Monday, January 14, 2013

Tony Brandenburg: Another Month of Mondays

The Day Your Calendar Forgot

I recently got home from a tour of the south, about nine shows in ten days, spending my time mostly in Texas and Florida, but finding myself at various stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. While I can’t tell you much about Route 66, Interstate 10 is an amazing thing to behold for those who have driven it. Just in case you are wondering, there is no Tom Petty Museum in Gainesville, Florida, but maybe there should be (click here).

Upon returning I started flitting through the online calendars at the PUSD in preparation for another twelve months of being lied to and bamboozled. The first big day was January 8th and most of us had no an idea what was going down - no less than 3 events across 4 hours. Ah. It looks like it will be one of those months (click here) that never ends.

Event #1 was the PUSD Finance Sub Committee Meeting in which one of the many topics was where’s the money? The result of the meeting and follow up is that the estimated $12 million reduction will be closer to $8 million. That’s good news, right (click here)? I have attended one of these meetings, but the time was changed for these meetings at the insistence of Ed Honowitz. Ed changed the meeting times for this committee so that he could hold the Facilities Subcommittee meetings on the same day. Besides effectively disposing of the only community member, me, the new schedule also ruled out participation of at least two of the unions. But hey, anything for the Prima Donna. Wouldn’t want his panties to get into a bunch.

Event #2 occurred at 4:30, a Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the District Office. As you will recall, that is the baby of Ed Honowitz and Tom Selinske. The Action Items included the rejection of the Sierra Madre Bids (BR 574-F) and discussion of a number of topics including the Facility Master Plan, Facility Interim Staffing, Project Management, Marshall Sports Complex, the Status of the Sierra Madre Project, and Next Steps. If they wanted your input, they would have asked you for it. Nothing of importance here, just move along.

Event #3 was a  panel of the PUSD Board of Education candidates at Pasadena High School hosted by the PUSD unions. Every candidate from the three subdistricts granted voting rights was present, save two. Both of whom are running for Board Seat Subdistrict 3 against Tyrone Hampton, along with current board member Elizabeth Pomeroy. Guillermo Arce is probably best known to those who pay attention as the parent who sued Kaiser Permanente for their policies regarding children with autism (click here) and won. For some reason he wasn’t notified of the panel meeting.

The second absent candidate, Deirdra Duncan, whose occupation is given as foster parent (click here), is best known locally for her ongoing lawsuit against Lee Baca for locking her out of her home (click here).  I will discuss these candidates in a future blog, not that it really matters. We don’t get to vote for or against any of them anyway.

Perhaps You didn’t Get the Memo

Somewhere in all of this there was a little memo released which smells kinda of funny. It did not show up on the PUSD website until January 10th (click here) by which time two of the meetings of community stakeholders had already taken place. The alleged purpose of the meetings is to get feedback from the community for the Pasadena City General Plan (click here). You know, that special one, the one where they build 6,000 apartments along the train line:

Many factors outside of school influence the education of students. To this end, the General Plan draws upon the Community Schools Framework. Using this approach, the City recognizes that to thrive as a Healthy Community, early childhood and public education is a priority. Further, both academic and non‐academic aspects of community life are intertwined, and therefore a balanced approach to the work ahead and intermittent assessment is needed to ensure the Work Plan’s success. PUSD and the City are committed to working together cooperatively to foster 21st Century Learning Skills to improve student outcomes, to support our local economy, and to ensure the City grows as a local and global center of innovation.

Sierra Madre is not part of Pasadena, and therefore has no voice in a plan that will doubtlessly affect our children. I know this because I had an email exchange with the PUSD Community Advisory Committee (CAC) - a unit designed to give Special Education Parents a voice in decision making. Then I received another one from a member of the City of Pasadena Planning Office regarding a questionnaire for parent needs in the General Plan. It was concluded that this did not pertain to Sierra Madre parents since we technically are NOT members of the Pasadena community, even if our children are provided educational services there.

The meeting scheduled for parents of school aged children is scheduled for 6:00 Thursday, January 17th and hosted by the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF). The schedule and other related schlock can be downloaded here. However, of interest and note is that the parent meeting is running at the same exact day and time as a panel of the Board of Education candidates, hosted by ACT at Pasadena Community College. It is to be moderated by none other than John Buchanan, the tang-topped dude who had supported the appointment of Bart Doyle (click here) to the Redistricting Task Force Commission, the folks responsible for this mess in the first place. If the idea was to give local voters more power in local elections, the result has been further balkanization, isolationism, and unfair election opportunities, which, in the case of Sierra Madre and parts of Pasadena, has resulted in having no absolutely no voice until 2015. That is the legacy of former Mayor Buchanan.

ACT is, of course, a group associated with many Tattler favorites and notables (click here) - Carol Cantebury, Anthony Portantino, Sierra Madre Measure TT Oversight Committee member/ PEF Treasurer/ Executive ACT Director or Treasurer or whatever John “Hey Mon” Fuhrman (click here), wife Susan Kane, and everyone’s favorite prog communist, oops, I mean columnist - Petey Dreier (click here) . Among their “ACT’s” was the blind support of Chris “Which Way to the 710” Holden (click here) whose vacillation on everything notable was certainly worthy of their endorsement. If ACT is truly non-partisan (click here) then a great deal of credence must be given to those of us that believe we live in a One Party Republic.

At the close of Thursday’s “research” the members of ACT will vote to determine who they will endorse in the election (click here). Again, this is not designed to provide a voice to Sierra Madre families, and in fact, is designed to split off the voice of an integral part of the entire Pasadena community - the parents- so that their influence is decreased. ACT will go ahead and decide for the parents. How nice of them.

Sniffing Expansion Ether with Curious George

How is student achievement improved when the most important stakeholders are intentionally divided and then left outside of the discussion and decision making process by an agenda that no one wants to acknowledge - one that is designed to push through an expansion model for growth and progress, but which swindles those same stakeholders out of hundreds of millions in bond money dollars?

How is student achievement improved when the very figures who claim to be progressive map, plan, and run meetings concurrently?

Is this part of the cooperative 21st Century Model we can expect, or is all of that just well phrased politically friendly language?

Is it just “community-based” neutered hokum designed to push through a political agenda promising mobility for the poorest among us, but which only truly promotes incentives for contractors and landowners who support rental housing/vertical slums and offers the politicians who comply an opportunity to gain more political power?

Isn’t this just the rich continuing to exploit the working classes and their generous charity - in the form of taxes - to further exploit those below the poverty line?

They must be high if they think anyone is buying their malarkey (click here). In any event, it looks like all of your favorite people will be there. Sounds like a real party.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. John Buchanan is making a rather big reappearance in the public realm in being that moderator, despite the predictable hypocrisy that his kids do not go to public schools. Let's hope this is not a precursor to his reappearance in Sierra Madre politics.

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    1. nope, a precursor to moving on up

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    2. Excluding Sierra Madre from decision making at PUSD is social equity. We are being punished for getting the best scores.

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    3. Oh. What else would he talk about?

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  2. Buchanan is moderating a debate in a PUSD election where his City had its right to vote stolen? Why am I not surprised?

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    1. What a joke! Buchanan should be called on it, right then and there.

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    2. John Buchanan doesn't give a rat's ass about students, their parents, or what anyone thinks. He believes all he has to do is make up a bunch of crap and he will get whatever he wants. No representative for Sierra Madre? Why should he care?

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    3. Sigh, removal of glasses, stern look, "Folks, you just don't understand, so....."
      Or a la Stockly, "It may not be popular, but...."

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    5. Why is it people can't just pay their taxes and stop worrying about stupid little stuff like voting or where the money gets spent?

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  3. Maybe former Sierra Madre Mayor John Buchanan will explain why Sierra Madre will not be allowed to vote for a Board of Education representative in a school district that includes Sierra Madre. I am certain it will be comical.

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    1. Tony, will you be there to pose some interesting questions?

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    2. I sure hope Tony will be there to call out these school board bums.

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    3. Wouldn't it be great if Tony had a phalanx of Sierra Madre folks to back him up? Maybe not say anything, but be there to let John Buchanan know he's being observed as he tries to enhance his political image whilst he plots a run for the 2015 PUSD Sierra Madre election.

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    4. I will be there with Tony, kids in tow...:)

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    5. Count me in. I have a couple of questions myself. And not just for the candidates.

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    6. I have gone to these things. the questions will be written on cards, and the moderator will ask them. The only way to crack a rotten egg is to throw it. Bring your questions on signs.

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    7. John Buchanan is a tough filter for the truth to pass through.

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    8. From what I read on the information page to the event, the audience has 25 minutes between candidates to ask questions. I'm not sure if known "naughty" Sierra Madreans will be called on though.

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  4. Someone needs to ask Buchanan why he has stabbed Sierra Madre in the back.

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    1. Buchanan has been lying and stabbing us in the back for years.
      He slipped into town, got in with the save One Carter crowd, pretended to be a preservationist, then got elected to the City Council and sold us all out to Dorn Platz. He is a first class A-hole! Always has been.

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    2. Heh. One Carter. What is it, 8 years since Buchanan voted for that thing? Still not one single house built. Anything built at the Middle School yet? Naw. Nobody works harder at failure than John Buchanan.

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    3. I will say one thing for Buchanan...he gets the prize as the most:

      BORING member I've seen on the CITY COUNCIL. BORING to a FAULT!!!

      MAYOR WINDBAG we used to call him.

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    4. Something has gone on up there - somebody has bought the development.
      Last Planning Commission they were talking about sub-dividing Stonehouse, and the council a few meetings ago was talking about the One Carter property tax appraisal.

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    5. One Carter has been bought and sold several times. But no matter who owns it, no one wants to build their dream home there. It is a disaster.

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    6. Hey 9:24. So buchanan, as one of the dirts, has actually been good for Sierra Madre. He votes for development, and then it doesn't get built.

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    7. Never has one man done so much to accomplish so little.

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    8. Actually, 10:31, he is a true dirt, as that is what one carter and north canon lots are: dirt.

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  5. http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/varney-co/index.html#/v/2093631569001/police-union-strong-arms-stockton/?playlist_id=87060

    This is a bit off topic, but very interesting. You may want to investigate this, John Crawford. It's a very important subject to Sierra Madre.

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  6. Sbarro Skinny Slices!January 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Hello John, Hope you had a great weekend! Sbarro just launched a new Skinny Slice (270 calories) this month to help people stick with their New Year's resolutions.

    To help promote the new slice, Sbarro is doing a free pizza day, giving away Skinny Slices all day throughout the country on Tuesday, January 15! Consumers can visit the Sbarro Facebook page to request a coupon, and then enjoy a free lunch or dinner tomorrow!

    Please let me know if you have any questions on the new Skinny Slice in sharing this great offer with your readers.

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    1. I cleared this because it is a good example of what I have been getting a lot of lately. With a bigger reading audience The Tattler is getting the attention of PR firms looking for a free plug on our website. Let's see if Patch bites and posts it. One question though, as a New Yorker by origin I know all about Sbarros. I can't recall having ever seen any around here.

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    2. Oh yes, that horrible fast food pizza place is at the local Arcadia mall. It's no wonder why they have to promote. It's not Petrillo's or Casa Bianca.

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    3. Sbarro's did for pizza what Taco Bell did for the enchirito and the Bell Beefer. oh wait.....

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    4. Gotta love the warm personal sales angle. Calling you by your first name, referencing your weekend. If it mentioned your name one more time, it would be the Joe Mosca Sales School mark; two more first name shout outs & it's the Harabedian mark.

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    5. "I was thinking about starting a commission. Would you want to be on it? "

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  7. If we're doing ads now on the Tattler? I would like to invite everyone to attend the fabulous races at Santa Anita Park, Thursday thru Sunday!
    Come on down!!!!!!!

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    1. I am sure that the horses would appreciate it if the jockeys ate skinny slices.

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    2. Can't wait for Gene Simmons to start promoting concerts at the race track. Great way to use during the down time. Maybe they'll do something like that with all the empty buildings in Alhambra and Pasadena?

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    3. I hope they don't put the horses in that awful makeup.

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    4. I just put $65 on Mascara Mare.

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    1. Uh oh. Somebody needs a skinny slice.

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    2. maybe one with a little less pepper

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  9. Did anyone see the cartoon in the Pasadena Star News Opinion Page today?
    Really funny stuff...a guy riding a unicorn into candy land.
    Some cartoonist must read the Tattler!

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    1. Is Candy Land in the Canyon?

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    2. No, likely Kersting Court, the evil unicorns go up to Mary's Market in the Canyon to have their secret meetings.
      Very evil people

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    3. I hear unicorns are very unstable and have been known to carry on loudly in public places.

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  10. We in Sierra Madre are very very lucky to have the Brandenburgs come down in the middle of our blog. I had all but lost interest in the SME and SMU since I no longer have kids or grandkids at those schools. And, quite honestly, I believed the decidedly rainbow hued news of the good work Principal Blumel was doing - even 'tho I had reservations about some of the teachers and parents involved. Now, of course, after the indepth blogging of the Brandenburgs - coming to us from of all places the Patch - I feel like I've done some sort of dis-service to a whole generation of kids who have no choice but public school and many of whom are seriously underserved and receiving a woefully inadequate education. I'm going to start printing and sending copies of Tony's columns to Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and City Manager Michael Beck and ask them why Sierra Madre has been disenfranchised. Maybe all of us should start directing correspondence to those two. Ultimately PUSD answers to the City of Pasadena!

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  11. I have a feeling we'd get a better response if it was brought up during public comments during a pasadena city council meeting.

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    1. Try both approaches! Many folks will write a letter or send an e-mail but feel uncomfortable at the podium!

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    2. The only time these people listen is if you get in their face. They demand passivity from the people. They usually get it.

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    3. You're right 4:01. Otherwise, you get a form response or they pass the buck in hopes you'll forget.

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    4. It's understandable to be uncomfortable with public speaking. There's other ways to exercise your first amendment rights, though. We paint signs, nice big bold letters with our unanswered questions or comments. You position your signs directly in line with the cameras- voila! A public record.
      ~Mary

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