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Readers comments 4-17-20

Birds and marmalade

Dear Editor:

How’s this for a classic Covid-19 misstep? An embarrassing but true tale for these viral days.

We’ve been feeding the birds, mostly quail and doves, at the west end of Pomello at the Thompson Creek Trail for years now. A lot of people recognize us, as does the family with the house on the corner. They know us on sight and by name, I think.

Since the trail is closed, we’ve been driving to the end of Pomello, (un-permittedly) parking along side the house there for about 15 minutes in the morning, and feeding the birds.

When we did this Monday, I wanted to give some expression of thank you/happy belated Easter to the homeowners because they put up with us. I asked my husband to leave a jar of our homemade marmalade on their porch while I fed the birds, which he did.

I had the marmalade in a clear baggie with our name and address, in case they were worried who left it. My husband had his sort-of face mask on, a black bandana. I think he must have looked like a hoodlum and they didn’t recognize him.

A few minutes later, as we’re standing at the end of the street, a Claremont police car drove up. He looked at us and we (utterly clueless) smiled, said good morning and that we were feeding birds. He said he’d received a 911 call and asked if we’d seen anybody around. “No, just us here,” we said.

He looked at us again, turned the car around and left, with a half-heard comment I think about how his mom used to make marmalade. I felt badly I only had one jar with me.

So, dear editor, would you please apologize to the homeowners for us—we are really sorry. We didn’t mean to worry anyone. We will certainly think twice about a better way to leave a gift without frightening the inhabitants, which we certainly didn’t mean to do. These are such crazy times.

Anne and George Stoll

Claremont

 

Reflections

Dear Editor:

As was noted in a recent edition of the COURIER, March 5 was my last meeting as a member of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education.  

Leaving the board was very difficult, having spent eight years so deeply involved in a district I have loved and appreciated and admired. However, I was called to be Senior Minister at the Congregational Church of the Chimes in Sherman Oaks. The 43-mile commute made it necessary for me to relocate to the San Fernando Valley.

I can’t leave without reminding the community of how fortunate Claremont is to have such a wonderful and effective school district! As a parent, I saw my son learn to love learning. He had incredible teachers from elementary school through high school.

As a Claremont resident, I saw the community value education and so generously support the schools. As a member of the board, I saw teams of dedicated and gifted people giving their time, talent and passion to our students and their education. 

But I do leave knowing that even in these complicated times the district could not have better, stronger leadership under James Elsasser whose passion for our students, faculty and staff is immeasurable, and under a board whose passion, commitment and ability to work so well together is a precious and rare treasure.

Educating our children is an enormous responsibility, one which Claremont takes so seriously and does so well. For although we frequently say that “The children are our future,” even more importantly. “We are our children’s future.”

So I thank you Claremont, for giving me the opportunity to serve our students. In my language, it was indeed a sacred honor.

Beth Bingham

Encino

 

TP in 2019 BC

Dear Editor:

If someone had told me in 2019 B.C. (Before Coronavirus) that certain products, like toilet paper, would be as sought after as a stolen Picasso or crystal-clear authenticated eight-by-tens of the Loch Ness monster, I would have assumed that that person had just come from a 1960s LSD party.

But here we are hunkering down at home, binge-watching anything and everything on cable television, OD-ing on the 24/7 news cycle, and trying to figure out how to strategically score paper goods.

I no longer make fun of those ads for that famous brand of toilet tissue wherein animated bears cavort with rolls of the ultra-soft product. Those commercials now seem like a preview for a movie we just can’t wait to see once it opens.

All of this is, in a way, a reminder that nature is always out there and that we would be foolish to assume everything will calmly and neatly stay the same. We are, as humans, rather fragile in the grand scheme of things. Meanwhile, through all of this, I’ve come to cherish the little things in life, toilet paper being one of them.

Don Linde

La Verne

 

Crip Camp

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much for publishing John Pixley’s thoughtful article about the excellent Netflix film Crip Camp and his own experiences at Camp Joan Mier, a similar camp near Malibu, which unfortunately was closed in 2005 when developers made an offer for the land that couldn’t be refused.

As a disabled person since early childhood, I, too, greatly appreciated Crip Camp, and like John, I attended a summer camp here in Southern California for disabled kids.

Back in the 1950’s I went to Camp Paivika (from Cahuilla Indian word meaning “dawn”) located in the San Bernardino Mountains near Crestline. Like Camp Joan Mier, it was founded by the Crippled Children’s Society (now AbilityFirst, which is here in Claremont on Indian Hill Boulevard).

Like John, I found this summer camp to be a wonderful experience, and I’m happy to say it continues to exist. I encourage readers to visit the camp’s website (www.abilityfirst.org/camp-paivika) and possibly support their efforts.

And like John, I and many others who attended such camps went on to higher education (I attended Pomona College) and became activists one way or another in the disabled community. Such camping experiences played a part in nurturing our hope and motivation to be involved and contributive in American society.  

Roger Russell, PhD

Claremont

 

Birds and marmalade

Dear Editor:

How’s this for a classic Covid-19 misstep? An embarrassing but true tale for these viral days.

We’ve been feeding the birds, mostly quail and doves, at the west end of Pomello at the Thompson Creek Trail for years now. A lot of people recognize us, as does the family with the house on the corner. They know us on sight and by name, I think.

Since the trail is closed, we’ve been driving to the end of Pomello, (un-permittedly) parking along side the house there for about 15 minutes in the morning, and feeding the birds.

When we did this Monday, I wanted to give some expression of thank you/happy belated Easter to the homeowners because they put up with us. I asked my husband to leave a jar of our homemade marmalade on their porch while I fed the birds, which he did.

I had the marmalade in a clear baggie with our name and address, in case they were worried who left it. My husband had his sort-of face mask on, a black bandana. I think he must have looked like a hoodlum and they didn’t recognize him.

A few minutes later, as we’re standing at the end of the street, a Claremont police car drove up. He looked at us and we (utterly clueless) smiled, said good morning and that we were feeding birds. He said he’d received a 911 call and asked if we’d seen anybody around. “No, just us here,” we said.

He looked at us again, turned the car around and left, with a half-heard comment I think about how his mom used to make marmalade. I felt badly I only had one jar with me.

So, dear editor, would you please apologize to the homeowners for us—we are really sorry. We didn’t mean to worry anyone. We will certainly think twice about a better way to leave a gift without frightening the inhabitants, which we certainly didn’t mean to do. These are such crazy times.

Anne and George Stoll

Claremont

 

The economy

Dear Editor:

Our president wants to re-start the economy as soon as May 1 no matter what the health consequences. Why does he want to do that?

1) The first reason is obvious:  his only selling point to non-true-believers for his re-election was that he is presiding over (what he thinks of as) a booming economy. With the economy crashing, he can’t make that argument and that inability can well cost him re-election.  So, he wants the economy to get back on its feet fast.

2) The second reason also has to do with him: the Trump organization is losing millions of dollars. He/it is in the travel business: hotels, resorts, restaurants. Travel, however, is completely stalled. Several of his hotels have shut down, his restaurants have no customers, the organization is laying off workers hand over fist. The economic crash is hurting him in his wallet and he has a well-known love of making money.

3) The third reason is not personal: if the economy continues to fall, then those pesky democrats with their socialist ways will be clamoring for socialist solutions and gaining public support for them. They might even pass Medicare for All and the Green New Deal! For Trump, such prospects have to be prevented. So, get the economy functioning before those nasty possibilities come to pass.

Those who fully support him will deny that those are the reasons for his wanting economic recovery immediately. Rather they will claim he recognizes that our well-being is not simply our health but what a strong economy provides and that is the reason he is seeking to re-start the machine immediately. 

The response to that is simple: there is not a shred of evidence supporting it—there is nothing in Trump’s entire history that points to his having a concern for the welfare of anyone other than himself and his kin.

Trump believers will hold that I make those criticisms because I “hate” him, because my emotions lead to nastiness.  They have the cart before the horse. The situation is not “He is despicable, therefore he must be criticized.” It is rather a completely rational response to the evidence: “The record shows that he repeatedly thinks and acts wrongly, therefore he is unfit to be president.”

Merrill Ring

Claremont

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