Readers comments 8-14-20

Showing neighborliness

Dear Editor:

As a senior citizen and frequent user of the Claremont Wilderness Trail system, it pains me to see so few of my fellow hikers using masks. This morning only about one-third of the people I encountered on the trail were wearing a mask. The rest did not even have a bandanna around their necks in the case of an encounter with an oncoming hiker.

 I was most offended by the runners and bikers, who uniformly lacked masks, presumably because they make it more difficult to breathe. But heavy breathing makes a mask all the more necessary to protect others.

There are plenty of face coverings that can quickly be pulled into place for the purpose of passing through another’s airspace. What seems to be lacking here is a sense of concern for one’s fellow humans.

The city has posted signs at every trail head stating that masks are required by law. Since neither civic duty nor common courtesy seem to motivate these people, perhaps the park rangers should be authorized to issue warnings and citations.

Michael Witmer



The census

Dear Editor:

I would like to encourage everyone to fill out the census forms and submit them immediately. Then tell all of your family and friends to do so also. Since the time frame has been shortened by the current administration, we all need to add very soon. Our local communities will all be greatly affected by the final numbers.

Karen Lull



Facing our history

Dear Editor:

A year after we moved into our home, I received a letter in the mail addressed to the previous occupant, who was unfortunately deceased.

The sender was a professor in Baltimore who was researching the history of our previous occupant, Michael Hannon. I learned that Mr. Hannon was a white LAPD Officer who protested police brutality against Black people during his off-duty hours back in the ‘60s. I’m really glad to know the history of who lived in our home before we did.

Right now I am looking out my window at Cahuilla Park. My understanding is that it was the Tongva, not the Cahuilla people, who lived here and that a more accurate name would be Tongva Park. I would like for us to collectively honor the people on whose stolen land we are all living. Likewise, I was captivated by Joseph Salas’ opinion piece in the July 17 edition of the COURIER and loved learning about the contributions of both Eleanor Condit and Rosa Torrez.

I would like to third the motion that we seriously consider renaming Sycamore School the Rosa Torrez Elementary School in honor of this brave woman, as well as begin the work of dismantling the structures in our district that keep our children segregated as Sarah Gilman pointed out in the July 31 edition.

What else can we do as a community to more accurately acknowledge the truth of our history and honor our local champions of justice?

Becky Margiotta



Page 3

Dear Editor:

Thank you for putting these two news items in juxtaposition. It is interesting to compare these two issues.

The Commons is in a busy yet underdeveloped location and would seem to me a good idea. The affordable housing project is in an already well developed area and to me would seem to be a bad idea.

How is it that a residence such as 956 W. Base Line Rd. can be converted in to a facility for substance abuse and mental health use? Yet a quite viable project like The Commons is shut down? It just doesn’t make sense.  Why not put the affordable housing project on the corner of Foothill and Monte Vista? Now that would be a good idea.

Instead of cramming 15 units (how many people, including administration?) on a three-quarter acre area, why not build a proper facility with easy access right there in place of The Commons? Has anyone considered the traffic at 956 W. Base Line? To get in and out of that address is nothing short of a nightmare.

If we really care about “extremely low income people” and people with substance abuse and or mental health issues, shouldn’t we provide them with a facility better suited to their needs? Why hide them away up on Base Line, off bus routes and not even close to any commercial activity they will need?

The “city” (us) is providing $1.75 million to the Base Line project, plus there is another $2.25 million allocated from various sources. $4 million? On a three-quarter acre project? I believe those funds would be better spent in a more suitable location.

The fact that Tri-City owns 956 W. Base Line and has been unable to get local support for the project ought to have some bearing on this matter. Thank you again for putting these two projects together on one page for us to consider and compare.

The Commons being a massive project that would create many jobs and tax income, and Base Line, which will drain the city’s affordable housing coffers of $1.75 million. A million dollars here, a million dollars there, soon it adds up to real money!

James Tucker



Race and income

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to reading the article, “Integrating Our Schools” by Sarah Gilman, a resident of Claremont. Intentionally or not, Ms. Gilman perpetuates the idea that anyone not identified as white is therefore, poor or low income.

In her writing she repeatedly divides the city population into the categories of whites and low income. This ideology is what is passed on to future generations to promote the myth of superiority and inferiority.

Although, the city of Claremont has a 50 percent white population, the city is richly made up of other ethnic groups that are not low income or poor.

The DataUSA profile of the city reports the five largest ethnic groups in Claremont are White (Non-Hispanic), 50.1 percent; White (Hispanic), 15.2 percent; Asian (Non-Hispanic), 13.6 percent; Some Other Race (Hispanic), 8.45 percent; and Black or African American (Non-Hispanic), 5.24 percent.

Claremont is made up of households with various income levels and I dare to say they would not classify themselves as low income.

Also, the change in a school’s name should not be correlated to categories of white and low income residents.

Linda Smith



Commissions, council should reject The Commons

Dear Editor

My opposition to The Commons is about safety. The most recent crash at Cable Airport on June 24—the fourth Cable crash in little over a year, including a fatal crash into a home—occurred because the propeller fell off and oil covered the windshield of a home-built airplane flown by an 80-year-old recreational pilot.

The crash was beyond the runway and in line with the proposed Commons housing at Monte Vista and Foothill.

Is the private airport, with its amateur pilots, flight school and lack of control tower, really so safe that we should convert existing commercially zoned land for people to live so near the end of the runway?

And, is the environmental analysis adequate in The Commons’ draft environmental impact report (DEIR)?

The DEIR relies on a 2017 “Aircraft Individual Risk Analysis for Claremont Commons and Nearby Sites.” Omitted from its analysis are at least five crashes since 2017. Minimal online search finds September 17, 2018; May 1, 2019; June 15, 2019; November 7, 2019 (fatal); and June 24, 2020.

Does the risk analysis consider that the flights include amateur pilots with homemade airplanes whose propellers fall off in flight, coving the windshield in oil, and necessitating a blind crash landing?

The proposed project is located in Safety Zones 2 and 4 of the California Airport Land Use Planning Handbook. Neither zone allows for the proposed project.

The Cable Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan states the site does not allow for residential development because of its proximity to the airport and runway.

The LA County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) is required to review and recommend before the project can be approved by the council. ALUC staff comment submitted for the Draft EIR states (page 101/144):

“Based on the alternatives in the DEIR, we recommend considering alternative 2 (no project/existing general plan and zoning, which still allows for commercial and office projects) or alternative 4 (business park) as the more acceptable options for the project site from an airport land use compatibility perspective…”

To overturn the ALUC’s recommendations to make it a business park or commercial center, the Claremont council will need a 4/5 vote.

The planning commission is next to review the DEIR and The Commons proposal. They should reject both as inadequate and pave the way for the site’s nonresidential development.


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