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  • Monday, December 29, 2008


    SPECIAL REPORT: Top Stories of 2008 in the Greater Orange Communities

    Orange Net News Top Stories of 2008 in the
    Greater Orange Communities

    January 2008
    “A gift from heaven”
    -OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith on trustee area realignment

    The little known Committee on School District Organization voted to approve the Nichols Realignment of Orange Unified Trustee Area Boundaries. The change moves controversial OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco out of his Trustee Area, thus preventing him from running in the November 2008 election. The Nichols Realignment achieves what months of a recall petition drive cannot; Rocco is forced from the OUSD Board. However, in his place Nichols and her allies ultimately lose majority control over the OUSD Board when two new conservative Trustees are elected ( see December 2008).


    All JANUARY 2008 stories: JANUARY

    February 2008
    Godley announces retirement and $upplemental pay bonus

    Two weeks after announcing at the February 7th Orange Unified School Board meeting that he will be retiring as of June 30, 2008, Orange Unified School Board Superintendent Thomas Godley’s administration presents a Supplemental Retirement Plan for all “retiring employees” who have worked for OUSD at least 5 years. This of course includes Superintendent Godley.


    All FEBRUARY 2008 Stories: FEBRUARY

    March 2008
    OUSD Consultant Culture lives on in 2008 staring with an
    $8,000 speaker fee

    Remember when Dr. Godley had trouble finding just $7,000 a year to keep the weekly cable broadcasts of the OUSD School Board meetings to the Greater Orange Communities? No such problem in March 2008. Even as the OUSD Administration cries that the sky may fall in the next state budget, OUSD Trustees approve a request to spend $8000 for a consultant to “speak” to staff from Canyon H.S. and Yorba Middle School. The $8000 Consultant is Dr. Kathy Weigel of Florida who moonlights for the educational consultant conglomerate “edu-buisness” the International Center for Leadership led by none-other-than controversial educational consultant Dr. William Daggett.

    FULL STORY: $8000 Speaker

    ALL MARCH 2008 Stories: MARCH

    MORE ON the questionable DR DAGGETT:

    April 2008
    Villa Park Elementary Historic Buildings: Still Standing…

    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”. No takers show, and the conservative Villa Park Community starts talking an OUSD School Bond. However, voters already feeling the economic strains ahead tell OUSD pollsters no deal on the Bond. No bond, but much to the chagrin of the OUSD Administration, the Villa Park Historic Buildings still stand.


    ALL APRIL 2008 Stories: APRIL

    MAY 2008
    Kathy Moffat tries to amend OUSD retirement deal to exclude Godley
    Just before the Orange Unified School District School Board voted to approve the "Golden handshake" buyout of top-paid teachers, administrators and OUSD support staff, Trustee Kathy Moffat dropped the equivalent of a mega-ton bomb at the May 8th OUSD School Board meeting with an amendment to exclude from the sweetened retirement deal her longtime ally OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley. Godley had announced his retirement just weeks before the OUSD Administration first proposed the up to 6% retirement buyout for OUSD employees. Godley had come under widespread criticism for the timing of his retirement announcement (it came on the heels of big pay hikes) and shortly after his own retirement announcement the announcement for the buyout package.


    ALL MAY 2008 Stories: MAY

    JUNE 2008
    Orange Unified Trustees in Greeley, Colorado to hire Superintendent Dreier
    The Orange School Board announced the only candidate to replace OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley was Greeley, Colorado Superintendent Renae Dreier. However, the OUSD Board decided to go on a junket to interview the community of the prospective Superintendent. So off to Colorado, and a strange unchoreographed dance between the coy soon-to–be-ex Greeley Superintendent, the Greeley School Board and the visiting OUSD School Board members. Throw in a local Greeley high school principal sex-scandal happening at the same time and it was the perfect OUSD junket.


    ALL JUNE 2008 Stories: JUNE

    JULY 2008
    OUSD Election starts with Musical Chairs

    Starting in July, with Wes Poutsma not running for re-election, fundraising by some OUSD declared candidates is on going for almost a year, and with sitting Trustee Melissa Smith pulling papers for her new Trustee Area with 2 years left on her term…you just had to know this would be a different political year in the Greater Orange Communities. The only thing more surprising than the start was the final results.


    ALL JULY 2008 Stories: JULY

    AUGUST 2008

    After very public moves to place a Facilities Bond Measure on the November, 2008 ballot, the extended deadline to place a school facilities bond on the for any school district working on bond ballot language ended on August 15th, 2008. OUSD had conducted polling for a bond measure and worked with community leaders in Villa Park on the possibility of including funding for the historic Villa Park Elementary buildings in a possible OUSD bond measure. Rumors of not enough votes on the Board as well as bad poll numbers abound. What ever the real reason, the OUSD Bond is scrapped.


    ALL AUGUST 2008 Stories: AUGUST

    SEPTEMBER 2008
    OUSD wins Rocco Lawsuit Appeal

    The California 4th Appellate Court of Appeal handed the OUSD Administrators and the Godley Majority of Trustees a final victory over OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco and his allies at Californians Aware and California First Amendment Coalition. That victory affirmed OUSD’s right to the Resolution of Censure against Rocco that he had sought to nullify and confirmed the lower trial court order for OUSD to recover the $37,000 in attorney fees for the original lawsuit. In addition, the Court ordered Rocco pay an undetermined amount for OUSD’s attorney fees to defend against the Appellate Court appeal. Rocco stated that insurance would pay the judgement.



    OCTOBER 2008
    Just another El Modena Sex Scandal
    What more can we say?


    ALL OCTOBER 2008 Stories: OCTOBER

    NOVEMBER 2008
    Triangle Complex Fire destroys homes in Greater Orange

    The majority of Anaheim Hills barely escapes this inferno as hundreds across Southern California are left homeless.


    ALL NOVEMBER 2008 Stories (and all fire stories)NOVEMBER

    DECEMBER 2008

    OUSD political Coup d'état...
    Ledesma Coalition takes over OUSD Leadership

    “Being called fagot or gay is an acceptable salutation of teenagers at Canyon High School”
    –alleged comment by Canyon HS VP

    Watch for these stories about the December 11th Orange Unified School Board meeting on January 4th, 2009 at the following web addresses:

    To view the newest post on January 4, 2009:


    OR to LISTEN on your computer follow the link and CLICK the RED STORY ARROW:

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    Friday, December 26, 2008


    Free New Year's Eve Rides and New Year's Fun Fun Fun at the OC Pavilion

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    For the seventh year, Orange County Transit Authority is providing 24-hour Night Owl bus services in an effort to keep Orange County residents safe while they ring in the New Year. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is offering free bus rides between 6:00 pm New Year’s Eve, December 31st and 4:00 a.m. New Year’s Day, January 1st.

    The Night Owl service operates between midnight and 4 a.m. through the core of the county on four key routes:

    • Route 43: La Habra – Costa Mesa, via Harbor Boulevard/Whittier Boulevard
    • Route 50: Long Beach – Orange, via Katella Avenue
    • Route 57: Brea –Newport Beach, via State College Boulevard/Bristol Street
    • Route 60: Long Beach – Tustin, via Westminster Avenue/17th Street

    OCTA operates the 12th busiest transit service in the nation, with an annual ridership of more than 68.5 million passengers. It runs more than 800 buses on 80 routes throughout Orange County.

    For more information on New Year’s Eve service and to check bus routes and schedules, visit OCTA’s Web site at or call (714) 636-RIDE.

    News Year’s Eve FUN, FUN, FUN near Greater Orange
    If going to parties at major Costa Mesa or Newport Beach hotels is too far or not your style, local eatery venues at The Block at Orange are hosting New Year gatherings. However the quiet buzz for Central Orange County locals seems to be the OC Pavilion New Year’s Eve Fun, Fun, Fun event. The show includes three tribute bands to The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Monkeys. Dinner Show packages are also available through the OC Pavilion’s award winning Ambrosia Restaurant and Executive Chef Michael Rossi has created an exceptional Seasonal Marketplace menu.

    The stage show begins at 8:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $65 and include the champagne toast at midnight, hot & cold hors d'oeuvres, and a chocolate fountain. Special group packages are available for balcony and orchestra booth seating.

    The 5-star Ambrosia Restaurant offers two seating times for dinner. The 5:30 p.m. seating features a 4-course meal and general admission show tickets. The 5:30 seating is priced at $130 a person. The 8:30 p.m. seating features a 5-course meal and general admission show tickets. The 8:30 seating is prices at $150 a person.

    Performances from Paperback Writer (The Beatles tribute), The Beach Toys (The Beach Boys tribute) and Pleasant Valley Sunday (The Monkeys tribute) begin at 8:00 p.m. on the OC Pavilion main stage. DJ music and dancing is available downstairs in the Vault VIP Lounge.

    The OC Pavilion is an entertainment venue unlike offering intimate seating for 500 and a state-of-the-art sound system that is second to none. Patrons can experience artists in a setting that is reminiscent of days gone by, when the artist’s performance wasn’t just something to witness, but rather, experience.

    The OC Pavilion has three levels for entertainment. In the basement is The Vault VIP Lounge-- a fantastic place to relax take in some live Jazz and enjoy a cocktail before or after a show; the theater level, which also features an opulent Mediterranean atmosphere complete with a gorgeous marble bar; and finally on the second level, the return of world class fine dining with Ambrosia Restaurant which includes a now famous Wine Cellar dining room.

    The OC Pavilion is located in the historic artist district of Santa Ana, just blocks south of Main Place Mall and the Orange Towne Center. Lighted and secured parking is available. The OC Pavilion is located on the corner of Main & 8th At 801 N. Main Street.

    The OC Pavilion: OCP

    New Year’s Eve Tickets Online: NYE TICKETS

    OC Pavilion Reservations: 714-550-0811

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2008


    Holiday Toy Express to visit Orange's historic Santa Fe Depot

    Metro TALK ______________
    a community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization

    Holiday Toy Express to visit Orange's historic Santa Fe Depot

    The OCTA Orange County MetroLink’s Holiday Toy Express will make one of its final local stops at Orange's Santa Fe Train Depot in historic Old Towne Orange on Saturday December 20th from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

    The family friendly child and crowd-pleasing free holiday show features a Metrolink train festively lit with thousands of colorful lights, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, plus a live singing and dancing cast performing an energetic show that will get you in the holiday spirit.

    In conjunction with the Orange County Toy Collaborative, representatives from fire departments throughout Orange County will be collecting new unwrapped toys and sporting goods as part of the local firefighters 16th Anniversary Spark of Love Toy Drive. This year’s annual toy drive began on November 22nd and runs through December 24th. In addition to dropping off toys at the Holiday Toy Express at Santa Fe Depot show on December 20th, toys can be dropped off at all Orange County Fire Stations and at CVS Drug Stores throughout Orange County.

    The Orange County Toy Collaborative is a group of representatives from holiday charities that have combined their efforts to collect new unwrapped toys and sports equipment including: the OC Firefighters Spark of Love Toy Drive; the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots; the Orange County Department of Social Services; Operation Santa Claus; and St. Vincent de Paul. Together these programs distribute approximately 300,000 toys annually to Orange County children and their families who may otherwise go without during the holiday season.

    OCTA Orange County MetroLink’s Holiday Toy Express
    Saturday 6:00- 6:30 Orange Santa Fe Depot Park MetroLink Station

    For more information:
    Orange City Fire Department: Ian MacDonald 714-288-2550
    Orange County Fire Authority: Angela Garbiso 714-290-8272
    Orange County Fire Chiefs. Association
    Jennifer Schulz, Newport Beach Fire
    (949) 644-3110
    Polly Bowen, Orange Co. Fire Authority
    (714) 742-3906

    Metro TALK

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