Readers’ comments: September 8, 2023
Mountain Avenue: must we choose between students and seniors?
Surprisingly, in her September 1 letter, [“Not all bicyclists agree on Mountain Avenue redesign”] Denise Spooner writes that she and some other members of the Claremont Senior Bike Group oppose the proposed class IV bike lane. This change would separate cyclists from automobiles with a physical barrier on Mountain Avenue. She argues that senior cyclists will lose the center turn lane and will be forced to stand in traffic to turn left.
She admits that Mountain is “sketchy,” but only “during drop off and pick up times at the schools.” Unfortunately, this is when we most need safe streets. Not all students are ferried to school by automobile. My son rode his bike to El Roble during his schooling there, and the most danger arose as he neared the school. The separated bike lanes will increase safety for pedestrian and bicycling children on the way to school.
Must we choose, then, between the safety of children and seniors? Not at all. No cyclist need stand in the flow of traffic to turn left off of Mountain. Instead, they can turn right onto any one of the quiet residential east-west streets. From there they can make a leisurely U-turn, wait safely at the stop sign, and cross Mountain when traffic clears. That is how I taught my son to do it.
Climate change: not just for kids
Thanks to Mick Rhodes for highlighting climate change in his September 1 editorial, “You’re Up Kids. We’re Sorry.” Spreading the word about this existential crisis of our time is part of the solution. As Mr. Rhodes notes, many people do not take it as seriously as they should, and many see it as a partisan issue.
The editorial says that young people are the answer to global warming, and that their elders have failed. Indeed, previous generations (including my own) have caused much destruction and devastating change in the natural order. We are riding on a path toward the tipping point of no return.
Rhodes states that “kids” are going to have to stand up to the fossil fuel lobby and that virtually nobody else has the stomach for it. That’s just too easy. Oops, we blew it! Your turn!
Surely the editor is aware that there are many groups, not only youth led, working very hard to reverse the course. Right here in Claremont we have Sustainable Claremont, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Third Act, and others. Indeed, Third Act is an age 60+ group. Young folks have an important role since their future depends upon it, but we elders must not further fail them. Handing this off and saying, “you’re up” lets us off the hook. The climate movement needs all of us. Elders often have money, power, time, and the wisdom of experience to share. Youngers have energy, enthusiasm, knowledge, fresh eyes, new leadership, and will. Together we can make a difference, we just have to act. Now.
Margaret Baker Davis
Vote Riddle for California Assembly
I applaud the endorsements of Phlunté Riddle for California Assembly by Claremont City Council member Jennifer Stark, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, SEIU CA/USWW President David Huerta and State Assemblymember Chris Holden.
Several factors make it easy to support Riddle and oppose council member Jed Leano’s candidacy.
As former district director for Holden, Riddle is poised to hit the ground running on behalf of Claremont and our foothill neighbors. A seasoned executive who humbly listens and learns, she’s neither a political purist nor an ideologue. Building coalitions and collaborating for constituents are strengths surely tested and fortified in her time as district director. While an active labor unionist, she believes in the power of small business for economic growth. She holds several advanced degrees, yet staunchly champions skilled trades and career training opportunities in public schools. A veteran of law enforcement, she recognizes effective public safety also requires a solid understanding of the complexities of mental health, employment, housing and the economy.
The first African American woman sergeant, lieutenant and sworn adjutant to the Pasadena Police Department’s chief of police, Riddle is now a commissioner with the California Division of Juvenile Justice, helping youth take responsibility for the victim impact of their offenses and access education, job training and mental health treatment to reduce the risks of re-offending.
Another reason for my support lies closer to home. Last November, Claremont reelected Leano to city council. Within weeks, hundreds of volunteers, canvassers, donors, and voters who trusted Jed’s stated commitment to council saw their faith sidelined upon learning that he was actually eyeing a midterm departure and running for Assembly.
Please join me in supporting Phlunté Riddle, the right candidate at the right time. Her experience in moving hearts, minds and policy will make her a formidable voice for Claremont.
Learn about her priorities at phlunteriddleforassembly.com.