I am a Democrat and an Obama supporter and, while I have a lot of reservations about the Affordable Health Care Act, I think we deserve to give it some time to see what parts of it work and what parts do not.
I believe the Tea Party lackeys, currently controlling congress, are not only funnier to follow than the Kardashians—they are doing the Democrats a great service. Their “Take my marbles and go home” mentality are guaranteeing Hillary Clinton a two-term victory and handing us a future Democratic majority in Congress, as well!
If you think the Dems are putting through “socialist” legislation now, just wait until they control the Senate and the House. Kudos to the “Fools on the Hill.”
Clowns like House Speaker Boehner and Senator Cruz are the donkey’s best friends!
I was very interested to see last week’s Foothill Reader article on the Inland Empire garden-friendly event scheduled at the Upland Home Depot.
Billed as the Water-Wise Plant Sale, discounts are being offered on climate-appropriate plants that help conserve water. Many local municipal water agencies are hosting the event, but guess what? No Golden State. Obviously, they would rather rake in the greater profits from our use of more water than the WRAM surcharge we get to pay for conserving.
Stuck in the mud
During the last two months, updates on the proposed legislation for a National Recreation Area (NRA) designation being prepared by Congresswomen Chu have been filtering out to the public. It’s been a balancing act for the Congresswoman to draft legislation that will fullfill the needs of the many disadvantaged communities of the San Gabriel Valley whose need for recreation activity is limited to what public space is truly open to the public and not fenced off.
For folks who buy and sell water for public benefit, the designation status could limit the ability to purchase vacant land along the foothills and the area above Claremont that can be used for spreading and capturing water. The issue is one of so much controversy that the progress being made in the SGV cog might get stuck in the mud.
In a recent meeting of a water agency located in Claremont Hills, a staff report was prepared and the members present mulled over the significant impacts that could occur if such a designation were to become rule of the land.
Areas of concern were the impact on existing property and water rights/local supply in designated areas for public benefit, responsibility for funding and upkeep of a designated area for benefical use and the compromise of local control for general public benefit.
The devil is in the details of the NRA document being drafted by Congresswomen Chu. Will and should the areas south of Claremont which include San Bernadino be included has many concerned who attended the TVMWD meeting. One in particular, Ben Lewis of Golden State Water Company and chair of the Six Basins Watermaster, made clear at the water meeting in Claremont October 2 that the NRA designation area will be discussed at an upcoming Six Basins meeting at the Claremont Hills.
TAIPD think tank
Our small but well-educated town of Claremont is a fine location for a think-tank, so a number of us progressives founded one a few years ago. Its name is The American Institute for Progressive Democracy (TAIPD). Its officers and directors represent a variety of academic, legal, government and business backgrounds.
In 2011, TAIPD sponsored an informative and well-attended public forum on campaign finance, featuring panelists of national renown, co-sponsored by Common Cause and the Claremont Graduate University. Two more forums are already being planned.
The first, on Sunday, October 13, will explain how to use the features of the Affordable Care Act to find affordable health insurance; details are on the Institute’s website, www.taipd.org.
The second, on March 1 of next year, will be a day-long series of panels on global, national, state and regional water issues. Several highly-knowledgeable speakers have already committed to participate.
The TAIPD website has featured both short and medium-length thought pieces on a variety of topics, as well as our original Manifesto. The most recent material includes an online debate (three articles on different principled approaches to protection of civilians in Syria and elsewhere).
Unlike so many of the online political journals, the website does not publish news of the day but, instead, takes a somewhat longer view. That means the material need not be read immediately, before it becomes obsolete; its value lies in the exposition of practical principles which we hope are of permanent value.
TAIPD also strongly encourages people (that means you, dear readers), whether or not you usually write, to submit your own analysis and commentary. This is no guarantee that they will be published, but the website editor Merrill Ring has a strong inclination to have a large and diverse stable of writers, frequent and occasional. The submission guidelines (which actually are quite flexible) and the email address are on www.taipd.org.
To ‘frustrated’ in Claremont
I, too, am tired of the ongoing fight between the city, Claremont Outrage and Golden State Water Company. However, I?believe we must continue this fight. My wife and I live in what I feel is an average Claremont home—1500 square feet on a 10,000-square-foot lot. I, too, monitor my water, electric and gas usage. My average water bills in the summer are $270 and $90 in the winter.
In the last three years, I’ve seen my water bill go up nine percent in 2011, 12 percent in 2012 and I?estimate it will go up 21 percent in 2013. My water bill for 2012 will be about $2,000, almost the same as my property taxes. We do something we can to conserve water, but there is a limit to what can be done. And even if we do conserve, we are hit with WRAM.
Yes, we will have to pay more for water if Claremont acquires the water system. But we are going to pay more regardless. Yes, there are people who use huge quantities of water and they will benefit the most. But so will we. Frustrated hopes to be in Claremont for the long run. And I hope she is. But if our water rates keep going up 9 to 10 percent every year, she, and we, will no longer be able to afford Claremont.
The city passed up several opportunitites to buy the water system in the past. It is not going to get cheaper in the future. The time is now. And I hope the city will go for revenue bonds, as opposed to a parcel tax. That way, everyone will share in the cost of acquiring the water system.
Town and gown
What happened to the “Town and Gown” philosophy? I am referring to the closure of the Claremont Golf Course, owned by The Colleges. I have lived in Claremont since 1947. My husband and I?began taking golf lessons at this course in 1980. I have been playing with the women’s golf club, composed of 78 members who play every Tuesday.
Who else plays on the course? Claremont High School’s golf teams practice here; many of the retired folks from around the area; familis with their children. It is true that some of these folks are not playing there as often as they did. Why is that? Simply because there is not enough money to water the course and keep out the gophers. As we in Claremont know, our water bills are astronomical! The greens are the only areas that are watered now. What can be done?
The fact is, The Colleges were given this property years ago and enjoy large endowment funds. It is hard to understand why they cannot—or won’t—put some money into this longstanding institution in our fair city. Our Claremont Heritage focuses on preserving historical buildings and places—it seems The Colleges could do the same.
There are so many unhappy and sad people in our community and surrounding cities because of The Colleges’ decision to close our only golf course. Please reconsider.