Claremont Insider: August 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Out of Sight but not Out of Mind

Where is the Trolley?

We've been asked by a few readers, "whatever happened to the Trolley?" Last we heard there was some discussion with a Trolley Brokers in Colorado, and Maybe Chaffey College over in Rancho Cucamonga. A letter from Chaffey College was even included in the agenda packet for the May 26, 2009 council meeting expressing interest if a few nettlesome details could be worked through.

Well, we tasked the Insider KH-12B spy satellite to try to pin down the geodetic coordinates of the Claremont Trolley. After poring over thousands of images identified by our state-of-the-art pattern-recognition software, and collating locations through a probabilistic image-match algorithm, we finally believe we can identify the location of the Trolley at least on pass 19,311 at 1738 UTC today, August 6, 2009.

The Trolley is sitting in a carport in the City Yard--awaiting another clarion call to duty.

See the pictures below (as usual, click on picture to enlarge):

Survey image showing Claremont and Pomona
East portion of Claremont and west part of Upland
City Yard on Monte Vista
Trolley found under camouflage cover
Detail of Trolley on August 6, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Morning Lesson

Superbia et Ira

We take our text this morning from the writings of newly-appointed Human Services Commissioner, Saint Homer the Butch. Pastor Henderson wrote in yesterday's Courier:

Claremont has an ideal opportunity to create a well-planned housing community for seniors and families on the former COURIER site.

By bringing together folks across the generations, this small community within our larger community will add to the vitality of Claremont. It will offer an affordable housing opportunity for many who already work in Claremont and enable them to live in the community where they are employed.

Families with younger children will have convenient access to Oakmont School, where there is plenty of room for new students [He's right on this one if Helaine Goldwater was to be believed at last Tuesday's council meeting. She stated that 50% of Oakmont's students were "interdistrict transfers", meaning they came from outside of Claremont. See the video here at 2:13:00 ff.] The location is also conveniently situated near Claremont’s downtown business centers. We have a developer with an excellent track record and with viable, appealing communities in place around Southern California.

No location or plan will ever be perfect nor meet the objections of those who find fault with every affordable housing proposal. Now is the time to continue building quality of life sustainability in Claremont by seizing the opportunity.

Butch and Rosemary Henderson

As we read the first three paragraphs of this letter, our bosom swelled with welling pride to be a member of a community so obviously willing to do the Right Thing. Pastor Henderson's sermons have always had that effect on people, and we'll be attending the Human Services Commission meetings faithfully for more moral instruction from here on out.

It was something of a wrong note though to hear him refer in the last paragraph to "those who find fault with every affordable housing proposal". We thought we detected more than a hint of anger so some of his fellow men there, indicting--though not by name--a segment of our community apparently worthy of his remark.

We have in this letter pride in his community and his place in it and thinly-veiled anger at what must be a substantial portion of it--at least substantial enough to get into his head. It sounded kinda judgmental to us.

Then we remembered that "pride" and "anger" were two of the seven deadly sins. So take this lesson.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

White-Striped Fruit Fly Eradication in Claremont

Neighborhoods and open space on the far western edge of Claremont, including some of the Piedmont Mesa area and part of Claraboya, will be subject to treatment for eradication of the newly-found White-Striped Fruit Fly, found in La Verne a few days ago. This bug is a native of Southeast Asia. The California Department of Food and Agriculture said this in a press release:

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has detected an infestation of the white striped fruit fly in the La Verne area of Los Angeles County.

Seven white striped fruit flies have been detected recently in traps in the area, marking the first time this pest has been detected in the Western Hemisphere. The fly is native to tropical Southeast Asia, where it damages the fruit of many trees, most notably guava and mango. Damage occurs when the female lays eggs inside the fruit. The eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption.

Beginning on August 1, CDFA eradication crews will place several thousand traps containing a "male attractant” lure and a small amount of pesticide. The traps will be hung in trees throughout approximately 15 square miles in the La Verne area. These traps, also known as “bait stations,” attract and kill the male flies, effectively eliminating breeding. Within 200 meters of the sites where the seven flies were trapped, crews will also apply ground treatments with an organic-approved product [note: the product is Spinosad*, chemical diagram right; it is highly toxic to bees] to the foliage of trees to ensure that any established breeding populations are eradicated.

Residents of properties that are scheduled for traps or foliage treatments will be notified prior to the application.

Residents with questions about the treatment program may call the department’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

We have noticed a lot of the State Department of Food and Agriculture trucks around town in the past week or so. These are the guys who carry the cardboard "tent" traps and bottle traps to catch bugs in fruit trees. This must be what that has been all about.

Nothing about this in this week's City Manager Update--quite a bit though on the Claremont "Family Campout" and the teen Graffiti Exhibit (do we really need one of these?).

Below is a map showing the present extent of the treatment scheduled to begin today, August 1.

click on map to enlarge

* * * * * *
*From DowAgro description of the insecticide to be used by the CDFA: Spinosad has a unique mode of action that is different from all other known insect control products. Spinosad causes excitation of the insect nervous system, leading to involuntary muscle contractions, prostration with tremors, and finally paralysis. These effects are consistent with the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by a mechanism that is clearly novel and unique among known insecticidal compounds. Spinosad also has effects on GABA receptor function that may contribute further to its insecticidal activity.