Readers comments 6-24-16
Claremont’s new chapter
Again. John Pixley is right, again. Every point he makes in his June 17 Observer column is right on target. Just to be absolutely sure that the most important point is made yet again, here is a quote from his insightful article: “…this change will add to Claremont’s grace and beauty, not disrupt and subtract from it. It won’t be things being the same but, rather, Claremont progressing more into the lively community, one including the remarkable set of colleges, that it sees itself as being. Along with other changes, like the Gold Line rail coming and the Claremont Museum of Art moving into the Depot, it will make Claremont even more attractive.”
Claremont is headed into an exciting new time, a new chapter in its growth. The folks who were against Pomona College’s new museum will eventually move on to either agree or disagree with other issues that will pop up as they inevitably will.
Just as the Village West expansion was feared and talked about by many as though it would hurt our town, it has been a wonderful addition by bringing more folks into Claremont, and keeping us relevant, growing and vital. Thank you John for always being on the cutting edge and, as always, my very best to you.
Myth of the museum
John Pixley seems to have been seduced by the “myth of the museum.”
Pomona College has been clear that the purpose of their new museum is to increase teaching and office space and consolidate artifact storage for the college. The proposed galleries are similar in size to the existing ones. There has been no commitment to increase exhibits, or extend evening, weekend or summer opening times—nothing that would suggest Pomona has community benefit as a goal.
Yet Mr. Pixley believes it will somehow be a “dynamic, enriching museum,” and that replacing a Victorian with a faux Mediterranean building over 10 times its size is a change for the better.
Reminiscent of the “Emperor’s New Clothes,” he is seeing what he wants to see rather than what is there.
Claremont’s trees online
I enjoyed reading John Pixley’s column of June 3, celebrating the accomplishments of recent Claremont Colleges graduates.
I was especially delighted that he singled out the tree mapping project (“Claremont’s Urban Arboretum”) of Pomona College’s environmental analysis class as one of the highlights of last year’s graduating classes, and for publicizing the website so it might become more generally known to Claremont residents and visitors.
That project realized a dream I’d had since first being awestruck by Claremont’s amazing “urban forest” when arriving as a snowbird in 2010. Maybe it takes an “outsider” to see the urban forest for the trees, but it seemed preposterous to me that this incredible resource was not taken more full advantage of for the esthetic and educational treasure it is.
It was a long story between the dream and reality—and indeed, it took a village—but with help from the wonderfully-dedicated members of the Tree Action Group (TAG) of Sustainable Claremont, the city’s community services department, and the group of four talented students who adopted the project for their capstone course last year, the interactive map is available to all—residents, visitors, students and snowbirds alike.
In case you didn’t bookmark it yet, the URL is claremontsurbanarboretum.wordpress.com. Please explore this valuable resource. It has a lot to offer, including identifying every tree in the city, with detailed information about each species and especially, the botanical family it belongs to.
I’m sure it will be a fascinating and enriching addition to your Claremont experience. And note that this is an ongoing project that will be expanded and updated in the future.
California needs choices
In 2014, the California voters foolishly agreed that only the two top vote getters in a primary election would appear on the general election ballot the following November. Now we see the predictable results of allowing that proposition to pass:
US Senate—two Democrats will appear, no other party opposition.
US House of Representatives (53 districts)—six districts will have Democrats, and no other party opposition.
State Senate (20 districts of the 40)—six districts will have Democrats, and no other party opposition.
State Assembly (80 districts)—six districts will have Republicans, and no other party opposition; 20 districts will have Democrats, and no other party opposition.
This means that 11 percent of the districts for the US House will have no political platform choice to vote for, 30 percent of the districts for State Senate will have no political platform choice, 32 percent of the districts for State Assembly will have no political platform choice and none of the voters for US Senate will have a political platform choice.
If you want an oligarchy such as the Russians, Chinese and many other dictatorships in the world have, you should be okay with this. I am not.
Choice has been the bedrock of our political system and I personally want it to continue. Wake up, California. It is past time to demand from our legislators in Sacramento that they rescind this law.
End voting discrimination
Nearly three years ago, the US Supreme Court gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Since then, states and localities have used every tool available to make voting harder. Without Congressional action to repair the VRA, 2016 will mark the first presidential election in 50 years without its full protections.
Throughout the 2016 primaries, we saw voters face a variety of obstacles from reduced polling places to long lines to removal of registered voters from the rolls, and these challengers are just a canary in the coalmine for what’s to come in November without the VRA’s protections.
It’s time for Congress to take action to protect voters. Add your voice to that of League supporters from around the country and urge Congress to modernize and repair the VRA.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act was introduced to address the voting discrimination unleashed in the wake of the Shelby County v. Holder decision. Yet the legislation is being held up on both sides of Congress.
It is an unfortunate fact that discrimination in voting against racial, ethnic and language minorities continues in America. This should be unacceptable in the greatest democracy in the world. It’s time we all call on our senators and representatives to take action and end voting discrimination in this country.
VP for Advocacy
LWV of the Claremont Area
The NRA agenda
The National Rifle Association is spending a lot of money to promote their agenda. I think it is time to fight back and hit the pocketbooks of states whose senators voted against gun control. I will not visit or spend money in a such states. I will encourage my city and county and state governments to do the same.