County development group sees $1 billion economic boast by extending Gold Line - Construction of the Gold Line Foothill extension will create nearly 7,000 new jobs and pump nearly $1 billion into the region's economy, according to a new study of the project ...
I don't know about you, but I learned very early on in life that boasting about anything is not considered to be either thoughtful or polite behavior. But even worse would be boasting about money. And it would hardly be fitting to take undue pride in a lot of money, especially if it was generated from invested tax revenues that you really didn't do all that much to earn.
But here's the thing. How is it that our modest little 210 Trolly has become the panacea for all the world's ills? Global warming, economic decline, unemployment, "getting people out of their cars," housing development, assorted green issues, the long lines at Pasadena's "Cheesecake Factory," these are all things the little train that could is supposed to either assist in improving or just flat out remedy. C'mon, it's just a small commuter train, guys. And I've got to say it, I'm beginning to feel just a little bit hyped here. I'm also starting to believe that some of these Metro types have just been attending too many meetings with the same old people, and they've allowed hothouse reality creation to run wild over more sober assessments.
Enough said about that one. Now I was going to whip this next Pasadena Star News item into a full article on my site, but every time I write something about the Pasadena Unified School District all hell breaks loose. So I figured I would hide it in this post and hope that nobody notices. Please, don't read this one.
PUSD parcel tax proposal moves forward - The Pasadena Unified School District board of education Tuesday inched closer to putting a parcel tax on the May ballot that could inject more than $7 million in annual revenue into school coffers for the next five years ... A parcel tax of $120 on more than 59,000 properties in Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Altadena will raise more than $35 million over the next five years. Board members warned the parcel tax won't be a cure-all for the financially strapped district ... The school district, which has a $20.7 million budget deficit for the 2010-11 school year, will use the money to keep its Advanced Placement programs running, its college counselors employed and to make up for some of the money the state cut from schools during last summer's fiscal crisis.
Now it has to be said, there is no greater tragedy than the terrible fate of the California Public Schools System. At one time it ranked among the world's finest, but no more. Only Mississippi, a state that has never been synonymous with educational achievement, ranks lower. And in the current economic collapse, exacerbated by truly atrocious leadership in Sacramento, public education has been virtually abandoned to fend for itself. And now the PUSD is in the unenviable position of having to go out hat in hand and beg for additional voter assistance for the third time in the last dozen or so years.
Regardless of how you feel about this school district or our continued membership in it (and we have certainly covered these topics in the recent past), it really is a tragic situation. One of the things that made America great was its astonishing ability, through public education, to raise up the least among us and mold them into productive tax paying citizens. The path to middle class success and prosperity started at the school house door, something in real danger of no longer being the case. Many of our international economic rivals are now beating us badly in this vital matter, and doing so with far fewer resources.
But all that said, I am not sure that throwing good money after bad is the solution here. At least not until we have seen some very real and significant attempts to reform what many view as being a highly dysfunctional organization. The only way that I can see this being made palatable to the voters is through complete accountability and a sincere effort to significantly repair some of the glaring inefficiencies that have dragged the PUSD down to where it is today. It's time for a little tough love. The same old guilt trips, cheesy postcards and feel good nostalgia for public education might not work this time around.
Many have expressed interest in the unexpected and sudden retirement of our current State Assemblyman, a Mr. Anthony Adams. And there was a bit of a boomlet here on The Tattler yesterday regarding a possible Kurt Zimmerman candidacy for this office. Certainly there is no place on God's green earth more in need of the honesty and integrity our retiring City Councilman offers than Baghdad on the Sacramento River. California has been laid low by one of the worst state governments anywhere, and only by sending people with real ability and proven values will any of that change.
But even if Kurt wanted to run (and I have yet to see or hear any indication of that), he would find himself getting into what is quickly becoming a very crowded field. It seems that the mourning period over Adams' departure was a very short one, and the hopefuls they're a-lining up. This from the Redlands Daily Facts out of San Berdoo:
New names taking advantage of Adams' decision - Assemblyman Anthony Adams' announcement that he will not seek re-election this year has already spurned one more candidate into this year's election, and political observers said that's not the only way Adams' withdrawal could change the dynamic of this year's election ... Adams, R-Claremont, who spent the better part of 2009 fighiotng off a recall drive after a February vote to increase taxes, said Tuesday he will not run for a third term in his 59th District Assembly seat. On Wednesday, Claremont Mayor Corey Calakay said he will run for the seat - something he said he wouldn't be doing had Adams decided to stay.
Apparently this Calakay dude is the only elected official to throw his hat into the ring. The others are all political civilians. Ken Hunter, a Lake Arrowhead real estate broker, Michael "Mr." Rogers, a San Dimas high school teacher, and Christopher Lancaster, an ad salesman at the San Gabriel Tribune, are all talking about going for the Republican nod to succeed Mr. Adams. There is also a Democrat in the pack, one Darcel Woods, listed as being a college instructor. But you know what happens to Democrats when they run in this absurdly gerrymandered district, right? They fight hard, spend money, and raise their vote percentage from 34% to 37%.
Not to get too snarky here, but looking at this crop of candidates, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't the pay increase and percs that is driving their ambitions. Certainly the fine health care benefits alone would make the job attractive. But I'm not sure I see any real crusaders for the public weal in there. It is early though, and you never know what they'll reveal later on.
This has been another Tattler News Review, sponsored by The Sierra Madre Tattler, where the news never stops.