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Readers comments 11-27-20

Time to wake up

Dear editor:

Maybe the death of such a lovely person can wake us up.  Claremont is a bicycle-friendly city.  Dedicated bike lanes are painted on many former four-lane streets which have been converted to two lanes to accommodate bicycles.  Symbols are even painted on some streets inviting cyclists to share the traffic lanes with cars.  Most or our ever-growing number of cyclists in Claremont observe the rules of the road.  Not so for many of the drivers of vehicles sharing these spaces.

Speed is the preeminent rule of the road because the laws of physics are absolutely unforgiving in the event of impact.  The law says E = mc2, whether the “m” is a photon of light or a Chevy sedan.  But speed limits in Claremont seem to be honored more in their violation than their observance.  A posted speed limit is “just for openers,” it seems.  I ride a bicycle on Indian Hill at night.  Vehicles routinely exceed the 35-mph speed limit, averaging 45-50 mph.  Mills has a limit of 40 mph.  But 50 or even 55 mph is pretty common, notwithstanding the presence of Chaparral School.  The fact that this car skidded across the entire boulevard before striking Ms. Wolfe-Ingalls is strong evidence of excessive speed, whatever the police department’s ongoing investigation may turn up. 

Maybe we can honor Terri by encouraging stronger enforcement and issuance of citations on the streets where cyclists and pedestrians have the most interaction with motorists, such as Mills, Indian Hill, Mountain, and College Avenue.  Maybe we can help the police department, and each other, by speaking up (in a safe way) when we see people driving unsafely. 

James P. Stoneman II

Claremont

 

Show of support

Dear editor:

Our local member restaurants have taken great care and expense to remain compliant with health orders and create safe outdoor dining areas. With the decision to prohibit all dining options beyond Take Out, these businesses will face further financial devastation with tomorrow's order to suspend outdoor dining.

We are asking all Chamber members and the Claremont community to contact Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis to comment and support keeping outdoor dining open.

Claremont Chamber of Commerce

Claremont Crime Free Program

Dear editor:

The Los Angeles Times has published an article alleging that some of the 2,000 cities that use a crime-free program for apartments are using it in ways that result in excluding or evicting apartment residents unfairly. The article states that these cities have ordinances and practices that have gone beyond the crime-free program itself. Since we have the Claremont Crime Free Multi-Housing Program in our 5city, and since we who are on the Committee of Safe and Healthy Housing have been central to starting and maintaining that crime free program, we would like to explain why that program was started and that the criticisms outlined in the article do not pertain to the program we have in Claremont.

The Committee of Safe and Healthy Housing was started in 2005 in response to complaints by residents of south Claremont apartments. We learned that their living conditions were driving them out of their homes. We heard about those conditions both first-hand from members of our committee, plus from surveys conducted in cooperation with a professor and his class at the University of La Verne. The identified issues were drug use, prostitution, and retaliatory vandalism by groups who were bullying residents. In 2009, we presented pictures to the city council of living conditions in one apartment complex that were shocking. That led to the start-up of our Claremont Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, plus a new ordinance, number 8.32. That ordinance requires that owners and managers of apartments must certify that all of their units comply with all health and building laws, that the city will inspect the exterior property of all 30 large apartment complexes for compliance with municipal codes, and that a manager of an apartment community that has very high crime rates must create a corrective action plan to reduce the likelihood of future crime.

For eleven years, our volunteer committee has set up an annual training program for apartment managers on how to maintain a safe and healthy community for their residents. These 8-hour programs have been open to the public and were advertised in the COURIER. Members of our Claremont Police Department have done an excellent job presenting crime reduction methods and answering questions from our apartment managers. Every year, invited speakers have updated managers on new laws and best practices, and have repeatedly emphasized that all management rules and guidelines must be equally applied. Every year, the director of outreach and education from the Housing Rights Center of Los Angeles has spoken. The director has shared examples of bias they have found in the region, so that our Claremont managers will know how to treat everyone equitably under the law.

We want you to know that during the entire implementation of our Claremont Crime Free Program, we have never seen any complaints from residents about racial bias. We believe that the program has demonstrated how beneficial education is for both management and their residents. The 42% reduction in crime in all 30 Claremont apartments since 2009, and the greater 55% reduction in crime in South Claremont, has significantly improved the quality of life for those who rent, plus those who live in their neighborhood.

Joan Bunte                 Ginger Elliott

Mike Fultz                 Bob Kern

Jennifer Kern            Jim Keith

Sue Keith                   Jerry Klasik

Sam Pedroza              Rose Sorenson

 

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