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Claremont Courier 7.5.13

Claremont Courier 7.5.13

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Published by: Claremont Courier on Jul 05, 2013
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Saving energy, saving costs withhome energy retrofit/
C
ITYWORKSTOKEEPCONTROLOFLOCALHILLS
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Friday, July 5, 2013
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One dollar
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laremont
 
claremont-courier.com
LETTERS/
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7CALENDAR/
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16More news and photo galleriesevery day at:claremont-courier.comPOLICE BLOTTER/
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4JOHN PIXLEY/
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Front
center
Longtime Claremont resident Teena Collins sets up a tarpon Indian Hill Boulevard Tuesday afternoon to save a spotfor her family to view the Fourth of July parade. She saysthe spot is ideal because it is adjacent to the SpeakersʼCorner and the judgeʼs platform.
Visit
www.claremont-courier.com
today for a photo gallery of thecity’s Fourth of July celebration.
Andrew Durben of Home Performance Mattersdemonstrates an LED light that the company will in-stall during the energy retrofit of a Claremont home.
Obituary:
Musician John Harrelson/
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CHS cross country takes the heatat fundraising marathon/
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14
 
T
his column is not going to be an emo-tional plea to the Golden State WaterCompany (GSW) to stop messing aroundwith our water rates in search of more profits.Nor will it side with the unpopular minorityviews stating that Claremont residents use tonsof water, costing huge resources to maintain,while the city has no idea what they are gettinginto.
While both sides make passionate arguments, backed by nu-merous facts and figures, they tend to become blurred when usedto support various opinions.The city of La Verne comes into both arguments too. TheLeague of Women Voters in Claremont compared water usagein La Verne and Claremont because of their similar size, waterquality, use per customer and age of infrastructure. The Leagueconcluded that via the city owned, nonprofit municipal system,the average bill for a La Verne resident is $52 less each monththan that of a Claremonter.Exact figures of water usage are hard to come by. What we doknow is both Claremont and La Verne residents use about 20percent more water than the southern California average. Clare-mont in particular has what many call “super-users.” Most of these residents live north of Base Line Road and average 3 to 5times more than average. The most likely reason for the in-creased usage is the large lot sizes, swimming pools and largerfamilies who live north of Base Line.With this kind of water usage, we may not like to hear thevague word “infrastructure,” but more water used can translateto increasing costs to keep the tap running smoothly.What kind of impact does this have on pricing for other con-servation-minded residents? No one except GSW knows forsure.We also cannot ignore the fact many people are not concernedabout conserving water and simply can afford to pay their billwhatever the rates. Even with the 3 levels of tiered pricing (ratesincrease the more water used), it’s clear when 38 percent* of Claremont residents end up in the most expensive, tier 3 levels,something is wrong.It’s no secret there’s been a loud rhetoric from many sourceson water usage and pricing issues. Unfortunately, most viewsare partially correct. There are politicians with great ideas onspending tax money. Needless to say, there has not been muchlove lost between the city and GSW.On one hand, GSW says they are trying to give users whoconserve a break by charging more to big water users. Tieredpricing encourages people to conserve, which is a key goal forthe water company. On the surface, this looks like sound policy.On the other hand, it’s easy to accuse GSW of price gougingby having tiered pricing, because it’s another way residents canbe charged more. Why not one price for all like La Verne? Giventhe way our water bills have increased over the last few years,it’s easy to understand why Claremonters see this as just anotherway to reach into our pocketbooks.Now before you write a letter to the COURIER (although oureditor Kathryn Dunn is always ready), I’d like to ask a simplequestion. Would Claremont’s price problems look different if we, as a city, simply used less water? I think they would.What’s sad is there are many residents who do a great job con-serving water. And I think more people will make this a priorityin the future. Unfortunately, the super-users not only skew usagefigures, it gives GSW more reasons to keep increasing prices.
*Figure provided by the Golden State Water Company.
by Peter Weinberger
Claremont COURIER/Friday, July 5, 2013
2
The Claremont Courier (United States Postal Service 115-180) is published once 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: One dollar. 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 © 2013 Claremont Courier
one hundred and fifth year, number 33
1
420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205BClaremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4761Office hours: Monday-Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Owner
Janis Weinberger
Publisher and Owner
Peter Weinberger
pweinberger@claremont-courier.com
Editor-in-Chief
Kathryn Dunn
editor@claremont-courier.com
Newsroom
City Reporter
Beth Hartnett
news@claremont-courier.com
Education Reporter/Obituaries
Sarah Torribio
storribio@claremont-courier.com
Sports Reporter
Chris Oakley
sports@claremont-courier.com
Photo Editor/Staff Photographer
Steven Felschundneff
steven@claremont-courier.com
Reporter At Large
Pat Yarborough
Calendar Editor
Jenelle Renschcalendar@claremont-courier.com
Back Page
Sammy
sammy@claremont-courier.com
Production
Ad Design
Jenelle Rensch
Page Layout
Kathryn Dunn, Jenelle Rensch
Advertising
Advertising Director
Mary Rose
maryrose@claremont-courier.com
Classified Editor
Jessica Gustin
classified@claremont-courier.com
Business Administration
Office Manager/ Legal Notices
Vickie Rosenberg
legalads@claremont-courier.com
Billing/Accounting Manager
Dee Proffitt
Distribution/Publications
Tom Smith
tomsmith@claremont-courier.com
Circulation/Subscriptions
subscriptions@claremont-courier.com
Interns
Christina Burton
Want access to the COURIER from work and home?
When you renew or subscribe using claremont-courier.com,you full gain access to our website and email news updates.
Check out our PDF print editions, news and features all week, plusextended photo galleries and a redesigned business directory.
C
our er i
laremont
 
claremont-courier.com
(909) 621-4761
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COURIER HOMEPAGE
Secret to reducing Claremont water bills: use less
 
A
s summer vacationersset out to enjoy thearea’s coveted hikingtrails and wilderness areas,local officials are working hardto ensure they have the contin-ued ability to do so.
Claremont officials aim to balancethe recreational needs of those travers-ing local trails while also maintainingthe landscape guests have come toknow and love. In response to the fed-eral government’s proposed changes tothe designation and keeping of localopen space, the Claremont City Councilhas reaffirmed its intent to protect thelocal wilderness area, as well as pro-mote continued local control amidstreamlining efforts.Late last month, CongresswomanJudy Chu met with representativesfrom local non-government organiza-tions to discuss recent recommenda-tions put forth by the National ParkService (NPS).One recommendation suggests thatlocal wilderness areas be grouped to-gether with the Santa Monica Recre-ation Area, under the stewardship of theNPS and a board of other local agen-cies. However, officials were loud andclear in vocalizing that including localopen spaces with a recreation area so farwest might not be in the best interest.“If we are about local control, weshould worry about our own wildernesspark and not be asking the federal gov-ernment to come into our wildernesspark,” said Councilmember CoreyCalaycay. “If we don’t have Claremontpeople on that board, we can only hopethat they will listen to what we want.”In 2003, the US Congress directedthe NPS to conduct a study of therivers, mountains and other landscapesurrounding the 640-square-mile SanGabriel River Watershed. The purposeof the study was to determine whatareas of the sprawling watershed,which includes the Claremont HillsWilderness Park, meet the criteria forinclusion in the National Park System.In June of last year, the city of Clare-mont drafted a letter to show supportfor “Alternative D”—designating areasalong the San Gabriel Mountains andadjacent foothills of the Angeles Na-tional Forest as one collective NationalRecreation Area. Council members feltthis option “provided the most supportto enhance the environmental andrecreational goals of the [NationalRecreation Area] without infringingupon local control.”However, the park service’s final rec-ommendation, released last April,wiped that option from the list. TheNPS removed the Angeles NationalForest from that previously suggestedrecreation area and instead proposesthat the foothills and San Gabriel Riverbe added to the already existing SantaMonica Mountains National RecreationArea much farther west.Locals heavily involved in these is-sues remind council members of theimportance of maintaining the local in-terest. Claremont resident Marilee Scaff noted the importance of maintainingnot only the native landscape of the SanGabriel Mountains but the vital re-source of the San Gabriel Valley Water-shed, which runs through the localmountainscape.“This is our water source, and wedare not spoil that,” Ms. Scaff advised,adding, “We don’t want to be over-flowed with people having a good timeand leaving trash.”Dean McHenry, Claremont residentand spokesperson for the ClaremontWildlands Society, noted his pleasurewith the city’s decision to maintaintheir support of a local collaborativerecreation area, as designated in theoriginal Alternative D.“It brings together a lot of us that op-posed each other. We all support theWilderness Park but are opposed on is-sues like hours and parking...The thrustof the original proposal would havehelped us solve, in a good way, a widerange of problems,” Mr. McHenry said.Residents noted the process will belong—perhaps years before legislationis actually introduced and adopted—buturged the council to stay involved.When all is said and done, Ms. Chuwill be the one voting for Claremont,Ms. Scaff pointed out. Keeping in con-tact with Ms. Chu about Claremont’swishes is paramount, she noted.Council members responded to theirconstituents by restating their supportof the original Alternative D and pro-posing to keep Claremont constituentsinvolved. Special council meetings,open to the public, to be be held as leg-islation moves forward.“If we stay on the sidelines, the traincan go without us,” Mayor OpanyiNasiali said. “We need to stay en-gaged.”
—Beth Hartnett
news@claremont-courier.com
Claremont COURIER/Friday, July 5, 2013
3
City wants to keep local wilderness control close to home
CITY NEWS
COURIER photo/Steven FelschudnneffPark visitors get some exercise on as the sun sets on Monday at the ClaremontHills Wilderness Park. Management of the open space above Claremont could betransferred to the National Park Service under a proposal that would group pub-lic lands in the San Gabriel Mountains into one National Recreation Area.
Claremont left at station for Measure R transit plan
W
hen it comes to the Los AngelesCounty Metropolitan Trans-portation Authority (MTA) andplans for the Gold Line light rail system,Claremont is once again getting left behind.
The MTA Thursday approved changes to the multi-million dollar Measure R transit expenditure plan with-out including the most up-to-date information on theGold Line’s Foothill extension, despite pleas fromClaremont officials and other local legislators.Approved by the voters in 2008, the Measure R Traf-fic Relief and Rail Expansion imposed a half-cent salestax increase in order to fund critical highway and trans-portation projects throughout the county, including theconstruction of the Gold Line from Azusa to Clare-mont, an expected $1.71 billion project.However, MTA board members conspicuously leftoff the actual cost value of laying tracks through Clare-mont because “there is no more money for the GoldLine.” Local officials are characterizing the board’soversight as disingenuous and careless with taxpayers’money.“It is unfair to the people who voted for [MeasureR],” said Sam Pedroza, Claremont council member andfirst vice chair of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Con-struction Authority board. “There is a lot of frustrationand confusion as to what the voters think they are vot-ing for and what they are actually getting.”It isn’t about receiving more Measure R money, buthaving the expenditure plan accurately reflect the fund-ing gap that needs to be filled in some way, Mr. Pedrozaasserts.“We are just asking to be properly identified on theexpenditure plan so we can say, ‘We have an $800 mil-lion funding gap, we need to go out and help find fundsand Metro—you need to help us,’” the council membersaid in a recent interview.Particularly troublesome to Mr. Pedroza was RichardKatz and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa acting asmajor proponents of moving the plan forward quicklydespite their impending departures from the board incoming months.“These were absolutely lame duck session ap-provals,” Mr. Pedroza said. “That, to me, is horriblepublic policy.”On behalf of the city of Claremont, Mayor OpanyiNasiali had sent a written plea to the MTA board onJune 4 requesting that actual cost estimates for the GoldLine project, among others, be reflected on theamended plan. He also asked that the specific amountof Measure R funds be identified for each project beforethe plan’s approval. A petition was circulated and ad-ministrators from several other local cities—includingGlendora, Pomona and San Dimas—expressed similarsentiments.Heeding those requests, Supervisor MichaelAntonovich, chair of MTA’s board of directors, movedto amend the plan to include the intent by the voters tosee the Gold Line constructed through Claremont andto recognize the $764 million funding gap. His motionwas dismissed and the plan was adopted as is. Instead,board members have agreed to hear a report on the mat-ter in September.Though noting their extreme disappointment, Mr.Pedroza and the Foothill authority have not given upyet. In fact, they say they are more focused than ever onkeeping the train moving east. With the environmentalimpact report for Phase 2B nearly finished and con-struction of the Gold Line set to reach Azusa by 2015,board members remain fixed on their goal of seamlessconstruction through Claremont.“This is why we created the Foothill ConstructionAuthority in the first place, because we wouldn’t haveone mile of construction if it was left to the MTA,” Mr.Pedroza said. “It’s always been an uphill battle dealingwith limited funding. What it comes down to is we justneed to approach the funding gap at a different anglenow.”
—Beth Hartnett
news@claremont-courier.com

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