Friday, February 21, 2014

Tony Brandenburg: Did the Pasadena Weekly Just Throw Peter Dreier Under the School Bus?

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Scoop Denied
I wrote a quick note to Ramon Miramontes on Thursday evening. An interesting pice had shown up about the whole Miramontes consultation thing with PUSD on the Pasadena Bleakly (click here) earlier in the day. Andre Coleman had done a follow up piece and requiring minds wanted to know, um, what's up?

Besides, it was as good a time as any to be sidelined from the recent burst of youthful exuberance (click here) that had been locking me into hysterical fits of cackling delight.

So. I sent a quick note over to Ramon, like I said.

Hi Ramon. Nicer write up today. Any feedback I could get from you on it?  Either John or i or both are going to blog on it. John got the sense that they are backing off on drip dreiers piece.

Yes, thank you in advance Spelling and Grammar Special Forces. I was typing on my phone and vanity requires that I not wear my glasses when I am at the supermarket. The glass doors in frozen foods section on Aisle 3 cast the wonders and miracles of my blind-sighted narcissistic beauty. Oh, and I can draw a face in the window fog, too.

Ramon's brief but not unexpected response came to me in a misguided angelic vision on Aisle 5 twenty minutes later.

thanks for the offer but I will stay silent.....

I erased the halo I'd etched in the glass with my gris-gris-fingers and shrugged. Oh well, it was worth a try. It was not a totally unexpected answer.

I know Ramon's attorney had zapped a letter over to Drip Dreier recently (click here) over troubling statements made by The Nutty Professor earlier this month. Oscar Acevedo's letter cut right to the meat and potatoes of the matter:

It is my belief that you submitted the article for no other purpose than to deter third persons from associating or dealing with my client and/or his company, and to cause my client economic and personal harm. The article specifically injures my client with respect to his profession as a counselor and educator of young people, by imputing to my client that he should be disqualified from holding elected public office or do work with the Pasadena Unified School District or in other such venues ...

Failing a retraction by February 10, 2014, that unconditionally retracts the false and defamatory statements, you leave my client with no choice but to pursue whatever legal action is necessary to redress any and all injuries caused by your blatant spurious allegations.

Well, um. I have been poking around looking for that retraction and, um, February 10 came and went. I assume Ramon's silence is more than just golden right now. I think it's the promise of good things to come.

Ramon had allowed that letter, and his rebuttal that ran on the Meekly, to be shared on The Tattler. Titled Don't Drink the Kool-Aid (click here), Miramontes stated:

Mr. Dreir all but accused me of forming illegal contracts with the PUSD. There is no law or board policy that prohibits a former board member from working with the district. Mr. Dreier alleges that there were some shenanigans between PUSD Superintendant Jon Gundry and I that led to my firm being given a contract to do work. The fact of the matter is that the superintendant has discretion to enter into contracts without board approval as long as those contracts fall below a certain monetary threshold. Mr. Dreier was fully aware of this.

I tend to agree with Ramon on this. I also believe, and he appears to concur, that this was all a political ruse that had nothing to do equity - or morality - or ethics, and everything to do with with good old fashioned ACT inspired politikin'.

Even the follow up by Andre Coleman (click here) to Herr Dreier's original snub (click here) leaves us with visions of regressive pseudo-progressive Pasadena political plumper-dump. Even this half blind townie (click here) can see that far.

On Valentine's Day, in the appropriate Pasadena Weekly comments section, a poster named Dreier Watch (click here) asked these valid questions:

Did Dreier object when Dreier's chosen PUSD candidate Bob Harrison's business (Green Street Restaurant) was paid money by the PUSD while Harrison was a Board Member?

Did Dreier object when his Dreier's chosen PUSD candidate Tom Selinske's business (Encore Awards) was paid money by the PUSD?

Nope. Because "All Animals Are Equal. But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.”

Almost comedic in its predictability, a quarter was donated to the deja vu kitty when Andre Coleman wrote on February 20 that:

Miramontes is not the first board member to have a contract with the district. Several other former board members also held contracts for goods and services, including Bob Harrison, who owns Green Street Restaurant and once catered district functions, and current Board member Mikala Rahn, who owns Learning Works, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting dropouts back into school.

Interestingly, both of these bytes sound vaguely familiar to something I read earlier in the month by some tubthumper. Any guesses as to whom (click here) I speak? No?

Well, uh, on February 4th (click here) the following nugget was tossed:

I also agree with Mr. Dreier regarding information from "the source" about the length of time between stepping down from the Board to engaging in business with PUSD. Maybe it shouldn't be allowed at all. Nothing, including donations which could be used for tax deductions. Nothing. That would mean, however, no more supports from Carol Liu's education guru "Mr. Ed" Honowitz, and no more catering from former PUSD Board President Bob Harrison, or signs from Tom Selinske.

Whatever Andre. Maybe you should put the facts first? Dreier Watch, you rule, whoever you are. When you feel like sifting through my hell, let me know who you think PUSDAD is.

I should point out that the Blogger who wrote that was probably kidding about a lot of that stuff, and maybe was misunderstood when he generalized that NO former Board Members should be contracted.

And as fast as you can say … ah dunno ... the backpedaling comes in a fury of blight, bite and sound:

According to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPCC), there was nothing improper about a proposed contract between former Pasadena Board of Education member Ramon Miramontes and school Superintendent Jon Gundry shortly after Miramontes left office.

Um, let's go back in time to think about the above referenced blog/blogger one more time. You know, that one by the father of that autistic kid - you may remember them, right, you know - the family you doubted (click here)? He said something pretty damn similar to that on February 4th:

But it is also clear that the discussion between the two took place some time back, so this contract discussion is hardly a sudden revelation. Superintendents everywhere enter agreements with consultants. So do school principals. That this one flew under the radar of the school board until a, ahem, "source" finally got around to noticing it should come as no surprise.

Dig it, y'all. Just because the above blogger statements are written as opinions doesn't make them invalid. Or wrong.

I have found a myriad of things that have been out there regarding this stuff for a while. I have already told you what is going on, and what I thought was driving all of this crap.

Andre Coleman has tons on his plate, but his source is clearly from within the PUSD hierarchy, and that source is not providing him with any good pictures to smear on his pallet. I suspect the same source provided Speaky Pete with many of his sour incites (intentional) as well.

The Skinny
Jon Gundry is now up for a renewal of his three year School Superintendent contract I assume (I don't know OK? I assume), and my dollar bets that someone doesn't want him to come back. I am also betting that someone wants to get some other someone on the PUSD BOE to back that play.

If Gundry comes back, he's nuts. He's been treated like crap and that's really a shame because he has done nothing but offer support to this dysfunctional and ungrateful school district.

Check out the second paragraph from Andre Coleman's February 20th PW piece:

But the deal might not have met standards set in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has a code of ethics prohibiting contracts with former district officials who participated in deciding matters related to any proposed contracts in the previous 12 months. The LAUSD also has a two-year ban on district officials who formally participated in the development of any contract’s request for proposal (RFP) process, and former district officials are prohibited from lobbying the district for one year.

Does that strike anyone other than me as a political dig, once again? They can't just give this one to Miramontes and Gundry? Is it so hard to admit that maybe that special insider is wrong about this? Does this PUSD insider ever just give up? I mean, really? LAUSD is now our guiding pillar of ethical light?

Holy Mother of Mercy pray for us all.

Sincere Thanks
to: Jon Gundry,
cc: Renatta, Mary, kenne.kimberly, phelps.scott, pomeroy.elizab., Thomas, Ramon, Mikala, hampton.tyron

Dear Mr. Gundry,

I read the Pasadena Meekly today and noticed that the CFPPC found no impropriety in the decision to contract a former board member.

While the Meekly's author, Mr. Coleman may have felt it was necessary to comment on the position of the LAUSD on the same issue, many of us who actually pay attention to things like this know that the bar for PUSD is higher than 7 inches from the ground.

In any event, I believed before, as I do now, that the agreement was a legitimate one, and I for one am sorry that elected representatives who are supposed to serve the needs of the taxpayers and consumers felt the need to speak on this issue to the press in the first place.

The Brandenburg Family have always believed you were an agent of change and a person of integrity, and we realize that there are some in elected roles that use staff members as political futbols without giving it a second thought.

We wish to thank you again for the service you provide to the children of our family and to the children of Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre.

Tony and Mary Brandenburg

Keeping The Community Schools Drools Dream Alive, Year 2

Greetings Community Partners,

We are proud to finally be able to showcase the many outcomes resulting from Pasadena’s School/City/Community Work Plan during year one of implementation.  For those of you who have been with this effort and shaping it since its inception, thank you!  Your time, dedication, support and input in seeing this effort through and to the next level is commendable.

This Monday evening, February 24, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., the Pasadena Unified School District’s Board of Education and the Pasadena City Council will have an opportunity to review the Progress Report as well as consider, in concept, a proposed Governance Structure and Work Plan for 2014-15.  We invite you to attend the meeting to be a part of this important discussion.  Details on the meeting location, the agenda report providing background on the project, and the actual progress report and related documents can be located by clicking on the link provided below.

Thank you your participation and interest in this project.  We look forward to seeing you on Monday and welcome your involvement as the process moves into year 2.

http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2014%20Agendas/Feb_24_14/agenda.asp (link)

Sincerely, Mercy

Mercy Santoro
City of Pasadena
Director of Human Services and Recreation

You are just going to want to be there. If only for the comedy alone.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

44 comments:

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

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    1. I'm sure you'd like that, sweet cheeks, but Mrs. Crawford doesn't need a couch surfer raiding the fridge and stacking dirty dishes on the coffe table.

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  2. Someone is Green with envy.

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  3. He was supposed to be Renatta's lapdog, remember?February 21, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    http://pusd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=408&meta_id=62034

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    1. In time everyone sees through Sleeping Beauty.

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    2. The Ever Lee BrothersFebruary 21, 2014 at 7:14 AM

      Wake up, Little Renny, Wake Up

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    3. Great educators need more rest than us other people.

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    4. Cooper stupor.

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    5. Renatta wishes for all the Tattler people to know that she never fell asleep, she was just resting her eyes. And what you heard was never snoring. She was just clearing her throat. Great educators do that occasionally. Thank you.

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  4. How can they throw him under the school bus? The PUSD doesn't have them any more.

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    1. It must be the Metro...... he loves that idea. For YOUR morning travel, anyway....

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    2. It is wonderful that the special people can tell us how to make sacrifices for them.

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    3. Metrosexuals. Gotta love 'em

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    4. I like it that people get talked into riding buses. More room on the freeway for me.

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  5. Hopefully Dreier gets some jail time. That way he can bring the Community Schools concept to one of the LASD's downtown prisons.

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    Replies
    1. Not on this mess, it's civil. You know, the root word of what we lack.

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    2. I was sent to civility prison once. I ended up doing a lot of time in solitary.

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    3. Me too, I spent lots of time shaking my own hand.

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    4. I have always been civil to myself. Except when I lose my car keys.

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    5. What would be the difference?

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  6. The plot thickens …
    Pasadena Unified School District won’t release superintendent evaluations
    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20140220/pasadena-unified-school-district-wont-release-superintendent-evaluations

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    1. None dare call it conspiracy.

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    2. they never have. i've never understood why.

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  7. key word: discretion.

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  8. you notice in the updated story that there are no quotes from Comrade Dreier himself. Because he can't answer why he has never complained about his own board member cronies (Harrison and Selinske) getting PUSD contracts or his own buddy Honowitz' wife's City of Pasadena contract or his friend Kristin Maschka's PUSD contract.

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    1. Dreier is a cancer on the Pasadena Unified School District.

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    2. He's another carbuncle. Like Hineywitz.

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  9. why no mention of the MOST obvious Conflict and Profiteer: Mikala Rahn and her charter school...a charter school they all praise for handling the worst of the worst - not handling well, but she gets a "B" for effort...but an "F" for treatment of her employees - aren't Dems supposed to be all about workers rights? why is no one rising up that she is profiting off the school district ??

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    1. Couldn't agree more, 9:58. While in some places it looks like charter schools have to happen as a rescue effort, there's no denying that they damage the usual public schools. Not arguing for public school systems that are failing, but c'mon - if the person who runs a charter is on the public school board? What is that? Embracing the enemy?

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    2. This is rubbish. Rahn is handling a problem the PUSD can't handle on its own. There are lots of problems the PUSD canlt handle on its on. Bagging on those with real solutions isn't going to make the PUSD any more competent. Keep Gundry, impeach Renatta.

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    3. Privitize as much of the PUSD as possible. That is the real way to invest in our kids.

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    4. I find a balance of both private and public is necessary. We have had great successes and or interactions with TOTAL here in town, as well as with Frostig School. Rahn has been very pro about her role in both agencies, so I don't see any problem.

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  10. Q: Who's up for pants-free Happy Hour at the Buc?

    A: Buc Naked is!!

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  11. There is a Noah Pants Dance at the Kiwanis Club on Saturday.

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    Replies
    1. let it swing and shake your bootay!

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  12. Maybe we should drop all the distractions and stick to the issues, it would be a hugh embarrassment to us tattler folks if me wins the election because people think he is being picked on and vote for him

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    1. If anyone wants to vote for Noah Green after seeing who he is in his down time, they are beyond reach.

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    2. There is only one real issue in this campaign, and that is Measure UUT. If someone comes up to you and starts whining about how people are being mean to Noah, the odds are almost 100% that they are for the UUT.

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    3. Agreed. The UUT needs to be shut down. Noah Pants supports UUT. He's gotta go. If someone wants to give him a pity vote, I'd be willing to bet he get a pity kiss out of them, too

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  13. See something, say something!February 21, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    Witnessed at 5pm today.....corner of SM blvd and Baldwin, police car, lights and siren blasting going south on Baldwin in the northbound lane at 40-50mph,slows to make left hand turn on SM blvd, gets halfway through turn and hits the gas, backend of car fishtails,driver overcompensates, spins out and slams into the north wall of Howies market, just north of the bus stop, children in area, a mother with baby in stroller had just crossed Baldwin, 4 or more cars in line at stop sign going every direction, THAT is what happened, no one got hurt...this time, when you here sirens in this town...pay attention, the life you save may be your own.

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  14. See something, say something.February 22, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    Just WEST of bus stop......needed to correct that.

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  15. I was scanning the School/City/Community work plan document (ww2.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2014%20Agendas/Feb_24_14/AR%202.pdf) There are lots of problems with this:
    1. PUSD serves three communities -- yet they've entered into this agreement with Pasadena alone (they didn't even mention it during joint meetings with Sierra Madre and Altadena town councils). Sounds like, once this is well underway, the rest of us will be expected to go along with it. I know they have some Altadena residents involved to try and smooth the way when they say, "All the cool kids are doing it, why aren't you?"

    2. Prof. Dreier in 1979 proposed a two phase plan:
    (a) set up a bunch of socialist organizations and (b) increase entitlements
    When (b) collapses the system, (a) will move in and lead us to the glorious future. (I think he revealed his list of our future masters here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-dreier/first-they-came-for-acorn_b_300941.html)

    This whole city/community plan purpose apparently is to turn the schools into a conduit of entitlement delivery to accomplish 1(b). Using the schools to accomplish leftist political ends is an old tactic (Ask Bill Ayers, or read this: radicalteacher.library.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/radicalteacher/index) Watch this space.
    3. The city/community plan commissars are being very vague about exactly what they're up to, other than doing something for our own good. I defy anyone to make sense of ringing statements like this:

    Capacity to inventory resources to effectively identify duplication and gaps in
    services needs greater focus, and must be done with the buy-in and support
    across multiple agencies

    or

    More opportunities are needed to engage decision-makers on an ongoing basis
    to build shared knowledge to more effectively navigate resources towards the
    strategies for action, and ultimately shared results

    Looking at websites devoted to city/community plans (yes, Pasadena's not the only one) are a festival of using gassy language in lieu of actually saying what they really hope to accomplish. I'm old fashioned: schools need to educate our children, not socially re-engineer society, level the mountains, and make the crooked paths straight. But if we add delivering social services and pursuing social justice to their charge, well, we'll need more tax money for that, won't we? (see 1b above). And more vendors to administer it (see 1a above).

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    1. This slipped by you Sage...these sneaky bastards have been hatching this plan for awhile.

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