Readers Comments 12-24-15

Thanks for giving

Dear Editor:

As the year draws to a close and my six years on the board of directors concludes, I wanted to share the possibilities that exist through your support of your community foundation.

During the past year, the Claremont Community Foundation and the California Community Foundation entered into an affiliation agreement that provides ongoing access to management systems, donor support, investment opportunities  and significantly-reduced management fees.  

Recently, discussions have begun to expand our capacity and assist local and regional nonprofits through a grant from the California Community Foundation.

Like all organizations that seek to serve the community, CCF is constantly watching, listening, learning and adapting. We hope you will share your ideas, skills and energy with us to improve our service to the community.

CCF is your local foundation dedicated to helping fulfill philanthropic desires. You can support your community through a donor-advised fund that lets you enjoy the tax benefit now and distribute your gift over time. Or you can contribute to one of several community impact funds, or make a bequest to the foundation to pursue your interests well into the future.

Recently, past chair of the foundation Brenda Barham Hill and her husband John Hill were faced with a forced sale of some highly-appreciated stock that posed some tax consequences.

By donating that stock to CCF, the Hill family was able to establish a donor-advised fund and enjoy a tax deduction.

Of course, all of this activity requires the financial support of the community. Your ongoing commitment is critical to maintaining and developing the Foundation as a self-sustaining organization that meets the varied needs of this extraordinary community. 

Please consider supporting CCF through an annual contribution, monthly contribution, pledge or through a bequest. Your contributions help to ensure that your legacy as a member of the community will champion charitable giving to improve the quality of life in our community now and for future generations.

On behalf of the board of directors, thank you for supporting your Claremont Community Foundation.

Paul Steffen

Chair, board of directors

Claremont Community Foundation


Merit pay

Dear Editor:

What a sweet deal! I do the job I’m supposed to do and for which I get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. When the holiday season rolls around, I get a huge present of thousands more, all paid for with the public’s tax dollar. But wait, there’s a hitch. This end-of-year hand-out only goes to special people. If I am a police officer and do the job I agreed to do, I don’t get that big fat present at the end of the year. Nor if I am a teacher, a street sweeper or a clerk. In fact, if I’m any kind of lower-paid worker, it appears I get no “bonus” at all.

The $28,646 “bonus” from the city council to the Claremont city manager reported in the December 18 edition of the COURIER may be a deal, but it’s not sweet. If we’re going to make gifts of taxpayer funds to public employees based on nebulous subjective criteria, a practice which seems dubious to begin with, then let’s give them out equitably and to people who really need them. The city police, the maintenance people, the clerks—all contribute to the smooth functioning of our community, not just one person who was reported as already receiving a seemingly exorbitant compensation of $331,356 for a year’s work.

Perhaps the response of the city council would be, “But this is the way things are done.” If so, it’s time to reexamine the practice. What is the logic, and the ethics, of having a budget if money can be whimsically pulled from it for gifts to some but not others?

If “merit” bonuses paid from public funds are an ethical and rationale approach to compensation for public employees, why does that reasoning not hold for all city employees?

John Roseman




Call it what it is

Dear Editor:

Michael Valentine (COURIER, December 18) cannot see why liberals, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, refuse to speak of “Islamic terrorism.” He writes off not speaking that way as a mixture of fear (of whom?) and “political correctness,” a favorite right-wing term that takes the place of not thinking.

On the contrary, there are perfectly good reasons for not talking of “Islamic terrorism.” ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, wants to appropriate Islam in support of terrorism and their attempt to create a caliphate.

Millions and millions of followers of Islam do not support—in fact, explicitly reject—terrorist activities and, so far as I can tell, the religion itself cannot be tarred with that brush.

To talk as Mr. Valentine and others want liberals to do is to attempt to associate Muslims and their religion with a particular group that also wants the religion to be identified with their views and activities. In short, to so talk is to give ISIS the status that they wish.

Imagine this: the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooter is a Christian and his reason for choosing that target was based on his religious views. In fairness, if we speak of Islamic terrorism we should—though Mr. Valentine and fellows do not—also call Rob Dear a Christian terrorist. But we all know that he does not speak and act for Christianity and for millions of Christians. So we don’t characterize him as a Christian terrorist. On Mr. Valentine’s principles, we should.

Merrill Ring





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