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Courier 6.13.12

Courier 6.13.12

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Published by Claremont Courier
claremont, courier,news,91711,print edition, 061312
claremont, courier,news,91711,print edition, 061312

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Published by: Claremont Courier on Jun 13, 2012
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06/13/2012

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C
our er i
laremont
 
claremont-courier.com
Former CHS student faces sexual assault charges
Story on page 4
Wednesday 06-13-12
u
75 cents
9 days
 Your week in
      t
Calendar starts on page 14
Claremont resident earnsPolice Excellence Awardfor keeping her cool underpressure
Story on page 3COURIER photos/Steven FelschundneffClaremont High School class of 2012 valedictorian is Serena Liu, left, and the salutatorian is Josephine Chen. Both studentswill be pursuing science in college and both helped to paint the mural pictured above. Story on page 5.
 t
dynamic duo
Next stop, Olympics
Story on page 12
 
Claremont COURIER/Wednesday, June 13, 2012
2
The Claremont Courier(United States Postal Service 115-180) is published twice weekly by the Courier Graphics Corporation at 1420 N. ClaremontBlvd., Ste. 205B, Claremont, California 91711-5003. The Courier is a newspaper of general circulation as defined by the politicalcode of the state of California, entered as periodicals matter September 17, 1908 at the post office at Claremont, California underthe act of March 3, 1879. Periodicals postage is paid at Claremont, California 91711-5003. Single copy: 75 cents. Annual sub-scription: $52.00. Annual online subscription: $47. Send all remittances and correspondence about subscriptions, undeliveredcopies and changes of address to the Courier, 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205B, Claremont, California 91711-5003. Telephone:
One hundred and fourth year, number 45
1
420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205BClaremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4761Office hours: Monday-Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Owner
Janis Weinberger
Editor and Publisher
Peter Weinberger
pweinberger@claremont-courier.com
Managing Editor
Kathryn Dunn
editor@claremont-courier.com
Newsroom
City Reporter
Beth Hartnett
news@claremont-courier.com
Education and Sports Reporter
Landus Rigsby
reporter@claremont-courier.com
Education and Sports ReporterInterim
Sarah Torribio
storribio@claremont-courier.com
Features Reporter/Obituaries
Brenda Bolinger
brendabolinger@claremont-courier.com
Photo Editor/Staff Photographer
Steven Felschundneff
steven@claremont-courier.com
Reporter At Large
Pat Yarborough
Calendar Editor
Jenelle Rensch
Production
Ad/Page Design
Jenelle Rensch
Page Design
Kathryn Dunn
Editorial Interns
Jake Bartman, reporterCameron Barr, photographerAmanda Rhodes, photographer
Advertising
Advertising Director
Mary Rose
maryrose@claremont-courier.com
Classified Editor
Jacquie Fischer
classified@claremont-courier.com
Business Administration
Marketing Manager
Vickie Rosenberg
legalads@claremont-courier.com
Billing/Accounting Manager
Dee Proffitt
Distribution/Publications
Tom Smith
tomsmith@claremont-courier.com
Subscriptions
subscriptions@claremont-courier.com
[Editor’s note: The following lettersrelate to award recipient RachelKrieger, a 32-year-old Claremontresident with Autism Spectrum Dis-order, who bravely called 911 andhelped her neighbor Anna Petrovichescape her home that had caughtfire. A full story is on page 3 of thisedition.
—KD
]
With gratitude
Dear Editor:June 7, 2012 was a red letterday for the special needs com-munity. As my granddaughterRachel Kreiger stood in front of the Claremont Police Commis-sion meeting to receive heraward, she was able to reach outto the 86-year-old neighborwhose home had burned. Theystood arm-in-arm as Rachel ac-cepted a real medal for havingthe presence of mind to call 911and then bravely go towards theflames to waken and alert every-one to escape the midnight blaze.The act of heroism on thenight of the fire is worthy of praise, but the ability to stand infront of a group of uniformed po-lice officers and communitymembers and openly show herlove was, for those of us whoknew the years of fear and isola-tion and rejection Rachel had toovercome, an even greater act of valor. Of course, the Kriegerfamily is proud of Rachel forwhat she did, but we’re prouderstill of who she has become.The Claremont Police Com-mission provided an opportunityto their own and to the commu-nity to see into the true heart of ayoung lady, despite a history of multiple developmental prob-lems we now recognize as on theAutism spectrum.Rachel’s previous encounterswith police were primarily fornegatives like major meltdownsresulting in hospital intervention,as Rachel struggled to deal withher challenges. Because the po-lice and other first responderswere there to help her in the past,Rachel began to understand theneed to help others.We want to thank the commis-sion, Officer Mike Ciszek, andeveryone involved in presentingthis award.And gratitude to the Clare-mont COURIER for their caringconcern in interviewing Racheland the family and friends whoattended the ceremony.On behalf of Rachel, we alsowant to acknowledge the supportof Tri City therapy providers, thePomona Valley/Inland LearningdisAbilities Association, NAMI,teachers, neighbors, family andfriends and especially her pre-cious Autism service dogs, Taraand Nikki, for helping Rachelnavigate the rocky road of grow-ing up “special” and allowing herto become the proud recipient of a Police Excellence Award. Withdeep appreciation,
Arline Krieger and family
Claremont
Rachel’s letter
To the Claremont Police Com-mission:Thank you to give me theaward to save Anne Petrovich andthe others from the fire. Love,
Rachel Krieger
Claremont
READERS’ COMMENTS
 ADVENTURES
IN HAIKU
long Claremont nurtured,savor your senior moment—go, 2012!
—Jean Collinsworth
 Agendas for city meetingsare available at www.ci.claremont.ca.us
GOVERNINGOURSELVES
Wednesday, June 13
Architectural CommissionCancelled
Tuesday, June 19
Planning CommissionCouncil Chamber, 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 21
CUSD Board of EducationKirkendall Center, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 26
City CouncilCouncil Chamber, 6:30 p.m.
READERS’ COMMENTS
The COURIER welcomes all readers’ commentson any issue or concern. Letters may be submitted byemail to editor@claremont-courier.com, by fax 621-4072, by mail 1420 N. Claremont Blvd. Ste. 205B,Claremont, CA 91711, or hand-delivery. Email is thepreferred method.Deadline for the Wednesday issue is Monday at 3p.m.; the deadline for the Saturday issue is Thursdayat 3 p.m.The COURIER cannot guarantee publication of every letter. We reserve the right to edit letters. Lettersshould not exceed 250 words.
 
C
laremont police gathered at CityHall late last week for the annualpolice awards ceremony, honor-ing the accomplishments of the depart-ment’s personnel and volunteers. One of the department’s most distinguishedawards was given to a woman without abadge or uniform.
In addition to recognizing those among its ownranks, Claremont police bestowed an honorary dis-tinction, The Police Medal of Excellence, to a citizenof Claremont. The department gives this award to aresident who has shown exemplary service to boththe Claremont PD and the community. The honor,though, had an exceptional significance to award re-cipient Rachel Krieger.When receiving the award, Ms. Krieger, 32, stoodarm-in-arm with neighbor Anna Petrovich, who Ms.Krieger helped save when a fire broke out at Ms.Petrovich’s south Claremont home last April. Familymembers say the distinction has brought about a newlevel of self-confidence for the usually shy Ms.Krieger, who is diagnosed with autism. None of thatsocial anxiety was present as Ms. Krieger beamed infront of the crowds.“Characteristically, it was something that no onehad ever thought to expect of her. She has just turnedout to be the most socially appropriate and caring per-son,” said Ms. Krieger’s grandmother, Arline Krieger.“The recognition by the community has built her self-confidence. Now she is much more social.”Instead of panicking in an emergency situation,Ms. Krieger calmly called police the night she dis-covered her neighbor’s home had re-ignited intoflames less than 24 hours after an initial blaze.“Typically, people with autism will run and hidein the face of adversity. However, Rachel rose abovethis challenge and handled the situation bravely, withregard for the safety of her neighbors,” said Clare-mont Captain Jon Traber before bequeathing Ms.Krieger with her medal. “Rachel’s quick thinking andappropriate response in the face of danger helpedsave lives that night.”Ms. Krieger exuded a sense of confidence standingin front of the packed council chamber Thursdaynight, any social anxiety was seemingly absent.“I am excited because I get to show people,” Ms.Krieger explained of her shiny new medallion.While she was honored for her outstanding brav-ery, for Ms. Krieger it was about looking after a ma-ternal figure in her life.“My neighbor needed help,” said Ms. Krieger,who admitted she was scared, but knew what she hadto do.Ms. Krieger grew up in her grandmother’s Kirk-wood Avenue home, where “she had a history of watching out for Ann’s house,” her grandmothernoted. She always had a special bond with Ms. Petro-vich, who lived right across the street.“Ann is like a grandma to her and I’m more like afull-time caretaker,” Arline Krieger explained of herrealtionship with her grandaughter. “Ann would al-ways tell her ‘You come watch my house for me.’She felt a sense of responsibility.”When Ms. Petrovich’s home went up in flamesEaster Sunday, Ms. Krieger was among the first inline with other neighbors to come to Ms. Petrovich’said. Those first acts of kindness were followed byfurther actions of bravery, for which both the Clare-mont police and the Pomona Valley Learning Dis-abilities Association formally recognized her.During the early morning following the initial fire,Ms. Krieger was putting her dog outside when shenoticed Ms. Petrovich’s house had once again goneup in flames. Instead of panicking, she immediatelycalled the police. She then went over to the housewhere Ms. Petrovich was staying, adjacent to theflames, to alert her and other neighbors about the sec-ond blaze.“She had to run right by the house, where the firewas dropping down all around, to get to the door,”Ms. Petrovich explained.Afterwards, Ms. Krieger escorted Ms. Petrovichand the others to her grandmother’s home and pro-vided her with some slippers and tea.“She didn’t even want her slippers back. She hasalways looked out for me,” Ms. Petrovich said emo-tionally, admitting that Ms. Krieger is like one of herown. “She always comes in [the house] with cookiesor biscuits or hot tea or cider. She just loves to sur-prise me and bring me food. She is terrific.”Receiving the award has provided a wonderfullearning opportunity not only for Ms. Krieger, butalso for others in the special needs community, ac-cording to grandmother Arline. Several of Ms.Krieger’s friends from a young adult social group,part of the Pomona Valley Learning Disabilities As-sociation, were present at the meeting to support theirfriend and attend a celebratory pizza party afterward.“It has brought her into a place of honor amongher friends, and the kind of self-confidence thatcomes with that is something to really be sought afterfor any kid with any kind of challenge,” Arline said.“To know they have made a difference...that is prob-ably the biggest gift that they, or any of us, can everget.”
—Beth Hartnett
news@claremont-courier.com˙
Claremont COURIER/Wednesday, June 13, 2012
3
CITY NEWS
 Acts of heroism celebrated by Police Commission
COURIER photos/Steven FelschundneffClaremont resident Rachel Krieger, center, embraces her neighbor, Anna Petrovich, as Captain JonTraber describes the events that led to Ms. Krieger being honored with the Police Medal of Excellenceaward during the Police Commission meeting last Friday.Officers recognized bythe Police Commissioninclude from left: CaptainJon Traber who pre-sented the awards; Offi-cer Jacob Tillman, whoreceived the Lifesavingaward; Officer MattHamill, who received aMADD DUI arrest award;Don Gray, recognized for20 years of volunteerservice on communitypatrol; Corporal HectorTamayo, who also re-ceived a MADD DUI ar-rest award; and ChiefPaul Cooper who as-sisted in presenting therecognitions.

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