Readers comments 6.28.13

Change the rules

Dear Editor:

John Pixley’s June 21 Observer column, “Don’t Like the Game? Change the Rules,” was right on.

What perplexes me is the portion about the city spending $165,000 for doubtful “traffic calming measures” when it seems a simpler and less expensive solution is available. The state ruling on continuously re-setting speed limits to higher than average actual speeds rewards law breakers and decreases safety.

 The less expensive solution I would like to suggest is based on observations I’ve made when driving. This observation is that if there is a law enforcement unit conspicuously active in the immediate vicinity, the flow of traffic seems to magically slow down to the legal speed limit.

Wouldn’t it be more effective to put an active law enforcement unit on the street while a Radar Speed Survey is being conducted??The officer could pull over and ticket violators with flashing lights and obvious visual impact, and let the Radar Speed Survey reflect the attendant reduced speed that other motorists would likely demonstrate.

This procedure may sound as ridiculous as the state policy that encourages increasingly higher and higher speeds, but it might lead to keeping speed limits enforceable within reasonable safety boundaries.

John Roseman



Equality in America

Dear Editor:

What an amazing day! I watched our Supreme Court strike a huge blow against Democracy and Civil Rights by basically gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and then turned around to find out that the same group of people had actually taken 2 steps in the other direction by ruling against DOMA and Proposition 8.

The sad thing about it is that I wasn’t surprised by the ruling on voting rights; this kind of travesty is what we almost expect from the court.

Regarding DOMA and Proposition 8, I want to quote a Southern senator: “It’s a sin according to the Bible, it would destroy the sanctity of marriage, and, if we approve this, does that mean we can start marrying dogs and sheep now, too?”

This statement is inclusive of the 3 main arguments I have heard against gay marriage. The problem is this: That quote is from 1964 and this Senator (who was also an ordained minister) was talking about interracial marriage, not gay marriage.

How long will it take us as a country (and as individuals) to see the inherent insanity in “preaching” against the civil rights of fellow Americans? I guess the answer to this is that we still are fighting for voting rights, 48 years later; I just hope this doesn’t take that long.

The Civil Rights movement isn’t even close to being over—we all have work to do.

Dan Kennan



Supporting victims of domestic violence

Dear Editor:

There is a great need in our community to raise awareness about domestic violence and the fear that many women face when reporting these types of cases to their employers, public service agencies, family and friends.

There is still a great amount of stigma surrounding these cases in our community, and many times victims find themselves lacking the support they need from colleagues, friends and community members.

A recent story in the news brought attention to the fear that many women face of losing their jobs and enduring a lack of support when reporting domestic violence. Carie Charlesworth, a teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School in San Diego, was fired for being a victim of domestic violence after her ex-husband appeared on campus and the school had to be put on lockdown. 

Following the incident, Ms. Charlesworth and her 4 children were placed on an indefinite leave from the school. Three months later, Ms. Charlesworth received another letter from the school informing her that she was fired and would not be allowed to teach at any other Diocesan school because the families of children attending the school viewed her presence as a threat and liability to their safety.

What is unique about Ms. Charlesworth’s case is that she not only lacks the support of her employer, but also that of her faith-based community which is often a source of hope for many people. The stance taken by Holy Trinity Catholic School and the families attending the school demonstrate the lack of understanding that exists in the workplace and in the community about domestic violence.

In Ms. Charlesworth’s case, school officials and her peers have held her accountable for actions that her ex-husband is solely responsible for and have treated her as a threat and liability. When we choose to ignore or blame victims of domestic violence, we as a community only discourage victims from speaking up and seeking further help.

It is important for community members to learn how to properly respond to domestic violence cases because it is a fact that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of intimate partner violence throughout their lifetime. Domestic violence is an issue that affects each and every one of us. It does not discriminate based on our social, cultural or economic background. We can help women in our community overcome this obstacle by acknowledging the problem, providing them with a safe environment to speak out and ask for help, and offering them the resources and support necessary to break the cycle.

Although it can be difficult to address the issue of domestic violence, there are many resources for families affected by domestic violence.

Organizations such as House of Ruth exist to support families affected by domestic violence, as well as to train and educate members of the community to become a valuable source of comfort and support to families affected by this tragedy.

Sue Aebischer

Executive Director

House of Ruth, Claremont


Blessed are the peacemakers

Dear Editor:

Recently, my wife made the surprising suggestion that we attend this year’s Independence Day parade here in Claremont; this, after skipping it for many years because local liberals insisted on using the parade as a stage to promote their personal agenda. Some of the units that had marched past us were anti-war demonstrators, sundry Peace With Justice groups, and UN advocates.

Inevitably their signs included the ubiquitous “Blessed Are The Peacemakers” placards, an apparent reference to any individual or advocacy group that wants to stop wars, particularly those waged by the United States. Marching down Indian Hill Boulevard, they must have felt a smug self-assurance as they passed large homes displaying “War is Not The Answer” lawn signs, which seemed to give tacit reinforcement to their views.

I earnestly believe in the phrase “Blessed Are The Peacemakers” but, for me, these words refer to the brave men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Americans who understand that peace is a blessing that comes from strength—moral, emotional, and physical.

Independence Day is a day to celebrate the exceptionality of the greatest nation on Earth, not an occasion to pick at America’s zits. However well-intentioned, accentuating America’s perceived negatives on this, of all days, is patently unpatriotic.

Still, my wife and I will attend this year’s festivities with smiles on our faces knowing that the vast majority of parade watchers are enthusiastic Americans, who love the country that pours its blessings on us every day.

Michael Valentine




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