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Courier 7.28.12

Courier 7.28.12

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Published by Claremont Courier
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Published by: Claremont Courier on Jul 28, 2012
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A very busy city council: Parking fees, development & more
Story on page 3
Saturday 07-28-12
75 cents
Heat-loving plants and flowers
Story on page 12
COURIER photo/Steven FelschundneffFieldTurf uses a specialized machine for the slow process of removing the old football field turf while preserving the rubber pel-lets used to make the surface safer for student athletes on Thursday at Claremont High School. The entire process of replacingthe artificial turf at the school will take over a month, with completion scheduled for August 29, the first day of school.
CHS turf
Photos on page 14
The new boss
Meet Jim Elsasser,CUSD Superintendent
Story on page 9
our er i
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(909) 621-4761
Claremont COURIER/Saturday, July 28, 2012
The Claremont Courier (United States Postal Service 115-180) is published twice weekly by the Courier Graphics Corporation at 1420 N. ClaremontBlvd., Suite 205B, Claremont, California 91711-5003. The Courier is a newspaper of general circulation as defined by the political code of the state of California, entered as periodicals matter September 17, 1908 at the post office at Claremont, California under the act of March 3, 1879. Periodicals postageis paid at Claremont, California 91711-5003. Single copy: 75 cents. Annual subscription: $52.00. Send all remittances and correspondence about sub-scriptions, undelivered copies and changes of address to the Courier, 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Suite 205B, Claremont, California 91711-5003. Tele-phone: 909-621-4761. Copyright © 2012 Claremont Courier
one hundred and fourth year, number 59
420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205BClaremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4761Office hours: Monday-Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Janis Weinberger
Editor and Publisher
Peter Weinberger
Managing Editor
Kathryn Dunn
City Reporter
Beth Hartnett
Education Reporter/Obituaries
Sarah Torribio
Sports Reporter(On leave)
Landus Rigsby
Photo Editor/Staff Photographer
Steven Felschundneff
Reporter At Large
Pat Yarborough
Calendar Editor
Jenelle Renschcalendar@claremont-courier.com
Back Page
Ad Design/Classified Pages
Jenelle Rensch
Page Layout
Kathryn Dunn
Advertising Director
Mary Rose
Classified Editor
Jessica Gustin
Business Administration
Office Manager/ Legal Notices
Vickie Rosenberg
Billing/Accounting Manager
Dee Proffitt
Tom Smith
Jake Bartman, reporterCameron Barr, photographer
Establishing truth
Dear Editor:The July 25 reader’s comment submittedby Douglas Lyon challenged readers to citewording in the Constitution that prohibitseven non-denominational prayers at a city-sponsored event.His challenge requires citing SupremeCourt rulings, since such questions have al-ways needed court consideration and rulings.For example, the Supreme Court held thata religious invocation, instituted by schoolofficials, at a public school graduation vio-lated the Establishment Clause (
 Lee v. Weis-man
, 505 U.S. 577, 112 S. Ct. 2649, 120 L.Ed. 2d 467 [1992].However, since he refers to “very flawedSupreme Court rulings,” his challenge can-not be taken seriously. Obviously he be-lieves that only his opinions are worthy of consideration. Hardly the basis for any seri-ous search for the truth.
George Roleder
Green vs. greed
Dear Editor:Last April, then Mayor Sam Pedroza ac-cepted a prestigious Green Award on behalf of Claremont as the first city in Californiato be so honored for its sustainability efforts.With diminished crops and higher foodprices resulting from record-setting temper-atures around the country, being a GreenCity is something that we can all support.Not long after accepting this GreenAward, Mr. Pedroza and CouncilmembersJoe Lyons and Larry Schroeder endorsedChris Holden, city councilman for the cityof Pasadena, in his run for the 41st Assem-bly district. Mr. Holden has been raised onpolitics during his life as the son of longtimeLA Councilman Nate Holden.What exactly caught the eye of Mr. Pe-droza and the city council that led them to en-dorse Mr. Holden? After all, the
PasadenaStar News
withheld its endorsement of Mr.Holden during the June primary and insteadendorsed 2 other candidates. (See
“Endorsements on Tuesday’s ballot,” June 2.)Should the many concerns cited by Mr.Holden’s own backyard newspaper serve asa heads up to Claremont voters?Perhaps the thought process of Mr. Pe-droza and the 2 city councilmembers, stillbeaming from their acceptance of a GreenAward, went something like this: “ChrisHolden is a Democrat. So, Holden must be“green.” We are a Green City. Therefore,let’s endorse Chris Holden!”Mr. Pedroza and the councilmembersought to know that their support of Mr.Holden doesn’t quite line up with the ad-mirable, green standards of our city.When Mr. Holden says he is “green,” hemust be referring to the color of all themoney his campaign has been receivingfrom Big Oil. Should Mr. Holden ever wina Green Award, it won’t be for the same rea-sons that Claremont worked so hard to winthat award.Having been a certified bean counter in aformer life, allow me to get out a pencil andpaper to do some political accounting.1. Chevron has been the largest contribu-tor to the Political Action Committee (PAC)called “California for Jobs and a StrongEconomy” (CJSE) per www.electiontrack.com.2. CJSE has been the largest contributorto the PAC called “Alliance for California’sTomorrow” (ACT) per www.election-track.com.3. In the last few weeks running up to pri-mary election day, ACT spent approxi-mately $129,000 attacking a key campaignopponent of Mr. Holden’s while reportedlymaking the largest donation to the Holdencampaign (
Pasadena Star News
, “LateCampaign Contributions Fuel Attack Ads,”June 16, 2012).Did you follow that?Money moves from Chevron to CJSE toACT to Mr. Holden’s campaign, directly orindirectly, through attack ads againstHolden’s opponents and through outrightcontributions. Yet, our Green City’s politi-cians seem okay with all of this.In the meantime, Mr. Holden often getscredit for running a “positive” campaign asa major oil company funds PACs that do Mr.Holden’s dirty work. These PACs seem towrap themselves up in cozy names in an at-tempt to fly under the radar as to their fund-ing sources that help dictate PAC actions.By accepting funds from these PACs, Mr.Holden appears to envision a tomorrow thatwill feature more gas stations and freeways.I would think that particular tomorrowwould be beneficial to Chevron.Speaking of freeways, Mr. Holden hasbeen a staunch proponent of one of theworst freeway projects in the entire country(Read the 2004 report, “Road to Ruin,” byFriends of the Earth at www.foe.org). Thisproject is better known as the 710 freewayextension in South Pasadena.The 710 freeway extension is projectedto double traffic flow and substantially in-crease particulate pollution in adjacent com-munities. More pollution = more gas usage.Score another point for Chevron.By endorsing Mr. Holden, our city’spoliticians have shown an indication of theirtrue color, but I am not so sure that theircolor is all that green.
Jerry Hodge
The Claremont City Council andall commissions have commencedsummer recess. City meetings will re-sume in September. All regular cityservices continue through the recess.City Hall, located at 207 HarvardAve., is open for regular businessMonday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to6 p.m. Residents with questions maycall 399-5460 during normal businesshours.To leave a recorded comment 24-hours a day, call the city’s citizencomment line at 399-5389.
 Agendas for city meetings are avail-able at www.ci.claremont.ca.us
Haiku submissions should reflect upon lifeor events in Claremont. Please email entriesto editor@claremont-courier.com.
Claremont's CourierChallenges and inspires thought Gives our town its voice!
—Steve HarrisonREADERSʼ COMMENTScontinue on page 7
t will soon cost you $3every 4 hours, or $100 an-nually to park at the Clare-mont Hills Wilderness Park.
The Claremont City Council approvedthe parking charges Tuesday night, 5-0,along with a $33,000 contract for the pur-chase of parking meters from Pacific Park-ing Systems, Inc. An additional $5000 forpaper costs and extra parts associated willalso be designated.City staff will still explore possible pricedifferences associated with leasing themeters instead. Meter installation is antic-ipated for early October, following thecompletion of expansions to the Wilder-ness Loop’s north parking lot. The coun-cil approved the metered parking with theagreement that it would be reviewed againin in a year or sooner if deemed necessary.“I think there is going to be a lot of fluc-tuation...and we need to have that flexi-bility of trying to manage what the rightprice will be,” Councilmember Sam Pe-droza said. “I think staff needs the flexi-bility to fluctuate accordingly.”Councilmember Corey Calaycay hesi-tantly added his support for the fees, un-comfortable ticketing those that may ac-cidentally go over the 4-hour time limitbecause unaware of how long it takesthem complete the Loop.“I’d rather know we have a prob-lem...and address it then rather than nowassuming everybody is going to it within4 hours,” Mr. Calaycay said.The same issue was previously ad-dressed by the city council at a meeting inMarch. The 4-hour increment was decidedupon because of its compatibility withother parking systems.“In all other parking systems it’s basedon time. You pay for the amount of timeyou want to park,” City Manager TonyRamos said.Mr. Ramos noted the time limit can bebrought back to the council if issues suchas Mr. Calaycay suggested do arise.“Our goal is to not give citations forpeople after paying for parking there,”Mr. Ramos said. “We could always bringthat back and adjust that.”While the 4-hour increment will re-main, the price of the annual pass has beendoubled from its original proposal becauseof the fear that a $50 charge would be toolow.“It’s low enough that it’s going to cre-ate a situation where everyone’s going tobe buying the annual passes because theythink they are getting around the $3,” Mr.Calaycay said.Two meters will be placed in the northlot at Mills Avenue with the third meter inthe south lot. Parking lot users will askedto use a debit or credit card to pay fortheir spot. Cash will not be accepted.“The majority of users are accustomedto that and prefer that,” explained BrianDesatnik, director of community devel-opment. “It vastly simplifies the mainte-nance and operational responsibilities forthe city.”Trailblazers will park and then inserttheir payment along with the correspon-ding parking spot number into the cen-tralized meter at the front of the lot. A re-ceipt will be given, but will not need to beplaced back in the car because parkingenforcers will be able to regulate from themeter itself. This plan was modified fromprevious discussions of a receipt placed ina window because of concerns with noiseand convenience, according to Mr. Desat-nik.“We were really trying to minimize thenumber of trips back to the vehicle and thenumber of car doors opening and closing,”he explained.Annual pass holders will be given a de-cal for their car. Claremont residents willstill be allowed to park in the south lot for
Price increased to enjoy Claremont’s Wilderness Park 
Claremont COURIER/Saturday, July 28, 2012
 Village West live-work loft development approved by council
ith unanimous approval by theClaremont City Council Tues-day night, the Village West Ex-pansion Plan, nearly 12 years in the making,is complete.
The council approved a code amendment to allow thedevelopment of a 4-story, commercial mixed-use andresidential building to take over the lastavailable parcel of Village West. An in-ternal parking garage and additionalmixed-use building next door to the main attraction alsoreceived approval. Brought forward by Denley Invest-ment and Management Company, the project will takeover the vacant Rich’s Product site located on the cornerOberlin Avenue and First Street.The council gave its approval to allow commercialmixed-use throughout the first floor of the building. Ap-proval was given under the condition that proposed per-sonal services businesses would be required to have aconditional-use permit, and council review, to ensure itscompatibility with the surrounding area.“As great as this project sounds, I would feel morecomfortable if we had just that small little involvement,”said Councilmember Sam Pedroza, addressing the de-veloper. “Perhaps that could be something that helps youto identify and work with retailers that want to come in.”Mr. Pedroza initiated the conditional-use requirementto address the concerns of Village West residents. One of the concerned, a homeowner in the Village Walk adja-cent to the proposed development, feared businesseswould take advantage of the commercial mixed-use des-ignation.“I just would not like to see a massage parlor or fastfood or any type of business that could use a loopholewhere a conditional-use permit is not required to estab-lish itself,” said Claremont resident Jason Ryan, who sayshe lives less than 100 feet from the proposed develop-ment.Tentatively titled “The Village Lofts,” the project wasdeemed favorable by the Claremont Planning Commis-sion last month because it fit the “urban environment”Village West’s expansion plan originally called for, ac-cording to Commission Chair Jeff Hammill. The 1.66-acre parcel includes retail and live/work spaces on thefirst 2 floors, with residential apartments on the 2 floorsabove and a rooftop pool. A restaurant is proposed forthe corner space on the first floor.The development also gained the commission’s favorin what they view as the flexibility provided by the com-mercial mixed-use designation.“We view this as an opportunity to allow the devel-oper to have the possibility of doing a couple of differentthings as market conditions will ultimately dictate,” Mr.Hammill said, “so we don’t find ourselves in a positionwhere a project is scrapped or we go into another reviewbecause the nature of the project has to change.”To some, the plan is inconsistent with what was orig-inally envisioned for the Village West parcel, alluded for-mer Planning Commissioner Tom Anderson, who cameforward during public comment.“We wanted something that would complement andnot overshadow the residences to the north. Anythingtaller than 2 stories would be relegated to the area alongthe tracks and moving west,” Mr. Anderson said. “Toallow something of this scope and size to go in movesaway from the tradition and history, and what everyonewanted the Village to be, which is just that: a village.”But the council was satisfied with the height, statingthat it compares with nearby buildings like Casa 425 andThe Packing House. Though commission reviews of thedevelopment leading up to the council’s deciding votedrew a slew of concerned residents, Tuesday’s meetingremained relatively light on the public comment, moststatements merely offered feedback on how to ensure thatthe use of the project aligns with the nearby residentialcommunities.Mr. Pedroza said he recognized residents’ concernswith the project, vocalized or not, which was the reasonthe conditional-use permit requirement was added. Thecouncil hopes it will provide a safeguard and partialsource of comfort for those with lingering doubts.“The height issue scares some folks, just like it scaredsome folks when the expansion was just starting out,”Mr. Pedroza recognized. “But I think the other issue iswhat’s going to go in there. That’s where there could beperhaps more cooperation and more involvement.
Occupy Claremont pushes for transparency
Transparency and fair process is still at the core inter-est of the Claremont City Council and its banking prac-tices, assured Claremont City Council members atTuesday night’s meeting.The statement was sparked after Occupy Claremontmembers came forward during public comment to urgethe council to adopt a responsible banking ordinance. Theordinance would promote banking “with local or regionalbusinesses who have a record of community investmentand demonstrate good corporate citizenship through localcharitable giving and volunteering.”The ordinance also asks for full disclosure from thecity on the names and locations of all banks receiving aRequest for Proposal (RFP) and that all bids remainavailable to the public. Occupiers would like to see allcriteria used in selecting a bank—as well as any bids andinformation received—published on the city’s website.“We hope that the process you use will be transpar-ent,” said Terry Donnally of Occupy’s Foreclosure andBank Task Force, who encouraged the formation of a cit-izen’s advisory group to help in the process.Council members are restricted from making any for-mal motion on items discussed during public comment asoutlined in the Brown Act, however, Councilmember JoeLyons noted the council’s support of Occupy’s efforts onbanking and foreclosure, and requested that city staff re-view the group’s ordinance and requests.“The RFP itself is something we discussed as a coun-cil earlier and thought there was an opportunity,” Mr.Lyons said. “What is being asked of us is something wehave agreement on...and the transparency issue is onethat I certainly assume will happen.”Mayor Larry Schroeder assured residents that thecouncil will continue to do so with proposals for a newbank, though he cautioned against too many restrictionsor criteria within the RFP as called for in the banking or-dinance.“If we put more requirements on them, I think wewould get less responses to the RFPs,” he said, notinghis own experience working with other cities on similarrequests. Mr. Schroeder added, “We can certainly dis-cuss it.”Councilmember Corey Calaycay urged fellow coun-cilmembers and city staff to adhere to a consistent, trans-parent policy on the RFPs, if and when the time comes.Mr. Schroeder also explained that the city keeps verylittle money in checking accounts, with the bulk of thecity’s cashflow held by the state in a pooled account.Claremont administrators will review Occupy’s sub-mission while continuing its research into moving avail-able city funds to a local bank.
—Beth Hartnett
WILDERNESS PARKcontinues on page 5

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