Readers comments: July 1, 2022
Fireworks displays have become a highly honored tradition of celebrating the Fourth of July. There is another perspective, however, as anyone who works/volunteers in animal shelters and/or wildlife refuge, rehabilitation organizations can attest. Fireworks simulate an artillery barrage and many dog owners particularly know the panic that such demonstrations instill in dogs whose hearing is much more acute than our own. I personally know stories of several dogs who in trying to escape the onslaught mistakenly left their yards and got lost or worse, hit by cars. Wildlife rehab workers also know the predictable consequence of these fireworks displays on resident bird populations. It is not at all uncommon for birds to be injured trying to fly away from the threat in the dark while we admire the bright colors and loud explosions that have come to represent our release from tyrannical King George III. Maybe this pause in our traditional attachment to fireworks displays to symbolize our national holiday can provide us with a rethinking of how best to commemorate this historic date without causing undue harm to pets and wildlife.
We are proud Claremont residents.
Kathy Brindell, Will Decker & Clegg Decker
Recent electric outages
A home utility provider (internet, gas, water, trash, electricity, etc.) does their service for a fee. It is a simple transaction where the service is in the “background” i.e., it is expected to be provided without any inconvenience caused by the consumer. It is delivered without issue and in return consumers pay the required fee, without the ability to negotiate. I haven’t complained about any of the previously mentioned utility providers regarding their service lacking, and when I did call when my internet went out, Spectrum arrived within hours and resolved the issue in a couple of hours. But when I contacted Southern California Edison, it was not the same experience. My service is usually out half a day, I get no apology, but I do get excuses.
This comes down to management and not being held accountable. A good management team would make sure their customers feel valued as they are the lifeblood of their business. SCE has a 2.5-star rating on consumeraffairs.com (out of 552 reviews), 1.4 stars on Google Reviews (out of 54 reviews), and a 1-star rating on Yelp (out of 591 reviews). This is a pretty good sample size of what their customers think of them. They are allowed to get away with this because they are a monopoly. I understand they are required to report to the California Public Utilities Commission but is it realistic to think the CPUC can select another electricity provider? SCE has been providing electricity to Southern California for over 130 years. The capital expenditures that would go into choosing another electricity provider make it prohibitive. SCE is like the cruise or airline industry in that the cost of capital to enter that business is almost impossible, hence they are insulated. If the CPUC fines SCE for any reason, guess who will end up paying for it…. the consumer!
There have been four outages in the past three to four months on my street, not counting the incident in January where power was out for three days. I am no electrician but it appears there is a problem with that specific grid. God forbid, there is another incident like the Pacific, Gas, and Electric debacle in Northern California. If something defective or not properly addressed causes a huge amount of property damage or even death, SCE would be in a huge amount of trouble. Of course, they will still exist because … they are SCE and basically untouchable. They can do what they have continued to do and “kick the can down the road” but it isn’t solving the issue.
Response to Mick Rhodes: Rhino moves on, so does Claremont
Let me assure you Claremont leadership is dedicated to maintaining an art-friendly, creatively vibrant community.
Claremont has a public art ordinance and a Public Art Master Plan (Momentum, 2014) which was composed primarily to “Build on Claremont’s extraordinary artistic legacy”.
To that end, city council appointed working artists and art business professionals to the Claremont Public Art Committee. The group of seven includes a liaison to the architectural commission and the public art coordinator (an employee of the city manager’s office).
Since 2015, PAC has provided opportunities to connect with art, made by either renowned, up-and-coming and/or non-traditional artists, through three Hughes Center exhibitions, three city hall exhibitions, the purchase of the sculpture at city hall, and by commissioning a sculptural bench at Griffith Park and a mural at Wheeler Park.
PAC is awaiting installation of a sculpture at the library and the culmination of the utility box painting project which began in 2017.
Presently the committee is working on an exhibit at the Hughes Center for Nov. 2022, a mural at El Barrio Park, and another art-in-the-park project.
Too, the city has a longstanding requirement for inclusion of public art in new municipal or private developments (so look for public art at the Old School House development, Colby Circle townhomes, and Village South). Should the developer be unable to provide the required art, they must participate in the “percent-for-art” program and deposit an established amount to the city’s public art fund so that PAC can execute a venture.
As an aside, we are awaiting installation of a sculpture purchased two years ago for placement in front of the library. That land is owned by the county, which determines the installation timeline. Anyone who can help that project progress, please contact the proper office and request that project rise to top priority.
Note: these comments reflect my personal research and opinions and not that of the Claremont Public Art Committee.
Claremont Public Art Committee Member