Readers comments 1-29-16
I want to commend the COURIER for the column by John Neiuber, “The railways that made Claremont.”
I found the article to be one of the best quick histories I have seen of the connection between our city and the railways that “opened up” this part of California.
Might I suggest that this type of article about Claremont’s history—or perhaps going into more depth about some of the issues or subjects Mr. Neiuber touched on in his article—could become a regular column in the COURIER?
I would love to know more about the history of Sunkist, for example. The issues around the demise of the Pacific Electric Railroad would appear to not only be interesting in and of themselves, but point to the importance of thinking about transportation systems for the future.
Not having grown up in Claremont, I am not as conversant in the history of our city as I would like. As a very amateur historian, I encourage the COURIER to keep our history in front of us.
[Editor’s note: We’re glad you enjoyed the column. From the Files of Claremont Heritage by John Neiuber is a regular running column that appears the first Friday of every month. —KD]
Police station options
As another year starts and as another round of “we need a new police station” gets underway, I decided it’s time for me to put in my two cents’ worth.
Most of Claremont residents understand the need for an up-to-date facility. We value the security that living here gives us, and realize that the police are responsible for much of that security. However, many of us don’t see the need for such an enormous building, or such an expensive site on which to put it. Also, to spend money from a 40-year bond on technology that will become outdated in a matter of a few years seems foolish. Many others have voiced more reasons than this and I don’t wish to rehash all of them.
My questions are: why can’t we lease property for a year or two, put up portables (it’s been good enough for school districts all over California) and tear down the old station and rebuild on the same site? Don’t we already own the land? Can’t we use the city yard property to build a secure site for storage of evidence, etc. and contract with Upland or LaVerne for jail space on a temporary basis? Why can’t we build a multistory building? It seems to me we have not been thinking with our pocketbooks, but with our “wish upon a star” book.
I understand that Mr. Hibbard on Indian Hill does not wish to sell his land to the city, but maybe he would be willing to lease it to the city as a temporary solution for the temporary portable buildings. This would leave the police “station” close to downtown where it seems that most prefer it to be. I imagine that it would be much cheaper in the long run. As to the financing of the station, I leave that up to those who know better than I do.
These are just my ideas, and perhaps many will think them not practicable, but with a new committee beginning this year, I hope that many more will share their ideas, and perhaps we can come up with a plan that the majority can support, and that supports our officers.
I’m normally a strong supporter of Golden State Water, but I find the Tulane Road water leak situation reported in the COURIER last week to be just shameful. In short, a main has been leaking for weeks while the city and Golden State haggle over who is financially responsible because of the pending eminent domain proceeding.
Why does the repair of a water leak during the pendency of an eminent domain proceeding require agreement of the potential buyer that the repair is necessary? More importantly, Golden State has asked all its customers to conserve water during this severe drought, a proverbial “do as I say, not as I do” situation.
Golden State should repair the leak as quickly as possible to conserve our valuable water supplies, and leave the lawyers on both sides to resolve the financial responsibility issue on their own schedule.
It has been my misfortune to become the target of a coward’s hostility. Hostility can be thought of as “cowardly anger.” Actually, I’m not the target, but my car’s windows are.
About twice per week I have breakfast at a La Verne yum-yum place. Often, when I return to my car, someone has spat on the window. Obviously, this person has been with me in the feeding place at the same time and knows who I am. He (or maybe she) could confront me with their wrath. But, no, they’d rather spit than talk. You see, my car is a diesel and I’ve decided this person is one of California’s anti-diesel spitter types.
I’m writing to the COURIER about this in case the spitter can read and would like to replace his (or her) passive-aggressive behavior with a conversation. I’ve had people hold their noses when a diesel I’ve driven is idling, but that mode of protest or criticism seems to have gone out of style. I wonder if spitting has replaced it.
Oh, well. In the scheme of things, I guess I should just be happy the spitter doesn’t do something more damaging. On the other hand, if the spitter does read the COURIER, perhaps this could be an invitation to confront me. I’ll buy breakfast and listen to the anti-diesel rant. I’ve heard it all before and usually the ranters are driving something that gets half the miles-per-gallon my old diesel gets. Dear Spitter, talk to me and I’ll buy breakfast if you do. You might find a bit of knowledge about diesels will soften your antipathy. But maybe you’re a hybrid owner and take delight in the use of Canadian chromium and then, shipped from Canada to China, you consider Chinese manufacture of lead batteries to be Green technology. Is the growing ozone hole causing us to become less engaged with one another? I can imagine his/her response: “I’d rather spit than talk.”
The cost of gas
In mid-2014, crude oil was selling at over $100 per barrel. The price has since dropped dramatically. Three months ago it fell to below $50 a barrel. Then in November to below $40 a barrel. As of this writing, crude oil is selling (it’s hard to believe) at less than $28 a barrel! A price not seen for a decade and a half.
In 2008, when we were paying under $1.60 a gallon for regular gasoline here in the Claremont area, crude oil was in the mid-$30 range.
Now, today, with crude prices below even the 2008 level, we are still paying more than $2.70 a gallon for regular, which is 70 percent more than in 2008. Why? We can presume that there has been some intervening inflation, yet certainly not enough to explain such an enormous difference.
So even if we don’t get back to $1.60 a gallon, how about $1.68 a gallon? Which is, in fact, the price of regular gas today in some Gulf coast and Midwest states. Why not in California? Well, I’ve heard various explanations and excuses, such as: 1) California demands its own unique, boutique “summer blend.” Yes. But it’s not summer; 2) Taxes. Have California taxes gone up at all? Or, $1 per gallon? I don’t believe so; 3) Some refineries are doing “maintenance.” This begs the question: Why is California’s refining capacity so limited? And, how can some routine maintenance cause such severe supply restrictions?
The evidence seems fairly clearly to point to supply limitations as the primary culprit in our persistently gas high prices. So here, finally, we have a subject worthy of our Legislature’s time and attention. The following are a couple of obvious things they should address immediately to redress the supply problem:
1) Determine why oil refineries are no longer being built in California. 2) Immediately remove all California-imposed dis-incentives so that oil companies will begin building more refineries here.
California Voting Rights Act
The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) was designed to safeguard the right to vote in communities that have at-large elections. AB 350 (Alejo) would expand the CVRA to allow challenges to district-based election systems that are applied in a way that impairs the ability of a minority group to elect candidates.
AB 350 will protect the voting rights of citizens in districts where lines divide cohesive minority neighborhoods in a manner that minimizes their voting strength.
AB 350 provides a range of remedies to guide courts and local governing bodies on how to design appropriate district-based remedies for CVRA violations.
AB 350 must be passed by the Assembly by January 31 in order to move to the Senate for further action. Please contact your Assemblymember and urge that he vote for AB 350 to improve the CVRA.
Voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be protected. This bill will promote fair representation and accountability in the democratic process by ensuring that all voters in local district-based elections enjoy an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
Voter disenfranchisement still persists today. AB 350 will help protect voters from being excluded and ensure we have a working democracy. Please let our Assemblyman know you support his voting for AB 350.
VP for Advocacy
LWV of the Claremont Area