Readers’ Comments 3-06-15
Shenandoah tree history
Last week, a letter from Dennis Vlasich to Claremont City Manager Tony Ramos was printed in your paper. His basic objection was that the city was planning to plant a Chitalpa (Chinese Flame Tree) on the property located at the corner of Shenandoah Drive and Gettysburg Circle. I tend to agree that this is a poor choice, as this tree will never grow to the majestic heights of our Calabrian pine trees, or the newer California Black Oaks.
That being said, I must correct Mr. Vlasich’s account of the history of the trees on Shenandoah. He states that the city had a nine-year plan to replace the 30-year-old (now 40-year-old) Calabrian pines with California Black Oaks. The first phase was completed, as he attests.
When the second phase was about to commence, several homeowners in The Club HOA community protested, myself included. Most of the trees designated for removal were healthy, we argued, and had a possible future lifespan of another 50 or more years. They are habitat for much wildlife, provide lots of shade, clean and replenish the air with carbon dioxide, and have deep root systems that are able to sustain them with practically no additional watering.
Mr. Vlasich, it is not true that a “special interest group” opposed the removal of the Calabrian pines on Shenandoah Drive. It was a group of The Club HOA homeowners that led the opposition. We disagreed with the findings of our board of directors, and went directly to the city, as was our right as citizens of Claremont.
Our city’s tree policy is to retain healthy trees, even if they damage hardscape. This is because mature trees are more valuable than the cost of repairing hardscape.
The Santa Monica Daily Press reports this week that the city of Santa Monica has approved a 50 percent water rate increase over the next five years. This is a compromise measure, as one option under consideration would have increased water rates by nearly 78 percent.
In addition, penalties will be imposed later this year on residents and businesses that can’t reduce their water usage. Luckily, the city of Santa Monica’s costs aren’t inflated with greedy shareholder profits, excessive executive salaries and WRAMs.
If the Claremont City Council is successful in buying the water system from Golden State Water, will we experience a similar fate? If we continue this expensive legal battle for years to come but fail to acquire the water system, how much will it ultimately cost us?
Obviously, I’m not one of the 70-plus percent who voted for Measure W. It’s still not too late to cut our losses.
Regarding the FCC’s latest ploy to regulate the Internet: Are we really so deluded that we think that government regulating the Internet will be a good thing?
Have we become so immune to the takeover of so many things and aspects of our lives that we don’t realize we are losing our rights virtually every day?
What ever happened to the idea of limited government in a republic? Now we have mob rule by an unthinking, entitled group of voters with no thought of the ramifications, both immediate and long-term, of allowing more and more control.
More people need to read the novel 1984 and understand that we are rapidly heading in a similar direction. Then they need to start taking an active part in government at all levels—local, state and national. This may infringe on their play time, but it will give them back many of the freedoms they have forgotten we once enjoyed.