Readers comments: April 7, 2023

It’s time to think about protecting private trees
Dear editor:
Topping trees causes weak branching, makes trees prone to disease and creates safety hazards as a result. The eight large pepper trees that were severely topped last Saturday on the corner of First Street and Indian Hill Boulevard (across the street from Blaze Pizza) are the worst cases of this harmful practice that we’ve ever seen. As the city website states, “trees should never be topped, this drastic procedure can be deadly for trees.”
City staff was alerted to the topping only to respond that there is nothing they can do because the trees are on private property and “no code violations took place.” When example ordinances banning topping in commercial and multifamily developments was brought to the attention of the community and human services commission, staff urged that we “take this up in the 2025-2027 priority setting meetings next year.” Yet if you read our current city priorities for 2022-2024, objectives include to “review Urban Forest Policies and Procedures including the development of educational campaign(s)” and to “evaluate feasibility of policies and procedures for the protection of private trees.”
With all the issues related to the management of our urban forest in Claremont recently, it’s time staff work with the community to fulfill the council priority to review our policies and procedures, develop education campaigns, and study the feasibility of protections for trees on private property. Isn’t this the right thing to do as the “City of trees and Ph.D.s”? Or will we just rest on our laurels?
Drew Ready


Unity needed to support Claremont’s tree legacy
Dear editor:
Many people in Claremont recognize the tree legacy that we have. We enjoy the shade of these trees and experience this urban forest on each street, in our parks, in the college campuses, even in the Wilderness Park.
Many of us were instrumental in enhancing the Claremont Urban Forest Master Plan. Barnabas Path wrote a letter [Readers’ comments, March 10] recently asking for more dialogue on the city’s proposed revisions. I agree with Frederic Roth who finds that Claremont’s current plan is “critically flawed in methodology and scope, absent alternatives to needless removals.” [Readers’ comments, March 10] I agree with Drew Ready who wrote a letter [Readers’ comments, March 17] that reflected understanding of Claremont’s Tree Legacy.
We can use digital models to enhance research, analysis and make good decisions. Claremont could become part of a regional effort to enhance urban forests.
In 2018 Warren Roberts, a GIS expert, and I assembled a tree inventory for Claremont. Using Open Tree Map software, we have an inventory of more than 23,000 Claremont trees. Using public information, that inventory could be updated. Claremont could engage an urban forester to continue updating our digital model and use it for better decisions.
We need Claremont Groups to come together to support our tree legacy. Through Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, we can encourage people to make eco-friendly art from our tree heritage, enhancing public awareness. Claremont Heritage helps sustain Claremont’s urban forest. Friends of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park can help preserve the forest ecosystem. Many other groups have been part of the effort to plant native oaks in our wilderness park, engaging the California Botanic Garden with grants from the Chapman Forestry Foundation. Our local Rotary Clubs can enhance goodwill and peace by helping to improve our environment.
Mark von Wodtke
Mark von Wodtke, FASLA, is professor emeritus at Cal Poly Pomona, landscape architecture


Gun control proponents prove point
Dear editor:
Without thinking, Messrs. Linde [Readers’ comments, March 24], Ring, and Ms. Weis [Readers’ comments, March 31] ironically proved the points in my original letter [Readers’ comments, March 17]. Their response letters show that their view of reality could not address the fact that firearms are overwhelmingly used in our country — up to 3,000,000 times a year — to solve the “When seconds count, the police are minutes away” criminal aggression problem, and then, hoping the less astute wouldn’t notice, put forth the familiar pearl-clutching reasons for restricting everyone’s civil rights.
Mind reading and fake polls (Ms. Weis), straw man arguments with nonsense personal opinions (Mr. Ring), and obfuscation (Mr. Linde), are typical of gun control extremists who cannot fight actual facts but want you to give up just a little of your civil rights for a political promise of feeling “safe.”
The solutions offered guarantee the surrender of your safety and personal freedom to the whim of politicians. Who in their right mind gives up any sliver of free will?
If the lives of Blacks, poor people, and the homeless really did matter to gun control radicals, why has the magical thinking that took away their personal protection choices in Chicago and D.C. guaranteed our most vulnerable groups to be preyed upon by evil, the deranged, the angry, or more powerful?
When we encourage people to become victims, vengeance and violence are inevitable.
Leslie Watkins


Free horticultural therapy opportunity
Dear editor:
Are you facing a problem that seems overwhelming and are looking to develop a more powerful mindset?|
If so, this free horticultural therapy opportunity may be just the motivating experience for you. There is a small mesa in the Claremont Village with a bumper crop of three-foot-tall dandelion type weeds which appear dreadful, daunting, and defiant. However, the leaves are completely soft to the touch, the thick smooth stem is actually light and hollow, and the roots come out of the loose soil rather easily.
A person’s initial reluctance to pull the foreboding looking weeds, and the subsequent satisfaction at the relative ease of their complete removal can be a helpful physical and mental metaphor for dealing with life’s stressful situations.
The therapeutic weed pull will take place tomorrow morning, Saturday April 8, from 8 until 10 a.m., or until all the relevant vegetation has been utilized. Each participant will be allowed up to five free weed pulls and will participate at their own risk.
This opportunity is not a certified professional mental health event, makes no claims and takes no responsibility for any physical or emotional consequences. The mesa is located at the residence at 706 N. Indian Hill Blvd. in Claremont.
Elizabeth Tulac


Things not so dire at Claremont Manor
Dear editor:
To rebut the sour apples slung at Claremont Manor recently [“Claremont Manor executive director out, search for replacement begins,” March 31]: A couple hundred happy and satisfied residents turn the telescope around.
Who could not agree that we’ve all lived through a tough couple of years. Directors in business do change positions. That’s business.
We all feel privileged to be living here, where the staff are caring; the meals are terrific; and there is a warm feeling of home.
Grace Bacon

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