Readers comments 4-19-19
Talk about grief
My deepest condolences go to the friends and family of Victor Ojeda, the Claremont High School student who passed away last week.
And to the parents of all other Claremont High School students, whether your child knew Victor or not, they will see the deep pain in their teachers’ faces, they will hear the sobs of his close friends, and they will sense the energy that has drained from the school. Whether or not your child knew Victor, they will feel the loss.
As someone who experienced the loss of a friend in high school, I hope that all parents will sit down with their children and speak openly about loss and grief.
Following the tragedy at my school, I was encouraged to speak with counselors, but not with my own peers. Without such dialogue, I could not see that those around me were also feeling the weight of what had happened.
I wish my parents had modeled how to speak about tragedy so that I would have known how to talk with my friends at school about it, so we could have helped each other process and heal.
The student ecosystem will hold great healing power when students know that it is okay to talk about feelings of grief.
Kudos to CUSD and staff
Early last year, I wrote a letter critical of the Claremont Unified School District because they were going slow on the important issue of later start times for our teens. The science of sleep research is very clear: teens naturally go to sleep and wake up later, so middle and high schools should start closer to 9 a.m. to benefit learning, mental health, traffic safety and attendance.
This year, after the district surveyed parents and students and discovered that more than two-thirds would approve of a later start time, the superintendent and school board members are joining with the high school principal and more than a dozen faculty to pilot a later start time option for students this fall.
Even though the science says later start times will benefit students, it takes hard work and courage to change longstanding practices like school start times.
I want to recognize the leadership of Superintendent Jim Elsasser, Board President Hilary LaConte and fellow members Beth Bingham, Nancy Treser Osgood, Steven Llanusa and David Nemer in approving this pilot program.
Equally important, CHS principal Brett O’Connor and faculty association leaders Dave Chamberlain and Kara Evans are leading pioneering efforts to do the right thing for our teens by letting them get a better night’s sleep. Their learning and our community will be better for it.
Our State Senator Anthony Portantino has pushed for Senate Bill 328 to make later start times take effect across California. We owe all these pioneers a big thank-you for doing the right thing for our teens.
Electing Democratic delegates
To be quite frank, it is absurd that three ballot recounts in the Democratic delegate election resulted in such wildly different results each time. To echo the thoughts of my fellow Claremont residents, how could it be possible that certain candidates had absolutely no fluctuations with their votes while others did with every recount? This seems rather fishy to me.
Further, state party spokesperson Roger Salazar believes that observers looking at the recounts in “plain view” should ease the concerns of residents when this method did nothing to stabilize the recount numbers in the three times it was done. I also found it disheartening that the party did not feel the need to get to the bottom of the large discrepancy and only did so once pressured by the candidates and public.
While errors do occur, a recount that has resulted in sizeable inconsistences needs to be thoroughly investigated.
Due to these issues, the residents of Claremont no longer have faith in the democratic system in place. How do we know the results are accurate? How many times must a recount be done in the future to ensure accurate results?
Martinis and Xanax
Excuse me while I vent, but if things continue as they have thus far, I may have to start taking Xanax before I open the morning newspaper, and have a vodka martini (up, with two olives) before I watch the evening news on TV.
Hypocrisy and double standards drive me nuts, and in today’s paper there was an article about Joe Biden being out of touch for, among other things, having allegedly touched a woman inappropriately at a rally in 2014.
And remember Elizabeth Warren’s Native American claim that inspired the president to refer to her as Pocahontas? And Senator Amy Klobuchar may be guilty of being a tough boss since, as a woman, she is apparently expected to always be sweet and nurturing, right out of a 1950s sitcom. And on and on it goes, as every individual with a (D) after his or her name is placed under a better microscope than one finds in most labs.
Yet—and here’s where the Xanax and martinis kick in—people with an (R) after their name seem to be given hall passes at every turn. The current president has had a well-documented woman problem for a long time, even by his own words to Billy Bush on that bus.
And there’s Duncan Hunter, a Republican re-elected to the House in a San Diego County district despite an indictment for abuse of campaign funds. Of course, my personal favorite is Dennis Hof, a brothel owner and reality star, who was elected to an assembly district in Nevada despite being dead.
Is the end game that one party can have flaws and scandals, most on display in plain sight, and no one seems to care, while the other party’s candidates are expected to be so squeaky clean that a pimple will disqualify them? Perhaps I should run for something local as a Democrat. Wait, I forgot, the Xanax and martinis will no doubt do me in.