Readers’ comments: November 11, 2022
Reflections on Veterans Day
Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. It represents a time for Americans to come together to celebrate and commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of everyone who has served. The holiday began in 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day to memorialize the end of World War I and to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service.
While most people recognize veterans on this day once per year, it is important to not overlook the role that veterans play each day in America. Veterans service organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, strive to highlight the importance of veterans all year long.
This Veterans Day, we encourage you to reflect on the important contributions that veterans make both in our nation and in our individual communities. Take a moment to thank a veteran for their service or contact your local VFW post to see how you can make a positive difference in the lives of veterans and their families. Lastly, it is important to remember that veterans should be recognized not only on this special day but every day.
State commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of California
Don’t underestimate value of AYSO
Looking back, one of my most cherished memories is running on the field in my brand-new electric yellow AYSO Region 69 uniform. I can still smell the halftime oranges from the team parents, hear the silly team chants that made us laugh, and see my dad on the sideline suited up in his highlighter ref’s uniform and high black socks.
Most importantly, I can still feel the foundation I made at age 6 from every time I fell from kicking the ball to getting right back up.
Now from my rec league era, I’ve moved on to Division 3 College Soccer at Claremont Mckenna College. Yes, it’s a higher level, but my skills are second to my spirit, my AYSO spirit.
The smell of grass, the feeling of community, and the parent supporters who still come out to cheer us on … it’s all the same. I credit the parents, coaches, and family behind AYSO who made soccer fun, taught me foundational skills, and introduced me to a local passion — one that burns longer and stronger — for why I am a collegiate athlete.
However, after talking with teachers and families in Claremont, I learned they have seen the same trend I saw back home: kids entering club sports earlier. When I think of the Claremont charm, I see it as the reason people should not underestimate the value of AYSO. The power to bring communities together, create long lasting friendships, and create a strong foundation is worth any extra technical edge that you might have over someone else. Because, at least for me, it was my drive and love for the game to get me where I am today.
Protect the teens and seniors of Claremont
I recently retired as a parent educator for Claremont Adult School/CUSD after 33 years and I ask parents and friends who know “teacher Barbara” to consider this question: why build Larkin Place, which will serve chronically homeless, primarily single men, at a location next to a senior center and within one half block of El Roble Intermediate School? This 33-unit building will be across the street from a church preschool, and be surrounded by senior housing, including Claremont Manor and Pilgrim Place.
As stated by Jamboree Development representatives at community meetings, most occupants will not have a car. Therefore, clients will walk to Bonita Avenue or Indian Hill Boulevard for bus transportation or north on Mountain Avenue to access the nearest grocery store. I ask that a different population be served on this land offered to the city by Pilgrim Place.
El Roble serves 11- to 14-year-olds. Most parents want their teen to walk or ride to school. However, since El Roble is CUSD’s only intermediate school, many teens wait near the school for a ride. This is not the CHAP program, which successfully housed Claremont’s homeless. And because of state guidelines for funding, Claremont homeless will not have priority. In addition, rehabilitation support services will be optional and not required for the client to maintain residency.
Please keep up to date about the future use of this location. FYI, Larkin Park is also the location where the youngest children play soccer and is the closest green space for Larkin Place residents.
Your council member will determine the fate of this project. Please protect the teens and seniors of Claremont. The current Larkin Place development is not a good use of this location and will be under contract with the city for 55 years!
5C Student and Worker Alliance strike
A few weeks ago, my roommate and I (we are both Claremont McKenna College students) were approached while eating lunch by two members of the 5C Student and Worker Alliance. They asked for our support in the upcoming boycott of the Pomona College dining halls. Pomona’s dining staff were going on strike in response to the school’s unwillingness to meet their request for fair wages.
The workers are demanding a $8.80 raise by the end of this year, while Pomona’s counteroffer is only a $5.40 increase for the next four years (a sharp contrast). To put it simply, the workers are only asking for a livable wage. In an area with a very high cost of living, if we expect them to work on our campuses, we need to give them the means to do so. With the immense hard work and care they pour into our campuses, we must treat them with more respect and allow their voices to be heard.
Pomona College has urged the union to agree to an outside mediator. Although the union isn’t opposed, they feel this doesn’t address the issue of the schools not listening to their employees. I agree that this is not only an issue of pay, but also of raising our campuses to a higher standard in attending to the needs of our staff.
The strike occurred on October 28th and 29th from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. All of Pomona’s dining services were included in this event. We were happy to sign a letter supporting the dining hall workers and participate in the boycott. This was a very strong call for attention to the issue and needs to continue as it is essential to support the workers who make our day-to-day lives possible.
Sophomore, Claremont McKenna College
Carmel is a great, dog-friendly getaway
Southern California’s warm weather is arguably one of its greatest attractions, but if you’re starting to crave some cooler weather, I suggest a road trip up to Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Located 10 miles south of Monterey, Carmel is a beautiful place to get away for a couple of days and enjoy the cooler weather. It’s about a five-and-a-half-hour drive from Claremont (assuming Los Angeles traffic isn’t too horrendous) and there are many great places to stop along the way, such as Cambria, San Simeon, and Big Sur.
As you approach, Carmel Valley is to your right and Carmel-by-the-Sea to your left. The hotel we stay at every time is called the Cypress Inn. It was jointly owned by Doris Day and her business partner for more than 20 years. Because Day was an avid dog lover, the inn is fully pet friendly. Old posters and paraphernalia from Day’s movies line the walls, and the hotel restaurant, Terry’s Lounge, plays her movies on a television monitor all day.
Carmel has been named “number one dog friendly town” in America, so know that if you do bring your pooch, you’ll be in great company. The beach is dog friendly, too, and a mere five-minute walk west of the hotel. It’s worth driving into Carmel Valley and spending a few hours there exploring the farmers’ markets, beautiful nurseries, shops, and great dog-friendly restaurants.
As much as I love our warm SoCal weather, if you start to crave some cooler coastal air and a change of scenery, Carmel is the perfect place for a quick vacation, made even better by the fact that your dog can join the fun!
The Thanksgiving meal as a metaphor for life
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it is very fitting to talk about a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. First things first, we have our most important food item: the turkey. The turkey represents balance; it is the center of the meal, what everything else is built upon. In life, turkey represents stability. Then comes along the stuffing: the excitement. Full of so many bursting scents and flavors, the meal would not be the same without it. Then we have the plain mashed potatoes. Life wouldn’t be life without a little bit of sadness and disappointment. To maintain our energy and fuel our minds, we have to throw some crunchy, tasteless green beans in there. And … if you’re lucky enough, you’ll have the delicious cranberry sauce. We always hope for it, but it doesn’t always come. We all anticipate things in life and hope for things to go our way, but it doesn’t always end up in our favor. We don’t always get the cranberry sauce. Lastly, we have the warm, tasty gravy to top it all off.
At the end of the day, we have so many great things on our plates, and a few bad. But with the gravy on top, we savor the meal. Life throws many things our way, but we have to eat the mashed potatoes and green beans to enjoy the turkey. We have to encounter the bad to really gain a deep appreciation for the good.
Happy Thanksgiving all! Enjoy the holidays with friends and family.
Water rights group’s website is short on facts
Impressive! A full-page November 4 COURIER ad by groundswellforwater decrying a October 19 Three Valleys Municipal Water District hearing, quite a bit of it written by Reverend William Smart and dedicated to being “offended” by the Sierra Club representative.
Groundswellforwater’s website states communities of color are being victimized by being denied clean drinking water. Though no factual statistics are available on the website, scholars of social justice have shown low-income and communities of color have often been screwed by corporations and collaborating government agencies. Also, a recent State Water Board audit reported “nearly a million” people in California don’t have clean water.
The site then ingeniously fuses clean water with water “supply” and encourages you to sign a petition to “fight water regulators,” which maintains “millions” of minority Californians don’t have access to clean water. Millions is a significantly exaggerated number over the 940,000 referenced in the audit.
Groundswellforwater’s next claim is “Several projects are ready to help source and deliver new, clean water. But special interests use frivolous lawsuits and backroom deals to delay and stall projects while communities of color are left to use toxic, dangerous water sources.” One of the frivolous lawsuits appears to be the controversial Cadiz project. The use of a persecuted minority and trigger words implying conspiracy and malicious intent is good propaganda — but data supporting that relationship was absent.
If the Sierra Club representative was uncivil and discourteous, he should be ashamed. If he was pointing out a truth, he should be applauded. When you look at the list of groundswellforwater supporters there’s a high number who likely subscribe to faith-based reasoning. Religions have a long, dismal history of discounting science, and the suspicion arises they may be, once again, entrapped by skillful manipulators in dismissing science in the interests of an unsubstantiated belief.
Election deniers must be repudiated
By the time this makes it into print we will have voted in the 2022 election. No doubt many of us will be disappointed in the outcome. Locally, some of our candidates may lose, and maybe more than one ballot proposition we opposed might pass. A healthy and competitive local City Council election will likely result in graceful concessions by those who did not prevail. Not the same is likely to happen when a few of the election deniers elsewhere are defeated.
A significant number of 2020 election deniers ran for office, notably, Kari Lake, the GOP candidate for governor in our neighboring state, Arizona. She has said the only outcome she will accept is victory. She denies our current president won the election in 2020, repeating the lie as easily as she breathes. Lake is not alone in taking this position, just one of the most visible.
In Arizona, men dressed in tactical gear and masks guard ballot drop boxes, some in an effort to intimidate those they don’t believe should have the right to vote. Let’s call that type of behavior what it is: threatening violence if they don’t get their way. What would happen if the candidates favored by these men dressed in military gear in Arizona and elsewhere lose and refuse to accept defeat? The reaction by citizens elsewhere will eventually influence our local elections if deniers are not repudiated.