Readers comments 9.29.12

Flushing out the truth

Dear Editor:

You can’t read body language from a PR piece that is crafted by an outsourced communication firm.

Thank you for publishing Freeman Allen’s analysis in the Wednesday, September 26 edition of the COURIER, which pokes huge holes in Golden State Water’s propaganda mailer.

As for GSW Vice President Denise Krueger’s letter on the next page—consider the source! Ms. Krueger makes $948,000 a year, what is she going to say?  Claremont residents are highly educated.  The GSW letter goes straight to credibility.

In the COURIER Viewpoint published February 4, Golden State CEO Robert Sprowls had no problem saying, “Claremont is a great city…People care about each other and the quality of life.” These excessive water rates are taking away our quality of life. Now he needs Ms. Krueger to stand up for him?! He was ambushed!?  Boo-hoo, and give me a break!

GSW sold off its operation in Arizona because the regulatory state Utility Commissioners were going to be elected, not appointed. Read GSW’s comments in their financial disclosures, when they confirm operating in a “favorable regulatory environment.” Nothing will change with for-profit water companies until we do the same thing here in California.  

I applaud the David Goldstein investigative piece on CBS, and hope there is more to come.

Christina Moyer



Going native

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing Margaret Johnson’s letter on September 23, “Where’s the Beauty?”

Ms. Johnson makes a great point when she wrote, “If you feel the need to let your lawn die and go with a drought-resistant landscape, please do it right.” I couldn’t agree more!

All too often, native landscapes or climate-appropriate gardens get a bum rap because spaces that are intended to be native or drought-resistant are not well maintained or designed.

I encourage COURIER readers to learn more about the environmental effects of large, lush green lawns. Although many people are accustomed to the aesthetic of turf yards, lawns consume a lot of our limited resources—including vast amounts of water. And, all too often, the grasses used are not native to southern California and as a result do not support native wildlife.

If people are looking for inspiration for how to create well-designed and climate-appropriate landscapes, they don’t have far to go. Just stroll through our city of trees and PhDs and admire the numerous beautiful native plant and Mediterranean landscapes.

Sustainable Claremont has a garden club, which welcomes people at all levels of expertise. And, of course, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is hosting the Fall Planting Festival on November 3, with various speakers on this topic. We also provide many classes to help homeowners design their yard throughout the year.

Saving water and going native is beautiful. As with any garden though, it needs good design and maintenance.

Patrick Larkin

Executive Director

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden


Swan song

Dear Editor:

As always, thanks to the COURIER for doing such an incredible job with the obituaries.

In the Wednesday, September 26 edition, Robert Swan’s life was captured eloquently. I would like to add that I met Bob while principal of Oakmont Elementary School. He quietly walked into my office shortly after I began as principal and asked if he could volunteer to help improve students’ reading levels. 

I immediately said yes and, over the next 6 years, he spent countless hours at the school, as well as at Vista.

His passion for investigating the impacts of lighting on learning was conveyed to us and we examined the potential impact of high levels of fluorescent lighting in the schools. We explored how students could potentially benefit from reducing this artificial light and actually learn more under lower levels of natural light.

Bob mentored and cared for us all. He assisted students in researching the environments they were learning to read in and he inserviced the staff. Students loved working with him. 

Bob and I spent many hours going over his research and implementing change in the classrooms, much of which still is in place at Oakmont and Vista.  Bob loved working with the students and the staff and became an integral part of the schools. 

Unfortunately, Bob passed before his research could go to print, but I cannot stop thinking that the incredible growth Vista and Oakmont have made in their API and AYP scores has a little bit to do with Dr. Bob Swan.

Bob’s life work lives on in many members of the Vista and Oakmont staff ,and his impact on student learning in the schools will never be fully known. We are very fortunate to live in a community where volunteers like Bob can have such an impact on our schools. 

Thank you, Bob…from the Oakmont and Vista students and staff, and from a grateful district.    

Kevin Ward

Assistant Superintendent,

Human Resources

Claremont Unified School District


Romney’s foreign policy

Dear Editor:

Here we go again. President Obama has dusted off the old liberal claim that conservatives are war mongers and is using it against Mitt Romney.

Mr. Romney has been critical of President Obama’s foreign policy, especially in regards to enemies such as Islamic terrorists.

Mr. Romney has no such thing in mind. Of course, his stance can be summed up by noting he favors a strong military force and a diplomatic strategy that defends American interests. If anything, a policy of deterrence is likely to be more effective than President Obama’s in preventing violence, as the president knows.

President Obama has touted “hope and change.” Now he has resorted to fear-mongering. Voters have seen this before and they won’t fall for it this time around.

Tony Papa



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