Rialto Now Hosts Christmas Giveaways

Christmas is here and we know that not everyone gets excited about that. Many people in our city and region still struggle every single day but the pressure of the holidays is even worse. Having a family to feed is tough enough without having to worry about Christmas presents and food.

Well have no fear Rialto Now is here to bring a little light to the holidays. Throughout the month of December leading up to Christmas we will be doing a series of giveaways. Some of them you can win something for yourself and others are where you will nominate and get a chance to bless someone else in need.

The 1st giveaway will begin on Wednesday December 6th at 10 am on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/rialtonow

If you would like to participate and provide a giveaway simply email rialtosnow@gmail.com

What’s New in Rialto?

So as everyone has seen there is a lot of dirt movement going on in Rialto. Some of it seen as good forward progress some has residents furious that their concerns seem to be falling on deaf ears.

On Baseline and Willow the old Carrows is being transformed into a Billy “T”s restaurant.

 

On Foothill and Cedar Avenues the last open field is getting a new shopping pad that will be anchored by a Smart & Final.

The Rancho Verde Plaza shopping center (Riverside Ave north of the 210 freeway) will soon have several new businesses.

Planet Fitness continues to renovate a portion of the former Ralphs building. AutoZone will open a new auto parts store in a building fronting Riverside Avenue that was vacant for many years. The Maple House Chicken and Waffles restaurant recently opened at 2026 North Riverside Avenue this is their second restaurant in the Inland Empire (Ontario).

This project where the Planet Fitness is going in is causing North End Residents to fume on social media. Residents are still questioning why the city refuses to give the North end residents a fresh food option. As of right now the north end of the city (above the 210 freeway) is a fresh food desert. Even the old Fresh & Easy is being turned into a Dialysis Center.

The City met with the developers of Rialto Marketplace (NewMark Merrill) to discuss the proposed development of a retail center on Successor Agency parcel of approximately 15 acres located between the former and new WalMart buildings. The developer proposed two development options that included retail, entertainment and restaurant opportunities. NewMark Merrill is soliciting tenant interest for the project.

The City met with the developers of the Renaissance Marketplace (Lewis Retail) to obtain updates on new tenants, potential restaurant pad users, and
construction status. Lewis announced that Cinemark Theaters will open in July 2018 and the first phase of the retail center north of Renaissance Parkway will open in early 2018.

The City met with the owners of the former Wal-Mart (Pacifica). Pacifica proposes to carve the old store into three smaller modules for specialty retailers and develop 2-3 freestanding pads including a fast casual restaurant. Pacifica intends to submit entitlement applications later this year to construct the pads, obtain user approval and conduct tenant improvements.

The City met with the developer of the Renaissance East (Fernando Acosta) retail development at Ayala Drive and the 210 Freeway. Cracker Barrel
proposes its second California restaurant for opening in September 2018. The City met with a prospective hotel developer exploring options for a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn. The City Council will consider the entitlements for the project on November 14, 2017. The City expects construction to commence in January 2018. Fernando Acosta is the owner of the Popeyes fast food restaurant on Baseline and Ayala. Mr. Acosta also was to person who brokered the In & Out development.

The City met with the developer of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Fountainhead) at Easton Avenue and Riverside Avenue. The developer
communicated escrow will close in early November with construction commencing immediately thereafter. Fountainhead expects to complete
construction within 90 days.

The City met with Aldi and Panera Bread to discuss current and future projects in Rialto. Aldi intends to construct a store at the northeast corner of Foothill Boulevard and Cactus Avenue, adjacent to WSS. Panera will construct a new restaurant in Renaissance Marketplace and may add one additional store in south Rialto.

Comic Con Comes to the Inland Empire

 

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

COMIC CON REVOLUTION COMES TO

THE ONTARIO CONVENTION CENTER

 

Ontario and the Inland Empire Get Their Very Own Comic Con at

The Ontario Convention Center in Ontario California Saturday May 13, 2017

 

Ontario, California March 8, 2017 – The Ontario Convention Center located at 2000 E Convention Center Way, Ontario, California will be the home of Comic Con Revolution.  The Inaugural 1-day event at the Ontario Convention Center will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.  The show brings Heroes, Villains, Princesses, Pirates, Aliens and so much more to the Inland Empire.

Comic Con Revolution is an event for long time comic collectors as well as first timers and families who want to experience the excitement.  Hardcore fans will recognize many of the names on the guest list while families and first time comic convention attendees will quickly see what makes these events so much fun.

Attending comic cons can be expensive – we want to make it affordable.  Comic Con Revolution offers a variety of pricing options so that the entire family can enjoy the experience.  Adult tickets are $25, teen tickets (13-17 years-old) are $15 and kids 12 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.  One adult ticket allows for up to two free children’s ticket.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

“We are very excited to bring an authentic comic con experience to the City of Ontario and the Inland Empire community as a whole,“ said Atomic Crush Events co-founder Mike Scigliano.  He added, “The team behind Comic Con Revolution is working overtime to bring you an amazing experience.  Come join the revolution!”

“We are thrilled to welcome Atomic Crush Events to the Ontario Convention Center” said Michael Krouse, President and CEO, of Ontario Convention Center.   “Finally our very own Comic Con!  We know visitors to this event will be in for a treat with the planned program, exhibitors, and camaraderie of fellow collectors.”

Comic Con Revolution, a family friendly environment, will feature a full day of programming and events which includes panels featuring screenwriter Doug Jung who wrote the scripts for movies including Star Trek Beyond.  Other panels include creating comics, creator & comic spotlights, cosplay panels, kid’s panels, and capped off with a Cosplay Contest.  Our show floor will feature exhibitors & vendors who sell movie memorabilia, toys, t-shirts as well as full guest list of top industry talent.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

Guests currently scheduled to appear include Karl Altstaetter (Mirror), Tim Bradstreet (Marvel Comics Covers), Sandy King Carpenter (Producer Ghosts of Mars, Vampires), Matthew Clark (Injustice: Ground Zero), Mike Collins (ABC’s of Halloween), Neo Edmund (Clan of the Vein), Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Life After), Derek Fridolfs (Li’l Gothams), Joel Gomez (La Muerta), Steven Gordon (X-Men Evolution Animated Series), Travis Hanson (Life of the Party), Ray-Anthony Height (Midnight Tiger), Doug Jung (Screenwriter Star Trek Beyond, God Particle, Scalped), Scott Koblish (Deadpool), Mike Kunkel (Herobear), Hope Larson (Batgirl), Livesay (Dr. Strange), Scott Lobdell (Red Hood & the Outlaws), Pamela Lovas (Regular Show), Raychul Moore (Cosplayer & Gamer), Todd Nauck (Spider-Man), Whilce Portacio (Comic Legend), Livio Ramondelli (Transformers), Paolo Rivera (Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953), Patrick Scullin (Super Siblings), Beth Sotelo (Grump), Cat Staggs (Wonder Woman), Art Thibert (Superman), Gus Vazquez (Big Hero Six),  Vivid Vidka (Cosplayer), Dave Wagner (Dot Problems) and Tommy Walker (Actor on Netflix’s Daredevil) .  Additional announcements will be made as guests continue to confirm and support the show.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

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Councilman Shawn O’Connell Funeral Set

Shawn Memorial

As many of you may know the City of Rialto lost one of the biggest advocates for the community on Sunday. Normally we would be all over stories like this but because of our relationship with Councilman O’Connell we were in mourning and took a slight step back to digest what had happened. The last time I saw Councilman O’Connell he had just left Taste of Rialto and was on his way to talk to some old friends. He told me see you Saturday but sadly that would be the last time I would see our beloved brother, friend and councilman.

Councilman O’Connell invited me and my wife to sit at his table for the Friends of the Rialto Library Dinner Mystery fundraiser One Bullet One Silver Spoon. Councilman O’Connell never made that event and those of us at his table grew concerned as the evening went on. As his friends we all made attempts to locate our friend and still we were unable to locate him it was late in the night so we decided to contact the police in the AM and continue our search. As you can see from the message from the city the next day we heard what nobody wanted to believe:

Council Member Shawn O’Connell was found deceased in his vehicle Sunday morning at 11:34 am. He was found in the parking lot of a restaurant in the City of Loma Linda. He was found by Rialto Police Officers who were on their way to Loma Linda University Hospital to check on his whereabouts. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Coroner responded to the location and are conducting a death investigation.

Shawn Speaks

John M. Blodgett with the San Bernardino Sun wrote the best article outside of the Radio Show Let’s Talk Community audio tribute to the late councilman. Mr. Blodgett said he didn’t know Councilman O’Connell but his colleagues did and would write a follow up story. Well John you did better than the follow up article and we would like to thank you.

Councilman O’Connell was a beacon of light and had the communities respect from the moment he hit the ground in Rialto. Shawn O’Connell wanted to work in Law Enforcement but had a hard time getting his foot in the door. He didn’t allow this to stop him he put himself through the Police Academy while working part-time as a Loss Prevention officer for a local National Retail chain. He used to remark on the skills he learned getting people to cough up stolen goods and admit to what they had done would prove beneficial to him as he worked as an officer for Rialto Police Department. Shawn O’Connell gave of his time, money and reputation to further many, many causes in the local region. Each time he made a donation or helped a cause he only had one stipulation that his name be left out of it, he NEVER wanted to have his name attached to his ability to help he just wanted to be able to help.

Rialto 2015

Councilman O’Connell is the only elected official to lay out a platform of what he would do as a city councilman and complete everything within his 1st term. Councilman O’Connell was comfortable walking away from the job of being an elected official after one term because he believed that the framers of this country never envisioned that elected persons should make a career out of elected service. He only recently promised that he would serve one more term to make sure that:

  1. The money that is being collected via Measure U (higher fees on South Rialto tank farms) would be spent wisely.
  2. That council kept its promise to reduce the Utility Users Tax once the money was available as promised to voters.
  3. That someone else would step up and run for his seat when his 2nd term was up in 2020.

Shawn O’Connell also looked at himself as being lucky. He felt lucky because he had a few great friends and PD brothers that helped him through his injury and change in lifestyle. He was able to do everything he did after his accident because others took the time to be there when he needed it most. So since Shawn O’Connell considered himself lucky to have such strong support from family and friends he used his experience to help other people struggling with life’s medical mishaps. What is funny is he just didn’t help the person going through the tough spot he also helped their family members. He would call family members that had a loved one going through a rough patch in life and check in on them, Shawn was always the first person to visit a friend or community member in the hospital or when they got home and he always came bearing In & Out! Yes story after story other than Shawn’s dedication to visiting and helping he also knew a good burger or shake could help take your mind off of the pain your under now.

We ran a poll to see who the people of Rialto thought was the most influential person in Rialto for 2015 Shawn came in a close 2nd to a equally great man and police chief Tony Farrar. We had almost 30 people that the community was considering as the most influential person in Rialto in 2015 and Shawn still rose to the top. Shawn was flattered but never wanted such a recognition he would have preferred to have remained behind the scenes.

We want to know your stories. How did Shawn’s life effect you? What did Shawn show you that made an impact in your life? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Rialto City Council Meeting Tonight

Well after a month between meetings we are back from Washington and ready to get back to the business of spending your money. This agenda is super top heavy with lots of Proclamations and Awards for all types of things. One that stands out to us is:

5 16-180 Proclamation-National Public Safety Telecommunications Week Mayor Deborah Robertson

What are we Proclaiming here? With wait times on the phone being as much as 30 minutes and residents reporting that they have called dispatch only to get a recorded message. Yes we know their job isn’t easy but when do we get off that excuse and ask the Police Department to get dispatch under control?

Vice President Gonzalez said something about the West Valley Water Board agendas that makes sense all over especially in Rialto. Millions of dollars is hidden and spent in the Consent Calendar. As you can see below the three we highlighted below are all things that should be examined individually not all at once hidden is a blanket motion. Here is how we break each one down:

E.6 – Request City Council to Approve Amendment No. 1 to the Exclusive Right to Negotiate Agreement with Fernando Acosta for the Development of Approximately 8 Acres of Property Located at the Northeast Corner of Ayala Drive and Renaissance Parkway.

Fernando Acosta is being given exclusive right to negotiate on the cities behalf on a portion of land that has 3 major owners and one that fell under our scrutiny when Cal Trans was using it as a construction storage facility and was full of blight and graffiti. Why is Fernando being given Exclusive Right to Negotiate? Is it because Ed Scott has majority power on the council right now and he is a donor to Ed Scott’s Campaign? Fernando live in the Flores Park Community but is never seen participating in the community efforts and his businesses only help organizations that are close to the Baca Foundation. Even local schools that are struggling to provide for low income kids cant get Fernando’s support. But were giving him access to what would be a multi million dollar deal?

fritts ford

E.10 – Request City Council to Approve an Increase to the Purchase Orders for Fritz Ford for Vehicle Parts in the Amount of $5,000, for a Total Not to Exceed Amount of $20,000.

Pay close attention to how staff spelled FRITTS FORD. We pay these people a lot of money and they can’t even spell the name of a business right especially a business that is Outside of the city of Rialto and is getting $20,000 of our tax money.

E.12 – Request City Council to Authorize an Increase to the Purchase Order with the Daily Journal for Advertising Services in the amount of $15,000 for a total amount of $30,000 in the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year

This one steams me how much are we paying for a subscription to a legal paper? This paper is just a news site for the legal world. Isn’t this something our well paid city attorney should be signing up for? The city claims it has no money for youth development and enrichment and the mayor is attacking groups like the Rotary and Chamber of Commerce all while wasting $30,000 a year on a digital newspaper subscription?

TAB 5 – Request City Council/Rialto Utility Authority to Approve a Third Amendment to the Agreement with West Valley Water District for Operation and Maintenance of Groundwater Contamination Treatment Systems for the 2015/16 Fiscal Year in the Amount of $68,381.69.

This final item is an TAB item (what the items above should be on) and what makes it stand out is the fact that the current President and Vice President of West Valley Water Board spent months telling us that their Groundwater Contamination Treatment Systems are not functioning properly in an effort to damage former General Manager Butch Ariza’s reputation. So the question is are we paying over $68,000 for treatment systems that are not functioning?

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What do you think about San Bernardino & their progress out of Bankruptcy?

On Friday Cassie Mac Duff a reporter for the Press Enterprise penned an article on the apparent signs of San Bernardino on a upward rebound. A lot was talked about in the article but a lot was conveniently left out or avoided. In Cassie Mac Duff’s defense interviewing elected officials is beyond difficult because many of them are very corrupt and want to control the article or go off the record every 10 seconds. So if you want to get statements from them that they wont deny later you must play but a bad set of rules. My biggest beef with this article is the Liberal way the writer and Mayor of San Bernardino talk about economic progress.

Here is what they call progress:

  • New Superior Court high-rise
  • Transit Center and
  • New health clinic nearing completion.

Two of these things are government buildings built with TAX DOLLARS not hubs for economic growth. The New Health Clinic is an extension of Loma Linda University health and if we don’t keep pumping Billions of TAX DOLLARS into peoples pockets this massive clinic will be nothing more than an empty building.

Probably the only thing I agree with in this article is the cities creation of a monthly Food Truck Festival and the city staffer that is responsible for spearheading this effort is Brenda Leggitt and her team. They listen to the public and do their best to bring the best trucks to the city of San Bernardino.

Here is info from the Press Enterprise article on the food truck event:

“The food truck craze has also hit San Bernardino. The third Thursday of each month, the City Hall parking lot is roped off for a Food Fest, with food trucks and live bands. Even with the summer heat, the event attracts 2,500 to 2,600 people, not just office workers from the surrounding government buildings, but families now, Mayor Carey Davis told me on Friday. The monthly event has grown from five trucks to nine, Davis said, featuring gourmet grilled cheese, chicken and waffles, barbecue, salads and, of course, cupcakes. I stopped by last month and saw people lined up at every truck.”

I guess Mayor Davis believes that people who rife the bus and can’t afford cars can afford to eat out all the time because they left some land vacant for lunch spots and retail development. In that area you have the Old Carousel Mall & adjoining smaller retail pads that are vacant ghost towns and the Inland Center Mall just south of there that still has issues securing retail tenants.

 

“Omnitrans, the bus agency, left two acres vacant next to the transit center for commercial development such as lunch spots and retail shops. Those are needed. Downtown San Bernardino doesn’t have a lot of options apart from a McDonald’s, a Starbucks and a HoneyBaked Ham (which makes a terrific ham-and-cheese, by the way).”

So the newspaper article and Mayor Davis want you to believe that the area around the transit center is void of food options. So I guess the Mayor forgot about the Taco Bell, Del Taco, Chinese Food Resturant & of course the In & Out that was moved up the street to make room for the 215 freeway extension? In & Out should be irate that they were left out of consideration given how popular they are. This area is full of homeless people, homeless people don’t shop for food they beg for it so who is going to patronize these businesses?

 

What is a major part of San Bernardino’s demise is the rampant crime and drug use that thrives within the city. Three to four times a week someone is violently attacked, San Bernardino’s lax stance on Marijuana has allowed other drugs to come back into popularity including Meth and San Bernardino is the go to place for harmful toxic drug fests with no regard to the public safety. Also it looks like San Bernardino opened up a Airport to never fly planes out of it. Look below the Mayor touts an aircraft dismantler as a sign of progress San Bernardino International Airport. I don’t know about you but my idea of progress and a International Airport is I don’t know maybe Commercial Flights?

“He also told me there’s also a new business at San Bernardino International Airport (the former Norton Air Force Base), an aircraft dismantler. The airport will host an air show Oct. 17, Davis said. I’m glad San Bernardino’s bankruptcy (declared in 2012 and still pending in court) didn’t bring everything to a screeching halt in the city. That’s not to say everything is peachy, either. The city is embroiled in a dispute with its auditors over delays completing crucial reviews. The firm blames the city manager’s office; the city manager’s office blames the auditors. The City Council is considering a lawsuit.”

The last paragraph above eludes to more issues with getting a plan to remove themselves from Bankruptcy. What is funny is the reason they are in this position is because of the mismanagement of funds and constant fighting among those in city hall. This November there is a lot of chances for change and its up to residents to step up and as Joe Britt used to say on his Radio Show “Use the mighty power of the pen”.

http://www.pe.com/articles/city-779969-san-bernardino.html

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What is behind the development issues in the City of Rialto?

20150813_125444

So yesterday we issued a story on the fact that soon we would have five McDonalds in the City of Rialto. What we found out through comments on Facebook and conversations with city staff is that it looks like the planning department is allowing the franchise owner of the McDonalds on Foothill to vacate that space and build a new location on Cedar & Foothill.

Later in the meeting Ed Scott called out the community opposition to this development stating that the city can’t dictate or block businesses that are developed on private land he stated it would put the city in a tough spot, Joe Baca Jr. also echoed this statement. These two elected officials said that if McDonalds wants to build 10 of their fast food restaurants in rialto we can’t stop them. Well both these men have Facebook pages and I challenge them to engage with the large amounts of community members who disagree with this statement. People want better food choices and if they only can find those near the Super Walmart and the new retail pad at the old airport site we will continue to depress the other parts of Rialto.

We spoke to Rob Steel Development Services Director and he said that McDonalds Corporate was the one building the new location and that they were going to allow the franchise owner from the other foothill location to move into the new building. The problem we now have is there is a old empty building that will attract homeless, vandalism and further damage the appearance of Route 66. Rob Steel said that the old McDonalds is a desirable location for businesses like Tams, Albertos and Juan Pollo. With that being said that area is becoming oversaturated with those type of food options. One thing that Robb Steal said was that the city did have some say over weather that McDonalds would be constructed there. From what we can ascertain is that they choose not to. Rialto lost a Verizon Wireless location because of this and now traffic is a nightmare.

The other development issue on tap last night was the last available pad to be developed in the In & Out Burger Center. The final pad was originally slated to host a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf plus two other small retail businesses. That changed with space constraints to just a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and then Coffee Bean saw that the city had room on the price and began asking for a series of price reductions. This boils down to the “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” syndrome. The developer saw blood in the water and was taking advantage of the situation. Well when In & Out asked to purchase the pad to create a exclusive In & Out parking area Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf just walked away. What was ironic is instead of making a sale and letting In & Out develop the parking pad it seems as though the city wants to spend the money to develop the parking pad. It looks like control is an issue here and were wondering who is going to win and at what cost to the community? It looks like we sell it to In & Out for their exclusive use or the city pays to pave it for everyone’s use.

But wait there is more…… It appears that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf wants to steal the open pad just a stones throw away from previous site. Coucilman O’Connell said last night that the pad was prime location given its location (see image below) and that he had reservations giving Coffee Bean first stab at building on that site. Councilman O’Connell wants to make sure we get the best tenant for that location and for Rialto. From the vote he was not alone the vote was 3-2 with Councilman O’Connell & Palmer voting no to give an unfair first stab to the Coffee Bean developers.

The black box indicates the location of the new development site

The black box indicates the location of the new development site

Print this picture or show this photo on your phone when you pay for your food to be counted.

Print this picture or show this photo on your phone when you pay for your food to be counted.

 

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