Wednesday, February 6, 2013

PUSD's Board of Ed: The Lame Duck Quacks

kah-whack
I guess I was wrong. Yesterday I said that last night's City Council meeting with the PUSD Board of Education "matters." And that if you didn't get your bad self on down to City Hall terrible things might happen. Like maybe the Middle School won't get built in this century, or they'll steal your vote again. Or something. And that was incorrect on my part. Because this meeting really didn't matter all that much. It might not have mattered at all.

What we witnessed last night was a Lame Duck Session. Some of these Board members are running for re-election and may or may not win. A couple of them have very well financed Darth Vader-style establishment opposition and I doubt they'll be back. A few are leaving altogether, probably to get in on the PUSD land rush. There's some big money that is going to be made there.

But with the election next month, and a new Board of Education being seated in May, this is very much a short timer outfit. And while what they had to say last night might have some validity for a few weeks, once the new Board of Education is seated whatever that was will be of little importance. And I suspect they are very aware of this. Which means that all they were really doing last night was attempting to calm the herd and buy some more time. Something they apparently have a lot of experience doing, and have done so for years.

Ramon Miramontes, who numbers among those hanging it up, is apparently the only straight shooter in the bunch. And what he had to say pretty much nailed it. The new Board of Education will be dominated by representatives who will answer to their own districts. Their political future hinges on them delivering the goods to their folks back home. The more goodies they bring back to the schools in those neighborhoods that elected them, the more likely they are to have continued successful careers. At-large representatives, who might have at least paid lip-service to Sierra Madre's problems, are a thing of the past. And since our right to elect someone to the Board was stolen from us for some reason nobody cared to explain last night, we will have no voice. Sierra Madre will have become an orphan, and like most orphans we are going to get the short end of the stick. And perhaps worse.

Here is a question. If under the new regime elected Board of Education representatives only answer to their own subdistricts, will we ever again see a meeting at City Hall where all of them attend? Would any reps from the other districts even feel the need to show up? Since we will have no representative for the next two years, the next meeting might be a very quiet affair.

Chris Koerber and John Capoccia tried to get the various Lame Ducks to come out and unequivocally vow that the Middle School will be built, and soon. None of them cared to do that. We heard from some that they believed it would be built, and others said that in their personal opinion the Middle School would happen. But nobody wanted to swear on any stack of Bibles. And honestly, how could they make such a promise? They're lame ducks. It is the next Board of Education that will get to decide where the hundreds of millions of dollars in remaining Measure TT bond money will be spent. A Board of Education that will not include us.

Like I said, unless you like hopeless tragedies, this meeting was probably not a very good use of your time.

I also have to tell you this, I have never heard so many "I'm sorries" in all of my life. Board President Renatta Cooper was sorry, and apologized profusely for a variety of things. It was a very well done performance, and I swore at the end she was dabbing at her eyes. Other Board members were sorry, too, and didn't hesitate to share their pain with us. Some of the staff guys were sorry as well. Including Fredo, who seems to have built a career around it. Even the architect was sorry, though in keeping with the educational theme he did say that he had learned from the experience. Just a veritable mountain of sorrow.

Let me ask you this. Did you ever dream that we'd see a day when those you voted to give $350 million in your tax dollars so that they could build beautiful schools and bring education here into the bright new millennia would end up five or so years later sorrowfully begging for your forgiveness? This was a sad spectacle indeed.

I have to admit to some great admiration for the parents who stood up and expressed both their disappointment for how things have gone up until now, and their hope that things will improve in the future. They were prepared, informed, aware and on target. Their sincerity and passion can in no way be doubted. They are good people who want to do what is right for their children.

But let me play Dutch Uncle here for a second. I work in the music industry. I am fairly well up in the chain of command, and I deal with a lot of people that I frankly consider to be hustlers. I'm not talking about the rappers and rock stars that I speak with from time to time, they are generally nice folks and fun to hang out with. I'm talking about their managers. These are some pretty tough folks who have made it in a business that barbeques the weak. And if you go into a negotiation with the intention of being sincere, and earnest and forthcoming, they're not going to like you for being so good a person. Rather they are going to think that they will be able to get what they want, and perhaps even a little more.

My take here is that while many of these parents spoke, and spoke well and with passion and conviction, it was not received by certain of the Board of Education members in quite the way hoped for. Rather it confirmed for them that they were safe, and the people talking were in no way a threat. To them it was an experience confirming their belief that they are going to get away with years of grossly mismanaging more than a third of a billion dollars in our tax money. And all that was required of them to do was say they're sorry.

That is pretty much all I have to say for tonight. It is well past midnight and I need to get some sleep. The blog as of this moment has received over 1,000 hits since this evening's meeting began, with 200+ comments on yesterday's post alone. People are hungry for information, and they're coming here. Maybe because what we offer is good, or perhaps there just isn't any other place to go.

I don't really know any more than about all this than you do. In fact, I suspect that some of you know a whole lot more. But I do know one thing for certain. If you have an ounce of pride and you care about our schools and community, you need to fight. We have now been subjected to repeated broken promises, a bait and switch bond operation, and the theft of our vote. All by the same people. No city has ever been abused any worse than Sierra Madre has. And I sincerely doubt that this cycle of abuse and easy apologies in any way ended last night.

If you don't fight now, and fight in a way that means something, then I can't say there is much to hope for here.

Bonus Coverage - The Organize Sierra Madre Schools Facebook site has a series of photos called "Abysmal Conditions of Sierra Madre Middle School Campus." It is pretty shocking. Click here to link in. Obviously the Board of Ed really does have a lot to be sorry for.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

132 comments:

  1. Good morning! Again, the Board of Education is playing it safe. No commitments came from that meeting. The only thing that I can say to you is that, if elected, I will fight hard to get your middle school built. I am however, a poorly funded candidate fighting against big money and the status quo. However, I am sincere in my commitment to you that it elected, I'll give you a voice and, will say yes to you where others say maybe or perhaps later. If it doesn't get built, it will not be because of me, but because other politically connected Board Members are not willing to move the project forward for whatever reason. While true, those of us running will have to deliver the goods for our respective districts, we will still have the responsibility for running the entire school district, Sierra Madre inclusive.

    I don't want to say sorry to your plight since, it will be self serving and condescending to certain extent. I would like to propose a call to action to ensure that the excuses stop and hold the Board and ME accountable to you as well. In me you'll have the commitment that I'll fight tirelessly to get your middle school built in the near future and demand a target date for completion.

    The time for excuses are over, we all need to move to the trenches and fight for the construction of the school to all our might. I will do, whatever it takes to get your school built. This is not merely a promise but a commitment.

    Sadly, the road ahead is full of perils and, if any of the other candidates win, I don't believe that the middle school will be built. Remember these people are being supported, endorsed and funded by those that have failed to keep their commitments to you. These people are being supported, endorsed and funded by those that want to continue driving the PUSD to the road of perdition. A vote for any of those candidates, is a vote towards much to do about anything.

    It boils my blood to see this kind of injustices being dished out not only to the community we are suppose to serve but, other communities that are very much invested in the success or failure of our school district. At the end, WE ARE ALL ONE. This is not about a Latino, an Anglo, an African-American or whatever candidate. This is about a candidate that will give everyone a voice regardless ethnic background. I am the candidate for the 100% and, a vote for me, is a vote for true independence and a forceful voice for the disenfranchised, Sierra Madre inclusive.

    Best,
    Guillermo Arce
    Candidate District 3 PUSD Board of Education

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  2. I'm sorry I went to this meeting.

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    1. Me too, waste of time. What we have to say means nothing, especially where the prom queens abound.

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    2. So am I. This city is getting what it deserves.

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    3. It was lip service, one good thing was I did get to shake the hands of two very brave parents so the 2 hours of my life I will never get back was not spent totally in vain.

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    4. Thank you 8:06. People like you are the reminder that there are decent people out there who have minds of their own.

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  3. Well, it was just lip service. More of the same, nothing is being done. No commitments, nothing, nada.

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  4. I apologize to my late arriving friends who stood in the overflow room and had to listen to the disrespect dumped on me. Thank you for not beating anyone up.

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    1. More than one "outsider" to Sierra Madre noted the way you're "loved" 7:05. Never mind them, they're nothing when they stand alone.

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    2. Yes, 7:13- In fact one of the most active of the parent vigilantes was there last night. I have a letter to PUSD from her threatening my child with her "special Forces, deputy sheriff husband"- who happens to be on trial for excessive use of force.

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    3. What happened? Disrespect?

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    4. I was in the hall. I heard.

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    5. Ah, you know. A swarm of yard gnomes ratpacked a pinata before all the kids got to the party.

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    6. Yes, this being my first mtg...and not knowing all the players. I did notice I was sitting in the wrong place as soon as TB started to head to the podium to speak. Everyone around me collectively groaned, I said self these people are nutz. Why would you not hold TB in the highest regard, he is championing not just for his child, your child too. It may be good to sit with the other side you get to hear tidbits of things that I'm sure your not supposed to hear if your not a unicorn card carrying member. One more thing, I would like to apologize to Ms Cooper, she looked like she had much more pressing issues to handle last night, it was an obvious inconvenience to be in our little city council meeting just to quiet some parents, her minions could have handled that all by their lonesome.

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    7. I don't get it either. if you are not angry after all that has happened, when will you be? That sort of thing is just entirely clueless.

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    8. You're definitely not one of the sheep bbqg. Thank you for speaking out.
      Yes, you got a taste of what these people think of us. When they're alone though, they don't have the guts to behave that way. We were the first comments, but they can't hear our message, even when it involves ALL the children, because we're the messenger.
      And with all those apologies flying around last night, you'd think we'd have gotten one for what happened in our situation. No way. To do so would make them liable. That they so freely threw them around tells me that they're not too worried about the building situation.

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    9. I was inside, I could see it. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

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    10. yep. it is institutional bullying, and it is as clear as day. they will tell you it doesn't exist. there were three reporters there, they heard it all, too. whether they'll speak to it or not soley lay in their hands. i wouldn't blame them if they chose not to, however. it is difficult to stand up for what is right. it's easier to not get involved.

      in the spirit of the night, to anyone who had to be subjected to what we live every minute of every day in this town, welcome to sierra madre. it's a great place to raise a family.

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  5. Yes, Mod, you may have been wrong about the importance of last night's meeting, but are you sorry and did you learn from your experience?

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    1. That is between myself and my heart.

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    2. I know who isn't sorry.

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    3. But Mod, are you Brenda Lee sorry?

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    4. Not now. But maybe it will hit me later.

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    5. Well, it was quite a hit for Brenda Lee.

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    6. Yes, and things were good for a while. But then it was turned into a board game.

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  6. Has anyone, a specific person or a few people, ever accepted responsibility for hiring thieves, or for throwing away money that was intended for the well-being of the children? Anyone? Or is all we have a group Mea Culpa?

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    1. They're sorry. No, really.

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    2. And we are getting ready to reelect at least one of them (Pomeroy), then Luis "I am an attorney in ICE" Ayala and, Ruben "The Bone" Hueso. Can you see what's coming? We are going to elect these bozos to the Board of Education comes March 5, 2013 and there is nothing you and I can do about it. They are buying votes right and left and collecting endorsements from the establishment. "The Bone", when asked about his Nunez money, he responded that he had received a good response from the community but, I don't think that Fabian Nunez lives anywhere near District 3 and, the other "community" endorsements read that ACT, the Foothills DemoCRAPs and the PUSD's Unions. I really don't call that the community but, everyone is entitled to their own definition of community.

      The Sierra Madre Middle school is doomed if any of these folks get elected. You get what you vote for.

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    3. But I don't have a vote!

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    4. None of us do. But don't worry, be happy!

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    5. Time to sprinkle the glitter!

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  7. At a broader level, a decision needs to be made about the bond process and its value. Obviously there is a conceptual need for construction (both new and upgrade), but when the process goes sour early on, is it worthwhile to try to follow it through without some big changes? There is a lot of money still not spent (200+ million, I believe). Perhaps the BoE should decide to scrap this bond altogether, i.e., not issue any of those future funding requests to the industry, and give the community a chance to try this again. While I think this is unlikely, I dont think any message of real value will ever be heard without such a drastic move. That obviously does not solve the immediate issue for SM, but I think it something the community should think about in the longer term. FWIW, I think the BoE will gladly take money from other schools to get the SM middle school built. It will not make people happy, but there is really no alternative at this point. The decision to tear down was a mistake and that's only way to rectify it.

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    1. You really think the PUSD will "gladly" take money from other schools? Really. Is this a vibe you're feeling, Navigio? Because what i heard last night was a lot of discussion about declining enrollment numbers and the need for yet another Middle School. Please elaborate.

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    2. SM always had a middle school. I don't get the point you are trying to make 8:46 AM.

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    3. I'll type slower so you can keep up. Does the PUSD want to put money into our semi-demo'd Middle School when enrollments are going down and there is adequate capacity elsewhere. That issue was brought up last night Board members.

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    4. Yes! 8:57 you get the prize for the one not following the unicorns! It doesn't make sense, does it? Why put more money into a school that has so few students? Oh, wait, they can entice hoardes to the school for the Mandarin Immersion program. That's much more important than STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), right?

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    5. So in your opinion the PUSD will renege on its promises to rebuild Sierra Madre's Upper Campus location?

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    6. Well, how many parents will be willing to place their children at Washington Middle School or Wilson for that matter. I believe not many. SM is ENTITLED to have their school in their neighborhood. I believe that the PUSD will be comitting suicide to suggest such a thing to parents. I am going to tell you what's going to happen, they will flee the district and, along with them, the revenue. The school was demolished to build a new school, the new school did not happen because the PUSD was asleep at the wheel and bad decisions were made. Just because you have the capacity elsewhere, doesn't mean that is justified leaving the Sierra Madre kids without a school of their own. You are suggesting that "accidently" eliminating a school is appropriate? If your house is bulldozed by accident, you'll expect that the responsible party rebuild your home, corect? This is what the parents at SM are asking, that you rebuild their home that the PUSD bulldozed by mistake.

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    7. Notice how no one that was in a position to promise, did?

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    8. Would a sincere apology suffice?

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    9. I want real tears and a begging for forgiveness.

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    10. Sorry about the all caps, but I can't stand it anymore:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY PROMISES.
      Just "best effort"

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    11. Sure. Like putting it in caps makes it less of a lie.

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    12. Find one bit of paper or video or phone call where any of them ever said "promise."
      That's the point - they never, ever say that.
      They say "We'll try" and everyone takes it as some kind of vow.
      It's not. They are always covering their asses - always.

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    13. Whatever. It was still a bait and switch. Weasel words don't change that. Good luck ever trying a pass a PUSD bond issue in this town again. All people will have to say is "Middle School" and down the drain it will go.

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    14. Of course it was a bait and switch, Accomplished with deceptive word choices, and reliance on the tendency for people to hear what they want to hear, instead of what is actually said.

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    15. Like three strikes your out? Too bad we didnt learn after measure y....

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    16. I spoke to Tom S before the "TT" vote and was told that the PUSD had safe guards in place to make sure tbe money would not be squandered. Then. I asked why a niddle school at blair? Since all the kids would have to be bussed in (from Norma C & washington) he said and I quote "we never sholud have bulit it but we promised". Do you think the privledge of SM are going to scare like the people involved with Blair?

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    17. If they weren't going to rebuild the school, why did they tear a big chunk of it down? What kind of a message was that?

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    18. 3:01, I think Steve Brinkman was supposed to be the "safeguard" Selinske was talking about. Anyone hear Miramontes mention him last night? I did, and I don't think it was positive. There were some PUSD players involved from the very beginning- look it up.

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    19. Oh, some safeguard. And where did Brinkman end up?

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  8. Yes, the school board is comprised of a group of sorry folks, but that means we just have to prod them all the more. we need to have a group attend the next board meeting and insist that they pass a resolution that guarantees that a middle school will be built (in a timely manner). Miramontes stated last night that he would support this resolution, and I think the Pomeroy and others will too. We need to hold them to the schedule they presented in answer to Capoccia's question. Pomeroy suggested that the Council receive a monthly update report from Fraser Thomas (?), the guy in charge of the building project. we need to make sure he reports every month and hold him accountable if the project begins to slide off into the abyss again. Parents, KEEP UP THE PRESSURE. It is the only way anything will happen. cooper, Pomeroy, Selinske, and Kenne will still be on the board after the election.
    For bonus points and to show the board that they shouldn't mess with Sierra Madre, go out and work on Arce's campaign. Knock on doors, make phone calls, give him some money. He is an ally even though he is not in our sub-district. If you really want this school, you will do the work needed to get it. (Yea, it sucks that the school board is so irresponsible, but we gotta just deal with it.)

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    1. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=13cb0536199c48f4&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D9704b8b2af%26view%3Datt%26th%3D13cb0536199c48f4%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbRgyMsv9lNkKhINeMkJlAS3BZmmdw

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    2. Sorry, the link above should take you to Arce's campaign flyer. He's a good guy, not afraid to speak the truth.

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  9. SCHOOL - 1950s vs. 2012



    Scenario :
    Johnny and Mark get into a fight after school.

    1950s - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends.

    2012 - Police called, and they arrest Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it. Both children go to anger management programmes for 3 months. School governors hold meeting to implement bullying prevention programmes.

    Scenario :
    Robbie won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

    1950s - Robbie sent to the office and given six of the best by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

    2012 - Robbie given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADHD – result deemed to be positive. Robbie's parents get fortnightly disability payments and school gets extra funding from government because Robbie has a disability.

    Scenario :
    Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

    1950s - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

    2012 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care; joins a gang; ends up in jail.

    Scenario :
    Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

    1950s - Mark gets glass of water from Principal to take aspirin with. Passes exams, becomes a solicitor.

    2012 - Police called, car searched for drugs and weapons. Mark expelled from school for drug taking. Ends up as a drop out.

    Scenario :
    Johnny takes apart leftover fireworks from Guy Fawkes night,puts them in a paint tin & blows up a wasp's nest.

    1950s - Wasps die.

    2012- Police & Anti-Terrorism Squad called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, investigate parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly in an airplane again.

    Scenario :
    Johnny falls over while running during morning break and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. She hugs him to comfort him.

    1950s - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing footie. No damage done.

    2012 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy and ends up gay.


    This should be sent to every e-mail address you know to remind us how stupid we have become!


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  10. I think the smartest thing we could do is state that the portables on the elementary school are not to be torn down, and starting next year, all the 6-8 will be moved back onto the elementary school campus (which actually has the facilities to serve them) until the middle school is built. If that isn't feasible, then just the 6th grade class.

    The other thing we need to do is look into legal action to sieze our portion of the counstruction money, as well as have a serious talk about what can be built on the new number. Probably this will mean a smaller middle school with all extracurriculars being offered in portables.

    However, if the money is removed from PUSD control, we locals could likely hire a local construction firm to build the extracurricular building for about half the cost PUSD can.

    Also, the architect pretty much stated that his plans were around 28 million and the reduced scope is going to be 26 million. That's far more than 22 million. His contract required him to create a 24-28 million building. Why was it designed for the highest number? When the federal money reduced, why wasn't it drastically changed instead of waiting another 6 months? (Probably because re-submitting plans to DSA is a couple hundred k proposition as well as a year delay) Since he is a resident of our community that is personally invested in us, I am hoping that he will go the extra mile and work up plans NOW for the gym portion of the project to be redone at half the cost (which will likely mean a huge reduction in scope. Perhaps open paved gym.) Then when the numbers come in at 26 and we are told we have to re-do everything, we'll at least not be so far behind.

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    1. I'll support legal action against the PUSD to ensure that the money to build the school is provided.

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    2. Me as well. I have $500 I'll donate to the cause.

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    3. Don't waste your money on lawyers. They have teams of lawyers to fight for them, and they fight really dirty- trust me. The money is there, it may have been "mismanaged" but they still have plenty to pay the Facilities director on leave, more consultants, more people to figure out what happened, etc.

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    4. That is what people used to say when one guy went after Nick Conway, the former executive Director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments. Nick ended up being arrested on 4 felony counts and is currently on trial. Unfortunately lawyers are the only way to do it. Dueling having been outlawed.

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    5. Those people only respect two things. Lawyers, and money. Outside of that they'll blow sunshine up your keesters until the cows come home.

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    6. But don't forget these folks stall, lie and cheat. They have staff trained by the sleasiest of law firms. They have board members who support each other in violating policy. They're all corrupt, yes. But how much money will have to be invested in lawyers to prove it? Remember, PUSD has deep hidden pockets. They manage to find money all the time to fight.

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    7. Could we use money from the annual fund?

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  11. I think that we need to reasses the way the bond money is being dished out. If we already bulldozed the middle school, then the BOE must now find the money to make up for the difference to replace the school. I am certain that they can find money by looking from within, accepting responsibility for the missing money and do what's right which is cutting a little here and there from other projects. How difficult is that? If it is left to me, I will have the BOE do bake sales or other fund raising gimmicks to come up with the money as punishment for their incompetence.

    Perhaps Luis, "the attorney on ICE" Ayala or Ruben, "the Bone" Hueso can afford to contribute a little of their campaign war chest to help a district in need. NOT!

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    1. Good point 7:40. There's really nothing in place for these people. If board members break policies, it's either ignored, or they can get censured- which really is nothing more than a reprimand. As long as they distance themselves far enough from the situation, play dumb, or stall enough- it's all good.

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  12. JC, you mention that although the parents were well spoken, they didn't shake up the board.
    Consider, when Tony posed the burning question of the ongoing investigation into the missing bond money, fired consultants, etc.- Why was he shut down? Why was Moran supported so vehemently by the sheep who said, "Yes, public comments were closed". Tony was trying to clarify with Gundry that although he said there wasn't "stolen" money, there was mismanaged bond money. We had the entire group there to explain the reasons for the investigation, but because the person asking the question was a Brandenburg, no one backed him. Instead, Moran got to shut him up.
    ~Mary

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  13. My opinion? Government types will never talk about an ongoing investigation. There are legal reasons for it, but it is also convenient as it gives them somewhere to hide from questions like the one Tony asked. In Sierra Madre there are very similar situations with the Matheson, EVG gas station skimming operation, and Harabedian possibly illegal campaign postcard investigations. Moran was enabling, which is one of the few functions he performs well.

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    1. Moran changed the question Brandenberg asked. Gundry tried to answer it when Brandenberg was on the floor, and was stopped by Moran. Bait and switch. When Brandenberg tried to clarify his public comment, and the people around him yelled to shut up and that comments were closed.

      I for one am re-examining what he and his wife have said about their child being bullied. It was clear to me that they are treated differently and I want to know why.

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    2. 9:32, I thought that's what happened. Gundry did have a response for Brandemberg, but Moran shut them both up. Anyone notice who Bart was texting during the meeting?

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    3. Notice how some people are told to be quiet? Called rabble rousers, troublemakers? If you really listen to the Brandrnburg's message, they've been calling the PUSD on their corruption. They've also called out a subgroup of Sierra Madre parents who seem to have some clout, and work with the Pasadena machine. How are these people all related?
      It's a great strategy on their parts to alienate the whistleblower, lead others to think he's bonkers. Then they can continue with their agenda.

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    4. Unicorns unite!

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    5. Yeah, 9:32, so you're saying its alright to let the Brandenburgs not follow meeting rules?

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    6. I think the PUSD is terrified of the Brandenbergs.
      Josh, however, was just trying to play his role of meeting leader with corrections from last time. So he used all his will to not engage in conversation after a comment, and to reinforce the 3 minute limit.
      I'm not saying that the audience and the board weren't against the Brandenbergs - just that Josh wasn't reaching any further than trying to bring an F performance as a council leader up to a C-.

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    7. 12:25, no one said that, but answer the damn question. The end result was no answer.

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    8. 12:25 um, if it's cool i will answer the question for myself. I had made it very clear that i had not been aware of the public comment being closed. "Ok, so I guess that's it for public comments" does not sound like "Public comments are now closed."

      If that warranted all of the rebukes, whatever. they have said far worse about (never to) me than that. i am not hidden, but not one of those people would look me in the eye and say it to my face. they have to do it in packs like vermin, just like they did to my child.

      Second, Mary did nothing wrong, but do you see how fast people are to blame her anyway? even you did in your assumption.she has never spoken out of turn at a meeting that i know of.

      ninth, you assume that i buy into the rulebook that was written last night. look, i made a public comment, the speaker for the council took it UPON HIMSELF to determine who and when the questions could be asked. Where in the bylaws is that indicated?

      fifth, the question was mine to clarify. i can just call the superintendent and ask in private, he would have told me the investigation was ongoing. people assume that i don't know the people downtown. they see me every week. i understand they may not like me, but they are generally available to answer my queries.

      it wasn't a matter of the information getting to me. it was a matter of clarification. personally i don't care, but when people are groveling for an answer and concerned about money- so much so that they would take it from a school that needs it more than sierra madre might- is it SO WRONG of ME to ask why the money is being mismanaged?

      i have no interest in this other than a few thousand dollars in Y and TT money that was taken from me. outside of that, no personal interest at all.

      First, You are naive if you think that sitting back and having an annual tantrum about "where's our school" is going to accomplish anything.

      Delete
  14. Having a "middle school" at the fomer PUSD primary school on Canon and long-term (18 years) rental to Maranatha (which trashed it and PUSD did no maintenance on its rented property which any good landlord would have done) was a flash in the pan. Great expectations for keeping Sierra Madre middle school-aged students here for the concerned parents were dashed by the numbers needing to be fleshed out by students coming from other parts of the district. It was never "our" middle school and was there a high school that any of the parents considered sending their middle school graduates onto within the district? And now it has gotten worse, us vs them with the new school board districts and Sierra Madre having no representation on the board for two years. We were doomed when the vote to set up the school board districts as Sierra Madre voters, even if they all understood and all went to the polls, were out voted at the outset.

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  15. The BOE is simply a continuation of a fine old tradition in So Cal:

    "A notable controversy occurred when Ramon Cortines, six months after becoming the Superintendent of LAUSD, proposed to reduce funding for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) by 75%.During this time, LAUSD was under a significant budget shortfall. The Inspector General of OIG, Jerry Thornton (retired FBI agent), came to a compromise with Ramon Cortines to reduce OIG budgeting by 25% instead. Subsequently, Cortines and the LAUSD Board members refused to extend Jerry Thornton’s contract. Jerry Thornton was known to produce many audit and investigative reports that showed misuse of funds, lack of financial controls and many conflict of interest charges against senior district management. Notable reports include excessive consultant costs at the districts construction program, over $20 billion, largest in the country, as well as millions in excessive and unwarranted consultant charges against the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Cortines eventually suspended and replaced many of the senior staff mentioned in Jerry Thornton’s audits. Jerry Thorton left on June 30, 2010. Cortines selected, and the Board approved, Jess Womack, former deputy general counsel for the LAUSD construction program, as interim Inspector General. Interim Jess Womack continued OIG investigations of LAUSD senior management. A notable one was released four months after Jerry Thornton’s departure, which found “irregularities in $65 million worth of consultant contracts.” This includes costs that exceed pre-approved amounts by 50% and additional contracts worth $31 million without school board approval, specifically against James Sohn, Chief of Facilities, whom Cortines had hired to replace the prior Chief, Guy Mehula. Cortines responded to this by canceling $3.7 million in consultant contracts cited in the report, but left open the possibility these consultants and contracts would return.

    LAUSD corruption is now known throughout the state, and has become sort of an operational model. Wonder if Jerry Thornton is available for a PUSD audit of the Bond monies?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramon_C._Cortines

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  16. I am sure the architect learned a lot from the experience since it was the first school that Fred Westley and Company ever built.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope he's learned to apologize.

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    2. He also designed the doomed 55 unit Wistaria Village that was proposed for the SNF site before it was the ALF. Fred was just a busy unicorn before the bottom dropped out of the development building boom. But don't fret, Fred was paid handsomely for his unbuildable projects.

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    3. Anyone who needs lessons on apologies need look no further than PUSD. They teach that course at Mea Culpa University. Of course, you will need to search hard for it as it was built with Messure Why money

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    4. Don't forget the $8 million dollar library!

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    5. Did anyone see Renatta and Josh at the Buc throwing back a few brewskies after the meeting?

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    6. 6:16, are you joking?

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  17. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/21016

    This is what has been happening to the Brandenburgs for years, and they are well aware of it. They are much more clever than sheeple think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha! Makes sense. Group think is something the unicorns understand. The Brandenburgs have been isolated as they don't go along, thus they must be "bad". Shame on you Tony and Mary!

      Delete
    2. wow. good call. you are right, whomever you are. you must know us, secretive one. yes, delphi is commonly used and we are pretty good at intercepting it when it is employed from either side of any issue. and yes, we are immediately identified as obstructionists.

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    3. The behavior of the Brandenburgs is memorialized all across the internet. I've kind of enjoyed the show, it goes something like this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOrSWCEkkEs

      I'll note Melissa McCarthy's character was actually in the right on that exchange.

      I assume if the Bs understand the "Delphi technique" then they are choosing to follow the rules of behavior to combat it sometimes and not others. When they chose to not follow those rules it's because (as they have stated) they are behaving belligerently in order to entrap the bad guys so they can sue them.

      Generally I just assume that Tony is a really smart hothead, and you don't want to be on his bad side. Which is why this member of the sheeple is posting this anonymously.

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    4. Or 12:27, maybe you're just a coward in sheeple's clothing.

      ~Mary B.

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    5. but no offense intended here, but i don't believe that mr. moran, even with all his business expertise and all, utilizes delphi. i just think he follows the council bylaws handbook. protocals and stuff. you know. robotics.

      as for the parents? they are conformists. they bought into delphi protocols years ago when they were won over. willing to bet their leaders all use delphi at the meetings though.

      it's a simple caste, really, with a couple or three generals at the top, with sgts., and then those afraid to be labeled sympathizers, those afraid of being labeled outsider, etc. in the mix. then there are the outliers.

      i'm cool with it, but it is the last interest i will put into their school being built. i believe the kids deserve better, but if the mommies and daddies have it all sussed out, i have much bigger fish to fry.

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    6. A big part of the problem here is Josh Moran doesn't know how to run a meeting. He is extremely partisan and can't leave himself out of the discussion. Josh will hear the question asked, decide he doesn't like it, rephrase it to fit his outlook, and then have whoever was asked in the first place answer his version. That is what happened last night. It has happened many other times as well.

      Delete
    7. 12:27, your comment and insinuations sound familiar, kinda like "so cal" or "Pusddad"- who follow the Brandenburgs around the Internet.

      Delete
    8. Josh: "I think what (fill in the name) is trying to say here is ..."

      Delete
    9. TB, please I prefer "badlander"

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    10. bbqg, take note of 12:27. Some of these people wander around at the school. Some are volunteers, PTA, city attorneys, etc. They threaten on message boards that they'll behave as they did before towards my son- always "anonymous". This is why I can't leave my son alone at school. I don't know who all these people are- just some of them. Neither PUSD nor the city will guarantee he's safe there. The message I tried to get across last night was that community members have carte blanche to behave this way to any child in any PUSD school. There's no board policy to investigate the actions of community members- according to the complaint investigator.

      ~Mary

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    11. I hear ya loud and clear, even after filing complaints, conversations with the principal, my kid is still bullied by her teacher. And the principal, pfffftttt what a joke. I anticipate my daughter will not pass third grade. While instructed to correct their own homework, there are concepts she doesn't understand and is afraid to ask her bully of a teacher, as she makes fun of her. This is just one of the many instances. This school year is shot for my kid. I'm getting to know the system, and sheeple... I will be well armed.

      Delete
    12. Word is that bullying teachers at Sierra Madre is nothing new.

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    13. 1227 we have never said the things you attributed to us. if you want to have a conversation, then stop hiding. state your name and your business. not in a secret little alcove where you tape record us and set us up with pusd staff to try to put words into our mouths, but right out in the open live on a stream so i can expose your bullying to everyone. you bring your evidence, and i will bring mine. otherwise stfu and crawl back into your rathaus.

      Delete
    14. bbq: bandlander. haha. that's good.

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    15. 12:27 aka "anonymouse"- You failed to mention what actually is all over the internet- and also what isn't.

      I'll first mention what is not: the parent vigilante's names. They are known collectively as the Sierra Madre Parent VIgilantes/Elite/Core Group. Because they are cowards and continue to hide, they also hide their disgusting actions behind the decent SME parents.
      What is out there- two parents that stood up to the Sierra Madre parent bullies that targeted, harassed and petitioned an autistic child out of his school.
      12:27, You can go ahead and call us "hot heads", "belligerant".....trying to "entrap" the bad guys. You've shown who you are-a coward. Just like them. We have received no apologies for what they did to a child, and we expect none. But we also won't hide what they did; we have the docs to back everything that we say.

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    16. BBQG: What type of complaint did you file?

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  18. The Delphi technique? But who is running the show?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the Delphi technique?

      Delete
    2. Here's an example of the Delphi Method at a public meeting where the audience was manipulated to buy in to a regional transportation plan- through the "group think" method of mass manipulation.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zpA1althjo

      Delete
    3. This should be the pre requisite for going to any city/board meeting. Wow! Thanks for the info.

      Delete
    4. i am glad someone brought it up. it is something everyone should be aware of.

      Delete
  19. with the internet, kindles and computers, Libraries will go the way of the DODO bird. better build that 8 million dollar library fast before people wise up and realize that only a few big libraries will survive and will mostly become museums

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Utter rubbish 12:44. Have you visited a library recently? Perhaps SM can't afford to maintain its' own library but don't cast a sweeping hand and pronounce that ALL libraries are destined to become museums. Ridiculous and uninformed.

      I'm loving the ease of downloading Kindle books from the LA County Library. Have you tried that 12:44pm or are you buying them all from Amazon?

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    2. Arcadia USD has recently managed to pull off a very large modernization program for its District

      http://dacmpm.com/dacm-project-management-projects/arcadia-unified-school-district

      as well as expanding and renovating the city library

      http://dacmpm.com/dacm-project-management-projects/city-of-arcadia-library

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  20. Not that it is any consolation, but you folks are not alone. I have been looking into a variety of school district activities and the results are shocking. Bond funds being misused, administrators receiving compensation that outpaces the President of the United States, taxpayer funds being used to pay for drinks and secret meetings with State Legislators....well you get the idea.

    It is time for an overall change in the way our educational system is run. Someone in Sierra Madre should be talking to the U.S. Attorneys office and asking how voters can be disenfranchised by not being allowed to vote for their district representative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why construction and infrastructure projects using public dollars are known as "pigs at the trough". Ron Tutor was famous for this on public highway work, and his USC network kept him safe. USC got a couple of buildings out of him that way. I don't think you can change construction practices that have existed since before the birth of Christ.

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    2. But we can keep a close eye on the crooks.

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    3. Thanks for your post, Gil.

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  21. I suggest circulating a petition which includes language that each person signing will withhold the annual property tax assessment for the bond measure until such time that construction begins on the school. Imagine the PR nightmare that would cause for the District.....thousands refusing to pay the bond assessment until promised projects are started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll just end up getting a tax lien on your property if you do that. Better to run the BOE folk out of office on the issue. Just tell everyone how much this is costing each resident each year, put that as a price tag during the election on each incumbent.

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  22. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_22535901/pasadena-school-officials-offer-words-but-not-bond

    Not even the media have the nerve to ask the questions Brandenburg asked. Nice job shutting him up last night. Never mind that the first time he spoke at a council meeting he brought this problem out into the open. I thank you, Sierra Madre. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to catch the Blue Line to my, uh, friend's place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why, does your friend live in the shark tank at the Aquarium of the Pacific?

      Delete
    2. No vote, no school, no worries! Last one to the Buc pays!

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    3. Yeah, boy. That's how we get down in Moranistan!

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    4. Is it jello shooter Wednesday? Maybe I'll stay a spell

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    5. ewww. N jello. I'm on a diet. It makes my butt look big. Can we just do tequila shots?

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    6. But I really like to beer bong it, wastes no time.

      Delete
    7. Call Renatta, it's tequila shooter time in the 'Dre.

      Delete
  23. Public School TeacherFebruary 6, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    As a public school teacher let me remind EVERYONE, that it states on the back of my CALIFORNIA LICENSE: MY FIRST PRIORITY IS THE SAFETY OF MY CHILDREN>

    Bullying of my or any child is NEVER safe, EVER! Yes, report this report this report this NOW to the SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION TOM TORKERLESON. Since PUSD is so lame and this is no
    secret, our Attorney General, Sup of Ed and Governor need many, many petitions.
    .
    Thank you Mr and Mrs B for your brave work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for thinking about our family.

      Delete
  24. school closes, property is sold, end of story, quite simple actually, why all the fuss?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the goal. Buildable land is nonexistent around here. Best run the school district into the ground and let the developers have it. After all, isn't that why they gave all those campaign donations to Honowitz and Selinski?

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    2. Hugo, Man of a Thousand QuestionsFebruary 6, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      Well having land to build big projects on is certainly consistant with Josh Moran's past vision, isn't it? Anyone ever ask him what he'd like to see built on that large chunk of land? Anyone ever think he'd like to see the school never get built? Anyone wonder why he helped send Big Daddy to the Measure A Task Force? Anyone wonder why Big Daddy showed up last night?

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  25. Can we give the dollar back the PUSD gave Sierra Madre for the school site and have the land back. Put all K-8 at Sierra Madre School. Use the Canon site for more groundwater recharge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about an all night dance club?

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