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  • Sunday, April 27, 2008



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


    The Orange Unified “Golden Handshake” Supplemental Retirement Program has surpassed its goals and projections for participants to make it cost effective for the OUSD to offer up to a 6% retirement bonus for staff members. The program, to be administered by the Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS), will now go to the OUSD School Board for final approval at the OUSD Regular May 8th School Board meeting. The district has extended the deadline to “opt-in” until Friday May 16th. Those who signed up for the program may not now “opt-out”.

    Orange Unified Schools Digest
    is an independent news service of
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Ecast on the
    A 21st Century Communications System
    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/
    Ecast on the
    Internet Community Group i/)))cg
    A 21st Century Communications System

    For more information on the current issues of defending media freedom in the electronic world visit:

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008


    Villa Park Motto vote story goes statewide

    The Tuesday night decision by the Villa Park City Council to place question of the proposed city motto "In God We Trust" has made news statewide. The Modesto Bee and the Los Angeles Examiner were among the states papers to pick-up the story.

    To view those stories CLICK ON:

    Modesto BEE
    and EXAMINER

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008


    Administrative Professional Day

    April 23rd

    Monday, April 21, 2008



    Residents and businesses of Orange are invited to drop-off and recycle their old televisions, computers and other electronic equipment at Volt Corporate Park, 2401 N. Glassell St. in Orange (cross streets Fletcher and Glassell) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, 2008. For additional information, contact Rhonda Rosenfeld at 714.921.5474 or

    Volt Workforce Solutions, a staffing business unit of Volt Information Sciences, Inc., announced today that it will co-sponsor “Electronics Recycling Event” to take place at its West Region Headquarters in Orange on April 22, Earth Day. Working with Com-Cycle, a wholly owned subsidiary of AERC Recycling Solutions, Volt will have drop-off bins for businesses and residents to keep electronic items such as computer monitors and televisions out of landfills. This is part of Volt’s company-wide “Go Green” initiative to encourage environmentally responsible business practices among its employees and business partners.

    Friday, April 18, 2008


    Metro TALK

    Metro TALK
    A community service of the
    Greater Orange Communities Organization

    On Saturday April 19th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm the City of Villa Park will be sponsoring and Electronic Waste Drop-off at the Villa Park Towne Center. Televisions, computers and computer monitors as well as other electronic waste can be dropped off free of charge. Any moneys made from the waste will be donated to the Villa Park Community Services Foundation. The event is hosted by the Ewaste Center Inc. (telephone 888-EWASTE 8).

    The annual Silverado Children’s Center Chili Cook-off will be held at Irvine Lake Sunday April 20th from 12 noon to 4:00 pm. Admission is free with proceeds from the sale of Chili Tasting Kits ($6.00) going to the purchase of safer playground equipment at the Silverado Children’s Center and to rebuild and repair the Modjeska Community Center backyard area. Irvine Lake is located at 4621 Santiago Canyon Road. For information call 714-649-2214.

    Villa Park E.S. Historical Buildings
    Community Meeting

    The deadline for plans to buy the Villa Park Elementary School historical buildings from Orange Unified is May 5th. Concerned citizens wishing to work towards the goal of saving the historic structures will be meeting at the Villa Park Council Chambers at 7:00 pm on Monday April 28th.


    The "His Men" of Covenant Presbyterian Church monthly luncheon on Thursday, May 8th will feature City of Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche. The program will begin at 11:30 AM in St. Andrew's Hall on the church campus, 1855 Orange-Olive Road in Orange. Members of the Greater Orange Community are invited to attend. Lunch will be served for $3 per person, with reservations in advance to the church office, 714-998-6650.

    Mayor Cavecche will discuss the state of the City, her family and her view on the role of city government. Mayor Cavecche first became active in Orange City government when she asked City Hall to pass an ordinance restricting the display of “matter harmful to minors” in local stores. This led to an appointment to the city’s Community Video Advisory Board. Carolyn continued to serve the families of Orange on library issues, serving seven years on the Orange Public Library Board of Trustees. She was initially elected to the Orange City Council in June 2001, was selected Mayor pro tem in 2003, and currently is actively serving as Mayor.

    For additional information about this event, please contact the church office 714-998-6650 or visit its website:

    No Amnesty for Orange’s Club Amnesty
    After the Orange County Weekly ran the story on the Swinger’s Lifestyle Sex Club located in an industrial area of Orange called Club Amnesty, and Metro TALK ecast the story link to the community, the City Of Orange closed the clandestine club because they allegedly falsified their Adult business application. The story made all the major Los Angeles media outlets, paper, television and radio. To keep up on the stories about Orange and Villa Park from all media outlets check out the TOPIX News feed on the Greater Orange News Service web-blog site.

    Monday, April 14, 2008


    The Rigor, Relevance and Relationships of OUSD's Consultant Culture

    Metro VIEWS
    Giving Voice to the Greater Orange Communities

    The Rigor, Relevance and Relationships of
    OUSD’s Consultant Culture

    an editorial by the Greater Orange Community Orgainization

    Like other California school districts, Orange Unified is bracing itself for massive cuts in their state provided funds, but unlike other school districts OUSD is still far from closing the door on wasteful educational tax dollar spending. The newest OUSD edu-crat to jump on the over-paid-consultant-bandwagon is Ed Kissee, Orange Unified Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Kissee has requested in the OUSD Board of Education Agenda of April 17th to pay $6,500 to self-proclaimed educational consultant Kenneth Stichter for an “address” (speech) at the end of the year gathering of OUSD Beginning Teachers Support and Assessment (BTSA) program. Clearly Sticher at $6,500 knows better than to bore his audience by over staying his welcome, given that, the Sticher address will most likely last for not more than one hour, which makes Sticher’s daily rate $52,000 a day, $260,000 a week or over $13 million dollars a year!

    Unfortunately, Orange Unified’s expensive Consultant Culture is not content with just using educational tax dollars from OUSD taxpayers. They are now using student raised funds to pay for staff consultants. The April 17th Board of Education Agenda also reports that the Canyon High School Associated Student Body (ASB) government kicked in (“donated”) $800 of student raised money for a “Staff Development Consultant” ( "Donations" Agenda page 24). The exact consultant who is the recipient of the Canyon H.S. ASB $800 donation to the “Staff Development Consultant” is not listed in the Agenda item. We can only hope it wasn’t for the recent visit to Canyon H.S. last month by educational consultant Kathy Weigel. She works for the new darling of OUSD Administration wasteful spending, the controversial educational consultant Dr. William Daggett and his edu-business the International Center for Leadership. Weigel was paid $8,000 in OUSD educational tax dollars for two days ($4,000 a day) of presentations to the Yorba Middle School staff and the Canyon High School staff.

    What did $8,000 in educational tax dollars buy OUSD? Weigel is the Principal of Atlantic Community High School in Del Ray Beach, Florida, a school that the Daggett organization holds up as a shining example of their copyrighted mantra Rigor, Relevance and Relationships . In her presentation to the staffs at both OUSD schools, Weigel is forthcoming about her schools recent decline in Florida’s grading system from a B grade school to a C grade school. However, Weigel in her all-day monologue on her school never explained what brought on the downgrade from Florida’s State Department of Education. Weigel’s school has shown declines in four of the states six leading educational indicators: 9th grade math scores declined 4 points in three years; 10th grade math scores declined 13 points in three years; 10th grade reading scores declined 12 points in 4 years; and the new 10th grade writing test showed Weigel’s students 2 points behind the state-wide average (only 9th grade reading and 11th grade science showed improvement at her school). In comparison, Canyon High School is OUSD’s most consistent state testing top scoring school. Yorba Middle School’s 22 point increase in last year scores was the biggest improvement jump in OUSD’s secondary schools. So what type of Rigor, Relevance and Relationships could Weigel offer to these OUSD schools for $8,000 in educational tax dollars?

    Billed as an agent of how “change” in education was possible, Weigel’s message was described by one OUSD Staff member as “a non-stop self-congratulatory” monologue. When a staff member from Yorba Middle School asked Weigel to relate her experience on how to achieve “change” at the middle school level, Weigel dismissed the question with the explanation that the message wasn’t about how to change, but that change was possible. So much for $8,000 of Rigor, Relevance and Relationships.

    The message of change for Orange Unified should be to stop the waste of money on outrageous speaker fees, fly-by-night education fads (i.e. where are former OUSD Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Cohn’s two-million dollar in educational tax funds Focus on Results Smart-e-goals today?) and wasteful spending. The talent in Orange Unified, from National Certified teachers, to OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley is as good as any other district in the United States. Why does the OUSD Administration continue to pay exorbitant fees to outside self-proclaimed consultants with so many talented employees? Wouldn’t an address from the retiring Dr. Godley on his lifetime of experience as a teacher, principal, college professor and district administrator mean more to new OUSD teachers in the Beginning Teachers Support and Assessment program than an unknown “educational consultant”? Wouldn’t OUSD Trustee Board President Wes Poutsma be willing to save the district $6,500 for an hour speech by speaking about his vast lifetime of experience in education to new teachers? Or perhaps having OUSD Assistant Principal Ed Kissee address the meeting and present his vast experience in Human Resources to the newest crop of OUSD teachers, some who possibly will not be returning to OUSD because of looming budget cuts. Perhaps any of the expected hundreds of retiring teachers taking the OUSD golden handshake retirement deal would have been glad to speak to new teachers for free about a lifetime of dedication to education. And who better to talk about educational change at a high school in OUSD than OUSD Principal S.K. Johnson and administrators from Orange High School. Orange High experienced change from a state identified Underperforming School to a consistently outstanding performing school on state testing. Clearly, these examples of OUSD’s finest talent make more sense addressing OUSD teachers than the continued investment of millions of educational tax dollars, and now student raised funds, for educational consultants who come to OUSD then are never heard from again when the money runs out. The OUSD Board has time after time given pay hikes to (as they explain it) “attract and keep the best and the brightest”. It is now time to stop wasting OUSD tax dollars and start using OUSD’s “best and brightest” homegrown talent.

    Sunday, April 13, 2008



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


    Just days after the shock wave of the Bear Stearns financial meltdown, the Orange Unified School Board at their last meeting on March 20th, 2008 discussed and voted to approve a private sale placement of the Orange Unified School District Taxable Retirement Health Benefits Funding Bonds to fund its OPEB liability (Other Post Employment Benefits it currently funds on a pay-as-you-go basis) and to appoint a bond interest Swap Advisor. The proposed private buyer of all the bonds was the Dexea Group, a Belgian-French bank that was formed in 1996 from a merger of a Belgium bank and a French bank. The Dexea Group specializes in public finance. The Bear-Sterns news weighed in several times during the discussions as a candid Trustee Kathy Moffat sought to be reassured from the bond services presenters that the OUSD Board was making the right decision in issuing the bonds during the current financial upheavals. The bonds are designed to pay for the unfunded liability of OUSD’s once offered lifetime health benefits while saving the district money over the life of the liability. Moffat revealed that she had consulted three educational financial experts who all had advised her against the bond issuance at this time because of the continued economic upheavals. Also of concern was the timing of the private placement which had to be approved that evening.

    Trustee Rick Ledesma focused his concerns with the deal on the variable rate and the interest rate Swap Advisor. With a Swap Advisor watching out for the best rates, Ledesma sought to be assured that the Swap Advisor would be watching the fixed rate market and be able to “swap” rates when it became more favorable to the district.

    The Dexea Group private placement was reported to have a projected variable interest rate of only 3.25% and save the district up to $2 million over a public placement. In the end under urging from the OUSD Administration , those figures helped make the deal too good to pass up, and the OUSD Board voted 5 yes (Trustee Steve Rocco abstained and Trustee Wes Poutsma was absent) to approve the private placement of the OUSD Bonds with Dexea Group and approve the Swap Advisor.

    At the next OUSD Board meeting on April 17th, 2008, the Trustees are scheduled to approve the issuance of the Heath Benefits Funding Bonds in Agenda Item 12 A (page 7).

    For more information on Dexia Group CLICK ON:DEXIA

    OUSD Board to increase Lunch prices, Bus Pass prices, and Facility Use Fees
    The Consent Agenda of the April 17th OUSD Board meeting includes fee increases for student Bus Passes, staff and student lunches and use of district facilities. In addition, a yearly increase based on the Consumer Price Index will be recommended every July from now on. The proposed increases in renting school facilities for both educational and non-school activities are projected to bring in an additional $50,000 annually (Consent Item 14 I page 32). Annual School Bus 2-Way Passes will increase $50 with the total proposed increases on all bus services producing an additional $100,000 in revenue to the OUSD Budget (Item 14 J page 34). An average 9% hike in breakfast and lunch fee increases for students and adults are projected to bring in an additional $140,000 in revenue to the OUSD Budget (Consent Item 14 K page 29).

    Facilities Bond target now 2010
    The OUSD Administration will present the updated 3rd Quarter Strategic Plan Status Report at the OUSD Board’s April 17th meeting (Information Item 13 A page 14). The progress reported on the Facilities section which had the stated goal of the OUSD Board voting to place a facilities bond on the ballot in March of 2008, reports the following “Progress” as: “The next realistic opportunity to place a facilities bond on the ballot to address facilities needs in the Orange Unified School district is during the lection cycle in 2010.”

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda April 17th
    In a time of tight budgets with teaching positions and programs being cut, one thing that appears not to be subject to cuts is the astronomical fees of educational tax dollars paid to speakers and consultants. Item 14 K (page 35) from OUSD Assistant Superintendent Ed Kissee asks for $6,500 to pay for one speech from Dr. Kenneth Stichter, a self proclaimed “Educational Consultant” on May 6th. An eight hour work day at this rate would pay Dr. Stricher $52,000 a day: $260,000 a week, $13,520,000 a year, a rate more than even OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley makes! Not bad for a man who produces only two Google Search entries; one his resume at CSU Fullerton, and another, a one sentence accolade from a former student. No research, not books, no depth. Again OUSD apparently will get what they pay for. To see all the information on Dr. Stichter CLICK ON: Educational Consultant

    Other Items from the April 17th Agenda:
    • Board Proclamation of School Bus Drivers’ Day- April 22, 2008
    • Board Proclamation of School Nurses’ Day- May 7, 2008

    INSIDE Community Donations
    Wells Fargo-$1,700 to Nohl Canyon ES for supplies; Pacific Life Foundation-$3,000 to Imperial ES for Smart Boards; Villa Park HS Choir Boosters- $3,000 for a choreographer; Panorama ES PTA- $12,500 for computer equipment; Canyon Hills ASB- $800 for Staff Development Consultant.
    For a complete list of this month’s community donations see page 24 of the April 17th agenda.

    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

    Former Superintendent Godley’s total “golden handshake” bonus (beginning 8/2008): $00.00

    $314,500 Total
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (for 1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    2008 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    4/17/08 Dr. Kenneth Stichter Speaker Fee $ 6,500
    $ 14,000
    2008 TOTAL $314,500

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090.00
    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
    9/27/07 Dr.Daggett Speaker Fee $ 35,000
    11/15/07 OCDE High Priority Consultants $115,000
    Total $166,590

    2007 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    (6/07-12/07) $200,000
    2/08/07 Miller, Brown, and Dannis $ 7, 500
    2/22/07 Parker & Covert $ 45,000
    5/10/07 Miller, Brown and Dannis $ 50,000
    7/19/07 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    Total $537,500

    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, April 17, 2008.
    For more information CLICK ON: AGENDA

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 7:00 PM, 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

    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of
    “Independent Local Insight”

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

    Ecast on the
    Internet Community Group i/)))cg
    A 21st Century Communications System

    For more information on the current issues of defending media freedom in the electronic world visit:

    Monday, April 07, 2008



    A community service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/


    In a Public Notice announcement entitled “Offer to Sell Villa Park School Buildings, Historic Resource in the City of Villa Park”, the Orange Unified School District has taken a step back from its well documented original plans to demolish the two original historic Villa Park Elementary School buildings by offering to sell the buildings “for not less than $1”. While this may seem like a win-win situation for the preservation community and the current reluctant property owner, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.

    The Public Notice outlines the bid process for the buildings including five requirements needed in a “detailed plan” from a potential winning bid. The biggest stumbling block is that the winning bidder must have an “appropriate” site to move the buildings. In a city without any available land or parks, the two historic buildings must be moved off the campus of Villa Park Elementary School to another site. The second requirement is that “the individual / organization must demonstrate the financial wherewithal to relocate, restore and maintain the structures". This includes posting a bond or security “in the amount of $ 1 million that will be forfeited to the District in the event that the structures are not removed from the site within the stated timeline”. The deadline for moving the structures is August 6, 2008. The final two requirements are that the buildings must be used for “educational or civic-related services” and OUSD must be released from all “financial responsibility and liability from hazards associated with the buildings in perpetuity”.

    The Villa Park Elementary School buildings are one of only three original Orange County schools left. They are the only buildings still on their original site and are listed on both the National and State Registry of Historic Places. They are the only remaining historic buildings left in Villa Park. In addition to serving as a school for students from not only Villa Park, but throughout the Greater Orange Communities, the buildings have served as a community meeting hall and as the meeting place for the Serrano Irrigation District. An earlier failed effort at saving the buildings by the Villa Park Elementary School Restoration Corporation failed to raise the needed money to restore the buildings. The state of the buildings on the elementary campus has been a safety concern to parents with children presently at the school.

    At the December 17, 2007 Orange Unified School District the Orange Unified School Board approved a OUSD Staff request to hire the Environmental Impact Report expert firm The Planning Center for $60,000 in educational tax funds to develop an EIR to allow OUSD to demolish the buildings. The Villa Park City Council became involved as OUSD held a community meeting to discuss the process and history of the district’s involvement with the buildings.

    Proposals are being taken until May 5th, 2008. The OUSD contact is Senior Executive Director, Administrative Services Mike Christensen at 714-628-4500.

    For archives of the Villa Park Elementary School building controversy CLICK ON:
    Historic Buildings

    Is produced by Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Ecast on the
    A 21st Century Communications System
    For more information on the current issues of defending media freedom in the electronic world visit

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008


    Orange celebrates 120 year Anniversary

    Orange celebrates 120 year Anniversary

    The City of Orange will celebrate the 120 year anniversary of its incorporation this weekend. On Saturday April 5th Orange will re-visit its historic beginnings as a passage on the Spanish road that connected California’s 21 colonial missions known as El Camino Real (The King’s Highway) with a ceremony dedicating California’s newest El Camino Real historic bell marker at the Orange Public Library.

    The City of Orange dates back to 1869 when lawyers Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell accepted 1,385 acres of land from the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana as legal fees. Chapman and Glassell laid out a one square mile town with ten-acre farm lots surrounding a forty-acre central town site. The center of the town site became known as the Plaza, the symbol of the community. Today, 120 years later the Plaza and the majority of the original one square mile town is registered on the National Register of Historic Places and is where many homes and buildings dating to the early days of the city still stand. Orange was officially incorporated as a city on April 6th, 1888 making this Sunday April 6th the official 120 anniversary.

    The El Camino Real historic bell marker being dedicated to commemorate the 120th anniversary will be unveiled on the History Walk outside the Orange Public Library & History Center at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 5. A History Walk plaque at the library featuring original artwork by local watercolorist Judy Schroeder explains and commemorates the role of the El Camino Real bell. The historic bell is being donated by the George Key Chapter of the Questers. The Questers are collectors of antiques, collectibles, and history who dedicate time learning about their treasures from books, libraries, and friends. The organization is made up of over 900 chapters in 43 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The group helps to preserve and restore antiquities, buildings, and historic sites and the National Questers also help students gain a Master of Arts Degree in Historic Art Conservation by awarding a Fellowship at Winterthur/University of Delaware and a Master of Science Degree in Historic Preservation and Restoration with two Scholarships at Columbia University.

    Also at the dedication ceremony the library’s History Center (2nd floor) will feature a new display of a mission-era hand bell found in Orange decades ago and recently donated by former resident Bob Pargee. As a child, Mr. Pargee discovered the hand bell tangled in the roots of a tree in his family’s backyard on East Walnut Avenue in Orange.

    Two El Camino Real historic bell markers may be found west of the city’s central library, along Main Street and Chapman Avenue. A third is located south of the library, on Palmyra Avenue. Those three join the new bell at the library to commemorate the road’s passage through the land that became Orange a century later.
    For more information on the El Camino Real Bells CLICK ON: EL CAMINO REAL
    For more information on the Questers CLICK ON: Questers

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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