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Readers comments: 10-22-21

Response to Kris Meyers; COVID-19 “My Body, My Choice”
Dear editor:
I read the comments by Kris Meyer regarding his opinion on masking and felt compelled to respond.
This subject is very personal for me since my daughter is a COVID nurse at a hospital and puts her life in jeopardy to save the life of patients dying from this killer.
However, I resent attempting to make the comparison between getting vaccinated and abortion rights. This is a false equivalent, so the “my body my right” argument doesn’t work here.  Someone choosing to remain unvaccinated and not wear a mask is also putting other people’s lives in danger.   A better comparison would be a doctor refusing to wear a mask or gloves before performing a surgery.  This surgeon would be putting other people’s lives in jeopardy through their actions.
At this point the politically stubborn or sadly ignorant seem to make up the majority of the unvaccinated.  Many of these people are easily manipulated by social media that spews conspiracy theories and outright lies regarding COVID.  For those of us that have done the right things it is now simply fatiguing to try and convince those that are doing the wrong things.  It doesn’t seem to matter the depth and breadth of science-based facts, what they have seen with their own eyes (e.g., freezer trucks parked outside of hospitals), or even having family members pass due to COVID.  They simply will not get vaccinated or wear a mask.  The thing is COVID doesn’t care about your political views.  This is a highly transmissible virus which current vaccines can keep in check (not 100% but close).  Since many people currently contagious with COVID are asymptomatic, not wearing a mask is helping to spread the disease.  It’s that simple.  Most of us feel this responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe.  People like Kris don’t.  They don’t care about anyone but themselves apparently.
I do agree that every individual can choose to vaccinate and wear a mask, or not, but they should be responsible for their decisions.  Perhaps if someone is not vaccinated at this point and now becomes ill with COVID it is these people who should just stay home and not be allowed admittance to a hospital for treatment.  This would eliminate congestion at our medical facilities.  In any event, it is the unvaccinated and the anti-mask crowd that should be forced to stay home.  Let the rest of us who are doing the right things get back to our lives.
Pam Stevenson
Claremont

CWC needs your support
Dear editor:

We at Claremont Wildlands Conservancy (CWC) urge your support in our effort to raise the funds to add 103 acres of hillside open space to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. These acres comprise the last large, privately-owned property in our foothills that could be developed with many housing units.
The property, named Clara Oaks by its owner/developer, lies just north of The Webb Schools along Webb Canyon Road on the western border of Claremont. The owner is currently willing to sell it as an addition to the Wilderness Park for its appraised value of $7.2 million.
To raise this amount, CWC and its partner, the national nonprofit Trust for Public Land, are writing grants to governmental agencies and foundations, gaining support from state legislators, and working to raise local funds to demonstrate to our major grantors that the community supports this effort. The board of CWC has launched the local drive by pledging $75,000, the bulk of its assets, to the purchase.
The effort to raise funds from community members is urgent because the owner has also filed an application with the city of Claremont for approval of a specific plan to develop 40 or more luxury homes and is currently working on an environmental impact report to assess those impacts and answer questions raised in a preliminary environmental analysis, the “initial study.” It is likely that we have less than a year to secure Clara Oaks’ future as part of the Wilderness Park.
We hope you will join us in the effort to save Clara Oaks!
Visit our website to make a donation and for more information: www.claremontwildlands.org Or send a check to CWC at 1320 N. Mountain Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711.
Terry Grill, CWC President
Claremont

Biden administration failing to protect wildlife
Dear editor:

When gray wolves were restored to Yellowstone, our country began the process of restoring a decades-old wrong. In the years that have since passed, wolves in the northern Rockies have begun to recover. But recent actions by Montana and Idaho that seek to kill up to 90 percent of the wolves in their states, threaten the future of this ongoing recovery.
Today, hunters in Montana can sit just feet outside of Yellowstone National Park and gun down as many as 10 wolves each. In Idaho, private contractors have been hired by the state to trap and shoot nearly all of the wolves in their borders. Montana will soon allow the use of deadly and indiscriminate neck snares that strangle the animal unfortunate enough to come across them.
The Biden administration has the tools to stop this slaughter. In August, the former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under President Obama wrote a Washington Post op-ed imploring Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and President Biden to act and issue emergency protections for gray wolves. He outlined exactly how and why they must act.
Biden and Haaland are entrusted with the caretaking of our natural spaces and the species that live on them. Their inaction to date is inexcusable.
Please join me in writing to the Department of Interior at DOI.gov and ask that they finally act to protect wolves in the northern Rockies before it is too late.
John Maher
Claremont

Response to CST and Claremont colleges
Dear editor:

I have considered writing for quite some time, but when TCC’s CEO, Stig Lanesskog, claimed that The Claremont Colleges, Inc. (TCC) is not a powerful “Goliath” pitted against a vulnerable underdog “David” like Claremont School of Theology (CST), I knew my silence was no longer an option.  As a long-term resident of Claremont with close ties to both the Claremont Colleges and CST, I am writing today with a true insider’s perspective of this clash between the CST and TCC. Mr. Lanesskog’s claim is both disingenuous and tantamount to bullying. CST is most definitely the little guy facing the giant and has never had the clout or resources or endowments or capacity to “develop” the school in the ways the Claremont Colleges are able to do for themselves. I know this because for the last 10 years, I have served on CST’s Board of Trustees.
I have been part of board discussions about CST’s mission, finances, strategic plan, curriculum development, fundraising, personnel, partnerships with many religious institutional partners, and its relationship with Willamette University, among others. Throughout these discourses, I have been struck repeatedly by the insights and integrity of the leadership of CST – both the administrators and my fellow board members. The collaborative spirit that pervades the institution is among CST’s most valuable assets. This “team” has persisted through extraordinary challenges, and the continued loyalty to the institution and to one another remains one of CST’s greatest strengths.
As the only Jewish member of the board, I have been keenly interested in how CST fosters broad understanding and respectful communication across faith traditions. As an “outsider” to the Christian tradition, I have felt unreservedly welcomed by the CST community and have been helped to see how our shared ethical frameworks guide responsible decision making and underscore care for those in need.
Further, during my tenure I have been deeply engaged in CST’s long-range planning and transition activities. As the chair of the board’s academic affairs committee, I have had particular interests in the effectiveness of faculty and in how CST has responded responsibly to its periodic institutional accreditations. Truly, CST is notable for its relentless efforts to meet all of its financial commitments, to serve its students to the highest standards, to produce world-renowned scholarship, and, perhaps most importantly, in all these pursuits to adhere to the highest ethical standards.
CST has fought resolutely to exercise its legal rights while maintaining those uncompromising ethical standards. To suggest otherwise or to imply that TCC has not used its considerable powers to try to demolish a vibrant but unequal opponent is both insulting and appalling. TCC should be ashamed to persist in such a battle. I cannot help but think that CST’s path is what Rabbi Niles Goldstein has called “the path of the spiritual warrior”— one of courage, creativity, and determination — a path that the CST community prays will prevail in the end.
My husband served on the faculty of Claremont Graduate University from 1977-2008, and I received my Ph.D. from CGU in 1986.  I have a great deal of respect for all of the colleges in Claremont and am a proud alumna. However, the mutual respect and collaboration I have witnessed at CST is in sharp and distressing contrast to the contentious relationship that has developed between CST and TCC. The persistent resistance of TCC to “come to the table” in a good faith effort to resolve the sale of CST’s property is emblematic of the underlying disrespect TCC has for the school and its mission to prepare its students for lives of ministry, leadership and service.
TCC’s disrespect has manifested itself through misstatements to the press, a failure to adhere to the legal obligation of providing a formal first offer in an appropriate manner, and an invidious insistence that CST’s property assessment is overstated. As a Claremont resident, I know firsthand the value of the property situated along west Foothill Boulevard. Given the combined wealth of the Colleges, their refusal to offer a fair price for these valuable acres is especially offensive.
As a Jew, a researcher who writes about Jewish education, and a citizen of Claremont with close connections to both CST and TCC, I am convinced this is indeed a David and Goliath story.
Diane Tickton Schuster
Claremont

An open letter to the California black bears residing in Claraboya, Wilderness Park,  from a concerned resident on behalf of the Claraboya HOA
Dear editor:
To the mamas and the papas,
I have been asked by the Claraboya Homeowners Association to bring to your attention the long-established protocols that have supported our cohabitation for decades. Due to the unique circumstances of the recent pandemic, Claraboya residents spent almost a year without hiking the Wilderness Park trails, and thus, some of your youngsters have never met us.
Subsequently, some of your adolescents, not having been steeped in the traditions of the culture of coexistence, have been exhibiting some frightening rumspringa behaviors.
The most disturbing and dangerous, emerging from your lair before dark, is specifically prohibited by the HOA and further references unaccompanied minors. Case in point, last night, my dog Carina and I were one house-length away from turning into the Via Sinaloa cul-de-sac, when one of your teenagers came bounding out. They were swiftly skipping across Via Espirito Santo with reckless abandon, and had no regard for humans or canines. It was not even dusk let alone dark, and we have the right to the streets until nightfall.
This behavior, if left to continue, can come to no good. We simply won’t stand for it. In fact, a week from Thursday at 7 p.m., at the Hughes Community Center, the HOA will convene a special meeting censuring this behavior. If you have anything to say for yourselves you can show up then.
In the meantime, while I have your attention, before you embark on your Tuesday night romp preceding Wednesday morning trash pickup, bear in mind that each paw is unique and therefore bears the identity of anyone who attempts to remain anonymous. I know who you are.
Your filthy pawprints remain as a stain on my stucco wall, so please, cease and desist.
Furthermore for your information, I’m a vegan and never throw away berries or anything else you are supposed to enjoy eating. However, the owners of a McDonalds live on our street and I have numerous Big Mac-loving neighbors. If you insist on dumpster diving, their cans will likely be better hunting grounds than mine.
Oh, and before I go, I can’t help it: I feel as if I mu­st pay you a compliment. It’s pretty amazing how you are able to balance your broad 300-pound behind atop my thin wrought iron fence while you feast from my bird feeders, however you had better hope that somebody from Ringling Brothers isn’t scouting the neighborhood.
Goldie Lockes-Hoffmann
Claremont