Friday, January 25, 2013

Dude, Where's My Vote?

I attended the Sierra Madre Summit at the Sierra Madre Elementary School last night, which to my way of thinking wasn't quite a summit. The parents there were summit material, of course. After all they not only send their kids to PUSD's easternmost holdings, but also pay the taxes that enable all of that. However, the other side, the folks up there on stage with the chilled water bottles, were actually high ranking employees. Had this been a true summit the Board of Education would have been up there answering the questions. Rather we were treated to a lot of highly cautious "to the best of my knowledge," and "while I cannot see into the future it is my fervent belief" kinds of answers. Obviously nobody there wanted anything bad to get back to the boss. They were careful to a fault.

The audience questions had to be written out on 3" x 5" cards, of course, which were then cherry picked during this purported dialog. Usually that sort of thing is done when there are large crowds of people at a meeting, and then to account for the limited time. But there weren't really all that many people there last night. True discussion, had it been desired by the high ranking employees who didn't want to upset their bosses, could have been possible. This "Staking of the Stakeholders" process (SOTS) included lectures to those parents from the discussion moderator about speaking out of turn during some of the evening's more evasive moments. Something that had an "adult versus kids" kind of feel to it. As if the parents of school children were in some ways children themselves, and the teachers were there to teach them, too. Please, control yourselves. We'll get to your concerns in a moment.

Considering the job these people have done, perhaps they are the ones who should have been filing out the cards. I swear, if I had heard the phrase, "mistakes were made" one more time, I too would have started speaking out of turn. Well, OK. I did. I guess it is a personal weakness of mine. I don't react very well to be talked down to.

There was also some rather inappropriate jolliness on the part of those who had assumed the adult role. Not to be too humorless about it, but oftentimes I did not quite get the joke. An example is when the discussion turned to campus safety, an obvious concern due to some of the recent horrific events in this country. The matter of Bob Matheson and the inappropriately rapid discarding of school visitor registration records came up. The responses from behind the chilled water bottles were a few reassuring bromides about new concerns for security and safety, followed by a dais pleasing joke from the event moderator. I am sure this was done in hopes of easing some of the uncomfortable tension created by this topic, but it wasn't right. Sometimes things really are horrible, and need to be treated that way.

I filled out a card, which never got read. The question was this. "Why was Sierra Madre denied a seat on the Board of Education until 2015, two years after a majority of the new subdistricts?" To be fair, this was obliquely dealt with, but in a legalistic and obviously pre-arranged fashion. That duty fell upon the one Board of Education member in attendance, the somewhat tragic Scott Phelps. Obviously the lawyers felt that this one was too important to let the employees screw up.

The solution, which is really no solution at all, is to have temporary Board of Education members selected for those subdistricts who had their BOE seat stolen during the so-called "sub-districting process." Of course, those temporarily appointed persons would be selected by some of the very same people who stole your vote in the first place, which actually makes things worse. Think about it, the people who took away your vote are going to pick your representative for you. That person will then warm a seat at Board of Education meetings for two years, in the process becoming an incumbent. That person will then run for office in 2015 and, backed by the kind of money and political smear machine the school wreckers possess, will likely win. Which means you will then be denied your right to vote for a school board rep twice. Once by flat out having your vote stolen, and the other through the usual Pasadena machine politics and nastiness that so clearly typifies a PUSD election.

The one thing that I took away from all this is that the PUSD is actually very concerned about the "no vote" issue. There is colossal potential for a lawsuit here. If I had a sixty thousand or so dollars to play around with I would do it myself. Denying a portion of the taxpaying community the right to properly elected representation on things that involve the spending of their money is the kind of legal grist that gets faithless public officials long jail terms. Plus it could potentially cost the PUSD millions in legal costs, further crippling an already badly damaged school system. They were not looking to air this one out last night. The vote issue is at the radioactive core of the PUSD Chernobyl.

The auditorium at the Sierra Madre Elementary School is a beautiful room. And the staff and kids there have made it even nicer with the creative and even moving murals they have placed on the walls. My favorite is the one done for Mesopotamia. If only we had a lion's head to guide us now. But it is all a kind of tragic metaphor as well. When that room was built California cared about kids and education. The people who built that room all those years ago really believed education was important, and that they had to build something bright and beautiful so that their children could learn and contribute to their far better world.

The high ranking employees who sat at the dais last night for the Sierra Madre Summit were not those people, however. Those people are no longer here.

The fix is in on the Sierra Madre City Attorney question

As they say where I come from, "fuggeddabout it." Did I ever tell you that in my first marriage my then very New York wife actually had an uncle named "Sharky?" It is a story I need to tell you someday.

I have spoken with several folks whose opinions I trust, and we are pretty much in agreement. There are now just two law firms still in the running, and one of them is Colantuono and Levin. Given the make up of the current City Council, it is now pretty much inconceivable that C&L is going to be let go. Which means the law firm that helped enable One Carter, the Downtown Specific Plan, the 2010 "Water Rate Process," and the great "suites versus units" debate, will still be with us for a while. We will continue to not receive legal services as much as we will the legalistic enabling of out of town agendas that are not in the interest of Sierra Madre's taxpayers.

This was a noble effort on Chris Koerber's part, but it is going to take one more election to throw C&L out. The pawned element of our current City Council is not likely to disobey orders on this one. After all, they're employees, too. They just don't get paid very much.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

94 comments:

  1. why would anyone spend the time writing about such stuff every day. JC must live in a negative world.

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    1. Why would you spend time reading it at 7:01 in the morning, happy unicorn?

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    2. The unicorn must be having sparkle anxiety.

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    3. Oh silly little unicorn, didn't you hear all the nice things he said about the auditorium?

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    4. I think he lives in the real world and, bless his heart, wants to make it better.

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  2. I found that during the meeting certain parents were afforded more respect and liberties than others. This type of double standard follow through with the children at the school.
    The School Site Council/PTA elite parents were allowed to speak out of turn, while you JC, were reminded about the rules. And heaven forbid when a Brandenburg dared to break the same rules the parent elite broke. Tony was told told to "shut up"- no more niceties- when clarifying one of his own questions being discussed.
    Sorry, but I disagree JC. Scott Phelps was NOT there as a tool of any lawyers. He was there because I told him about the meeting yesterday morning. Scott Phelps was there because he cares about the truth, and he cares about all the students. I told him about the rumors circulating, the parent fears that the school might be shut down, not built, etc.
    Scott Phelps has been one of the two Board of Ed members representing our family when Ed Honowitz sold out our kid to the parent bullies.
    Where were the Chair/vice chair of the Facilities Subcommittee last night? That would have been Ed and Tom. Nowhere to be seen.
    I hope the parents there last night heard after the Matheson question was slid right over. The Director of Child WELFARE told us that they have NOTHING in place to protect the children from adults. No one said anything because they might have had to address the adult on child bullying against our child- by certain members of the PTA. So it's better to just let that Matheson situation be ignored. As long as they NOW won't destroy campus visitor records for 3 years.....it doesn't matter.

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    1. I agree that Scott has done good many things, and he is far far better than those other guys. But when the question of our stolen BOE vote came up, he took the mic and pitched a solution that is much worse than the problem. I am sorry, but that was not spontaneous to my ears. The PUSD fears that question, and the most palatable among them was there to handle it.

      I agree to disagree with you on this one.

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    2. see, they need to make the fence look like a sandy hook remedy, and place it in the hands of "many parents" because if they say it was our situation that was the catalyst then they have to acknowledge adult on child bullying. they don't want to be sued.

      they don't want to discuss that there may have been a child predator on the campus because THEY DON'T KNOW and the records that they destroyed to save the parent elite from a lawsuit may have had important information about exactly who WAS on campus- or at least who they KNEW about.

      Phelps was sharing the Board Bylaws- the BOE didn't appoint Doyle to that committee, SM CC did. If people don't apply for that appointment from Sierra Madre, then there is nothing to really discuss. the people will get what they want..... nothing.

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    3. There was an outstanding applicant to be our rep on the redistricting task force. He was passed over when Buchanan championed Doyle.

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    4. Buchanan and Moran got pale in their faces when that innocent candidate stepped up to the podium and delivered a very compelling case for picking him over Doyle. Doyle didn't even show up to talk that night. This one was fixed way before the so-called public meeting.

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    5. Doyle the dumbass was in Israel when our vote was taken away. He never should have been given that appointment. He is totally in bed with the bad guys who want to turn your kids into communists.

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  3. The Middle School will not be built. I was at the meeting last night and Pappalardo as much as said so. He stated that in the next 4 - 5 month, the Facilities Master Plan, that is, all building projects, will be reviewed in light of current enrollment. sorry, folks, but demographics will not allow an already over budget building to be constructed. Oh yea, that was some "mistake" they made when they tore down the old school so fast. Not to mention that the two schools, upper and lower have already been in process this year of becoming two separate entities. Two PTAs , two ELACs, etc. It will make sending those middle school kids off to another campus a whole lot easier.

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    1. 7:18, thanks for your comments. My long experience with political lies tells me that you heard what was being said under around and behind the words.
      "Reviewed in light of current enrollment" sounds like the fat lady singing.
      Where will the kids who now go to Sierra Vista end up going?

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    2. Dr. P was buying his employers some time.

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    3. But 7:18 it's a board decision ultimately to shut down a school. There was a board member there last night. Phelps said the school will not be closed. He's known to be one of the moret truthful board members. Why would he lie? And why would he stand as the lone board member? He can't make a decision alone, so as a member of a governing body he announced that the school was not slated for closure.
      The dual immersion program is to draw students to raise enrollment. As long as they get that campus under control with the bullying by students and certain teachers/parent leaders in charge of science volunteers (for example)- a more diverse student body and welcoming culture will emerge. Naturally, there needs to be an actual campus for this to happen.

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    4. 8:18 - There is a school board election on march 5 of this year and it is possible that Scott Phelps will not be re-elected. His opponent is supported by the folks who brought you this new re-districting. It is possible that there could be 4 new board members come March. How do you think they will vote?

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    5. You're right 9:56. Chawkins and his re districting cronies made sure to get rid of Miramontes, Phelps is next on the machine's chopping block. If that happens, who knows what will happen? And what if the ailing Sup decides to throw in the towel?

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    6. If that happens the PUSD will be in the hands of a small group of 2nd rate contractors, con artist bond salesmen, some bat nuts ministers, the Holden political machine, and the Mad Marxist Peter Dreier. Anyone I missed?

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    7. The city attorney bully and his wife.

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    8. $350 million in bond dollars is always going to attract some big flies.

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  4. My Grandkids Go To A Privated SchoolJanuary 25, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    Why does Sierra Madre have to stay in that school system anyway? Our kids are long graduated out of PUSD and we hated it then and it's discussing to hear all the same degrading treatment still going on. Again, WHY ARE WE STILL IN THAT SCHOOL SYSTEM? SM has been taken for a ride for as long as we have lived here and heard about it all. It is time for action, lets get the community behind making some changes here. This whole thing is an insult to our city and to us Tax Payers.

    UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL, let us united against these insulting law twisters.

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    1. The defense of Measure A that I find to be the most deceitful is the claim it was necessary because of civil rights laws. It might be true that there are laws that state you must balkanize a district like the PUSD so that each ethnic group can have its own voice. But to say that by inference that certain communities within that district had to be denied the vote altogether? That is a damnable lie.

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    2. What do you expect? The school disytrict is run by a marxist.

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    3. Where is good ol pete?

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    4. He's shining up his new tools....Ayala, Hueso, Trone.

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    5. Don't know, but slimy Chawkins checked in yesterday.

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    6. Abolish the Board of Education. Parents should be able to choose where they send their children to school. Let's take the $11,000-$12,000 taxpayers spend on public education, and give it to parents to spend on the private school of their choice. This will destroy the teacher's unions, who have a stranglehold on our state budget.

      Students in California public schools are failing. ABOLISH PUBLIC EDUCATION!

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  5. When Sierra Madre organized and made the effort to get out of the PUSD, it was denied in a court of law. The grounds were that we were racist. Truly, damned if we do, damned if we don't.

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    1. Wasn't that back in the 70's? I think now in light of the bond money and property tax debacle it would be a winnable case in court to leave the PUSD. I am not sure why our city hall doesn't look into this further as more parent's in town would probably take their kids out of private school if there was a K-12 school in town...I took my daughter out of PHS in her Freshman year and have never regretted it.

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    2. Might be possible if we joined Monrovia. As they are diverse. I feel like Monrovia High School is easier to fix than PHS, personally.

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  6. Ya gotta love the passive construction: Mistakes were made.
    By magical means no doubt, unknown subjects, actors in the mist.
    Oops, look, a mistake has appeared. Now where did that come from?

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    1. Leveling half of a public school before you have any finished plans in place to rebuild it is quite a whoopsie.

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    2. I guess if it never gets rebuilt that will be a mistake, too. Darn.

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    3. It's because of gremlins. PUSD is overrun with mischievous gremlins, and the poor administrators are wringing their hands.

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  7. My Grandkids Go To A Privated SchoolJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    What year did the courts rule on that 7:56? Is it time to make that run again. We have more material to make an even better case, we have been discriminated against and that is racist to us.

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    1. It was decided in the early 90's. I was in the court that morning when we were told that a bad education is not criteria to leave the district.

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  8. I feel sick about being stuck with Colantuono and Levin. Are they at least going to cut their prices? Is this a done deal? I thought council member Capoccia was going to work out a cost comparison.

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    1. Colantuono and Levin are the developers' choice for city legal firms. They are experts at getting development projects through, no matter what protections citizens put in place. Until a developers' choice majority is no longer running the show, we will indeed have the attorneys who know how to manipulate the rules in order to use citizens resources against themselves..

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    2. Damnit, tricked again. I had gotten my hopes up. Damnit.

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    3. Richars,Watson, Gershon has my vote to replace C&L, especially when Carol Lynch, the woman who would be our city atty from RWG, stated that Measure V was very well written. RWG also has a guy on staff who has worked with California water problems for over 40 years. RWG will also do shared billing. Foe example, the petition letter the city recently sent to LA to protest the water tax was billed to us by C&L. RWG sent that same letter for 13 other cities and divided the cost of the letter among all those cities. Sounds like a savings to me.

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    4. C&L has the 3 votes needed. Done deal.

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    5. Please, come to City Council meeting and cite all the reasons we should pick RWG for our legal firm. (10:05 cited above). They are the most highly qualified firm in the bidding that can help us with our water problems, Carol Lynch is the most highly qualified (rates 5 out of 5) and I'm sure to get our city they will be most willing to negotiate with us on pricing. They are super close to C&L and when figuring out all the bonus hours, they might even be less expensive.

      If Josh Moran votes for C&L, I would challenge that vote since he was listed on C&L's bid as a reference for Terri. Who would list someone as a reference who will interview you for a job? Pretty stupid if you ask me. Yes, the fix is on.

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    6. Do you have that reference on a document, 2:01. If you can email that on a jpeg to sierramadretattler@gmail.com I would be in your debt.

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    7. If any of you supports RWG for City Attorney, call Johnny Harabedian and share your views. Those law firm interviews were out there for God and everybody to see on Channel 3 last Wednesday.

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  9. A Sierra Madre child went through the PUSD system and went on to get their teaching credentials. After graduation this person taught at PHS for one year and quit. What does that tell us? Would that person please come forward and talk to us!

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    1. I worked for PUSD as a teacher and quit. I'm not the person 8:19 is looking for though.
      What I can tell you is that the lawyers are running the district-under the direction of the Pasadena "machine". They train staff in how to deceive and get away with things. They prep staff in going to trial to fight parents/students for services. They spend more money fighting, rather than where it should be going- the classrooms.

      When truth and accountability people get into the mix (Phelps, Miramontes for example) the people really pulling the strings gather up their forces and try to effectively silence them. When stakeholders (parents) such as the Brandenburgs make lots of noise about the lies and deceit that ruined their child- there's people like PUSDdad (Dreier) or "anonymous" to belittle and smear them.

      Pasadena does not want the status quo to be changed and mavericks looking for systemic change will be called "rabble rousers", "hot heads", "impossible to work with", etc.- so nice and slick "new" blood will come in and continue everything as is....nice and safe.....and lining the lawyers pockets, as well as those really in power.

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    2. Forgot Edugreat/Lou educe, another one of those who evades the truth

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    3. I also went through PUSD schools, got my credentials, and taught at PUSD schools. When I was expecting my child , other teachers told me, "whatever you do, don't put your child in PUSD schools. I was at the top school in the district and all of the teachers had their kids in private schools.
      Quit teaching and went private.

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    4. One of my favorite stats is that over 50% of LA Unified teachers have their kids in private schools. I doubt that PUSD teachers are any different.

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  10. Someone tell me again why Sierra Madre is still part of the PUSD and not their own school district?!?! I seriously don't get it...

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    1. The courts. You know, with a judge and everything.

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    2. Can you imagine the money the PUSD would throw into a suit to defend our leaving?
      It would really hurt them to have to let go of our test scores, that make them look like they are doing their job. In the wallet hurt.

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    3. There is no law on the books that gave PUSD the right to deny the people of Sierra Madre the right t vote in a board of Education election. None, 9:17.

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    4. Recall the justification Bart Doyle presented on the same night he said we were "screwed," that it would be unfair to discount the public vote that got the members elected until 2015. Respecting the vote is the argument they base their defense on - they are not denying a vote, but postponing it, in order to honor the vote that was made previously.

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    5. Did Bart ever explain why Sierra Madre was required to make the sacrifice so old Tom Selinske can keep his butt seated at the BOE dais for another two years? And couldn't they have made life easier for everyone and just pulled up another chair?

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    6. I am not sure if you are aware, but there is a Tom Selinske corolary to the U.S. Constitution stating that while taxation without represenation is a bad thing, if a situation does come up where Tom might be inconvenienced none of that applies.

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    7. The history of Sierra Madre and the PUSD has always been contentious. We didn't willingly join PUSD. It was done at a very different time than what we have now.
      Busing for all intents is a dead issue, and the reasons for it are no longer the same. The demographics have changes so radically, the old arguments no longer hold water.
      The PUSD doesn't want our input, just the money it gets for us being part of it.
      Segregation is different now. The district is now balkanized both ethnically and racially. Isn't that worse?
      Is not our own representation being discriminated against?
      It seems the biggest segregationist have become PUSD.
      I think PUSD has turned into a corrupt self serving machine, run by the very group that claims to represent the populous.
      A case can be made in a court of law now that we have been disenfranchised, and a remedy such as breaking up the district has become necessary.
      I feel sorry for the Brandenburgs, Crawford, and others who think they can win this battle.
      They should redirect themselves to fighting for a new smaller district. Perhaps with Altadena, who have shown they want out.
      Otherwise, you are wasting your time.

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    8. How about a Civil Rights law suit filed at the justice department. Isn't this a Civil Rights issue?

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    9. 12:55- understand that pusd is corrupt and run by attorneys like Fulfrost and Lozano-smith who were sanctioned for ethics violations. PUSD were supposed to never use them and now they're using them for staff training.
      A federal agency will come in a look at what PUSD is willing to share- and I can tell you first hand that can be: manufactured reports, hidden docs, hear say, changed docs, lawyer coached interviews. The lead investigator to deal with agencies? Steve "has no clue" Miller interviews people but doesn't document a thing, even when it's handed to him.
      They need the state to come in to do an independent investigation, no more self studies.
      ~Mary

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    10. Can anyone say Spangler?

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    11. PUSD doesn't care about civil rights. Look what they did to the Brandenburg kid.

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    12. 12:51 i have my st. anthony medallion. i will get one for john.

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    13. Is he the patron saint of lost things?

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    14. In the end we are all lost, and therefore children of St. Anthony.

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    15. Well, I lost my st. Jude, which is really what we need here, but having done so, I need an Anthony. ultimately, we lost our vote, so Anthony is most fitting

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    16. I love it! St. Anthony - Patron Saint of Lost Votes!

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  11. Caption for the Middle School PhotoJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    And you know the sun's settin' fast,
    And just like they say, nothing good ever lasts.
    Well, go on now and kiss it goodbye,
    But hold on to your lover,
    'Cause your heart's bound to die.
    Go on now and say goodbye to our town, to our town.
    Can't you see the sun's settin' down on our town, on our town,
    Goodnight.

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  12. Police Chiefs of small cities in the SGV, California are installed for the sole purpose of keepig the crooked politicans in power who bleed the cities coffers dry, notice how they are always crying broke?

    Vote your crooked politicans out of power and realign your local police department to work for all the people and not just a handfull in city hall.

    If they will not correct themselves then fire them and hire the sherifs department at a much lower cost over all and better service too.

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  13. This is a tragedy. I know many kids who attend Upper Campus. It's a terrible facility; porta-city, leaky roofs, gross toilets, nasty grassy area, no cafeteria and a field littered with weeds to greet you every morning. I agree with the previous posters who have urged Sierra Madre citizens to get angry about this and do something.

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  14. Someone had asked for this on another comment, and I posted there, but here it is again:

    http://www.measurett.org/archived-content/sierramadreupperms.html
    All the site plans of Sierra Madre Middle School.

    If you want to see the failed bids, and the questions the bidders were asking:
    http://measurett.org/2012/10/bid-no-04-1213-sierra-madre-upper-new-construction/


    If you know someone with construction experience, they could look at this and probably tell you how much the construction would really cost, and what they would do next.

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  15. PBWS is the architect responsible for the construction documents and the budget numbers. What was the budget for this campus? How is the scope of work being revised or phased to bring it into line with the budget? You don't just throw a project out because bids come in a little high. As a matter of fact, the typical position of the School Board is to question the the architect's budget even though it's quite realistic. They did that on the Linda Vista campus, and it was all politics because they knew (and nobody else did) that the campus was slated to be closed due to enrollment issues.

    The PUSD needs to be held accountable for this behavior

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    1. According to older documents PBWS was told the budget was 24-28 million. When PUSD lost federal funds, the entire scope of all projects was reduced. Upon consultation with PBWS, it was said this could be done by "value engineering."

      PBWS was paid roughly 2 million to come up with all the plans for the middle school.

      It should be noted they are also the architects on the Elementary school. I quite like what they've done there.

      I should also note that a quick look over PUSD board meetings clearly shows they want the Mandarin program at the middle school, so indicators are lining up more towards them wanting the project as a showpiece.

      I'm taking no sides, just finding information.

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    2. PBWS is also the firm that designed the new expanded library, and one of their architects, Fred Wesley, was the designer for the Downtown Specific Plan Wisteria Village. Long pro-development, pro-expansion history with Sierra Madre.
      To see the library, you go to
      http://www.pbws.com
      choose portfolio, then institutional. Page 6

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    3. They really need to show it can't be built so a developer with "pull" can build low income housing on the site. You KNOW its coming ....

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    4. You can thank the Party that really cares about putting the people first.

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    5. 11:23, I think you're being rational, not reacting emotionally. There are some parents that are fed up and afraid to believe anything Pusd says. Everything is looking like its going forward. There needs to be consistant communication, adherence to timelines and cost projections.

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    6. School districts normally have architects that specialize in schools design new campuses. PWBS first school was Sierra Madre. The firm made a contribution to the bond campaign. Fred Westly-partner_ lives in town. Boy that $5,000 contribution sure paid off for them.

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    7. 1123, i agree. the work is brilliant, and the desire to complete it is there. in a world of absolutes it would happen. this has been a shaky venture from the go, and without a timeline of precision it is still just a promise.....

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    8. 11:49:

      Either we have greedy builders, or we have architectural plans that cost too much, or we have a conspiracy to prevent the site from being built. Or some combo.

      It seems like we could call the builders and ask them how the project could cost 24 mil, call the architects and see what their response is, and then find a qualified third party to tell us who seems to be more accurate in their assessment.

      Then again, we might find that everyone is being honest but everyone has a difference of opinion. I can't tell what the heck is going on, and I'm frustrated with PUSD as well.

      12:16, Looking at PBWS site they do have a few other schools under their belt. Middleton Primary was built a while back. It cost 22 mil and was half the size though. Seems expensive.

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  16. On average a small local CA government will spend $500,000.00 of that communities tax dollars so their insider politicans can attend functions out side the city limits of thier town.

    Sometimes those events take place outside the state or even the country, just ask yourself where would this money be better spent on and in their respective towns or cities or paying for a free meal ticket for a civil servant to PARTY?

    In this day and age there is NO real reason to leave the city to hook up on computer video link ups for a conference. In these crooked times (Bell, California) it's better to keep a short leash on your elected officials rather than let them dictate to you the voter and boss of their paychecks.

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  17. I don't mean to harsh anyone's mellow, but 7:18 posted this:
    "...in the next 4 - 5 month, the Facilities Master Plan, that is, all building projects, will be reviewed in light of current enrollment."
    If that's true, sounds like the decision to not build has already been made.
    And 11:23, there are Mandarin classes at schools on Saturdays all over the place. Very common, so nothing special.

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    1. It's the Mandarin immersion program. They are going to be middle schoolers soon and PUSD doesn't want to lose them.

      If you scan the old meetings you'll see they voted to have the Mandarin immersion program come over to Sierra Madre already. That is, if there is space. I think there was also a newsletter about it.

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    2. Maybe they could paint one of the trailers orange.

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  18. K-8 at Sierra Madre School--Demand it! Cross-age teaching at its finest. There is nothing written in stone that upper and lower grades have to be separated. This is a construct when it was throught that middle school-age children needed specialized curriculum. Think of it this way, you would not let 8 grades act the way they do if kindergardeners were watching.

    Maybe it is a charter school.
    Keep Bart Doyle as far away from this as possible. Not only did his kids go to private school in Sierra Madre (very fine school, that is not the issue) but to private high school in La Verne (very fine school, that is not the issue). His motives are always to be questioned. Always!

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    1. Let's see who the machine places as the board member to fill the vacant seats for the next two years. Will it be Doyle or Buchanan that's hand picked by ACT?

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    2. Sure, and the press release will bray happily about the Sierra Madre resident who was picked to serve on the Board of Education.

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  19. As to the topic's question, where is my vote.

    Your vote was already counted as a YES for the local politican who is pushing for it's passage.

    Why do you think you tax dollars are spent sending your "trusted" local politican to attend political retreats in the first place?

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  20. Not sure what happened to my question card asking why Honowitz wasn't at the summit. He's still the board rep assigned to SM, besides being the Facilities subcommittee chair. He was also there when Diaz and Brinkman tore down the school.
    Maybe they knew he'd filibuster the entire evening.
    ~Mary

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    1. oh, this is all planned. signed, sealed, and delivered. chawkins, honowitz, dreier, doyle, measure a, redistricted, two empty seats, oust the minority from the board by splitting it and then laser it out with a couple of suits, take it over, appoint two flunkies, one perhaps being the mayor who put doyle on the thing in the first place, and get down to what they all wanted to do in the first goddamn place. it's so, so sick.

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  21. I am SM born and bred and East Coast College MA. I returned to PUSD to teach. What a HUGE MESSY EMBARRASSMENT. Fabulous children and supportive parents. Many lovely staff. I was hired on the spot for my excellence in creative Language Arts/Social Studies (with My California Credential) Lesson Plan ideas for Jr High. It felt and looked fabulous.....but the principal who hired me left for a better district the day before school opened and a terribly illiterate principal took over and never once visited a classroom.

    As for getting the teacher supply's like books, nope. I went out and bought them MYSELF. When a parent got wind of this, she graciously came to my class and bought several class sets. I was able to teach because of a generous parent and my own money. The principal told me that no student ever received their own books to take home. I questioned how they could ever learn to read a novel without underlining, dog-earing, notations, etc. NO, only reading in class seemed to be the idea of PUSD. So, no homework, no essays, no response to literature, no character analysis. My head spun.

    I could not wait to leave. I am now happily teaching in a district where WRITING is heavily taught, children have their own novels, our ELD's are very well taught and followed through, and although it is not perfect and our student population reflects much of the national population in reading and math it is waaaayyyy better being where I am then PUSD.

    My heart goes out to the children of such a lovely community as Pasadena/Sierra Madre. The children DO NOT deserve to be short changed, and the parents who do not have time to fight for an education must depend on those of us who must fight.

    John keep fighting, perhaps somehow there may be an exception legally to get the middle school back since it was all a deliberate action to steal the money and tear down a school. Maybe a class action?

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    1. Great comment. Thanks!

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  22. Didn't the offices of Colantuono give some poor advice on the zoning of the hillsides? along with attempting to stick it to Sierra Madreans by a type of double billing for water comsumption? They also tried to undercut the Measure V vote didn't they?

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