Readers comments 5-6-16
City services at the Depot
I appreciated and shared the concerns raised in the letter from Dennis Lloyd. I think it’s really sad that there are no restrooms in the Depot to be used by folks waiting for trains or just arriving in Claremont. I also think it’s really sad that there is no way to renew Senior TAP cards in that vicinity.
Let’s think again about how Claremont can be more welcoming to visitors to our wonderful city and more helpful to our own residents.
Claremont hate crime
During this week of Holocaust commemoration, it serves us well to remember that the German exterminations of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, political prisoners, etc. began with untempered, hate-filled rhetoric.
It took only a few years before the vicious stereotyping by the Nazi regime ended with mass deportations and the gas chambers.
The recent hate crime in Claremont requires each of us to not only focus upon the individual perpetrator of such crime, but to also reflect upon the social climate which contributed to it.
Throughout this election season, we have witnessed the ratcheting up of tensions by the purveyors of hateful stereotypes toward specific minorities (Mexicans/Hispanics, Muslims, LGBTQ individuals, etc.).
Through our educated lens, we now know that the ultimate consequences of dehumanizing the “other” is violence. It now appears that this very misery is upon our doorstep.
In keeping with our city’s historical legacy of embracing social justice, I call upon our elected and appointed officials to denounce targeted hate-speech, and to take affirmative action to enlighten the community about its perils.
Phlunte’ Riddle for senate
In the June 7 Democratic primary for state senate, we have several options, but the strongest choice is Dr. Phlunte’ Riddle.
I have known Phlunte’ for 10 years as a board member of the Pasadena United Nations Association, where we worked together, and she distinguished herself by significantly growing our financial ability to better serve our mission.
Her 29-year history as a barrier-breaking Pasadena police officer and lieutenant will allow Dr. Riddle to bring her passion, advocacy experience and hard work to our pressing issues such as jobs, schools and safe communities when we elect her to the California Senate.
Phlunte’ has served on numerous community boards in the city of Pasadena and has always offered to help those in need. Currently as a businesswoman and adjunct professor, Dr. Riddle is a strong role model for our youth and girls, and is an advocate on women’s issues.
Despite beginning her campaign recently, after other established politicians were already being endorsed, Phlunte’ has still garnered more than 40 important endorsements, including those of our Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden, our Democratic State Senator Carol Liu and our Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu, along with 16 other elected officials and 25 of our community leaders and organizations.
Most importantly for all of us, Phlunte’ demonstrates the personal history of advocacy experience, hard work, integrity, innovative ideas and problem-solving needed to serve us in the state senate.
Dr. Riddle is most proud of her 37-year marriage and three adult sons, who all support her next step to represent us in the senate. I hope you will support Democratic state senate candidate Dr. Phlunte’ Riddle as you vote on June 7.
Students support the museum
We are writing in support of a new Pomona College Museum of Art on the west side of College Avenue near the public library, post office and city hall.
As two students who have grown up in Claremont, and now attend Scripps College, we can see this divisive issue through the lens of both “town” and “gown.” We do not see any real downside to locating an expanded facility to house all museum collections and programs just steps away from the heart of downtown Claremont.
Those opposed seem most concerned with keeping a dividing line between the Village and the Colleges have overlooked the changes that have already occurred in and around Claremont since we were in elementary school.
More than ever before, today’s students from the 5Cs patronize local businesses and consistently leave campus to visit the Village. All of our friends walk to into town to see movies, shop, go out to eat, take exercise classes and make use of other amenities downtown.
Just like many of you, the Village is also a destination for us. Likewise, we’ve seen more attempts to connect the Colleges to the local community, through student-led activities that include nonprofit consulting work (SOURCE at CMC), volunteering (through JumpStart and Uncommon Good) and mentoring local teens.
When we were Claremont High School students, we were both members of the Claremont Museum of Art’s ARTstART, a students-teaching-students art education program that introduced us to the many cultural resources at the Claremont Colleges. As ARTstART members, we learned about art from Claremont’s past and present, and then planned and taught lessons to elementary kids. Because CMA didn’t have a gallery of its own, we often used on of the galleries at the Colleges. As Claremont Colleges ARTstART interns, we guide CHS students as they plan and present gallery tours here at the Colleges.
Since the program began in 2011, one of ARTstART’s best partners has been Pomona College Museum of Art. Many don’t realize the museum has been providing free access, staff time and outreach lessons to most of our local CUSD schools—both with their own outreach programs and by letting ARTstART high school students use museum exhibitions to plan and arrange field trips for hundreds of upper-grade elementary classes every year. The museum opened extra hours this past winter so that the high school ARTstART students we mentor could lead field trips for 820 fourth, fifth and sixth graders.
We also both take an active part in the museum’s long-running Thursday evening free event Art After Hours. The Pomona College museum’s interest in expanding its programs and offerings to people has led to conversations about a new sort of institution that serves both a campus and a community audience.
To those who would ask, “Why not leave things as they are?” we would reply, “There’s no room to grow!” Programs and collections, concerts, classes and tours are becoming more challenging in the old space. We even have a class in a basement where some of the collection has to be stored. Others say, “Don’t move a historic house!” To us, it appears that much of the concern about moving the old Renwick House arises from the simple fact that some do not like change. While we appreciate Claremont’s historic beauty, we see change as a healthy thing, allowing our community to evolve and grow.
For those of us who walk west across College Avenue to the town, a new building on the west side of College will allow for further blurring of the town and gown relationship, and promote engagement and access to collections and exhibitions for visitors, students from the local school district and our Colleges community.
Those opposed to the project have recently made suggestions to just move another college-owned Victorian house, Kenyon House, onto the property where the museum would go, presumably because it helps draw a separation line between the Colleges and the community, and force a new museum back into the interior of the college grounds. If moving one historic house is fine, why not move Renwick from the museum’s proposed location to the east side of the road?
Now that the Claremont Museum of Art’s Project ARTstART has found a home—a re-imagined space within our town’ historic landmark the Claremont Depot, it is our hope that voices that look to the future, not the past, will prevail, and enable both students and community members access to two collaborative cultural institutions in downtown Claremont.
We encourage the city council and its special ad hoc committee to champion a synergy that can take place between the Colleges, community and cultural institutions adjacent to the civic center, and the inevitable walking traffic that will continue to grow as more 5Cs students continue the trend and come to museum programs, visit local shops and take part in the full life of our community.
Those who wish to create dividing lines or build walls (both in regard to this issue and nationally) have been heard from too much as it is. The future is with those who work to break down barriers. The majority of us—students and community members—want a new museum. Our community should not be stuck in the past but be willing to embrace the future and manage the changes that will come in a smart, sensible and open hearted way.
Madeline Helland Annie Nguyen
Scripps College ‘18 Scripps College ‘17