Friday, May 22, 2009

Sobriety checkpoint tonight

The Claremont Police Department will be running a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location in town. Police will pull over motorists to verify valid driver licenses and to make sure nobody is driving drunk. The operation will run from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

At the last sobriety checkpoint in April, a man ditched his car and ran off on foot but was apprehended. He was driving with a suspended license and told cops he didn't want to get his car impounded again. He was arrested and the car was impounded.

Also, a group of protesters tipped off drivers approaching the checkpoint to turn around with large warning signs. A COURIER reader took exception to the idea of protesting police's efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road. Read her comments here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Affordable housing meeting tonight

A neighborhood meeting will be held at Oakmont Elementary School tonight to discuss the proposed affordable housing project at 111 S. College Ave.

Area residents and anyone in town interested in affordable housing are invited to attend. The meeting will be led by City Housing Manager Brian Desatnik, a representative from developer Jamboree Housing Corporation and other city staff.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Oakmont is located at 120 W. Green St.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Indian Hill accident update

Here's the latest on the pedestrian accident on Indian Hill Boulevard after talking to Claremont police. The victims are Barbara and Noah Witt, family members of the city's Community Development Director Tony Witt. Barbara and Noah were rushed to Pomona Valley immediately after the accident. Barbara was treated and released last night. No word on the nature of her injuries. Five-year-old Noah was transported to another hospital where he is being treated in a pediatrics intensive care unit. He's listed in stable condition after suffering some chest and head trauma. Apparently, the driver didn't see the pedestrians. She was driving west on 10th Street and turned south onto Indian Hill when the accident occurred. Again, our thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the Witt family.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Accident on Indian Hill

A boy and his mother were hit by a car while crossing the crosswalk at Indian Hill Boulevard and 10th Street. I have not been able to get a hold of police yet to confirm reports about the situation. But I have heard through the rumor mill that the mother is in stable condition. The young boy, I believe just 5 years old, was airlifted to Loma Linda Hospital and is responding and moving his limbs. The unfortunate incident happened around 3 p.m. today. A stretch of Indian Hill Boulevard was closed off for quite some time as police cleared the scene. Our prayers and thoughts go out to this Claremont family at this scary time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Freedom of the press

The Wolfpacket student newspaper at Claremont High School recently ran this cartoon in its Friday, May 1 issue. It seems the paper has a lot of freedom to make commentary on the powers that be within the school and District.

The image depicts Superintendent David Cash standing on top of a pile of money. Cash recently announced he will be leaving the district for a new job as Superintendent of the Clovis Unified School District. He started the job in Claremont less than 3 years ago.

The puppet in the cartoon is CHS Principal Brett O'Conner, who "is now free to be the good leader that we know he can be rather than just doing everything Dr. Cash tells him," according to Liliana Caughman, the senior at CHS who drew the cartoon.

Below are students asking what will happen to some great initiatives Cash started while he was here. "We don't know what will happen to them. Some people think Dr. Cash just used Claremont as a stepping stone in his career," Liliana said.

CHS administration and the school paper have butted heads in the past. The former adviser to the paper, Becca Feeny, was stripped of her duties with the paper following clashes with then Principal Carrie Allen.

Liliana said there hasn't been any backlash from the administration to her cartoon and actually some faculty have quietly congratulated the paper for publishing it.

Liliana plans to attend Santa Barbara City College next year to study politics and sociology and wants to continue drawing cartoons for her college paper. "When u draw a cartoon, it's something that everyone can understand," she said. "You get a serious point across in a funny and satirical way and I like that."

Claremont NIMBYism

It was another marathon city council meeting. Adjournment was not until nearly 1 a.m. That tends to happen whenever affordable housing is on the agenda as was the case last night.

The city will enter an exclusive negotiating agreement with Jamboree Housing Corporation to build a project at the old COURIER site. The city wants 75 units of mix senior and family housing at the 3-acre site.

There were over 20 speakers who attended to address the council, and plenty of NIMBYs (not in my back yard) among them. One speaker even said, "Your projects are great perhaps, but not in my back yard."

But there was a stark difference between the NIMBYs at last night's meeting and those opposing the project on Base Line Road. Residents on Green Street, College Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood for the most part raised legitimate concerns about parking, traffic and density that the project will bring to their neighborhood.

Many of the same people said they support affordable housing and want to successfully integrate the project there.

There were no statements like "those (poor) people" will bring in crime and destroy the value of our properties. That was a common argument among the Base Line area NIMBYs before the USC freeway pollution study came out.

The healthier attitude among the new neighbors towards affordable housing bodes well for the project's future success. There are still some serious concerns to be ironed out and hopefully the city will do all it can to address them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

City council agenda for Tuesday

Expect a long meeting on Tuesday for the city council. There's a lot to cover on the agenda.

The council will be considering the speed limit recommendations for Base Line Road. A new speed survey has been completed due to recent revisions in striping and median installation on the roadway.

Staff is recommending that the existing speed limits be retained on Base Line Road, with the exception of the segment between Indian Hill Boulevard and Towne Avenue, which will be raised to 45 mph. It will be necessary to raise the speed limit in that segment to comply with state law.

The council will consider a proposed Water Conservation Ordinance recommended by Metropolitan Water District. If adopted, the water conservation ordinance would identify restrictions, penalties and other provisions for private water use in the community.

Also on the agenda is a discussion over the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Jamboree Housing Corporation. The development company has been identified to construct an affordable housing project at the old COURIER site on College Avenue.

The council will also discuss funding for Community Based Organizations and homeless programs. The regular meeting takes place on Tuesday, May 12 at the city council chamber beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Those interesting in parking issues around the Claremont Colleges should attend a study session by the council that will begin at 4 p.m. in the council chambers on Tuesday. Here's the link to a staff report.

Also, the council will meet Monday night in a joint session with the School Board to discuss a couple of items relevant to both the city and school district. See here for the agenda. That meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the new District office on San Jose.

OLA Festival

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, head down to OLA for their 62th annual festival/fundraiser called "California Dreamin."

Bands performing include Ace, The Answer and The Silverados. The party begins tonight from 5 to 11 p.m. and will run Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.