Readers’ comments: February 16, 2024

Support our local businesses
Dear editor:
To whom it may concern (and hopefully, we are all concerned):
I have lived in this valley my whole life, growing up in Monrovia and raising my family in La Verne before moving to Claremont in 2012. When I moved here, I quickly immersed myself into Claremont life, volunteering at various nonprofits and hosting international students for most of my years here. I continue to be enamored with the unique and neighborly charm this city provides.
You feel this neighborly charm at our local library, where helpful librarians work with you to find the perfect book. You feel it with every wonderful performance at our Folk Music Center, and with every friendly “hello” on the street.
Now, why am I telling you all this?
I am saddened by the departures, for whatever reasons, of many of our local retail shops that have been instrumental in bringing this neighborly charm to our town. When each business leaves, I try and see them and let them know how much we’ll miss them and to let them know of the difference they made in our community.
I believe I speak for many people in Claremont when I say that we need to do everything we can to support and strengthen our local business community. Grab a cup of coffee at Iron & Kin, peruse delicious pastries at Some Crust and Créme, and bring home a delectable piece of cheese from the Cheese Cave.
And we need to call on the City Council and the chamber of commerce to do everything they can to support our local businesses and preserve that neighborly charm that makes Claremont so special.
These shops need us now more than ever, and we need to let them know that we care.
Donna Clarke


Courier complicit in spreading Israeli misinformation
Dear editor:
I reluctantly join the chorus bemoaning the declining journalistic standards of the Courier since the departure of Kathryn Dunn.
What compels me to complain is not the steady drip of dangling modifiers and buried leads. It is the failure of the editor to reject or at least comment on the sensationalist and propagandistic lies about the Hamas attack of October 7 that appear in its pages. Numerous letters to the editor have referenced mutilation of children and rape, despite the fact that the “beheaded babies” story was long ago discredited and there is not one shred of credible evidence so far for rapes by Hamas militants. One column by the editor himself, in an otherwise balanced piece, mentions the rape narrative. The so-called investigation of rape reports is being led by a woman who formerly ran propaganda for both the Israeli military and the Prime Minister’s office.
When letter writers such as Carol Oberg of Ventura [“Palestinian community leaders’ misplaced blame,” February 9] make references to “Hamas’ indiscriminate rape, murder and mutilation of Israeli women and children” and the like, they are either willfully ignorant or simply lying. When the Courier prints them without comment, it becomes a cog in the Israeli propaganda machine. It is unacceptable.
John Norvell
Mt. Baldy


‘Whataboutism’ and the CUSD special election
Dear editor:
Several weeks ago the Courier criticized the forced special election that ultimately cost Claremont Unified School District almost half a million dollars. Subsequent readers’ comments indulged in “whataboutism” and diverted attention to other topics, including a lawsuit dating back to 2018, a closed session personnel decision in 2022, and unrelated city council issues. Responding to “whatabout” questions usually leads to a game of whack-a-mole that never ends. Let’s refocus on the election.
I would like to address the implication that the school board disregarded the best interest of the district by appointing an interim school board member to fill a vacancy. It should be noted that initially there was little objection to the board’s decision that a temporary appointment was the best option, considering the cost of an election. However, a small segment of the electorate disapproved of the person selected out of 10 applicants. The objection was about the specific pick, not the decision to appoint.
To most observers the board’s choice made sense: a former school board member with 13 years of experience who had been elected by solid majorities districtwide, a dispassionate political centrist with no ideological agenda. But 1.5% of the electorate forced the costly election. That was legal, but was it good for the school district, or even democratic? In the end, true democracy prevailed. The fringe contingent lost in a landslide to a candidate with broad-based support who had planned to run in 2024 following the interim appointment. Was it really worth half a million dollars to have the election in 2023? What a waste of taxpayers’ money!
Dave Nemer
Dave Nemer was a member of CUSD’s Board of Education from 2013 to 2022.


City e-bike rebate is a hit
Dear editor:
Since moving to an apartment on Bonita more than 16 years ago I have taken full advantage of my location to walk to work, city and community meetings, school functions, and other places nearby. This pedestrian life has helped me get to know neighborhoods, admire our beautiful trees, and enjoy the health benefits of walking. The challenge has always been how to walk to as many destinations as possible while managing the busy schedule of a mom, business owner, and community volunteer.
Thanks to the City of Claremont e-bike rebate program, you might see this redhead on a bike! My husband and I were fortunate to take advantage of rebates on two e-bikes and we couldn’t be happier. The 25-minute walk to Trader Joe’s is now a 10-minute ride. I can ride to areas above Baseline that previously would have required over an hour of walking or more likely, a car trip. I’m saving money on gas, keeping a car off the road, and importantly in Claremont, not taking up a parking spot. My evangelizing about our new bikes has led some folks I know to nab their own rebate and join me in biking around Claremont.
Much like the years I spent hoofing it through Claremont discovering impediments and safety concerns with certain pedestrian infrastructure, I am now getting to know where to bike and where it simply isn’t safe. I’m grateful to the community members that have been advocating for safer bike and pedestrian infrastructure and to the City Council for making it a priority. I look forward to a future where active transportation is safe and appealing for all, and where choosing to go car-free doesn’t involve risking your life.
See you out on the road (remember to share it).
Rachel Forester

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