because I see myself as a part of Pomona -- people derogate me when they derogate my community.

I find "us vs. them" rhetoric rather limiting (and often counter-productive). That said, real differences do exist between these neighboring towns. Seeking to understand the history and consequences of these differences strikes me as an interesting endeavor. At least to me, heralding all there is to love about our towns is an even more worthwhile endeavor.