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  • Thursday, January 31, 2008

     

    Pfc. Brandon A. Meyer of Orange killed in Iraq, Governor orders flags lowered at Capitol

    Metro TALK
    A community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization

    Orange resident Pfc. Brandon A. Meyer was among five American soldiers killed this Monday (1/28) in a complex attack in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Meyer was 20 years old and grew up in Canyon, Texas where he graduated from Canyon High School (Canyon, TX) in 2005. He had been in the Army for a little more than a year, joining on Jan. 18, 2007. He was in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team since June 2007. He would have turned 21 this Saturday February 2nd. His wife Catlin is reported to live in Orange. Meyer and the other soldiers killed were assigned to the 1st Battalion 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team from Fort Carson, Colorado. The other men in the unit also killed with Meyer were:
    • Sgt. James E. Craig, 26, of Hollywood, Calif.

    • Staff Sgt. Gary W. Jeffries, 37, of Roscoe, Texas.

    • Spc. Evan A. Marshall, 21, of Athens, Ga.

    • Pvt. Joshua A. R. Young, 21, of Riddle, Ore.

    A Fort Carson spokesperson stated their deaths bring to 232 the total number of Fort Carson soldiers killed in Iraq. The bombing equaled the deadliest for Fort Carson soldiers since the current Iraq campaign began.

    Mosel is one of al-Qaida in Iraq's last strongholds, the attack on Meyer’s unit came just days after a house explosion and suicide attack killed as many as 60 people there. U.S. military spokeswoman in northern Iraq, Maj. Peggy Kageleiry said the soldiers came under small arms fire and were hit by a roadside bomb during convoy operations in Mosel, which is the capital of Ninevah province. Iraqi police in the provincial capital reported that clashes had erupted in a middle-class Sunni neighborhood believed to be an insurgent stronghold. Reports from the area included information about three civilians being wounded and helicopters bombarded buildings in the southeastern Sumar neighborhood of Mosel, which has seen frequent attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces.

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released the following statement regarding the death of Pfc. Brandon A. Meyer when he ordered flags at the State Capitol building flown at half mast:
    "Private First Class Brandon Meyer devoted himself to serving his country with honor, bravery and integrity. His selfless commitment to the United States will never be forgotten by the people of California. Maria and I extend our thoughts and prayers to Brandon's family, friends and fellow soldiers during this difficult time."

    To see the postings regarding Pfc. Brandon Meyer CLICK ON:
    GAZING AT THE FLAG

    PATRIOT GUARD

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

    Sunday, January 27, 2008

     

    STORM WATCH: El Modena H.S. Evacuation Center Closed

    The weaker than expected storm on Saturday evening resulted in few problems leading the El Modena H.S. Evacuation Center to close Sunday morning. However, the voluntary evacuation orders issued in Orange County canyon burn areas remain in effect(see story below).

    For full text of El Modena closing CLICK ON: EL MO CLOSED

    Saturday, January 26, 2008

     

    STORM WATCH: Flash Flood Warning Issued- Voluntary Evacuation and Mandatory Large Animal Evacuation

    STORM WATCH: 1/26/08 Flash Flood Warning Issued: Voluntary Evacuation and Mandatory Large Animal Evacuation

    The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the O.C. Fire Authority and the O.C. Chief Executive Officer has issued a voluntary evacuation order for Modjeska, Harding, Silverado and Williams Canyons. A Mandatory Evacuation order has been issued for “special needs” residents and large animals.

    The Orange County Animal Control Services in Orange is accepting 30 dogs and 20 cats from the canyon burn areas (call 714-935-6848). The OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa is accepting large animals from the canyon burn areas with a prior confirmation (please bring all supplies). Please call 714-708-1588 to confirm large animal relocations.

    Presently the OC Emergency Center is not open and any question should be directed to the O.C. Sherriff Departments dispatcher at 714-647-7000.


    EL MODENA HIGH SCHOOL OPEN AS EVACUATION CENTER

    El Modena High School in Orange has been opened as an evacuation center for people evacuating the canyon burn areas.

    FLASH FLOOD WARNING
    The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Orange County indicating that flash flooding is likely between Midnight Saturday night and Sunday morning. Total storm precipitation amounts of 2-4 inches is possible at the coast and 4 to 8 inches on south and southwest facing mountain slopes

     

    SPECIAL REPORT:The Who’s Who of the Committee on School District Organization

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



    The Who’s Who of the
    Committee on School District Organization

    A little used eleven member entity known as the Committee on School District Organization (CSDO) has the authority to approve the recent changes in the OUSD Trustee Area boundaries that the Orange Unified School Board approved at their December 2007 meeting. Those changes moved controversial OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco from his Trustee Area 6 to Trustee Area 7 represented by Trustee Rick Ledesma. The move would make Rocco, who was the target of a failed Recall attempt, ineligible for re-election when his term expires in November 2008. The change also would remove OUSD Trustee Melisa Smith from her Trustee Area. Smith (her current term ends in 2010) voted for the change (see OUSD Trustee Melisa Smith characterizes the move as “A gift from heaven” . ( SEE: ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE January 14th CLICK ON:GIFT).

    The CSDO is established in the California Education Code as part of the long history in California of pushing for consolidation of the thousands of school districts that have existed in the state. The California Department of Education District Organization Handbook (August 2006) outlines the responsibilities of the CSDO as:

    The county committee is the local initiator, coordinator, analyst, facilitator, and arbitrator for the reorganization of school districts. It formulates plans, responds to petitions, conducts public hearings, develops and releases information, and analyzes proposals throughout the approval process of a reorganization. For petitions for transfers of territory, where state approval is not required, the county committee gives final approval or disapproval (EC 35709, 35710), subject only to appeal to the State Board of Education. (EC 35710.5, 35711) (Full text: TEXT ).

    The Who’s Who of Orange County Education Circles
    Understanding the members of the CSDO gives voters insight into the small world of the education elite in Orange County. From the central 4th District PTA to the Orange County Department of Education, in Orange County the Elected Educational Establishment Elite is a small close nit group of the educationally active. While not always seen as a local educational force and often seen as a bureaucratic morass, the Orange County Department of Education sits at the center of Orange County’s Elected Educational Establishment Elite. The OCDE hosts 4th District PTA meetings, maintains the Orange County School Board Association, and by statute also provides the staff and resources of the CSDO.

    The CSDO is comprised of two appointed members from each of Orange County’s five Supervisorial Districts plus one at-large member rounding off the 11 member committee. The California Department of Education District Organization Handbook (August 2006) outlines the rules of membership of the CSDO:

    Exclusions, Area Represented, and Terms of Office
    Any registered voter residing in the appropriate supervisorial district may serve as a county committee member. Members of school district governing boards may serve concurrently as a school district trustee and county committee member. No county superintendent of schools, employee of the office of a county superintendent of schools, employee of a school district, or employee of a community college district shall be a member of the county committee. Any member of the governing board of a school district or community college district in the same or any other county who is otherwise eligible may simultaneously serve as a member of the county committee. (EC 4007) At least two members must be elected from among the qualified electors of each county supervisorial district. The term of office of each member must be four years. (EC 4008, 4009)


    The eleven members of the Orange County CSDO are longtime members of the Elected Educational Establishment Elite of Orange County education circles. Six of the current OCSD Board members are also current school board trustees. The remaining four are all former school district trustees. Five of the current members are Orange County School Board Association winners of the annual Marian Bergeson Award (CLICK ON: AWARD ) and four members are currently on the Board of Directors of the Orange County School Board Association. Four of the members have or had legal controversies from local issues in their school districts. One CSDO member is on the Board of Directors of the 4th District PTA Council which also includes Orange Unified School District community activists and two OUSD Trustees.

    Committee on School District Organization Members:

    Shelia Benecke
    -Capistrano School Board Trustee
    - Board Member Orange County School Boards Association
    -2001 Orange County School Boards Association Marian Bergeson Award winner
    OTHER: A target of a Recall Campaign alleging Brown Act violations of her and four other Capistrano Board members, Benecke opponents have dubbed her The Queen of Mean
    CLICK ON: Queen of Mean


    Shirley Carey
    -Huntington City School District Trustee since 1990
    -Board Member Orange County School Boards Association
    -2004 Orange County School Boards Association Marian Bergeson Award winner
    OTHER: Activist community members are up in arms over the decision of the Huntington Beach City School District Trustees to put out a Request For Proposals (RFP) on 4 school properties (Burke Elementary, Gisler Intermediate, Kettler Elementary and LeBard Elementary). At issue is the buildings are seen as community resources with the properties used by various community organizations (e.g. the Girls Scouts, Boys Scouts, etc.) and the fields are used by community sports organizations like AYSO Soccer (over 1,600 Children) Little League, and Girls' Softball Teams. CLICK ON: SAVE HB

    Mary Furhrman
    -Former Buena Park School District Trustee
    -President of the League of Women Voters, North Orange County
    -Board Member Orange County School Boards Association
    -2006 Orange County School Boards Association Marian Bergeson Award winner

    Karin Freeman
    -Trustee Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District since 1989
    -Board Member Orange County School Boards Association
    2005 Orange County School Boards Association Marian Bergeson Award winner

    Sheila Henness
    -former Capistrano Unified School Board Trustee
    -4th District PTA Executive Board Member she serves as Historian
    OTHER: duped “Clueless in Capo” for her lack of understanding of the first Capistrano Recall and the antics of former (and now indicted) CSUD Superintendent Fleming. PTA 4th District Executive Board members working with Henness include two OUSD Trustees: Rocco Recall activist Kathy Moffat (Moffat is also on the California State PTA Board of Directors as Vice President of Community Concerns) ; and OUSD Rocco Recall leader OUSD Trustee Kim Nichols who serves as PTA 4th District Founders Day Chairman. Also on the PTA 4th District Council Board are OUSD community activists Gisela Meier (4th District PTA Newsletter editor) a favorite Rocco target for her involvement with OUSD trustee election campaigns: and Christina Bayles, a 4th District PTA Board Member and Parent Involvement Committee Chair who also serves as OUSD Legislative Coalition Platform Committee Chair. The OUSD Legislative Coalition is another frequent Rocco target.

    CLICK ON: CLUELESS
    CLICK ON: 4th District PTA
    CLICK ON: STATE PTA BOARD
    CLICK ON: Orange Council PTA

    Dean McCormick
    -Former Tustin Unified Trustee and
    -At-Large Member of the CSDO

    Carolyn McInerney
    -Irvine Unified School District Trustee
    -Former Chief of Staff for O.C. Supervisor Tom Wilson
    -County of Orange Manager of Special Projects
    -Board member: Junior League of Orange County; 44 Women for Children; the Irvine Public Schools Foundation; Family Violence Project
    -Ambassador for Legacy One the California organ donor network

    Joanne Purcell
    -Westminster School Board
    OTHER: Purcell is was one of the Caucasian Westminster City School Board Trustees that was sued in May 2006 after the Caucasian members of the Westminster Board voted 6 days after offering her the position to rescind the offer to Kim Oanh Nguyen-Lam ( a Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee) to be the new Superintendent of Schools for Westminster City Schools . Lam and her many supporters in the community believe race placed a role in the hiring reversal.

    Jim Reed
    – Former Westminster City School Board Trustee
    OTHER: Reed is was one of the Caucasian Westminster City School Board Trustees that was sued in May 2006 after the Caucasian members of the Westminster Board voted 6 days after offering her the position to rescind the offer to Kim Oanh Nguyen-Lam ( a Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee) to be the new Superintendent of Schools for Westminster City Schools . Lam and her many supporters in the community believe race placed a role in the hiring reversal.

    Robert Singer
    -Fullerton Joint Union High School District Trustee since 1980
    -Board member North Orange County Regional Occupational Program
    -member of the Orange County School Board Association
    -OCDE Excellence in Education award in 2005 and 2006.

    Virginia Wilson
    -Former Los Alamitos Unified School Board Trustee
    -1996 Orange County School Boards Association Marian Bergeson Award winner

    The CSDO is expected to approve the changes to the OUSD Trustee Areas, and while a petition mechanism to appeal to the voters is available in the Education Code, long time OUSD Board watchers see that scenario as virtually impossible given the indifference to the failed Rocco Recall by the community.
    (see PETITION )

    The California Department of Education District Organization Handbook (August 2006) outlines the appeal process:

    PETITION PROCESS—AFTER A COUNTY
    COMMITTEE APPROVES A REARRANGEMENT
    OF TRUSTEE AREAS
    1. If the county committee approves the rearrangement of trustee areas and a subsequent petition is received, signed by at least 5 percent of the registered voters of the district, requesting an election on the proposed rearrangement of trustee area boundaries, the county committee must put the proposition to vote. The deadline for receiving the petition is 60 days after the county committee approves the proposal. (EC 5019)
    2. The county committee must place the proposal on the ballot not later than the next succeeding regularly scheduled election, the next succeeding statewide primary or general election, or the next succeeding regularly scheduled election at which the electors of the district are entitled to vote, provided that there is sufficient time to place the issue on the ballot (120 days prior to the election date). [EC 5019(d), 5020(b)]
    3. If a majority of those voting approve the rearrangement of trustee areas, any affected board member serves out his or her term, and succeeding board members are elected according to the selected method and in accordance with the new boundaries. (EC 5021)


    The 11 member Committee on School District Organization will meet on January 30th at 7:00 pm in the Orange Unified School District Board Room, at the Orange Unified School District Offices.

    SPECIAL REPORT
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent Local Insight”

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

     

    STORM WATCH: National Weather Service issues SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT for Orange County Burn Areas

    STORM WATCH:
    National Weather Service issues SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT for Orange County Burn Areas


    The weekend storms expected in Southern California have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT for Orange County (see partial text below).

    The Orange County Emergency Operations Center issued a warning that voluntary or mandatory evacuations could be issued with rain of “4-6 inches on south and southwest facing mountain slopes” possibly causing flash flooding in burn areas. Persons with “special needs” (disabled, special medical issues etc.) are urged to evacuate ahead of the weekend storm events.

    The Orange County Animal Control Services in Orange is accepting 30 dogs and 20 cats from the canyon burn areas (call 714-935-6848). The OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa is accepting large animals from the canyon burn areas with a prior confirmation (please bring all supplies). Please call 714-708-1588 to confirm large animal relocations.

    Presently the OC Emergency Center is not open and any question should be directed to the O.C. Sherriff Departments dispatcher at 714-647-7000.

    The following is part of the National Weather Service Special Weather Statement:

    THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL MOVE CLOSER TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SATURDAY AND DRAW IN TROPICAL MOISTURE WHICH CURRENTLY COVERS A LARGE AREA ABOUT 1000 MILES SOUTH OF SAN DIEGO. THIS WILL BRING PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY. TWO INCHES OF RAIN COULD FALL AT THE COAST...AND HIGHER AMOUNTS...FOUR TO SIX INCHES...COULD FALL ON SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST FACING MOUNTAIN SLOPES.
    THIS WILL BRING A THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING AND DEBRIS
    FLOWS...ESPECIALLY IN AND NEAR THE RECENT BURN AREAS. THE SNOW LEVEL WILL BE MUCH HIGHER THIS WEEKEND...POSSIBLY 7000 FEET...SO HEAVY RAINS COULD COMBINE WITH MELTING SNOW FROM THE SNOWFALL OF THIS WEEK TO PRODUCE FLOODING. ABOVE 7000 FEET...VERY HEAVY SNOWFALL WILL BE POSSIBLE...POSSIBLY TWO OR MORE FEET. BY LATE SUNDAY...RAINFALL RATES WILL LOWER...BUT SHOWERS COULD CONTINUE AT TIMES INTO MONDAY.

    PEOPLE WITH OUTDOOR INTERESTS OR IN FLOOD PRONE AREAS SHOULD PREPARE FOR THE EXPECTED HEAVY RAIN THIS WEEKEND.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

     

    Committee on School District Organization to decide Rocco fate

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

    Committee on School District Organization to decide Rocco fate
    A little used entity known as the Committee on School District Organization (CSDO) has the future election hopes of controversial Orange Unified School Trustee Steve Rocco in their hands. The CSDO will has the authority to approve the recent changes in the OUSD Trustee Area boundaries that the Orange Unified School Board approved at their December 2007 meeting (see OUSD Trustee Melisa Smith characterizes the move as “A gift from heaven” ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE January 14th CLICK ON: ROCCO ). Those changes moved Rocco from his Trustee Area 6 to Trustee Area 7 represented by Trustee Rick Ledesma.

    The 11 member CSDO will meet on January 30th at 7:00 pm in the Orange Unified School District Board Room, at the Orange Unified School District Offices.

    Orange Lock and Key moves,
    now Sens Market Sign is history

    Chris Jepsen who does the OC History Round-up blog recently posted a story about the loss of the Sens Market sign in Old Towne Orange. To see the post and the last time the market sign will be seen, CLICK ON: OC HISTORICAL

    Caregiver Physically Disabled Support Group in Anaheim Hills
    Polfit Wellness of Anaheim Hills will host a Parent/Caregiver Support Group for those caring for the physically disabled on Saturday January 26th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 2563 W Woodland Dr in Anaheim Hills. For more information and to RSVP call 714-828-1293. For a map and further contact information CLICK ON: PARENT SUPPORT

    Orange Public Library Hosting Anime Festival
    Japanese animated films and TV shows, known as "anime," have become popular around the world. Now the Orange Public Library & History Center, 407 E. Chapman Ave., has brought the world-wide phenomenon to Orange. The Orange Library continues its anime programs the next two Wednesdays: January 23rd, and 30th in the library’s Community Room. The two-hour programs are free and begin at 4:00 p.m.
    The films, which are appropriate for teens 12 and older, will be followed by refreshments and raffle prizes.

    Anime films to be shown include: InuYasha, a series based on Japanese mythology; Area 88, an action-packed series featuring fighter jets; and Azumanga Daioh, a slice-of-life anime which takes place in a girls’ school.
    For more information, please contact young adult librarian Ryan Gan at 714-288-2417.

    Villa Park Helps its schools
    The newly designed City of Villa Park website has lots of new features including one on how to help the schools in Villa Park (part of the Orange Unified School District). Check out the new “Hidden Jewel” site CLICK ON: VP Schools





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

    Monday, January 14, 2008

     

    “Our Superintendent gets more raises than God” -OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco

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


    “Our Superintendent gets more raises than God”
    -OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco

    OUSD Superintendent Godley gets another
    3.5% Pay Hike four months after last one


    Just four months after an unprecedented pay hike to Orange Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley’s contracted salary, the so called Godley Majority of the Orange Unified School Board approved another retroactive 3.5 % pay hike in the Superintendent’s salary and all other district administrators at the December 13th Orange Unified School Board Meeting. This week at the January 17th, 2008 meeting, the Superintendent has asked the OUSD Board to approve another .25% retroactive raise for the district administrators (Agenda Item 12 C page 9).

    In June 2006, Godley received a 4.75% retroactive raise. Then in August 2007 the next pay hike for Godley put his salary over $240,000 annually and included an unprecedented automatic 2% annual longevity raise, and a yearly $2500.00 bonus for having his doctorial degree, in addition that pay hike was also retroactive. The current retroactive pay hike of 3.5% goes to July 2007 which is one month before the last Godley pay hike in August 2007.

    The latest 3.5 % raise given at the December OUSD Board meeting to Godley and the rest of the OUSD administrators (collectively known as Leadership) was again a result of an identical raise given to the district’s Classified (support) staff. OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma again took exception to the tactic of automatically granting the district administrators a raise every time the OUSD Administration successfully reaches a negotiated salary settlement with the district’s labor representatives. After much discussion on both sides, the final vote for the unprecedented salary hike for the OUSD Superintendent was 4-2. The Godley Majority- Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, and Kim Nichols all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent for a family matter) and minority Trustees Rick Ledesma and Steve Rocco both voted No.

    Since the December OUSD Board meeting the OUSD teacher’s association reached an agreement with OUSD for a 3.75% pay hike. That agreement is on the January 17th Agenda (Agenda Item 12 B page 8) and is followed by a “me too” request for the OUSD Leadership for an additional .25% retroactive pay hike over last month’s 3.5% pay hike. In negotiations with the teachers, the teachers gave up a counseling position and cuts to paid hours of librarians and school psychologists to achieve savings to get the .25% raise over the 3.50% classified had settled for and the OUSD Administrators got also. The idea was that the teachers effectively paid for the .25% increase over the other bargaining group with the contract concession cuts. However, what the Leadership (district administrators) gave up to earn the “me too” .25% hike just 1 month later remains a mystery. Agenda Item 12 C states:

    “The Superintendent has met and conferred with the representatives from the leadership group for the second time on the topic of compensation for leadership employees…

    “In order to pay for the additional .25% increase, adjustments to salary and work year for selected leadership positions have been made.”

    Just who those “select leadership positions” are and what the “adjustments to salary and work year” means is yet to be seen.

    Board Majority votes Rocco out of his District based on three released demographic scenarios- but…not all possible scenarios made public

    OUSD Trustee Melisa Smith characterizes the move as “A gift from heaven”

    Denying any political motives, at their December meeting the OUSD Trustees Godley Majority voted to approve the third of three released demographic scenarios that would readjust the OUSD Trustee Areas. In the third released scenario that was included in the December 13 OUSD Board Agenda, the current residences of Trustee Steve Rocco and Trustee Melisa Smith would be moved from their current Trustee Areas to neighboring Trustee Areas currently filled by other sitting trustees. The move would eliminate Steve Rocco from running again at the end of his term in November of this year. Smith would remain on the Board until her current term expires in 2010.

    With numerous controversial attempts to deal with Trustee Steve Rocco and coming on the heels of the unsuccessful Rocco Recall Attempt, the OUSD Trustee Area Readjustment was bound to be seen as political especially since it would strip Rocco of his Trustee Area. The often controversial Rocco accused the Board majority of “playing politics” and attempting to gerrymander him off the OUSD Board. Trustee Melissa Smith, a frequent adversary of Rocco’s and an active worker for the Rocco Recall Attempt proponents, defended the legitimacy of the readjustment process, but later added that the fact the Board would also be able to get rid of Rocco by the readjustment was “a gift from heaven”. Trustee Kathy Moffat stated that she was ready to push for a delay to allow the community to have more input on the readjustment plan, but since the community appeared to be indifferent about the agenda item (based on the lack of any communication from the community) she would also support the released third scenario.

    With the process under attack, and approval needed next by the county Committee on School District Organization for the plan to move forward, the OUSD Staff called Deborah Deip, the Director of the Center of Demographic Research (CDR) at California State University, Fullerton to explain the process (the CDR did the survey work and produced the scenarios for the OUSD Board consideration in the agenda). Deip explained that the CDR was told to produce two scenarios not moving the trustees out of their areas, and one scenario disregarding were the trustees live. It was those three released scenarios that were placed in the Agenda Item. The OUSD Administration recommend one scenario as superior over the other two (Scenario #3) based on the demographic information. However, Diep’s explanation of there only being three scenarios was later contradicted by none other that OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley.

    Speaking after Diep, Godley mentioned that the CDR also produced six other scenarios which Godley stated were rejected by the OUSD Staff. Therefore By Godley’s own account, only three of the nine scenarios (maps and demographic information) produced by the CDR were released in the agenda. Godley implied that only the OUSD Staff (and not Board members) were privy to the Rejected Six Scenarios and the statistical information on population of those rejected scenarios. It was the statistical information based on the low population deviation extended out to the year 2020 that was the stated reason the OUSD Staff supported the third released scenario. It was that same third scenario that Trustee Smith characterized as “a gift from heaven”.

    The question however is was there also a gift in the Rejected Six Scenarios for Rocco? Could one of the Rejected Six Scenarios have been equal to keeping the statistical deviation that caused the staff to support the released third scenario while also keeping Rocco in his district? Or did any of the Rejected Six Scenarios have undesirable moves for other Trustees while keeping Rocco in his Trustee Area? All of this will remain speculation without the release of the Rejected Six Scenarios Dr. Godley revealed were in existence.

    After much discussion on both sides, the final vote for the redistricting scheme was 4-2. The Godley Majority- Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, and Kim Nichols all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent for a family matter) and minority Trustees Rick Ledesma and Steve Rocco both voted No.

    Legislative Coalition now a Citizen’s Advisory Board

    Community leaders on the Legislative Coalition showed up in force to question the change to the Board Committee that no one seemed to want to commit to knowing about. In a convoluted explanation that seemed more appropriate to a grade-schooler trying to talk her way out of a lie, OUSD Trustee Kin Nichols tried to explain what she said at a November Legislative Coalition meeting and what her intentions were with Legislative Coalition that could of caused such misunderstanding. To make the matter even more strange, Trustee Steve Rocco, a long time critic of the existence of a Legislative Coalition, became its most vocal supporter of the evening. Even OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley had trouble finding words to describe what he was suppose to do with the Nichols-inspired-Agenda-Item. In the end the January 17th Agenda 12 D has the Legislative Committee’s long time designation as a “committee of the Board” changed to a “Citizen’s Advisory Committee” apparently with no Board member representation. What does this mean? At this point, nobody seems to know.

    Villa Park Elementary School Historic Buildings

    Trustee Kathy Moffat blew a fuse apparently angered that Orange Net News tipped off the community about the public agenda item that OUSD Staff is seeking the demolition (their word not ours!) the VPES historic buildings and concerned citizens showed up to question it! Read all about it at:
    MOFFAT MAD

    Musical Chairs: New Officers for 2008
    Godley Majority members were elected to all the Board’s leadership positions.
    Trustee Wes Poutsma was elected Board President and Melisa Smith was elected Vice President by a 4-2 vote: Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, and Kim Nichols all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent for a family matter) and minority Trustees Rick Ledesma and Steve Rocco both voted No. Outgoing President Kim Nichols was elected the new Board Clerk by a 5-1 vote: Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, Kim Nichols Trustees, and Rick Ledesma all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent and minority and Steve Rocco both voted No.

    January 17th 2008 Meeting Agenda Watch
    Agenda Item 12 A- (page 5) Extend Assistant Superintendents contracts to 2010
    Agenda Item 12 B- (page 6) Pay hike to teachers with contract wording changes
    Agenda Item 12 C - (page 9-10) this month’s pay hike for OUSD Administrators
    Agenda Item 13 A- Independent Audit Report on OUSD’s Finances
    Agenda Item 13 B- Year 2/ 2nd Quarter Status of Three Year Strategic Plan
    Consent Item 14 D - $7,500 more this month to the Center for Demographics

    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

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2008:
    $200,000 Total
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (1/08 to 6/08) $200,000

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2007:
    $704,090.00 Total
    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 January 17, 2008. For more information
    CLICK ON: BOARD 1/17/08

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 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


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    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

     

    OUSD TRUSTEE KATHY MOFFAT WRONG AGAIN

    Metro VIEWS
    Local viewpoints from the Greater Orange Communities

    OUSD TRUSTEE KATHY MOFFAT WRONG AGAIN
    An editorial from Orange Net News

    At the last Orange Unified School Board meeting (the end of the year December 13th, 2007 meeting) Orange Unified Trustee Kathy Moffat, at the request of Villa Park residents, pulled a $60,000 consultant study for discussion that will eventually lead to the demolition of the historic buildings at Villa Park Elementary School. The Villa Park residents told the OUSD Board they learned of the Agenda Item from Orange Net News and its internet site the Greater Orange News Service. After a discussion, Moffat ended up voting to approve the item.

    Moffat (who admittedly was unprepared because she just arrived back from a family emergency) tried to explain with the help of staff that the consultant was needed to eventually decide what is to be done with the buildings. Moffat then went on to say that she was tired of hearing that “blogs say this and blogs say that” and added that the blogs were again “incorrect”. Unfortunately for Moffat, she was incorrect again, and the blog was right again.

    The story that tipped off the rightfully angry Villa Park community members was reported in the popular Orange Unified Schools Inside feature of Orange Net News. The feature reports on the agenda and the meetings of the Orange Unified School Board. This particular report included the following summary about the December 13th OUSD Agenda:

    “Consent Agenda Items include:
    • PAGE 30: The Planning Center-$60,000 for reports to begin the demolition process on the two historic original school buildings from Villa Park Elementary School”


    Is Moffat’s statement that the blog got was “incorrect” accurate? This is what the actual OUSD Agenda stated in asking for authorization to contract the Costa Mesa consultant firm The Planning Center for $60,000:

    Two buildings remain from the original school on Villa Park Elementary School campus. The buildings have been determined to be structurally unsafe. They are vacant and have been fenced off to prevent unauthorized entry. Because the buildings are unfit for occupation and represent a safety hazard, they should be demolished as soon as possible.

    Prior to the demolition, the District is required to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Since both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historical Places, they are automatically included in the California Register of Historical Resources and, are therefore, historical resources for the purposes of CEQA. Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report is required to comply with the requirements of CEQA. The Planning Center has the expertise and experience to provide these services.


    Clearly the OUSD Staff has decided that the buildings need to be “demolished as soon as possible”. Was the blog report wrong?

    Moffat tried to explain that the CEQA study was needed to move onto an EIR report. As usual with Moffat, that is not entirely true. The CEQA process which is requires government bodies to be accountable for historic resources like the buildings has a three tier process. Part of that process would allow OUSD to issue a Negative Declaration and not have to conduct an EIR study to demolish the buildings.

    In addition, OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley in trying to explain the why the OUSD Staff did not directly explain to the parties concerned what OUSD’s intentions were stated at the meeting:

    “There should be no surprises, we are doing what we said we’d do”.

    There also should be no surprises that Kathy Moffat got it wrong-again:

    • Like when Moffat got the Santiago Charter Revocation attempt wrong, and the blogs reported it.

    • Like Moffat’s 100% Yes votes on all wasteful consultant spending and the blogs reported it.

    • Like when Moffat’s silence over trying to end the OUSD Board meeting broadcasts to the community was wrong, and the blogs reported it.

    • Like Moffat’s support of the millions of educational tax dollars spent on the failed and now defunct Focus on Results program was wrong, and the blogs reported it.

    • Like Moffat’s support of the censorship of Board meetings by Dr. Godley and the blogs reported it.

    • Like when Moffat supported revoking the numerous Orange Unified Recall reforms and the blogs reported it.

    • Like Moffat’s continued support of unprecedented raises to the OUSD Superintendent (like the 3.5% raise she voted to approve in December just 4 months after the last retroactive raise for Godley.

    Obviously it was politicians like Moffat the Founding Fathers had in mind when the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was written protecting the press, which today includes the blogs.

    It wouldn’t surprise us if Moffat also feels the Founding Fathers were “incorrect” too.

    Friday, January 04, 2008

     

    STORM WATCH O.C.- Villa Park H.S. open for Voluntary Evacuations

    On the heels of a Flash Flood Advisory from the National Weather Service, the Orange County Fire Authority and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department issued a Voluntary evacuation order for the Modjeska, Williams and Silverado Canyon areas of Orange County. The order also includes a Mandatory evacuation order for large animals.

    The Orange County Animal Control Services in Orange on City Drive can house 30 dogs and 20 cats (CALL 714-935-6848. The Orange County Fair Grounds will accept large animals UNDER Mandatory evacuation with feed supplies. Please call ahead to let them know you are coming: 714-708-1588

    Villa Park High School is again open as a shelter for voluntary evacuations. The Orange County Emergency Operations Center has opened their hotline number for further information: 714-628-7085.

    Total precipitation in the mountain areas is expected 6-12 inches and in the costal and valley areas 3-4 inches. The forecast is for a two to three day period of sever winter storm and wind conditions.

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