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Readers comments 3-4-16

A fruitful weekend

Dear Editor:

Thank you so very much, Sarah Torribio and Steven Felschundneff, for your article about Uncommon Good.

After your article appeared, we had a 400 percent increase in customers! This is much better than we’ve gotten from anything posted online or on social media. And they say newspapers are dead! I don’t think so!

 Thank you again for helping us to promote our work on behalf of our community. We appreciate you two!

 Nancy Mintie

Executive Director

Uncommon Good

 

Math matters

Dear Editor:

Thanks to Sarah Torribio for the excellent piece on Common Core math in the Today’s Parent special.

I can see why it would be challenging for teachers and parents. They have to teach kids basic algebraic concepts on top of basic arithmetic, all at earlier ages. 

It’s a lot to bite off, but if the kids succeed at grasping the concepts, they will have a much better understanding of math as a whole, and algebra will be much more intuitive for them when they get into its more complex topics later.

It’s funny that these are concepts I figured out intuitively to excel in math back when we learned it the rote way. But back then I thought it was just because my brain worked differently, I didn’t realize it might be helpful for others to think this way too.

Claudia Pearce

Claremont

 

 

Crossing paths

[Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the crossing guard who works at Mills Avenue and Base Line Road. —KD]

Dear Editor:

Almost every morning for the last two-and-a-half years, I have driven up Indian Hill Boulevard at 7:35 a.m. to drop my daughter off at CHS. It is a perfect loop for me to continue up to Base Line and turn right on my way to work. This is my routine, five days a week. And every morning, seemingly without fail, you have been at your post, doing your job at the intersection of Base Line and Mills.

You stand out, by design, of course, in your reflective vest, your cap and hand-held stop sign. The crosswalks on the north and west sides of the intersection are your domain, and the children of Chaparral Elementary are your charges.

You clearly take your job seriously. I see you, with almost military precision, monitor the lights and position yourself tactically to make sure each and every young student, whether on foot or riding a bike, makes it across this very busy and dangerous crossing to safety.  

While stopped at the light, in my shabby old van, I’ve often tried to catch your attention to give you a thumbs up, to let you know you are doing a great job. But I’ve never been able to catch your eye, and perhaps that shouldn’t surprise me. You are focused on your job—on the children.

I have two daughters who never crossed at your intersection. They went to Sycamore and didn’t have to cross such a dangerous street. But if they had I would have felt totally secure in the knowledge that you were there for them.

Your service to the students of Chaparral is really a service to all of Claremont, because a community is only as strong and safe as its smallest, most vulnerable citizen. That is something you obviously understand.

I don’t know your name, or anything about you, except for the fact that the children of our community are safer, and our community is stronger, because of your service.

Thank you, crossing guard lady. If you see a guy in an old black van giving you the thumbs-up, that’s me. My name is Mike. In appreciation,

Mike Boos

Claremont

 

Traffic diversion

Dear Editor:

I fully agree with Mark Von Wodtke’s caution that “the council take a step back and look at the overpass.” I note suggestions concerning a rail overpass, or a below-level pass through downtown Claremont.

Has there been any suggestion whereby the on and off ramps of the 10 freeway at Indian Hill be closed, and that Claremont’s access to the 10 freeway be either Towne Avenue or Monte Vista Avenue?

Less urgent north-south traffic on Indian Hill might then tolerate frequent rail stops. Thus, expensive construction projects would not be urgent. 

Janet Macaulay 

Claremont

 

Village preservation

[Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted in response to Steve Comba’s Viewpoint published February 26. —KD]

Dear Steve:

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my viewpoint published in the February 11 COURIER. You do make some good points and I understand the reasoning to be “in” the Village.

The troubling elements from being “in” the Village are pretty basic and mainly concern logistics and parking; items like the backside of the museum facing the Village, the entrance on Bonita next to the library parking lot and the loading dock on Second Street across from the post office. 

From the historic point of view, moving Renwick House, removing heritage trees and interrupting the residential feeling on the west side of College, which until now has been celebrated and protected by both Pomona College and the city, is the most disturbing part of the plan.

From the college’s point of view, it might be easy to dismiss moving a historic house or replacing a few heritage trees but, in reality, keeping these attributes intact are the very things that have made Claremont the wonderful place that it is.

Will the museum be less accessible or beneficial to the community across the street? Will it offer a true community experience given the physical constraints of the proposed site? Where are the interactive touch-points and the programming elements that will offer a meaningful cultural experience for the community?

You mentioned that the museum will be open and free to the public, and there is planned to be a small meeting room that can be rented by community groups—this is great, but where is the intentional integration of public activities and involvement or even the creation of a community cultural art center, as some have suggested? These are some of the questions that are being asked.

I feel as if this issue is dividing the community in a way that is unhealthy.  Do we not all have the same values and goals when it comes to our beautiful city?

Preservation does not mean putting a stop to progress, but it does mean honoring the past to inform the future. I am sure that a solution exists and maybe we just need to come together as a community and discuss it openly and with transparency. 

David Shearer

Claremont

 

Value of place

[Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted in response to Steve Comba’s Viewpoint published February 26. —KD]

Dear Editor:

As a professional historian with some training in historic preservation and a scholar whose work focuses on “place,” I take exception with Steve Comba’s charge that those of us opposed to siting the proposed Pomona College Museum of Art on the west side of College Avenue are ignoring “the critical symbolism and value of place.” In fact, the case is just the opposite.

Maintaining a sense of place is a fundamental concern of those of us who advocate for historic preservation. Geographer Pierce Lewis has called the historical landscape of a place “our unwitting autobiography” because of its capacity to disclose information about us that we did not consciously mean to communicate.

In the Village, that “unwitting autobiography” is written in the historic fabric of the built environment and the ways people interacted with it ever since Claremont was founded in 1887 and Pomona College the following year, in 1888.

Over the 128 years since then, residents and visitors have gained an impression—an understanding of who were are and what kind of town this is—in large part by traveling the streets of the Village. Although not explicitly stated in a motto emblazoned anywhere, it is obvious that this is a town whose residents prize the natural environment, history, education and small business.

College Avenue is a critical element in that autobiography, creating that sense of place residents and visitors absorb and understand. The Victorian homes south of Bonita on the east side, the mix of Craftsman and contemporary homes north of Eighth Street, the mature eucalyptus trees and the Pomona College buildings that line College Avenue all express Claremont’s values and its history.

Consequently, every element of that complex fabric and the way in which they are sited, the ways they interact with one another, are essential to the town’s sense of place. Mr. Comba makes the point that the proposed museum of art “will be an identifiable part of the cultural fabric of this city.” I have no argument with that claim. 

However, moving Renwick House to make way for it, locating that historic structure on the east side of College Avenue, will take the home out of its proper historical context and diminish the sense of place created by a structure standing in the location where it was built and has existed ever since. 

Mr. Comba’s claim that those of us opposed to siting the museum on the west side of College don’t understand the value of place is patently false. Advocating for preserving Renwick House in its current location is all about maintaining our “sense of place.”

Denise S. Spooner

Claremont

 

 

A full house

Dear Editor:

Storytellers Claremont has advertised and listed its Writing Workshop (storytellersclaremont.com) with you twice and we are pleased to say we have sold out three 8-week sessions (this last session had two separate groups!)

We did our second public reading to benefit Claremont Forum Bookshop and the Prison Library Program this week. Our first reading in the fall was a huge hit.

Please continue covering events that support local writers and raise awareness of the growing literary scene, which Storytellers Claremont is attracting. Thanks so much!

Terrance Flynn

Storytellers Claremont

 

Prop 50

Dear Editor:

The League of Women Voters supports Prop 50 on June 7. This constitutional amendment would give each house of the Legislature clear authority to suspend, with a two-thirds vote, a member and withhold pay and benefits.

Prop 50 is a straightforward way for lawmakers to hold their own colleagues accountable for breaching the public’s trust. Such actions are highly unusual. Over the years, five senators have been expelled, and several senators accused of corruption resigned in 1985. The Assembly has never suspended or expelled a member.

This issue is important and we want every voter to know about it so that they can study the issue with plenty of time to make a decision on how to vote.

 Ellen Taylor

VP for Advocacy,

LWV of Claremont

 

 

 

 

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