PASADENA, California, December 11, 2017 — ‘Tis the time of year when mere mortals don the robes of Santa Claus, with his cheery, red velour suit and cap with white fur trim and black belt and boots. But dressing like Santa Claus, it turns out, is the easy part. How to actually master the role of being a good, professional Santa, well, that takes training. The best Santas aren’t born; they’re made. And nobody knows this more than 78-year-old Nat B. Reed, who among his many talents (historian, retired Navy … Continue reading IN THE NICK OF TIME: The Real Truth About Santa!

Life Lessons of a Harvard Reject
Cost Plus Mattress
The Big Picture

PASADENA, California, November 6, 2017 — Currently, the U.S. pet food market has a value of about $25 billion a year on its way to about $30 billion by 2022. That’s some 7 million tons of wet food, dry food, snacks, treats and other pet provender produced annually by companies like Nestle, Mars, Blue Buffalo … Continue reading PET PROJECT: Happy, Health Dogs Can’t Get Enough of This Pasadena Lady

Highlights

After closing one of the world’s most successful body jewelry manufacturing businesses in December 2015, ending a two-decade run that earned millions of dollars annually and employed 86 people at its peak, Claremont resident Jim Coffman and his career are clearly on the rocks. Now he is in a state of monolithic madness, turning away from … Continue reading CLAREMONT: Former Global Leader in Body Jewelry Stone-Set on New Career

Al Gross, who at age 75 has been retired from Verizon for a dozen years, sees things differently from you and me. Where we see only imperfection, he sees only perfection. Where we see only a random, pointless and purposeless pile of unrelated things, he sees the distinct design and imprint of the Creator. To peer into … Continue reading KALEIDOSCOPIC POSSIBILITIES: So This is What Retirement Looks Like

MONROVIA, California, December 14, 2017 —  Like In-n-Out, Trader Joe’s has achieved almost mythical status, but I’m not buying all the hype. If I were talking to Mr. or Ms. TJ, here’s what I’d get off my chest: Your parking lots are accidents waiting to happen! Before I go to TJs, I always check with … Continue reading Bah Humbug, 10 Things I Really Hate About Trader Joe’s

ARCADIA, California, December 14, 2017 — Remember when teenage kids hanging out at the mall was a rite of passage? Well, now those same kids, and a lot of their friends, young and old, are hanging out online to do their shopping. As a result, one of the world’s biggest mall operators, Westfield Corporation, which … Continue reading HOLIDAY SURPRISE: Westfield Exits the Mall Business, But Its Name Will Live On

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Everything you need to know about Marianne Stark, who has owned a tax preparation, accounting and bookkeeping service in La Verne, Calif., since 1983, can be pretty much summed up in her surname — Stark, as in direct and unambiguous. In other words, she’s a straight shooter, which is refreshing to know if you’re a business … Continue reading THE STARK TRUTH ABOUT YOUR 2017 TAXES

LA VERNE, California, November 4,  2017 — After three decades of being the stylish, endearing and uniquely creative host of classical radio shows in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles again, Dennis Bartel, now 63, has finally been silenced. Actually, it is only his physical voice that has been stilled. He left … Continue reading Dennis Bartel’s Amazing Musical and Literary Odyssey Marches On

The beauty of our English language is that there is a word to describe every phase of your life. There’s no escaping it. Indeed, the older you get, there seem to be even more terms to describe your encroaching over-the-hill generational status: Ruppies (retired urban professionals): Typically, Ruppies migrate to large cities after raising their families … Continue reading RETIREMENT Lingo: Hey Ruppie, How’s That Jhobbie Going?

STUDIO CITY, California, November 5, 2017 — It may be less important in Southern California to know who’s on first (classic Abbott and Costello comedy routine) than who’s on Third. Who’s on Third is Joan McNamara, founder, owner and tastemaker of Joan’s on Third, which has locations in Los Angeles and Studio City. The daughter … Continue reading Joan’s on Third Rates First with This Reviewer

LA VERNE, California, November 6, 2017 — You don’t become a coaching legend (702 wins at Glendora before continuing your legacy at Damien where for the 2016-17 season he was named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune Coach of the Year) by getting out-coached, outfoxed or outmaneuvered. You always keep a few tricks up your sleeve … Continue reading Damien Plays by the Rules with the Help of Two NBA Refs