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Claremont COURIER 2-21-14

Claremont COURIER 2-21-14

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Published by Claremont Courier
The Claremont COURIER is the award-winning community newspaper from Claremont, CA. Issue: 2-21-14
The Claremont COURIER is the award-winning community newspaper from Claremont, CA. Issue: 2-21-14

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Published by: Claremont Courier on Feb 21, 2014
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02/24/2014

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C
ITYSETTLESPARKINGFEELAWSUITWITH
P
IZZA
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PAGE
4
Friday, February 21, 2014
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One dollar
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claremont-courier.com
LETTERS/
PAGE
2 CALENDAR/
PAGE
16There’s more to the story. Visit our website: claremont-courier.comPOLICE BLOTTER/
PAGE
4OBITUARIES/
PAGE
10
   
 
The city’s tree-trimming problem/ 
GOING OUT ON A
LIMB
Delving into Drucker/
PAGE
13
PAGE
3
COURIER photos/Steven FelschundneffThis sycamore tree in the 2200 block of North Indian Hill Boulevard had all of its limbs removed during a recent pruning. The recently-formed Tree Action Group, asubcommittee of Sustainable Claremont, is seeking to inform citizens of Claremont about the damage that can be done by over-pruning trees. Claremont resident Karen McMillen, left, goes over the storylinewith her cinematographer Kelly Trabis on Tuesday while makinga video at the Getty Leadership Institute in Claremont. The two film-makers worked together on a documentary about renowned man-agement professor Peter Drucker, which recently won a bronze-level Telly Award.
What’s old is new again at the Old School House/
PAGE
14
 
Claremont COURIER/Friday, February 21, 2014
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 © 2014 Claremont Courier
one hundred and sixth year, number 7
1
420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205BClaremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4761Office hours: Monday-Friday 9 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
Education Reporter/Obituaries
Christina Burton (Interim)
storribio@claremont-courier.com
Sports Reporter
Alex Forbesssports@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
Website
Peter Weinberger
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
READERS’ COMMENTS
 Agendas for city meetings are avail-able at www.ci.claremont.ca.us
GOVERNINGOURSELVES
Saturday, February 22
City Council Priorities WorkshopCouncil Chambers, 8 a.m.
Tuesday, February 25
City Council Council Chambers, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 26
Architectural Commission—Cancelled
Thursday, February 27
CUSD Local Control Funding FormulaCommunity ForumKirkendall Center, 6:30 p.m.
 ADVENTURES
IN HAIKU
City of TreesWhere none agrees, and soClaremont, embrace diversity
—Charlene Betts
Haiku submissions should reflect upon lifeor events in Claremont. Please email entriesto editor@claremont-courier.com.
READERS’ COMMENTS
Send readers’ comments via email to edi-tor@claremont-courier.com or by mail orhand-delivery to 1420 N. Claremont Blvd.Ste. 205B, Claremont, CA 91711. The dead-line for submission is Tuesday at 5 p.m. Let-ters are the opinion of the writer, not areflection of the COURIER. We reserve theright to edit letters.
 Letters should not exceed 250 words
. We cannot guarantee publicationof every letter. Letters and viewpoints will bepublished at the discretion of the editor.
High-density on Base Line
Dear Editor:The Claremont City Council voted 3-2to authorize a variance in existing zoningto permit construction of a 95-unit town-home complex at Base Line Road andTowne Avenue. This is the same parcel of land that was earlier scouted for a low-in-come residential development, but whosebackers rejected the site partially becauseof health issues. The site abuts the 210 freeway, and res-idents will breathe toxic fumes from theroad. The soil is also hopelessly contami-nated by decades of agricultural chemicalsused in the production of strawberries.As matters stand, no one knows howdangerous the long-term health hazards of this site for residents. Hopefully, they arenot serious; possibly, they are. Who will be around in 30 years when theresidents of these townhomes get the em-pirical answer from Mother Nature? Thebuilder will be long gone, and possibly outof business. The city of Claremont will stillbe here and, if any evidence then exists thatthe site injured the health of residents,higher than expected rates of cancer, for ex-ample, whom will the injured parties suefor damages? The city of Claremont. In issuing this variance, the city implic-itly warranted the safety of this site forhuman habitation, and therewith assumedliability should that warrant prove un-founded. In principle, the builder should retain thisresponsibility but, in reality, the builder hashanded it off to the city while securing forhimself all the expected profit of the devel-opment. The city has assumed an uncom-pensated risk that, in the language of economics, is called a negative externality. To protect the city against this hazard, Ipropose that the city council require thebuilders to obtain from townhome pur-chasers a notarized acknowledgment thatneither the builder nor the city assumes anyliability for possible long-term health haz-ards to the purchasers as a result of residingin these townhomes. A purchaser lives thereat his/her own risk. Possibly, there is a better way to protectthe city of Claremont from this liability. If so, use it. But by all means, protect the cityagainst liability for long-term health dam-age to purchasers of the townhomes.
Ivan Light
Claremont
Panhandling in the Village
Dear Editor:Yesterday I was panhandled in the park-ing lot at the corner of Yale and FourthStreet. I was panhandled on Yale Avenuenear the Pizza ‘N Such restaurant.I have been panhandled on the streetparking spaces on Harvard Avenue. I havebeen panhandled in and front of the library. Panhandling has become common indowntown Claremont. Most of the pan-handlers are young adults and they areclean and decently dressed. One panhan-dler is a woman in her sixties who waswell-dressed. They do not look destitute;the panhandling is a scam.The city council in Pomona has imple-mented and enforced a zero-tolerance pol-icy on panhandling. The library has hiredsecurity personnel. The situation in down-town Pomona has improved, at least dur-ing business hours, despite the fact thatPomona has more truly destitute people andfar fewer resources than Claremont.Claremont has to take steps to improvethe situation in the Village; it is getting outof hand.
Ruthann Leder Martines
Claremont
READERS’ COMMENTS/ 
page 7
S
TAY
 C
ONNECTED
S
TAY
 C
ONNECTED
GET
 TO KNOW YOUR
NEIGHBORS
 WITH HELP FROM THE
COURIER
PRINT NEWSLETTERWEBSITE MOBILE
C
ALL US AT
 (909) 621-4761
 OR GO TO
 claremont-courier.com
 TO SUBSCRIBE
 
C
ity of Trees is more than just anickname in Claremont. It’s a wayof life. The area’s lush urban forestis a huge draw for many of the city’s in-habitants, a notable part of the local land-scape since the late 1800s. The ongoingdrought and recent debate over the city’stree-trimming policies, however, havecalled that title into question.
Residents are stepping forward to ensure the pro-claimed City of Trees stays that way. Leading thiscause is the recently instated Tree Action Group(TAG), a new subcommittee of Sustainable Clare-mont, playing an active role as the city’s communityand human services department works to amend itslong-standing tree policy. The updated tree manual,currently in the review process, is expected to comebefore the Claremont City Council this spring. TAG was first formed nearly a year ago by localstaking action against a proposal to remove dozens of mature pines from the Claremont Club neighborhood.Since that time, group members have made it theirpurpose to educate the community and influence localpolicy when it comes to Claremont’s urban forest. “It goes beyond simply calling ourselves the Cityof Trees. The value of trees here in Claremont ismuch more than the altruistic aspect of protecting theenvironment, but defines our community’s cultureand livability,” said Claremont resident BarnabasPath, who co-chaired TAG along with the lateMichael Heilpern, who founded the action committeewith his wife, Linda.“It’s about quality of life,” Mr. Path continued. “Wedon’t always recognize that, but you notice when thetrees are gone.” The city’s 81-page Tree Policies and GuidelinesManual was first adopted in 1997 and later revised inJune 2011 in an effort to preserve the characteristiccommunity forest. The guidebook alsoserved to dictate a defining set of rulesfor proper maintenance and enhance-ment of Claremont’s canopy of more than 20,000trees. Budgetary concerns, however, have beenamong one of the tree policy’s biggest obstacles. “Tree maintenance is expensive and easily by-passed without immediate recognition of what it’scosting us,” Mr. Path said. “It’s not that the city does-n’t care. They truly do. But because of budgetarypressures, what begins to happen is we eliminate re-sources assuming we will get to them next year. Theimmediate effect isn’t seen or felt until much later.”Without proper maintenance and restoration, theurban forest of Claremont’s present may become apart of its past, cautions Mark von Wodtke, a Clare-mont resident and registered landscape architect whois also among TAG’s membership. To combat futureuncertainties, Mr. von Wodtke and TAG are advocat-ing for an urban forest master plan to be included aspart of the city’s tree policy update. The plan would provide foresight in adding and re-generating the city’s tree population, and help pro-mote the city’s general plan goal of better “preservingits existing trees, replacing trees that are damaged ordying, and expanding community forests in newerareas of Claremont.”“Claremont has a wonderful urban forest, but it’srather mature. Like any natural forest, there are con-stantly new saplings being introduced as older treesdie out. We need to be doing that in Claremont,” Mr.von Wodtke said. “There are newer parts [in town],like Village West, where the urban forest hasn’t beenfully established. We need a master plan that does thatwhile anticipating where trees will be taken out.”
Maintenance and misconceptions
A
s talk over an urban forest master plan contin-ues, Claremont officials look to previously es-tablished guidelines as they work to preservethe city’s saplings. The code includes contracting witha certified arborist for maintenance of city-ownedtrees and restricting residents from pruning or remov-ing any city-owned trees—those planted along citystreets, in publicly-owned facilities and typicallythose within eight to 10 feet of a curb in front of a pri-vate property.While protocol is in place, protecting local treessometimes falls out of the control of city sanctions.One of the biggest problems Claremont tree activistshave taken issue with is the tree-trimming takingplace on private property. It is not uncommon to findtrees with branches trimmed bare, like those of a treefound on Indian Hill Boulevard just north of BaseLine Road. Examples like this have popped upthroughout the city, becoming a running joke that“The City of Trees and PhDs is slowly becoming“The City of Chumps and Stumps.” The damage is in part caused by a common mis-conception of tree-trimming, according to Mr. vonWodtke. When trees are cut excessively, residents runthe risk of having their trees sprout shoots called“suckers,” that can eventually kill the tree and pose a
Claremont COURIER/Friday, February 21, 2014
3
CITY NEWS
COURIER photo/Steven FelschundneffThese trees in an east Claremont business park were topped late last year, presumably to keep the leaves from collecting on the building’s flat roof. The Tree ActionGroup, a subcommittee of Sustainable Claremont, is stepping forward to assist in the development of a comprehensive, city-wide tree policy.
Claremont’s urban forest top priority for action group
CITY OF TREES/ 
continues on page 5
TREES

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