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Readers comments: May 6, 2022

Larkin Place will be a good neighbor
Dear editor:
I am so sorry that there has been a spread of misinformation and a fearful exaggeration of the impact on our part of town of the development of Larkin Place on Harrison Ave. I have listened to many neighbors. We all have legitimate concerns about being safe and secure, and sometimes that concern morphs into fearful outrage. But the majority of people who live or work or shop or worship in our city all know of the extreme statewide need for affordable housing and for housing unhoused folks. The majority of us know that every single part of the state needs to do our fair share. It’s compassionate, it makes things better, it’s our moral and civic duty.
I have studied the reputation of the non-profit Jamboree Housing Corporation back to when they started in 1990. I am convinced by the solid evidence that Larkin Place and its residents will be a good neighbor. Jamboree will fulfill its contractual obligations and connect their tenants up with trustworthy regional and local health and service providers. Lives will get better.
It is untrue they don’t screen, interview and background check prospective permanent tenants. It is untrue they can’t forbid and as a responsible landlord effectively manage any bad behavior that impacts other people. It is untrue that they cannot evict tenants if necessary. What they don’t do is evict tenants of their supportive housing without a corrective next step somewhere else.
I am so disappointed to hear scare tactic exaggeration, imagining three tenants overcrowded in each unit. (There will be mostly single adults with some couples, just as in similar programs.) I am saddened to hear vividly imagined fear that these needy apartment tenants, lucky to be re-housed, might be predator monsters. And it is astonishing unfounded that this one building, surrounded by other large institutions and group housing, could conceivably affect Claremont property values.
I predict that after this apartment building of 32 homes gets built a few years from now, the Claremont civic leaders who supported this development will look back with relief and satisfaction. Larkin Place will be a much-needed social service success. It will help Claremont comply with mandatory regional housing requirements. It will look good. The fear and worry about these new neighbors will evaporate as neighborly reality sets in. Claremont leaders will have done the right thing, hung in there, listening to the quieter compassionate majority. Some lives will have gotten much better.
Rev. Gene Boutilier
Claremont

Piecemeal review of Village South
Dear editor:
Next week, our architectural commission is expected to make preliminary comments on one phase of Village South, now re-branded South Village.
Instead of dribbling out “phases,” the developers should be required to show our residents, architectural commission and city council the entire multi-story, multi-structure, multi-use development proposal.
In days gone by, a model maker would construct a physical scale model of a large building or complex. It was standard operating procedure; I know because a close friend and friends of his made their living doing it.
Today, it can be done better and less-expensively with graphic software, 3-D, which can be zoomed and rotated for inspection near and far, from all angles.
It should be on our city’s website, directly accessible from the home page and well-publicized, weeks before the commission or council meeting which will consider it.
This is the only way that we and the official reviewers will know the total mass of it, the compatibility of its parts, its overall attractiveness or lack thereof, the impression it will make that will attract or repel visitors to our businesses.
Our city government should require this of all significant development proposals, especially those close to our Village, which must remain a social and economic asset.
Readers, please tell our city leadership what you think, on the city’s contact form at https://www.ci.claremont.ca.u-s/how-do-i/contact-the-city/citizen-feedback.
Bob Gerecke
Claremont

In response to the Supreme Court
Dear Justices:
It is unfathomable to me how anyone in a democracy can purport to claim jurisdiction over another person’s body. If the government is precluded from violating the sanctity of a home, what gives the court the right to allow the government to control the innerworkings of a human body or what someone does with their body? Will you next tell women they must veil their faces in public? Separate but Equal was a doctrine upheld by the court, proof that the court in not infallible. Be reasonable in separating right from might. You were given the right to serve for life to keep each of you above the fray. Please do not stoop from the heights of wisdom in support of an unjust cause.
Robert Rogers
Claremont

To Leah Moreno of Southern CA Edison and the Claremont Community Services Department
Dear editor:
We are residents of Claremont. In our back yard there is an oak tree over 100 years old. Its branches extend over our back yard and into our alley. Several times in the past years, tree trimmers sent by Southern California Edison or the City of Claremont have gone through our alley and hacked away at our tree, ostensibly to keep it from the power lines.
However, the hacking has butchered the tree and endangered its life. We are extremely distressed by the damage that has been done to our beloved tree.
Just the other day we received yet another notice from Southern California Edison saying that the tree trimmers would once again be going through our neighborhood. Apparently money is being saved by the hiring of unskilled people with no knowledge of tree care, under the guise of keeping our power lines protected. Our bad impression of the work of these tree trimmers has been confirmed by professional arborists.
This is a shameful state of affairs in the city that calls itself the “City of Trees.” We demand and expect better of our city and our power company.
Ardon Alger and Nancy Mintie
Claremont