Readers’ comments: June 30, 2023

Book bans and the supremes
Dear editor:
I’m writing in response to two letters in the June 23 issue, Gina Ortiz’s “Talk of book ban …” and John Pan’s “Keep the Supreme Court at nine.” Ortiz makes some very good points about the authoritarian delight in banning books, typically those books that don’t square with their experience or worldview. Don’t these people know that in the digital age one can find just about anything online and/or buy used copies of most books from many sellers? What book banners end up doing is creating controversy that often lifts the sales of the books quite dramatically. Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust book, “Maus,” is just one recent example. There’s a very funny song in the long-running off-Broadway musical, “The Fantasticks,” that is as true today as it was in 1960 when it first opened: “Never Say No.”
And as for Mr. Pan’s desire to keep the Supreme Court at nine: recent bombshells about the rather arrogant attitudes and conflicts of interest of some justices (recent Thomas and Alito revelations, but who knows how many similar things have gone on in the shadows with other justices past and present?) should warn us that the Supreme Court must be as ethically pure as the driven snow in order to maintain any credibility at all. While right wingers most likely want to keep the conservative balance in the court and will turn a blind eye to bad behavior on the part of their favorite justices, would they not be outraged if the recent revelations involved justices in a majority-liberal court? Term limits of some type and a very strictly maintained code of ethics are good places to start. The number of justices is less important, in my opinion, than having a court whose justices are all beyond reproach.
Don Linde
La Verne


Trump was right: the news media leans left
Dear editor:
I believe I have been a subscriber to the Courier for at least three decades and have always enjoyed reading about local news, events, and especially “Reader’s comments.” I also appreciate the advertisements which let me know about the various goods and services in our community.  I intend to keep receiving the Courier as long as I live in Claremont. I have always supported local enterprises.
I do however take issue with the third paragraph of Peter Weinberger’s “My Side of the Line” in the June 23 Courier. I know we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum in that you are a liberal Democrat and I am a conservative Republican. As a conservative Republican I believe most news outlets are heavily biased against the Republican Party and totally in bed with the Democrat party. Your statement regarding “false attacks from the radical right eroding trust in their reporting and increasing prevalence of misinformation and propaganda” has oftentimes been proven wrong. The failure of the liberal news media to investigate the Biden scandals at the same level of intensity with which they pursue and attack Trump is not only telling of their extreme political bias, but also alienates approximately half of the country.
Trump was often right when he referred to CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, LA Times, Washington Post, etc. as “fake news.” They elevated many now debunked claims about Trump. I believe we do have a two-tiered system of justice in this country, one for Democrats and one for Republicans. You once referred to the New York Times as the “gold standard” for journalism. I think you and the other members of the media need to re-evaluate that claim. I would like to see a “Walter Cronkite” back at the helm of the news media. Walter could be trusted.
Kris M. Meyer



Vote Aaron Peterson for CUSD Board of Education
Dear editor:
My name is Hilary Guy, and I am a special education teacher. I have been working in education for over 15 years. As an educator and parent of two young children I truly believe it is so important for parents to be involved with their students’ education. We need to take back the control and have a say in and understanding of what our children are learning at school.
I believe Aaron Peterson will fight for our voices to be heard and give us the peace of mind we need as parents and educators to know that our schools have all of our kids’ best interests at heart.
Being in education, I have seen the mental health issues in schools, and it’s becoming more and more of a problem. Children need much more support with their emotions and mental health than what is being provided for them to be successful at school. The CDC reports that “In 2021, more than 4 in 10 (42%) students felt persistently sad or hopeless and nearly one-third (29%) experienced poor mental health.” Those numbers are too high, and I believe Aaron Peterson has a practical approach to this issue.
Aaron Peterson has my vote to make these positive changes for our school and community.
Hilary Guy



Vote McDonald for CUSD Board of Education
Dear editor:
After almost 40 years of supporting public education in Claremont, from rebuilding Claremont Educational Foundation, to serving at all levels of the Parent Faculty Association, to promoting Claremont After-School Programs and other programs for children and youth, I thought my campaigning days were past. But after an opportunity to meet and get to know Alex McDonald, I am honored to be an honorary chair of his campaign for the Trustee Area 4 seat on Claremont Unified School District’s Board of Education.
Alex brings energy, passion, and leadership experience to all of our schools, not just the ones his three children attend. He understands the need for quality education for all students, from the gifted, to the challenged, to the ones who are behind even more after Covid. As a family physician, he is committed to physical and mental wellness for students, families, teachers, and staff. He knows serving on the school board will have a learning curve and is open to ideas from teachers, students, parents, and community members. He also understands the need to collaborate with community organizations that can support and augment the education of our students.
Since CUSD was forced to run this special election, I urge your vote for Alex McDonald, who will be an engaging, thoughtful, responsive, and fiscally responsible school board member.
Teddie Warner


Vote McDonald for CUSD Board of Education
Dear editor:
As a lifelong Claremont resident and student, I give my utmost support to Dr. Alex McDonald to represent Trustee Area 4 on the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education. I met Alex early into his campaign. He was seeking a student representative to communicate what mattered to students. His conscious effort to connect with the student population made me feel like my perspective was valued and respected, a refreshing feeling that established he truly does have my own and my peers’ best interests at heart.
Through volunteering with groups like Interact, I have become familiar with the diverse range of needs within our community, many of which are often overlooked. That is why Alex’s commitment to providing individual support is so important, as it assures no student is left behind. His emphasis on preventive over restorative action makes me optimistic about a bright future where every student can start off on the right foot.
Alex’s background in the medical field will provide pertinent knowledge and experience. At CHS, I was very involved with the Sexual Education Reform and Awareness Club, which advocated for a quality health and wellness curriculum. I trust that Alex can help execute this vision and use his expertise for making informed decisions on how we can provide better health education.
I am confident in Alex’s vision. His invaluable insight and passion for elevating the community are the key to a more equitable and dynamic school district.
Melina Tisopulos


Peterson’s response to criticism was disingenuous
Dear editor:
I’m writing in response to Aaron Peterson’s response [“Peterson responds to criticism,” Readers’ comments, June 23] to my friend Kelsey and another resident’s letters [Readers’ comments, June 16] calling him out for transphobic/homophobic tweets. Mr. Peterson’s claims about no one reaching out to him are virtue signaling, at best. He has a history of not responding to attempts by perceived “non-supporters” to communicate with him and has even made it more difficult to assess his real-time campaign policies by making his campaign statements on Twitter, where he has historically shared his transphobic and homophobic views, private.
In addition, the majority of the questions asked during the Active Claremont forum were ones I had written (shared with the group unbeknownst to me by a third party) during last year’s election, with the intention of using them as prospective conversation prompts to suss out the candidates’ exact views on difficult and controversial topics in education.
Based on his answers to those questions, as well as the ones asked during a recent League of Women Voters forum, his many tweets prior to making his account private, and statements he made throughout the last election, I firmly believe his tweets are intentional and that he very well understood that the question he “posed” about the inclusivity of the Pride flag versus the American flag during Pride month would lead people to believe he doesn’t support the inclusion of transgender individuals in Claremont, including our transgender K-12 students.
Deborah Kekone

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