Readers comments 2-12-16
12th Street water woes
We are delighted that the residents of Tulane Road will soon have their water leaks fixed. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for those of us who live on 12th Street.
We are the homeowners at the corner of 12th Street and Oxford Avenue, whose ongoing water leak was referred to in last week’s article. Specifically, it was reported that Ben Lewis of Golden State said that leak would be more difficult to repair without damaging or removing the tree on top of it. A bit of background is needed here.
In the past two years, there have been eight leaks on our property. We have already lost one of our two city trees to an earlier leak. At that time, the city arborist said that the tree might not remain stable because the leak was too close to the roots, so the tree came down. Since then, five other leaks have emerged in different areas of our front lawn and many more have sprung up all along 12th Street. Cutting down one more tree will not fix that!
Golden State has been very responsive in fixing each leak, even bringing in special equipment to try to save our second tree. However, it has become obvious that these patches will no longer work. It is time that the 12th Street main water line be relocated to the street, as they are about to do on Tulane.
We understand this is complicated by the litigation between the city and the water company, but meanwhile, water continues to run down 12th Street during this severe drought. Some action must be taken soon.
Peter and Nancy Ambrose
Well, that’s done. The zoning update of the city’s general plan from 2006 will ensure that Pomona College land, which in reality extends to Harvard Avenue on the west, will indeed be used for the great and powerful Pomona College Museum of Art.
The zoning change denied in 2015 will be reversed and you will see Pomona College on the west side of College Avenue—in a big way. It’s been on the Pomona College planning map for 10 years and the discussion will cease about alternate sites on any campus.
We have no doubt that the college’s master plan will be thankfully approved and the design and location will be gratefully settled by the city council and commissions. No more bumps in the road. And it was an oversight by 2006 city staff—not the planning commission of 2015 who denied the request, or the present city staff. No one here did it.
I’ve always thought that College Avenue was the divider between town and gown, but it’s been Harvard all along. And who says it’s not?
Green budget goals
As a hub of student and community engagement in the Inland Empire, Claremont needs to be pushing for progressive goals in the President’s upcoming green budget. On February 9, the President will be releasing the federal budget and we must be aware of what funds are necessary to further the green goals of our state, and our country.
As part of the Inland Empire, we are aware of how polluted our skies are and how valuable undeveloped land is. Residents of Claremont, especially, should be engaging with the resources and presence of the Claremont Colleges in order to demand more sustainable and clean energy resources and goals from the government.
Targeting green budget funding goals that specifically speak toward Claremont, we need the President to focus on parks, electric cars and solar. In order for the practicality and accessibility of electric cars to grow, we need more funding for the EV Everywhere program.
Considering the beautiful parks nearby, the Sanhedrin Wilderness needs increased funding from the Forest Service and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and Area of Critical Environmental Concern needs increased funding from the Bureau of Land Management.
In addition, solar needs some attention and funding as an affordable and accessible clean energy that will benefit the air quality of the Inland Empire.
These are only some of the funding goals necessary to further the country’s sustainable future and should not only inspire Claremont residents to act but to also be aware of what is necessary on a state and national level.
The Salton Sea
Claremont’s air quality is being threatened starting in 2017 by the planned diversion of 20 percent of the Salton Sea’s water to the county of San Diego. The soil under the water is a toxic brew of fine particles that, if exposed, are expected blow west into the Pomona and San Gabriel Valleys.
The water diversion seems to be a done deal and there are plenty of organizations discussing the problem, but to no effect. The Desert Sun, the Palm Springs area newspaper, recently advocated that those concerned should contact their representatives and agitate for a remediation of the Salton Sea before it’s too late.
The water there now keeps the toxic soil in the seabed from being dispersed into the air. Californians in the Owens Valley have fought the DWP for over 50 years to restore their lake and remediate their terrible air quality.
We can nip the problem in the bud, but we must be resolved and act now or we too will suffer health consequences of the exposed particulates next year.
I have contacted Congresswoman Judy Chu, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Assemblyman Chris Holden, Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz (who’s district is in the Coachella Valley), and State Senator Carol Liu to express my concern about preserving our air quality. I will continue contacting them and advocate for their immediate action to remediate the lake.
In addition to the health concerns that the Salton Sea’s demise provokes, the sea itself is a beautiful place however maligned it has been. It is a world-renowned flyway for migrating birds; it has better skies for star-gazing than the light-polluted Joshua Tree National Park; it has the Salton Sea Recreational Area with beautiful, lakeside campgrounds and solar-heated showers; it has fishing (the water is clean and I understand much of the Tilapia we eat is harvested there); it has boating and kayaking.
Its community center is an architectural treasure and will be featured during Modernism Week in Palm Springs. The south portion of the lake has mud volcanoes and hot springs along with our National Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge, whose clean air is also threatened by our political inaction.
Please join me in advocating for the preservation of the Salton Sea.
Protecting Claremont’s marijuana ordinances
A set of new laws, known collectively as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), will regulate medical marijuana in California for the first time since voters approved its use almost 20 years ago.
But, due to a deadline mistakenly left in the bill, the new laws will override cities’ rights to set their own policies on marijuana cultivation unless cities enact an ordinance before March 1.
Thankfully, the Claremont City Council voted to adopt an ordinance on January 26 prohibiting marijuana dispensaries, manufacturing, cultivation and delivery in our city. The ordinance will take effect 30 days thereafter. The passage of this ordinance allows Claremont to retain local control over the use of medical marijuana. Now that we have a comprehensive ordinance, we must work to keep it in place.
As a Youth Engagement Specialist who works in substance abuse prevention and someone who cares deeply about our community, I have very significant concerns about the effects of loosening these regulations on the children, youth and college students of Claremont.
Research has demonstrated that the more accessible a substance is, the more youth use it. According to a nationwide survey of young adults ages 18 to 25, children of parents who smoke marijuana are more than three times as likely to use it themselves. Among those whose parents had used marijuana, 72 percent had used it also. Conversely, only 20 percent of those whose parents had never used marijuana reported having used marijuana themselves.
Additionally, decades of research on alcohol and tobacco show that youth usage rates are considerably higher in places where there is easier access for adults (in the form of more stores selling the products, for example), despite the age restrictions that are supposedly in place.
All of this matters, of course, because marijuana use hurts youth—more so than it does adults. Research shows that marijuana has significant detrimental cognitive effects on the developing brain. Youth can’t regularly use marijuana without long-term consequences.
However you feel about marijuana, it’s clear that any future regulations on marijuana in our city need carefully considered ground rules and a public health approach to prevention. Concern for the health, safety and well-being for all members of our community, including our children, youth and college students, should be the priority.
Please join me in in thanking the Claremont City Council for their work to adopt an ordinance prohibiting marijuana dispensaries, manufacturing, cultivation and delivery in our city, and ask them to keep this ban in place.
Youth Engagement Specialist
Partnership for a Positive Pomona