NO SMOKING ends in Tenant dispute at The Crossings at Corona.

Seems not everyone is a fan of cigars...at least this is the case with the Owners and Customers of Capriccio Gelato Caffe...they are taking the fight to Azucar Cigar Lounge!!!

So much so, they have shut their doors until a dispute over drifting cigar smoke can be addressed (we assume The Crossings at Corona Management is mediating). Imagine, you have decided to plunk down $5 (or more) for a dollop of gelato times 3-4 for other family members...you are comfortably sitting, palette watering...and then smoke (not ordinary, we are talking bold-cigar smoke) smacks your nose waking you up from your gelato-dream!

Where's Al Sharpton when we need him?

Corona, CA Sierra Del Oro Storage Ctr. Grabs $12.8M

William Warren Properties Acquires Self-Storage Facility in Corona, CA

Rox Consulting Group sold the Sierra Del Oro Storage Center in Corona, CA, to William Warren Properties, a self-storage real estate company, for $12.8 million, or $92 per square foot.

The 138,800-square-foot self-storage facility at 3915 Green River Rd., in Corona was built in 2004 and is both climate-controlled and air-conditioned.

Bob Benner of Self Storage Brokerage represented the seller. William Hobin of William Warren Properties represented the buyer, in-house.


Corona (CA) "Stones, Bones and Ancient Tomes" Event on 25 October

"The Corona Genealogical Society (CGS) is proud to announce their "2nd Annual Stones, Bones, and Ancient Tomes" Genealogy Event. This event is FREE and open to the public. A combination of presentations and displays, it will be held at the Corona Public Library, 650 S. Main St., Corona, California, on Saturday October 25, 2008.

"From 10 am until 4 pm, our knowledgeable members will have display booths to assist anyone with beginning genealogy, organizing materials, related software, writing family history, restoring/preserving documents and photos, one-on-one help with Internet Searches, Family Tree Maker, Hispanic Genealogical Research, DNA, DAR and much, much more!

"Members of CGS and invited guest speakers will conduct jam-packed mini seminars on various subjects including "Why to do Family History," "Writing Your Life Story," "How-To use Family Tree Maker software," "Beginning Family History," "Cemetery Walks," "The Corona Family History Center," "Using available Corona Public Library Resources," and more.

"For more information, please go to our website: www.CoronaGenSoc.org."


Conference: IE Shadowed by Dark Economy

ONTARIO, CA-If you’re looking for the bottom of the economic downturn, you may find it here in the Inland Empire--it’s just that the “when” is another matter. Experts voiced some bleak near-term outlooks Wednesday at the third annual RealShare Inland Empire conference at the Ontario Convention Center, where more than 250 owners, investors, developers, brokers, lenders, service providers and others connected with the commercial real estate industry came to share their views and network.

“There’s no nice way to spin it,” keynote speaker Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, said of the local economy. “The jobs picture in San Bernardino-Riverside County right now is not particularly good. People want to know when are things going to bottom. Will we have a 'V' or 'U' in terms of the recovery?”

Green was one of a host of speakers and panelists who tackled issues ranging from how the changes in the economy, the credit markets and commercial real estate have affected the Inland Empire to what industry leaders see for the immediate and long-term future. His remarks, and those of some others, stood in contrast to the upbeat news that emanated from the Inland Empire for years before the nation's subprime excesses, soaring energy costs and general economic malaise clamped down on every part of the country, even high-flying regions lining the Inland Empire.

The Inland Empire chalked up some of the nation's biggest growth numbers before the downturn. Powered by one of the country's biggest home-building booms, the Inland economy provided a fertile ground for developers to launch scores of retail, office, industrial and multifamily projects.

Now that the economy has slowed and the capital markets are in turmoil, industry leaders and other professionals in the commercial real estate industry are facing a host of questions regarding the near and long-term future of this two-county region east of Los Angeles. Chief among the questions is “When do we hit bottom?” both nationally and in the Inland Empire.

There has never been, until now, a decline in the median home prices nationally since the Great Depression, Green pointed out. The median income is falling and “financial institutions are in an environment of fear,” he added.

In the Inland Empire, existing home sales rose from a year ago, but a lot of that was foreclosure sales, he noted. The good news is “prices have come down so fast and rents have gone up enough that house prices in this region are sensible.”

Green also said educational attainment in the area is lacking. “The Inland Empire lags Southern California, it lags the state of California, it lags the United States as a whole,” he added. According to Green, the percentage of high school students taking college prep classes in Los Angeles County is 37%, slightly above California’s 35.3%, while in Riverside the number is 31.8% and in San Bernardino it’s is 25.5%.

That’s a bad sign for the Inland Empire because educational attainment is a good measure of future incomes, Green said. “This is a good projection of how incomes grow,” he said.

Following Green, a Town Hall Meeting tackled the question, "How Will the Inland Empire Fare in 2009?" The topics covered ranged from the impact of high fuel prices, the credit crisis, the housing slump, flat job growth--and how real estate professionals find and capitalize on opportunities in a confused market.

Job losses for 2008, diminished tenant demand and a generally rugged economy, “have pushed class A office vacancy to its highest level in more than two decades,” said panelist Doug McCauley, regional manager for Marcus & Millichap. He added that Marcus & Millichap anticipates vacancy to reach 15.2% by the end of the year.

Panelist Kim Snyder, senior vice president of the southwest region for AMB Property Corp., says the pinch at the pump is impacting industrial. “Fuel costs are definitely having a major impact on the industrial business in the Inland Empire,” Snyder said.

Panelist Mary Jane Olhasso, economic development director for Ontario, defended the region. “We also have a lot of industrial manufacturing, engineering related to the manufacturing process…medical manufacturing,” she said, noting that “The office sector along the I-10 corridor, that’s the future in our opinion” and that the general development plan from Vineyard to the Interstate 15 Freeway is “just phenomenal.”

She acknowledged the area is “in this bubble of negativity that’s not shared by everyone,” but that the long-term outlook for the Inland Empire is positive, she said, noting that “he who has the work force wins. And guess what? We have the work force. At the end of the day this is where people are going to live in the next two decades.”

Snyder also added his confidence in the long-term outlook for the Inland Empire: “Not only is it a good value, but it’s the best real estate product in the business.”

A new session at this year's RealShare event was a corporate perspectives panel, which included commercial real estate end users and those who represent them talking about the market from their standpoint, why they are in the market, where they are expanding as well as why and where they think the economy is headed.

Another new panel this year addressed how to improve return on investment and save money by going green. Aside from the panels above, RealShare Inland Empire's panels throughout the day included sessions on the capital markets and how investors are getting deals done in today's climate, how the cities and municipalities of the Inland Empire are catering to the diverse needs of its end-users, what it takes and costs to finance deals.

G. Ryan Smith, a senior vice president with Newport Beach-based Buchanan Street Partners, said that “It used to be if you had a heartbeat, you could get a loan. It’s a different world than it used to be.”

Harold Rose, managing director for Greystone, summed things up: “We’re back to the basics,” Rose said.

Following the final session, the event concluded with a networking cocktail hour. RealShare Inland Empire and other RealShare events are produced by Real Estate Media, the publisher of GlobeSt.com, Real Estate Forum magazine, Real Estate Southern California magazine and other publications devoted to commercial real estate.


CNBC's Jim Cramer calls the bottom for housing* Inland Empire leading the Way!

CNBC's Jim Cramer has accurately called some of the major turning points in the ongoing housing bust, and he is making another call today. He sees the bottom for housing. But here's the asterisk: *Cramer said he expects a bottom by the third quarter of 2009.

In explaining his call, Cramer cobbles together a familiar litany of signs the housing market is stabilizing: an increase in sales spurred by falling prices; a slowdown in home building; federal efforts to help troubled borrowers; and population growth that will spur household creation and demand for housing.

More, from CNBC's article on why Cramer sees signs of a turnaround:

"The horror shows that are the California, Florida and Arizona real estate markets are no longer bleeding into other areas. These heavy losses are being cordoned off, Cramer said, and different markets are evening out.

Lastly, even these horrible areas –- Bradenton in Florida and the Central Valley in California –- are bottoming. The first to fall is usually the first to return, Cramer said. He’s predicting that Miami and the Inland Empire are next."

I've complimented Cramer's calls before, and that usually encourages a number of you to cite chapter and verse of big things he's messed up. Before you jump on him -- and you're welcome to -- I'll say for the record: He was the loudest voice last summer saying, correctly, that the Bernanke Fed was behind the curve in fighting the credit crisis (this was the classic "Bernanke has no idea!" meltdown on live television). He was also one of the first talking heads to articulate just how bad the housing bust was getting in places like the Inland Empire.


Blazers Sign Four Players; one from Corona, CA

The Kamloops Blazers are pleased to announce the signing of four players upon the conclusion of training camp on Tuesday night. The club has signed defenseman Brandon Underwood, and forwards Uriah Machuga, Cole Grbavac, and Neil Landry to WHL Player Contracts and Education Agreements.

Underwood and Machuga are 16-year-olds from California who were scouted and invited to camp by long-time Blazer scout Warren Renden. "Both players came in and earned these contracts with their performances at camp. We congratulate them on taking this step to furthering their hockey careers and guaranteeing their university education," said Blazer General Manager Craig Bonner. Underwood - a product of the LA Junior Kings program - hails from Corona, CA while Machuga - who played for the California Wave - calls Norco, CA home.

Landry was a 5th round selection of the Blazers in the 2007 Bantam Draft and spent last season with the Saskatoon Blazers of the Saskatchewan Major Midget League. "We were very happy with Neil's work ethic, his speed, and his determination and we look forward to him joining the Blazer family," said Director of Scouting Ken Fox.

Grbavac is a 17-year-old forward from Calgary who played last season for the Calgary Buffaloes of the Alberta Major Midget League. "Cole impressed us with his grit and toughness. We're excited that he's chosen the Western Hockey League to solidify his hockey and scholastic futures," said Director of Player Personnel Matt Recchi.

All four players are expected to see action this weekend as the Blazers play a home-and-home series against the Vancouver Giants. The teams will meet in Ladner on Friday then back in Kamloops on Saturday.

Survivor Cast Revealed...Go Temecula, CA

GILLIAN LARSON
AGE: 61
OCCUPATION: Retired Nurse
HOMETOWN: Temecula, CA (raised in South Africa)
GILLIAN SAYS: ''I love doing all sorts of crazy things. It doesn't matter what age you are. As long as you can physically do it, do it! And hopefully they'll look at me as a mom and you know, who would like to kick their mother out of the game?''
I SAY: If there's one thing I know for a fact after 16 seasons of watching this show is "IT TOTALLY MATTERS HOW OLD YOU ARE! Good luck getting past your tribe's first elimination.









UPDATE: Off-Duty Officer Involved in Shooting...Coroners Report

Coroner's File Number: 2008-06147 - Update
Name of Deceased: ROBERT SCOTT DAY
Sex/Age of Deceased: MALE 50 YEARS
City of Residence: SANTA ANA, CA
Date/Time of Death: 08/25/2008 @1626 HOURS
Location of Death: CORONA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER - ER
Date/Time of Injury: 08/25/2008 @ 1543 HOURS
Location of Injury: PARKING LOT, 21501 TEMESCAL CANYON ROAD, CORONA
Next of Kin Notified (Y/N): YES
Agency Investigating: RSO/CHU
Comments: SHOT BY OFF DUTY LAPD OFFICER
Station press release
Date/Time Posted: 08/26/08 10:43 PM


UPDATE: Off-Duty Officer Involved in Shooting

Los Angeles: An off-duty LAPD officer was involved in a shooting in an unincorporated area of Lake Elsinore.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, on Monday, August 25, 2008, at around 3:45 p.m., Police Officer Antonio Mendez, 2 years with the Department, was involved in a traffic collision with a man driving a gray Toyota Tundra. The traffic collision took place on the northbound I-15 freeway near Indian Truck Trail. After the impact, the Toyota Tundra continued to accelerate at a high rate of speed as Mendez followed. The Toyota exited the freeway at Dos Lagos Drive and pulled into a parking lot at Temescal Canyon Road. Both drivers exited their vehicle and a verbal confrontation ensued. Mendez attempted to detain the suspect and there was an officer involved shooting. A single round was fired striking the Toyota’s driver in the upper body.

Officer Mendez is currently assigned to the Office of Operations.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation. The Los Angeles Police Department, Force Investigation Division is handling the Administrative Investigation and the California Highway Patrol is handling all traffic related investigations.

BREAKING NEWS: L.A. officer shoots man dead in Corona, CA near Dos Lagos

The officer and another motorist were involved in a traffic accident on Temescal Canyon Road in the Dos Lagos area. As they were exchanging information, the officer fired at the man.

An off-duty Los Angeles police officer fatally shot a man after a traffic accident in Corona on Monday.

Initial police reports said the man had tried to snatch the officer's 1-year-old child from the officer's vehicle, but Riverside County Sheriff's spokesman Jerry Franchville said later there was no evidence that the man had attempted to take the child, who was unhurt.

The officer was involved in a minor traffic accident about 3:45 p.m. with an unidentified driver on Temescal Canyon Road in the Dos Lagos area, authorities said. The two were exchanging information when the officer fired at the motorist. The man was later pronounced dead, authorities said.


Corona, CA: CB Sean Murray

Corona (Calif.) Santiago cornerback Sean Murray was part of one of the better secondaries in Southern California last fall, and he's seen here in highlights from his junior season...

Corona (Calif.) Santiago figures to be one of the top programs in the Inland Empire this fall, and despite losing Anthony Dye to graduation, the Sharks return some solid prospects in their secondary.
One of those is cornerback Sean Murray, who started for the Sharks on their CIF-SS Inland Division finalist team.

Murray had 96 tackles, 12 pass breakups and three picks for the Sharks, earning all-league honors.

This spring, at the UnderArmour/Scout.com Combine in Los Angeles, Murray had the third best forty, running a 4.47.

Win an autographed MILEY CYRUS Fender Guitar.

Dear Friends:
Here's a way to support CAT, a 501(c)3 Non-profit Youth Arts Education Organization, and win an autographed MILEY CYRUS Fender Guitar. Please visit mileycyrusguitar.com and buy your Opportunity Tickets for only $10.00. Each ticket goes 100% to support CAT. We so appreciate your WONDERFUL HELP as we celebrate our 10th Year of Theatre Arts Educational Excellence: HELP CAT and win a guitar - it's a win-win situation for everyone!


One more thing - Please forward this to everyone you know - with the on-line Opportunity Drawing, the winners can come from anywhere in the World. The drawing will be on December 14th and will be filmed and then loaded on to Youtube.com so everyone can see who the winner is!

Thanks for all your support!
CAT of Corona
170 N. Maple St., #104
Corona, CA 92880
(951) 279-2298

Corona, CA: Pascarella Will Visit Boise State

Centennial HS OL Gavin Pascarella (Corona, CA) has seen his stock continue to rise throughout the summer. He's taking his time and he plans on making an informed decision about his future college destination later this year. He spoke to BroncoCountry.com about his college recruitment and his interest in Boise State.










Slick Dick Gets Off Sex Charge Hook

He may look like a sex offender, but Andy Dick won't be prosecuted as one -- over an incident where he allegedly pulled down a 17-year-old girl's top outside that chicken joint last month.

A rep for the DA handling the case just released a statement saying, "We found that his actions were more in line with an assault than a sexual battery. It didn't appear to be an overt sexual act."

The Dick still faces four misdemeanor counts from his drunken tirade at the Murrieta, Ca. Buffalo Wild Wings, and will be arraigned next week for battery, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, public intoxication and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.




US civilian court begins Iraqi murder trial of former Marine in Riverside, CA

The trial of a former US Marine accused of killing two Iraqi detainees during fighting in Fallujah four years ago began with jury selection in the landmark case, justice officials said.

Lawyers at the US District Court in Riverside, east of Los Angeles, Tuesday began vetting a pool of around 120 jurors who will be whittled down to hear the case against Jose Nazario.

Nazario, 28, denies charges of voluntary manslaughter, assault with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence in connection with the shootings of four Iraqi insurgents in 2004.

According to defense lawyers, Nazario's case is the first time a former soldier has been tried in a civilian court in connection with alleged crimes that took place during combat.

Prosecutors allege that Nazario, a former Marine Corps sergeant, shot dead two unarmed detainees on November 9, 2004 during a house search.

Nazario is also alleged to have ordered two Marines -- Ryan Weemer and Jermaine Nelson -- to shoot two other unarmed prisoners.

Weemer and Nelson have since been charged with unpremeditated murder and dereliction of duty and face courts martial later this year as they are still serving in the Marines.

Opening statements in Nazario's trial are expected on Thursday.

The case came to light after Weemer, 25, underwent a background screening for a job in the US Secret Service in 2006.

Asked if he had ever taken part in an unjustified killing, Weemer told his interviewer: "That actually did happen, to be honest."

The revelation triggered an investigation by the US Naval Criminal Intelligence Service which saw Nazario's squad mates questioned.

According to prosecutors' documents, Nazario and Marines belonging to K Company, 3rd Battalion, had radioed commanding officers to inform that they had captured four insurgents during a house search.

After being informed of the capture, Nazario was apparently asked by an unidentified senior officer: "Are they dead yet?"

The prisoners were subsequently shot, execution style, and the Marines left the house, according to prosecutors.

Lawyers for Nazario have said the case will set a dangerous precedent by allowing jurors with no military background to pass judgment on decisions taken during the heat of battle.

If Nazario is convicted, it could lead to hesitation amongst troops, putting themselves and fellow soldiers at risk, defense lawyers say.

"To second-guess the mind-set of a young man in the heat of battle four years later, and to put the question in a (civilian court) system that can't even remotely comprehend the battlefield, is shameful for this government," defense lawyer Joseph Preis told the North County Times.

"While not acknowledging that any part of the government's case is true, the fact is, the military sent these people out to do a job and kill everything that moved in a city where there were no good guys left," Preis added.

However prosecutors Jerry Behnke and Charles Kovats said in a pre-trial document that Marines had clear instructions how to handle prisoners.

"The killings were unlawful because they violated clearly established law of war," the prosecutors said. "All Marines, including the defendant, were repeatedly taught that they shall do no harm to detainees."

Last Chance to Compete in Spyder Cup 2008

Spyder Cup announced the last Regional Event location at SC Village in Corona, CA.

The last leg of the Spyder Cup Regional Events is now set in stone. The date is Sunday, October 12th in conjunction with the XPSL event to be held at SC Village in Corona, CA. This will be your final chance to earn a place against 6 other teams in the Spyder Cup Finale . . . where 7 teams will compete for three brand new cars.

The Regional Event prizes aren’t bad either with 1st place receiving a check for $1,150 to cover Finale travel expenses, 2nd place taking home new XBOX 360s, and more cool prizes for 3rd and 4th place. Not to mention this is a FREE tournament—you only pay for the paint!

Log on to www.spyder.tv to submit your 3-man team registration before it’s too late.

There is a $150 fee during registration which covers your first three cases of tournament paint. You can register now and show up at SC Village in Corona, CA on October 12th to compete. Great prizes will be awarded to the top four teams including:

1st Place: A Check for $1,150 and a guaranteed spot in the 7 team Spyder Cup Grand Finale where you will compete for three brand new Mazda3 Hatch back cars.
2nd Place: Three (3) - Xbox 360™ Arcade Game Console Systems
3rd Place: Three (3) - Microsoft Zune® 8GB MP3 Players
4th Place: Three (3) - Flip Video™ 30-Minute Camcorders
It’s not too late to register your team.

The Spyder Cup is an amateur level 3-man paintball tournament where teams compete using Spyder brand paintball markers. In the past 8 years Spyder has awarded 15 cars and $1000’s in prizes through the Spyder Cup Tournament. More details here.


Heating up the Turkish coffee craze in Corona, California

Mustafa Arat knows how to sell. He did it for 27 years for Xerox Corp., Pitney-Bowes Inc. and other Fortune 500 companies.

Now he’s doing it for himself, peddling something that almost every grownup craves. Only, as Arat sees it, he’s providing a more healthful alternative. He’s not selling a product so much as a method that he sees as possibly becoming a hot trend.
From his home in Corona, CA, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Arat runs www.turkishcoffeeworld.com, a retailer for everything needed to make and serve Turkish coffee. He offers a big selection of pots, grinders, gift items and fresh coffee.

“I actually kind of stumbled onto Turkish coffee as a possible product idea by coincidence while I was searching for ways to quit smoking,” said Arat, 55, whose health issues forced him to make lifestyle and career changes.

“As anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows, after meals can be one of the worst times to deal with the urge to smoke,” he said. “I decided to prepare Turkish coffee after my meals to deal with my urges, and it sure has worked for me.” Turkish coffee, he said, “takes several minutes to prepare ... which keeps a person busy.”

A demanding job, hectic days and a four-hour commute to work had consumed much of his life and had contributed to his suffering a heart attack in 2005, leading him to quit smoking, he said. Before he took up Turkish coffee, he hadn’t even owned a “cezve” (pronounced “jazz-veh”), the brew’s special pot.

Arat -- who holds anthropology and international business degrees from Western Michigan University and Indiana University -- considered selling other products, especially items in the technology sector, before he struck on Turkish coffee.

“Sales and marketing is something in me,” said the Turkish native, who remembers selling gum in front of an İstanbul circus when he was 12.

For two years Arat researched Turkish coffee and its associated products and sources worldwide. He got samples from manufacturers and sold goods on Amazon.com and eBay for a year before launching the Web site in January.

His venture is percolating now. Arat is loath to invite competitors by disclosing too much but said he expected to reach $250,000 in sales by the end of next year. He speaks of a market potential in the “tens of millions,” envisioning a cezve in every US kitchen.

The market for Turkish coffee is growing, he said, because of customers like Alicia Watins, 42, a Long Island, N.Y., technology consultant. She and her husband, Michael, have never been to Turkey, but they love the Turkish coffee served in New York restaurants.

As a gift to Michael, she bought a set from Arat’s site. “Before I bought it, I researched through the Internet and talked with several [vendors],” she said. “I had no idea what to buy.” But, she said, Arat “guided us all the way.”

Arat said his last three orders came from Australia, Lithuania and a US Marine base. He’s getting orders from Chile, South Korea and China.

“I get a lot of orders from the US military, probably because they are discovering Turkish coffee in the [Persian] Gulf and Iraq,” he said. “They usually buy my most expensive items.”

As his business has grown, Arat has experimented with various packaging techniques so as to lower shipping costs. He has mastered how to get paid online and how to handle currency fluctuations. He has been tinkering with Internet advertising.

He’s also still learning strategies on how to maximize exposure on Google and Yahoo searches. Once prospects get to him, he wants to know how long they stay, where they come from and what kind of technology they use. So he’s studying Web analytics.

His site gets its largest share of visitors from the US, whose residents drink more coffee than those of any other country. As he believes Turkish coffee will be a hot new consumer choice, he chose Nextrend Marketing as his company’s legal name.

“Many people think that Turkish coffee is a special blend that is grown only in Turkey, so it has to be exported and bought separately,” he said.

But the name actually describes a brewing method that the Ottomans perfected by roasting coffee beans and grinding them to powder. They spread the drink across Europe and the world.

“You can make Turkish coffee from any type of coffee you buy as long as it has been ground to a fine powder,” Arat explained. “Every major grocery store in the US has a grinder with a Turkish coffee setting.”

The process demands a cezve, which is a special pot with a narrowing neck necessary to make the vital foam. His cezves are hand-hammered, etched with elaborate designs, then polished and hand-painted by artisans in Turkey and Bosnia. His “fıncans” -- the tiny traditional cups -- are hand-painted in Turkey. He buys coffee from Bosnia, Croatia, Greece and Turkey.

In other brewing methods, water or steam is forced through the coffee. The Turkish method mixes the grounds into the brew. Arat says this makes Turkish coffee the most natural, flavorful and, he contends, the healthiest.

“Recent studies done on cafestol [a molecule with anti-carcinogenic properties] showed that it is present in the highest quantity in unfiltered coffee drinks, such as French press coffee or Turkish coffee,” he said.

Turkish coffee also carries another bounty: it’s social.

“You have to sit down first before you even take a sip,” Arat said. “Otherwise, due to the small cups it’s served in, it will spill on you. This is probably another reason why it is traditionally shared with others.”

He recited a Turkish proverb on the role of drinking with another: “The memory of sharing even a single cup of coffee will last for 40 years.”

Growing enthusiasm is generating more business for Arat from wholesalers, such as Sweet Maria’s -- based in Oakland, CA, -- one of the largest green coffee bean distributors and a major player in the home roasting industry. Coffee shops, too, are becoming his regular customers. Some shops buy from him and serve Turkish coffee at customers’ tables using a small burner.

“People are tired of the espresso and the milkshake-like coffee drinks. They are not unique anymore,” he said. “Even the gas stations sell those.”

As for Turkish coffee, “I think that once people taste it,” he said, “they will come back for more.”


Riverside (CA) Humane Society’s Comedy Night Sept. 12 Features Nationally Known Comedians Robert G. Lee and Carlos Oscar

Riverside Humane Society Pet Adoption Center’s 11th Annual Comedy Night fundraiser on Sept. 12 features comedians Robert G. Lee and Carlos Oscar. KOLA 99.9 FM’s Cindy Davis is the evening’s MC. The event includes a no-host reception, silent auction and raffle for a luxury 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise valued at $2040. Comedy Night tickets are $50 per person; reservations required. Proceeds benefit the center’s homeless cats and dogs.

Riverside, CA, August 19, 2008 --(PR.COM)-- The Riverside (CA) Humane Society Pet Adoption Center (RHSPAC) hosts its 11th Annual Comedy Night Sept. 12 at the Riverside Convention Center. The evening features nationally known comedians Robert G. Lee and Carlos Oscar. KOLA 99.9 FM’s Cindy Davis, heard weekdays 9-2 on the Inland Empire’s top classic hits station, will be MC. Proceeds go toward caring for the cats and dogs awaiting adoption at RHSPAC.

Lee is one of Hollywood’s top sitcom warm-up comics, a veteran of more than 1,000 episodes of shows such as “Just Shoot Me,” “Frasier,” and “The Drew Carry Show,” as well as several VH-1 programs. He is also a comedy writer, director and producer.

Oscar’s energetic stage persona and wit zeros in on family life, pop culture and everyday mishaps as he morphs into various characters and voices. A regular at major comedy clubs, he has appeared on many network and cable television shows including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Single Guy,” and “VIBE.”

Activities begin at 7:00 p.m. when dogs available for adoption at the Pet Adoption Center greet guests at the door. During a no-host cocktail reception guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres as they bid on an eclectic selection of silent auction items donated by area businesses and artisans.

To highlight this year’s tropical theme, the raffle prize is a luxury 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise for two aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. The package, valued at $2040, includes outside stateroom accommodations and stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and more. The ship leaves from Los Angeles on March 1, 2009. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and available in advance, as well as at Comedy Night. Winner need not be present.

The evening’s Entertainment Sponsors are Mary S. Roberts Foundation, Raincross Veterinary Services and Tavaglione Construction. KOLA 99.9 FM is Media Sponsor. Cat’s Meow Sponsors are Gless Ranch, Hub International, Jan Peterson Child Development Center, Levi's Landscaping, Lincoln Plaza Veterinary Clinic, Pedley Square Veterinary Clinic, Joe & Susan Perrone, Sunnymead Animal Hospital, Waggin' Tails Day Camp, and Wells Fargo Inland Empire Commercial Banking.

Tickets for the 11th Annual Comedy Night are $50 per person. Reservations are required. For reservations, raffle tickets, sponsor, donation and advertising opportunities, and general information, call RHSPAC at 951-688-4340, x312. Riverside Convention Center is at 3443 Orange St. in Riverside. Tropical attire is suggested.

Riverside Humane Society Pet Adoption Center, a non-profit public benefit charitable organization, is located at 6165 Industrial Ave. in Riverside, CA. RHSPAC accepts owner turn-ins of cats and dogs and transfers from area animal-control shelters. No healthy, adoptable animal is ever put to sleep. Prior to adoption, each animal is spayed or neutered and microchipped, receives all necessary vaccinations and medical care, is monitored for physical, emotional and mental health, and is socialized.


Summer Concert Series Every Tuesday at The Crossings at Corona

Summer Concert Series Every Tuesday
from 5:30-7:30pm in the entertainment area near the large fountain

August 12....Stingers
August 19....Western Express - Sponsored by Daniel's Jewelers
August 26....SuperFreaks
Sept. 2........Michael Chain
Sept. 9........Smooth Connection
Sept. 23......Guilty Conscience
Sept. 30......Little Chris & the Nightcrawlers


Norco, CA Fair...More Information.

Well it is that time of year again for our 61st Norco Valley Fair August
28th thru September 1st.

Pre-sale buttons, ride tickets and 5-day parking passes are still avaliable.

Please feel free to contact the chamber office if you have any questions
951-737-2531


Leading Growth Region Faces Economic Change; Inland Empire, CA

The Inland Empire chalked up some of the nation's biggest growth numbers before the downturn. Powered by one of the country's biggest home-building booms, the Inland economy provided a fertile ground for developers to launch scores of retail, office, industrial and multifamily projects. Now that the economy has slowed and the capital markets remain a big question mark, industry leaders and other professionals in the commercial real estate industry are poised to ask and answer a host of questions regarding the near and long-term future of this two-county region east of Los Angeles at the third annual RealShare Inland Empire conference and networking event.

The third annual RealShare Inland Empire is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at the Ontario Convention Center. Jason Young, conference producer for the RealShare Conference Series, tells GlobeSt.com that this year's conference will focus on "topics that mean the most to folks in the Inland Empire, based on advice from our advisory board" of professionals who are involved in the market. Among the issues to be addressed: How the changes in the economy, the credit markets and commercial real estate have affected the Inland Empire and what industry leaders see for the immediate and long-term future.

"We're finding that people see networking and talking about the market as possibly even more valuable during times like these," Young says. He notes that the attendance for RealShare Inland Empire is expected to total 250 or more owners, investors, developers, brokers, lenders, service providers and others connected with the commercial real estate industry. Young says that he and other RealShare conference producers are finding that attendance is holding up remarkably well during this downturn because networking and market knowledge become crucially important during uncertain times like these.

The Aug. 27 conference will kick off with on-site registration beginning at 11 a.m., followed by a networking luncheon at 11:30 a.m. The first presentation of the day will come at 12:20 p.m . from keynote speaker Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, who will address not only how but when the regional and US economies may begin to improve. Following Green, a Town Hall Meeting at 12:50 pm. will tackle the question, "How Will the Inland Empire Fare in 2009?" The topics covered will range from the impact of high fuel prices, the credit crisis, the housing slump, flat job growth--and how real estate professionals find and capitalize on opportunities in a confused market.

Young tells GlobeSt.com that another highlight of this year's event will be a corporate perspectives panel, which will include commercial real estate end users and those who represent them talking about the market from their standpoint, why they are in the market, where they are expanding as well as where and why they think the economy is headed.

Another new panel this year will address how to improve return on investment and save money by going green. "We're finding that this topic is being requested more and more for our events," Young says. He notes that the panel will feature representatves from the development side, construction management, architecture and consulting--as well as end users. "This panel will go well beyond Green 101," Young notes.

Besides the panels named above, RealShare Inland Empire's panels throughout the day will include sessions on the capital markets and how investors are getting deals done in today's climate, how the cities and municipalities of the Inland Empire are catering to the diverse needs of its end-users, what it takes and costs to finance deals. Following the final session, the event will conclude with a networking cocktail hour that starts at 4:50 p.m. RealShare Inland Empire and other RealShare events are produced by Real Estate Media, the publisher of GlobeSt.com, Real Estate Forum magazine, Real Estate Southern California magazine and other publications devoted to commercial real estate.


Retail Buyers Pay Nearly $17M for 55,000 SF in Chino Hills, elsewhere.

Three buyers, all from Los Angeles, have acquired retail centers in Riverside and Victorville, CA in the Inland Empire, plus a center in Mesa, AZ, according to Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors. Hanley, which represented the sellers in all three deals, reports that the properties total more than 55,000 sf and sold for an aggregate of more than $16.5 million.

In the Riverside transaction, Eric L. Werner of Hanley comments that the deal “was a challenging sale given the fact Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf announced during escrow that they would not be opening their store at this location.” Werner, who represented the seller of the 9,510-sf strip center at 1242 University Ave., says that even with the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf situation, “The buyer liked the strength of the location, which is adjacent to UC Riverside.” The closing cap rate of 5.68% represents a near record for similar type product in Riverside County, he adds.

YKS Village LLC acquired the center, which is called University Village West, from 951 Dudes LLC of Irvine for $5.75 million. The property, occupied by seven tenants built in 2007, was 100% occupied at the time of sale. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was dark at the close of escrow and was committed to subleasing its space. The buyer was represented by Robert Lee of Coldwell Banker-Metro Realty in La Crescenta, CA.

In Victorville, Hanley's Cameron Rafati reports that the $3.85 million sale of a 5,939-sf multi-tenant strip center at 14213 7th St. required a 60% down payment and the assumption of an existing loan. Rafati, an associate at Hanley, comments that, “We overcame a tenant vacancy during escrow to help satisfy a 1033 exchange for the buyer and establish a record-breaking cap rate for a multi-tenant strip center in the area.”

Rafati and Jeremy S. McChesney of Hanley Investment Group represented seller MJK/7th and Greentree Real Estate Holding Co. LLC of Deerfield, IL. The five-tenant property, called Starbucks Retail Center, sold for a 5.8% cap rate.

Situated at the signalized intersection of Greentree Boulevard and Seventh Street, the center is leased to five tenants, was built in 2004 and was 100% occupied at the time of sale. The buyer, Helm LLC, was represented by Bill Bird of SC Properties, based in Chino Hills, CA.

The details of the recent sales illustrate that, “Transactions have become more challenging in recent months due to increased tenant vacancies at properties, especially during escrow,” observes Edward B. Hanley, president of Hanley Investment Group. However, he adds, “Despite an economic downturn and continued capital market challenges, we continue to close deals in today’s market.” Retail centers “remain one of the most viable investment alternatives in real estate and we are working with a significant pool of buyers with cash that are ready to purchase,” he adds.

Hanley and Carlos J. Lopez of Hanley Investment Group represented the seller in the Arizona deal, which was the sale of a 39,618-sf multi-tenant center for more than $6.97 million, at a 7.2% cap rate.

Known as Tableland Village II, the property is located at 1343 S. Gilbert Rd.d in Mesa, just south of the signalized intersection of Gilbert Road and Southern Avenue. Situated on 3.33 acres, Tableland Village II is leaseed to 12 tenants, was built in 1986 and was 93% occupied at the time of sale.

Lopez describes the property as a unique mix of office, medical and retail tenants that has historically been more than 90% occupied. The buyer was Cathedral Ocotillo LTD, an all-cash 1031 exchange buyer, which acquired the property from Tableland II LLC of Santa Ana, CA. The buyer was represented by Ron M. Pelleg of Los Angeles.

Horsing Around in Riverside, CA...Grand Slam, Please!

Our horse enters Denny’s Restaurant in Riverside, CA

On Tuesday, August 5th I took our 1500 pound Percheron Draft horse, Molly, into Denny’s restaurant in Riverside on Van Buren. Yes, I really said INSIDE the restaurant. We did a presentation for a group called, “Let’s Network“. We got permission from the Denny’s crew two weeks prior and it was a total surprise to our Let’s Network friends. Molly was perfectly behaved inside the restaurant. She stood quietly while they turned their alarm off. The alarm was triggered because we went in through the side door. We got everyone’s attention. I just wonder what people who were driving by thought when they saw Molly’s rear end outside the door of Denny’s.


Norco Land Sells for $3.2M

Norco Redevelopment Agency Picks Up 7.3 Acres

The Norco Redevelopment Agency purchased 7.3 acres in Norco, CA, from Woodland Hills, CA-based developer Realty Bancorp Equities for $3.2 million or about $438,356 per acre. The buyer intends to build a low income housing development but plans have not yet been approved.

The property includes three commercial parcels between Second St. & River Road in the Riverside submarket.

The sale was a direct negotiation with no outside representation.

The end of the dream?

The suburbs have been hit hard by the housing crisis. But reports of their death are exaggerated

“KEEP your house” reads the handwritten sign on a chain-link fence some 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. It is an advertisement, although it could be the attitude of an overstretched buyer who owes the bank more money than his home is worth. Many people in Moreno Valley have simply walked away from their properties. As abandoned lawns turn brown in the desert climate, the fallout spreads. It is no longer a matter of saving individual houses, but a whole city.

Until recently Moreno Valley was one of the fastest-growing cities in America. It lies in the Inland Empire, a two-county region in southern California that is so called largely because it is difficult to know how else to characterise such a sprawling expanse of detached homes, strip malls and warehouses. Between 1990 and 2007 the Inland Empire’s population grew from 2.6m to 4.1m—the equivalent of adding a city the size of Philadelphia.

As in other regions now suffering from a rash of foreclosures and falling house prices, such as south Florida and Nevada, rapid growth is itself largely to blame. Moreno Valley had the misfortune to swell at a time of lax lending practices. Whole neighbourhoods were built on cheap credit and inflated expectations—palaces for the middle class. Around Camino del Rey, on the city’s southern edge, huge Spanish-style houses with three-car garages sit empty. The city’s population growth appears to have gone into reverse. Moreno Valley’s high schools expected to enrol 9,850 pupils last year. They fell short by 780.

Fewer people with less disposable income is bad news for shopkeepers. The Moreno Valley commerce centre (a strip mall, despite the grand title) has six vacant units in its main building. Stores along Alessandro Boulevard, the city’s main drag, have been occupied by Pentecostal churches—a sure sign of low rents. John Husing, an Inland Empire economist, says the housing slowdown has scared off financial-services and civil-engineering firms, for the moment at least.

A bigger economic threat is just coming into focus. The Inland Empire is America’s warehouse: goods, mostly from China, are sorted and assembled there before being distributed across the country. Until recently increasing trade could be counted on to prop up the economy. Traffic through the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, America’s two biggest by container volume, levelled off only briefly during the early 1990s recession and continued to grow in 2001. Now it is declining. In June imports through the two ports were 15% and 12% below last year’s level. Moreno Valley’s office-vacancy rate is already the highest in the region.

All this would be a shock to any city, but it is particularly startling in a place used to double-digit percentage increases in tax revenues. Moreno Valley has been forced to tap its reserves to make up a $7.1m shortfall. That may grow, says Bob Gutierrez, the city manager. State politicians are still trying to close an enormous hole in California’s budget, which is now seven weeks late. When it comes, the budget is likely to involve a raid on local finances that will put places like Moreno Valley further in the red.

Despite the gloom, a few souls are rather cheerful. Public-transport advocates and planning groups such as the Congress for the New Urbanism have seized upon the crisis in far-flung regions like the Inland Empire as evidence that sprawl is no longer viable. “The frontier of endless mobility that we’ve known our entire lives is closing,” wrote Bill McKibben, an environmentalist, in the Washington Post. At last, the urbanists predict, Americans will return to city centres. They will swap their sport-utility vehicles for public transport and begin to act more like well-behaved Europeans.

Some of these cheerful forecasts appear to be coming true. Across southern California, use of the skeletal rail network is rising. Property prices are indeed holding up fairly well in older neighbourhoods near the coast. It can be difficult to convince people in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica that the state has a housing crisis. But the growing price gap between such burghs and places like Moreno Valley can be read in two ways. It is both a sign of the suburbs’ plight and the thing that is gradually renewing their competitive edge.

The Inland Empire’s housing market did not collapse because people chose not to live in sprawling suburbs. They clearly did, hence the huge growth there. The problem was that buyers could not really afford the houses that were being built. Now they can. Mr Husing reckons 39% of residents can now afford the average property—up from just 18% in 2005. House-builders are at last creating smaller homes, and a few buyers are returning. Now the task is to ensure that neighbourhoods are not snapped up by slumlords. The nearby city of Grand Terrace has done that in part by levying a small tax on renting.

Places like Moreno Valley retain two enormous advantages over traditional cities. They have lots of cheap, available land and a pool of workers keen to avoid the ever-lengthening commute to Los Angeles and Orange County. When it comes to attracting businesses, these two factors outweigh high petrol prices. The city of Ontario, which contains the Inland Empire’s main airport, already has more than two jobs for each home. Greg Devereaux, the city’s manager, reckons it will eventually have more than three.

Bill Batey, Moreno Valley’s mayor, is frank about the city’s present problems. When asked about its future, though, he brightens. Pointing to a large aerial photograph on the wall, he outlines plans for a new warehouse, a cluster of medical offices and a lot more houses. There is plenty of empty space in the photograph; indeed, there is a huge expanse of bare earth directly across the street from city hall. The frontier is not closed yet.

Seau carries Ruby Tuesday into San Bernardino; plans for Chino Hills and Temecula coming soon.

Having played 18 seasons in the National Football League, Junior Seau is used to going through training camp. But his training camp for Ruby Tuesday, while not physical, definitely was hard work for Seau.

"There was a lot to learn," said Seau on the eve of the grand opening of his restaurant at 996 Hospitality Ave. in San Bernardino. "I had to go to Nashville, which as a San Diego guy, isn't the most fun. But it's the price of doing things right and being a success."

Seau, a surefire Hall of Fame linebacker who has played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and, most recently, the Super Bowl-runner up New England Patriots, has combined with a group of investors to open a Ruby Tuesday in San Bernardino, the first of seven he hopes to open in the Inland Empire in the next 16 months.

While the restaurant, at the eastern end of Restaurant Row in San Bernardino, officially opens to the public at 4:30 p.m. today, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday, with the restaurant hosting several luminaries in the San Bernardino community.

One of those was San Bernardino mayor Pat Morris, who felt honored that his city was chosen by Seau as the launching point for Ruby Tuesday's campaign in the Inland Empire.

"Being affiliated with a person like Junior Seau means a lot to this community," Morris said. "Junior Seau stands out by himself as far as NFL players go. He's is above his peers, a legend. He does a great deal in the community for young people with The Junior Seau Foundation and we are looking forward to having him be a part of ours."

Seau and his investment group - which includes Ted Davenport, Jeff Howie, Scott Rodi, Scott Nunokawa, Rick Nakashima and Ken Nascimento - has plans for additional Ruby Tuesdays in Chino Hills, Fontana, Temecula, Hemet, Menefee and Wildomar, eventually expanding the brand to 20 restaurants ranging from the Inland Empire to Seau's hometown of San Diego.

Seau mentioned Chino Hills and Temecula as the likely launching points for his next two restaurants, but said that was subject to change due to various factors.

As for why his group chose to launch in San Bernardino, Seau said that the city did everything possible to make the process as easy as painless as possible.

"This is something that's been two years in the making," Seau said.

"San Bernardino has been extremely cooperative and extremely excited about this venture and it is a perfect place to start things off."

Seau, who has been working out religiously but is still up in the air about playing a 19 th NFL season, isn't just an athlete looking to haphazardly put his name on a new product. He has already excelled in the restaurant business, opening the wildly successful sports bar "Seau's" in 1996.

"I took out 52,000 square feet in Mission Valley 13 years ago and people said I was crazy," Seau said. "They said it couldn't be done and that I wouldn't be able to pull it off. Thirteen years later it's still going and it's the most successful sports bar in San Diego."

That success is something Seau hopes to build on with Ruby Tuesday, as he hopes his entrepreneurial success will match the success he had as a 12-time Pro Bowler on the gridiron.

"This is what I want to do with my post-football career," Seau said.

"I have to keep busy and I put everything in what I'm doing. I like restaurants because I like to deal with people and provide them a service. Restaurants are one of the best ways to do that."

DD's Discounts to Open in Riverside, CA

Discount Store Signs 22,864-SF Lease at Van Buren Plaza

DD's Discounts signed a 15-year lease for 22,864 square feet at the Van Buren Plaza in Riverside, CA. The lease is valued at about $4.1 million, not including the services. The discount store is expected to open in October.

The 93,956-square-foot neighborhood center at 5700 Van Buren Blvd. was built in 1988. It is within the Arlington Redevelopment Project Area and offers convenient access to the 91 and 60 freeways.

Matthew Hammond of Coreland Cos. represented the landlord. Jason Gordon of Epsteen & Associates represented the tenant.


Chinese Moon Festival at Heritage House - Sep 15

Monday September 15, 2008 6:00 - 8:00 pm, FREE

Riverside Metropolitan Museum's Heritage House
8193 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504
951-826-5273

Every year the Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th lunar day of 8th Chinese lunar month. Traditionally, it is a family holiday, much like Thanksgiving and families gather to watch the full moon rise and enjoy pastries made specifically for the event called “moon cakes”. These small cakes along with hot tea will be available for purchase during the festival.


61st Norco, CA Valley Fair August 28th - September 1st

61st Norco Valley Fair

August 28th - September 1st
Presale buttons $10, ride tickets $15 (30 tickets), and 5 day parking passes $15

All items are avaliable in the chamber office now, Feel free to call the chamber for more information!!!

EVENTS: Inland Empire All Out Contest in Corona, CA

Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Inland Empire All Out comp on Saturday, September 6. Be at the Corona Skatepark at 11 am to register for a chance to win the cash, a trophy, and a pair of Valos. Special Guest Jon Julio will be on hand to serve as one of the event’s judges.

Building boom masks slump

Commercial real estate oversupply lowers rents

Even in a bum economy, Inland Empire office-space builders are finishing multimillion dollar projects and putting bread on the table for construction workers.

But don't be fooled.

If anything, it's an omen of tough times around the corner - not for tenants, but for the developers who invest heavily in concrete, steel and glass.

It could take five to seven years - and maybe even longer - for commercial brokers to lease a boatload of existing office space and projects under construction because builders overshot the market.

"A five- to seven-year supply is a big deal, especially if you're in the construction or building finance industries," said Thomas Galvin, regional research analyst at Colliers International brokerage firm in Ontario.

It might take a whopping nine years, Galvin said, depending on economic assumptions based on history.

"Who knows, it may be a lot sooner," he said. "If the economy recovers faster than we expect, and if the Inland Empire is able to attract businesses so people don't have to commute two hours to work, things might turn out better than it seems now."

No doubt, it's a tenant's market.

Historically speaking, it's also the Inland Empire office real-estate industry's first huge step back since it took off like a rocket in the early 2000s.

During the inflated housing boom, commercial builders couldn't stop building. The area was awash with outside big wigs scoping out our land and looking to stay ahead of the competition.

Then the housing market collapsed. Thousands of local layoffs in the financial industry have all but halted the raging real-estate machine. Cubical space isn't prime real-estate anymore.

"It's a perfect storm of things happening all at once," said CresaPartners tenant representative David Salazar. He manages the real-estate firm's Inland Empire business from its Ontario location.

"They were hoping the rents would be in the $2.50 to $2.75 (per-square-foot) range," Salazar said about commercial brokers who are trying to lease space. "Instead, they're around $2. Until inventory is absorbed, it'll probably hang right around there."

He's finding deals for clients.

"The most I've seen is one month per year, where you sign a five-year deal and get five months free," he said. "Twelve months ago, you couldn't find that."

Office developers eager to push inventory off their financial books are giving brokers the OK to make deals that would've been laughable a couple of years ago. Some are even offering a whole year's rent free if companies sign a 10-year lease.

"There's a lot more free rent being offered," said Mary Sullivan, independent contractor for Grubb & Ellis. "The concessions being offered are much more aggressive than 18 months ago."

Not only are companies taking their time shopping for space, some are having trouble getting financing. The credit crunch is making it harder for businesses to secure loans.

Sullivan said a 6- to 12-month office space inventory is considered healthy.

"We've got more inventory coming online," she said, "and the slowdown in absorption has come at the least desirable time."

All 4 dead in car that hit tree in Corona, CA

CORONA – Four people are dead after their small car crashed into a tree on Highway 91 just west of Corona.

California Highway Patrol Officer Octavio Magana says two people inside the small sedan may have been ejected when the vehicle hit a tree shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday.

Fire officials say the wreckage was so badly mangled the type of car couldn't immediately be determined.

Battalion Chief Chris Cox says the vehicle broke in half.

The cause of the one-vehicle crash wasn't clear.

Corona, CA Symphony Orchestra Announces Debut Concert

FIRST NIGHT launches new symphony for Riverside County community 'This concert is the beginning of a dream come true for the Corona community!' - Don Kindred, CSO Co-Founder

CORONA, Calif., The Corona Symphony Orchestra announces the details of its debut concert, FIRST NIGHT, August 23rd, 8:00 PM (PDT) at the historic CORONA CIVIC CENTER. Conducted by Marco Mejia, the program includes: Handel's "Royal Fireworks," Mendelssohn's "Overture for Winds," and Beethoven's "Symphony No. 1."

Tickets for this first concert are available by phone at the ticket office (951.273.1375) or via email to boxoffice@coronasymphonyorchestra.com. Reserved seating admission is $15. For more information about the symphony and the debut concert, FIRST NIGHT, visit the website, http://www.coronasymphonyorchestra.org. The historic Corona Civic Center Auditorium is located at 815 W. 6th Street, Corona, CA.
Corona Symphony Orchestra conductor, Marco Mejia describes the music being performed at this initial concert as, "A First Night of classic master works establishing the old and paving a path for the new." CSO's newly appointed Artistic Director, Walt Straiton adds that, "We look forward to creating a wide variety of stimulating and diverse musical programs over the next few years, as CSO performs a range of music geared to all tastes."

The Corona Symphony Orchestra is organized as a non-profit orchestra, presently without financial compensation to its members and will create expanding musical, cultural, and educational programs that not only entertain, but also enrich the Corona and Riverside community. The symphony's repertoire will explore many genres: classics, choral works, light opera, pops, film and television scores, original works, and more. It also plans to support the City of Corona in selected civic events; cultivate a relationship with local schools for promoting the life-enriching and elevating quality of the arts; foster the growth of student musicians through mentor relationships and performance opportunities; provide accompaniment resources for local choral and theatrical groups; and numerous other contributions to our community.

Marco A. Mejia, a native of the Riverside area, holds a music degree from California Baptist University, where he studied under the renowned choral conductor Dr. Gary Bonner. He is soon to earn his Masters degree from California State University Fullerton where he studies orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Maestro Kimo Furamoto. At the university, Mejia serves as a graduate conductor for the symphony orchestra and works with the Opera Department as the assistant conductor. As a soloist, Mejia has studied under concert clarinetist Hakan Rosengren and Vanguard University's head of vocal faculty, Dr. Susan Reed.

Ontario airport hit hard by industry downturn, high fuel costs

The Inland Empire facility's expected one-third drop in flights by fall is irritating travelers.

Not long ago LA/Ontario International Airport was setting growth records. Airlines flocked to the Inland Empire airfield in what Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hailed as the "great first steps" to regionalizing air travel in Southern California.

In a much publicized event last year, the mayor even helped welcome the start of an airline's service at Ontario by donning a safety vest and directing an ExpressJet plane to its gate.

Come September, ExpressJet will no longer operate at Ontario, becoming one of the latest casualties of high fuel costs and a souring economy, which have grounded airline service across the country. Other domestic airlines, such as United, Delta, Southwest and JetBlue Airways, have slashed or eliminated service at Ontario as well.

As a result, no airport in Southern California has been hit as hard by the aviation fuel crisis and downturn as Ontario. It is bracing for a 34% drop in flights from last fall's numbers, irking travelers and frustrating promises by politicians to shift some service away from congested Los Angeles International Airport.

Officials for Los Angeles World Airports say Ontario and LAX are being severely affected because they are neither hubs nor headquarters for major domestic airlines. When economic times are bad, they said, airlines concentrate flights at their hubs to save money and to take advantage of their established markets.

The hits come at a time when the Inland Empire is already suffering from the slowdown in the state economy and a meltdown in its once-booming housing industry because of the subprime loan crisis.

The cutbacks are "going to make it worse for us. We'll have to fly from LAX, and the lines there are 10 times worse," said Bob Surane of Thousand Oaks, coach of the Combat Panthers, a high school girls' traveling softball club from Ventura County that regularly flies out of Ontario to tournaments.

On Friday, Surane and members of the Panthers were waiting to check in at the ExpressJet counter for a flight to Tulsa, Okla. He said the team likes Ontario because of discounted airfares and the convenience of getting in and out of the terminals.

Philip Geurin, a student at Pitzer College in Claremont who flies home to Tulsa between sessions, said he too was disappointed by the decline in service.

"I love ExpressJet," he said. "They had pretty good fares and I could fly home nonstop. I am going to have to find another way."

By the end of the year, Ontario could experience the largest percentage drop in available seats -- about 14% -- compared with 2007 among all mid-size airports in the continental U.S.

Officials for Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX, Ontario and Palmdale Regional Airport, are worried that the number of travelers using Ontario could plunge dramatically next year, from 7.2 million passengers in 2007 to less than 5.2 million, a level not seen since 1989.

The drop-off could be so severe that one of the airport's two terminals would no longer be needed, a dramatic setback for Ontario's plan to accommodate more than 10 million passengers. More than $275 million was spent building the terminals, which opened in 1998.

The gloomy outlook has prompted an L.A. City Council committee that oversees the airports to meet Wednesday to discuss the pending decline in air service at LAX and Ontario as well as potential economic effects.

The decline will probably mean higher fares and fewer choices, factors that could discourage even more travelers from choosing Ontario. Many nonstop flights are being eliminated this fall, leaving passengers with little choice but to take a flight with one or two stopovers or drive to LAX.

"The business community will take a bit of a hit here in its effort to get to destinations important to them," said Ontario Mayor Paul Leon. "JetBlue and ExpressJet gave us an advantage."

Ontario isn't the only airport in Southern California facing such a predicament. With slowing demand and high fuel costs, airlines are retreating to larger airports such as LAX, where routes are more profitable, and eliminating duplicate service at nearby airports.

A third of the flights at Bakersfield's main airport, Meadows Field, will be slashed this fall. Responding to dramatic population growth, the city of about 300,000 residents had recently built a new terminal and extended a runway to lure more airline service.

As more carriers entered the Bakersfield market, "we ended up getting more competitive pricing," said Teresa Hitchcock, head of analysis and marketing for the airport. But now with airlines retrenching, "the big question is going to be how that affects fares."

Airports in smaller California cities such as Merced and Visalia are somewhat protected by a federal government program that pays airlines to provide service. Those communities were temporarily left without any scheduled service this summer, but by fall flights are expected to resume under the Essential Air Service program, which lined up other airlines to fly there.

Mid-size airports like Ontario have no such protection and as such are hardest hit by the industrywide retrenchment.

When Ontario built its two new terminals, airlines agreed to share the airport's operating costs with one another. Consequently, as airlines leave, the remaining carriers are left with a larger obligation and will have to pay more to keep the airport solvent.

Airport officials say they can cushion the blow at Ontario under a new U.S. Department of Transportation order that will allow revenue to be transferred from LAX to Ontario -- if LAX can afford it.

Ontario's comparatively low fares and high operating costs are compounding the problem. The airport has typically drawn discount airlines that don't offer more lucrative first-class seating or other amenities.

But with passengers accustomed to lower fares than elsewhere, airlines at Ontario have had difficulty raising ticket prices to levels they say they need to meet the rising costs.

"Ontario is a victim of the 'toos' -- too poor, too competitive and fares are too low," said Jack Keady, an aviation consultant based in Playa del Rey. "You have a low-airfare environment with high airline costs."

Jess Romo, the airport's director, said Ontario was taking a number of steps to reduce expenses, including turning off lights at unused gates, using its staff more effectively and pushing hard to attract other airlines to the airport.

The downturn "is a disappointment, but you have to keep it in the context of what is happening industrywide," Romo said. "If you just look at the geography of the airport, it still has the potential for growth. Politically, geographically and from a business standpoint, this airport is ready to accept more activity as the demand returns."

And L.A. Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents areas around LAX, insisted that the airline downturn wouldn't kill the idea of spreading air travel around to regional airports such as Ontario.

"Regionalism is not dead," he said. "There's going to be 25 million people from Santa Barbara to San Diego. There is a market for long-distance, nonstop flights at Ontario."

Riverside LA Fitness Trades for $13M

Transcan Sells 45,783-SF Health Club to Investors

Alamo, CA-based developer Transcan Development LLC sold the LA Fitness building at 2600 Canyon Springs Parkway in Riverside, CA to San Jose investors Baypointe Partners LLC for $13 million or $284 per square foot.

This 45,783-square-foot retail health club was delivered in 2006 and is part of the Canyon Crossing shopping center. LA Fitness is under a triple-net lease, which expires in 2021.


The Annual Open Mosque Day 2008 in Corona, CA

THE ANNUAL OPEN MOSQUE DAY IS THE CELEBRATION OF OUR DIVERSITY WHICH MAKES OUR NATION STRONG AND VIBRANT. IT IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW THE MUSLIM NEIGHBORS, TO DEVELOP MUTUAL RESPECT, AND UNDERSTANDING.

Islamic Society of Corona-Norco cordially invites you, your family, friends, and members of your church, Synagogue, temple, and organization

DATE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 2008
TIME: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

PROGRAM:

Exhibits on Islam and Muslim Culture, Continuous video show, discussion, and International finger foods

WHERE:

ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF CORONA-NORCO
465 Santana Way, Corona, CA 92881
(951) 736-8155
info@coronamuslims.com


USC 2008 Starting Linebackers, Question of the Week

This season, the strong-side and middle linebacker spots are no-brainers. Barring injury during Fall camp, two potential All-Americans and first round NFL draft picks have a lock on those two spots. Of course, I’m talking about Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga respectively.

Yes, there will be competition as usual. But both Cushing and Maualuga thrive on competition. Bring it on. The more, the better. There is no need to list their statistics. Suffice it to say that both are on the Chuck Bednarick and Bronco Nagurski Watch Lists.

But the real battle—a war, actually—during Fall camp will be for the starting weak-side linebacking spot between Luther Brown (No. 1 on the depth chart) and Kuluka Maiava (currently No. 2)


So, the question of the week for all USC fans on Bleacher Report and beyond: Who do you think will win the starting weak-side linebacking spot?

I will give my answer further on, but for now here are the stats.

Luther Brown is a 6'2", 235 lbs. redshirt junior from Lakewood, CA. He has been a backup linebacker and a special teams standout for the past two seasons. In 2007, he appeared in all 13 games and had 25 tackles.

He missed some of the 2007 spring practice with a left shoulder sprain and had to redshirt in 2005, his freshman year, due to back surgery.

Kaluka Maiava is a 6'0", 230 lbs. senior from Wailuku, HI. He had surgery on his thumb and wrist after the 2007 season and saw only limited action in this year’s Spring practice.


Like Luther Brown, Maiava was a backup linebacker and special teams player in 2007 and 2008. He appeared in all 13 games last season and had 44 tackles, including 4 1/2 for losses of 18 yards including two sacks that accounted for 11 yards in losses. He also had two pass blocks and one forced fumble. He started the Arizona State game at weak side linebacker.

But will Maiava start the Virgina game on the weak side or will Luther Brown? That is this week’s Trojan Challenge.

Others on the depth chart include Mike Morgan and walk-on Nick Garratt behind Brian Cushing, Chris Galippo, Uona Kaveinga, and walk-on Dan Deckas behind Rey Maualuga, and Malcolm Smith and Jordan Campbell behind Brown and Maiava.

Mike Morgan is a 6'4", 220 lbs. redshirt sophomore from Dallas. Last year, he played backup linebacker and was on special teams and saw action in all but the UCLA game. He had nine tackles.

Chris Galippo is a 6'2", 255 lbs. redshirt freshman from Corona and Servite High School. Galippo got into the first three games last season as a backup linebacker and special teams player before suffering a herniated disk that required surgery.

He had eight tackles. If the back is sufficiently healed and Galippo is good to go, he could see considerable action as a backup in 2008 and will definitely be in the mix in 2009 when Cushing, Maualuga and Maiva are gone.

Uona Kaveinga is a 6'1", 235 lbs. freshman from Hawthorne and one of Pete Carroll’s pleasant Signing Day surprises. A Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American and an ESPN 150, Kaveinga had 147 tackles, 29 for losses and eight sacks playing for Leuzinger High School in Lawndale last year.

Working under linebackers coach Ken Norton, Kaveinga should see some game action this season and be in the thick of things next year when this year’s seniors begin playing on Sundays.

Malcolm Smith was a backup linebacker as a true freshman and one of the most exciting players on special teams. The 6'1", 225 lbs. sophomore from Taft High School is the younger brother of New York Giants wide receiver and former USC All-American Steve Smith.

In 2007, Smith appeared in all 13 games and had six tackles and a forced fumble and also ran back a fumble 31 yards against Nebraska. Coming off a good Spring practice, he will again be a key player on special teams and should compete for more playing time at linebacker.

Jordan Campbell was switched from fullback to linebacker just prior to Spring practice and had a sensational debut. The 5'11", 230 lbs. redshirt freshman played linebacker in his senior year at Norco, where he had 156 tackles, six sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

If his Fall camp is anything like his Spring drills, he should push both Maiava and Brown for playing time.

Depending on the game situation and the defensive alignment, Clay Matthews, Jr., as mentioned in last week’s front four analysis, will often be on the field as a stand up defensive end or drop back into a linebacking spot.

One other player that I unfortunately did not mention above is Maurice Simmons. The Super Prep All-American and Prep Star All-American got himself in trouble with the law last winter.

On Friday, Simmons testified at his own trial in Compton Superior Court, where he is charged with second-degree robbery, assault with a firearm and permitting a loaded firearm in his vehicle. The district attorney's office refused a plea bargain agreement, in which Simmons would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of allowing someone with a gun in his car, as reported in the Los Angeles Daily News.

So, good luck to Maurice, and I hope this has taught him a valuable lesson that will serve him in the future.

If you would like to comment on the Maurice Simmons situation or anything else USC, please go right ahead. With Fall camp beginning this Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. for returning players, let’s see some articles, camp reports, opinions and concerns.

Now my comment on this week’s Trojan Challenge: I feel that when Fall camp ends and the dust has settled Kuluka Maiava will emerge as the starting weak-side linebacker.

What are your feelings? And which one of the younger players will offer the greatest challenge to the incumbents and make his case for substantial playing time?