Readers comments 3-5-19

Thank you, Claremont Methodist

Dear Editor:

I just want to say thank you to the Claremont United Methodist Church. Thank you for spreading your message through the COURIER.

Your advertisement entitled, “God does not discriminate,” is such an important message that not enough churches preach today. I have not been back inside a church since my sister came out, due to the amount of hate I witnessed in a place meant for compassion, community and most importantly love.

Knowing that a church so close preaches this message of love and acceptance, and that they have been supported by this community for so many years brought me immense joy. I am once again looking forward to Sunday morning service.

Thank you for having the courage to go against the United Methodist denomination’s anti LGBTQI vote.

Malcolm Stolarski



London parade fiasco

[Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Jim Elsasser, superintendent, Claremont Unified School District and Scott Martinez, principal, El Roble Intermediate School, as well as the CUSD board of education.]

Dear Editor:

When El Roble received an invitation to participate in London’s 2020 New Year’s parade, you, Mr. Superintendent, and you, Mr. Principal, were present and appeared delighted to take part in a highly-publicized event that included the great grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.

From the outset it was made clear that participation in the parade required in excess of $700,000 to be raised, an onerous sum for any public school. However, the presence of Claremont school officials when the invitation was issued and accepted seemed an imprimatur of support and backing.

The obvious enthusiasm of the district and school board on that public occasion led us to believe that the enterprise had been vetted and there was confidence on your part that the goal was feasible. And so, motivated by our belief that an international trip could influence the lives and perceptions of many of the kids involved, we began to fundraise and to make contributions, all undertaken in good faith. 

Now the plug has been pulled because raising so much money did indeed prove to be impossible. But didn’t your collective wisdom and experience provide sufficient warning that it was never an attainable goal?

Igniting the hopes of children, many of whom never would have dreamed of going to London, was too big a gamble and too high a price to pay. Why did you allow the invitation to be accepted in the first place? And if you decided to give it a go, where was the overview, support and leadership required in raising such a sum of money? Was it left up to inexperienced booster parents and a 25-year-old teacher, who already was spinning a lot of plates?

By accepting that invitation and setting out on an impossible dream, our school leaders badly let down hundreds of children. The resignation of a charismatic and gifted teacher jeopardizes the amazing music program he developed. Furthermore, future efforts to raise funds for Claremont schools will undoubtedly be met with skepticism.

This fiasco gives Claremont a black eye. Supporters, students and parents are owed a public explanation of how this was allowed to happen. A first installment of $21,000 was sent to the parade organization in London. Where is that money and any funds raised after the first installment? There should be transparent accounting of all funds raised.

Mr. Elsasser suggests that perhaps a day-trip will be organized to soothe the students’ disappointment. A day-trip? Really?

Barbara B. Bergmann



Preserve the pine trees

Dear Editor:

As someone who has multiple large trees on their property, I understand what a nuisance and disturbance the trees can be.

I understand the stance the Barbee family takes on the debate to cut down the two pine trees Kemper Avenue. It is fair for them to want to extract the trees, but I thoroughly agree with the city’s decision to keep the trees.

These two pine trees should not be cut down. The only reasonable case to cut them down is if they were life threatening or causing permanent damage. However, the hardscape damage and debris nuisance reported by the family is not enough evidence to cut down the trees.

These two canary pine trees have been a part of the Kemper Avenue neighborhood for probably more than two decades, so I believe it is only fair to let them continue living.

Trees are vital parts of life, and debris is not a plausible reason to cut them down. I was triggered when I read that the Barbees wanted to cut them down because of hardscape damage. But I do not want to discredit the family. Their wishes deserve to be heard. I think the city should trim the two pine trees every three to six months to reduce the amount of falling debris.

If the city can fund maintenance for the trees instead of paying to remove them, it would allow those who want to keep the trees to get what they want, as well as minimize hardscape damage and nuisance debris the families on Kemper Avenue have experienced.

No one in the neighborhood should be unhappy about the decision to keep the trees. I believe it is important to try to meet the needs of everyone who lives on Kemper Avenue.

Jessica Fox





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