Readers’ comments: October 14, 2022

NAACP to LA City Councilmembers: resign immediately
Dear editor:
Trust is broken. Racism is unacceptable as we discuss human beings and social justice. Resign immediately, the entire group of four!
Jeanette Ellis Royston
President, NAACP, Pomona branch


Trumpism erodes freedoms, expands government
Dear editor:
In a recent letter to the editor of the COURIER, Kris Meyer wrote, “For our representative republic to survive we need to protect our individual freedoms and not allow our government to take them away,” and, “The free expression of ideas coupled with limited government control is the bedrock that has made this country great. I want this country to return to those parameters”

Well, Kris, your support of Trumpism, MAGA, and certain factors in the Republican Party is doing the opposite of protecting our individual freedoms and is overwhelmingly expanding government control over individuals.

What about your lawmakers interfering with women’s health care and doctors’ rights to provide appropriate and private health care services? What about the massive moves by your MAGA friends to ban books of every stripe, color and subject from school and public libraries and forbidding them from being read? Why are the Republican and Trumpists so eager to change the laws and regulations that help preserve voting rights in states and major urban areas? Why are groups like yours trying to limit the vocabularies of teachers so that certain words or thoughts are never used in describing current society and social history?

Teachers are leaving their jobs in droves because of interference from school boards, local government, and the conservative public. And if interference by local or state election officials, because they do not like the final results of an election, is not a major violation of your claim for protection of individual freedoms, then we are destined to lose everything we hold dear in a democratic republic.
Karen M. Rosenthal
Karen M. Rosenthal was a Claremont City Councilmember from 1997 to 2003, and served as mayor in 1999-2001.


Reader takes on MAGA Rep, TVMWD race, Larkin Place
Dear editor:
Letters in last Friday’s COURIER (Readers’ comments, September 30, 2022) were a rich source of ideas that need criticism.

Kris Meyers lays out a long list of complaints about the Biden Administration derived from watching Fox News. It is impossible to reply to such a list; the best that can be done is just to note that every item on his list is mistaken. He needs to select something and present it for public discussion.

The race for Claremont’s seat on the Three Valleys Municipal Water District pits attempts to solve our water shortage with new water sources against serious conservation policies.  The incumbent, Brian Bowcock, cannot bring himself to repudiate the water district’s longtime support of the Cadiz project for draining an aquifer, so that unhappy project remains part of his solution. He makes a bow in the direction of conservation, but his proposals are small potatoes compared to what is needed, and he does not say anything about educating us on changing our water usage practices.

Lastly, the cry of “local control” surfaces again in the letters. The principle behind the state forcing this city to be serious about affordable housing is the same principle the federal government used to force recalcitrant states to live up to the standards of voting rights (the Voting Rights Act). Moreover, it is implied that only someone who rejects state intervention in Claremont’s lack of major action on affordable housing has Claremont’s interests at heart. That is not true: those who accept the state’s temporary override of local control do so because they care deeply that Claremont is not living up to its moral and political obligations. It should be a great pain to all Claremont residents that our liberal city is not one of the leaders in the state for building affordable housing.
Merrill Ring


Pomona ratepayers want TVMWD transparency
Dear editor:
It’s time to put the Cadiz water study project on the agenda at Three Valleys Municipal Water District and elect candidates who can keep campaign promises and not falter once elected.

After reading the candidates’ statements in the COURIER on September 30, it appears all three could hit the ground running. All are well informed about the Sites Reservoir and Bay Delta Conveyance, which would cost billions to construct. Both projects are being questioned by many environmentalists.

But when it comes to the Cadiz project — and accusations that Anthony Brown of Aquilogic’s Bonanza Springs study has not been produced — along with the facts that Cadiz does not have a permit and the TVMWD Board took a unanimous vote to terminate its involvement, transparency issues begin.

As stated by the water attorney at TVMWD who lost his cool at the most recent meeting, the exit clause for Cadiz had become more complex, and the issue was to be discussed behind closed doors in closed session.

It’s imperative the Cadiz and the Bonanza Springs issues don’t get stuck in the mud by kicking the can down the road another 10 years. Furthermore, any new candidate elect must ensure that water flowing underground from San Antonio Dam has beneficial use and access to the four wells constructed by TVMWD, and that includes Pomona ratepayers, who are not at the table.

In addition, the annual appointment process for TVMWD board members to serve on committees needs reform. The two TVMWD men appointed to serve on the Metropolitan Water District Board and Chino Basin Watermaster have been the same two men the past 12 years, denying other board members the opportunity to develop leadership skills.

Pomona ratepayers want transparency, rebates, lower costs, and water wise officials who can make the right choices with issues of climate change and drought.
John Mendoza


NIMBYs out in force in city election
Dear editor:
The NIMBYs are out in force for this election. Hate and fear seem to rule the thinking of a certain group in our community. Every time I see one of those “Save Claremont” signs my stomach churns.

When we first moved to this area in the 1950s the signs were all about saving our cities from Black people who might move in and ruin our neighborhoods. Now we fear homeless people.

Thank goodness Jed Leano and Jennifer Stark have not allowed themselves to be caught up in the lies and fear mongering. They have continued to use their seats on the Claremont City Council to make rational, thoughtful, and compassionate decisions.

Hate pieces like those being used by his opposition to the contrary, we need to keep Jed Leano on the council, and I hope all the voters in District 4 will help him stay there.
Dawn Sharp


Water district hopeful sets himself apart
Dear editor:
My campaign is the only one that provides detail on solutions, accurate costs, and consistent answers as demonstrated in Claremont Speaks, Claremont Courier, and the League of Women Voters’ forum.

Our water crisis results from an increasing population, aging infrastructure, and climate change. Our policies must address all three and not politics. Three Valleys MWD and water boards across California cause consumers to pay more while receiving less. In this race, the other candidates’ proposals also do not go far enough and produce similar results. I provide a wide portfolio of solutions, to be employed simultaneously not only to correct our crisis but to transform it into opportunity.

My campaign differentiates from the others by addressing issues other candidates avoid because of politics. I also connect the California economy and bring them down to conversations that many Californians are having at their kitchen tables. Current policies hurt people with fixed incomes: seniors on pensions, students, families with a member taking time off from work to raise a child or tend to an ill loved one, or a family going through hard times. Avoiding solutions to appease special interests is not a solution, leadership, or right for voters and consumers. I take problems on.

As a director, I would help reverse our water crisis with a wide portfolio. Pure Water Southern California is one component. I visited the Carson pilot installation to understand and provide my support. It will provide water for 1.5 million people in our county and self-reliance. The project is in the initial environmental phase; hence it is critical to get involved. This is a reliable source of water. I will need your support and vote to make Pure Water Southern California a reality, as well as other implementations, like infrastructure upgrades and resource recovery.
Javier Aguilar
Javier Aguilar is a candidate for the Division III seat on Three Valleys Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors.


Incumbent is distorting Cadiz Water Project
Dear editor:
One reason I decided to run for the Three Valleys Municipal Water District Board is because I believe our incumbent violated the public trust. While I believe Mr. Bowcock when he says he wants to “work for the good of his community,” I am perplexed by his continued support of the Cadiz water mining project in the desert. The Cadiz company has been trying to get this project permitted for the last 25 years, despite losing Metropolitan Water District’s support and major public outcry. Yet Mr. Bowcock, as our representative on the Three Valleys Board, continues to promote the project.

Two 2018 scientific studies in Hydrology and Environmental Forensics demonstrated the significant environmental harms of the project. Despite objections to the project from constituents that he referred to as activists (Sustainable Claremont, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, and several area tribes), Mr. Bowcock voted to authorize a new study. This new study would be funded by Cadiz and Three Valleys would be the fiscal agent. Three Valleys hired Aquilogic, whose lead scientist had already made his support for Cadiz known in a 2015 Press-Enterprise article, “Time to get Cadiz project flowing.” One can reasonably infer from this crucial detail that TVMWD hired Aquilogic to produce the result it wanted. Mr. Bowcock’s decision was not prudent, ethical, nor was it working for the good of the community.

Mr. Bowcock asserted in the September 30 issue of the COURIER, “We’re dropping out” of the study. “And the reason we’re dropping out is [Aquilogic] have not produced the report that they said they would.” I would have preferred to hear that Three Valleys is dropping out because it realized its grievous error in judgment. That would have been a step in the right direction.
Jeff Hanlon
Jeff Hanlon is a candidate for the Division III seat on Three Valleys Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors.


Vote Leano for Claremont City Council
Dear editor:
The approaching election includes important choices about who will steward our community. I strongly endorse our current mayor, Jed Leano, for re-election. Jed is a capable and thoughtful leader with a proven track record that includes a city that is more financially secure, that has increased its investment in affordable housing, and that has begun to address serious concerns about pedestrian and bicycle safety. A true breakthrough for Claremont, following a complete streets safety assessment, our budget now includes a capital improvement project to improve safety for the Mountain Avenue corridor.

A looming issue for Claremont is the loss of local control for housing. The actions of our legislature to limit control were born out of years of inaction. Past, well-meaning councils simply didn’t meet the challenge, leaving Claremont woefully behind in affordable housing. The state now limits discretionary approvals for cities that haven’t met their affordable housing targets.

There is a path to gaining influence over the process. Claremont leaders can work with regional and state partners to create projects that best fit our community. Jed has already shown the way with the Baseline affordable housing project — a collaboration among the city (unanimously supported by our council), Tri-City Mental Health, LA County, SGV Regional Housing Trust, and the state. We need to continue to take bold, effective action. Simply building more ADUs won’t do it.

As Jed points out, affordable housing impacts all areas of life — economic growth, homelessness, and even the promise we make to our kids that this will be a place for them, in turn, to raise their kids. And when we address affordability, we also move toward recovering control over our future. I believe that Jed’s skills, knowledge, vision, and leadership will get us there. I invite you to support Jed for re-election.
Richard Chute


Former mayor endorses Leano
Dear editor:
I am very disappointed in former mayor and council colleague Sam Pedroza’s continued retreat from the community-centric principles of governance we once shared. By embracing the all too common anger at state housing laws, Mr. Pedroza fails to acknowledge the underlying reason for these laws — that previous councils had full local control of housing decisions and repeatedly failed, thrusting our community and state into a housing crisis of epic proportions.

However, most disturbing was Mr. Pedroza’s need to assail the character and integrity of Mayor Jed Leano in order to advance a candidate who espouses a quasi no-growth policy, recently adopted as a strategy to stop Larkin Place and all future unmet housing needs of our community.  No-growth platforms are based on fear-mongering, offer no real solutions, and are illegal.

Having worked with Mayor Leano from before his election four years ago to today, there is no more unfair attack on his character and integrity than to assert he is in service to himself and higher political aspirations. Mayor Leano has voted based on his values on every issue before the council, refusing to take the easy road of capitulating to political pressure to abandon his obligation to implement the core values and guiding principles on which our community was founded and aspires to become.

We are fortunate to have a councilperson who operates in political reality and takes full advantage of the respect he has earned in public service to influence regional and state legislatures to address our immense housing crisis. By bringing together stakeholders from all levels of government, Mayor Leano has been a shining example of local leadership to meet our housing needs, and perhaps avoid the certain litigation and fines associated with any attempts to implement the no-growth policy of his challenger.
Joe Lyons
Joe Lyons is a former Claremont City Councilmember and mayor (2014).


Vote Johnson for city council
Dear editor:
I had the pleasure of listening to Aundré Johnson, who is running for the District 4 seat on Claremont City Council, at a recent public forum at the Alexander Hughes Community Center.

As a senior citizen, I appreciate Aundré’s viewpoints. He is someone who is sincerely concerned for the safety and integrity of Claremont. In addition, compared to some of the current councilmembers, he clearly is someone who listens to residents. I find it to be a breath of fresh air that he is not politically driven when compared to his opponent, who comes across as a professional politician.

I believe Aundré will do a good job of representing the diverse perspectives of Claremont residents and find bridges and compromises when necessary. What separates him from his opponent is that Aundré wants to find a balance between local control and state requirements.

We need leaders who will help preserve the small town quality of life that many people admire about Claremont. That’s why I’m voting for Aundré Johnson on November 8th.
Paul Gendron

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