Readers comments 11-14-14
Black bears in Padua Hills
I am writing to concur with Mr. Faulstich’s concern about the human-caused bear problem at Padua Hills Theatre. Some citations are in order for the perpetrators.
In a historical vein, I’d like to comment on our wildlife in an earlier time. Black bears were, in fact, native to the San Gabriel Mountains, as were Grizzly Bears, Bighorn Sheep, Tule Elk, Pronghorn Antelope and Gray Wolves. By the early 1900s, they were either very rare or extirpated by commercial hunting and ranchers who were averse to any predators in the region. The Bighorns were reintroduced as were the Black Bears in the way Mr. Faulstich described. Neither species is thriving in their ever more constricted range and their continued presence in our local mountains depends on our willingness to minimize our impact on them.
Closing the trash container doesn’t seem like too much to ask, particularly since doing so is legally required.
Jim des Lauriers
A peaceful missive
As a Vietnam veteran and a 45-year participant in the antiwar movement, I would like to state a goal which I hope we can all share: May we have future generations that have no veterans, because there were no wars to create them. The Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans I have counseled overwhelmingly support this philosophy; can we support them? Their wars didn’t end when they returned home. All of us working together to create a peaceful society can help them and their children to put some of the ghosts to rest.
There is no glory in endless war.
Claremont deserves congratulations! The 71 percent vote to fund the acquisition of our water system, with a 41 percent voter turnout, is a strong mandate to move forward. Many opponents also said they favored local ownership, but were not convinced the city could manage the system, or could afford it without sharply increasing rates.
Fortunately, there are good answers to these concerns based on common-sense comparisons. The city of La Verne has managed a municipal water system very well for a century and we are negotiating with them to manage ours. Their water bills are also much lower than ours, about $770 per year ($64 per month) on the average. City-wide that amounts to over $8 million each year that could be applied to the purchase—enough to support all the $135 million in revenue bonds approved in Measure W.
An independent appraiser determined the value of the system to be $55 million. Golden State Water Company sold a larger system in 2011 for $34 million. $135 million should be more than enough.
Approving funding is just the first step if, even now, Golden State refuses to sell. Public input is still important as the city works to acquire the system and take control. On November 25, we can participate in the public hearing at city hall and urge the adoption of a Resolution of Necessity, the first step toward acquisition by eminent domain.
There is truth to the statement, “Do what you have always done…get what you have always got.”
A week ago Tuesday, Claremont voters documented their support to move forward with the removal of Golden State as our water provider. The numbers were over 71 percent yes to 29 percent no. This was a city-wide win, as in each and every precinct, the yes vote won.
This outrage started from the December 2011 PUC hearing at Taylor Hall, with over 700 ratepayers in attendance. At the January 2012 public workshop, the council identified the Golden State situation as priority number-one.
A few months ago, Claremont FLOW came into being and a hardworking team of precinct coordinators and walkers—all volunteers and citizens—walked the city to knock on doors and provide residents information, gathering over 1,300 endorsements along the way. This was a tireless, awesome group.
In the final week and days before the election, this turned into a dirty, disgusting campaign, as residents had to withstand mailers, newspaper ads, Internet banners, being flipped off by paid-for no sign carriers, phone calls from Pennsylvania pollsters and campaign materials on our front doors (the identical piece we got in the mail the day before), robo calls, a large oversized no sign on a truck driving through town, secret focus group meetings and hundreds of no signs in illegal places all over the city.
The yes side won, but make no mistake, Golden State had their way with Claremont in the worst fashion. They should be ashamed. This is not how a publicly-traded company should act. It was hardly a proud moment.
During the community presentations, we heard a representative of the no side say, “Don’t even like Golden State, not a fan.” It’s more obvious now why that was said. Claremont deserves better from a company that we pay millions of dollars to each year. Despite all the big money funded by Golden State, Claremont spoke loud and clear.
The council decided to put this to a vote of the people as a finance mechanism. The voters authorized the purchase of a financial method or vehicle. We now need you to drive the bus. Let’s roll!