Readers comments 4.12.13

Local politics

Dear Editor:

Douglas Lyon (COURIER, April 5) is out to show that the Claremont City Council should not join the Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization because, as he represents it, the MAIG is an organization over-run with criminals.

His sources (perhaps credible) show 18 of its member mayors have criminal records. But there are over 900 mayors who have joined the organization: that means 2 percent have criminal records.  A major criminal organization!

He compares the mayors in terms of criminal records not with the 80 million American gun-owners but with the 8 million who have concealed carry permits and claims that that group has a lower percent with criminal records. 

However, to obtain such a permit in most states, one has to pass a background check—and if you are later convicted, the permit is pulled. Thanks to the effectiveness of regulations, no wonder the group contains so few with convictions.

Mr. Lyon does the standard right-wing thing and talks as if the MAIG, and supporters of government-enforced gun safety programs, are out to do something unconstitutional, namely take guns away.  In fact, the MAIG is not Mayors Against Guns—the word “illegal” is in their title. 

And the group clearly says “Protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns” out of the hands of those who should not have them.

It is no surprise that the NRA’s propaganda keeps making the false claim about taking guns away from everyone as it is a paid shill for the gun industry. Why Mr. Lyon and others keep throwing out the red herring is very unclear.

When the city council is finished with its attempt to put the city’s water supply in our own hands, it should vote in favor of joining MAIG and instruct the member who is then serving as mayor to sign on.

Contrary to Mr. Lyon, gun regulation is not a national issue: it is a nationwide issue. All politics are local.

Merrill Ring



An outsider’s viewpoint, again

Dear Editor:

I was dismayed to see that the COURIER decided to again give the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights space in Viewpoint for their opinions and misinformation. We know what their viewpoint is. In the future, I hope their opinions will be relegated to the shorter “letters to the editor” format.

CAPPPR promotes Golden State Water Company’s position that it alone should decide if it wants to sell its public water utility monopoly in Claremont.

They both also take the position that eminent domain is not the proper course of action for the city to acquire Golden State Water Company’s system and rights to water for delivery in Claremont even though GSW has stated that it is “not for sale at any price.” 

Both Article I, Section 19 of the California Constitution and the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution allow private property to be taken by eminent domain for a “public use.” The project needs not to be actually open to the public to constitute a public use. Instead, generally only a public benefit is required.

CAPPPR and GSW evidently think that ready access to potable water is not a public benefit.

To rephrase Ms. Sembello’s closing statements, instead of a costly eminent domain fight, Golden State Water Company would be better served to try and work with Claremont to address and resolve these issues jointly.

Taxpayers of Claremont should invest in reliable, quality water at reasonable rates for current and future generations by acquiring Golden State Water Company’s system and rights to water for delivery in Claremont.

Parker G. Emerson



[Editor’s note: The COURIER policy is to print all viewpoints and letters to the editor, whether or not we agree with the writer’s opinion.  Also, writers need not live in Claremont or subscribe to be published. Anyone is welcome to write a letter  —KD]


Show kindness

[Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Claremont Fire Department with a copy forwarded for publication. —KD]

Dear Editor:

I wanted to take the opportunity to review an incident that occurred yesterday evening and share it with you. I am hoping that you will share this with your staff.

My 17-year-old son Nathaniel was experiencing severe burning in his throat, was breathing rapidly and shaking. Just prior to these symptoms emerging, he had eaten a jarred pasta sauce, which he has eaten many times before, and he wasn’t sure what was happening to him.

I immediately checked the bottle of pasta sauce to ensure that it had not expired and it hadn’t. While Nathan shoved ice chips in his mouth to cool off his throat, I called 911 and paramedics arrived.

The paramedics assessed my son’s condition and decided to transport him to the Emergency Department at Kaiser in Ontario. I drove my vehicle and followed behind. Nathan was checked in and, while we waited for a bed, he talked to me about his fear of the incident.

My son explained that while in the ambulance, “the paramedics started interrogating me.” Nathan explained that once he was alone in the ambulance, the paramedics accused him of using drugs or alcohol. When he explained that he hadn’t, the paramedics response was a sarcastic“Uh huh.” Nathan said that he overheard continued discussion between the 2 paramedics and that they both believed he had taken drugs and/or alcohol.

I explained to my son that paramedics receive many calls resulting from drug use and, because of his age, they assumed. I also explained that I understand why they asked him again about any drug or alcohol use away from my presence. Some youths may not admit to using drugs in front of their parents.

I wanted to share this with the intention of restoring a bit of faith in the majority of Claremont youth. My son did not have drugs or alcohol in his system. The treating emergency room doctor determined that Nathan had an allergic reaction to something in the pasta sauce, which set off the severe coughing and burning in his throat. His reaction then triggered a mild asthma attack.

I understand what paramedics face when responding to such calls involving youth and teenagers. However, I feel that the “interrogation” that occurred while transporting him to the hospital and the “side comments” that were made in his presence were unnecessary. 

Not all Claremont High School 17-year-old teens have histories of drug or alcohol use. I think it is reasonable and responsible to be alarmed, but until confirmed, paramedics should be cautious in verbalizing judgments. I am very proud that their judgment was wrong about my son.

Candace Marlowe



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