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Reader’s comments: March 25, 2022

A thank you letter to the editor
Dear editor:
Thank you so much for putting Dmitry Volkov’s family story in the COURIER. We both were shocked to be featured on the cover! That was a wonderful surprise, and I sent pictures to Dmitry and his family. He said that he was “so surprised” that people so far away from the Ukraine would care to read his story, and he was “extremely grateful” to everyone who contributed. So far, people have contributed $1,200 to their family! This is a great start!
It is wonderful because his family is now able to help themselves more, and they have also started sending food to other families in different cities. So many Ukrainians are hungry because there are food and water shortages practically everywhere there. The postal service can’t be used to send goods, but they have one driver deliver goods to point A, then another driver gets items to point B, and so on until the food reaches its destination.
Yesterday, Dmitry stood in a long line to buy canned meat. He was able to send about 30 cans off to Melitopol. So the funding of their family is really helping a lot of other people besides his immediate family.
If anyone would like to help this family you can reach me directly at crossenglish@yahoo.com, or by entering the phrase “Please help this Ukrainian Family” on gofundme.com. Donations of any amount are gladly accepted. Even $5-10 would help!
I’m sending a huge “thank you” to the entire Claremont COURIER staff and editors for caring about this situation. And “Mil Gracias” to Andrew Alonzo for writing this story. Your kindness has had a positive impact on this Ukrainian family.
Most of all, thank you all so much for making a difference in their lives at this most difficult time! It has really warmed my heart!
Cynthia Cross
Claremont

With gratitude
Dear editor:
Thank you for giving my concerns and hopes added volume on the pages of the COURIER. As many supporters of the COURIER have acknowledged, the service that local newspapers provide is much more than the words and advertisements, obituaries and celebrations, it is a tangible means to display and chronicle a community’s real time connections, and over the course of a year, records the depth and breadth of those connections.
I can only imagine the amplitude of the emotional oscillations you must experience in the course of a week, to fulfill the commitment to keep the COURIER up and running for its readers and businesses, but more importantly for those who do not, but nonetheless benefit from a chance encounter with a copy left on a table, or are inclined to purchase a copy from a newsstand.
Joe Lyons
Claremont

Remembering Tim Constantine
Dear editor:
My colleagues and I at Charter Oak High School would like to thank you for your beautiful tribute to our friend and colleague, Tim Constantine. Tim was a treasured member of our Charger family and my mentor when I was hired in 1998. As a teacher with only a year under my belt, I was most appreciative of the strategies and materials that Tim gave me. My fondest memories of Tim are his hearty laugh and seeing him biking down Covina Boulevard behind our cross country runners, even after he retired from coaching. Tim was a man with integrity, faith and compassion, especially for his students. It was an honor to work with him both in the classroom and on the track for many years. After his retirement, I would often run into him in the produce department of Stater Bros. where he would share news about the growing garden project he started and how much he loved being retired. There are many of us at Charter Oak who have fond memories of working with Tim and we certainly appreciate that you honored his life.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Kathy Archer
Charter Oak High School, Covina

An open letter to the city council
Dear editor:
When city council districts were first proposed, I advocated strip districts extending from our north boundary to our south boundary, so that each district would include many sections of our city, and most major identifiable sections would elect more than one council member. This seemed the best way to retain the advantages of at-large elections.
Other residents from several sections of our city advocated compact districts, one for each section. The strongest call for this came from the southern section. Their proposal was more in accord with state law, which prioritizes communities of interest and compact districts over other considerations.
We ended up with a compromise, a hybrid map, with one compact district fully in accord with state law plus four strip districts that are not. This was unfortunate.
By excluding the southern section, the strip districts failed to accomplish the advantage of having all council members with constituents in all major sections of our city. There is now effectively a club of four council members with similar strip districts, and a fifth council member who is not a member of that club.
In addition, your reputation took a hit when residents noticed that the districts had been drawn to give each incumbent a district, so you would not have to run against one another, despite state law’s specific instruction that this should not be considered.
The only way that this will not work out badly for the excluded district and for you is if all of you dedicate yourselves to the wellbeing of all our residents in every section of our city. Each of you has said that this is your intent, and I hope that you will hold to it. You have personal friends and allies throughout our city. We are in many ways a closer community than many other cities are. That may be our salvation; its effect is in your hands.
Bob Gerecke
Claremont

Bye-bye Candlelight
Dear editor:
As reported in the March 18 COURIER, “the Candlelight Pavilion has plenty of audience, but not enough parking.” And why, we might ask, doesn’t the Pavilion have enough parking? Well, because of the perpetual shortsightedness of Claremont’s city council members, all of them.
In the case of the Candlelight Pavilion, all five city council members, circa 2005, approved a specific plan development document for the Old School House area which would massively over-develop the area north of the Pavilion, wiping out all of the parking there. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, circa 2018, more city council members approved revisions to that specific plan which would add even more and denser development west of the Pavilion.
Another example of council shortsightedness is its recent approval of the Village South specific plan which will result in massive over-development of that last and highly prized piece of Claremont’s downtown real estate, with over 1,100 more residential units. Yes. Over 1,100 in that small area!
And how about one last example of shortsightedness (though there are plenty more). Circa 20 years ago, Claremont’s city council decided to sell the property where the city yard used to be; just south of the current police station. Imagine how useful it would be if the city still owned that piece of property today. Our police department would have all the room they need for expansion. But, alas, our city council members thought they had better ideas.
As Mick Bollinger was quoted, “this was a huge group, tens of thousands of people . . . that aren’t coming to Claremont anymore. And that is a real tragedy for the city of Claremont.” Yes, it is a real tragedy. Unfortunately, Mr. Bollinger, it is a self-inflicted tragedy.
Over the years, our city council’s lack of foresight has been perpetually on display.
Sincerely,
Douglas Lyon
Claremont