Readers comments 9.20.13

The Consortium’s bottom line

Dear Editor:

I was stunned to read Friday’s COURIER reporting of the Consortium’s decision to close the Claremont Golf Course. The only printable word I’ll use is shame!

Here we have a corporation looking only at their bottom line and seemingly caring very little for the community they operate in. Consortium, you are operating as a 501(c)(3) and yet, it appears, do not have any charity or creativity in you to allow this tiny bit of green space and recreation and learning site to continue to exist.

You have stated that since 2008, the use of the facilities has shrunk by 30 percent. Well, duh! Didn’t everything suffer from the recession back then? This course is a slice of heaven for young and old, with access for all, and should be saved.

I hope that someone can step in that is not viewing everything as black and white and can see the other aspects of what it means to be a part of Claremont, where community and the people within make it a great place to live.

A business is not really part of the community at large, if all they see is their bottom line.

Nikki Coulas



Golden State Water puts communities in danger

Dear Editor:

As a resident of Claremont, I have seen my fair share of southern California wildfires. However, I was shocked and angered to learn that Golden State Water was to blame for starting the fire that put our community and homes in danger. Because of the actions of Golden State’s crew, we saw a reported 17 acres in Claremont go up in flames.

Despite admitting that they were responsible for the fire, they will not be required to pay for the firefighters’ efforts, and the costs related to the water-dropping planes and, ironically, they won’t pay for the thousands of gallons of water used to put out the fire.

Regardless of Golden State’s inattention to safety, I am so thankful for our firefighters who worked diligently to protect our homes and, more importantly, lives in Claremont. They were prepared and ready when we needed them most.

Now we are seeing Golden State at the center of another community crisis—this time near LAX. While they didn’t start a fire this time, their employees were involved in setting-off a dangerous methane gas leak, requiring the evacuation of homes and businesses in the area for several days. Families were displaced and forced to stay in motels until safety officials announced that the area was no longer in danger. But this time they will pay.

What is especially frustrating is that ultimately we, the water rate payers in Claremont, will be forced to pay for the damages that Golden State caused. The costs will not come out of Golden State’s profits, but will be included in next rate increase they will by lobbying for from the PUC in San Francisco.  

While Claremont continues to fight for local control of our water company, we need to be mindful that local control is much more than just having input on our water rates. We need control over all aspects of our water system, including the safety precautions taken by water crews.

Dr. Anne K. Turner




Traveling with Jan Wheatcroft

Dear Editor:

Being a retired old fellow, abiding in Claremont with limited resources and energy for travels, I want to compliment you for featuring Jan Wheatcroft’s travelogues, colorful memories and her richly-flavored escapades.

I can sit in an air-conditioned abode and vicariously wander with her, not having to swat mosquitos and sniff rank scents while visiting ancient places. I’m grateful, too, for not having to suffer the pangs of those who still fly hither and yon via expensive, overloaded airlines and Homeland Insecurity procedures.

Thank you and Jan Wheatcroft for this feature, and all of you who produce the Claremont COURIER. Those of us fortunate to read this local paper are much more in touch with this community because of your enterprise.

Chris Rubel



Pedestrians near schools

Dear Editor:

Vicki Coble responded to my earlier letter concerning pedestrian and vehicle traffic near the high school with several criticisms of (her assumptions of) my courtesy and common sense. 

The incident I described occurred at 7:25 a.m., exactly halfway between the starts of period 1 and period 2 at the high school. I time my runs to go by the high school during that lull, after the frantically-late period 1 traffic, and before the period 2 traffic becomes heavy.

Ms. Coble questions whether I have children, which I do, the youngest of whom is a senior at the high school, so I am familiar with the bell schedules of local schools and have years of experience with “the hassles of dropping children off at school.”

I do not “feel compelled” to run past schools, but it is difficult to map a route that avoids all of them. For example, I have abandoned running on the south side of Base Line (on the sidewalk) because the parents dropping off their children at Tutor Time are frankly dangerous. She proposes that it would be safer for me, “at the very least” to run on the other side of Oxford and so avoid the parking lot entrance. That route would require me to cross Oxford, Scripps, Fairmont, Hood, Delaware, Wellesley, and Purdue. 

By choosing to run on the east side of the street cuts down the number of intersections I have to cross from seven to one, and keeps me completely out of the way of folks just heading for work, thereby minimizing the number of drivers I have to interact with. If my running is “deemed unnecessary by most parents,” I wonder what common sense and courtesy they are teaching the children they are transporting.

I believe I exercise common sense and courtesy in timing my runs, and in choosing my routes. It is disappointing that Ms. Coble chose to make negative assumptions about both. My earlier letter was aimed at encouraging drivers to accord me the same common sense and courtesy for the 1-2 seconds it takes me to get across a parking lot opening, not to mention to obey the law. 

Pedestrians are legitimate components of traffic flow; pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks should be able to proceed at least in safety, if not with confidence.

If Ms. Coble has any remaining reservations about my common sense and courtesy, she is more than welcome to join me on a morning run. I would be happy to show her some of my routes, and we can discuss the factors that went into developing those routes.

Joan Fryxell



The threatening of the ‘white folk’

Dear Editor:

I woke up Monday morning to read that Nina Davuluri became the first Indian-American to capture the Miss America title. I saw her picture and thought, “Wow, she is beautiful.”

Apparently, a flood of nasty tweets followed her victory from those who did not agree with the judges’ decision.  They suggested among other things that Ms. Davuluri is an Arab with ties to Al Qaeda or that she works in a 7-11. Seriously.

Todd Starnes, host of Fox News & Commentary, blamed the win on a “politically correct” panel of judges and stated that the runner-up, Miss Kansas, was not chosen because she represented American values, according to a series of tweets. Mr. Starnes’ definition of American values appears to be that you have to be white and like guns.

Ms. Davuluri was born in Syracuse, New York, which makes her an American. Period. Perhaps she is in favor of gun rights, perhaps she is against abortion and gay rights and believes that we should continue to use “Under God” on our money and speak only English. There are Americans that believe these views. There are Americans that believe the opposite. Who knows where Ms. Davuluri stands? But because she isn’t white, people like Mr. Starnes immediately judge her as being un-American.

The fact that most people from India follow the Hindu faith and are not Arabic just points to the ignorance of these racists.

America is a wonderful melting pot of nationalities, beliefs and political views. Diversity is one of the many things that makes our country exceptional (despite what Mr. Putin may say, but that is the subject for another time).

The problem with right wing nut jobs like Mr. Starnes is that they cannot seem to wrap their heads around this fact. There certainly are conservative people in this country that embrace diversity. But to a racist like Mr. Starnes, if someone isn’t white and following exactly their narrow definitions of American values, then they are someone to be ridiculed and belittled.

For the rest of us, I say congratulations to Ms. Davuluri. She wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and other family members to become a doctor. She has graduated from the University of Michigan, where she has won several honors including dean’s list and National Honors Society. She appears to me to fully embrace a love for this country while also honoring the culture and heritage of her ancestry.

I, for one, am delighted that she will represent this great country of ours and show the rest of the world what it means to be a true American.

Pam Stevenson



The memory of community

Dear Editor:

I’m writing this on September 12, 2013 after spending most of yesterday, like many Americans, interlacing my normal weekday activities with my memories of 9/11. Prior to my family settling in Claremont in 2003, I was fortunate, yes fortunate, to have the experience of officially relocating from Los Angeles to Manhattan on September 10, 2001. 

While it was overwhelming to be so close to some of the tragic events as they occurred, I’m thankful that I was there to see the unbelievable ways that Americans of all shapes, colors and tax-brackets pulled together during that time of terror and tragedy.

Placing aside, for a moment, the politics and feelings related to the sequence of events that followed the attacks (war, finger-pointing, polarization, etc.), it’s my hope that the words “Remember” and “Never Forget,” included in so many of the 9/11 tributes, can also be associated with the humanity that followed the events. 

While there’s no denying that those words, as they relate to 9/11, will forever bring images of burning towers, smoldering rubble and the need for unrelenting reasonable vigilance, they should also be balanced with the memory of “community.” Perhaps this is naïve of me to say not having lost someone during these events or the war(s) that followed, but it remains my hope.

My images include witnessing the support and compassion offered to the ash-covered people making their way up the avenues, and the empathy and charity directed toward those grieving losses in the months and years that followed. Also included is a feeling of deep gratitude for the families and individuals that continue to place their lives in danger to defend our freedom. 

Again, regardless of your opinion as to the reasons why they are there, please “remember” and “never forget” that they are there…for us.

Ed Leavitt



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