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  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014


    Peralta,elementary music, and Measure K

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Peralta lease back on the OUSD agenda and...
    OUSD looks at elementary arts and music

    The Orange Unified School District's September 11, 2014 Board agenda has an informational item on presenting options for restoring the OUSD elementary music and arts program that was cut during the Great Recession.  Item 13 A (agenda page 124) states options will be presented to the Trustees on restoring the program.

    On the agenda as Action Item 12 C is the Revised Budget report for 2014-15.  The report shows  that OUSD has a healthy balance of  $70.4 million- with $7.4 million of that in a state required reserve.

    The Peralta lease returns to the September 11 Agenda as Item 12 H.  At the August 10, 2014 OUSD Board meeting the Peralta Lease was the subject of a lengthy discussion on allowing Peralta Golf Partners to extend the lease with provisions of not selling the property while the extension is in effect.  During the discussion Trustee Rick Ledesma  warned that 'fixing the schools does not go away" and stated that if Measure K does not pass he would immediately seek to sell all of OUSD's surplus properties. 

    Item 12 B on the September 11 Agenda lets the OUSD Board accept or reject the auction offers for the Walnut Site. The OUSD Board had placed the value of the property at $12.9 million.

    Measure K item on August agenda draws support

    At the August 10, 2014 OUSD Board meeting several speakers from the meeting spoke during the Public  Comments section on Agenda Action Item 12A .  The agenda item was on extending the contracts for the architects that did the renderings for the needs assessments on the high school facilities in a lead  up to placing Measure K on the November ballot.

    Orange County Third District Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer was one of the audience members who spoke in favor of  Measure K.  Spitzer, who has children attending OUSD schools, announced his support of Measure K as he described his personal observations of the need of modernizing OUSD schools . Supervisor Spitzer also signed the ballot argument in favor of Measure K.

    Spitzer's public announcement to support Measure K came just days after OUSD's  teacher association endorsed Measure K.  While this may not seem unusual it in fact is the first endorsement of an OUSD Bond by the teachers'  union. C.A.R.E. has also announced that for the first time all four high school's parent, teacher and student (PTA's and PSFO's) have voted to support Measure K. 

    The OUSD Board however split over the spending of more money on facilities plans before the election.  Trustee Diane Singer cautioned to wait until after the November vote on Measure K before spending further money-reasoning that if the measure does not pass, the new first phase renderings that the action item would provide would not be needed.

    Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni  (who voted against placing the measure on the ballot and is the only OUSD Trustee to sign the ballot arguments against Measure K)  spoke again of her concerns with the original architectural renderings of high schools that were designed without a budget according to the wishes of each high school's stakeholders.. 

    Trustee Timothy Surridge agreed that the blueprint process should be in place for what the estimated $74 million per high school bond could accomplish before the bond is potentially passed. 

    Trustee Rick Ledesma likened supporting the agenda item for the new renderings to being "good stewards"  in preparing for the bond monies. 

    The Deligianni concerns mirror a recent anti-Measure K Op-Ed in The Foothill Sentry  and appear to be part of the loosely organized anti-K campaign that appears to be heavily counting on the hard-right controlled Orange County Republican Party for help in defeating Measure K.  The Orange County Republican Party went on record against every school bond in Orange County on the November ballot.

    Action Item 12A passed on a 5-2 vote with Deligianni and Singer voting "No"  and the rest of the OUSD Trustees voting yes.

    Item 12 C was also about Measure K. The agenda item requested by Trustee Singer called for Bond Transparency Training. While all the trustees supported the idea, the devil was in the details of when and where the training would take place and who would sponsor the training.  At the end of competing motions, the training was ultimately supported.

    Is OUSD starting on a new Consultant "Milieu"?
    Is Orange Unified headed for another round of wasteful spending by bringing back a Consultant Culture, or rather as the "description" OUSD Administrative Director of Community and Student Services Dr. Kenneth Miller used in OUSD's latest press release a "milieu" ( in the language...for environment).  Unlike OUSD's budget busting failed Focus on Results consultant experiment, this new the top down Consultant Milieu may have serious consequences not just on the budget, but on local perceptions of the "optional" schools.

    A new elitist OUSD Consultant  Milieu spending spree could not come at a worst time for the community schools as the OUSD Trustees are asking voters for approval on a series of bonds to upgrade and repair aging schools that are in dire need of improvement. In all of Orange County, OUSD stands alone as failing to pass a much needed school bond. Measure K, the first OUSD bond in the planned series goes before voters this November and currently has broad and deep community support for repairing the district's aged and substandard high schools.   

    The press release sent out by Superintendent Michael Christensen on Friday September 5, 2014 to the community (but not OUSD employees)  touts Cerro Villa Middle School being the first ever Orange County middle school to be granted the optional "accreditation" which is called in the release an "award".  In the press release "Director of Community" Dr. Miller is quoted explaining in contorted bureaucratic educrat-speak the benefits of the Cerro Villa accreditation to Greater Orange "Community" as :
    "Our professional team can now see how we as a school will not only improve our service model in the current milieu but we have also will  [sic ] nurture this opportunity to empower our students to achieve at optimal levels throughout their high school and postsecondary careers.”

    The optional accreditation of middle, elementary and even pre-schools comes as the accreditation process itself is under increased scrutiny from educational reformers of all types.

    The reason no other high achieving Orange County district has gone through the expense and trouble of getting the optional schools accredited is there really is no upside  to accreditation except to say that you have it.  Unlike real school recognition recognized by the California Department of Education (Click on CDE AWARDS), accreditation only becomes news relevant to a community when a high school or college is threatened with its loss.  With "optional accreditation"  there are numerous  downsides. Once accreditation is granted it is a never ending expensive cycle of numerous hoops related to confirming the accreditation.  If  accreditation is lost for any reason, including a variety of non-educational reasons, that becomes news and an enormous local public relations problem coupled with state and federal funding complications beyond anything that No Child Left Behind had. That is the power the federal government gave the accreditation industry over schools that are required to have accreditation for federal funding-including student loans and transferring credits between schools (CLICK ON Accreditation).
    The process for the optional accreditation for Cerro Villa MS was began by Dr. Miller when he was the school's principal.  For the expense of the accreditation process, Cerro Villa was "granted"  a two year accreditation until 2017 by the quasi-governmental Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) with reported minimum requirements. That however will change.

    In 1965 the accreditation process for "higher education" was granted to six agencies with monopolies in geographical areas by federal legislation.  The status of those six "agencies" as official but "private" allows them to tout- as the WASC website does-that they do not have to give out any information under the Freedom of Information Act that government agencies do.  That means there is no public scrutiny of the budgets or administrative pay.

    For years the exclusive monopoly of college and high school accreditation was widely accepted with the strings of federal funding attached, but since the No Child Left Behind legislation, the accreditation "agencies" have come under increasing scrutiny by educational reformers on all sides of the political spectrum Increasing calls for reform or elimination of the six agencies and/or their monopoly power have been made by a wide range of education reformers including the notable  American Council of Trustees and Alumni.  WASC and the other regional accreditation monopolies are seen as pawns of the federal government wielding enormous power over public local control issues and private educational institutions. They have often been seen as anti-reform. (Click on FEDERAL  and AEI ) . 

    All expenses of the accreditation process for the committee and agency administrators- including airfare, local transportation, lodging, meals, materials and supplies are paid for by the school district. Payment is requested in two weeks after the accreditation visit (the schools are invoiced) and if payment is not received in 30 days after the visit- a 15% "administrative fee" surcharge is added to the bill (see link below).  In the OUSD press release Dr. Miller thanked educational consultant Tony Ferruzzo of the consultant firm DecisionInsite (Click on CONSULTANT) and WASC's Executive Director Dr. Van Leuven for their guidance through the process.  The press release further stated that Leuven, who is based in Burlington California,  had personally come to Orange  to participate in the Cerro Villa review. Of course it was all at OUSD taxpayer expense (Click ON: WASC) .

    Unlike governmental oversight, the private accreditation firms operate much like consultant firms with a twist, they can demand payment and add on fees all before rendering a life or death decision for schools. While the WASC uses unpaid "volunteers" for the real time consuming committee work that reviews the schools for the process, the administrators of the mega-agencies get paid- reportedly very well. 

    Christensen's press release included information that Yorba and Portola Middle Schools were next in line for the accreditation  process-reportedly much to the surprise of the staffs at both middle schools. The staffs at those schools were only made aware that their schools would be part of an optional accreditation process when the community press release was brought to their attention. The press release stated that OUSD had "initiated the WASC process for middle schools" mentioned both Portola and Yorba by name.  Now, like the costly mistake of trying to unsuccessfully impose the  failed Focus on Results top down consultant culture on school stakeholders during the unpopular "Good to Great" Godley Administration, with the new influx of educational tax dollars the current OUSD administration appears poised to follow with their own expensive encore top-down Consultant Milieu. 

    Despite the recent OUSD mailer on Measure K to the Greater Orange Community touting the high achievement in OUSD schools (which happened after the  former OUSD Superintendent Dr. Dreier ended the OUSD Consultant Culture and switched to using the talent of OUSD administrators and teachers) OUSD middle and elementary schools appear poised to work on Dr. Miller's new consultant driven "service model in the current milieu"  to "nurture this opportunity to empower our students to achieve at optimal levels " because obviously what the new OUSD Director of Community and Students appears to be inferring is that OUSD teachers and schools have been failing students all these years and need more consultant hoops to jump through to prove they can  "empower our students to achieve at optimal levels".

    Now with tens of millions of educational tax dollars "in the current milieu" , will OUSD return to the failed top down pre-recession Consultant Culture or as it may now be know as a new Consultant Milieu?

    INSIDE the September 11, 2014  Meeting
    Item 9E- New Student Board Members representing OUSD's high schools
    Item 9F- Walk to School Week and Day recognition
    Action Items 12 D,F,E,G: Vote on revisions to various Board Policies.

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday September 11, 2014

    CLOSED SESSION NOTE Time change 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
    the Greater Orange News Service
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/
    Orange Net News

    “Greater Orange's TRUSTED independent news for over 12 years"

    Wednesday, September 03, 2014


    Villa Park CALPERS vote gets attention

    Villa Park vote on CALPERS withdraw gains statewide attention

    A move by the Villa Park City Council to notify CALPERS -the state employee benefits system- of a notice of intent is getting widespread attention throughout California.   The vote set for the September 23rd City Council meeting is meant to trigger an updated CALPERS report on the city's unfunded liability for the 30 present and past employees of the city.

    Two years ago a similar report showed the small conservative city had  $3.5 million liability.  This month's vote to get a new report is being hailed by Mayor Barnett and Councilwomen Pauly as a public service in advertising the new costs recently voted by the California legislature to bolster the CALPERS bottom line.

    For a full report Click on: CAPTIOL WEEKLY

    Tuesday, September 02, 2014


    GOP- no to bond, but Yes to....

    eLECTION Watch 2014
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Orange County GOP Endorsement Committee votes against Measure K...but recommend endorsing Ledesma and Surridge over their stand to sell off OUSD's surplus properties
    The OCPolitical blog reported that at tonight's September 2 2014 Orange County GOP Endorsements Committee members voted to make recommendations to the full Orange County Central Committee at its meeting later this month that they oppose the OUSD Bond Measure K and endorse Trustee Rick Ledesma and Tim Surridge.

    Measure K's opposition was spearheaded by Villa Park Councilwomen Deborah Pauly who called OUSD's  long involved community stakeholder vision plans the "Taj Mahal" plans. General conspiracy theories of "fiscal mismanagement"  were bantered around by other committee members.

    At the August 18th Orange County Central Committee Meeting, members voted to send both Ledesma and Surridge to the Endorsement Committee based on their votes to place Measure K on the ballot.

    When Ledesma was asked by the Endorsement Committee about his efforts to cut spending- Ledesma pointed to his efforts to sell off the district's surplus properties to developers.  

    At the August 14 2014 OUSD  Board Meeting, Ledesma led the charge against an extension of the lease holders (Peralta Golf Partners)  of the surplus OUSD Peralta site. Ledesma repeatedly stated he opposed the 18 month extension of the lease because of a provision that the district not offer the land for sale during the extension period.  Ledesma repeated that he wanted to have the option to revisit selling the site after the November election and he took  the lease owners to task for profiting off the lease on the site.

    At the endorsement meeting, Ledesma stated that he has opposed the Bond Measures in 2004 stating that he did that because "He could not find a way to fund maintenance without the unions scooping out the money."

    Ironically (and most likely unknown to the Endorsement Committee) just last week, both Ledesma and Surridge had interviews seeking to get the endorsement and money of the Orange Unified teachers' union- the OUEA. 

    In a surreal comment, ultra conservative Endorsement Committee member Mark Bucher (who was the attorney for the  2001 Recalled OUSD Reactionary Board)  is reported to have made the comment that "the unions are trying to run schools into the ground and get conservatives to vote for higher taxes"

    At that same August OUSD meeting, Surridge too opposed the lease extension calling on the owners to reveal their financial records.  Progressive member Diane Singer immediately took exception to her self-proclaimed "conservative colleagues" line of reasoning.  Singer pointed out that she had a problem the district as a government entity getting involved with telling a private enterprise what type of profits they could make.

    Those who know Surridge well should not be surprised by his anti-capitalistic streak. Surridge February 20, 2014 rant against the Peralta business is well documented (see video).

    Surridge's philosophical stance about capitalism appears to follow a growing fringe Christian anti-Capitalism movement.

    In April of last year,  Surridge shared this link on his Facebook Page:
        Tim Surridge shared a link.

    The article begins:
    Over the years we’ve explored the reasons capitalism blindly continues on its self-destructive path. Recently we found someone who brilliantly explains why free-market capitalism is destined to destroy the world, absent a historic paradigm shift: That is Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel, author of the new best-seller, “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets,” and his earlier classic, “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?”

    The premise for what Surridge writes on his Facebook that is "thought provoking" is the philosophy of Christian Anti-Capitalism (Click on: CAC )

    Live blogging from the GOP Endorsement Committee meeting (see below)  gives an inside detailed look at the arguments and personalities.

    Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 2, 2014
    "We’re live from OCGOP Endorsements Committee tonight as they hold the first of two meetings to make recommendations for the September Central Committee meeting’s endorsements..."
    (Blog posting on Measure K  discussion)

    "6:53 PM: Tim Surridge speaks about the Napa earthquake. He speaks about student safety and outdated facilities.

    6:54 PM: Deborah Pauly notes this is the largest bond ever proposed by a K-12 school district. She says the Taj Mahal plan would cost three times as much as the bond. She notes about the failure of the district to put enough money for maintenance.

    6:55 PM: Robert Hammond speaks about finding better ways to fund repairs to the schools like his alma mater, Orange High School. He is concerned about the bond debt of a $296 million bond, which would be approximately $540 million to pay off.

    6:57 PM: Thomas Gordon moves to recommend opposing Measure K, the Orange Unified School District bond. He speaks about fiscal mismanagement.

    6:58 PM: Bucher speaks about fiscal mismanagement of school districts.

    NO MEASURE K RECOMMENDED BY A 4-0-1 VOTE. (Mathews abstaining.)"

    (Blog posting on Ledesma and Surridge discussion)

    " 7:12 PM: Rick Ledesma explains he has served on the Board for years and is a financial analyst. He opposed the bonds in 2004. He could not find a way to fund maintenance without the unions scooping out the money. He reminds the committee that he is the only Republican running in his Trustee Area and that Surridge is the only Republican running in his Trustee Area.

    Huang asks about his efforts to cut spending.

    Ledesma speaks about his efforts to sell off surplus properties. He speaks about the cities inhibiting the full surplus property value.

    Gordon asks if Ledesma opposes PLAs.

    Ledesma says yes.

    7:17 PM: Gordon moves to endorse Ledesma and Surridge. He is concerned about their liberal opponents. He urges them to continue opposing PLAs and to oppose future bonds.
    Huang supports the motion and urges Ledesma and Surridge to act prudently if the bond passes and creatively if it fails.

    Bucher says this is a tough one. He fears the unions are trying to run schools into the ground and get conservatives to vote for higher taxes.


    For the complete report Click on: OCPOLITICAL

    eLECTION Watch 2014
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/
    Orange Net News

    “Greater Orange's TRUSTED independent news for over 12 years"

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014


    It's the International Street Fair....

    Destination Orange for the Annual Orange International Street Fair this Labor Day
    The Orange International Street Fair (Greater Orange’s goodbye to summer bash) returns this Labor Day Weekend  with the theme Destination Orange.

    Since being the centerpiece of the City of Orange centennial celebration in 1972 as a re-creation of a 1910 Orange International Fair, the celebration literally makes Orange the destination for the world bringing hundreds of thousands to the center of Greater Orange as world famous Orange Traffic Circle becomes the center of  international themed food streets.

    Over 1200 volunteers have been preparing to make the expected half million visitors feel welcome. More than 80 community organizations dedicated to serving the Greater Orange Communities rely on the Orange International Street Fair as one of their biggest fundraisers of the year.

    This year the redesigned event expands down South Olive Street. Also new this year is urging people to use the Lyft Service for those who are drinking. The Facebook page has a free ride coupon up for up to $25 here: Click on: LYFT

    As always, the fun is all about the food, music, more food, drinks…and don’t forget the FOOD…from around the world. Craftsmen will be selling handmade items around the Plaza and present and past Orange Street Fair commemorative s will be on sale to complete your Orange Street Fair collection. 

    As always no pets are allowed at the Orange Street Fair and wristbands for public alcohol consumption are required. 

    The free entertainment includes bands that will perform thought the four block downtown Old Towne Orange Plaza traffic circle center representing music from around the globe on the numerous stages all around the Plaza.

    For the Entertainment Schedule Click on: ENTERTAINMENT

    Children’s Street
    The Children’s Street family oriented activities will again be offered on North Orange Street just off East Chapman Ave. No alcohol is allowed in the Children’s Street area. 

    Parking and Traveling to the Orange Street Fair- Have your friends try the Train!!!
    The event draws half a million visitors over its three days. Visitors from out-of- town are encouraged to avoid the parking crunch by taking the Metrolink (at reduced weekend rates-see below) to the historic Orange Santa Fe (Metrolink/Amtrak) Depot conveniently located adjacent to the street fair. OCTA will sell you a $10 weekend Metrolink trains will allow you to ride anywhere in the regional system from 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday midnight. Weekend passes are only sold at the vending machines located at Metrolink stations (no web sales). Those wishing to brave the parking drama may try the Chapman University lots or parking on the surrounding streets. Expect to walk several blocks from where you park just to get to the Traffic Circle area where the Street Fair takes place.

    LINK to Metrolink Pass Information  Click on: WEEKEND PASS

    LINK to Orange Old Town Metrolink Station Information Click On: Orange Station

    Orange Street Fair Schedule
    The Orange Street Fair is in Orange Old Towne at the Orange Plaza the Traffic Circle intersection of Chapman and Glassell Streets in Orange. The fair runs Friday- Sunday (yes Sunday is the last day…Monday Labor Day is clean-up). Entering the street fair as always is free.

    Alcohol Sales on the street are over at 9:00 p.m. and a wrist band to purchase and drink at the fair must be purchased each day.

    Friday August 29: 5 pm – 10:00 pm
    Saturday August 30: 10 am – 10:00pm
    Sunday August 31: 10 am – 10:00 pm

    For more information
     See the Official Orange Street Fair website-Click on:
     Orange International Street Fair

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014


    More OUSD property controversy and...

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    eLECTION Watch 2014
    3 OUSD Incumbents face challengers
    Orange Unified Trustees Rick Ledesma, Kathy Moffat and Timothy Surridge will all face challengers in their bids for re-election in November.  Trustee Diane Singer filed for re-election, but faces no challenger.

    The November election will determine the control of the OUSD Board by keeping  the Surridge majority of pro-developer self-identified "alternative spenders" or returning the majority to the education centered "prudent progressives" led for years by Kathy Moffat.

    In OUSD's unique election system,  trustee candidates must live in the Trustee Area they run to represent, but are elected by all the voters in the district.

    In Trustee Area 4, Kathy Moffat will face Larry Cohen and Brian G. Harrington.  In 2006, Cohen  challenged OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma in Trustee Area 7. In that race, Cohen lost with 41.8% of the vote to Ledesma's 58.2%. This is Harrington's first attempt at an OUSD seat.

    Rick Ledesma
    In the Trustee Area 7 election this year, Rick Ledesma will also face two challengers. Once again former OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco will be on the ballot to face Ledesma.  The two last faced off in  2010 after Rocco was re-districted (the Nichols' Redistricting) out of his trustee area into Ledesma's area. Rocco lost that election 27.8% to Ledesma's 72.2%. Since leaving the OUSD Board, Rocco has continued to run for various offices and stayed controversial. In  2009 Rocco was convicted of a misdemeanor theft of a half a bottle of ketchup (the Ketchup Caper) from Chapman University.  Last year Rocco qualified a recall petition against Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. As a one-man-recall committee,  Rocco did not get  anywhere near the over 13,000 signatures needed to be submitted.

    Dr. Tim Perez
    In his first run for public office,  college professor Dr. Tim Perez will also challenge Ledesma.

    Florice Hoffman
    In Trustee Area 5,  Trustee Timothy Surridge is being challenged by Orange Attorney Florice Hoffman. In 2008 Hoffman came in third in a three way race for the OUSD Trustee Area 3 seat with 31.5 % of the vote. 

    Surridge and Ledesma along with OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni (who is not up for re-election) present themselves as the fiscal conservative alternative spenders of the OUSD Board. Deligianni was the only OUSD Board member not to vote to place the OUSD 2014 Facilities Bond on the ballot and has signed the ballot argument against the OUSD Bond.  However, according to the conservative Transparent California site, Surridge and Deligianni are the highest compensated OUSD trustees because they are the only two trustees taking almost $5,000 a year in taxpayer provided "employee benefits" of educational tax dollars for their typical once a month meetings.

    Surridge takes OUSD employee benefits
    Records show Surridge and Deligianni  in 2013, for the 16 meetings (12 regular once a month meetings plus 4 called special meetings) both far exceeded the other trustees compensation by also taking OUSD "employee benefits". Surridge's meeting stipend and "employee benefits" totaled  $13,353 or $835 per meeting and Deligianni's total yearly compensation with the "employee benefits" totaled $13,212 or $826 per meeting.

    In contrast Moffat and Singer, OUSD's minority "prudent progressives" were far more fiscally conservative with taxpayer's money- not taking the taxpayer provided "employee benefits" of educational tax dollars. The two prudent progressives collected only the monthly meeting stipend. For 2013 Moffat collected only $8,475 or $530 per meeting and Singer $8,443 or $528 per meeting.

    To view OUSD Trustee compensation CLICK ON: 

    OU$D Bond WATCH 2014
    OUSD Bond Measure K
    The Orange County Registrar of Voters has assigned the Orange Unified High School Facilities Bond as Measure K.  The Bond will raise about $74 million for each of the four OUSD high schools costing only about $39 a year  for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

    OUSD voters in 2004 rejected two OUSD Bond measures by narrow amounts.

    OPTA battles to save historic Killerfer Site as the OUSD Agenda lists sale negotiations to developer
    The newest controversy to engulf the selling off of OUSD property is the attempt of OUSD to sell the Killerfer site to a housing developer. As part of the Surridge majority's plan to sell OUSD surplus property to developers, a split Orange Unified Board  voted in April 2013 to sell the Killerfer site to Olsen Urban Housing for a housing development.  

    The Old Towne Preservation Association (OPTA) is trying to save the former Killerfer School site buildings from being torn down.  The OPTA is trying to get the site's buildings placed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first schools in California to voluntarily desegregate before the landmark 1947 California desegregation case Mendez vs. Westminster. That case included the El Modena School District plaintiff Lorenzo Ramirez as one of the five families that successfully helped end segregated schools in California.  After the case won in California and in a federal appeal, based on thr rulings then California Governor Earl Warren signed the law ending segregated schools in California. Warren then went on to be the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and it was his court that issued the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown vs Topeka Board of Education that ended the "separate by equal" doctrine in public education across the United States, thus ending legal segregated schools.

    The Killerfer School was racially integrated in 1943 when the school for the Hispanic population, the Cypress Street School (located a block away), closed.

    This month, OPTA notified OUSD that they were in the process of getting the Killerfer historic school site placed on the National Register of Historic Places. OPTA has hired a consultant to work on the designation that has included filing documents to nominate the site as historic to the California's State Historical Resources Commission. 

    If the site does get placed on the National Register of Historic Places the buildings could be adapted for re-use, but not destroyed.

    The purchase negotiations are currently on-going and are listed  in the August 14th Agenda as Closed Session Agenda Item 4 C. comments on the Closed Session Agenda items can be made before the OUSD Board adjourns to Closed Session at 6:00 pm.

    Recap: Inside the OUSD July 24, 2014 Agenda
    At the July 24, 2014 OUSD Meeting the OUSD Board voted to:
    ·        Extend negotiations with Olsen Urban Housing for selling the Killerfer site
    ·        Reschedule an action of the Riverdale site pending the outcome of negotiations with the City of Anaheim
    ·        Deny the application for the Nopilhuan Charter School because of numerous faults in the application
    ·        Prepare to address disabled access problems with Fred Kelly Stadium due to a complaint to the federal Office of Civil Rights
    At the July meeting, the OUSD Board also had the first reading of numerous changes in Board Policies.

    Peralta Lease returns to OUSD Board on 8-14
    The Peralta Golf Partners lease of the Peralta School site will again be on the OUSD Agenda.  Action Item 12 D extends the current lease that will expire in October 2015 for one year-until October 2016. The Peralta lease extension was placed on the February 20, 2014 agenda, but at the beginning of the meeting it was announced that it was pulled from the agenda for further negotiations.  

    This week's agenda item's staff recommendation states that during  the lease period the district will not solicit the site for sale.

    Inside the OUSD August 24 Board Agenda
    Closed Session
    Item 4C- discussions of sales of Killerfer and Riverdale sites
    Open Session
    Item 12 A- Approval of $300,000 for first phase project development for the 4 high schools if Measure K were to be passed by the voters in November
    Item 12 C- Trustee Singer has asked for OUSD Trustees to attend a training on Bond transparency
    Item 12 D-Peralta 1 year lease extension
    Information Items
    Items 13 B- E- Numerous Board Policy changes

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday August 14, 2014

    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/
    Orange Net News

    “Greater Orange's TRUSTED independent news for over 12 years"

    Friday, August 08, 2014


    SPECIAL REPORT: Surprise candidates

    eLECTION Watch 2014
    a service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Greater Orange Complete list of November candidates -
    Friday's filing deadline produces surprises...
    with two last minute OUSD candidates

    Two last minute candidates pulled and filed in two Orange Unified races today, Friday August 8, the last day of filing.

    Florice Hoffman, Esq
    Orange Attorney Florice Hoffman pulled and filed to run in OUSD Trustee Area 5 against Trustee Timothy Surridge.  Hoffman had run in 2008 (CLICK HERE: HOFFMAN) in Trustee Area 3 in a three person race against Dr. Alexia Deligianni and Jerry Winant. Hoffman came in third with 31.5%. Her vote, together with Winant's 33.5%,  meant 65% of the voters cast ballots for someone other than the winner Deligianni who won with 35% of the vote.
    Dr. Tim Perez
    Pulling papers and filing in Trustee Area 7 to face Trustee Rick Ledesma and controversial former OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco is Dr. Tim Perez, an Assistant  Professor of Information Management Systems at Brandam University- part of the Chapman University System. 

    Perez is clearly Orange Unified's first 21st Century Trustee candidate.

    A highly regarded renown IT specialist, Perez has an impressive resume that includes: graduating from Santiago Canyon College with an Associate in Science Degree in Computer Information Systems; a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Chapman University; a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems from National University; and a Doctor of Science Degree in Information Systems with a specialization in Information Assurance and Computer Security from Dakota State University. 

    Also filing last minute, and also an educator at Brandam University, was OUSD Area 1 Trustee Diane Singer.  No other candidates filed in her race, so Singer will be automatically considered elected and will not have to mount a campaign.  

    Pulling papers and filing on the last day requires an enormous amount of planning and organization.  With the control of the OUSD Board majority at stake after four years of controversy, the introduction of the two highly educated and qualified candidates on the last day is sure to create a major buzz and appears to have been highly coordinated. 

    Surridge who worked hard in two years as Board President to develop the Peralta Site property caused wide-spread push back from across the Greater Orange Communities. Surridge's announced second term agenda that included exploring eliminating two trustee seats was widely panned and got nowhere. In addition, his Board Presidencies have been widely characterized  as condescending to the women  trustees and numerous community leaders. Now, having a well connected women as an opponent could prove to be a big problem for someone who often appeared as a bully toward women during Board meetings.

    Trustee Rick Ledesma
    Meanwhile, Ledesma, one of two Hispanic males and the longest serving Trustee currently on the Board, now has a young, smart, handsome, high tech 21st Century opponent with more education than most of the current top OUSD  Administrators-who also happens to be Hispanic. In an election widely expected to have a large number of women voters, this could be the Hispanic version of the Kennedy-Nixon election.

    The potential problems of both Ledesma and Surridge can be seen in this video:

    In other races, Eugene Fields did file for a run for Orange Mayor against popular Mayor Tita Smith.  Two of the five candidates running for Orange City Council are women.

    In Villa Park, incumbent Councilwomen Diana Fascenelli is running for reelection with five men competing for 3 seats.

    Orange Net News would like to thank the following indispensable public servants for making these vital  candidate updates possible and helping our democracy work: Orange City Clerk Mary Murphy and her staff; Villa Park City Manager and City Clerk Jarad Hildenbrand and his staff; and the Orange County Registrar of Voters office.

    eLECTION Watch 2014

    Finale summary
    Orange Mayor's Race
    Tita Smith- Filed Papers
    Eugene Fields-Filed Papers

    Orange City Council Seats (2)
    Jon Dumitru -Filed Papers
    Kimberlee "Kim"Nichols -Filed Papers
    Fred Whitaker-Filed Papers
    Gayle Merino-Filed Papers
    Ray Grangoff- Filed Papers

    Villa Park City Council Seats (3)
    Diana Fascenelli-Filed Papers
    Robert "Bob" Collacott- Filed Papers
    Bill Nelson-Filed Papers
    Sanjay Khetani- Pulled Papers
    Stephen Miller- Pulled Papers
    Karl Kreutziger-Pulled Papers            
    Tony Murray-Pulled Papers

    Orange Unified School District
    Trustee Area 1
    Diane Singer- Filed Papers

    Trustee Area 4
    Kathy Moffat- Filed Papers
    Brian G. Harrington-Filed Papers
    Larry Cohn- Filed Papers
    Zachary Collins-Pulled Papers

    Trustee Area 5
    Timothy Surridge- Filed Papers
    Florence Hoffman- Filed Papers

    Trustee Area 7
    Rick Ledesma -Filed Papers
    Steve Rocco- Filed Papers
    Tim Perez-Filed Papers

    Rancho Santiago College District Seat 4
    Robert Douglas - Filed Papers
    Lawrence R "Larry" Labrado- Filed Papers
    Trung Quang Nguyen- Filed Papers

    Serrano Water Dist, Div. 1 Seat
    RICHARD A. "RICH" FRESCHI- Filed Papers
    BRAD REESE- Filed Papers

    Silverado-Modjeska, Recreation and Park Dist  Seats (3)
    GREG BATES - Filed Papers
    JOANNE HUBBLE - Filed Papers
    DEBORAH JOHNSON - Filed Papers
    LINDA KEARNS - Filed Papers
    PHIL MCWILLIAMS - Filed Papers
    RON SHEPSTON - Filed Papers
    KEVIN W. TOPP - Filed Papers

    Silverado-Modjeska, Rec/Pk Dist, Short Term  Seat
    LISA COLLINS- Filed Papers
    JOHN OLSON- Filed Papers

    Trabuco Canyon Water, Dist 3 - Seats (3)
    ED MANDICH- Filed Papers
    MIKE SAFRANSKI- Filed Papers

    GLEN ACOSTA-Filed Papers

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