Reader comments 4-17-15

Clearing up water

Dear Editor:

Two specific points  for the COURIER story on April 10 seem worth more public attention. The first regards the information under pictures on pages 1 and 3:  San Antonio Dam was built by the Army Corp of Engineers for flood prevention. Although it could hold 11.880 acre feet of water, as you stated, it was never meant for that purpose, and has never been filled.

After several days of heavy rain there may be a small pond behind San Antonio Dam, but that water is soon released through the flood control gate (visible at center right in your photo on page 1) onto the San Antonio Spreading Grounds, owned by the Pomona Valley Protective Association (PVPA).

When released, the water percolates into the Six Basins Aquifer to provide  water supply to wells which serve this whole valley. Some of it also drains over into the Chino Basin. San Antonio Dam  was meant for flood control; it has not been used for storage, even in the wettest years. But maybe it could be so used.

Second, thank you for printing the chart of water use by Claremont, Pomona, Upland and La Verne. Claremont really stands out as a heavy water user. Golden State Water Company has always said that Claremont is their highest water user. 

Note, however, that none of our neighbors, only Claremont, is served by Golden State Water. Our neighbors all own their own water companies. As Golden State’s records are never open to public inspection, we have not been able to figure out where the heavy use is concentrated.

 Claremonters do indeed need to cut their water use as we are now under a mandatory 35 percent decrease. But  if we save water, Golden State adds WRAM fees, which charge everybody more even if they themselves save water. Not much incentive there, which has long been one of our complaints. That will be changed if Claremont succeeds in buying its water service—and eminent domain proceedings are now in court.

A tiered structure in Claremont does cost heavy users higher bills but does little to reduce water consumption. Moreover, Golden State does not want consumers to reduce water use for that reduces the income they say they need for administration (that is, high salaries!) and profits to shareholders.

Equitable water distribution poses complicated issues, but cities can have fairer policies when they own their companies locally. Claremont is working  toward that goal.

Marilee Scaff



To Wilderness Park enthusiasts

Dear Editor:

Hike, cycle, run and walk on the wild side using Claremont’s Wilderness Trail.

Many close-call incidents and accidents take place because of inattention and unsafe behavior. Follow the rules of the road when you walk, run and cycle the Trail. Stay on the right and pass on the left. Do not walk four abreast. share the road.

Cyclists, maintain a safe speed and announce your approach to pedestrians. Earbuds are unsafe, preventing you from hearing rattlesnakes, mountain lions, runners and cyclist warnings.

Keep Fido on a leash and clean up after the dog. The dog doesn’t know any better, but you do!

Everyone has fun on the Wilderness Loop, if everyone demonstrates courtesy and safety.

Lawrence Castorena



Possibilities for police

Dear Editor:

Several years ago, the city of Montclair needed a new, expanded Police Station.

The parcel they chose is in the northwest corner of the city limits. This is by far the furthest away from where most of the problems that police respond to are  located. I am sure that part of the reasoning was cost.

Now Claremont, the city directly to the west of Montclair, wants to build a new police station. To their credit, they tried to buy a location much closer to the center of the community but were stymied by the city of Pomona, who would not give up this area that has been vacant for years (who knows why).

The new location they want is located in the northeast corner of the city limits. Once again, it will be located far from the civic center and far from the area where most criminal acts are performed that require police response.

To my way of thinking, it would be much better to move the fire station,  which is currently adjacent to the police station to another site and expand the  existing police station in its present location. Since the fire station is a county facility, it wouldn’t matter what city it was located in and might even allow consolidation with the fire department that is located on Bonita near Garey. But then what do I know, I’m only the taxpayer that will have to help fund this latest project.             

Hayden Lening



Motor Voter Act

Dear Editor:

The League of Women Voters of California has contacted state officials citing clear evidence that the state of California is violating its federally-mandated responsibility to offer California drivers and ID card holders the opportunity to register to vote. 

A joint letter was sent as a pre-litigation notice to the California Secretary of State on behalf of the League of Women Voters of California, ACCE Institute, California Common Cause, the National Council of La Raza and several individual California citizens.

Under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), California and most other states are required to treat a driver’s license application or renewal as a voter registration application if the applicant chooses to register to vote.

If the applicant is already a registered voter, the state must update the existing voter registration with any new information supplied on a driver’s license application, renewal or change of address form. Such new information might be a name change, address change or new political party affiliation.

According to a report from key organizations, the NVRA violations in California are part of a national problem. The report finds that these “motor voter” requirements are widely ignored in states all across the country, with the result, in many states, that only a small number of voters are registering through motor vehicles departments (DMVs). According to the report, California has one of the lowest levels of DMV voter registration in the country.

The letter details violations of the “Motor Voter” provisions of the NVRA by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and other state agencies and demands that the secretary act immediately to bring the state into full compliance with the law or face litigation. 

The letter describes how DMV procedures unlawfully require applicants to complete an entirely separate voter registration application and provide the same information required on the driver’s license and ID card forms. These violations, and additional problems with how change-of-address, mail and online transactions are processed, impede rather than facilitate the ability of applicants to register to vote or update their registrations.

The state’s failures have real impact.  The League has long advocated for ease of voter registration since access to voting is one of the most important civil rights issues of our day.

The Motor Voter Act is a key tool in fighting the disturbing trend of voter disenfranchisement across the nation. Fixing Motor Voter in California could go a long way toward rectifying that disparity and strengthening our democracy.

As the secretary of state, Secretary Alex Padilla is responsible for making sure the state meets its obligations under the NVRA. As a state senator, Mr. Padilla sponsored a bill, never enacted into law, addressing this very problem by requiring the state to develop a paperless voter registration system that would easily allow voters to register to vote or update their voter registrations through the automatic transfer of voter registration information from the DMV to elections officials.

Residents can help by contacting Secretary of State Alex Padilla on your own to tell him that California is failing to make it easy for residents to register to vote and that the state must modify the procedures to afford the voter registration opportunities required by federal law.

Ellen Taylor

VP for Advocacy

LWV of the Claremont Area


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