Readers comments 6-23-17

Proper tree trimming keeps trees healthy

Dear Editor:

The city of Claremont is well known for our abundant trees and beautiful landscaping. The city places great importance on maintaining our urban forest, which has been recognized in our Arbor Day Foundation Tree City designation for 30 years.

The city has two arborists that continually monitor the condition of our trees and provide educational and informational resources to our residents. The city’s Tree Policy and Guidelines Manual established standards of care and process to ensure our city’s trees are maintained. The city also has a tree pruning schedule for all city-owned trees and specific guidelines for how trees are pruned.

While we all know watering is essential to tree health, knowing how to properly prune your trees may be confusing. Proper pruning of trees can be healthy for a tree while over pruning can be detrimental to a tree’s health.

Pruning should be done to remove dead or diseased branches to help prevent insect and decay organisms from entering the tree.

Thinning a dense canopy on a tree to increase air and sunlight can result in fewer disease problems. However, healthy trees need foliage (leaves or needles) to manufacture food to sustain them. Removal of too much foliage can lead to starvation, reduced ability to fight off disease and insects, decline in health and even death for the tree. 

Recently, a concerned resident submitted a letter to the COURIER editor regarding the heavy trimming of the pine trees at an apartment complex on Bonita Avenue. The pine trees along Bonita and the trees within the complex were overly trimmed by a private contractor. The city does not have jurisdiction over private trees. However, the over pruning of these trees could have been prevented using the city’s pruning guidelines and consulting with a certified arborist.  

The city of Claremont wants to encourage residents to hire only arborists and tree trimmers that are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. Certified arborists will be familiar with tree species, proper pruning techniques and will be able to determine if the tree is diseased or in poor health.

To find a certified arborist, visit the website and click on “Find an Arborist” at the top of the page. You will be taken to a page where you can either find a certified arborist and tree trimmer and can check for credentials.

The city would also like to remind residents that tree contractors must have a city business license and, for your safety, they should be insured.

Lastly, the trimming or removal of any tree in the public right-of-way requires approval and a permit issued by the city arboris. For more information, contact the Community Services Department at (909) 399-5431.

Dave Roger

Deputy Community Services Director

City of Claremont


CUSD solar panel project

Dear Editor:

We appreciate the opportunity to address statements and requests made by John Marler in his letter published June 16.

Our intent is to ensure that the entire community understands the benefits of our solar program and the process we used to engage interested community members prior to making the formal decision to proceed with this project.

It is true that the investor-owned utilities are trying to change the time-of-use rate structures in an attempt to diminish the financial benefits of solar energy. The good news is that the Claremont Unified School District was grandfathered into the current time-of-use period since our project has already been completed and connected to the grid. This means that whatever Southern California Edison is able to get approved through the Public Utilities Commission will have no impact on the expected savings for CUSD.

When the district began to seriously consider the installation of solar canopies, a board of education workshop was conducted on October 6, 2015. The meeting was advertised and open to the public.

The workshop included an open discussion with information presented on: appropriate sizing of the project, power purchase agreement terms, power consumption and projected costs.

The district also hosted a community information meeting on October 5, 2016, notice of which was published in an advertisement in the Claremont COURIER on September 30, 2016. The meeting included a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) segment. The FAQ was subsequently posted on the district’s website and can be found at

The COURIER also published articles or provided updates to the community regarding the solar project on August 27, 2015, December 23 and 31, 2015, February 4, 2016, June 2, 2016, October 11, 2016 and December 30, 2016, prior to the article that caught Mr. Marler’s attention on June 9, 2017.

Various aspects of the project were agendized and discussed openly at public board of education meetings throughout the planning and implementation of the solar initiative.

We appreciate the public’s questions, interest and support of Claremont Unified School District. Please feel free to contact the superintendent’s office at with any further questions or concerns.

David Nemer

President, Board of Education

Claremont Unified School District


Jim Elsasser, EdD


Claremont Unified School District


Our National Monument

Dear Editor:

In 2014, President Obama increased protection for 346,177 acres of the Angeles National Forest, part of which is directly above Claremont, by creating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. 

In an unprecedented action in April, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke placed it on a list of 27 recently designated national monuments to be reviewed. The results could lead to congressional action that would reduce the size of the monument or eliminate it altogether.

The board of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy (CWC) urges residents to call Secretary Zinke or to write an email, postcard or letter in support of our endangered monument. The deadline is July 10.

One of the administration’s arguments for initiating the review is that community participation in the process of creating these monuments was lacking. We need to demonstrate that this was not the case. 

The CWC’s letter to Secretary Zinke is as follows:

Dear Secretary Zinke:

We like to think of the SGMNM as a wonderful example of an Urban Protected Area (UPA) that carves out wild and protected land adjacent to a large and sprawling metropolitan region. Los Angeles County has a population of almost ten million people and this population has limited access to parklands and open space.

The SGMNM offers an extraordinary opportunity to open up recreational opportunities for many underserved communities through educational programs, expanded walking and hiking trails, and improved public transportations systems. 

The public demand for such recreational opportunities is extremely high. When surveying usage of our Wilderness Park, we found that 80 percent of the 400,000 annual visits to our park were from visitors who lived some distance from Claremont. Visitors of all ages came regularly as did representatives of a wide number of racial and ethnic groups. Like our coastlines and beaches, wild places in our mountains and foothills should remain open and accessible to all.   

You have gone on record stating that the Department of the Interior should be a “good steward” of the public lands under federal jurisdiction.  It should also listen to the communities impacted by monument designations. There is no doubt that communities in Los Angeles are desperate for more recreational opportunities in their “back yards” and the designation of the SGMNM in October 2014 was a wonderful and long overdue step toward meeting those needs. More needs to be done to make the monument open and accessible to all, but community groups such as ours are ready and willing to do our part. Children growing up in Pomona, El Monte or Alhambra should have the opportunity to experience their local mountains just as you had that opportunity in Montana and in Glacier National Park. 

We urge you to retain and even to expand the current boundaries of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.  Moreover, we urge you to work with Congress to assure funding to realize the potential of this treasured public resource. 

Lissa Petersen


Claremont Wildlands Conservancy




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