Friday, February 28, 2014

Claremont church welcomes new head pastor

Claremont’s Granite Creek Community Church celebrates the promotion of Joshua Kapchinksy to head pastor of the congregation this weekend and the community is invited to add to join in the congratulations. A celebration takes place on Sunday, March 2 at 10:30 a.m. A bounce house, lunch and chocolate chip cookies will be included in the festivities.
Mr. Kapchinsky is a 1995 graduate of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, which led to working with antiques and ancient manuscripts before he began on staff at Granite Creek 14 years ago. His business expertise and passion for inviting the community to work together for a greater goal has helped birth programs such as a Charity Thrift Store, summer meals & educational programs for the underserved, a Christmas Kid Pack Program, a local food bank and more. 
Granite Creek is located at 1580 N Claremont Blvd. For directions or more information, visit

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Local updates from Claremont's City Manager

Courtesy of Claremont's City Manager Tony Ramos:

Electric vehicle chargers added to Village structure
The city recently installed two dual-mount electric vehicle charging stations for public use, states City Manager Tony Ramos in his weekly report. One station is located in the Village parking structure, on the first floor of the south side, and the other station is on the west side of Claremont City Hall. There are two chargers per station, and both are operable 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Detailed charging information can be found on ChargePoint’s website, by visiting The current rate is $1.25 per hour, and the chargers are accessible via credit card payment or a ChargePoint access card.

Temporary restrooms added to wilderness loop
In response to a need for sanitary facilities along the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park primary trail, the city has contracted for two port-a-potties to be placed at separate locations along the main loop. These units will be serviced weekly in addition to the ones located at the entrance to the trail. The restrooms are a temporary measure to address environmental concerns associated with the lack of sanitary facilities on the main loop while the city develops the master plan for the wilderness area. If you have any questions on this topic, contact Bob Cecil, community and human services manager at (909) 399-5431.

Traffic Calming Installations at College Avenue and Arrow
As part of the Traffic Calming Installations Project, driver feedback signs have been installed on College Avenue, between Arrow Highway and Green Street near Oakmont Elementary School. These electronic signs display the approaching speed of a vehicle. Research has found that installation of driver feedback signs is an effective tool to reduce speed, Mr. Ramos writes. The signs were activated this week. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Water hot topic at tonight's council meeting

Water, and lack thereof, will be at the forefront of discussion at the upcoming Claremont City Council on Tuesday, February 24.

Ben Lewis, foothill district manager for Golden State Water Company, will make an appearance at the beginning of the meeting to address local drought conditions. Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in the state. Since that time, local municipalities have taken various measures to encourage residents to cut back on water consumption. Just last week Claremont’s neighboring city of La Verne adopted a series of measure to encourage its residents to conserve, including a “cash for grass” program. The Claremont council has not yet publicly addressed taking further measures concerning the drought.

Further water talk will take place following Mr. Lewis’s presentation, this time involving the water manager’s employer. The council will be asked to approve the use of $150,000 of the city’s unassigned General Fund money for its defense against Golden State Water. The water company filed a lawsuit against the city of Claremont in December, alleging the city has not complied with the California Public Records act, which declares all public records in the state of California to be open and available to anyone. In the court documents, Golden State executives claim the city has not been compliant or transparent as claimed. City officials have maintained they have the right to refuse disclosure because of claimed attorney-client and work product privileges as well as allowed exemptions in the California Public Records Act.

Later on in the evening, council members will discuss approving a Memorandum of Understanding between the city of Claremont and the city of La Verne for the preparation of a water system operational study. Late last month, city officials released a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the potential purchase of the city’s water system. The report indicated the possibility of La Verne assuming responsibility for Claremont’s water system should it be obtained from Golden State Water.

Despite ongoing litigation, the city proceeds forward with the potential water system acquisition. Council members will discuss moving forward with the acquisition at a meeting to be held on March 25. To accommodate the crowds that have been attending these discussions, City Manager Tony Ramos is recommending the city council meeting on that date be moved from its usual location at city hall to Taylor Hall, 1775 N. Indian Hill Blvd. Council members will approve that change at the end of Tuesday night’s meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 225 W. Second St. To view the full agenda, visit A full report will be included online and in the next edition of the COURIER. 

City seeks feedback on transport service

City officials are asking for residents’ feedback on the Claremont Dial-A-Ride service.

In January 2013, the Claremont City Council approved an increase to the Claremont Dial-A-Ride (DAR) fares in an effort to ensure the program’s long-term financial viability. Since the increase, the service program has seen its ridership decline by almost 40 percent, according to a recent report. Although this change represents a significant reduction in ridership, officials maintain the lower ridership is consistent with the program's historic performance prior to 2009 when the economic crisis began to dramatically change ridership trends.

While the program experienced declines in all segments of its ridership, the declines were greater among general public riders versus senior and disabled customers. The largest reductions in ridership were in out-of-town travel and after regular service hours by seniors and disabled persons. City staff claims they have received relatively few complaints regarding Dial-A-Ride.

Staff will bring a DAR service update before the Claremont City Council in March 2014. In the meantime, residents are invited to share their comments and concerns about the program. Correspondence may be addressed to or sent to the attention of Cari Sneed, management analyst to Community and Human Services Department, 1616 Monte Vista Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Claremont council priorities workshop this weekend

The Claremont City Council will gather on Saturday, February 22 for the annual priorities meeting.  Claremont residents are invited to add their input on a number of city projects and priorities as council members look ahead. The meeting will take place at the City Council Chambers, 225 W. Second St. To view the agenda, visit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Still time to give input on Claremont's 2014-2016 budget

The city’s budget workshops may be over, but residents still have time to add their thoughts on the city’s 2014-2016 financial plans. An interactive survey will be available on the city’s website until Friday, February 28. Results will be announced a couple weeks following the survey's closure.