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 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?