Readers comments 3-20-20

I don’t get it!

Dear Editor:

Okay, so hoarding toilet paper could conceivably have some very small justification. Except there is no projected shortage. The factories are still “rolling it out” and no indication they will slow down or stop. And the symptoms of the coronavirus do not normally include the abnormal use of toilet paper. 

But hoarding water? Has the Colorado River dried up? Have the wells gone dry? Have home filter pitchers been prohibited? And have scientists now determined that nature really needs to be polluted by billions of tons of one-use plastic bottles?

Come on, folks. Panic and pandemic do not need to go together. Wash your hands.  Care for the other. Wash your hands. Observe social distancing. Wash your hands.  We can get through this thing better together than alone. And by the way, wash your hands.

Stan E. Moore



Village South

Dear Editor:

The Village South Development Proposal: Notes from a Village South resident:

• Affordable housing is a big issue in California, and Claremont should build sustainable, rent-controlled housing. Also, shared living is an opportunity for low-income residents. Households with empty rooms can rent to lower-income residents. Even garages can be converted into rentals. I have many friends in LA County who have successfully done this. Things are changing with the reality of a global virus pandemic. Open space and the ability to self-isolate have never been more in focus; challenging times for high-density living.

• Walkability to public transit is important. Not imperative that it is built directly next to train and bus hubs, but should be within reasonable walking distance. Yes, there is one train hub in Claremont, but there are many bus hubs.

• High-density housing is not sustainable here, because of limited resources regarding water, traffic, parking, electricity, gas and other resources. Medium- to low-density is responsible for Claremont. We have to take into consideration mental health, fire safety and potential future virus outbreaks.

• Important to know the difference between “sustainable” and “conservation.” Sustainable means it can regenerate. Conservation means to conserve resources. These terms are linked in many ways but they are importantly different, especially in regard to planning and development.

• Below the tracks (District 5, Village South) has a very different ethnic and economic demographic than above the tracks. Even more so than above Foothill. Even more so above Base Line. Placing all high-density, low-income housing below the tracks is a sensitive issue. Many bus hubs are above the tracks, and even if one lives in the apartments on Indian Hill and Foothill, it is manageable, sustainable and reasonable to walk to bus hubs, the train depot and grocery stores.

• The petition created by residents of Village South (District 5) was a cry for help, asking for this to not be forced on their neighborhood. It generated more than 700 comments to the city in three-and-a-half days. The neighborhood wants to be heard and they shouldn’t be censored or marginalized. This is an economically and racially diverse neighborhood, which honestly feels that others are forcing this development on them. It is important we all respect fellow citizens regardless of economic and ethnic differences.

• No council member at this time lives in District 5, and when the council was asked to have this area vote to see if residents below the tracks want this, the council said they wouldn’t do that. Why? Are these voices not important? This development will drastically change the neighborhood. Why is it not important that District 5 has a say in the area they have invested in? With all respect, this is hard to understand.

• Village South has the potential to make lots of money for the city and the developers. The city has budget issues. Bringing more local businesses and real jobs is a big step toward healthy sustainability.

• Be aware: Many of my neighbors in Village South (District 5) have expressed that they are insulted by the people (many of whom do not actually live in Village South) who are pushing for much higher density than is appropriate for the area. It would be proper for these people to push for developments in their own districts, which are also within walking distance to transit hubs. It has been pointed out that privileged people are playing a version of the game SIMS with Claremont, and are lording over the underprivileged in districts they are not living in. This becomes a very sensitive issue. Recently, I was very offended when a member of Sustainable Claremont professed to me where the “colored people” should be living in town. Be sensitive to these issues and let all humans decide for themselves where they want to live.

• Claremont elementary schools are awesome and each offer very different styles of education. One perk of living in Claremont is that one can choose the school that is right for their children. Regardless of location, economics, ethnicity or gender identity, residents are not discriminated against where they can afford to live. Be aware there are people who don’t want South Claremont kids to be able to go to Sycamore or Chaparral or other schools in north Claremont. It is important that we embrace each other with unity and enjoy our differences. Lots is learned from people of different walks of life. With love and kindness we can continue to build a happy and educated community.

• Thank you for keeping an open mind about future developments in our city. Respectfully, this development proposal needs to conform to all the hard work that the community did to produce the Planning Goals and Guiding Principles, if it is going to move forward in a healthy and sustainable way.

Erik von Wodtke



Etiquette at Holden’s office

Dear Editor:

Claremont’s representative in the California state assembly in Sacramento is Chris Holden. So, as a constituent, I recently had occasion to call Mr. Holden’s Pasadena district office to discuss some issues of concern with his staff, and ended up on the phone with Kevin Mulligan.

After covering a couple of my issues, Kevin and I got on to the topic of ADUs (accessory dwelling units), and it soon became apparent that he and I did not see eye to eye on these. We were not too far in to our ADU discussion when Mr. Mulligan suggested that maybe I should just move out of California. Such a remark to a constituent astonished me, and left me (well, temporarily) without a retort.

Now, however, after pondering that encounter with Chris Holden’s staff, I have decided it would be better if Mr. Mulligan and Mr. Holden would move out of California. In that way, we might be better placed to bring common sense and responsible governance back to California.

Douglas Lyon



The business of government

Dear Editor:

People and candidates often say we should elect someone because he/she is in business and could handle public affairs more efficiently than your ordinary run-of-the mill citizen—or that government ought to be run like a business. Well, the reply to that has just been furnished by our president.

This country is woefully unprepared for the new coronavirus. One of the reasons for that dangerous lack of preparation is that (among other agencies) Trump dismantled the Pandemic Response Unit, the global health security unit of the National Security Council. This unit was charged with developing plans to combat outbreaks such as the one we are now facing, and coordinating the response to them.

When asked why he disbanded that unit, Trump responded, “I’m a business person—I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them.  When we need them, we can get them back very quickly.”

That is a good business answer. It is not the formula for governing, for running a government whose task is not to balance the books, but to provide welfare and safety for its citizens. We might as well disband the military when no war is going on.  In times of crisis, it is impossible to re-boot the entire unit as quickly as a wink.

Governing well is one thing—running a business is quite another.

Merrill Ring




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