Readers Comments 11-11-16
Measure G thanks
On behalf of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education, I extend our profound thanks for the community support of Measure G. This was truly a team effort.
The Claremont RISE Committee, under the outstanding leadership of Richard Fass and Amy Weiler, led a remarkably effective campaign.
District Superintendent Dr. Jim Elsasser and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Lisa Shoemaker participated in 30 community meetings to educate the electorate about our district’s needs. Our CUSD faculty and staff donated countless volunteer hours to walk precincts and work the phones. Local community groups endorsed the bond, knowing that the need was great and the time was right.
My fellow school board members had the vision and fortitude to support Measure G. Our 7,000 CUSD students know that this community values and supports them. Thank you for helping Claremont RISE again!
Nancy Treser Osgood
President, CUSD Board of Education
La Verne’s water record
This responds to Freeman Allen’s comments printed in the November 4 edition of the Claremont COURIER.
Mr. Allen’s assertion that the city of La Verne’s lead contamination in their water system was a one-time issue is wrong. Perhaps he was referring to La Verne’s E coli contamination, a serious health violation indicative of a troubled water system that put residents at risk.
La Verne repeatedly failed lead tests in its water system, and attempted to cover it up by manipulating the samples provided to regulators.
As recently as 2009, La Verne’s 90th percentile lead levels exceeded the dangerous levels found in Flint, Michigan. This was a city-wide issue, in no way isolated or temporary. These are facts, proved by evidence admitted in a court of law and supported in a report conducted by Dr. Roy Wolfe, one of the most respected water quality experts in our state.
One may reasonably ask which is worse in this instance, La Verne’s water quality violations or its efforts to cover them up?
Claremont’s water system, operated by Golden State, has never experienced the contamination found consistently in La Verne. But the city of Claremont and Mr. Allen believe La Verne should become their new water provider.
LaVerne would receive a guaranteed 10 percent profit on top of its expenses, which are neither capped nor publicly disclosed; and that is in addition to the $135 million in new debt that residents have approved to try and take the system by eminent domain.
It would have been more responsible for Mr. Allen to study the facts before writing a misleading letter to the COURIER.
George M. Soneff
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
[Editor’s note: Mr. Soneff represents Golden State Water Company in the eminent domain lawsuit brought by the city of Claremont. —KD]
For my daughters
A Letter of Apology to My Daughters.
I am the father of two amazingly beautiful, talented and intelligent daughters. I am writing this letter to publicly apologize to them, and their friends. There are so many things that are hard to come to terms with now that Donald Trump is president-elect.
The thing that bothers me the most is that we have now, as a nation, said it is okay to treat women as objects of conquest, and that as long as you are male, rich and famous, you can assault them and brag about it, with impunity. Heck, you could even be elected president.
It really bothers me that so many people outright said they didn’t care about this. It really bothers me that Trump said that women should be punished if they get an abortion, and that there is a good chance their access to reproductive health care is in jeopardy and that people are okay with this.
It really bothers me that in the name of making America “Great Again” we will be returning to a time of such public coarseness, name calling, physical threats and vulgarity toward women (and the disabled, and Muslims and Hispanics and minorities in general), and that many people are okay with this.
And what really, really bothers me is that I could not stop it. I should have been able to stop it. I am their father, damn it. Now all the boys and young men in America have a new role model in chief. I fear for the well-being of my daughters in this environment. I am so sorry.
Commission, college conflict
There’s something wrong with at least two city processes.
First, our architectural commission is a significant governing body in our town. It helps keep Claremont’s neighborhoods good places to live and work. However, its ability to do its job in respect to the proposed Pomona College Museum of Art has been hindered by the forced recusals of two commission members, Maureen Wheeler and Mark Schoeman, because they have work associations with Pomona College.
It is right that under such circumstances commissioners recuse themselves but, on the other hand, it is a rather poor practice for Pomona College to offer work to members of the architectural commission or their immediate family, knowing the college will have work before that commission. Because the commission is already short one member, due to a vacancy, its reduced size inappropriately improves the college’s chances of getting its project approved.
A second problem is a change in the process by which Renwick House will be moved to make way for the proposed art museum. Claremont’s Municipal Code, Chapter 15.28, requires that any time someone proposes moving a building in town, the city engineer must make a physical and mechanical inspection of the structure in question in order to understand its soundness. The city engineer must then issue a certificate verifying that it is sufficiently sound, and that it can be moved without endangering any person or property, including the building itself. However, in corrections to a resolution regarding aspects of the proposed Pomona College Museum of Art project passed by the city council, dated April 12, 2016, the words “city engineer” were crossed out and “community development director” were inserted in the two sentences that specify the process.
In essence, this change gave Community Development Director Brian Desatnik, or his representative, the responsibility of determining the physical condition of Renwick House and certifying that it is of such a condition that it could be safely moved to the proposed location on the east side of College Avenue. Why was that change made?
Renwick House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It deserves to be treated with care and respect, like the jewel it is. While we strongly oppose moving the building from its historic location at all, we believe the city engineer should be the person to make the determination of the soundness of Renwick House, not Mr. Desatnik, unless he has the credentials, expertise and experience to make such a determination.
[Editor’s note: Ms. Spooner is a member of Citizens to Save College Avenue, a group currently in litigation with the city of Claremont over Pomona College’s Master Plan, which includes the museum of art. —KD]