Readers comments 4-11-14

We had to destroy the wilderness to save it

Dear Editor:

My friend Dean McHenry spills out a cornucopia of grievances tied to the wilderness master planning in his April 4 viewpoint. His concerns are imaginary and overwrought.

I will not address the first half of his article except to say that anyone dispassionately viewing the pedestrian traffic up and down Mills in the vicinity of the wilderness entrance will see a clear and present safety hazard that should be mitigated with all prudent speed. That the commission and staff that Mr. McHenry berates are trying to address that problem should be applauded rather than denigrated.

In the second half of his column, Mr. McHenry turns to what he perceives as flaws in the planning process and darkly avers shenanigans afoot. He particularly singles out the advisory committee (of which, he fails to inform us, he is an alternate member). He fails to tell us that the organization he represents, the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy, was doubtless instrumental in the discussions leading to the establishment of this process and committee.

Certainly, the CWC president, Lissa Peterson, seemed to button-hole and bend the ear of the assistant city manager before and after every meeting I attended (most of them) where the master plan statement of work and vendor selection were considered.

Neither Mr. McHenry nor the CWC complained when Ms. Peterson was included in a decidedly un-public process to score and recommend MIG consulting to do the master plan. Ms Peterson and CWC actively assisted in choosing the consultant! The advisory committee has only held one meeting, an introductory one, and neither Mr. McHenry, who was present and spoke, nor the primary CWC representative expressed any concern about the composition of the committee at that time.

It was only after the first public meeting on March 24, which attracted some 250 or 300 citizens, that the CWC leadership panicked. They found that their parochial views were not shared for the most part by the public, so they went about trying to change out the public.

The second half of Mr. McHenry’s piece is peppered with scare quotes to emphasize the bad faith of the process as he sees it. He now throws rocks at the committee composition. He makes a counter-factual argument that wilderness can be saved by unfettered traffic and use. He would line the streets with enforcement to deter problems such as noise, trash and illegal parking. He finds harm to others, probably intentional, in the ideas proposed by the community.

Get a grip, Dean. Bring your ideas and let’s see how they stack up.

Ludd A. Trozpek



A workable water solution

Dear Editor:

At the current pace, my Golden State Water bill will exceed my monthly Social Security check. Nobody can dispute that.

Something needs to be done, and I think we need to take control of our water. For those who don’t agree, please share a workable solution for those of us, who are on a fixed income, and feel that our water bill is completely absurd.  

Larry L. Goodman



Commission recommendation

Dear Editor:

With regard to the viewpoint by Dean McHenry in last week’s edition of the COURIER, I would like to make one correction. The Claremont Traffic and Transportation Commission did not “approve” an extension of the non-resident parking ban in neighborhoods near the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.

The commissioners approved and forwarded a recommendation to the Claremont City Council to extend this ban. The traffic and transportation commission does not have the authority to enact such a ban.

Miles Bennett

Commissioner, Claremont Traffic and Transportation Commission   


Wilderness park master plan

Dear Editor:

I have been watching the process for the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park master plan since it first began and, after attending several sessions of the city council and the March 24 meeting at Taylor Hall hosted by MIG, the group hired as consultants for this project, it has become clear that there is a need to involve more voices in this important task.

At the first MIG meeting, hikers complained about bikers, bikers complained about hikers, neighbors complained about parking and others talked of issues involving their own self-interests and experiences. Very few people are speaking up about what is best for Claremont as a whole, the environment of the park and the thousands of people who use this wonderful natural resource of which our city has become the caretaker.

Basically, an outside consultant, MIG, is going to gather data and make recommendations. But we also need the people of Claremont and users of the park to help decide what is best for the park, not based on their own particular self-interest, but what is best for all of Claremont.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is supposed to be the voice of what is best for Claremont, but five out of 11 members are representatives of HOA’s near the park. Where are the representatives of businesses, environmental groups, educational institutions, the forest service and adjacent towns? The composition of TAC doesn’t reflect the city council’s professed main concern, preserving the environment of the park.

In the next few months, decisions will be made that will have lasting effects on everyone in Claremont, not just people who use the park or who live next to it, as well as the future of the environment of the park itself.

The master plan that MIG produces will be reflective of the input it receives. We need to make sure the input is reflective of those with the best interests of Claremont and the park in mind.

Dave Bedell





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