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RCC President Wolde-Ab Isaac, left, RCCD Chancellor Michael Burke

RCC brings performance, culinary programs downtown



DO YOU KNOW? In 2008, Riverside became water independent with the completion of the John W. North Water Treatment Plant, a state-of-the-art facility that can treat 10 million gallons of local water every day. This means no more relying on the Colorado River or the State Water Project to meet our water needs – just local, reliable water to keep us thriving. For more on the John W. North Water Treatment Plant go to

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b roug ht to you by:

f e b r u a ry- M a rc h 2 016 • VO L U M E 9, I S S UE 1



Joseph on the road

The life of a traveling thespian-singer isn’t necessarily what everyone wants, but it suits JC McCann just fine. After roles in “Les Misérables” and “Sunset Boulevard,” he’s enjoying his turn in the lead role of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” coming to Riverside, April 10.


Jerry Rice EDITOR


Amy Bentley, David Cohen, Elaine Lehman George A. Paul, Canan Tasci e dito r i a l g r a p h i c D E S I G N

Steve Ohnersorgen


Frank Perez, Eric Reed


Tom Paradis, Jack Storrusten Education, food & arts: A new nexus

Downtown Riverside has a lot going on — the Convention Center, the Fox Performing Ar ts Center, the Mission Inn, the pedestrian mall, ar t museums, shops — and now add to that an educational ar ts and culinary center that takes up a whole city block. Riverside Community College District’s $80-million Centennial Plaza means oppor tunity for students and even more vitality for the city’s central core. Key moments in RCC history, a timeline 14

Also inside Calendar 4 Grow Riverside 18 Dining at Sam’s Bann Thai restaurant 24 Seens and Nonprofit Calendar 26, 28 Riverside Airshow 30


Hot metal, cool creations

He’s known as “Metal Mike.” On a routine day, you’ll likely find him crafting gates, railings, possibly furniture made from reclaimed objects. But Mike Grandaw’s work has another side, one filled with whimsy and giant creations that have made their way out into world via the Coachella Valley Music and Ar ts Festival. He’s a guy who went the long way round to come home to Riverside and Studio Steel Welding.

On the cover Dr. Wolde-Ab Isaac, Riverside City College president, left, and Dr. Michael Burke, Riverside Community College District chancellor, in front of the new Centennial Plaza complex.


Carla Ford-Brunner, Sue Glynn Cindy Martin, Adil Zaher S A L E S A S S I S TA N T s

Vikki Contreras, Dixie Mohrhauser Victoria Vidana m a r k e ting

Veronica Nair, Ginnie Stevens

LANG Custom Publishing Frank Pine EXECUTIVE EDITOR CONTACT US Editorial: 951-541-1825; fax 909-885-8741 or Advertising: 909-483-9312; or Riverside Magazine is produced by LANG Custom Publishing of The Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Single copy price: $3.95. Subscriptions $14.95 per year. Postmaster: Send address changes to 9616 Archibald Ave., Suite 100, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. Copyright ©2016 Riverside Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Riverside Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos or artwork even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Photo by Eric Reed

Conn e c t !

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hot list DICKENS FESTIVAL FEB. 26-28  –  Annual celebration of all things Dickens, with costumed characters portraying eminent Victorians and characters from his novels, musical acts and a themed marketplace. General admission is free, however there is a charge for some activities including Picwick’s Pub Night (Feb. 26), Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball (Feb. 27) and, at the Riverside County Historic Courthouse, the trials of Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden and John Wilkes Booth (Feb. 27-28). Downtown Riverside; 951-781-3168; STAR PARTY MARCH 4-5  –  Riverside Astronomical Society spends the weekend scanning the heavens and on Saturday afternoon enjoying a potluck “Star-B-Q.” Membership is not required. Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station, Landers; 760-364-1952; RIVERSIDE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL MARCH 6  –  Eighth annual event presented

Peter Frampton File photo

by Temple Beth El in cooperation with city of Riverside. Screenings of “Dough” (2015, United Kingdom) at 1 p.m., “To Life!” (2016, Germany) at 3:30 p.m., and “Wunderkinder” (2011, Germany) at 7 p.m. The Box Theater, 3635 Market St., Riverside; $10 for one or $25 for all three; 951-684-4511; PETER FRAMPTON MARCH 13  –  In concert, part of his acoustic tour. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, 951-779-9800,, Also: Joe Satriani, March 3; Puscifer, March 17; Elvis Costello, April 5; Alton Brown, May 16; Jewel, May 19. ‘BLACK COFFEE’ APRIL 1-17  –  Agatha Christie’s first play. Riverside Community Players, 4026 4th St., Riverside; 951-686-4030; Also: “The Murder Room,” May 20-June 5; “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” July 15-31.


Attack, April 9 and 16; Riverside Children’s Theater Performance, April 16. 3545 Central Ave.; 951-683-1066;

ORANGE EMPIRE RAILWAY MUSEUM THROUGH MARCH 13  –  Spring Railroadiana Swap Meet, with railroad antiques, collectibles, art, books, photos, as well as model and toy trains, March 5; Bunny Train with the Easter Bunny, March 12-13. 2201 S. A St., Perris; 951-943-3020; Also: Iron Horse Family Steampunk Carnivale, March 19-20. ‘SECOND WAVE’ THROUGH MARCH 19  –  Aesthetics of the 1980s in today’s contemporary art. UCR/ California Museum of Photography, 3824 Main St., Riverside; 951-827-4787; Also: “Flash: David Weldzius,” through March 5; “CMP Projects: Marie Bovo,” through April 16; “Myth and Majesty,” photographs of the American Southwest, through May 21; “Flash: Cauleen Smith,” March 12-July 2. CULVER PERFORMANCES THROUGH APRIL 9  –  Open Expressions, March 3; Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, March 8; The Art of Migration: Moving Matters Traveling Workshop,” March 10; “Show & Prove 2016,” hip-hop performances by Rickerby Hinds and Raphael Xavier, April 9. Culver Center of the Arts, 3824 Main St., Riverside; 951-827-4787; RIVERSIDE PLAZA THROUGH APRIL 16  –  Photos with the Easter Bunny, March 11-16; K-FROG Stagecoach Ticket


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LAKE ALICE TRADING CO. THROUGH APRIL 16  –  Factory Tuned Band, March 4 and April 8; Driven, March 5 and April 9; Johnny on the Spot, March 11 and April 15; David Paul Band (classic and dance to today’s hits), March 12; Band of Bros., March 18 and April 16; Gravity Guild, March 19 and April 29; Eclipse (classic and dance to today’s hits), March 25-26; Brigade, April 1; Time Bomb (1980s), April 2. 3616 University Ave., Riverside, 951-686-7343,

Jason Uyeyama

Courtesy photo

LA SIERRA CONCERTS THROUGH APRIL 10  –  Student recital, featuring pianist Jonathan Mamora, Feb. 27; La Sierra University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Professor Giovanni Santos, March 12; Student Recital, with Victoria Bellaird on violin, April 8; Chamber Music concert, with a quintet of musicians who are regulars with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including violinist Jason Uyeyama, April 10. Hole Memorial Auditorium, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside; Free; 951-785-2036;

FILM SCREENINGS THROUGH MAY 12  –  Domestic and foreign films: “Is it Really So Strange?” March 4-5; “Heart of a Dog,” March 11-12; “Drive,” March 18-19; “Avalon,” March 25-26; “The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle,” April 1; “Cesar’s Last Fast,” April 2; “Dope,” April 8-9. Culver Center of the Arts, 3834 Main St., Riverside; 951-827-4787; ‘CHASING THE SUN’ THROUGH JUNE  –  Photographs, taken from 1880-1930, show the early days of Riverside and the entrepreneurial spirit of the city’s pioneers. Metropolitan Museum, 3580 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 951-826-5273; museum. Also: “Cahuilla Continuum,” “Discovery Days” and “Nature Lab,” all ongoing.

COTTON CLUB MUSICAL REVUE MARCH 5 – Music from the 1920s through ’50s and dancing. Riverside Community Players Theater, 4026 14th St., Riverside; 951-781-9561; ‘CASABLANCA’ MARCH 6 – Classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 5 p.m.; $11; 951-779-9804;

“Dancing” by Denise Kraemer ‘RESOLVE, RESOLVED, RESOLVING’ THROUGH MAY 15 – The works of local printmaker Denise Kraemer, who became an artist after being inspired by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Kathe Kollwitz, Alfonse Mucha and other artists. Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave.; 951-684-7111; Also: Gregory Adamson Showcase, including box lunch demos/lectures, every Thursday in March at noon, exhibit continues through April 25. ARTS WALK MARCH 3 – Browse more than 20 art galleries, studios and museums with exhibits in various art mediums. Continues the first Thursday of every month. Downtown Riverside; 6-9 p.m.; 951-682-6737; UCR IS DANCING 2016 MARCH 3-5 – Showcase for new ideas and experiments in original choreography by UC Riverside undergraduate students. University Theatre, 900 University Ave., Riverside; 951-827-4331; ‘PIRATES OF PENZANCE’ MARCH 3-6 – Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic comedy, presented by La Sierra University’s Vocal Department. Hole Memorial Auditorium, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside; $3-$20; 951-785-2036;

‘FORBIDDEN BROADWAY’ MARCH 12 – Sunny Thompson stars as the Hollywood sex symbol who longs to be respected for her talent and loved for who she really is rather than the character she has created. Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 2 and 7 p.m.; $21-$38.50; 951-335-3469; Also: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (story on Page 6), April 10. CLASSIC CAR SHOW MARCH 13 – Monthly event, continues the third Sunday of each month. Canyon Crest Towne Centre, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside; 1-4 p.m.; 951-686-1222; QUEEN NATION MARCH 19 – Queen tribute band. Romano’s Concert Lounge, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside; 10:30 p.m.; 951-781-7662; Also: The Curse (The Cure tribute), Feb. 27; No Duh (No Doubt tribute), March 5; Pretty Hate Machine (Nine Inch Nails tribute), March 11; The English Beat, April 1; Mistress of Reality (all-female Black Sabbath tribute), April 8; Wanted (Bon Jovi tribute), April 16; Strange Days (The Doors tribute), April 23. LED ZEPAGAIN MARCH 25 – Led Zeppelin tribute band in concert. Riverside Municipal Auditorium, 3485 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 7 p.m.; $15; 951-779-9800;, LECTURE SERIES MARCH 31 – “Childhood Obesity: Our Youth’s Epidemic”

is the topic of the 27th annual Dr. Richard N. Boylan Memorial Lecture. A question-and-answer session will follow the speakers’ presentations. Admission-free and open to the public, the event is sponsored in part by Epic Systems Corporation and Riverside Medical Clinic. California Baptist University’s Innovators Auditorium (in the School of Business Building), 8432 Magnolia Ave. Riverside; 6-8 p.m.; make reservations at or call 951-682-2753. ‘BIG RIVER’ APRIL 1-10 – Adaptation of Mark Twain’s timeless classic about Huckleberry Finn, with music and lyrics by Roger Miller and book by William Hauptman. Landis Performing Arts Center, 4800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; $29-$50; 951-222-8100; SPRING PLANT SALE APRIL 2-3 – Nearly 10,000 plants in more than 600 varieties will be available for purchase, including drought-tolerant and California natives, plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and plants that are suitable for cut

flowers. UC Riverside Botanic Gardens, 900 University Ave.; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday; 951-784-6962; UCR FILM FESTIVAL APRIL 7-8 – Original short films by UC Riverside students, faculty and alumni featuring “Bad Timing” by Stu Krieger. University Theatre, 900 University Ave., Riverside; 8 p.m., $12-$14 general, free for students, alumni cardholders, seniors and children, 951-827-3245, INTER-TRIBAL POW WOW APRIL 16 – Highlights include grand entry, gourd dancing, arts, crafts and food. Ira Hayes Stadium, Sherman Indian High School and Museum, 9010 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; 951-276-6719, ext. 321; TAMALE FESTIVAL APRIL 16 – Experience and celebrate the region’s rich Latino heritage through delicious food, lively music and fun entertainment during this fourth annual event. Beer garden. White Park, 3936 Chestnut St., Riverside; 951-235-3586;


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‘Joseph’ journey

and the amazing

Written by Amy Bentley


ith credits that include some of the most popular musicals ever produced — “Les Misérables,” “Forever Plaid,” “Sunset Boulevard” — it’s no surprise that JC McCann is a wonderful fit for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Before the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber production lands at the Fox Performing Arts Center on April 10, we had a few questions for the 28-year-old actor. What has been the biggest challenge playing the role of Joseph? The show is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler, who is really big on Broadway right now. I’m kind of a singer first, and Andy has challenged us as performers to take the show to a new level with movement and choreography. My biggest challenge was applying that to the way Andy wanted it. He’s really good at getting what he wants out of a cast. 6 

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It’s inspiring. It pushes you to do better. This show has been playing somewhere almost constantly since its 1968 debut in England and its 1970 debut in the United States. Why is it so enduring? It has every genre of music, from country to an Elvis Presley tribute. It hits everyone of any age. It’s also got the classic themes of endurance, hope and persevering through. Everyone has unique challenges that they overcome in life, and this show is good at connecting that. How has life on the road with this show been treating you so far? Traveling the country has always been a dream of mine. It’s amazing to be in different places and meet different people

JC McCann, below, and in the title role in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Photos by Daniel A. Swalec

and see different towns. I’m a fan of architecture so that’s kind of fun. One place that stood out to me was Memphis. The music scene was amazing. My girlfriend has been able to come and see me often, which is great. There are things you don’t think about, like doing laundry. But you get into a little bit of a routine; you get used to the bus, and you see fresh new things along the way. I’m still enjoying it. It’s a cool thing to experience. Finish this sentence: “The pinnacle of my career would be…” To play the role of Inspector Javert in “Les Misérables.” I would love to be in that show on Broadway. And also to sing with Justin Timberlake. ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ Where: Fox Performing Ar ts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside When: April 10 at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $33.50-$71 Information: 951-335-3469, 951-779-9804, JC McCann Instagram: superjmccann Facebook: jc.mccann


Photo by Jiro Schneider

A gu ccla fo ita im w r a rist ed or co jo cl ks n in as by cer s T sic Vi t fe he al va at P ld ur hil in i g

tring session Written by George A. Paul


hen William Kanengiser performs with the Riverside County Philharmonic on March 5, the audience will be transported to a musical paradise thanks to a program that features the award-winning classical guitarist on three Vivaldi works. “They’re so engaging, colorful and joyous and have all the hallmarks of the great Vivaldi style — projecting pure emotion,” Kanengiser said. “The middle movements are beautiful frozen moments in time.” One of them, the C Major Concerto for Mandolin, is a high-demand piece and tricky to play because it wasn’t written for guitar. Some people might recall it from “Kramer vs. Kramer,” the Oscar-winning 1979 drama. “The most popular and recognizable of the three is the Concerto in D, written for lute,” said the musician. “It has been expanded to become an orchestral piece for strength and continuum. The second movement of the D Major is gorgeous; a simple little melody, but the delicate sound of the guitar floats over this atmospheric pad of the strings. To me, it’s almost like a spiritual experience.” No stranger to the area, Kanengiser played with the symphony several years ago and has done solo recitals at Riverside City College. Kanengiser is a founding member of the acclaimed Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, which formed in 1980 and saw its “Guitar Heroes” win a Grammy for best classical crossover album in 2005. He obtained music degrees at USC when world renowned classical/flamenco guitarist

3 FAVORITES William Kanengiser, considered to be one of the country’s top classical guitarists, finds himself inspired by the talents of other guitarists. Three of his favorites:

Pepe Romero “The elder statesman who carries on the role that Andrés Segovia played. Pepe represents the essential Spanish vir tuoso; he’s also a phenomenal person and teacher.”

David Russell “From the next generation. He plays all styles of classical guitar. I heard him in my second year at USC, and he changed my life. I love his musicality, and his technique is flawless. He does everything with joy.”

Paul O’Dette “(He is) the greatest living lutenist and one of the great scholars of early music. Paul’s music-making is always tied to emotion and expression and human feelings. He represents the pinnacle of complete ar tists and scholars.”

Pepe Romero was artist in residence and has taught there for more than three decades. While serving as music consultant and player (Mozart’s “Turkish March”) on the 1986 Ralph Macchio drama “Crossroads,” Kanengiser coached the actor on how to look like a classical player and project finger dexterity. Last year, LAGQ released the album “New Renaissance.” The centerpiece is a 16-movement suite that was originally commissioned for its 2009 theatrical work, “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote,” and featured narration by John Cleese. Since the British comedy legend couldn’t perform it on a nationwide tour with the group, Phil Proctor of American troupe Firesign Theatre was recruited instead. “When I was in high school, the only thing I spent more time on than guitar was listening to and memorizing Monty Python and Firesign Theatre” (skits), recalled Kanengiser. “Flash forward 30 years later and I created this show for four guitars and an actor based on Don Quixote. “The chances of that happening — sharing the stage with my two (early) comic heroes — I still have to pinch myself.”





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William Kanengiser What: Guitar + Chamber Music = Match Made in Heaven, a concer t with the Riverside County Philharmonic Where: Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside When: 7:30 p.m. March 5 Information:, SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY: WILLIAM KANENGISER Studio session credits Solo albums Mark Isham, “Pride and Glory” “Classical Cool” (2003) soundtrack (2008) “Caribbean Souvenirs” (2003) John Tesh, “Holiday Collection” “Echoes of the Old World” (1996) (1993) Danny Elfman, “Sommersby” “Rondo alla Turka” (1991) soundtrack (1993) All are available for purchase via

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february-march 2016 | 9 february-march 2016 | | |9


Riverside’s newest Gem Riverside Community College District’s Centennial Plaza fills an entire city block at the intersection of University Avenue and Market Street. Photos by Eric Reed

Centennial Plaza is getting ready for its big debut Written by Canan Tasci


or much of her life, Andrea Lara-Jara has wanted to become a chef. As a toddler, she would escape to the kitchen with her father at every opportunity. Her first dish: fresh guacamole. “Part of it was culture, the other part was because I loved being in the kitchen,� she said.

Once complete, the 450-seat concert hall can be acoustically tuned to maximize sound quality for a variety of performances ranging from those by small choral groups to that of a large orchestra.

Today, the 26-year-old Riverside City College student is on her way to receiving a culinary arts degree with aspirations of running a local farm-to-table restaurant. The icing on the cake for Lara-Jara will be to show off her cooking skills at the new digs for the Culinary Arts Academy, which will be part of the Centennial Plaza complex that the Riverside Community College District is about to open in downtown Riverside. Set to debut in March, during the college’s 100th anniversary year, the $80 million project at the corner of University Avenue and Market Street will include the Henry W. Coil and Alice Edna Coil School for the Arts and performing arts theater, district offices, a four-level parking plaza with 224 spaces and a restaurant where meals prepared by the culinary students will be served. “I can’t wait for the building to open,” said Lara-Jara, who recently was whipping 12 

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up fresh Caesar salad dressing for the lunchtime crowd at the college’s current culinary space on Spruce Street. “I’ve driven by the new facility so many times. I’m just aching to see it complete.” The project Centennial Plaza has been a long time coming. In 2000, while still in its early stages of development, Brian Jaramillo, president of Riverside-based Tilden-Coil Constructors, was among those who started working with the district on plan reviews and budgets. Two years later, funding came via voter-approved Measure C bonds, and during subsequent years architects produced a variety of designs. A major milestone happened in September 2010 when Henry W. Coil Jr., Jaramillo’s predecessor at Tilden-Coil, donated $5 million to fund programs at a new school of the arts, which was

going to be an important element of the project. In March 2014, the district broke ground at the site and since then everyone who works, lives or goes to school downtown has been able to track progress on a complex that fills an entire city block. Once complete, it promises to be a busy hub for arts, culture and education, anchored by the 36,420-square-foot Coil building and the 60,289-square-foot Culinary Arts school. The two-story arts building will include a 450-seat concert hall, equipped with the latest acoustical technology, choir rooms, recording studio, lecture halls, piano lab, classroom/guitar studio, student lounges and an outdoor courtyard. Offices and other spaces will be large enough for one-on-one sessions with students and their instruments. The concert hall is designed to serve

Past to present Centennial Plaza is coming to a corner of downtown Riverside that for 130-plus years has primarily been home to one type of lodging or another, says Kevin Hallaran, archivist at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. In the early 1880s, Dr. Clark Whittier filled in a 2.5-acre pond at the site and used par t of the area to build a health spa. Frank Miller, of Mission Inn fame, leased the proper ty from Whittier and operated it for several years. In 1894, Whittier’s widow sold the proper ty to David Cochrane, who upgraded it and renamed it Hotel Holyrood to celebrate his Scottish homeland. After ownership changes, Pliny T. Evans, son of an early Riverside leader, Samuel C. Evans, gutted the proper ty and built a new structure in the 1920s. For decades, it was Hotel Plaza, with rooms on the upper floors and street-level businesses — including a furniture store, market and, from the early 1940s

Hotel Holyrood, circa 1900

Hotel Plaza, circa early 1970s

Centennial Plaza, October 2015

Centennial Plaza artist rendering

to 1974, the popular Chungking Restaurant. Hotel Plaza was one of the structures demolished to make way for Centennial Plaza, which includes Riverside City College’s Culinary Ar ts Academy. A terrace catering kitchen is

named in honor of Voy and Fay Wong, Chinese immigrants who owned and operated the Chungking and, for a time after immigrating from their homeland, lived in an apar tment across the street. — Jerry Rice



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s its name implies, the opening of Centennial Plaza will be the latest milestone in the 100-year history of what now is the Riverside Community College District. Here’s a decade-by-decade look at district highlights.

Rex Brandt

The Quad in 1924

• In 1916, Riverside becomes home to the state’s seventh junior college, opening at the site of Riverside Polytechnic High School. Suppor ters make the case for the educational and economic advantages provided by a junior college and a “strong plea for democracy” that include what, at that time, were two novel ideas: vocational education and serving par t-time students. • First class schedule includes courses in agriculture, business, history, logic, political economy, science, surveying and “shop work to be arranged.” Initial student enrollment is 114.

• Faculty member Arthur Gordon Paul in 1920 is promoted to the dual role of principal of Riverside Poly High and Riverside Junior College. He oversees both until 1945, when the Board of Education separates the chief administrative roles and makes Paul responsible only for the college. He retires in 1950. • The Quad’s first two wings (east and nor th) are constructed in 1924. Today, the structures are historic landmarks and the oldest buildings dedicated to community college instruction in California. • The era of the Cooperative Education Program/Coop (early workforce preparation program) begins, including nursing, which star ts in 1924. Alumni include Chester Carlson, a Coop student who later invents the process of Xerography, a printing and photocopying technique. • Catherine S. Huntley begins teaching physical education in 1926, a role she continues until 1962. Today, a gym on campus is named in her honor.


Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lovekin

• Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lovekin donate 2.5 acres of land in 1932, which later becomes home to the cosmetology program. • New vocational education shop buildings (A&B) open in 1935; Wheelock Field opens in 1937. • The college forms a par tnership with Riverside Community Players in 1937. • First discussions about dropping the word “junior” from the name of the college. • Rex Brandt, an alumnus and nationally recognized watercolor ar tist, becomes director of the Lovekin Ar t Center, housed in what was once the Lovekin family home.

Orland W. Noble

• 60 Poly High School seniors take par t of their coursework at RJC as par t of a program to accelerate academic passage of students who can then contribute to the war effor t. • Marie Bonnett is the first woman to serve as president of the Riverside Board of Education, which at the time oversees RJC. • In 1945, the name is changed to Riverside College. • After World War II, many veterans need both review and remedial courses. For the first time, the college introduces courses below the transfer level.

• Alumnus Orland W. Noble, who oversaw college’s effor t to welcome returning veterans as students in the late 1940s, becomes president in 1950. • Construction of the Quad is completed in 1951. • In 1956, the city of Riverside and Riverside College trade proper ty — Cutter Park for Evans Park. Cutter Park is now home to Cutter Pool and the Riverside Aquatics Center. Evans Park is a shared-used baseball/ softball facility. • During the decade, faculty numbers double as enrollment grows (from 681 to 2,188), par ticularly in the vocational-occupational programs and evening classes.

1910S 1920S 1930S 1940S 1950S


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• Baseball team wins the first of three straight state championships in 2000. The Tigers win another title in 2007. • Moreno Valley College breaks ground on College Park, a joint par tnership with city of Moreno Valley, in 2003; the park opens a year later. • RCCD Foundation receives a $1.45 million endowed gift to establish a veterans scholarship fund at RCC.

Gary and Sheila Locke

Jerry Tarkanian

• Thomas Mark Johnson is the new track coach and athletic director star ting in 1960. During his two decades as AD, he increases men’s athletic programs from five to 12, women’s from seven to eight, and co-educational activities from six to 24. • Jerry Tarkanian becomes the men’s basketball coach in 1961, leading the team to three consecutive state junior college championships including a 35-0 season in 1963-64. In 1966, Tarkanian leaves Riverside for Pasadena City College, where that team wins a state title in his first season. • The first program for deaf students at a California community college is established in 1961. • Enrollment tops 10,000 students (5,654 day, 4,900 night) by the end of the decade. Noticeable diversity begins on campus, primarily with increases in the number of Black and Latino students.

Charles Kane

• Curriculum is revised in 1975 to include computer programming, advanced assembly language and information management systems as par t of the tech revolution. • Riverside Community College District Foundation is launched in 1975. • Automotive Technology Building opens at RCC in 1976, followed by the launch of successful par tnership programs with Toyota and Ford. • Child Development Center opens in 1976. • Alumnus Charles Kane is appointed superintendent/president in 1978. • Evening classes account for 50 percent of enrollment. • Joseph Aguilar, an alumni, local business leader and a proponent of racial and ethnic equality, is elected to the Board of Trustees in 1964, serving the first of two terms.

• Early in the decade, the Board of Trustees explores opening two new campuses, one in Moreno Valley and the other in the Corona/ Norco area. • In 1984 the district receives 141 acres of surplus government land in Norco, the future site of a campus. • The RCC Marching Tigers are formed in 1984. Under the direction of Gary Locke and his wife, Sheila, the band has been a frequent performer in the Tournament of Roses Parade, and has appeared in parades and other special events around the globe. Referred to as “Hollywood’s Band,” the Marching Tigers appear in dozens of movies, TV shows and commercials. • In October 1985, the Rober t C. Warmington Co. donates 112 acres of land in Moreno Valley for a future campus. • Board formally approves the sites for future college campuses; dean positions established for both campuses in 1986. • Board changes the name of Riverside City College to Riverside Community College in 1986. • California Board of Governors approves campus expansion plans in 1988.

2000S Salvatore Rotella

• Moreno Valley and Norco college campuses open on March 13, 1991, with a torch run and other activities, celebrating the 75th bir thday of Riverside City College. • In 1992, Salvatore Rotella becomes RCCD’s seventh president. • Groundbreaking at Moreno Valley College for Phase II construction — Humanities building; Phase II construction at Norco College for the Airey Library and Applied Tech buildings. Phase III construction at Norco for the Industrial Tech building and soccer field. • RCCD Foundation raises $1 million through its Endowed Scholarship Campaign. • RCCD Foundation/ District launch the Passpor t to College campaign/initiative in 1996 for 7,000 fifth graders; Passpor t to College surpasses is $1.5 million goal in 1999.

• California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors recognize Moreno Valley College and Norco College as the state’s 111th and 112th community colleges, respectively, in 2010. • Riverside Aquatics Complex opens in 2011, quickly becoming a sought-after venue for local, regional and national competitions. • The Center for Civil Liber ties & Social Justice, the initial building in the Centennial Plaza complex, opens in 2012. • Wolde-Ab Isaac is named the college’s 11th president in April 2015. • Riverside City College celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016.

1960S 1970S 1980S 1990S 2010S february-march 2016 | | 


At a glance

Centennial Plaza • It took three days and 380 truckloads to pour the footing concrete into the foundations of the Culinary Ar ts Academy and district office, the Henry W. Coil Sr. and Alice Edna Coil School for the Ar ts and parking structure. • Cubic yards of cement used: 1,000 for the Culinary Ar ts Academy; 1,200 for the Coil School, and 1,600 for the parking structure. • 386 geopiers were used to create a foundational structure for the parking facility. • More than 2,000 pieces of steel were used in the Coil School of Ar ts performance hall. • While Riverside’s Tilden-Coil Constructors played a leading role in building Centennial Plaza, other contractors also were involved including Caston, Inc., San Bernardino; Columbia Steel, Inc., Rialto; Corona Aluminum Co.; Inland Building Construction Co., San Bernardino; and Maguire Contracting, Fontana. • Centennial Plaza received a Project in Design award from the Community College Facility Coalition in 2014. SOURCE: RIVERSIDE COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT


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individual artists as well as quartets, ensembles and even full orchestras. And, thanks to input from the college’s music faculty and others, Chris Carlson, chief of staff and facilities development for the college district, says that audiences will enjoy a sound quality during performances that rivals the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. “This is the type of facility that can be used for years to come,” she added, noting that it’s the only mid-size concert venue in the region. The band, orchestra and choir rooms can be adjusted to change the sound dynamics as musicians and vocalists perform, and the percussion room will be perfect for students to learn both the technical and pedagogical aspects of percussion, Carlson says. The top-flight recording room will have 24-track analog and digital capabilities, with recording and editing consoles, digital synthesis instruments, networked computers and video equipment. Steps away from the arts school will be the three-story culinary academy. The first floor will have four demonstration and teaching kitchens, an ice-carving room, dining hall and a 240-seat meeting room that can be divided into three. Students, including Lara-Jara, will have new cooking equipment to use as they develop their meal preparation skills. The dining hall has space for 120 guests, and one of the seating areas has bar stools along the windows for those who like to people watch while they eat. As for those pedestrians outside, they’ll be able to look through a glass wall to see what the student chefs are whipping up in the kitchen. “With a new facility, you have less headache than you would have from an old building,” said Bobby Moghaddam, the college’s executive director of hospitality and culinary arts. “It’s like making something from scratch versus following a recipe.” Another feature is a rooftop terrace, with raised planters and an area for a garden where the student chefs can grow herbs and vegetables for their recipes. The district plans to host social events on

the terrace, which offers a vantage point for spectacular views of Mount Rubidoux, Box Springs Mountain and the San Bernardino Mountains. “Our students, faculty and community deserve this type of facility,” said Michael Burke, Riverside Community College District chancellor. “These are quality programs, and they deserve to be in state-of-the-art facilities.” The neighborhood Downtown Riverside already has much going on. Within walking distance of Centennial Plaza is the Fox Performing Arts Center, a Spanish Mission-style theater that hosts live musical and cultural performances. To the east is the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, which is famously known for its lavish décor and cuisine and also its dazzling holiday display, the Festival of Lights. And, in another direction is the newly renovated and expanded Convention Center, which hosts major community and regional events throughout the year. With Centennial Plaza in the midst of the action, district officials believe it will be a game-changer for both the college and the city. “Riverside claims to be the City of Arts and Innovation, and we can make no better contribution than to put one of our best artistic facilities right in the heart of downtown,” said Dr. Wolde-Ab Isaac, Riverside City College president. Also part of the complex is the Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties, which sits adjacent to the new construction and occupies a structure that was built in 1926. Later, starting in the 1950s, it served as the Citrus Belt Savings and Loan building. Today, the center is an RCCD-operated museum, archive and educational resource. Its featured exhibit is a collection by Miné Okubo, a JapaneseAmerican artist and RCC graduate who was sent with her family to an internment camp in the Utah desert during World War II. She documented her experiences and those of fellow Japanese-Americans in “Citizen 13660” and other works.

What Burke, the district’s chancellor, likes about Centennial Plaza and the Center for Social Justice is that they showcase the college and the important role it plays. “We served 51,967 students in the last school year but that sometimes get overlooked because we are a community college,” he said. “This puts us on the map as players in downtown and in the arts, telling a profound story about Riverside’s rich history and civil rights.” The excitement Bruce Dichter is not your average college student. The 62-year-old bypassed college after graduating high school and instead went straight into the restaurant business. He started working at the age of 14 at McDonald’s and by 18 was a corporate manager. Dichter now is a freshman in RCC’s culinary arts program. “The way I look at it, it’s never too late to plan and continue my education. I’ve always been in the kitchen, but I’ve never had professional training,” said the Riverside native. “I want to be the creative force behind a restaurant, and that’s why I’m here.” At the academy’s Spruce facility, Dichter says that 20 to 30 plates of food are generally served per day during the morning and afternoon dining sessions. In the new building, because of its prime location, he’s expecting to plate about 200 meals. “We don’t get many people now because we’re off the beaten path,” Dichter said. “But at the new place I can see it being busy, where we will get so many people we could run out of food. That’s a good thing, of course. It will encourage all of the students to work as a team.” For Antonio Armijo it’s the arts building’s 63 practice rooms that he can’t wait to get into. Each of the 110-squarefoot spaces can accommodate small groups of musicians or individual artists. The rooms are double the size of the ones currently in use at the music hall on RCC’s main campus. For musicians, who Armijo compares to athletes, having the

“We have one of the largest and most comprehensive music and fine arts programs around,” said Dr. Wolde-Ab Isaac, Riverside City College president. “This facility will be attractive to faculty who will want to come here and teach and it will also attract some of the best students.”

Chris Carlson, the college district’s chief of staff who also oversees facilities development, looks over what will be a courtyard during a tour of Centennial Plaza in early February.

proper space to fine-tune their craft is essential. And since the 31-year-old musician plays a tuba, which weighs about 40 pounds, he is looking forward to the larger practice rooms. “It’s important to have enough space to unload and move around,” he said. Students aren’t the only ones looking forward to Centennial Plaza’s debut. “It’s a fantastic set of buildings, and I’m really excited for the city that RCC invested in downtown in that capacity,” Jaramillo said. “They could have put it

on their own campus, but I think putting it downtown is a testament of their commitment to the city and the shared use of the facility. This is more than just the college’s facility, this is for the entire community.” “Centennial Plaza is an incredible investment from a community partner that has played a strong role in the development of our city,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “I look forward to seeing how this community asset brings new luster to downtown Riverside.” february-march 2016 | | 


Deborah Ghamlouch grows organic fruits and vegetables on property that her family has owned since the early 1970s. She sells much of that bounty at the Riverside Downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays during the growing season for her farm, from November through June. Photos by Fr ank Perez


Cultivating a movement

Food for thought will be dished up in March during Grow Riverside Written by Jerry Rice


eborah Ghamlouch, who grows Washington navels, lemons, tangerines and many other items on her 10-acre Riverside farm, is a champion of the farm-to-table movement. While that may not be a surprising position for a farmer, she’s at a loss to explain why only a small percentage of the population follows suit. “I think there’s a disconnect and people don’t really understand the importance of buying locally-grown,” she said. “Price is always important, even for my family, but by spending a few more pennies you’re supporting a local farmer versus a big commercial (enterprise). “And because you don’t have to put pesticides on it or wax to preserve it, the food tastes better and it’s more nutritious, so it’s better for you. It’s a win-win all the way around.” Getting that word out is a goal of the Grow Riverside conference, March 21-22. The third-annual event, which encourages farming in the city’s

“I think there’s a disconnect and people don’t really understand the importance of buying locally-grown.”

greenbelt, will include presentations at UC Riverside by food, nutrition and farming experts and a keynote address by Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculure. Also on the schedule: a tour of a local farm and a dinner that showcases a UCR initiative to serve delicious food that is healthy, sustainable and socially responsible. “The Grow Riverside movement, if it hurries up and catches on, will really be something,” Ghamlouch said. “We have this great thing — agriculture land in a major city surrounded by Orange County and Los Angeles — and more people in Riverside should know how important it is.” For more information, visit

Riverside food facts • Riverside has more than 4,600 acres of agricultural land, including an estimated 800 acres that are vacant awaiting cultivation. • Citrus, especially oranges, is primarily what’s grown in Riverside’s greenbelt, but other items include avocados, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, squash, strawberries and tomatoes. • Water for irrigation is available from local sources. Much of it is delivered via the Gage Canal, which dates to the 1800s. • At least half of the salad bar items served in Riverside Unified School District cafeterias come from local farmers. Sometimes during the year, it’s as much as 100 percent. • UC Riverside is committed to 20 percent sustainable food procurement by 2020. SOURCES: CITY OF RIVERSIDE, RIVERSIDE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT february-march 2016 | | 



Caterpillars, Robots & Steel Riverside’s ‘Metal Mike’ goes for big art

Written by John Welsh


n a warm, fall night in downtown Riverside, a couple of men showed up on the Main Street pedestrian mall with a 700-pound, 1950s-inspired robot. The nine-foot-long creation, made of junkyard parts, including an oil cylinder from a 1950s Ford, steel rods and a handful of old propane tanks, was towed in on a flatbed truck and then carted to its location, just a stone’s throw from the city’s famous Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. Reclining horizontally, “Out of Batteries” looked as if it was ready for a nap. It did not move, make cute noises or feature fun, flashing lights, but for at least one night, it was the coolest, do-nothing robot in all of the land. Passersby at Riverside’s “A Long Night of Arts & Innovation” paused in front of the silver-black-teal robot to pose and take pictures. “I love the sleeping robot,” said Anika Hayes of San Jacinto. “I just love the colors. It’s plain, rustic.” One of her sons, Liam, was impressed and curious. “Why is he sleeping?” The artist who built the robot might answer with a rhetorical, “Why not?” He is childlike in his cheerfulness with a thick, reddish, monk-like beard that cannot hide his smile. Mike Grandaw, known as “Metal Mike” in Riverside and surrounding parts, enjoys making large-scale art pieces that generate reactions such as little Liam’s. And if someone is scratching their head or doing a double take, that suits Metal Mike just fine. To date, he has produced two massive installations for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The submissions were vetted by the world-renowned festival’s Mike Grandaw at his Studio Steel Welding workshop in Riverside Photo by Eric Reed


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“It’s an opportunity to do something fun and weird, creative, maybe make some money – better than a job.” art committee. He sent committee members another pitch last fall, but the project was not greenlighted. Nonetheless, Grandaw hopes the idea might be something another festival or community event finds of interest. Grandaw’s regular work requires heavy lifting and lots of welding in sweltering heat. His welding and fabrication business, Studio Steel in downtown Riverside, specializes in creating ornate gates, entryways, doors, custom furniture and railings. This is his “day job,” which often stretches late into the night. A 12-hour day is common for him.

Photo by john welsh

Mike Grandaw jokingly kisses his robot creation, “Out of Batteries.”

But these are the paying jobs that help support his wife, Tania, and the couple’s two girls, Venice and Geneva, ages 7 and 5, respectively. Grandaw said he loves creating gates and rails and doors that help a homeowner’s property pop, but it’s the big artwork, his side projects, that bring out a twinkle in his eye. His laid-back, hip

vibe might mask just how excited he is when it comes to the major projects that could be enjoyed by tens of thousands. Big and bold? Take “Supporting Nature,” his first accepted submission, in 2011, at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It involved suspending an 18-foot tree above the ground. Its trunk dangled, In addition to top headliners, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival also is known for its colorful and massive art installations. Below, festivalgoers linger around Mike Grandaw’s giant caterpillar at the 2014 event. Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio maher

february-march 2016 | | 


Installations at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are more than just fantastically large and beautiful. In the case of Mike Grandaw’s giant caterpillar in 2014, it provided shelter from the sun during the day and a place to hangout in the evening. Photo by Zach Cordner Invision/AP

precariously one might think, above the earth. But the tree was fully supported, its limbs rested on a custom-designed metal framework and Grandaw had transformed metal to resemble branches the tree never had. The tree had been left in the backyard of a friend’s house. He was going to cut it up, but Grandaw had a vision: the dead tree was not dead to him — it was art. After the Coachella festival, “Supporting Nature” was bought by a Riverside resident. It now sits, exactly as designed, in a yard in the Pachappa Hill neighborhood. An old car battery on a timing system illuminates it at night. Nature is a recurring theme in Grandaw’s work. His ornate designs often involve images of succulents, suns and birds. Riverside’s Raincross pattern is one of his specialties, and it’s popular — many of his clients request it in gate designs. In late 2013, the Coachella commission approved his vision for “Giant Green Caterpillar.” It appeared at the 2014 festival and was described as “something that looks natural, a place to cool off, cool out.” 22 

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As the caterpillar was trucked from Riverside to Indio, motorists along I-10 could have easily thought it looked like playground equipment gone wrong. The head of the piece, when it was getting finished at Studio Steel, resembled one of those dome-shape, climbing apparatuses popular in neighborhood parks during the 1970s. But when the project’s five segments were pieced together, and the roughly 1,600 flowers-and-succulent lined panels were connected to the framework, the caterpillar came to life. The plants gave the piece “living skin,” to borrow a phrase from the Coachella website. The description went further: “The people on the inside give it a heartbeat. …” For Grandaw the piece was more than art, he also wanted to give festivalgoers a place to get relief from the high temperatures. The mega art projects come straight from Grandaw’s why-not? spirit. “It’s an opportunity to do something fun and weird, creative, maybe make some money — better than a job,” he said during a sit-down at his

Riverside workshop. The tail-end of that comment, the maybe-make-some-money part, ended with him laughing. Although Coachella provides some funding for commissioned pieces, Grandaw doesn’t make any significant money on the work. Of course, the hope is that the mega projects help bring attention to his skills, his Studio Steel work. But most concertgoers are not the type to commission such work. Nonetheless, Grandaw appreciated seeing strangers enjoy “Giant Green Caterpillar.” “Some were absolutely in love with it, feeling up the plants with their faces,” he said, smiling, hinting that some of the visitors might have had too much drink or, ahem, something else in their systems. “We got some awesome pictures of people sleeping up against the caterpillar. I guess they felt comfortable.” Grandaw grew up mostly in Riverside, then the family moved to Grand Terrace for his high school years. He graduated from Colton High School in 1992 and bounced around a bit.

He was involved in the hot rod community, remodeling cars and also did custom work on motorcycles. He landed in the San Francisco area, planned to attend art school, but he didn’t get in and struggled to keep things going artistically and financially. A family connection helped him find work in the Oakdale area, northwest of Modesto, at a company specializing in custom-made fire trucks. It was there, living near almond orchards, where he felt a deeper connection with nature. He watched the seasons come and go, the trees flower and fruits sprout. He also watched blankets of Tule fog and winter’s chill resolve the trees into barren skeletons of what they once were. Even the stark groves in the dead of winter were beauty to him. He eventually returned to resettle in the Riverside area, met Tania and married her six years later. The couple currently resides in Riverside’s Wood Streets area. Part of his 12-hour work days include his duties as a “modern dad,” as he put it. He makes breakfast. The girls get the hugs and the kisses and off to school they go. Tania Grandaw helps her husband with bookkeeping, assisting clients and scheduling. Grandaw says his wife loves him, but he knows he drives her crazy. Case in point: robot’s night out. He called his wife from the shop. “Hey, I’m thinking of taking the robot downtown.” Tania’s reaction? “She said, ‘Do you think that’s necessary?’ ” recalled Grandaw. A side note to the robot’s night out: Grandaw didn’t actually have permission to participate in the Main Street event. Grandaw said he learned of it after the submission period had closed, but loved the concept and wanted to be there. So he rolled the dice and hoped he and “Out of Batteries” wouldn’t get the boot. (They didn’t.) “Go do it is my attitude in life,” Grandaw said. “Don’t be afraid of

Studio Steel Welding Mike Grandaw’s shop is a place where he handcrafts custom gates, fencing and railings, both modern and classic. In addition to traditional projects, Grandaw builds furniture and enjoys using reclaimed and recycled items. Information about Grandaw’s shop is available at

anything. All the people in life who make it — yes, some of them get lucky — but so many worked hard, and worked and worked, and that’s just it. They did it.” Tania and the girls eventually showed up that evening on Riverside’s Main Street pedestrian mall. They danced around their mother, held their dad’s hand too. Grandaw stepped back several feet, became a fly on the wall, and simply enjoyed the parade of people taking pleasure in his work. The robot’s eyes are made from threading machine parts, and the teeth are from a pipe threader. He didn’t want the robot to have a laser gun. “No guns, nothing scary, but nothing

kooky either, something kinda cool,” Grandaw said, his arms folded, feeling a sense of pride. Grandaw had been commissioned to make the “Out of Batteries” for a customer. It took about two months to complete it. He put the finishing touches on the robot just prior to the Long Night of Arts & Innovation event. The customer was out of town, so the robot had its spontaneous public debut before it would land in its permanent resting place as landscape art in front of a home. The other night Grandaw drove past his client’s property. He slowed down to a near stop, observing. Does he miss his robot buddy? “Yeah, a little bit,” he confessed. When the project was still in its planning stages, the man who commissioned it asked him if he had ever built a robot sculpture before. “No, but I can do it,” Grandaw said. “If it’s metal, I can do it. I am a dive-in sorta guy.”

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Taste of

Thai Restaurant dishes up the authentic flavors of Bangkok and beyond Written by David Cohen Photos by Eric Reed


ith dozens of items from which to choose, you’d be hard pressed to not find something that strikes your culinary fancy at Sam’s Bann Thai Restaurant. Owner Sam Arch and his wife, Emmaa, both shortened from their lengthy Thai names, operate two locations in Riverside: one on Brockton Avenue and the

new incarnation on Mission Inn Avenue across from the Old Spaghetti Factory. We opted for the newer place for a recent visit. With its high ceiling and gray painted ducting, red walls, green booths and polished dark wood chairs, the ambiance is both modern and industrial. Folding three-section screens

adorn the space as do scenes of Thailand on the walls. The cuisine is typical of what you’d find in central Thailand, more specifically in and around Bangkok. Everything is made in-house, and authenticity is the watchword here. You’ll also find a smattering of dishes inspired by those from Isan Province in the northeastern part of Thailand, including shredded green papaya salad and larb. It’s a cold ground chicken

Green beans with spicy pork in garlic sauce

Tofu salad

Chu chee curry with chicken

Sliced beef salad

salad mixed with roasted rice powder. Granted, it’s tough to put a dent in the 100-plus items served, but we tried to cover a number of dishes from various sections of the menu to provide an overview. From the appetizers, we sampled spicy tangy fried calamari with a bit too much breading, but assertively flavored with a sauce that was chile- and vinegar-based. As with many of the selections, the vegetables that accompany them are plentiful and invariably include sliced cucumber, romaine lettuce, tomatoes and carved strings of carrots. From the hot pot soups came a scintillating tom kha with a base of coconut cream and broth and a choice of very plump shrimp, chicken or vegetables. Meaty straw mushrooms, green onions, cilantro and fresh chile are incorporated as well as highly aromatic kaffir lime leaves, slices of galangal (a relative of ginger), and pieces of lemongrass resulting in a cacophony of flavors that explode on the palate leaving a pleasant glow at the back of the tongue. The sliced beef salad contained perfectly medium grilled beef, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, carrots and red onions tossed with a dressing of fish sauce and lime providing a pungent acidity throughout. The red onions were rather strong and could have used 15 minutes

Last but certainly not least was the chu chee curry with tender pieces of chicken cooked in chi chili paste, which is similar to red chili paste but not as fiery. It’s blended with coconut milk, which provides a cooling component along with highly aromatic kaffir lime leaves and both red and green bell peppers. I could drink this broth by itself as a nightcap! There are eight curries from which to choose including massaman curry from southern Thailand. Given the breadth and depth of the menu, it will take several visits to work your way through the prodigious number of offerings. One last note: Sam and his wife are planning to open an orphanage for 30 to 50 kids in central Thailand, using the proceeds from their restaurants — truly a noble endeavor!

Owner Sam Arch, right, with his son and restaurant manager, Matthew Arch

soaking in a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar to take away some of the harshness. Moving to the entree section, we opted for grilled salmon in a ginger sauce. The sauce was described as a blend of ginger, garlic, green onions and some other unspecified ingredients. While the fish was impeccably fresh and exceedingly tender, I found the sauce too subtle for my palate, expecting more heat from the ginger component. The pork with green beans in a pepper and garlic sauce was superb — the meat melting in the mouth and the green beans providing a contrasting crunch when bitten into. The garlic and pepper provided a warming spicy pungency to the overall dish.

Sam’s Bann Thai Restaurant Where: 3203 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside Information: 951-742-7694; Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday Prices: Lunch specials $6.95-$7.95 (comes with two appetizer pieces, salad and jasmine rice); appetizers $6.95-$9.95; salads $6.95-$13.95; entrees $8.45-$13.95. Notes: All major credit cards accepted. Beer and wine. Catering: par ty trays. Delivery within a 5-mile radius. february-march 2016 | | 


seen Mayor “Rusty” Bailey detailed both accomplishments and opportunities for Riverside and its residents during his annual State of the City address, presented recently at the Convention Center. More than 1,100 people attended — the most in the event’s 39-year history.

State of the City Address 1




(1) Mayor “Rusty” Bailey, left, Nancy Melendez and Dr. Carlos Cortes (2) Howard Saner, left, and Bob Stockton (3) Rachel Rosen (4) Gary Locke Ph o t o s c o u r t e s y S t eve J a c o b s , C i t y o f R i ve r s i d e ; M i c h a e l J . E l d e r m a n a n d t h e G r e a t e r R i ve r s i d e Chambers of Commerce

sav e th e date

Riverside City College, 4800 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; 5:30 p.m. VIP reception, 6 p.m. general admission, 7:15 p.m. showtime; 951-525-4137;


Feb. 20 – Red Dress Fashion Show & Health Expo, hosted by Riverside Community Hospital’s Hear tCare Institute. Featured guest is celebrity makeup ar tist Edgar Santos. Health expo, workshops and free screenings, 10-11 a.m.; gourmet lunch and presentation, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth St.; 951-788-3463; March 5 – Banquet for Life is the annual benefit for Riverside Life Services, a nonprofit that offers free medical care and counseling to pregnant women. The organization has helped more than 10,000 local women during the last four decades. Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth St., Riverside; 6 p.m.; 951-784-2422, March 5 – Dress for Success Special Inventory Sale. Great clothes and accessories star ting as low as $5; vendors, hair, makeup and clothing consultants on site. Christ The King Lutheran Church, 1505 Ford St., Redlands; noon to 5 p.m.; free admission; 909-800-5202 (ask for Gina). March 12 – Saturday of Service and the ninth annual Live Your Dream Conference, presented by Soroptimist International of Riverside. California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside; March 24 – 116th Inaugural Celebration, presented by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. Riverside Convention Center,


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April 26 – Salute to Service Awards Ceremony, presented by Soroptimist International of Riverside. Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth St.;

March 19 – Walk with the Animals is a benefit to suppor t Mary S. Rober ts Pet Adoption Center programs. The 24th annual event opens with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by a 1.3-mile walk around Fairmount Park. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Also: K-9 demonstrations at 10 a.m. and a vendor/ exhibitor area will be open throughout the morning. Fairmount Park, 2601 Fairmount Blvd., Riverside; 951-688-4340, ext. 305, 3637 Fifth St., Riverside; 951-683-7100; April 16 – A Senior Salute, 11th annual signature event hosted by the Janet Goeske Foundation. Event is a benefit to enhance the Goeske center’s programming effor ts, as well as create new programs, resources and activities. Landis Performing Ar ts Center,

April 30 – 35th annual Banquet and Auction Gala, a benefit for the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center. Dan Bernstein will serve as master of ceremonies, with NBC4 news anchor Colleen Williams as auction hostess and Paul Gill as auctioneer. Proceeds suppor t programs that help victims of sexual assault and also promote community education provided by the RARCC. Victoria Club, 2521 Arroyo Drive, Riverside; doors open at 5 p.m.; $125; 951-686-7273, May 15 – Primavera in the Gardens, the 17th annual wine and food tasting event, will feature appetizers from local restaurants and caterers, and wines from regional vineyards and wineries. Proceeds benefit projects at the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens, including hosting thousands of local school children every year. 2-5 p.m.; 951-784-6962, June 13 – 24th annual A. Gary Anderson Memorial Golf Classic, to benefit effor ts by Children’s Fund to help at-risk and abused children. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $6 million. Red Hill Country Club, 8358 Red Hill Country Club Drive, Rancho Cucamonga; 909-379-0000;

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seen The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader, was honored recently by more than 600 people who participated in the MLK Day Walk-a-Thon. Students, church members and community leaders were among those who took part in the 23rd annual event, which started at the Stratton Community Center and ended at White Park. Landmarks along the route through downtown Riverside included the King statue on the Main Street pedestrian mall.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Walk-a-Thon 1





(1) Karla, Harlan and Myrna Leonard (2) Katie Greene, left, Irma Asberry and Councilman Mike Soubirous (3) Antoinette and Dr. Barnett Grear (4) Dr. Lula Mae Clemons and Ron Loveridge, former Riverside mayor (5) Kacia Gist, left, Councilman Andy Melendrez and Delena Bronson Ph o t o s by Fr a n k Pe r e z

RAM’s Gregory Adamson Showcase The career of an acclaimed local performance artist and studio painter is being celebrated in a Riverside Art Museum exhibit, “Backward Forward and Upside Down: Gregory Adamson, a Ten-Year Beginning.” Fans of his work recently attended an opening reception at the museum. During the remainder of the exhibit’s run, through April 25, Adamson will be returning for demonstrations, lectures, a two-day workshop and other events. Information:







(1) Charlotte McKenzie, left, Shannon Murphy and Drew Oberjuerge (2) Gregory Adamson, left, Virginia Werly and Kevin Floody (3) Susan Rothermund and Bob Harris (4) Kathy Wright and Dwight Tate (5) Drew and Antoinette Simmons (6) Brian and Sarah Mulford Ph o t o s c o u r t e s y R i ve r s i d e A r t M u s e u m

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Julie Clark sits on the wing of her T-34 Mentor. At left, she pilots the plane through an aerobatic routine. Main photo by David Henry

Pilot’s signature will color the heavens during the Riverside Airshow Written by Amy Bentley


hen the 24th annual Riverside Airshow takes flight on Saturday, April 2, red, white and blue smoke will fill the skies as veteran pilot Julie Clark returns with her patriotic aerobatic show choreographed to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” Multi-colored smoke trails and great entertainment are the hallmarks of Clark’s performance, “Serenade in Red, White and Blue.” She has been flying to Greenwood’s song since 1984 and listens to it on an iPod while piloting her restored T-34 Mentor warbird to the music and a choreographed routine. “People who are really patriotic come up to me after the show and they are still 30 

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crying, they are so moved,” Clark said. A retired Northwest/Delta Airlines pilot, Clark has enjoyed a career spanning more than 30 years as a solo aerobatic air show pilot and has performed at the Riverside Airshow many times. Clark purchased her T-34 Mentor, named the “Smokin’ Mentor,” at a government surplus auction. Her unique routine has brought Clark many fans and accolades over the years in the male-dominated world of flight. She was inducted into the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame International in 2002, the ICAS Foundation Air Show Hall of Fame in 2011 and also is a “Living Legend of Aviation.” As a female pilot, she said, “You have to prove yourself and prove you can be even more solid than your peers.”

People often ask Clark when she plans to retire from the air show circuit. Her answer: “When someone says, ‘Julie Clark is getting ready to fly, I’m getting a hot dog.’ It’s entertainment. You fly for the audience. I just want to ignite a spark in someone. If I can inspire one person at an air show, I feel like I’ve passed the torch.” Riverside Airshow What: Flying demonstrations, aerobatics and skydivers; displays of military aircraft and helicopters; authentic war birds and replica planes; classic cars; military vehicles; K-9 demonstrations; food; exhibits and aviation vendors. Where: Riverside Airpor t, 6951 Flight Road, Riverside When: April 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets: Free Information:




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Conference Day March 21

Citrus Circle Farm-to-Fork Dinner March 21

One-Day Farm Field Trip March 22



February 24, 2016 • 6:00 – 8:30 pm


March 4, 2016 • 8:00 – 11:00 am

Health’s Kitchen 10120 Indiana Ave., Riverside

California Citrus State Historic Park, Sunkist Center 9400 Dufferin Ave., Riverside

Want to turn your brown thumb into a green thumb? Interested in selling what you grow? Are you looking for land to grow on? Local experts will be on hand to answer your questions. It’s also a chance to network with others interested in the local food system and try samples of local food.

The role of Riverside’s Greenbelt in providing opportunities for growing food, revenue generation and job creation are untapped. This half-day event will consist of workshops discussing challenges and opportunities for smaller-scale farm operations in the Greenbelt.

Register now at GROW LOCAL


Riverside Magazine  

Downtown Riverside is about to have a new destination for arts, culture and education – Centennial Plaza. The $80 million project includes a...

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