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Readers comments 8.2.13

Bruce Plumb

Dear Editor:

The Claremont Unified School District family lost a valued member on July 23. Bruce Plumb served the community of Claremont and CUSD for the past 37 years. 

Bruce represented his brothers and sisters at CUSD through his many hours of dedicated service with the California School Employees Association (CSEA).  Bruce served with pride and passion. He always was the first to arrive daily at our Service Center and often was the first voice that someone heard on the phone when needing assistance.

Bruce was never short of opinions and always tried to be a part of the solution as it related to many subjects. I am honored to have had the opportunity to have Bruce work for and with me. I am grateful for getting to know him and to listen to his ideas.  He was a dedicated family man, served our country in the Navy and always was a voice for the voiceless.

I am compelled to write this letter to the editor because Bruce Plumb cared about the students and families of CUSD. I will miss him.

Rick Cota

CUSD Executive Director

Facilities & Nutrition Services

 

Proposition 8

Dear Editor:

I, too, share Mr. Douglas Lyon’s frustrations with the initiative process, but for a different reason.

Each court has its own procedures in deciding whether or not to hear a case. The United States Supreme Court decided that the parties who brought suit had no standing to do so. Standing is a complicated matter but, to try to simplify things, it means that the parties that brought the lawsuit forward had no skin in the game.

The governor or attorney general of California should have or could have defended Proposition 8 but chose not to do so. They did not agree with the initiative that was passed by the people of California, and as the legal representatives of the state, they would have been recognized as having standing to sue to enforce Prop 8’s passage, but they did not agree with the initiative and chose to remain silent.

I can understand why they disagreed with the decision of the people. The Supreme Court’s decision was unsatisfactory. They failed to make a decision on the merits of the case and the decision fell to the lower court’s ruling because the case failed to meet the criteria for the Supreme Court to hear it on its merits. By deciding the case the way they did, they rewarded the bad behavior of the Governor for not having defended what the people passed in the initiative process.

But on the other hand, the initiative was flawed. Neither the state nor the people of the state have the power to do away with our rights that we have under the Constitution of the United States. We can not pass laws contrary to the areas that are the exclusive powers of the federal government, such as treaty-making or immigration, which go beyond the laws of our government.

We also cannot vote away our rights by voting to do so. Let us say that the people of the state of California vote to take away the rights of women in their ability to vote or vote to allow a business to deny blacks service or public accommodations. No initiative can do that. That is why we have the Supreme Court and lower courts to interpret what we do when we pass an initiative. The courts are the final arena of protection when the people exhibit signs of mob rule.

We are no longer ruled by the Articles of Confederation where states had the power and sovereignty to decide these things. We are one nation, not 50 states with 50 different rule sets. We are governed by the rule of law under our federal Constitution.

Gar Byrum

Claremont

 

Climate change

Dear Editor:

In the July 19 COURIER, Bob Gerecke reminds us of the reasons we need to be proactive in dealing with climate change while it is still possible. I appreciated his timely letter. I’m a pastor and a grandfather, but I am only a student when it comes to learning about climate change issues and solutions.

I am learning about the relentless impact of carbon emissions from fossil fuels entering the atmosphere and increasing the greenhouse effect on the planet, driving up planet temperature, which is bringing about the problems Mr. Gerecke refers to. What can we do about it?

The smartest answer I’ve seen to  date has been proposed by climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, which is a steadily-rising tax on carbon-based fuels that returns revenue to the public. This market-based solution is one that appeals to both liberal and conservative legislators.

Conservatives such as Greg Mankiew, advisor to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, and George Shultz, Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, embrace a revenue-neutral carbon tax because it makes fossil fuels pay for their true costs to society. It corrects the distortion in the free market that gives dirty energy an edge over clean technology.

Those who have studied this approach say that once this distortion is corrected, the market will move away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Returning carbon tax revenue to households will enable Americans to make this transition without economic pain.

For more information, visit the website citizensclimatelobby.org.

Dave Lutz

Claremont

 

Climate change is real

Dear Editor:

We need to realize that climate change is real. I’ve been raised to love our Mother Earth, it’s people, and the creatures that live here, too.

When we don’t take care of all of this, they get destroyed, malformed, sick and habitats and nature as it once was is nearly becomes extinct because of human's selfishness for their need to survive off what humans have created at the turn of the century in the 1900s.

So now, men see fit to use whatever seems fit to use on this planet for themselves to survive.

I love my trees and shrubs, and all the plants in my yard, and I know that they are in harmony with the insects, reptiles and other rodents and people that pass my home enjoy all these same things in my yard as I do, too.

I’m an animal care giver and love all animals. I don’t want to see them or their homes or environment taken away from them or their habitats harmed either.

The earth is our home. And we need to protect and care for it as humans did before the 1900s.

Elizabeth Davidson

Claremont

 

Congress must act quickly to restore the Voting Rights Act

Dear Editor:

As the summer heat began to build in Washington DC, the US Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision which gutted key components of the monumental Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The decision in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years and opened the floodgates for a wave of attacks on voters. Only strong action from Congress can fix the court’s mistake.

Before the ink was even dry on the decision, several states rushed to implement racially-discriminatory, anti-voter laws, including several states where the League of Women Voters had previously succeeded in blocking voter restrictions in the courts and state legislatures. Sadly, this is only the beginning. Without a strong VRA, our ability to fight off anti-voter legislation and keep our elections free, fair and accessible is significantly weakened.

As we approach the 48th anniversary of this historic civil rights legislation, the VRA remains an essential protection against the thinly veiled discrimination that still threatens Americans’ right to vote. Congress needs to move swiftly to overcome this decision and restore the effectiveness of the VRA. The Shelby decision is a call to action for all who believe all Americans should have fair and equal access to the ballot.

Now is the time to contact your member of Congress and tell him or her to repair the VRA before any more damage is done.

Ellen Taylor

VP/Advocacy

League of Women Voters,

Claremont Area