Readers comments 9.13.13

Connie and Dicks

Dear Editor:

Sarah Torribio’s interesting article in the August 30 COURIER about Connie and Dicks venerable auto service at 150 Olive Street and the good work done by Cindy Brown’s establishment since 1990, 23 years ago, is most welcome. The article begins, “For nearly 53 years, Connie and Dicks Auto Service Center has been Claremont’s one stop repair destination.” That seems to imply the business began in about 1960, and doesn’t tell us who Connie and Dick were.

As a student a Pomona College from 1946 to 1948, I?remember Connie and Dick very well. They had a service station on the northeast corner of Bonita and Yale, and did repairs as well as pump gas. They gave up the service station a short time later and moved to a full-time repair shop. I believe Dick went elsewhere about that time, but Connie ran the shop and kept the original name.

If I remember correctly, this other shop existed before the move to?Olive Street. Connie (sadly, I?have forgotten his last name), a navy veteran, was well-known around the Village before he retired. In any case, the establishment must be about 66 years old, rather than 53 years old.

Is it possible that the Browns bought the business from Connie in 1990?

Lee McDonald


[Editor’s note: Connie and Dicks, a Mobil gas station, was located at?Bonita and Yale through the 1960s, then moved to Olive Street in the 1970s. I’d welcome more history on this from a reader who might have it. —KD]


Claremont Golf Course should be saved from closure

Dear Editor:

This letter is written on behalf of the Claremont Women’s Golf Club in response to the recent announcement that the Claremont Golf Course may be closing.

The golf course has been an asset to the Claremont community and surrounding areas for decades and it would be a huge loss if it were to close.

The Claremont Women’s Golf Club was established in 1990 and currently has 80 members. The course provides excellent opportunities for social interaction and physical exercise for our members as well as golfers from the surrounding area.

Others in the community who benefit from the Claremont Golf Course are the students at the high school, local colleges and members of the local retirement communities.

We understand the challenges of maintaining the course and applaud the Claremont Colleges for their commitment to it over the years.

We sincerely hope that, despite the current issues, the Colleges will decide to keep the course open. This would be an excellent example of town and gown enrichment similar to free lectures and the generous use of college facilities for local events.

When the problems with Golden State Water are resolved, the course will be lovely for practice and play again and business will increase dramatically.

In the meantime, we pledge our loyalty to the course and hope that the Colleges will continue to provide this wonderful asset to the community.

Sue Wilson

President, Claremont

Women’s Golf Club

[Editor’s note: Since this letter was submitted, The Claremont University Consortium’s board of directors has announced its decision to close the Claremont Golf Course in January 2014. See our story on page 8. —KD]


Not in my backyard

Dear Editor:

I enjoy reading the COURIER’s Observer by John Pixley. In his September 6, article Mr. Pixley wrote about the new housing being built in the narrow strip of land between Base Line Road and the freeway at Towne Avenue.

Mr. Pixley observed that  a few years ago a low-income housing project was proposed for that site, an observation that my wife and I also made when we first heard of the latest proposed project. When the first project was proposed, a group of Claremont residents argued that it would be unhealthy for residents to live so close to the freeway. The ploy apparently worked.

Now there are homes (of the non-low-income variety) being built there and on other vacant land all along the freeway.  Okay, we get the whole NIMBY thing.  Nevertheless, seeing the development going in now without the same concerns for the health of the future residents does invoke one of those simultaneous grin-chuckle-raised eyebrow-shoulder-shrug-head-shake responses.

Jack Sultze



Technology in our schools

Dear Editor:

I find it necessary to clarify information presented by current school board candidate for re-election Steven Llanusa in the September 6 edition of the COURIER.

The COURIER reported on an interview with current school board member and candidate for reelection, Steven Llanusa. It was stated that Mr. Llanusa was concerned about “the direction given to the district” during a study session on August 19, 2013 “suggesting a long-standing graduation requirement be removed.” Mr. Llanusa was referring to the high school class, Technology Skills for the 21st Century, which is currently required for graduation from Claremont Unified School District. 

Direction had been given to the district to continue to require the technology skills class as a graduation requirement through June 2015. During the next 2 years, the District Technology Advisory Committee and the district technology leaders will work collaboratively to embed the key technology standards into the curriculum across all grade levels starting in elementary school; therefore eliminating the course as a graduation requirement effective with the 2015-2016 school year.

Perhaps some background on how this question arose would be helpful. During the 2012-13 school year, 15 committee workshops were held to study 4 questions, one of which was to determine if there was a need for the technology skills class as a graduation requirement.

The committees that met throughout the year consisted of K-12 teachers, K-12 site and district administrators, counselors, middle school and high school students, parents, community members (including the mayor and city manager), college professors and the superintendent of the Baldy View Regional Occupational Program. This large and diverse committee reached consensus on 2 of the 4 areas studied, but could not reach consensus on 2 of the areas, the technology skills class and the fitness and health class. It was at this point that a study session with the board was scheduled for August 19 in order for the board to hear the issues related to the technology skills class and provide staff with direction on whether or not to continue mandating this class as a graduation requirement.

During the August 19 workshop, teachers and a student that served on the graduation requirements committees throughout the year, participated in the board’s workshop to share their respective committees’ views on the technology skills class.

Discussion was held in small groups, of which Mr. Llanusa was one, and with the group as a whole. There was a thoughtful and comprehensive discussion and all known concerns were voiced. No thoughts or opinions were uninvited or disregarded.

At the end of the workshop, the board was unanimous in their direction to staff which was to spend the next 2 years studying this issue, to continue to work with the District Technology Advisory Committee and district technology leaders to determine how the essential technology skills from this class could be embedded into the curriculum across all grade levels, and to purchase the necessary technology to support this endeavor. 

If all of that work is successfully completed by June 30, 2015, the technology skills class will no longer need to be a graduation requirement.    

Mary Caenepeel

President, Claremont Unified School District Board of Education


Look both ways

Dear Editor:

In the September 6 edition, Joan Fryxell laments a potentially dangerous situation for walkers and runners who happen upon the Oxford Avenue entrance into Claremont High School during the peak drop off time in the morning, presumably between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

In her letter, she reminds parents of Claremont students that pedestrians have the right-of-way at all times and that motorists must legally yield to them. She adds that if she were to be hit by a moving vehicle she would be irreparably damaged.

Ms. Fryxell states her concerns for her personal well-being and the well-being of others on foot quite thoroughly, but I was struck by the blatantly obvious flaw in her argument; the need for basic common sense on the part of Ms. Fryxell and other morning runners and walkers who are compelled, for whatever reason, to cross the entrance during this peak traffic time.

Living quite close to Claremont High School near Oxford, I am acutely aware of the congestion on school days, and attempt to avoid this congestion by leaving early enough for work. 

This is where common sense and, indeed, a bit of common courtesy on the part of Ms. Fryxell comes into play.  Why does she feel compelled to set her morning run that leads her directly into the path of this congestion?  There are clearly other paths for her to take.

At the very least she could run on the other side of the street where there is a sidewalk that would allow her to avoid this entrance altogether. She could run north of Claremont High School until traffic has cleared or time her run earlier or later in the morning. There are several options that would exercise more common sense and less self-serving behavior on the part of Ms. Fryxell, and others, who chose to put themselves in potential harm’s way at this location.

In terms of common courtesy, I do not know if Ms. Fryxell has ever had to contend with the hassles of dropping children off at school but, if she had, she would understand that any unnecessary impediment to the flow of traffic causes tensions to rise and unsafe conditions can result. Running in front of the entrance would be deemed unnecessary by most parents attempting to drop their students of at CHS: Hence the “angry stare” from a parent.  

Yes, the law is on the side of pedestrians but common sense and common courtesy should prevail.

In her letter, Ms. Fryxell claims to be “a defensive runner,” and she makes a valid point when she states “If you hit me, the worst I can do to your car is dent some metal or break a headlight, but the damage that you do to me could be irreparable.” Again, common sense plays an important role here. 

Exercising common sense to protect one’s physical well-being may weigh more heavily in the long run than exercising one’s legally appointed rights.

Vicki Coble





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