Readers comments 7-1-16

A win-win for police

Dear Editor:

The city of Claremont already owns the land on which to build the proposed new police station to replace the existing building on Bonita Avenue.

With pre-existing access onto Arrow Highway, the plot of land to the south of Hibbard’s Chevrolet dealership on Indian Hill [COURIER, June 24] is perfect for the project, and an area the city is keen to develop.

The existing police station could be demolished, and the land sold to developers for new town houses to complement those on West First Street and Cornell Avenue.

It’s a win-win for the taxpayers of Claremont.

Kimberly Kaufman



City staff not at fault

Dear Editor:

I take issue with the reader who, in a letter published in the June 17 COURIER, accused Publisher Peter Weinberger of being misinformed in noting what he considered to be the slow pace of the Mayor’s Police Facility Ad Hoc Committee. The reader instead blames city staff, whom he insults by referring to “the leisurely four-day work-week attitude of the city workers and leadership.” I do not believe city staff are at fault.

I strongly suspect that the reader has never met any of the city staff whom he blithely castigates, and that he does not understand that if they work only four days a week, as I did for many years, they still put in the full conventional 40-hour work week or more, just as I did. It is not fair for us to expect them to put in more hours at their jobs than the reader likely has done in his own occupation.

The “slow pace,” rather, has been due to the constant bickering by members of the public and committee members with their various interests, which often conflict with each other. I suggest the reader, instead of criticizing the sometimes slow progress regarding plans for a new or improved police facility, volunteers to become a part of the committee himself, with the goal of perhaps helping to improve the situation.

Don Fisher



Act now

Dear Editor:

After the NRA—with its hands around the throats of the bootlicker Congress—pushed through its own version of the Second Amendment, US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger proclaimed it “a fraud on the American public.” He said further, the Second Amendment “doesn’t guarantee the right to have firearms at all.” Why don’t we hear this quotation more often?

When will we assert our Constitutional rights, reclaim our Constitution and wrestle it out of the hands of the NRA? That militarized group has a lock-hold on congress and together they have violated our Constitution by polluting the Second Amendment for their own power and profit.

We need to have the Second Amendment purged of the NRA influence. The Second Amendment was never intended to allow every citizen to be armed, and no matter what the NRA says, citizens have absolutely no right to be armed with assault weapons. The NRA will become richer and more powerful as we become fear-ridden enemies of each other. Now we must worry—is my neighbor going to kill me or should I kill him first?

Next, the NRA will insist that when couples apply to marry, they ought to be issued a gun and trained in using it, because you never know when the person you most trust is going to turn on you. And perhaps the NRA will then insist that guns be issued to newborns, because you never know when they will need to defend themselves against abusive parents.

We have got to kick the NRA out of congress and the Constitution. Let’s reinstate the original Second Amendment, which was and should be: When our nation is threatened by an enemy, we have the right to arm ourselves in defense. It’s time to act.

Genevieve Beenen



What’s an eco-village?

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to a few points in Mark von Wodtke’s article in the June 24 COURIER titled “There is no place like home in the Claremont eco-village.” Mr. von Wodtke’s article was almost a full page but, let’s be honest, it didn’t say much.

How about giving us something a bit more concrete if you want to fight our “complacency”? Like how about describing some real-life issues and suggesting some helpful solutions. Perhaps you and your group could come up with a few simple things we can all do to help our “eco-village” and ourselves without quite so much “visionary” verbiage, please. Okay, you water your trees—me too. I’m quite worried about the trees in this community, to be honest. We’re losing them at an alarming rate, and some of the extreme trimming and pruning I’ve seen isn’t helping one bit. I’m sure with these high temps and low humidity you would agree this is not the time to be planting trees, “well-placed” or otherwise, or much of anything else for that matter.

About the water you’re using on your landscaping—surely capturing “runoff” water is not a very timely suggestion—we haven’t had that kind of rain for a long time. I certainly hope if you have runoff collectors like rain barrels under your eaves, Mark, they’re sealed tight right now because otherwise you’re asking for trouble with breeding mosquitos and we all know the risk there.

How about a little support from you and your group about “doing the bucket dance”? My husband and I have been showering with two buckets between our legs for over a year now. We use that water on our roses and trees, and it seems to be helping. It certainly cuts down on irrigation.

And another thing—you recommend using food waste “to produce mulch, compost and biochar” and in your worm bin. I guess you keep the food waste covered but it still makes an odor and this can be highly attractive to our urban wildlife. You may have noticed we have lots of wild critters in our eco-village at present.

As with every summer, the backyard fruit drop in Claremont is prodigious. The previous generation used to plant lots of fruit trees here because they grow so well. [A necessary aside here: anyone living in this town who pays $.39 to $.79 per lemon at the market ought to have their head examined. For heaven’s sake, people! Look where you live. Plant a lemon tree this winter (Eureka or Meyer) and I guarantee in no time you will have lovely shade, fragrant flowers and more lemons than you can possibly use, with plenty to share. And the bees and hummingbirds will thank you too].

And now we’re about to come in to fig season—there are wild bird-planted figs all over town—which will attract the skunks, possums and raccoons as they do every year. I have no problem with them (this is their home too, right?) but when they set the neighbor’s dogs going in the middle of the night, that is an issue. Also some people seem to be deathly afraid of them. But with your odoriferous composting food waste we also get rabbits, squirrels and rats. You’ve seen the rabbits on lawns all over town, right? So the coyotes running down the block are no surprise.

Now, don’t get me started on the squirrels, who certainly weren’t here in such numbers 25 years ago but are clearly now here to stay. Lots of people seem to enjoy watching them and even feed them but perhaps these folks have not lost power when a squirrel has fried itself on the power lines. It has happened twice here. And have you noticed that these clever creatures have very sharp claws designed for climbing pine trees and the like? Those of us with citrus trees are not happy about the claw damage they do to soft tree trunks. But the rats are the worst and, boy, don’t they love the smell of rotting food in the summer. Even without composting food waste, the rats are here eating the fruit still on the trees. It’s the rats who clean out the oranges inside and leave a shell. So let’s just forget about composting food waste for now, okay? You really have to keep on top of that kind of composting to prevent more problems than it solves. Let’s start with the baby steps that everybody can do. Don’t let non-professionals prune your trees! Recycle! Quit watering the damn lawn every day! How’s that for a start?

Anne Stoll



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