Readers comments 12-11-15
An answer to our worst fears?
A computer geek friend of mine told me the whole Internet system could crash with about three key strokes. He said the Internet was never designed for how it is currently being used and neither is the wireless technology. So, it occurs to me there’s hope for saving the free world from the extremist suicidal murderers, whoever they may be.
Much of what is happening in the haters’ world of today would be impossible without the Internet, the facile ways of connecting and brainless ways of finding anyone and everything; the easily available instruction on how to devise lethal, cheap Internet Explosive Devices (IEDs); the impulsive ways of disseminating opinions and spinning “facts” into inflammatory rhetoric.
What’s worse is that there is a huge population all-too-willing to believe anything that stirs up adrenalin. Some rhetoric or polemics are designed to bypass frontal lobes and go directly to the trigger finger. Some think, “Why vote when bullets will take care of my frustration immediately?”
By the way, when did it happen that we as a society would rather honor inflammatory rhetoric than the rational and factual truth? Did that begin to happen when humanistic psychology died or was it with the birth and contagion of the Internet, e-mailing, Facebook, Tweeting, etc.? Any answers or thoughts will be appreciated, even those from true believers and otherwise prejudiced opinionators.
I’m sure not everyone will agree with me, but that’s okay with me. I’ve been right about some things before and few agreed with me then. Being old, I’d rather be right than loved. Thanks for paying attention.
We’re all somehow assured there will be more catastrophic tragedies in the near future, but that doesn’t keep me from having chats and coffee (or a martini) at the local haunts. Denial is a wonderful psychotic mechanism that allows us to live our lives and keep functioning in our more or less preferred ways. The winter solstice is coming. May your saeason be safe and jolly!
Christopher S. Rubel
Messiah sing along
Thank you for your letter in last week’s COURIER regarding the extra chorus we will sing this year at the Claremont Symphony Orchestra’s annual Messiah sing-along.
I’ll be glad to answer your question, since I have the privilege of being director of music for the CSO. This year, the CSO’s 33rd Messiah performances will be held at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 20 at Bridges Hall of Music (“Little Bridges”) at Pomona College. Attendance at all our concerts is free, although donations are appreciated.
The past two years, in addition to the traditional Part I and the “Hallelujah!” chorus, we have added an extra chorus, “Behold the Lamb of God” (2013) and “Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs” (2014).
This year, we will sing “Since By Man Came Death” from Part Three, #46 in the score edition we sell at a cost of $10 or for rent for $5 in the lobby. This is a special chorus, containing a rare example of a capella music in Handel’s works.
From now on, we will add this information to our pre-concert publicity and website (www.ClaremontSO.org). You can sign up for our publicity emails at claremont.symphony.orchestra@gmail. com. Thank you for your support of the CSO for 24 years! I look forward to having you sing along again with us this year.
Director of Music
Claremont Symphony Orchestra
Wilderness Park funding
A number of letters have been written addressing the Claremont Wilderness Park Master Plan, mostly relating to access, parking, usage, governance and vision. Underlying each of these concerns, however, is the issue of sustainable funding for the implementation and support of what should be a resource management plan for the next 20 years.
Speaking as a longtime member of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy Board, a bit of history should be noted for the records. The last four parcels added to the park (excluding Johnson’s Pasture) were purchased with grant money awarded to Claremont from county or state agencies.
Some of our board were in attendance and spoke at the session of the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy considering Claremont’s proposal for our last addition to the park, the Cuevas/Gale Ranch parcel. A member of that funding agency’s board spoke in favor of awarding Claremont’s proposal, for he considered Claremont a community that assumed stewardship for its hillside parkland. We received the grant, and with it the responsibility for providing sustainable funding.
In addressing the issue of funding, the draft plan specifies that revenues for managing the park must come solely from the park’s own parking fees and citations. Interesting to note, since approximately 83 percent of park visitors are not from Claremont, the vast majority of revenues supporting the park come from non-Claremonters.
To continue the stewardship of the Wilderness Park for which Claremont has been recognized (and rewarded), efforts to provide sustainable funding must be clearly defined, with flexibility and without restricting future city council decisions by denying any use of general funds for the park, as the current draft master plan proposes.
We urge the city to look at other sources of funding for maintenance, but also for new programs, projects and acquisition of available land. A potential source of funding for new improvements and land acquisition is available through a mandated Parkland Fee of $4400 paid by developers for each unit within a development. Several hundred such units have been built recently in Claremont, many in the northern area of the city.
In the draft master plan this possible source of funding is not acknowledged, but shouldn’t it be available for construction of composting toilets or other new improvements, or land acquisition, as the Parkland Fee is designed to support? We understand that such funds have been used recently and in the past for new improvements in urban parks, but not at the Wilderness Park.
We applaud the city for initiating the master plan for the wilderness park, but suggest it does not adequately address mechanisms for sustainable funding to allow proper stewardship now and over the next 20 years.
Give CLU a chance
We read with interest Ted Nall’s letter last week regarding Claremont Lincoln University’s (CLU) desire to locate in his neighborhood. Mr. Nall, like most Claremonters, is naturally protective of his neighborhood and clearly does not look forward to the upheaval a large building project will inflict on the area.
As longtime residents of Claremont, we certainly understand his stance, but some of his rhetoric is over-the-top and very misleading.
There’s little question that the land owned by the Claremont Unified School District, former home of La Puerta Junior High School, will be sold at some point; and, as Mr. Nall has indicated, that developer will inflict “dirt, mess and construction noise” on the neighborhood.
From all we’ve seen and heard at recent neighborhood meetings, it appears that Claremont Lincoln University, an educational institution not a “business,” would be a far better neighbor and have less long-term impact on the neighborhood than a housing development, or any other possible large-scale, high-density project. CLU is primarily an online institution, so the increased traffic will be far less than it might be from any other development.
The architect selected by CLU is an experienced, creative and thoughtful individual. He is very sensitive to the neighborhood concerns and has listened carefully and with an open mind to the suggestions and issues raised by the neighbors. Most developers would never devote the time and care that CLU officials are investing in this phase of the process, and in making sure that neighbors’ concerns are not only heard but addressed.
This site was not the first choice of the donors or administrators connected with CLU. They would have much preferred to be located closer to the center of town and the other Claremont Colleges. Unfortunately, all of that open land is owned by the Claremont University Consortium, and it is being preserved for possible future expansion of the Colleges.
After looking at all available land in Claremont, CLU settled on the La Puerta site, with the hope of flipping the park so the university could have frontage on Indian Hill Boulevard to provide more visibility and easy access and to be less intrusive on the neighborhood.
To call this a “lunatic proposal” is hyperbole, and characterizing the philanthropists behind the project as “nut cases” is insulting and incorrect. Two of us have known Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln for years, and they are incredibly generous, thoughtful and strategic donors. They have been involved with and have been remarkably philanthropic to several of the Claremont Colleges over the years, as well as to the town of Claremont.
Mrs. Lincoln is an alumna of Scripps College and Mr. Lincoln has served on the CGU and the CMC Board of Trustees. Claremont Lincoln University is the culmination of the Lincoln’s long-held vision to increase collaboration and understanding among all people and to put wisdom to work in the world—for good. It’s hard to disagree with that mission considering the current divisiveness in our country and the world and the most recent horrific acts of terrorism.
We hope the neighbors will give this venture a chance and that they will continue to work with the experienced and dedicated administrators at CLU as they develop their plans. They are making every attempt to be transparent and to listen carefully to the neighborhood. In the long run, this venture promises to be an outstanding addition to the prestigious Claremont Colleges and to produce graduates who will go forth to make this crazy world a better place.
Mary F. Weis