The Pasadena Star News article is called "Pasadena school board eliminates suspensions for ‘willful defiance’' and can be linked to here. This is pretty much the gist of the article:
Students in Pasadena public schools will no longer be suspended for not following their teachers’ directions.
The Pasadena Unified School Board has eliminated “willful defiance” or disruption of school activities from the district’s policies as a criteria for suspension and possible expulsion for all students.
The state Legislature passed a bill this year that eliminates willful defiance as a category of suspensions for students in kindergarten through third grade and the authority to recommend expulsion for willfully defiant students of all grade levels.
There are a couple of great reader comments attached to this article, and I thought I would share them here. Reader comments can be far more reality based than any news article, and these two get it right in my opinion. Here is the first one:
The second comment comes from a woman named Sally.
Schools that do not enforce discipline quickly become chaotic and out of control. Hardly the kind of place anyone would be able to teach successfully. It does make you wonder what is going on in the minds of some school administrators and those enabling them these days.
Of course, and as is almost always the case with government, the culprit turns out to be money.
Ruth Cusick, a staff attorney at nonprofit law firm Public Counsel, said removing willful defiance as a category of suspensions is about giving teachers other ways of dealing with students’ behavior.
“It’s not about taking something away from our teachers or administrators but actually being honest together about what works and what’s going to increase your attendance and increase academic achievement in schools,” she told the board.
In other words, it is about the additional money a school district gets through improved attendance. Every time a kid shows up at school the state gives that school and its district more money. In this case the priority is getting kids there, not what actually happens after.
That may be why Larry "DUI" Torres's City of Angels school has a 77% failure rate in math. Perhaps it is a school with mostly "at risk" kids and no realistic plan for maintaining a proper level of discipline. This sad brand of education just wants to get them there so they can charge back the taxpayers. No matter how badly they perform.
Look at it this way. If kids were to perform better at PUSD schools, those schools would be better able to compete in the education marketplace. The PUSD would then not lose the kinds of students that they really need to find competitive success. But I guess that isn't their priority right now.
The Preserve Sierra Madre Take On Tuesday's City Council Meeting
(Mod: Late yesterday afternoon Preserve Sierra Madre put out this wrap up of what went down Tuesday evening on the question of building demolitions.)
At Tuesday night's meeting, our City Council extended the Demolition Moratorium for an additional six months but directed City Staff to make their best efforts to complete the revised Demolition ordinance by April 30th. Once the rules for demolition are established and the appropriate safeguards are in place, then the moratorium can be lifted.
After extensive discussions about additional historical preservation measures including an Historical Survey of properties in Sierra Madre, the City Council elected to defer that issue to another meeting. While every council member seemed to support the need for historical preservation, it came down to whether the demolition ordinance is sufficient or whether a historical survey is also needed.
Once again, we have to commend the City Council for taking up these issues and staying late into the night in an effort to get this right. We also want to particularly thank our City Attorney, Terri Highsmith, for her efforts in trying to craft reasonable and effective historical preservation measures that will protect Sierra Madre for generations to come.
Thank you to all of our supporters who sent emails to the City Council encouraging them to continue their efforts and to those who took a night away from their busy schedules to attend the meeting.
Thank you for your support.
Preserve Sierra Madre
|Will Sierra Madre become Lambdin Land?|
The Council completely lost their vision of what the demolition ordinance was supposed to be. It was supposed to prevent our older, historic homes to be demolished and then a lot split or a McMansion to replace it. It was an emergency ordinance to prevent someone from filing for a demolition before the final ordinance was passed. And as Denise said, they have to do the historic survey in order to know what they are talking about in the ordinance. Otherwise it would be willy nilly decision making. Capoccia at first made great sense but lost it when Harabedian made his case, forcefully and over and over.
For the first time I can remember, Elaine and Teresa made perfect sense when they argued that a 6 month moratorium was necessary to let the Planning Commission do their job, and have time to do the survey to make sure all the points were covered. Harabedian wanted to keep it to 90 days and said it didn't need to go to the Planning Commission as the Council was smart enough to make the decision themselves. Clueless Goss kept going on about individual property rights, completely missing the point altogether.
In the end, they voted for a 60 day extension of the moratorium with the proviso that they do a rush job and try to get it to Council for the final reading in April. This is completely unrealistic, and as one of the public said, you need the 6 months to get it right. There is something fishy about that discussion last night.
(Mod: Take your pick. Personally I think the Bob the Builder faction, as represented by the always narrowly focused Glenn Lambdin, got to Mayor Johnny Process. Glenn has made it his lifetime's work to fight historic designations of homes here, probably because he believes it will get in the way of his attempts to turn the town into pirate's booty.)
Barry Gold on Water Conservation penalties
(Mod: Barry Gold sent the following e-mail to the City Council yesterday afternoon. We are making it public for you today.)
Dear Mayor and Council Members,
Dear Mayor and Council Members,
I cannot tell you how disappointed I am concerning your passage of the Water Conservation Penalties Resolution.
You asked the people of Sierra Madre to cut their water usage by 30% below their water allowance which I believe was set using 2012 usage data.
Many residents are reaching their target goal. Some are doing even better while some have made no effort to conserve any water and are using even more than they did in 2012.
I certainly agree with the council in imposing fines on those who do not make any attempt to conserve and those who are trying to conserve and are not yet at the 30% reduction.
Where I am really troubled is with the City Manager's plan to reward those who have done the best job by conserving more than 30% by punishing them with lower target goals. Their current target goal was set to reflect actual usage in 2012 less 30%. I believe the city wants to get rid of the 2012 usage based allowance and replace it with an unfair Calculator Tool that is subject to change by the council and staff and which we have not been able to see and study.
The usage based system reflects the differences in family needs by using actual prior usage data. The Calculator Tool cannot be fair since on size cannot fit all. A family of four with two children will use a different amount of water per person then a family of four adults. The Calculator does not provide for this.
Please keep the 2012 usage based system in place. The calculator may be useful when considering appeals, but it should be a tool to use along with other considerations not the uncaring abusive tool it could become.
Finally I am most disturbed by Section 4 of the Resolution which states "Violations of Urgency Ordinance 1359U Implementing the California State Water Resources Control Board Emergency Regulation - Staff is authorized to initiate the Administrative Enforcement provisions of the Municipal Code Section 1.18."
Please read the Administrative Enforcement provisions. I have included some of the provisions below. I highlighted some of the provisions to call your attention to them. If this is what you had in mind to give the staff full discretion to do I think you are making an enormous mistake. We cannot be ready for such heavy handed tactics at this time. At least see if the fines work before using a cannon to kill an ant.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I know that you have numerous reports to read and that you are receiving many letters and e-mails from many residents each week. Some say your job is a thankless one. Well that is not true. We depend on all of you to always know what is best for the people of Sierra Madre and the city in general. This is a lot to ask of anyone. And I do thank you for your sincere efforts to do that which is truly best.
Respectfully, Barry Gold
Chapter 1.18 - ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT
1.18.010 - Purpose and intent.
The city council has determined that the enforcement of this code, any uniform or other code it adopts by reference, and any other ordinance of the city is an important public service and is vital to the protection of the public's health, safety, and quality of life. The city council has determined that there is a need for alternative methods of code enforcement and that a comprehensive code enforcement system includes criminal, civil, and administrative remedies.
1.18.030 - General enforcement authority.
Enforcement officers may issue notices of violation and administrative citations, inspect public and private property, and use whatever judicial and administrative remedies are available under this code and other law to enforce the ordinances of the city. More specific provisions regarding administrative or other enforcement authority and procedures for particular violations may exist in this code and shall to fullest extent permissible, be construed to complement rather than contradict this chapter.
1.18.050 - Authority to inspect.
Enforcement officers are authorized to enter upon any property or premises within the city to ascertain whether code violations exist, and to make any examination and surveys as may be necessary in the performance of their enforcement duties, in accordance with Fourth Amendment of United States Constitution and the related protections of the California Constitution. These inspections may include the taking of photographs, samples, or other physical evidence. All inspection, entries, examinations and surveys shall be performed reasonably and in accordance with law. If an owner or occupant or property or his or her agent refuses to consent to entry and inspection, an enforcement officer may seek an administrative inspection warrant pursuant to law.
1.18.060 - Notice of pending administrative enforcement.
An enforcement officer may record with the Los Angeles County Assessor a notice against a property which is the subject of an administrative enforcement action to give notice to potential transferees of the property of code violations thereon. A notice of pending administrative action shall be on a form approved by the city manager and shall describe the nature of the administrative action and refer to the code provision governing the pending administrative action.
1.18.070 - Administrative fines and penalties.
A. Any responsible person may be subject to an administrative fine pursuant to this chapter for any code violation.
B. Each and every responsible person is joint and severally liable, in accordance with notice and procedures of this chapter, for all fines, penalties and interest imposed for the code violation(s) as to which he she or it is a responsible person.
C. Each day a code violation is committed, continued or permitted, shall be a separate violation for which a citation may be issued. An enforcement officer may charge several violations of the code on a citation.
D. The administrative fines delineated in this chapter are in addition to, and do not preclude imposition of, any other remedies, criminal, civil, or administrative, available to the city. Imposition of administrative fines shall be at the sole discretion of the city.
Arcadia's City Council Abandons Their China Junket
(Mod: Kudos to Terry Miller and his Arcadia Weekly for getting out in front on this one.)
(Mod: You can check out the rest of this report by clicking here.)
(Mod: You can check out the rest of this report by clicking here.)