Friday, February 22, 2013

Beaumont's Canine Country Club

 “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”—Novelist Anatole France

As “top dog” in canine-friendly Beaumont, Ernie Sherman is our very own dog park mayor.

You can watch him “preside” over the goings on virtually every day at the Canine Country Club in Noble Creek Community Park. He’s joined by Shiloh, a Border collie, whose bark seems to say, “C’mon, let’s play!” to other dogs. And also at his side is Fred, a friendly Beagle, who loves to greet everybody.

“I hardly ever miss a day,” the 86-year-old Sherman said. “It doesn’t make any difference what the weather is.  We come!”

Named honorary mayor
In December 2012, Sherman was named “honorary mayor” of the dog park by the   Beaumont-Cherry Valley Recreation and Park District. The special district, which serves Beaumont and Cherry Valley, operates Noble Creek Community Park.

“He practically runs things,” said district General Manager Mickey Valdivia.
Since the ¾-acre park opened in 2008, Sherman has been busy keeping track of his constituents (canine and human) just like good mayors do. He’s got a book now filled with the names of about 650 canine visitors—plus the names of pet owners. Some dogs have been coming since they were pups. Sherman keeps office hours at the dog park from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week, so come by and say hello!

“I just enjoy the camaraderie,” Sherman says. “Dogs being dogs, people being people and everybody getting along.”

Pet-friendly town
When a RV park was built at Noble Creek Community Park, local residents quickly saw the need for a dog park. Many visitors had dogs with no place to run and frolic, so many ended up on nearby baseball fields.

The Park and Recreation District formed a Citizens Advisory Committee, came up with dog park rules and built the park with $90,000 in redevelopment money. It’s open dawn to dusk, seven days a week.
So whether you own a German shepherd or a Chihuahua, your pet will be very comfortable at the Canine Country Club. The park has separate areas for big dogs and small ones, so your pets can get to know and enjoy each other.

And so running free at the Canine Country Club, dogs enjoy a slice of heaven along with their best friends—the human kind—and the park becomes a place of great joy for pet lovers throughout the Pass!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Interstate 10: Harbinger of Change

It was the summer of 1961.

A small army of workers and machines toiled in the sun, laying concrete for a new freeway.

As the town watched, the coming of Interstate 10 was a harbinger of change. In a few decades, a small-town became one of the Inland Empire’s most progressive, modern cities.   

The freeway, just like the Transcontinental Railroad before, brought waves of new people and changed the course of our history. But it’s uncertain whether a freeway through our downtown was always in our destiny. Old timers still talk about a fascinating bit of local history that would have changed things in a big way.

It seems that in the 1950s, freeway engineers drew lines on a map that would have had the freeway skirting downtown and instead following Cherry Valley Boulevard before dropping down into Banning.

With hindsight, we can look back and see how the alternate freeway route would have drastically changed our landscape. For one thing, the old downtown along Fifth Street would have survived. But in doing so, the growth that made Beaumont so strong and vibrant might have passed us by—or at least looked much different than it turned out—and rural Cherry Valley would have grown up alongside a freeway.

In the end, the idea to run the freeway through Cherry Valley never got traction, and the freeway came to Beaumont, easily allowing us to reach any destination in the Inland Empire and beyond.

Freeway history

Looking back a half-century to see how the path of the freeway changed Beaumont, let’s revisit the days when plans for the interstate captivated the whole town.

On June 14, 1961, a story by John Hunter in The Beaumont News began this way:

“Here’s the answer to the freeway question: It will open to traffic through Beaumont about the middle of July.”
In the story headlined, “Six Lanes in Progress —Expect Freeway Opening by The Middle of July,” Hunter gave readers an inside look at the busy scene.

More than 200 workers, many of them local residents, worked on the job. The section of freeway through Beaumont called for 110,000 tons of concrete. But that was “piddling” compared to the 2,800,000 tons of dirt (hauled largely from the Stewart Ranch) to raise the freeway above Beaumont’s old downtown.

Some adventurous teenagers got a sneak peek of the freeway before all the traffic. They hopped a chain link fence and strolled across the lanes, walking to the Fox Theatre in Banning.

Before the freeway, the heart of Beaumont was along Fifth Street. But the original downtown was razed to make way for I-10. The freeway’s route today is just south of old Highway 99, now called 6th Street.

Workhorse of the interstates

More than a half century has passed since the freeway opened. Nowadays, an average of 120,000 cars and trucks zip through Beaumont along the interstate on a given day. The freeway is a main artery for national and international trade as a NAFTA highway and keeps goods and traffic flowing smoothly to vital destinations such as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The freeway also is a major tourism route to Palm Springs and the Colorado River, supporting the gaming and hospitality industries, which provide many jobs for area residents.
While Beaumont has grown alongside this major thoroughfare, the community has always maintained a unique hometown flavor and can-do spirit to go along with the progress that helped make our city what it is today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Celebrating Sustainability!

Beaumont honored for being energy efficient!
Beaumont was recently honored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative for our participation in a statewide sustainability and climate change recognition program, the Beacon Award: Local leadership toward Solving Climate Change.
Beaumont was recognized for its leadership in making its city buildings more energy efficient, saving money and promoting sustainability, including reducing electricity use by 10 percent in agency buildings and operations, saving more than $125,000 since 2009.
Examples of recent activities for which Beaumont was honored include:
·         Completing a comprehensive lighting retrofit to the newly renovated Police Administration Building, saving 119,000 kWh and saving $37,000 this year.
·         Adopting Municipal Green Building Policy that requires all new municipal building to meet high level green building standards.
·         Retrofitting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Beaumont Civic Center to be more energy efficient, saving 31,699 kWh and providing over $13,000 in savings.
“Beaumont is being very aggressive in its efforts to be a green community, control its energy costs and pursuing the latest technologies in sustainability,” stated Mayor Pro Tem David Castaldo. “Because of the prudent decisions of our city staff, and their timeless hours of research in energy efficiency and through some very wise investments in our own city's buildings, we have saved our residents precious tax dollars now, and in the years to come.”
Additional information about Beaumont’s accomplishments is available at

Friday, August 10, 2012

Minute Video

Beaumont adds `Minute Video’ to its website
For nearly 100 years, Beaumont has worked hard at creating a bond with its citizens.
In the early days, people chatted at town hall meetings and in the general store. We still cherish those tried and true forms of staying in touch, yet with today’s Internet, we’re also connected through cyberspace.

Because we spend more of our time online, Beaumont has created a special, new feature called, “Minute Video.” These short, captivating videos will help you discover what’s happening in town as we approach our city’s 100th anniversary on Nov. 18.

Please check out our first Minute Video, The Plunge.

With the click of a mouse, you can watch these productions on the city’s website, They’re posted on the YouTube link.

“This new feature will give residents, businesses and visitors important news about our hometown,” said Mayor Roger Berg.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Community Policing at its Best

Unique teams for the Beaumont Police Department are enhancing our lives and creating a better community.
The Community-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) Team and the Quality of Life Team are keeping neighborhoods safe and livable, working with our youngsters and rounding up our pets. These dedicated officers work closely with patrol officers, many city departments and the community. They strive to live up to the Department’s motto, “Exceeding Expectations.”
“We reach out to city departments and take a global look to increase our effectiveness,” said Sgt. Josh Ellsworth, who runs the COPPS program.
About two years ago, Beaumont created two units, COPPS and the Quality of Life team. (The Quality of Life team includes police, and code enforcement and animal care officers.) Because the police teams aren’t on regular street patrols, they are able to devote extra time and attention to issues. They work hand-in-hand with their fellow police officers and city employees, who often refer community issues to them.
The issues could involve anything from a dispute between neighbors or a business looking for security and crime prevention tips to cars speeding through a neighborhood. Other duties for Beaumont’s police teams include planning for law enforcement at special events, reading to youngsters during Story Time CafĂ© at Starbucks, being role models for youngsters as part of the Adopt-a-Cop program, supervising the Police Explorers program, and meeting with homeowners at Neighborhood Watch-style meetings under the Beaumont Cares program.
High praise
Meanwhile, the residents of Beaumont are giving kudos to their local police department. They recognize close cooperation between patrol officers and enforcement teams makes for a better, safer community.
Here are a few examples of praise for our officers and city employees:
  • Good neighbors: Two neighbors involved in a running dispute became friends when police listened and had them talk it over. “Because of the officer’s outstanding level of common sense, my neighbor and I became friends,” wrote a resident.
  • Safety First: A child’s ball rolled into the street, and a city employee passing by stopped his truck, halted traffic, and handed the ball back to the youngster.
  • Houdini” Hound: A clever dog stood up on its hind legs, flipped the lock, and opened the front door while his master was away. Police saw the open door, called the homeowner and locked up the residence. “I kept reflecting on how great it was to have the police come and make sure everything was okay at my house,” wrote a resident.
  • Sad passing: A 17-year-old family cat passed away, and a distraught owner called police. A police officer and an animal care officer arrived to comfort and assist the pet owner.
  • House Call: An animal care officer made a “house call” to check on a dog’s implanted microchip.
  • Staying Connected: A police officer took time to return a recovered cell phone to its owner.
  • Good Samaritan: A family from San Jacinto missed the last bus after spending the night shopping in our hometown. A police van took the grateful family back home.
So the next time you’re out and about in Beaumont, please take a moment to wave and say thanks to all our brave public servants. They’re outstanding city employees working every day to keep us safe and serve our community.