Readers comments 4-21-17


From the CUSD superintendent

Dear Editor:

Claremont Unified School District is aware that a lawsuit has been filed by a former student against the district; however, as of this date, the district has not been formally served with the lawsuit, and is unable to speak directly to this pending legal matter.  

We can say with confidence that once allegations of improper conduct by a former employee were brought to the attention of the district in October of 2014, district staff acted immediately and within district protocols to report it to the proper law enforcement authorities.

The Claremont Police Department took swift and appropriate action, the employee was immediately placed on an administrative leave of absence by the district, and CUSD fully cooperated with authorities in this subsequent criminal matter.

The district has a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior affecting our students. Our unwavering commitment has been, and always will be, the education, safety and well-being of our students.

Jim Elsasser


Claremont Unified School District


No obituary?

Dear Editor:

Did the gardener for the US Post Office in Claremont die, or is it just all of the landscaping?

Paul S. Wheeler



Cordial comedy

Dear Editor:

On April 6, 2017, we lost a comedic giant, a legendary entertainer and American cultural icon. Don Rickles passed away from kidney failure at the age of 90, well before his time.

Don Rickles grew up in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, New York. Early in his comedy career, while working Murray Franklin’s in Miami, he noticed Frank Sinatra and said, “Frank, make yourself at home…hit someone!” Mr. Sinatra fell in love with Mr. Rickles’ style of comedy, and soon Sinatra invited his celebrity friends to attend Rickles’ performances, making it en vogue to be insulted by him.

Mr. Rickles became a staple of Rat Pack shows in Las Vegas. He also developed a legendary chemistry with Johnny Carson, appearing on The Tonight Show more than 100 times, earning from Mr. Carson the nicknames “Mr. Warmth” and “The Merchant of Venom.” 

Mr. Rickles was the highlight of the Dean Martin celebrity roasts for almost 15 years, taking aim at the likes of Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jack Benny, Sammy Davis Jr., Orson Welles, Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali and Bob Hope. Mr. Rickles always went last, because nobody could follow his performance.

Don Rickles was characterized as an insult comic, but his jokes were never just about insult. There was so much more to it than insult. It was the put-on, the exaggeration of all our insecurities, the facial expression of utter disdain and the truly impeccable timing.

With Mr. Rickles’ death, we lose a part of our cultural heritage that we must strive to preserve. Roast in Peace, Mr. Warmth.

Jed Leano



Thank you, Ms. Texeira

[Editor’s note:?The following email was addressed to Sycamore School teacher Michelle Texeira, with a copy forwarded to the COURIER for publication. —KD]

Dear Editor:

We wanted to thank you for being not just a great teacher but an inspirational teacher.

For the last two years, our son Gabriel has had the opportunity to be a part of your class. During this time you have made it a point to include him as a full member of the class. You have attended additional trainings and welcomed American Sign Language into your curriculum. We want you to know we appreciate it.

Thank you for including Gabriel and for teaching your students about meaningful friendships, acceptance of individual differences and about respect for all people. Thank you for seeing Gabriel and not just his abilities. Because he is so much more than that, he is so much more than his IEP goals.

You are setting an example for your students, for our Sycamore School family and for our community. Thank you for teaching us all that together we are better!

Anthony Acock

Lourdes Jovel-Acock



America deserves better

Dear Editor:

When Breitbart reported the fake news that our economy was a “mess” and our military is currently “underfunded,” Donald Trump put the alternative facts in a speech, then one of his supporters used his fake news to write a letter to the COURIER.

Remember these lies from our current POTUS: Obama wiretapped Trump’s phones, four million people voted fraudulently in the last election, President Kennedy was killed by Ted Cruz’s father, Obama was born in Kenya and is the  founder of ISIS.

Where does this nonsense end?

Let’s first look at the fake economic “mess” that Mr. Trump inherited in late January. Consumer confidence was at a nine-year high when Obama left office. Gross domestic product had positive growth in 29 of the 32 quarters during Obama’s presidency.

Unemployment dropped from 10.2 percent at the top of the recession to 4.8 percent on Trump’s first day. The Commerce Department considers 4.8 percent full employment. The stock markets had the longest bull market run in US history and the value of our 401Ks increased more than 200 percent.

If the price of your house crashed during the foreclosure crisis and you kept your home, you have now gained back all of your equity. American consumers have purchased 17 million cars and trucks in each of the last two years, both all-time sales records.

Gas prices dropped below $2 a gallon and mortgage rates have been below 4 percent. American home builders produced 1.2 million living units last year, the most since 2005.

Obama left the strongest economy since Bill Clinton turned over the government to George W. Bush.

What is remarkable is that America accomplished all of this while economies’ worldwide went into severe declines beginning in 2008. China’s growth dropped by 50 percent, the Eurozone was in freefall, Japan was in and out of recession and South American was imploding.

At the World Economic Summit last year, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, commented that it was America leading the world out of recession. 

Secondly, America has not underfunded the Pentagon. The US military budget, which was written by Paul Ryan, is $600 billion in 2017. We spend more on defense than the next 10 countries in the world combined.

We have more aircraft carriers than all the countries in the world combined, more fighter jets, more armed drones, more military satellites and more military bases. As a matter of fact, we have an estimated 900 military bases worldwide; the rest of the world’s mations have 30.

America is better than this current administration. We are a moral nation and an ethical nation, and we have always relied on our integrity, our decency, our humanity and our empathy to define our country.

Truth matters and it matters even more when it comes out of the oval office. We will not be deceived by a con man who repeats lies often enough for them to be thought to be the truth by his base.

The gulf between delusion and reality is the Rubicon that our current president just can’t seem to cross.

Joe Higgins






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