Readers comments: February 17, 2023

Turkish quake is reminder of CPD building’s vulnerability
Dear editor:
Safety is one of the primary concerns listed by concerned residents of Claremont. Who keeps us safe? Our police department personnel. Who keeps the PD safe? No one.
The Claremont Police Department building on Bonita Avenue is not safe. Four engineering firms have determined it is structurally unsound and in dire need of retrofitting.
Earthquakes! With more recent disasters in the news in California and the world, there appears to be a few things worth remembering by residents, City Council, and staff:

  1. Claremont is located at or near the San Andreas and Anatolian faults. The PD facility is in danger.
  2. Earthquakes are usually followed by temblors that continue damage and destruction. Claremont should consider this as possible and probable for the structurally faulty PD facility.
  3. Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do. Police working in the facility are always in danger during and after an earthquake.
  4. The PD building is staffed and operational 365 days-a-year, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. There is no safe, unoccupied time for our PD.

The facility has been in dire need for retrofitting for many years. Two bonds to fund a new facility have failed. But residents approved a $58 million school bond. Residents are paying back this bond with interest at the cost of approximately $100 million.
Council and the city should note that the City of Los Angeles has completed retrofitting 8,000 buildings, with many more to be completed. Why can’t Claremont do even one building?
It’s amazing to me that no one considers what happens when/if a quake demolishes Claremont’s fragile police facility and the people inside are injured or killed. Suits against the city could bankrupt Claremont.
What a sad commentary to begin 2023.
Joyce Sauter


Kudos on ‘Fulbright scholar’ piece
Dear editor:
Lisa Butterworth’s article [“Fulbright scholar and Pitzer grad, 23, works to eradicate measles,” Feb. 10] is one of the finest pieces of writing and journalism I’ve ever seen. And I’m aching to know who she is!
Julie Steinbach
Editor’s note: Lisa Butterworth is a seasoned journalist who for the past several years worked as a magazine writer and editor in New York City. She and her family recently moved to Claremont, and we are very lucky to have her.


Bike/pedestrian safety piece was deceptive
Dear editor:
It always annoys me when I find in the Courier a one-sided position piece masquerading as a news article. The latest example of this arrived in the February 10 issue, “Is it safe to walk or ride a bike in Claremont?” To call the headline itself overwrought would be quite appropriate.
Not only does this report by Steven Felschundneff contain dubious statistics, but it is also deceptive. Early on the author cites a bicycle fatality in Claremont, but only deeper in the article does he admit that this was an intentional homicide. One can also state with a high level of confidence that everyone who truly wants to be out riding a bicycle is already doing precisely that. Truth is, the vast majority of people do not want to move about via bicycle.
For the record, I have been walking and bicycling in Claremont since the 1960s and never have I felt unsafe. Perhaps one’s attitude and approach are more important safety factors than the configuration of the street.
As drivers, we are taught to remain alert and “drive defensively,” which is absolutely correct. But there is far too little emphasis placed on educating bicyclists to remain alert and “bicycle defensively,” and on pedestrians to remain alert and “walk defensively.”  No one has carte blanche to be on a roadway oblivious to what is going on around them. All users of our roadways have a responsibility to avoid danger. All must remain alert.Motorists must remain clear of bicyclists and pedestrians. And equally, bicyclists and pedestrians must remain clear of motor vehicles. Only with the full cooperation of all road users can we maintain traffic safety. All are responsible for the safety of our roadways.
Douglas Lyon


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