Readers comments 7-19-19

Better communication

Dear Editor:

I believe the city’s response to those who witnessed the crash of the Habitat for Humanity truck on Fourth of July was insufficient in regard to the trauma session offered at Hughes Center.

My family was there, along with neighbors and friends in the community, as well as our children. We witnessed the accident but knew nothing about this session. Relying on word of mouth to spread information is problematic because the information may be distorted in passing but it also can prevent people from finding out in the first place.

In general, I view myself as an active and aware member of the community and would expect to have heard something about it. If that’s the case for me, how is it possible that a newcomer would become aware?

I think a very simple solution would have been for the city to provide the information publicly and stress that the session is for witnesses who may need help processing the situation. I also agree with Sarah Rockne’s assessment that something appropriate should have been offered for the children in attendance.

While I hope our community never experiences another traumatic event like this again, I hope lessons have been learned that will allow for better communication in the future.

Deborah Kekone



We know what we see

Dear Editor:

In last week’s COURIER, no fewer than 26 Democrats signed a letter that claimed we were inaccurate in stating that Rep. Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semite and a supporter of Hamas-sponsored terrorism.

By the weight of their numbers and their flimsy assertions (she “stand(s) against anti-Semitism”), they want to convince us that we should believe them and not what we see with our own eyes.

What we see was eloquently expounded by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, in the July 12 op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal.

Like Ms. Omar, Ms. Ali grew up in Somalia and was nurtured by the same cultural anti-Semitism that nurtured Ms. Omar: both were taught that “Jews were all bad.” Both “were taught to pray: Dear God, please destroy the Jews…”

Ms. Ali eventually overcame her anti-Semite indoctrination, and hopes that Ms. Omar will one day too. But she acknowledges that “The real question is what, if anything, can be done to check the advance of the mass movement that is Muslim anti-Semitism.”

The 26 signatories also want us to believe that the problem stems from Presiident Trump’s outrageous tweets (and many are indeed outrageous), but he is not the one who preaches “hatred, violence, and intolerance.” For that, see Antifa, the bastard child of the left.

Furthermore, the problem with Muslim anti-Semitism cannot be white-washed with appeals to “basic human rights for everyone.” It requires, as Ms. Ali suggests, “an Islamic enlightenment.”

If we can’t all see this, then we should expect more problems to come.

Scott and Norma Grannis



Re: We Stand With Omar

Dear Editor:

“Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception. Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”

Incredible but very predictable mischaracterizations and attempts at “nothing to see here” by local Democrats that didn’t get the above memo from Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, et al.

Don’t locals know racism when they see it? Do they hope that COURIER readers aren’t educated enough to do an internet search of non-progressive websites? Or are they hoping to perpetuate the “Trump is a racist” hoax along the vein of the Charlottesville “fine people” hoax and Covington hoax?

Leslie Watkins


 [Editor’s note: I struggled over whether even to print this letter, as truth and facts are central to my work as a journalist. In the end, I decided to publish it, despite Mr. Watkins’ attempt to skew reality by perpetuating the dogma of Trump supporters who aim to deny his comments and behavior. There was no “hoax.” Trump said it (like many other horrible things) and he must live with the consequences. The first amendment gives us freedom of speech, so I’m allowing Mr. Watkins an opportunity to share his opinion. Fortunately I share that same freedom. I do my best to stay out of the fray, but I simply couldn’t this time. Sorry about that. —KD]


Why I left my bank

Dear Editor:

Picking a bank has never felt like a consequential decision. Convenient payment  apps and nearby ATMs were all that seemed important.

But lately the moral equilibrium in my life has been shifting, and it seems to affect almost everything, including how I use money. I could see the seeds of this change starting seven years ago after Sandy Hook. I was heartbroken by the stories of parents who would never again pick up their kids from school. For many years I didn’t know what I could do, and so I did nothing.  

Every day, 100 Americans are killed by guns. Firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens (Everytown Research, “Gun Violence in America”). We are surrounded by the overwhelming loss of friends and neighbors, and the slow loss of our souls.

I realized I could no longer shrug my shoulders and accept this unnecessary violence. Last year I joined a gun safety group called Moms Demand Action. I call legislators; I write; I teach about gun safety; and over the last few months, we moved our money to a bank that refuses to invest in firearm manufacturers.

Is it possible that the gun industry might change at some point to make guns safer and support removing guns from people convicted of violence? Absolutely. Am I going to wait and cross my fingers that will happen? Absolutely not. The auto industry gives us an example. After over a decade of resisting seatbelts on the pretense that they make people less free and cost too much money, legislation compelled the auto industry to add seatbelts saving 15,000 lives every year in the US.

Unraveling the many electronic payment connections with our bank took months. When our banker asked my husband and me why we were closing our accounts, I talked about how the bank invests millions in financing for the gun industry. She shrugged her shoulders. I understood her sentiment. The world is full of troubling facts, I have been shrugging my shoulders for years.

Will my multi-trillion dollar former bank notice that I am gone? Almost certainly not. Will I sleep better at night? That I can guarantee.

Guns Down America posts a report card based on financial and legal filings at If you are interested in finding a socially responsible bank, including those with B Corp certification or membership in the Global Alliance of Banking on Values, visit

Kim Keough



Transparency in ads

Dear Editor:

The League of Women Voters of Mt. Baldy Area have long promoted transparency in government. It has come to our attention that there is a community group placing ads in this paper that are spreading inaccurate information in connection with the local sales tax increase that the city has voted to be placed on the November ballot.

The League of Women Voters of Mt. Baldy Area take no position on the tax. However, we object strenuously to those who place ads and work to keep their identity secret. We believe that all campaigning should be transparent.

We hope that Claremont residents will take note, and carefully review facts about this measure.

Barbara Nicoll

President, LWV Mt. Baldy Area


Organized forgetting

Dear Editor:

The Violence of Organized Forgetting is the title of a book by American Scholar Henry Giroux. Claremont experienced an example of the violence of organized forgetting as its city council and the report by the COURIER presented the actions of Claremont McKenna College’s plan to improve the Barrio Park in a most positive light.

In 2017, the college publication The Student Life, sadly read by students only, if at all, reported on Matthew Garcia’s Athenaeum talk clearly referring to the “destruction of nearby Mexican neighborhood.”

The student-written article clearly stated that Mr. Garcia’s intention was to “further open up dialogue on the history of the neighborhood.”

The dialogue will not open up if all we do is to fawn thankfully over the fact that CMC agreed to pay for the improvements of a park they previously destroyed.

I strongly urge COURIER readers to look up the April 4, 2017 Athenaeum talk by Mr. Garcia on YouTube. Perhaps a true dialogue might be started.

Ignacio Castuera



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