Readers comments 5-15-20

Evangelical leaders to reopen

Dear Editor:

I read with a mix of sadness and anger this morning in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin about the plans of a number of churches in our adjacent counties to open for public worship on May 31 in defiance of best practices and governmental guidance as to how to effectively deal with this terrible health situation that effects us all.

I believe that this is not only terribly wrongheaded, but poses a threat to a much wider swath of Southern California as people who choose to not be socially distant from each other or gather in large groups before there is convincing experience it is safe navigate through the general population.

As it says in the Bulletin, this proposed reopening is tied to an understanding of the role of Pentecost in Christian theology. We in the Jewish community also recognize the importance of this season as it marks our parallel festival of Shavuot (weeks), which commemorates Moses’ receiving of Torah at Mount Sinai. 

Anyone familiar with the biblical story knows that as Moses descends from the mountaintop, he witnesses the Israelites celebrating and worshiping a golden idol which, we are taught, impatient people, encouraged by insecure and/or arrogant leaders, create out their anxiety and boredom as they just couldn’t wait one more day for the revelation. Analogies to today come easily to mind.

I urge other faith and civic leaders to join me in raising awareness as to how difficult this makes the efforts of the broader range of faith leaders, as informed and directed by public health officials, to be extremely deliberate and cautions as we transition to a new normal in our faith communities and beyond, lest we fall prey to the baser instincts of our nature as our ancestors did and experience similar consequences (see Ex. 32:26-28) with no Moses to plead on our behalf. In peace,

Hazzan (Cantor) Paul Buch

Temple Beth Israel


p.s. please note that the above reflects my personal opinion only, and is not meant to convey any opinions on behalf of my co-clergy or community members.


Claremont development

Dear Editor:

Not only has the world gone mad; Claremont has decided to join the fray with a bold redevelopment plan for the Richard Hibbard car dealership site and surrounding area.

One thousand apartments are planned, with insufficient parking for an occupancy rate of two drivers per apartment.

This brilliant idea is based on the premise that one day the Gold Line will whisk Claremontians into Los Angeles or San Bernardino County. Out of the house, onto the train. Except that Claremont station is to become defunct in this rail plan—that’s if the extension to Montclair is ever funded—so, in the meantime the tenants of these 1,000 apartments will have to find their way to La Verne or Pomona.

Even more cars on our roads.

Claremont has given a resolute thumbs down to the idea of a rail bridge. The alternative is a tunnel, which will be even more expensive, so I guess we’re stuck with passenger and freight trains clattering across Indian Hill Boulevard every 11 minutes. This, with the addition of the cars from the 1,000 apartments, is going to cause a never-ending series of the biggest vehicle snarl ups since the Chris Christie Bridgegate scandal.

Incidentally, where are the tenants of these 1,000 apartments supposed to shop? Certainly not in Claremont, unless it’s for scented candles or hand-thrown pottery. Vons, Stater Brothers, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and other outlets purveying comestibles are not within walking distance.

So, even more cars on our roads.

Well done, planners.

Simon Wood



Pulitzer poetry

Dear Editor:

The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2020 were announced, and Claremonters may be pleased to know that the Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry, Jericho Brown, is not a stranger to Claremont, nor is Claremont unknown territory to him. 

Two public appearances, reading from his Pulitzer winning collection “The Tradition” and speaking about literature and society, have garnered large audiences at two local venues during the past year.

On October 27, 2019, Mr. Brown was the featured reader at “Fourth Sundays,” the esteemed monthly poetry series held at the Claremont Helen Renwick Library and hosted by quartet of dedicated local poets sponsored by Friends of the Library. The next evening, October 28, Mr. Brown was the featured speaker in Claremont McKenna College’s well-known Athenaeum.

An earlier appearance of Mr. Brown’s at Fourth Sundays  took place on March 24, 2013, when he traveled to Claremont from Atlanta specifically for the occasion.

During the previous year or two, he had served on the panel of preliminary judges for the Claremont Graduate University’s prestigious Kingsley and Kate Tufts Awards. At that time employed on the faculty of the University of San Diego, Mr. Brown made several trips to Claremont in connection with the contest. 

It was in connection with his presence at CGU that Frances McConnel met Mr. Brown and invited him to read in the Fourth Sundays series. Ms. McConnel was also responsible for enlisting Rae Armantrout, 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry, to read on July 24, 2111.

In addition to Frances McConnel, moderators of the series are Karen-Greenbaum Maya, Genevieve Kaplan and myself.

Lucia Galloway Dick



Hard truths

Dear Editor:

The hard truth of our economic system is that huge numbers of the jobs performed by our citizens are luxuries and simply not necessary for our survival. The fact that many of those same jobs are in fields which require close personal contact further threatens prospects for those whose livelihoods depend on these jobs.

We as a society should come to terms with that reality and seek to have a populace who is educated and prepared to participate in an economy in which their skills, talents and effort will be utilized in needed work, the marketplace being the major determinant of what is needed.

If we only really require a limited amount of work performed it seems grossly unjust that that work is allocated to a finite number of workers, leaving large numbers of others who are willing to work excluded.

The government’s role should be to encourage the wider distribution of work by reducing the standard work week to something well below 40 hours a week.

I’ll defer to others more knowledgeable about economics to analyze how this can be balanced with wages, benefits, pricing, revenues and costs, but having maximum meaningful participation in the work force is not a luxury and may well be what ensures our very survival as a nation.

Tina Garcia



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