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  • Saturday, April 28, 2007


    Orange Holiday and BookCrossing

    Orange Mayor’s Home Improvement Holiday and
    Orange BookCrossing Zone

    In the Blogsphere two recent stories have an Orange twist to them. First the OC BLOG has a story on Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche’s idea for a home improvement “holiday” modeled after a similar successful Anaheim program.

    Also a story of note on the Speakeasy Joint BLOG on the newest way to recycle books outside of a library: BookCrossing Zones.


    Wednesday, April 25, 2007


    Greater Orange Gears Up for FOUNDATION GAMES

    Metro TALK ______________:GoCo:
    A community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization

    2nd Annual Community Foundation of Orange
    Sports Extravaganza

    The second annual Foundation Games, hosted by the Community Foundation of Orange will be held this weekend on Saturday April 28th at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange. Billed as a daylong “family friendly track meet” the Games have quickly become the premier sporting event in the Greater Orange Communities.

    The Foundation Games are a sanctioned qualifying meet of the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation (SCMAF) and is free of charge to the participating 1100 elementary and middle school students (born between 1992 and 2000) living in the Greater Orange Communities inside the Orange Unified boundaries. This year, the Parent Relay will be renamed the Stan Roach Parent Relay to honor Villa Park parent Stan Roach who originated the Parent Relay. Roach unexpectently died last year. Memorial items will also be on sale to honor Roach with proceeds helping his wide and four children.

    The Foundation Games
    Fred Kelly Stadium
    Saturday April 28th, 8:00 a.m.
    Free of Charge

    Orange Senior Citizen Friendly Fundraiser May 2nd
    The 2nd Annual Orange Senior Citizen Friendly Fundraiser is coming May 2nd, 2007. The event was the inspiration of Steve Ambriz to formally thank the corporations of Orange that have supported the senior citizens of Greater Orange through the Orange Senior Citizen Center.

    True to Corporate Orange stepping up to the plate, Pat and Oscar’s in Orange will not only donate the site for the event, but also all the food and wine.

    Tickets for the event are $25 for dinner and wine and all the smoozing with Orange’s civic and business leaders in this feel-good event. Tickets can be pre-purchased at the Orange Senior Center or at the door on the night of the event.

    For more information please contact OSC Director Keith Regan at 714-538-9688, or email him at

    Friendly Fundraiser
    May 2nd 5:30 p.m- 7:00 p.m.
    Pat and Oscars
    Orange Town and Country Center
    763 Main Street, Orange 714- 836-5500


    Nohl Canyon Fundraiser UPDATE
    Nohl Canyon’s 2nd Annual Silent Auction and Mercedes Benz give-away was a complete success. The winner of the Mercedes c-230 provided by Mercedes Benz of Anaheim was one of Nohl Canyon’s own family, parent volunteer Candy Mann!

    Metro TALK is a community service of the
    : Greater Orange Communities Organization:
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    Thursday, April 19, 2007


    Orange Unified appoints 3 new high school principals

    Community Update
    A community news service of the Orange Net News /O/N/N/


    Orange Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley announced at the Thursday April 19th OUSD Board Meeting that three new high school principals have been appointed:

    1. El Modena High School- Principal John Briquelet
    Briquelet is currently an Assistant Principal from outside OUSD. He will replace Acting Principal Janet Hayes who replaced Brent Bailey after his arrest and resignation.

    2. Canyon High School- Principal Greg Bowden
    Bowden is currently the principal of Running Springs Elementary School in OUSD. He will replace retiring Canyon H.S. Principal Gloria Duncan.

    For More Information on Bowden CLICK ON:

    3. Villa Park High School-Principal Ed Howard
    Howard is currently serving as Acting Principal of Villa Park H.S. since the resignation of Principal Dr. David Steinle after a recent operation.

    Be sure to watch for all the local and independent insight into OUSD on ORANGE Unified Schools INSIGHT and on the GREATER ORANGE NEWS SERVICE HTTP://GREATERORANGE.BLOGSPOT.COM/

    Sunday, April 15, 2007



    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Independent insight into OUSD

    INSIDE the OUSD March 29th meeting…

    Orange Unified School District Trustee Wes Poutsma became the latest OUSD Trustee to tangle with controversial OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco at the March 29th OUSD School Board meeting. Like other OUSD Trustees who have confronted Rocco, Poutsma too ended up storming out of the meeting as a surprisingly calm and collected OUSD Board President Kim Nichols called a meeting recess amid the Poutsma-Rocco verbal altercation. Poutsma did not return to the meeting missing the very vote that was designed to further reign Rocco in.

    Board President Kim Nichols was seeking a change to the OUSD Board Policies that would prevent Rocco from placing items on the agenda determined to be unrelated to school district business (“subject matter jurisdiction”). Her actions were in response to one of two agenda items Rocco was able to place on the March 8th agenda with a second vote from Trustee Rick Ledesma. One of the items related to Rocco’s corruption conspiracy theory he calls “The Partnership”. Ironically, while supporting the idea of not allowing agenda items unrelated to the district, Poutsma favored a less restrictive appeal process approach for trustee minority views. He stated that he felt uncomfortable having an appeal process for minority positions approved by a board majority. However, it was not policy differences that caused the Poutsma-Rocco confrontation. The cause in the apparent long coming confrontation between the two (who have made no secret of their contempt of each other) was a perceived violation of personal space.

    The OUSD Board was discussing a motion to change the appeal process to place a denied agenda item on the agenda. Rocco (who frequently interrupted and raised his voice during the debate of the new policy) spoke as he often does waving his hands for emphasis. Poutsma (who sits next to Rocco) reacted as Rocco (who was not facing Poutsma) got a little to close with one of his hand gestures. Following is a transcript of the exchange:

    Trustee Lissa Smith was giving her reasons why she supported the option of the “whole board votes” on an appeal to overturn the OUSD Board President ruling on denying an item for the agenda. Rocco loudly interrupted Smith as he spoke gesturing with his hands (facing away from Poutsma):

    Rocco: “There is no appeal process! This district is run by Kathy Moffat! Every…every dirty thing that has happened in this district has her hands on it.”

    Nichols (calmly): “Mr. Rocco…”

    Poutsma (to Rocco as he pushes Rocco’s hand away): “Get your hands out of my face…”

    Smith: “I’d like to call for the question…”

    Rocco (turning toward Poutsma): “Next time you’ll be arrested if you touch me. Gotcha Kathy…”
    (Rocco then places a large head-shot photograph of Kathy Moffat on the dais in front of his microphone)

    Poutsma (responding to Rocco): “…Yea right!”

    Rocco (to Poutsma): “…and you too!...”

    Nichols (calmly): “There is a call for the question…”

    Rocco (to Poutsma): “…They’ll be an assault and battery charge Oliver Hardy.”

    Poutsma (sarcastically to Rocco) “Well you with your two year investigation degree…”

    Nichols: “ …Mr. Poutsma we had a call for the question. Is there a second?”

    Poutsma: “Yea, I’ll second.”

    Rocco (to Poutsma): “Yes, that’s what your good for…”

    (…Poutsma responds quietly to Rocco out of microphone range…)

    Nichols: “…That’s a non-debatable motion…um…all those in favor of the motion please say Aye, (Ayes) opposed No…”

    Rocco (raising his voice during the vote responding to Poutsma): “…No I said jail time Mr. Poutsma! Jail time…”

    Nichols (calmly): “... Mr. Rocco did you vote Yes or No?”

    (Still seated, Poutsma and Rocco are now facing off)

    Rocco (to Poutsma loudly): “Do you understand that?”

    Poutsma: (unintelligible outside microphone)

    Rocco (responding): “What! You touched me!”

    Nichols (loudly): “You know what? I’m going to recess this meeting!”

    Smith: “Thank you”.

    Poutsma leaves the meeting and does not return. After the recess, Nichols apologizes for “that which took place moments ago” and goes back to the motion to re-vote. The vote passes 4-1-2 (Moffat, Ortega, Smith, Nichols-Yes/ Rocco- No/ Poutsma and Ledesma Absent-[Ledesma returns later]).

    Villa Park High School Vice-Principal Ed Howard was named Acting Principal for Villa Park H.S. after Principal Dr. David Steinle resigned after a recent operation for an old injury. Howard becomes the fifth principal of the high school since Principal Fran Roney (now retired doing consultant work for OUSD) left to work at the district office.

    Superintendent Dr. Godley presented ideas for adjustments to the OUSD Budget for the coming years to compensate for declining student enrollment and projected state funding. Mostly a combination of trying to recapture Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funding from the state, Godley also announced one million dollars in a Special Education account was “over-budgeted” and that money would also be used.

    INSIDE the Thursday APRIL 19th Board Meeting

    Round Two on the Rocco Appeal Revisions to Board Policy
    The Second Reading of the Proposed By-Law changes regarding the appeal process for placing items on the OUSD Agenda is scheduled to be voted on.

    DRUG POLICY: Voluntary or Pandora’s Box of legal issues?
    Concerns from the OUSD Trustees surfaced when a mandatory drug testing program was proposed by administrators last month. In Item 12D (page 23) of the April 19th Board Agenda, the idea returns as a “voluntary” policy so unstructured that some Board watchers see it as a law-suit waiting to happen. Aimed at the district’s high schools, the policy in part states:

    “The Superintendent or designee shall establish and maintain a voluntary drug testing program at the schools within the District when need is determined by the school principal in concert with staff, parents, students, and the community. Participation in this program shall require the written consent of the student and his/ her parents/guardians.”

    The generality of the proposal brings many questions to light. Once a current high school principal (i.e. Villa Park High School as an example of the rotating door of principals) “in concert with staff, parents, students, and the community” establishes the policy at their high school does it stay in effect forever? Once in place, does the “voluntary” program turn mandatory for participation in extra-curricular activities at the school (the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled this is legal)? Will students or parents who refuse to sign then be barred from participating in all school activities? Does the voluntary form have to be signed every year? How will the initial prescription drug list be updated throughout the student’s attendance? What happens when an underage student who may have signed when they were freshmen then turns 18 with more legal rights? Will a high school with a “voluntary” drug policy attract students or cause students to look at other high schools? If a parent wants to sign but a student will not, what then? Who determines when and who to test? How will probable cause be determined? Orange Unified has more foster and other group facilities inside its boundaries than any other Orange County district, how will those students be impacted? What budget will pay for the testing: school or district? Will drug testing lead to a false sense of security for parent (see link to article below)?

    Studies on both sides of the Drug Testing Issue are cited to provide support for the pro and con of testing. Many in the community believe that first line of defense against drug abuse is a student’s family and believe that local government should not replace the functions of the family. Others believe that Drug Testing by local government is function of government in the war on drugs.

    One parents experience with drug testing:

    Continued Legal Problems for Mandatory Testing:

    OTHER April 19th Items
    •Proclamations declaring: April 24th School Bus Driver Day; April 25th Administrative Professionals Day; May 19 Day of the Teacher and School Nurse Day

    •Canyon High School Principal Gloria Duncan will resign at the end of this school year (Agenda page 45).

    Kawasaki Motors-$500 Linda Vista/Kindergarten equipment; Washington Mutual-$1406 Palmyra/instructional supplies; El Modena Band Boosters-$3700 El Modena /Salary stipends; Panorama PTA-$16,000/ technology equipment; Target-$287- Fairhaven/supplies For a complete list of community donations see Agenda page 25.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    “We’re a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to spend the money somewhere.”-OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma 9/22/05

    TOTAL Watched 2007 Edcational Tax Dollars $244,090.00

    2007 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    4/30/07 Debra Ford Speaker Fee $ 4,090
    4/30/07 Danny Brassell Speaker Fee $ 3,500
    3/8/07 Dr. Daggett Speaker Fee $ 9,000
    Total $ 16,590

    2007 Attorney Fee Tally:

    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    2/08/07 Miller, Brown, and Dannis $ 7, 500
    2/22/07 Parker & Covert $ 45,000
    Total $227,500

    2007 Administrative Conference/Travel: hidden since 6/8/06*

    *JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to APPROVE Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $ 849,717.00*
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally: Total $176,400
    2006 Attorney Fee Tally: Total Approved $655,000
    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel: Total $ 18,317 *
    * JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to
    APPROVE OUSD Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2005: $978,300.00:
    Total 2005 Conference Administrator/Board Fees: $ 7,500.00
    2005 Attorney Fee Tally: $730,600.00
    Total Watched 2005 OUSD Consultant spending: $ 270,200.00

    Next OUSD Board Meeting Thursday March 29, 2007. For more information

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM on 4/19/07 Regular Session: 7:30 pm

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

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    “Independent Local Insight”

    Ecast on the
    A 21st Century Communications System
    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    Friday, April 13, 2007


    Ending waste in OUSD = Better Communication in OUSD

    Metro VIEWS ______________:GoCo:
    Local news editorials from the Greater Orange Communities

    Ending waste in OUSD =
    Better Communication in OUSD

    a community editorial by the
    Greater Orange Community Orgainization

    In the upcoming April and May 2007 School News Roll Call Orange Unified School District Edition both OUSD Superintendent Dr.Godley and OUSD Board President Kim Nichols write about OUSD’s redoubled effort to reach-out and communicate to the Greater Orange Communities. Unfortunately in the same issue, while most of the district’s principals in their articles highlight student and parent centered school activities and programs, some have used their articles to highlight the failed multi-million dollar boondoggle- OUSD’s Focus on Results consultant program.

    To have OUSD Principals at two outstanding high-achieving schools choose to highlight the controversial (and in our opinion failed) multi-million dollar bureaucratic consultant program instead of celebrating the achievements of their students and outstanding parent involvement that make their schools so successful, is in our opinion a disservice to the students, parents and staff of those schools, as well as an insult to the taxpayers of Orange Unified.

    Instead of focusing on their school community, the two principals wrote about a multi-million dollar boondoggle in OUSD that has morphed from what OUSD Administrator Cheryl Cohen once publicly described to the OUSD Board of Trustees as a program akin to “marriage encounter training”, to a program that sends high-paid administrators into classrooms (for an average of four to five minutes each) to do bulletin board checks.

    Villa Park Elementary School Principal Larry Hausner writes in the latest OUSD Edition of School News Roll Call (see page 20) that the OUSD Focus on Results team visiting his school saw “great student work posted in the front office”. As an example of the problems the team found, Hausner writes that the team noted that the school failed to post the grading criteria (rubric) with the posted work on the bulletin boards: “The teams noted that writing rubrics should be posted along with student work…” What was the multi-million dollar focus-on-bulletin-boards checking teams suggestion for school-wide improvement? Hausner writes that the school needs to “display student work consistently”. We can only imagine how excited Governor Schwarzenegger will be when he finds out that after spending millions of educational tax dollars OUSD has discover the path to higher student scores: "display student work consistently”.

    However wasteful public spending is never funny. Surely, even the most diehard bureaucrat can see the waste of spending millions of educational tax dollars for a program that has given cash-strapped and Underperforming School heavy OUSD essentially a program of thinly disguised bulletin board checks conducted by high paid administrators and teachers who leave substitute teachers in their classrooms.

    State testing data for Villa Park Elementary in 2006 shows the school had only 13 English learners out of the 391 students. The state has an Academic Performance Index (API) testing target score of 800. Villa Park Elementary has a whopping 882 on that API index and has an API ranking of a 9-8 school. Parent involvement, economic advantage, plus engaged and productive students are clearly responsible for the school’s success. Villa Park Elementary School is successful because of an educationally engaged school community, NOT because of a multi-million dollar boondoggle. This is the second time that Principal Hausner has used his communication opportunity in School News Roll Call not to celebrate his school, but to focus on the multi-million dollar wasteful consultant program that has nothing to do with his schools success. At worst in our opinion Hausner’s comments reflect that he is out of touch with his successful school community. At best we fear Hausner is trying to score points with top district administrators by writing about a failed multi-million dollar program that has nothing to do with his schools outstanding scores. On our community Focus on Results-style “I wonder…”’ list, we wonder if Principal Hausner as an OUSD Focus on Results-embracer follows the unrealistic mandate from the OUSD Focus on Results program for principals to spend 50% of all their time at their school site in classrooms. We are positive we know the answer to our “I wonder…”

    Running Springs Elementary School Principal Greg Bowden also uses half of his space in the OUSD Edition of School News Roll Call (see page 19) to tout the multi-million dollar bureaucratic program. Here too we have a school over 540 students (with engaged parents) that scored well above the state required 800 API target at 874 (330 White students had an 866 API score and 137 Asian students had a 919 API score) on the school’s 2006 API results. Like Hausner, Bowden too uses his valuable communication to the Greater Orange Communities not to celebrate his outstanding students, parents and staff, but to help publicize a million dollar “marriage encounter training” program now turned bulletin board check that has wasted valuable educational resources.

    Despite the millions of educational tax dollars spent on the OUSD Focus on Results program, Dr. Godley gave the OUSD Board a sobering report last year about OUSD’s federally required testing results. Godley reported that while OUSD’s scores have been rising (as is true in districts across the state that didn’t spend millions on a consultant program like OUSD has) the district’s scores are not rising high or fast enough to avoid future sanctions. Additionally Godley at the March 20, 2007 Board Meeting presented a budget restructure plan to cover a projected budget shortfall due in part to decreasing student enrollment. The OUSD students, parents, staff and taxpayers deserve more than millions of educational tax dollars OUSD’s Focus on Results consultant program has delivered. As Godley continues to get OUSD’s fiscal house in order it is time the Trustees and his administration recognized that it’s time to end wasting valuable educational tax resources on the failed pet program of a few of his administrators.

    In the past the Greater Orange Communities have been reluctant to give more money to educational bureaucrats who waste educational tax resources, then ask taxpayers for more. If Dr. Godley and the Trustees are serious about improving communication, perhaps they can start by ending OUSD’s biggest boondoggle that has no evidence of providing anything worthwhile to the district, students or staff. By ending OUSD’s Focus on Results waste, Dr. Godley and the OUSD Trustees will send a clear message that they are ready to be fiscally responsible with the educational tax dollars the Greater Orange Communities will entrust them with. What better way to unite the Greater Orange Communities to work for the common cause of improving our schools?

    Community groups and individuals are welcome to submit
    editorial viewpoints on LOCAL issues for Metro VIEWS

    Metro VIEWS is a community news service of the Orange Communication System OCS
    Producers of

    Orange Net News /O/N/N/ eLECTION Watch 2007
    Metro TALK Community Update Metro VIEWS
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE

    Sunday, April 08, 2007


    $50 chance at a Mercedes 230C featured at Nohl Canyon Fundraiser

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    The Nohl Canyon School Association has partnered with Mercedes Benz Caliber Motors of Anaheim Hills for the 2nd Annual Silent Action Fundraiser on Saturday April 14, 2007 to benefit programs and improvements at Nohl Canyon Elementary School. One of the Caliber Motors Showrooms will be decked out in the tropical theme of Havana Nights for the dinner and silent action and Mercedes 230 C giveaway. Tickets for the chance to win the dream car are $50 each, or three for $125. Only 1000 total tickets are available for sale. As of posting time the odds were amazing with only a little under 400 tickets sold.

    The Havana Nights Dinner and Silent Auction will feature catered Cuban dishes, dancing, and entertainment featuring a Cuban dance company. Everyone in the Greater Orange Communities is invited to purchase tickets for the Dinner/Auction at $50 per person or tickets for a chance at the Mercedes 230C.

    For more information, or to purchase tickets for the Mercedes Opportunity Drawing and/or the Havana Nights Dinner and Silent Auction please contact Kim Harman ( at (714) 685-9649 or contact the Nohl Canyon Elementary School Office at (714) 997-6203.

    Nohl Canyon School Association presents:
    2nd Annual Silent Action Fundraiser Havana Nights Dinner and Silent Auction
    Saturday April 14, 2007 6 p.m. – Midnight
    At the Mercedes Benz Caliber Motors of Anaheim Hills Showroom
    200 North Via Cortez, Anaheim, CA

    • Tickets: $50 per person for Havana Nights Dinner and Silent Auction

    • Mercedes Opportunity Drawing for Mercedes Benz 230C - $50 a ticket or three for $125.

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007



    Metro TALK
    a community service of
    : Greater Orange Communities Organization:

    In 2002 the City of Orange Public Library Foundation began ambitious planning for the renovation of the Orange Main Library. Opened in 1961, the small library needed to be expanded and updated to serve the growing and changed Orange Community. The City of Orange applied for and was one of the first to receive matching funds under the California Library Bond Act. The Orange Public Library Foundation launched a capital fund raising campaign to raise $4 million dollars from the community toward the $18.7 million dollar construction cost (CLICK ON: ).

    Now after almost 2 years of building, the Grand Re-opening is right around the corner, April 21st at 11:30 am . Activities for all ages are planned and following the ribbon cutting ceremony visitors will be allowed to enter the renovated library for the first time. Music entertainment will be provided by the following groups: The Orange County Homeschoolers Band; The Orange High School Madrigal Singers; The Overdues; and The Orange Symphonic Band.

    In honor of the Grand Re-Opening, the United States Postal Service will issue an Opening Day Cachet, a specially designed envelope and cancellation stamp. Guests at the Grand Re-Opening will each receive a special keepsake magnet. Drinks and cookies will be served.

    The new facility is 45,000 square feet and with features that include: The Steve Ambriz Storytime Room; Children’s Library and Children’s Garden; a Teen Zone; Outdoor Garden; new meeting and study rooms; and the History Center featuring Orange heritage information. In addition homework help is available and a new Literacy Center for adult learners and tutors is open. The History Walk around the building’s west side of the building features 13 color plagues that highlight key historic events in the City of Orange and incorporates the fully restored City of Orange fountain at the apex of the History Walk. Finally new technology abounds: from the automated sorter for returned library materials (which can be observed by visitors on closed circuit television), to new state of the art computers throughout the library (including the Children’s Library with age appropriate software).

    Orange Public Library Grand Re-Opening
    April 21, 2007 11:30 a.m.

    407 E Chapman Ave, Orange (see map link below)

    Parking: Orange Civic Center (across Chapman Ave) and Chapman University’s Fred Barrera Parking Garage (at Lemon and Sycamore Streets)
    All are welcome and the event is free.

    To view the Orange Public Library Grand Re-Opening COUNT DOWN CLOCK CLICK ON:


    Metro TALK is a community service of the
    : Greater Orange Communities Organization::GoCo:

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    Greater Orange News Service is a community service of the Orange Communication System /OCS/, the communications arm of the Greater Orange Community Orgainization