Readers comments 6-22-18
My name is Kerri Taylor and I have a guide dog. I would like to share a story to help educate our community about how to be more inclusive of everyone.
On Father’s Day we went to enjoy lunch in Claremont. First, we went to Darvish Restaurant, where we were told we could not come inside with a dog. We explained it was a guide dog, but that didn’t change anything, so we left.
We went to the Village and decided to try the Back Abbey. As soon as we entered, they told us no dogs were allowed. We tried to explain it is a guide dog, I am blind, and even that it’s illegal to refuse service, but we were told to go out on the patio or leave. So, we left.
It’s so discouraging to be turned away by people who should know better, especially when we have tried to talk with them, but they don’t even want to listen.
Thankfully, Heroes warmly welcomed us, and we had a great lunch there. It felt good to finally be included and allowed to buy lunch in our town. Thank you, Heroes!
KGI in Village South
The first word which came to mind when reading the COURIER account headed by the words “KGI takes on Village South plan” was “schizophrenic.”
I am nonplussed at the esteem with which Claremont is so proudly identified as “the City of Trees and PhDs,” yet too often harbors fears of “college creep.”
I fail to comprehend the benefit to our total community, were KGI prohibited from industrial-institutional-educational uses such as dormitories, other than on “upper floors and for office space,” as planned and as described in the COURIER edition of June 15.
It is wrong to place fetters on KGI’s plans for growth, by limiting the height of planned five-story buildings to match the existing lower standards for the Village and Village expansion plans.
As denoted by their names, these places are in different parts of Claremont, and the artificial restrictions being proposed are unnecessary and unfair. There is no need for south Claremont to look exactly like the other areas.
There is no reason to require that which is different resemble that which is not. And there is certainly no valid reason to limit the growth of KGI, which the city should be proud to accept as an important part of the new Village south.
The city should not encourage the trend toward negative treatment of Claremont’s most distinctive and prized feature, the Claremont Colleges. The myth of “college creep” should not be acknowledged as a real thing, which it is not.
Rather, the city should encourage the identification of its historic ties with the Colleges as an integral part of our community. Artificial restrictions on the growth of KGI should not be included in any plans for Village south.
Since Measure SC failed to get a two-thirds vote, has anyone thought of a police station annex? As an example, some of the officers could be stationed in a rented storefront in south Claremont. It will also free up some space in the main police station where the employees will have more room to work.
Measure SC received a solid majority of over 58 percent voting yes. A candidate for public office would be delighted with that strong a victory, and so would his/her supporters. However, SC needed a two-thirds supermajority to pass.
It’s undemocratic, unjust and unwise to require a two-thirds vote (twice as many yes votes as no votes) to pass a ballot measure, especially one that would fund a facility for an essential service like police, fire or a hospital.
Imagine if your candidate were allowed to win an election only if he or she has twice as many votes as the opponent. Otherwise, the opponent automatically wins. Or imagine if your team could win a game only if it has twice as many runs or goals as the other team. Otherwise, the other team automatically wins. Would that be right?
Whither the police station?
We will no doubt be hearing from a number of Claremonters about the failure of police station bond Measure SC, and what it all means. In that regard, I would like to offer a few observations. No, not to be contentious, but rather for contemplative consideration.
1. The funding mechanism. When the ad hoc committee voted only 7-5 to support this particular general obligation (GO) bond, that was a cautionary signal already. Especially so, as this GO bond, as I understand it, would have taxed only residential properties, and even those, based solely on assessed valuation.
An alternative, a parcel tax based upon square footage, and including not only residential properties but also commercial properties, as well as the Colleges and institutional properties would seem like a more equitable sharing of the costs.
2. An “anti-tax sentiment.” As mentioned in the June 8 COURIER, we do already have two school bonds to pay off, the city’s pension liabilities to cover, 12 years of payments to Golden State Water Company, as well as the landscape and lighting district and the Johnson’s Pasture acquisition. So it is a sentiment with some basis to it.
3. Community input. As quoted by the COURIER, Betty Crocker said the opposition “need[s] to…sit with us at committee meetings and provide us with real community input.” Those who know me can attest that I rarely shrink from offering input, which I did at one of the ad hoc committee meetings. Not as a member of the “opposition,” but rather as someone seeking information.
After one of those ad hoc committee meetings I asked one of the members who seemed knowledgeable in the area, why the existing police station structure could not be modified for earthquake resistance, and then added on to for more space. Sadly, I was castigated by the committee member for even posing the question.
To paraphrase Dale Carnegie, that is not “how to win friends and influence people.”
CHAP can help
I was happy to see Lainie Lapis’ heartfelt letter about how best to respond to requests for money from some of our less fortunate neighbors.
First, to answer her question, it’s your choice. I’ve decided for myself it’s best not to give money, I feel it often either goes to support an addiction of some sort or is at best a bandaid for their current situation. They don’t need money so much as help—available services, sustainable assistance.
There is, however, an organization, the Claremont Homeless Advocacy Project (CHAP), that is an all-encompassing program that does much more than provide temporary respite. This nonprofit is staffed with volunteers and assisted in it’s mission by the Friends Meeting House, St. Ambrose Church, TriCity, the city of Claremont, local dentist Dr. Harry Brown, the Kiwanis Club of Claremont as well as regular Paypal donors, (from our website at chapclaremont.org) the Claremont Police Department, the Pomona Farmers Market, the Claremont Colleges and a host of dedicated volunteers.
An intake interview takes place to decide whether our resources are adequate to address the person’s current needs. If we aren’t able to address the needs of the applicant, we find resources for them that can. At this point CHAP can only take single men and women. We’ve had many success stories over the past almost five years and it’s a wonderful program.
An advocate is assigned to each new participant. The advocate meets with the participant weekly to go over goals and plans for obtaining critical documents, finding work, finding sustainable housing, setting up doctors appointments and checking to see what is needed.
If the participant is currently unable to work, volunteer work available in Claremont is reviewed and the best match for both is chosen. There is a clean, safe, dry place to sleep and two large storage containers kept in a secure room for each person. A kitchen is available and kept stocked with breakfast, lunch and some dinner items. Hosts either bring in breakfast or just visit with the participants between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. They’re relieving the host who sleeps overnight in the facility and is there from lights out at 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Opening hosts are there from 8 a.m., when the facility is open, until 10 p.m., when the overnight host arrives, so there is a volunteer onsite at all times while guests are there.
Other volunteers bring in dinners to share with all. All are appreciated and little gifts of fruit and baked goods show up all the time. The Pomona Farmers’ Market contributes great sourdough bread in a variety of forms from the Old Town Bakery in Rancho Cucamonga.
The working board administrates, schedules, takes care of donations and expenses, runs the monthly administrative and advocate meetings and takes and distributes notes for the administrative meeting.
Showers are available in the evening for the participants and they all have chores to keep the facility clean and neat. We have room for 11 men and two women. Currently, we have five men and one woman so there’s space.
When you are asked for spare change, have this number handy to give to the person. If they want to come in out of the cold and turn their lives around, we want to help. The office number for CHAP is (909) 450-6158. Interested parties can leave a message with their contact information. The line is checked daily.
Hold onto your spare change and help these people make a change for the better. Or help them out a little with a small donation, but give them the number along with it. And if you’d like to be involved as a volunteer with CHAP, call the number and leave a message with your contact information and we’ll welcome you aboard in any service with which you’re comfortable.