Readers comments 11-20-15

Displacing Renwick a bad move

Dear Editor:

Pomona College now proposes moving Renwick House on College Avenue to make room for an art museum. Because this change in their proposed master plan occurred after the original draft EIR was submitted, that portion of the plan has been rewritten.

Unfortunately, the new draft does not include placing the museum somewhere east of College Avenue as one of the alternatives, and it should. The document says that Pomona does not consider this a good option and therefore has excluded it from consideration.

The preference of an applicant, however, is not an acceptable reason for omitting a viable alternative from an EIR. An EIR always presents several possibilities in addition to the one the applicant wants, including the alternative of “no project.” Siting the museum east of College and leaving Renwick House where it has always been should be included as an alternative.

The public has until December 3 to submit comments to the city about the altered EIR. You can read what Claremont Heritage has to say about locating the new museum in their October 2015 preservation update ( and find a link to the new draft EIR on the city website (

Please let the city know that this alternative should be included for consideration along with the ones currently listed in the draft EIR.

Sue Schenk



Cooper as interim is wrong

Dear Editor:

The older I get, the more I realize that what is legal is not necessarily ethical. I understand that it is perfectly legal to hire Paul Cooper as the interim police chief but, in my opinion, it is clearly wrong.

Our city council needs to realize that to taxpayers, all public employee salaries are an expense and we really do not care that some of it comes from one bucket and some from another.

In my opinion, city leadership should always have had a contingency plan for Mr. Cooper’s retirement. The right thing for Mr. Cooper to have done would have been to give the city six month’s notice and then let them look for an interim chief during that time period. This would have avoided Chief Cooper collecting two paychecks from the taxpayers.

The fact that our council did not consider someone from within the department and just assumed that Mr. Cooper may as well be interim chief because it would just be another other retired chief anyway, shows how they have fallen into the trap of public finance complacency.

These are the same people that recently backed a $50 million bond to construct a police station that residents clearly thought was too costly. This is the same council who promoted a $135 million bond to purchase a water company. This really needs to be rethought now that we have all realized we can live with 30 percent less water.

In my opinion, hiring Mr. Cooper after he has just “retired” is taking advantage of the system.?The Claremont City Council has just gone right along with this offense. Even if another city would have swooped Mr. Cooper up as an interim, at least it would not have been our council contributing to this fiscal crime.

Brad Umansky



Formalize the park forum

Dear Editor:

The Claremont Wildlands Conservancy wishes to propose an addition to be incorporated into the CHWP Master Plan. Fortunately, the draft master plan advocates “public engagement” as one of its six guiding principles. It recognizes that public collaboration is integral to ensuring sound policy decisions.

The plan mentions the creation of a “forum” for policy decision-making that will provide opportunities for Claremonters “to contribute their knowledge, expertise, and energy to actively support park management.”

It suggests that the forum should be a group of volunteers, “Friends of the CHWP,” and, in the language of the draft, it would be a “self-organizing” entity charged with helping to execute policies and to aid rangers. Certainly, if wisely structured, this forum could provide a place where representative voices might be heard and opposing positions resolved.

But there is a problem. The draft plan stops short of articulating a route by which this forum will actually contribute to decision-making. We need a concrete process for establishing a group of representative stakeholders (neighbors, environmentalists, hikers and bikers, etc.).

We also need an organizational mechanism by which this stakeholder forum will advise the city staff and commissions that have oversight responsibilities for the Wilderness Park.

Rather than being a “self-organized” entity dependent on the energies and enthusiasms of the moment, the master plan needs to establish an actual entity of relevant stakeholders within the governance structure of the park.

We urge that this feature be spelled out in the final version of the master plan. Hopefully, this will deflect us from the paralysis that is created by a community at loggerheads.

Jill Benton

Board member, Claremont

Wildlands Conservancy


The Memorial Infirmary

Dear Editor:

Thank you for including the article about the Memorial Infirmary in your paper. I always love the historic information, but this especially hit home.

I moved to Claremont in 1951. My mother, Helen Hardy, had attended Pomona College (class of 1934) and her mother still lived there. When mom was widowed, she thought it would be a good place to raise a couple of kids.

Mom talked about having worked at the Infirmary when she was in college and it was fun to picture mom assisting Dr. Morrill Ilsley when I read the article.

Although I live in nearby Upland, after more than 50 years in Claremont, it will always be my home. I still enjoy so many activities there, including the summer concert series at Memorial Park and attending St. Ambrose Episcopal Church.

St. Ambrose recently celebrated the  60th birthday of the church building, so I read through a lot of old COURIER articles about sermons and celebrations. The church actually started in the fall of 1951 when many of us neighborhood kids attended the Sunday school class at the home of George and Margaret Gibbs.

Thank you for continuing with the files of Claremont Heritage.

Shari Hardy



Clean Power Plant

Dear Editor:

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration finalized the Clean Power Plan, which aims to protect public health, create thousands of efficiency-related jobs, reduce electricity bills for Americans and deliver power reliably. Unfortunately, members of the House and Senate are attempting to block this important regulation permanently.

With the input of thousands of stakeholders, The Clean Power Plan is the single biggest step we have taken to tackle climate change. It puts commonsense limits on carbon pollution from power plants and provides the flexibility states need to develop their own plans to meet pollution reduction targets. Congress seeks to undo the health and economic benefits of the plan and bar the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing similar standards in the future. Blocking these safeguards puts polluter profits before health. Americans would continue to be exposed indefinitely to carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change.

Climate change is a global catastrophe on a historic scale that will change the course of human life. It’s time Congress supports people, not polluters.

The League has been urging the Obama Administration to move forward with this life-saving regulation. League members have submitted tens of thousands of comments to the EPA to ensure a strong final regulation, and we need you to raise your voices on this important issue yet again.

Join  the League in urging members of Congress to oppose these resolutions that puts the health of our children and families at risk and strips the EPA of the tools to address dangerous carbon pollution.

Ellen Taylor

VP for Advocacy

LWV of Claremont Area


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