Readers comments 12-6-13
Remembering Arlene Crowe
It is with great sadness that we noted the passing of Arlene Crowe. When we moved to Eleventh Street in Claremont 13 years ago, there were few young children in the neighborhood anymore.
Little by little, Eleventh Street began to change as families had children or families with children moved in. Always, we were met with such kind comments from some of the older folks in the neighborhood as they were on their way to church or taking a walk. They said it was so good to have little ones in the neighborhood again.
Mrs. Crowe was just one of those kind people. We recall with great fondness taking our son trick-or-treating on our first Halloween in the neighborhood. We were one of the first to go out since he was so little. We walked up to Mrs. Crowe’s home and Max knocked on the door. When the door opened, Max stepped right in before we knew what was happening and pronounced, “Oooh, this is bee-you-ti-full.” Soft music was playing and the light was dim with candlelight all around.
We apologized for the intrusion but she would not hear of it. Mrs. Crowe took it all in stride and thanked Max for the compliment. Once again, we heard how nice it was to have children return to the neighborhood. She shared how all the neighbors used to walk their children around on Halloween and, with a wink, said that the children were given treats and the adults had their wine glasses and martinis filled!
To us, Mrs. Crowe was a welcoming, gracious and elegant woman. She was lovely and kind and kept a meticulous home in the neighborhood. Our regret is that we did not get to have a martini with her after she moved. However, we will toast her the next time we have one.
Tom and Cynthia McGuire
Put water to a vote
I was impressed by the letter from Jim Belna in your November 29 edition. It was a good analysis of what Claremont is headed for if the council insists on local control of the water company.
If the city council was as concerned about conserving water as it is about owning the water company, I would be more impressed. Lots of cities have ordinances against watering sidewalks and driveways but evidently not Claremont. Why not?
Our family has conserved water since long before we moved to Claremont, but it does not seem to be high on the agendas of lots of the people who are so supportive of buying the water company. Signs supporting local control of the water company can be seen on lawns all over Claremont. Why lawns? We live in a desert in southern California and yet I observe people with those same lawns and signs washing down their driveways and sidewalks!
I am certainly not fond of the Golden State Water Company. I am more than irritated that with every bill I must pay a WRAM charge because I use too little water. Now, that is really wrong. The PUC must be taken to task for allowing such a thing in a state that is desperate for water. But until the people who are complaining about high water bills make an effort to conserve water, it is hard for me to feel their pain.
The city manager and city council should be complaining to all our elected officials to make the PUC develop rules that encourage people to conserve water. Instead, they appear to have given up on any challenge to the PUC policies and instead are concentrating on a costly takeover of the water company, which isn’t going to result in lower water bills.
I do hope the city council plans to put this issue to a vote of the people before they continue along this path.
Humane Society tactics
Two days ago I was called to my front door by a Pomona Valley Humane Society officer wanting to verify the status of my two elderly dogs, both of which had been properly licensed for years and both now deceased for over a year.
Even though the officer had this information on her clipboard, she offered as an explanation (more like an excuse) that perhaps we had gotten another dog or a new puppy and that they were checking every house in Claremont.
It is curious (and insulting) that the Pomona Valley Humane Society finds it necessary to canvass our city and question the honesty of its residents.
I realize that many people fail to license their dogs, but presuming everyone a scofflaw only promotes ill will and erodes support for their cause.
Two cheers for Obamacare
I am very tired of hearing all the phony and often absurd criticism of the Affordable Care Act. So I’m writing to praise it.
Keep in mind what “it’ is. “It” is not the troubles with the federal website, Healthcare.gov. Those problems are partially the result of normal difficulties in starting up a complex system. These problems are intentionally made more complex and difficult by 36 Republican-controlled states that, for anti-Obama reasons, refused to start their own sites, thereby overloading the national site, and partially of a failure of proper oversight by the Obama administration. Nor is the “it” the cancellations of inadequate insurance and Obama’s inexplicably mistaken claim that there would be no cancellations. Cancellation of junk policies was always an aim of the ACA, but it has been made worse by insurance companies’ premature and unnecessary cancellations in the interest of misleading people into more expensive policies. Criticism of the ACA on either of those grounds is irrelevant to an evaluation of the Act itself.
In praising the ACA, I do not intend to run through a very long list of its good things. Those can be found in any competent assessment of it. Rather, I wish to assert here a very simple claim: the ACA is one of the most monumentally valuable creations of our government.
It is not the best that could have been done: a single-payer system, similar to Medicare for everyone, would have been far superior. Second best would have been the present Act if it included a public option, allowing people of all ages to buy into Medicare. But in trying to save the primary role of private insurance companies in the US health care system, Senator Max Baucus (the Act should be called Baucuscare in recognition of its chief architect) settled for the third best outcome.
Nonetheless, the ACA is such a huge step forward—another step in the long attempt to move our health care system to what all other developed countries have long since achieved—to a system where everyone is granted the right to access to healthcare. The ACA does not get us all the way there but it is, given political realities, a giant moral advance, giving us a decently respectable place in the community of nations.
Everyone of good will is rooting for the quick success of the ACA and hoping that its flaws will be corrected in the near future. If you are instead hoping for failure of the Act, you simply do not appreciate what the ACA is going to do for every American and thus for the country.
Let us have two cheers for Obamacare.
The water system takeover
Jim Belna’s letter (“First do no harm”) was far too diplomatic. One doesn’t need a PhD to understand the absurdity of the arguments for a water system takeover.
Expecting rates after the takeover to be comparable to those of neighboring cities is like expecting your mortgage payments to be similar to the seller’s mortgage payments when buying a house.
If the CPUC is dysfunctional, why has the city wasted our money to participate in rate cases every three years?
Excessive executive salaries don’t cause high rates. Even $5 million per year, spread over Golden State’s 250,000 customers, would add less than $2 per month to water bills.
“Greedy” stockholders and profits can be eliminated, but funding is not free. Lenders who would replace stockholders will still demand interest payments.
So what if Golden State over-invests because of its profit motive? There’s a nationwide crisis of decaying infrastructures, because politicians defer necessary spending to future generations.
The city warns us that eminent domain proceedings could last many years while parties debate over “fair market value.” Yet they ask us to disregard Dr. Rodney Smith’s publicly-available study because he was hired by Golden State, while expecting us to accept—sight unseen—its own study. That’s transparency?
Finally, why should we believe the city is capable of bucking the national trend of rising water rates, when it doesn’t even know to plan how the water system will be operated before spending millions of dollars to acquire it?
[Editor’s note: For the last 13 years, Dan Dell’Osa has served as the director of rates and revenue at the San Gabriel Valley Water Company which, like Golden State, is a privately-owned public utility company. —KD]
AYSO invites volunteers
The Claremont AYSO (Region 3) Board of Directors has received a copy of Kara Leeper’s November 22 letter to the Claremont COURIER and would like to respond.
Claremont AYSO soccer is an all-volunteer-run organization. All of our board members, coaches and referees are unpaid volunteers who have been required to undergo mandatory training and background checks as part of the volunteering process.
Many AYSO regions, including Claremont, divide the fall soccer season into two distinct parts, a regular season consisting of approximately 10 games and a post-season playoff tournament.
Claremont AYSO has a written referee policy that has been in effect for many years and governs whether or not a team is eligible to participate in the post-season playoff tournament. That policy is reviewed and updated annually.
The referee policy referred to in Ms. Leeper’s letter has been discussed and approved by the board and is very similar to the policies of many other AYSO regions. Those policies were adopted because AYSO rules require that every AYSO soccer match be officiated by a certified and trained volunteer referee who meets certain requirements. Claremont’s policy, like that of many other AYSO regions, requires that a team meet certain referee volunteer requirements in order to be eligible to participate in the post-season playoff tournament.
Unfortunately, in Claremont, as in other AYSO regions, there are times when a team does not meet its referee requirements and is therefore not eligible to participate in the post-season playoff tournament.
Although we disagree with Ms. Leeper’s factual summary and conclusions, as a board we do not believe it would be positive or productive to air our differences and complaints in a public forum, so we respectfully decline to engage in a point-by-point analysis and response.
We would like to say, as a board, that we follow our written policies and carefully consider all facts prior to determining whether or not a team is eligible to participate in the post-season playoff tournament.
Claremont AYSO strongly encourages volunteering and board involvement by parents so that new ideas and policies can be shared and considered.
If you are interested in learning more about our written policies, including the policies for the referee “point system,” they are available for review on the Claremont AYSO website. Also, our monthly board meetings are open to the public and can be attended by any concerned parents.
We periodically review and reconsider our policies and procedures and welcome suggestions and new ideas that will help Claremont AYSO enrich the soccer experience for the children who participate.
We have several board positions open for next year and we encourage parents to come and be a part of the decision-making process either by volunteering for a position on the board or by attending and participating in board meetings.
Please contact our Regional Commissioner Tim Hernandez at Claremontayso@gmail.com if you are interested in becoming a board member or if you would like to attend our next scheduled board meeting.
Regional Referee Administrator
Region 3 Board of Directors