Readers comments 11-24-17
The voices of children in Claremont
Pilgrim Place sponsored its annual Festival on Veteran’s Day weekend. Below are some of the wishes expressed by children of all ages when asked, “If you could make one wish for the earth, what would it be?”:
...the air would be dark blue. Jose, 5
...that God would help the earth. Juan, 7
...for everyone to have a good time everywhere. Rene, 5
...for the world to treat animals like people. Jerome, 10
...people would stop bullying people. George, 10
...that Donald Trump believed in global warming. Sherman, 10
...for ice cream. Julie, 6
...for $5,000,000,000,000 to help people who are poor. Alan, 6
...for cats and dogs to be friends. Finn, 8
...the world was a kind and peaceful place. Natalia, 11
...every day was earth day. Milo, 12
...no more animals to go extinct. Keilah, 10
...the ocean was cleaner. Daniel, 10
...for more trees on earth. Audrie, 9
...for no fires. Emalde, 4
...for no trash. Alfredo, 6
...for more cheetahs. Grant, 6
...I could live in a tree. Brian, 4
...I could go to Mars. Levi, 5
...for butterflies. Samantha, 7
...for my papa to feel better. Cody, 4
...for owls to be happy. Mia, 5
...for trees to grow. Moira, 6
...for people to be kinder. Sage, 10
...the earth would not have global warming. Lina, 7
...that all animals would be safe. Elizabeth, 6
...we could have more baseball games. Antonio, 8
...I could go on a cloud. Damon, 6
...for a puppy. Layla, 6
...that all jelly fish don’t sting. Andres, 5
...the Green Lantern would come to protect the earth. Ben, 4
...for every animal to talk so we know when they are in danger. Lexi, 6
...I could be a bird. Emily, 6
...to have a new hot wheel. Judah, 3
...that everyone can have shelter. Connor, 7
...babies would not starve around the world. Julianne, 10
...the earth was full of music. Larisa, 10.
Like the letter writer last week I, too, was distressed and sad to learn of the dogs that died from wildlife attacks. I have a dog myself, and since then I now accompany him in the backyard every time he must go out.
I feel very sorry for the family that lost their beloved dogs. However, the views of the letter writer and I sharply diverge.
Bobcats, coyotes, bears, mountain lions and other wildlife are not the enemy. Stop demonizing them. We are living, like it or not, in their habitat. Actually, we have encroached upon their habitat. With all the development in north Claremont, where are these animals supposed to live?
Furthermore, due to high heat conditions over the summer and into the fall, wild animals move into neighborhoods near the foothills seeking food and water. We cannot fault them for that. If this situation is so unacceptable to some and they do not feel safe living in Claremont, then why not move to a strictly urban area, like downtown LA? But even there, the wild exists.
The letter writer’s claim that the city of Claremont is reneging on its responsibility to protect us is ludicrous. What would she have the city do to keep us and our pets 100 percent safe? Trap, remove and kill every wild animal? That is not going to, and absolutely should not happen.
Consider this: if our government can’t or won’t keep us safe from mass shootings, what makes her think the city of Claremont can possibly protect all of us from coyotes, bobcats and bears? (Oh, my!)
It is not the city’s responsibility to protect us from everything out there. It is wishful thinking to think so. Claremont is already proactive in educating us on what we can do to protect our selves, children, and pets. There are signs at all the entrances to Thompson Creek trail, and the Wilderness Park. The city’s website offers good information and helpful suggestions to coexist with wildlife. Perhaps more education is necessary.
Could the city partner with a biologist from the Colleges to provide educational sessions for the public covering a basic foundation of ecological principles and ways to coexist with wildlife? It could go a long way toward developing a healthy respect, tolerance and understanding of the wildlife in our midst. And perhaps prevent more loss of those we love.
A note from the dog: Alfie here. I am not property, and I resent the letter writer referring to me that way. I’m a member of the family.
On Sunday at the Claremont Farmers Market I visited the booth with books for sale. There, I found a small volume entitled How to Have a Million $$$ in Five Years!! authored by C. Calaycay, O. Nasiali, L. Schroeder, J. Lyons and S. Pedroza.
Opening it, the single printed page read, “Start with $12,000,000 and fail attempting to take over the water company.”
Ludd A. Trozpek
Bobcats in neighborhoods
Last week’s letters included one from a reader who expressed great concern about bobcats in the neighborhoods. She was prompted to write due to a bobcat having recently killed several pets in her neighborhood. She expressed great concern about the danger to people and the prospect of being attacked by a bobcat.
I am writing to reassure your reader. The usual prey of bobcats include squirrels, gophers, quail, rabbits and other small and medium sized animals. Small dogs and cats fall in that category.
Regarding the risk to humans, an internet search yielded no example of a bobcat killing a human. One bobcat attack on a human was particularly interesting. A bobcat sneaked up on a turkey hunter!
When the hunter shot and wounded the bobcat, it attacked the hunter. I imagine that the bobcat thought it was approaching a turkey—the hunter was using a turkey call intending to attract turkeys. Other rare attacks are most likely due to rabid bobcats. Instances like that are dangerous and the victim needs to seek immediate medical attention for threatening the risk of rabies. Otherwise, bobcats are little or no hazard to people. In contrast, three to five million Americans are attacked by domestic dogs each year—the much greater risk.
Bobcats enter suburbia because the neighborhoods are an attractive food source and a safe retreat from their own predators. To make your yard less attractive, here are some simple suggestions:
1. Don’t feed pets outdoors.
2. If you feed wild birds, don’t leave birdseeds lying on the ground. The seeds attract squirrels and rats and those attract bobcats.
3. Don’t leave small pets outdoors off a leash.
4. Enjoy the rare opportunity to observe a bobcat in your yard.
There are well-informed websites that provide more helpful information about these marvelous animals. Visit dfwwildlife.org/bobcat.
Jim des Lauriers
Claremont’s little-known trails
How many of us in Claremont are aware that two National Historic Trails pass through our town? Not very many, I suspect. The 50th anniversary of the National Trail System in 2018 gives us an opportunity to take notice of our local trail heritage, along with cities and towns across the country that do the same.
The place now called Claremont is along an east-west route below the San Gabriel Mountains that was first used by deer, grizzly bears and other animals, then by Native Americans who often followed animal trails, then by Spanish explorers and settlers, mule trains, wagon trains and finally railroads and motor vehicles. Two of these routes have been designated by the National Park Service as National Historic Trails:
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. In 1775-76, Anza, a Spanish military officer, led a group of almost 300 people and hundreds of horses and cattle from the interior of what is now Mexico to establish a fort and mission in San Francisco.
On January 2, 1776, they camped along San Antonio Creek in what is now Montclair, and on a cold, rainy January 3 they made their way along a northwesterly route through what is now Claremont. It isn’t possible to trace their exact route from the diaries kept by the expedition’s leaders, only a general direction. Two days later they arrived at the San Gabriel Mission.
Old Spanish National Historic Trail. This trade route between Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Los Angeles Plaza was used from 1829 until the mid-1850s. Mule pack trains carried blankets and other woolen goods westward; these were traded for California horses and mules, which went in the opposite direction, sometimes in the thousands at one time.
From Santa Fe, several routes converged in Cajon Pass; in terms of present-day landmarks, this single trail entered Claremont at El Barrio Park, crossed the south end of the Pomona College campus, passed by city hall, and proceeded westward more or less along Bonita Avenue.
In 2018, Claremont Heritage plans to work with others to remember the National Historic Trails that cross our town. This could include a public event, exhibits, a search for vestiges of the Old Spanish Trail, and even permanent murals. We are open to suggestions.
Whatever is done will take into account the tragic consequences of these trails for native Californians. For that reason, I think “remembering” is a better word than “commemorating.”
Online political ads
Americans have a right to know who is paying for political advertisements, whether it be organizations with ties to foreign governments, or wealthy special interests here at home.
In the 2016 election, 65 percent of Americans identified the Internet as their leading source of information. Yet our outdated transparency rules—which still include references to telegrams and typewriters—don’t require adequate disclosure for online ads.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has asked for comments on whether they should modernize these rules or keep things the way they are. Act now to protect our elections.
More than three in four Americans—78 percent—want full disclosure of who paid for political ads posted on social media. That includes 80 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of Independents.
US elections should be about voters not special interests; and especially not about the secretive influence of hostile foreign governments and entities. We must use every lever at our disposal, including ending secret online political ads, to prevent meddling in our elections and to ensure that Americans know the source of political messages.
Demand that the FEC require online ads to include disclaimers identifying who paid for them—as is required for television and print advertisements.
VP for Advocacy
0LWV of the Claremont Area