Readers’ comments: March 17, 2023

Tree removal proposal warrants additional consideration
Dear editor:
While I appreciate the city’s commitment to a healthy urban forest — the scale of the community services’ proposal to remove over 1,000+ trees based on species alone, warrants additional assessment and consideration. These are some of Claremont’s largest and most neighborhood defining trees.
Using a level one assessment to determine risk is not a best practice to warrant removal — at least a level two or what is deemed a basic tree risk assessment is a more common practice. Some cities even opt for a level three assessment for high value/mature street trees.
As a reminder, our trees provide these services. They:

  • Reduce urban heat island effect, save energy and reduce cooling costs by shading pavement and buildings.
  • Sink carbon and combat climate change.
  • Reduce storm water flooding and pollution by slowing down and capturing rainwater.
  • Increase public health by improving air quality and mental wellbeing.
  • Increase property values and stimulate business by beautifying our city.
  • Increase wildlife habitat by providing shelter, food and nesting sites for the birds and other animals that also call Claremont home.

I am an arborist and I can tell you, like doctors, all arborists are not all equal in their ability to diagnose disease, assess risk, and prescribe best mitigation options. Given the gravity of what is proposed, the expert opinion of a non-biased urban forest specialist is warranted here.
The Claremont Community Services Department should proceed with the utmost care when it comes to our city’s urban forest, and we should all insist that not even one tree is removed without due cause.
Drew Ready



Leano should be more transparent here and elsewhere
Dear editor:
This is an open letter to Jed Leano:
I am hoping that your tenure on the Claremont City Council will serve as a reminder to push for transparency wherever you might land. I was alarmed by the duplicitous nature of our conversations about Larkin Place over the last year and-a-half. You offered that the community could have greater input if we asked to not allow the easement on the building. At the council meeting regarding the easement, you then not only voted for this but argued until nearly 2 a.m. as to why we should seek an easement. Your haste may now also lead to legal bills from a lawsuit from the state due to this lack of foresight.
I approached you out of concern that the keys were given away to Larkin Place without asking for more for our most vulnerable. I hope that you have not had issues with mental health or drug addiction in your family. It is heartbreaking for those of us that do. The documents provided by Jamboree outline a skeleton crew of two full-time onsite and two part-time employees at Larkin Place. This is not enough help. As board chair of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust and a chair of Tri-City Mental Health’s Governing Board you are aware of this.
It would serve both you and those you represent for you to be transparent and forthcoming both on stage and in conversations with your constituents. So many voices were unheard, and not invited to the table for input. Shame that the opportunity for input did not exist except for a brief window to the community that was then recovering from a devastating windstorm during the scant period that this project was before the council. Please be more mindful as you eye higher office.
Dennis Callaci



Gabby Giffords does not support your civil rights
Dear editor:
I am truly happy for Gabby Giffords‘ recovery. No one should have to go through that. However, as a lobbyist, she does not support your civil rights and intentionally leaves out important information we all need to make good decisions regarding everyone’s personal safety choices.
The actual use of firearms type during a violent assault is less than 8.3% according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey for 2019, (table 25) which shows 5,813,410 total violent crimes, of which 481,950 involved the use of firearms. Comparing the numbers shows a little less than 8.3% of violent crimes actually involve firearms.
Democrats steeped in liberal anti-civil rights news media can’t seem to fathom how wrong their worldview is.
Contrast the 8.3% bad guy use of a firearm with the 500,000-3,000,000 times a year good guys use a gun defensively according to a 2013 study published in the National Academies Press, and most thinking people will understand the lie.
For decades, gun control/anti-civil rights groups have been molding attitudes and emotions to look past the amount of damage that can be done — to you — in the seconds it takes to commit a violent crime. According to a 2017 National Library of Medicine study, the national average for first responders to show up in an urban setting is 7 minutes. In rural settings the median time increases to more than 14 minutes with nearly one in 10 encounters waiting almost a half hour for the arrival of EMS personnel.
Unless you carry a cop in your back pocket or have a constant armed escort, Ms. Giffords isn’t doing you or our nation a favor.
Also, according to Fox News, searching the CDC site for “defensive gun use statistics” is no longer possible because President Biden had them removed at the request of anti-gun groups.
Leslie Watkins

Share This