Readers comments 12-20-13
Continuing the Brock legacy
Thank you for your thoughtful story on Brock’s Christmas Tree Farm. The cover photo of Janessa Singley by COURIER photographer Steven Felschundneff perfectly captures the essence of why my father Rene was inspired to create this family Christmas tree farm out of barren soil.
We have spent 50 years seeing these expressions on countless families, sharing their holiday traditions, watching their children grow up and, ultimately, experiencing the changing face of the city of Claremont.
It is my desire to continue growing trees on our little piece of land for years to come, to be a good steward of my father’s vision and labor and to provide a place where families can come together over the simple pleasure of choosing and cutting their own Christmas tree.
There is one fact to your story that I’d like to clarify. My full-time job, when not working the farm, is with the Baldwin Park School District as a music teacher, not as a full-time employee with the University of La Verne. I have taught several courses at ULV over the years but only on an adjunct basis.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing all of our tree farm friends next year.
David A. Brock
I was glad to see your recent article on the effect of new housing on Claremont. Juxtaposed was an article on the great popularity of some of our parks and wilderness areas. However, I would like to take this opportunity to point out a serious gap in the city’s concern for its pedestrian citizens.
Specifically, the complete lack of sidewalks on the north side of Base Line Road in the vicinity of Mountain Avenue. This concern will soon move to a critical safety concern with the new housing about to be constructed at Mountain and Base Line.
When I first moved to Claremont, while I loved our parks and paths, I was astounded that my children were forced to navigate the north part of that dangerous intersection—Base Line and Mountain—without any sidewalks as they walked to Condit Elementary School and then to El Roble.
I remain astounded that neither the city of Claremont nor the county of Los Angeles have done anything about the lack of sidewalks for the area, despite approving a major new housing complex.
Perhaps our city council could explain how a parent of young children living in the new housing at Base Line and Mountain will instruct their children to walk to either Higginbotham Park, La Puerta Sports Park or to the Thompson Creek Trail? Seriously! Could they please walk it themselves during rush hour?
Perhaps they could also explain how they suggest parents instruct their children to walk from Mountain Avenue north of Base Line to Condit Elementary? Those are dangerous streets and intersections for pedestrians!
Perhaps our city leaders and planners need to be a bit more on the ball. If they are going to approve new housing, they need to take a look at the pathetically poor sidewalk situation in some of our nearby neighborhoods. Maybe get out and walk the neighborhood?
I hope that we don’t need deaths and accidents to get the city and county to move on this.
Municipal water works
Prior to my election to the California State Assembly in November 2012, I served over 23 years on the Pasadena City Council. I was elected to the state assembly the same year Pasadena Water and Power celebrated 100 years of providing high quality, reliable municipal water service in Pasadena.
Countless water-related decisions were made during my tenure on the city council and because Pasadena Water and Power is a community-owned utility our collective focus was on the customer, and not profit.
I first became acquainted with the frustrations of Claremont residents during a PUC field hearing that was held at Taylor Hall in December 2011. The venue was filled with residents frustrated by the frequent, large and confusing rate increases and surcharges requested by Golden State Water Company. The issue of control and high rates that the residents of Claremont have raised is one that in the recent past received attention by the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee, because Californians face considerably higher water rates by for-profit water companies in comparison with municipal water providers.
Today, Pasadena Water and Power delivers water to over 36,000 households and businesses in Pasadena and adjacent communities in the San Gabriel Valley. Local control of water has worked for Pasadena. In fact, local control works for 85 percent of Californians. So, I applaud the council and staff of Claremont for convening the town hall meeting on November 6, 2013, to provide the public an update on the possible acquisition of the Claremont water system.
This open meeting is an excellent example of how local control can benefit Claremont residents.
I support an open and transparent process as a means of informing Claremont residents about the benefits and risks of establishing municipal water services in Claremont. I am hopeful that this important dialogue can take place and that the best interests of Claremont residents remains the primary focus.
Assemblyman, 41st district
A modest step forward
Scott Grannis’ letter on health care (COURIER, December 13) without exaggeration contains nothing but exaggerations. Let me remind readers of one of them.
“When you give the ‘right’ to health care you must restrict the rights of health care practitioners, who become government slaves…” Since the citizens of the other developed nations have health care as a right, the health care workers in those countries, from Mr. Grannis’ view, must be enslaved. On the contrary, of course, not a single one of them is a slave.
Mr. Grannis never asks himself why health care costs in the US are vastly higher than those of any other country. And, for all that money, where do we rank in the world in the quality of our health care system? The last I saw we were at 37th, between Costa Rica and Slovenia.
As I was writing, the following announcement arrived on my desktop. “A new study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and McGill University in Montreal reveals that the United States health care system ranks 22nd out of 27 high-income nations when analyzed for its efficiency of turning dollars spent into extending lives. The US’s inferior ranking reflects a high price paid and a low return on investment.”
Contrary to Mr. Grannis’ gloom and doom prophecies, no other country has engaged in self-destructive behavior by recognizing a right of citizens to health care and designing a system to accomplish that. The US, on the other hand, has been failing individual citizens and the nation as a whole by resisting that transformation.
The ACA is only a modest step forward because it isn’t a bold attempt to go where so many others have gone before.
Turkey Trot success
Claremont Sunrise Rotary wants to thank you for your participation in the sixth annual Turkey Trot. It was another huge success with nearly 1,900 runners and picture perfect weather. It was a great start to the Thanksgiving weekend.
We couldn’t have done it without the help of over 100 volunteers and Rotarians and their family members. It was great to see members of the different teams and players that our Claremont Youth Sports Scholarships (CYSS) program support help make our day safe and successful.
We are grateful for the advice of Doug and Katie Thompson, who helped start the Turkey Trot but have since relocated to Tennessee. Doug has a been a driving force in the race since its beginning.
Leo Bister has given many volunteer hours this year, sharing his valuable experience in the area of running events and has been an important participant in the success of this year’s event.
We would also like to thank the city of Claremont and, in particular, Loretta Mustafa and Maria Tipping in the engineering department. And thanks to Lori Davenport and all her colleagues in the Claremont Police Department for helping the race remain one of the safest runs in California.
When we started the Turkey Trot, we were in the midst of a financial meltdown. Claremont Sunrise Rotary members went out to the community and still found willing sponsors to support our cause. Many of those sponsors have continued to support us, and new ones have joined us to increase our budget from previous years. Every dollar raised goes directly to support the many projects that Claremont Sunrise Rotary and Rotary International support. We will spend over $20,000 this year on the CYSS fund. Since our inception, we have granted more than 800 scholarships to local teams and athletes to pay for registration fees. Including this year’s effort, we are fast approaching nearly $100,000 of total funding.
Claremont Sunrise Rotary is also part of a world community and provides books to a girls’ school in Tanzania, funds removal of land mines in Cambodia and helps install water tanks in Africa. Rotary International is fast closing in on complete eradication of polio.
The Turkey Trot is now a personal and family tradition in Claremont that continues to be enjoyed by so many and gives back so much to our community.
John Goss Garry Schneider
Dave Seccombe Chuck Freitas
Turkey Trot Race Directors