Readers comments 7.12.13

Local control of water allows accountability

Dear Editor:

Regarding the editorial by Peter Weinberger, “Secret to reducing Claremont water bills: use less,” I believe a reply from a resident is necessary. This editorial mentions how facts and figures often become blurred when used to support opinions.

Looking at the “big picture” of this issue, I believe it is simply a matter of common sense. Local control allows accountability, and the elimination of Claremont residents funding GSW profits.

Mr. Weinberger’s argument that many people are not concerned about conserving water and can afford to pay their bill, whatever the rate, is suspect. I recommend Mr. Weinberger get out into the community and see how many residents are re-landscaping in an effort to relieve the pressure of the never-ending rate increases. 

I am not surprised that 38 percent of Claremont residents are in Tier 3. GSW is a corporation, and the sole purpose of a corporation is to maximize profits for its shareholders. The water rate concerns of Claremont residents fall secondary to maximizing profits. If you don’t believe that, check the history of proposed rate increases.

“Would Claremont’s price problems look different if we, as a city, simply used less water?” You’d think they would.   While Claremont residents support conservation, GSW has the right to seek rate increases due to a revenue shortfall, the common cause of which is conservation.  Thus, using less water can directly result in higher water rates. In reality, higher water rates are a certainty, regardless of one being a “super-user” or extreme conservationalist.

I believe what many Claremont residents seek is local control. 

Our water rates are controlled by a corporation with shareholders, and a profit motive. This works well in an open market, but our water company is a monopoly, and Claremont residents cannot seek an alternate provider if we feel our rates are disproportionately high.

It is ironic that this editorial appeared on a page opposite an article about Claremont seeking to maintain local control of the Wilderness Park, and an article lamenting the lack of local control for the Measure R transit plan. Published, no less, on the 5th of July, one day after the traditional celebration of our country taking “local control” from Great Britain. 

Christopher Becker



Same-sex marriage

Dear Editor:

A viewpoint article in last Friday’s COURIER caught my attention [“US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage,” July 5, 2013]. So I read the headline, then skipped to the last couple of paragraphs to check the conclusions. At that point, I assumed the piece had been written by one of our more liberal residents. The shock came when I spotted the name of our mayor, Opanyi Nasiali, in the byline.

Allow me to preface this discussion by observing that nowhere in our Constitution is the Supreme Court granted carte blanche authority to organize, or re-organize, our society—that function is outside our rule of law. Rather, the court has anointed itself that role [like Napoleon crowning himself emperor]. And that’s a major problem in this country today.   More and more we are living under a judicial oligarchy. Far worse than Mr. Nasiali’s “tyranny of the majority,” it’s a tyranny of a tiny, tiny minority.

Mr. Nasiali touches on so many different points it makes a response more challenging, but let’s try this:

Proponents of same-sex marriage look to micro society, that is, to the circumstances of specific individuals.

Hence, the ubiquitous use of the terms “fair,” “fairness,” “equal,” “equality,” and so forth.

They ask: Is it “fair” (or “equal”) that people of the same sex can’t marry each other? I’ll stipulate right here: No, it isn’t “fair.”

But, the question refutes itself. Let’s re-phrase the question slightly and ask: Is it “fair” that a person can’t marry his or her brother or sister, son or daughter, mother or father, etc., etc.?

By the preceding “fairness” thinking process, those prohibitions aren’t “fair,” either.

So, should all that be changed, as well? Would removing those prohibitions build a better, healthier society? Of course not.

The well-being of society, overall, and the well-being of our children (the next generation)—which is, by the way, the original, and still the primary reason for marriage—are degraded by the blurring of distinctions between male and female, which is one of the intended goals of same-sex marriage.

Proponents of traditional male-female marriage, however, look to macro society, that is, to the circumstances of society overall.

In the entire 5000-plus year history of civilizations, not one great religion or society, nor any one great religious or secular thinker, has advocated, promoted, or condoned same-sex marriage.

Yet, today, the moral hubris of certain segments of the present generation—the generation that created the self-esteem movement—believes itself morally superior to all who preceded it.

The invocation of past discrimination of blacks by whites is a fallacious comparison. The only real distinction here is a superficial physical characteristic, the color of the skin. Nothing else. As compared with same-sex couples, where the distinction is not physical, but behavioral.

With males and females there are many real distinctions. Being male is not the same as being female. The 2 are not synonymous. Although, certain segments of the present generation are trying to make them synonymous, to the detriment of society.

The roles of each sex in the healthy upbringing of children are unique and distinct. The best situation for raising children is living in an intact nuclear family with a married mother and father, that is, with a male parent and a female parent.

Therefore, Proposition 8, and Proposition 22 before it, were correct: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” And the Supreme Court has no authority to declare otherwise.

Douglas Lyon



[Editor’s note: This edition of the COURIER includes a feature story on local same-sex couples who exemplify not only the “best situation for raising children,” but far exceed what I have personally witnessed in many “traditional” nuclear families. Our community is blessed to have these families call Claremont home. I thank them for their dedication to our city and for their mindfulness while raising healthy, happy men and and women. —KD]


Praise for Steven Boyd

Dear Editor:

Within the past 4 years I have presented the Delta Kappa Gamma Citizenship Award to 4 different graduating seniors from San Antonio High School. Each has told me that experiences at that school have helped to change his/her life in a positive way. All have had nothing but praise for Steven Boyd, the principal.

Other students I have questioned on campus have expressed similar feelings and there is a friendly feeling on campus. For this reason I have been concerned since reading your article stating that the board of education has released Mr. Boyd from his position, suggesting that his work has not been satisfactory.

I have had much experience working with young people who have been failing at school, and I believe that Mr. Boyd has been running this continuation high school in a manner that should be implimented throughout the United States, if not the world.

Jean Boyd Todd, PhD



Conserving water comes at a price

Dear Editor:

As a customer of Golden State Water and a lifelong resident of Claremont, I am compelled to share my concern over a recent opinion piece by Peter Weinberger. 

Mr. Weinberger suggested that Claremont residents could lower their water bills by merely using less water. On the surface, such a statement seems reasonable; however, what I have experienced is that Golden State tacks a surcharge on my bill if I don’t use enough water or,  in other words, if I conserve. Something Mr. Weinberger failed to mention.

Conserving water has and will continue to be a priority for my family. We understand that water, especially in southern California, is a precious resource and needs to be used responsibly. However, Golden State chooses to use water conservation as a mechanism to generate revenue. After all, given that they are a publically-traded company, isn’t their obligation to make a profit?

Unlike the city of La Verne, Golden State chooses to penalize their customers when we don’t use enough water. That’s right. Conserve water in Claremont and you will be paying a penalty. If you look at your bill (for those of us that have drought-tolerant landscaping) you will see an extra line item charging you for your water conservation.

Because publically-traded water companies in California, like Golden State, are legally entitled to make a profit off their water customers, Golden State tacks on what is known as a “WRAM” or water rate adjustment mechanism to the bills of their customers who don’t used enough water, guaranteeing them a profit. 

While I encourage my neighbors and friends in Claremont to conserve water, I must also caution them that, in Claremont,  conservation comes at a price.

I appreciate the Claremont City Council’s efforts to potentially form a municipal water company here in Claremont.  After all, why should Claremont residents be forced to pay a profit to any publically-traded company?

The water system in the city of La Verne is working just fine; customers are charged for what they use, and nothing more.

Dr. Anne K. Turner




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