Friday Aside: A Return to the Cesspool as the San Bernardino Sun Adopts Disqus Comment System

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

I recently saw this on a news-aggregating website that involves people who comment on news, and other items, using anonymous handles:

Google and Amazon wanting to make me use my real name for everything means I never post reviews of anything anywhere.  Same with newspaper sites requiring you to log in to Facebook and post comments under your real name.

If you take away the anonymity of the Internet you take a way a lot of what makes the Internet great.  I can’t believe that anyone actually posts anything anywhere that doesn’t allow you to use a username.

I don’t understand that mentality, at least for commenting on a website that has journalistic standards for publishing.
When the Sun (and the Redlands Daily Facts) and the Press-Enterprise moved to a Facebook commenting system (that also allowed Yahoo accounts), the quality of the comments increased.  There were still fake accounts, and Yahoo accounts did not require a real name.  I commented at the time the Sun moved to Facebook (but the PE had not):

I don’t often give the Sun enough credit for anything, whether it is in cutting costs by having their reporters double as photographers or by combining multiple beats into one large beat.  However, they deserve credit in that their comments have improved by taking away the anonymity that existed in the old system and replacing it with (for the most part) Facebook (which still has some fake profiles and alts), although Yahoo appears to allow anonymity.  There is less overt bigotry in the comment sections, which is a vast improvement.  . . .

The PE, on the other hand, still allows anonymous trolls, and their discourse is much lower.  Of course, some of the partisans battling on the Sun don’t let the lack of anonymity get in the way of their views. As discourse has been lessened amongst public officials, so too has the discourse of their hyperpartisan followers.  So, say what you want about the Sun’s level of journalism; at least they have cut down on anonymous trolls.  The PE would be well served, just this one time, in copying LANG on this issue.

However, with the redesign, the LANG newspapers they adopted Disqus, which allows usernames that do not reflect new names.  Though most of the frequent commenters are still using their Facebook accounts, there is the potential for abuse. uses Disqus and other than partisan political sites, it has the lowest-common denominator comments extant on the Internet.
I do not understand how the Sun will not publish a letter to the editor without a real name, but allows anonymous commenting. The Sun should change back to a Facebook-only system.


Friday Aside: Why Were The States in the Streets Named After States in Redlands Chosen?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

I have yet to find an answer.  Some clues are found in the archives of the Fortnightly Club of Redlands, Streets in Redlands, by Dr. Lawrence E. Nelson, January 1974 at the Assembly Room of the A.K. Smiley Public Library.  The best take-away, completely non-related to the subject of this post,  from 1974:

Philip Merlan, the scholarly refugee professor at the University of Redlands and later at Scripps, once remarked that when he came to Redlands he was amazed to find how religious the people were; they even had a patron saint for torn-up streets. Everywhere he went he saw signs set up honoring St. Closed.

What states have streets named after them in Redlands?  Of the north-south streets, from west to east: California Street, New Jersey Street, a very tiny Oregon Street off of Orange Tree Lane, Nevada Street, Idaho Street connecting Plum Lane and Orange Tree Lane,  the solely-south-of-the-10 Iowa Street, Alabama Street, the rump Arizona Street off the anachronistic Coulston Street, Missouri Court (a cul-de-sac off of Park Avenue), Indiana Court, the cul-de-sac off of West Lugonia Avenue, Kansas Street (home of the Animal Shelter), which runs from Barton to Redlands Boulevard, Tennessee Street, the carved-up New York Street, Texas Street,  the somewhat north-south Michigan Avenue, Colorado Street north of Pioneer Avenue, the northside Ohio Street, the probably-not-named after the state Washington Street, and the probably-named-after-the-daughter-of-a-developer Georgia Street.  As far as east-west streets, Pennsylvania Avenue, Delaware Avenue, the way-out-east-may-technically-be-in-Yucaipa Florida Street.

I once answered an interrogatory speaking about Illinois Court (meaning Indiana Court), the location of a fatal motorcycle accident (outside the City limits), and the then-Public Works Director, Ron Mutter, informed me that there was no Illinois Court within the City, despite the fact that a variety of really old streets are named after Chicago streets (such as State Street) in Redlands.

The state-named streets are on the Lugonia grid, and that the original ones were California, New Jersey, Nevada, Iowa, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas Street, New York Street, and Texas Street.  California is an easy one, but why Alabama and Tennessee?

Looking at a 1939 topographical map online, we see California Street, New Jersey Street, Nevada Street, Iowa Street, Alabama Street, Kansas Street, Tennessee Street, New York Street, and Texas Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue.  On the 1899 Redlands Quadrangle map, you can clearly see California and Alabama (the former because of its proximity to Bryn Mawr, the latter because it goes across the Santa Ana wash to Highland, but it doesn’t give street names.  The same on the 1901 Redlands Quadrangle topographical map, available on the USGS website for download, and the Redlands Quadrangle Map of 1908 shows the same.  So for now, the mystery of why certain states and not others is still a mystery.

Friday Aside: A History of In-N-Out Burger in San Bernardino and environs

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

I’ve written about In-N-Out Burger a few times, particularly in relation to trade dress.  Someone reached my blog by asking “when did in n out open first in san bernardino ca.”  If the searcher was seeking when the Fifth Street location  (795 W. Fifth Street, San Bernardino) was built, that location was built in 2011, and opened at the end of 2011 (December 8, 2011).  It replaced the Second Street location (the address was technically 190 Bungalow Court), which closed on December 7, 2011.  The Second Street location was demolished after the State of California took possession on January 1, 2012.  The State of California acquired the parcel through eminent domain for the Interstate 215 widening project.  See Resolution CDC/2011-50 of the Community Development Commission of the City of San Bernardino.

The Bungalow Court location was there as long as I can remember,  and consisted of a double drive through and no inside eating area.  The location in south San Bernardino,was moved slightly to the north to 1065 E. Harriman Place during the creation of the HUB Project.  There was an Owner Participation Agreement between In-N-Out and the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Bernardino, acknowledged by Resolution 2001-317, approved by Mayor Valles on October 3, 2001. The old In-N-Out in North Loma Linda was also a double drive through.  According to a letter dated January 23, 1997 from then-attorney (and now Judge) Cynthia Ludvigsen, the old In-N-Out was on the northwest corner of Rosewood Drive  and Tippecanoe.  The Highland store  (28009 Greenspot Road, Highland, CA 92346) opened in 2012.
So, when did In-N-Out Burger open in San Bernardino?  The area near Central City Mall was redeveloped in the 1970s.  The Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Bernardino put out a photo survey of the downtown area before redevelopment, and if I recall correctly, the area on 2nd Street had houses in the early 1970s.

The In-N-Out website’s history section gives clues, but no answers.  Obviously, the first one opened in 1948 in Baldwin Park, the same year that McDonald’s converted to a quick serve restaurant from a barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino.  By 1958, there were five locations in the San Gabriel Valley.  By 1973, In-N-Out had 13 locations, all in Los Angeles County, and all with two drive through lanes and no inside eating. In 1979, the first In-N-Out with a dining room opened in Ontario as restaurant number 21.  The website adds that only 13 more no dining room locations were built after that.  By 1988, In-N-Out had 50 stores in total, and in each of the core Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.I have In-N-Out Santa glasses from 1982 that I know we bought from the 190 Bungalow Court location, so that probably means that the original downtown San Bernardino In-N-Out Burger was built between 1973 and 1982. [Update: October 17, 2012.  I couldn’t stand it any longer.  According to In-N-Out’s customer service line, the store was opened on February 11, 1982].

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Copyright 2012 Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law


Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517

Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708



Using a Bluetooth Keyboard WIth an iPad 2: First Impressions

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

I have written before about the iPad 2 about whether it was a serious legal tool.  I concluded  that it was not particularly because you couldn’t touch type on the screen.  I had meant to buy a case keyboard combination for the iPad 2, but I neglected to do so.  Until today.

I bought the Logitech / ZAGGmate case keyboard combination at Costco.  It was on sale with an instant rebate for about $50.

First, the good.  There are a few special iPad tools, such as cut and paste, but like special keys on a regular keyboard, you usually have to look down to find them.  The best feature are cursor keys.

You can touch type on it, but it’s only about as good as a keyboard on a netbook.  Good, but not as good on a full size  keyboard.  But it is light years away from the keyboard version.  However since it is a case combination,  my palms tend to rest on the somewhat hard aluminum of the case

I am used to a trackpad and find myself reaching for one.  However, since the touchscreen capabilities of the iPad still work, I think that I can find a work around for it.

The keyboard is good enough for a quick blog post (which was so difficult with the  keyboard), for a medium size email.   There appears to be some redundancy that makes typing really quickly problematic.  Wordpress seems to have some problem with cutting and pasting, but that’s probably a WordPress problem.

I can see it would be good to take notes at a deposition, but I don’t have an app right now that does that.  I’m not sure I would write a summary judgment motion on it, even if you could rig it up.

In short, probably worth $50, don’t expect miracles, makes it easier to write email and short blog posts.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St. Suite 517
Redlands CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

Is the Apple iPad a Serious Legal Tool?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

I have had my iPad 2 for about six months now. I do not use it much for work. It has its plusses. The Westlaw Next app works as well as the web version. Email is much easier than on the iPhone. This post is being mostly created on the iPad, but I am going to add the HTML on a real computer.

However, it is next to impossible to type anything but a short note. The keyboard does not give the right feedback, and even a netbook gives you a better typing experience. I have considered a Bluetooth Keyboard, but isn’t the Leading feature of the iPad its size? I also don’t understand the people buying a massive iPad protector. For one, it is pretty durable. But once again, you lose some of its agility

The iPad 2 does some things great (video, amazing battery life, the calendar [September 19, 2011 update from a computer: instant on]) other things well ( reading, the web), and some things not well (syncing, backup, printing, multitasking, copying, and multi-touch sometimes is not a precise as I would like), but I have not even bothered to try to do the one thing that I need the most: word processing. Yes, I know there are a few apps out there.

When I started my own practice, I finally abandoned WordPerfect. I had tried before, but pleadings were more difficult, and I always had support staff or colleagues who were resistant. I started off using WordStar before I even learned to type. When I switched from MS-DOS to Windows 3.1, I had to switch out to do word processing. If only there was a better way. Through the miracle of academic pricing, I discovered the best piece of software ever designed, and never bettered: Microsoft Word 2.0. It did everything.

But I digress. What I need is Word (and Excel) for iPad. I don’t want an emulator, because I cannot have any glitches that take an hour to get out of a pleading. Until that moment arrives, the iPad cannot “party seriously.”

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address : 300 E. State St. #517
Redlands, CA 92373
Telephone: (909) 296-6708

Friday Aside: Always Do Your Due Diligence, Stand-up Comic Edition

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

I attended a Big Game event near the end of my time at the University of California.  At this point, the Bonfire had been cancelled for some reason or another, so there were not that many Big Game week events.  This event was a group of comedians, at least two, maybe three, possibly four.  It was held at Zellerbach Hall.  I cannot remember most of the event, but there was a comedian who looked like Greg Proops, but was definitely not Greg Proops.  He started his routine with some topical material.   He thought he would warm up the crowd by saying how he thought it was stupid that Cal’s opponent in the Big Game had a mascot like a bird. He went on a little bit until an audience member yelled out that their nickname was Cardinal, the color, not Cardinals, like the bird.  That probably ended about four or five follow-up jokes.

His mistake was not that unusual, I had a Cal screen saver in the early 1990s that had a bear eating a cardinal (not the Cardinal) done by some third-party licensee.  However, my non-legal advice to young stand-up comedians is always do your due diligence when trying out audience-specific material, be it a college campus, a casino audience (I saw George Carlin play San Manuel, and he did casino jokes), or a corporate retreat.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St. Suite 517

     Redlands CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 708-6055