Readers comments 7-17-15

Scripps president

Dear Editor:

As a longtime subscriber and supporter of the COURIER, and a Scripps alumna and staff member at the college for many years, I was somewhat disappointed to read last Friday’s article on the departure of Scripps president Lori Bettison-Varga for her new role as president of the Natural History Museum.

The article entitled, “Scripps president to leave college, helm Natural History Museum” starts out on a high note enumerating her achievements, but then veers off in a different direction that is misleading, confusing and somewhat insulting. The entire article could have benefitted from a more thorough review by a good editor.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the COURIER to offer kudos to The Claremont Colleges consortium, and particularly to Scripps and Pitzer. The fact that their presidents are so highly regarded and have the academic credentials to be selected to lead two of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Los Angeles is quite a coup.

Instead, the final two paragraphs of the article indicated that it represented a “step up” for the Pitzer president, implying that she is leaving a lesser job, in this case as president of Pitzer. And the same is not noted about the subject of the article, Ms. Bettison-Varga, which seems to suggest that her move is to a less prestigious institution. In both cases, Laura Skandera Trombley and Lori Bettison-Varga are moving on to wonderful, new opportunities and their successful tenures at Pitzer and Scripps only added to their desirability for their new leadership roles.

The final paragraph of the article was undoubtedly the most confusing and convoluted. Steven Koblik, who can certainly speak for himself, was never the president of Pitzer College, as the article implies. He had a very successful tenure as dean of faculty at Scripps College in the 1990s, and moved on to a distinguished career as president of Reed College in Oregon before taking on the presidency of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Mary F. Weis




Clean air, clean water

Dear Editor:

Dirty air. Polluted water. Dependence on foreign oil. Billions spent on utility bills. Increasing child asthma rates, and environment-related illnesses. This isn’t the California any of us want to live in. But this will be the continued painful and costly reality of the Inland Empire community unless two important pieces of clean energy and pollution reduction legislation, SB32 and SB350, are passed this summer.

In 2006, the state legislature set a goal to reduce statewide greenhouse gas pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. Just under 10 years later, we are more than halfway toward meeting that goal. In the process, California has attracted billions of dollars in private investment in clean energy businesses. We are also on track to cut billions in health costs. At the same time, energy has remained affordable for consumers.

Now in 2015, SB32 and SB350, already passed in the state senate, would continue California’s leadership in fighting climate change, building a thriving economy and reducing health risks for families.

The League of Women Voters has been at the forefront of the environmental protection movement for decades, consistently supporting legislation that seeks to safeguard our local communities from the physical, economic and public health effects of climate change while also providing pathways to economic prosperity.

That’s why we’re urging you to tell Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez to vote yes on SB 32 and SB 350. Call (909) 902-9606 or email

If you live in Claremont, you could contact Assemblyman Chris Holden at

The air you and your families breathe, and the hard-earned money you work for, depends on it.

Ellen Taylor

VP for Advocacy

LWV of the Claremont Area


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