Claremont Insider: The Windmills are Weakening

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Windmills are Weakening

The Courier had an informative article in Wednesdays paper (December 12, 2007; you need to buy the paper because the article is not linked online.)

Under the head, "Baseline Project Still Under Fire", Tony Krickl reports the sands shifting even more under the foundation--such as it is--of the Baseline Affordable Housing proposal.

Comes now the spokesman for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich quoted as saying, "He [Supervisor Antonovich] clearly has concerns about the project, and he has communicated them to the city and the developer."

Might those be the horrible reviews the project has received in the City-sponsored Environmental Impact Report, or perhaps the letter form the South Coast Air Quality Management District saying, "SCAQMD staff considers it [the affordable housing project on Baseline] to be incompatible land use based on proximity to the freeway."

According to Brian Desatnik, the City staffer pushing this project, it would be "in serious jeopardy" if Supervisor Antonovich and the Board of Supervisors deny funding to the developer. (The Courier article discusses why Supervisor Antonovich is important to the funding process)

There is $2.5 million needed from the Feds and the State for this project. One of the things that these entities consider is community support. It is short-sighted for the City to persist in pushing a project that so clearly divides the community while having the manifest health problems that it has.

Of course, Human Services Commissioner Andrew Winnick can always be counted upon to be the stern no-nonsense teacher. No nonsense about economic justice. No nonsense about environmental justice. No nonsense about children's health. No nonsense about community buy-in. No nonsense that I, Winnick, could learn anything from anybody else. He sponsored a resolution at Human Services last week that is quoted in the article: "The Commission believes this project will provide low and very low-income members of the community the opportunity to live in Claremont, and therefore afford their family [sic] the many options and opportunities that go along with living in this city."

And so would the feasible alternative sites.

The handwriting is on the wall on this project, and it is our hope that Mayor Yao can gracefully find an off-ramp. Otherwise, the vision we had, coming from a 60s-era comedy album, might come all too true: