Readers comments 8-15-14
The Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program (CHAP) has appreciated the coverage the COURIER has given our group and the issue of homelessness in the Claremont area.
This past, and first, year of CHAP’s service to our homeless has been made possible by over 60 volunteers and with the financial support of Tri-City Mental Health. Our efforts will be expanded next year by continuing support from Tri-City along with financial, staff and facility use assistance from the city of Claremont.
We have received support from a number of religious and community groups and individuals who have given of their time, expertise and resources to this important effort. We thank you all. But there is much more to be done.
The greater Claremont community is invited to learn more about CHAP at a public information and recruitment meeting to be held on Saturday, September 6 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Hughes Center, 1700 Danbury Rd., in Claremont. A general information presentation will be followed by breakout sessions, which will highlight CHAP program areas: 1) advocates who work with individual participants, 2) overnight accommodation hosting, 3) CHAP Cafés—sites for evening potluck dinners, 4) CHAP Working groups on housing, food and fundraising, which are existing and working and with health (physical and mental) and dmployment development working groups yet to be formed.
For those who are interested in volunteering in any of the program areas, training sessions will be held the following Saturday, September 13 at the Claremont Friends Meeting, 727 W. Harrison. Arrangements will be described at the September 6 event. Anyone interested in the program but unable to attend September 6 should contact Karl Hilgert by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City bows to CAWA pressure?
Here in the pages of the COURIER, we have heard from and read about a group of Claremont residents who oppose the city’s plan to purchase the water system from Golden State. This group calls itself CAWA. Please do not, however, confuse them with another group of Claremont residents—Claremont FLOW (Friends of Locally Owned Water). Claremont FLOW supports the city’s purchase of the water system. (Yes, I know, too many acronyms.)
CAWA’s real reasons for opposing the city’s purchase seem to be known mostly to themselves, because they have certainly not been well articulated or explained publicly—other than references to an amorphous “lack of transparency” and confusion over the dollar amounts. Yet, while the folks of CAWA ostensibly dislike our sky-high monthly water bills, they paradoxically look to Golden State for their salvation.
CAWA’s latest message in the August 8 COURIER trumpets “their” success in getting the city’s agreement. But here’s the dirty little secret (well, actually, it’s not much of a secret to those who’ve been following this): CAWA’s agreement with Golden State was rejected by the city.
What the city just agreed to a couple of weeks ago was a proposal directly from Golden State, with no CAWA involvement.
If you want to secure our water future not only for us but for future generations, if you can see the value of long-term investments, then you will support the city’s goal of purchasing our water system from Golden State. It just makes sense. Vote YES on November 4.
The cost of complacency
The Ukraine was widely known as “The Bread Basket of the Soviet Union” before it collapsed in 1991.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has had to import a majority of its food from the West. Vladimir Putin’s recent retaliatory economic boycott of various food items which Russia imports from the West happen to be the very food items that the Ukraine produces.
According to Wikipedia, Ukraine is currently a major global producer of grain, sugar, nuts and honey, and a future global player on meat and dairy markets. Ukraine also has 30 percent of the world’s richest black soil and has a highly profitable agricultural industry with 40 to 60 percent profits, but according to analysts its output could still rise up to fourfold.
Unlike our President Obama, Vladimir Putin is viewed favorably by a majority of Russians. I believe Putin will justify an invasion of Ukraine to his people just as Hitler justified the invasion of Poland.
The world cannot sit by and watch Putin and the Russians invade the sovereign nation of Ukraine, yet I believe they will unless the United States provides a more aggressive leadership role.
Putin will make his move while the United State’s version of Neville Chamberlain is still in the Oval Office. Remember the comment Obama quietly made to Putin when he mistakenly thought his microphone was off?
History may indeed repeat itself unless this country acts now.
Kris M. Meyer
Golden State cuts its losses
Opinions about the city’s recent MOU with Golden?State Water clearly differ, but what I see is Golden State recognizing it had made some bad choices, deciding to cut its losses, and trying to find a way to turn the change in course to its advantage.
Consider that releasing paid signature gatherers loose on the community was backfiring, and that trying to make the city look less than transparent was highlighting GSW’s opaqueness. Additionally, the MOU released to mislead and confound the concerned public was being recognized as a collection of empty, misdirected or pointless promises. Carefully laid plans were having unintended, troublesome consequences.
If the door-to-door couples were causing more harm than good, why not frame abandonment of that campaign as a good-will gesture, getting something in return? If sending expensive mailers to Claremont households was reminding residents of the depth of Golden State’s pockets, and that it was Claremont residents who filled those pockets and paid to propagandize themselves, find a distraction. Call off lawsuits showing little promise of gain, get quicker access to city reports that might provide ammunition for a different lawsuit, and claim to be the hero. If even a few buy it, GSW could be ahead.
Perhaps I’m too cynical, but I doubt GSW would have dropped the lawsuits and stopped their petition campaign if they thought they were gaining ground. I think they underestimate our insight. Claremont residents understand the benefits of owning their own water system: water for the public, not for profit.
CAWA vs. FLOW
For the city, might that mean holding meetings, asking for public input, answering questions, explaining the results of the feasibility study, the purpose of the bond measure and where and why uncertainty crops up in figuring costs, posting information online and in print form? Oh, wait. The city has done all this.
For groups, might that mean publishing who your members are and how you are funded? Claremont FLOW has done this (www.claremontflow.org) but CAWA hasn’t. I’d really like to know who, beyond the four individuals who signed the recent letter published in the COURIER, are numbered among the supposed “hundreds” of CAWA supporters. A little transparency, please?
Old pipes, big problems
For this letter I borrowed the front page headline from the July 31 Los Angeles Register. In my letter published in the COURIER on July 25, I expressed that while I understand the “pros” of ownership of our water system, I have serious concerns. I am particularly concerned about the age of the system infrastructure.
The recent rash of water main failures—Los Angeles, Downey and Eagle Rock—put an exclamation point behind that concern. Those systems are about the same age as Claremont’s. If similar failures happened in Claremont today, the cost of repairs would be the responsibility of Golden State Water.
It is apparent that the city council and some citizens groups are all gung ho and ready to go with this takeover. Post-takeover system failures will be paid for by Claremont taxpayers. Documents related to this takeover are posted on the city website, but I do not see that this sort of concern has been addressed.
Robin Williams, rest in peace
For many of us who struggle with our inner darkness, sometimes in depths of shame or perceived failure, relief at any price can be inviting.
Even when talent, drive, brilliance and success are devoted to cheer the world, to bring light to the caves of the soul, it is sometimes not enough. Inner gravity, like that of astronomy’s dark holes, sucks the light and life out of too many lives.
Depression is the number-one diagnosis in the therapy world. Depression can become too fatiguing, too pervasive, soaking up all the light of our lives. Depression is a hungry animal that dogs the heels of too many of us. One doesn’t have to feed it. It finds its nourishment from countless sources in life’s odysseys.
It can help to wait at least 24 hours before deciding to leave. It can help to have someone in one’s life who accepts our shadow sides, without having to cheer us up. Acceptance and constant, attentive love discourage isolation.
Suicide is nearly always preceded by withdrawal. Stay attentive to those you know who struggle with shame, with darkness, even though they may feel too heavy or too toxic. Beware also of what psychologists label “inspirational repressive” styles. Beware of those you know who seem compulsively positive and cheerful. There are bumper stickers that express this: “The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.” And where does the shadow go when the light goes out? No shadow, ergo, we don’t exist.
Robin, we are so grateful to you for giving us everything you had to give, in every opportunity. You’re loved, maybe not enough, but you are loved. Rest in peace. That’s a trite phrase that expresses our sense of mystery and hope.