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  • Monday, April 27, 2009

     

    Orange Unified takes lead on Swine Flu information

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

    Orange Unified takes lead on Swine Flu information

    Orange Unified School Superintendent Renae Dreier got out in front of the Swine Flu outbreak with a district-wide message to parents and staff on Monday April 27th and a special Swine Flu section added to the OUSD website with important Swine Flu information.

    The district-wide telephone call told staff and parents that the message was from the OUSD Superintendent’s office and included the following information:

    As parents, you should:
    • Keep your child home with flu symptoms (which include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue).
    • Keep your child home with a fever greater than 100 degrees.
    • Report illness to your doctor, especially if the child has recently visited Mexico.
    • Wash hands often.
    • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze


    The Superintendent’s message came on the same day that the World Health Organization increased its world-wide rating on the possibly of a world health crisis from a “three” to a “four” on a six point scale. The United States Center for Disease Control has reported the Swine Flu in 5 U.S. states including 11 confirmed cases in California. No deaths have been reported in the United States or other countries outside of Mexico where a reported 150 people may have dies from the outbreak in Mexico.

    Superintendent Drier has won high marks from the community for living by her “knowledge is power” mantra for the budget crisis. Now being out front on the potential Swine Flu epidemic is just another example of her “knowledge is power” philosophy.

    FOR MORE OUSD Swine Flu INFORMATION CLICK ON:
    FLU INFORMATION

    Community Update
    A community news service of

    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    For more information on the current issues of defending media freedom in the electronic world visit
    The ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION link: www.eff.org.

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

     

    Town Hall Meeting on May Special Election Propositions

    Metro TALK ______________
    A community service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    LegCo Town Hall Meeting for May Special Election
    The Orange Unified Legislation Coalition will be sponsoring a public Town Hall Meeting on the May 19th Special Election Propositions. The meeting will at the Orange Unified School District Board Room this Monday April 27th at the OUSD District Office from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

    Proponents and opponents will speak and answer questions on each of the six ballot propositions on the May 19th Special Election ballot. The propositions all deal with the state budget and are a result of a February 2009 budget deal between Governor Schwarzenegger and California Legislature leaders on how to close an anticipated $42 million budget shortfall. The possible further impact on school budgets has been a major theme in the election campaign.

    Special election voter turnout is historically low compared to the scheduled primary and general elections. An exception to that historical fact was the October 2003 State Recall Election that drew 61% of California voters to the polls. That election ousted Governor Gray Davis and elected Schwarzenegger over similar budget issues still facing the state.

    California has sent out 10 million voter-information guides to voter households. For this election, in an effort to save costs, only a single voter guide was sent to each household regardless of the amount of voters registered at the address.

    Vote by mail has gained popularity. According to the California Secretary of State’s office, in last June’s election 59% of all votes were cast by mail-in ballots.

    Tickets available for YWCA Spring Tea
    Tickets are still availabale for the YWCA Central Orange County 6th Annual Spring Tea on May 2nd, 2009. The popular annual Spring fund raiser is scheduled for May 2nd. The afternoon’s activities include a silent auction, a raffle, a scholarship honoree award, and a formal High Tea complete with traditional white starched linens and exquisite place settings. The Spring Tea raises money for the YWCA Central Orange County’s various outreach activities including its signature program, Beverly’s House – which serves young women emancipated from foster care and offers them a safe, caring, home-like environment where they can gain the skills necessary to achieve independence and was named in honor of Beverly Nestande, one of Orange’s most famous activists and volunteers. The Spring Tea will guest speaker Cheryl Alexander from the Orange County Social Services Agency

    The 2009 Spring Tea will be held on May 2nd from 11:30 – 2:00 pm at the Tustin Banquet Center (721 W. 1st Street, Tustin, CA 92780). Individual tickets are $60 and Table Sponsorships are available at a $480. Potential Table Decorators and event guests should contact the YWCA directly by calling 714-633-4950 or by emailing ywcacoc@hotmail.com. You can also learn more online at www.ywcacoc.org.

    Orange H.S. Annual Farm Fest returns May 9th
    Orange High School’s Future Farmers of America will hold their annual Farm Fest on Saturday May 9th, 2009. The fun filled event includes a petting zoo, food, prizes and lots of farm animals including horses, sheep, cattle and pigs. The Orange Farm is located at the end of Harwood Street on the Orange High School campus.

    Admission is $3.00, or $5.00 for admission and lunch. For more information please call 714-997-6299.

    Teddy Bear Tea Party Fundraiser for Orange Public Library
    If stuffed animals are more your style, the Orange Public Library Foundation is holding a Teddy Bear Tea Party. The Tea Party is a fundraiser for the Orange Public Library to buy new children’s books for all of Orange’s public libraries. The Tea Party will feature finger foods, tea and lemonade. Guests will be treated to a fashion show of wonderful hats, special activities, raffle prizes and a Teddy Bear Parade.

    The Teddy Bear Tea Party will be Saturday May 2nd 2:00 pm- 4:00 pm at the Women’s Club of Orange, 121 S. Center Street. Children 4-12 are $12.00 each and Adults and teens 13 and above are $20.00 each. For reservations or further questions contact the Orange Library Foundation at (714) 288-2470.


    Metro TALK is a community service of ORANGE NET NEWS /O/N/N/
    OrangeNet.News@gmail.com
    Ecast on the
    INTERNET COMMUNITY GROUP i/))) cg
    A 21st Century Communications System

    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    For more information on the current issues of defending media freedom in the electronic world visit The ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION link: www.eff.org.

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

     

    STEVE ROCCO CONVICTED OF KETCHUP PETTY THEFT


    COMMUNITY UPDATE
    by Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Rocco convicted of petty theft in ketchup bottle theft

    Former Orange Unified Board Trustee Steve Rocco was convicted by a Santa Ana Jury on petty theft charges of stealing a half empty bottle of ketchup from Chapman University on Thursday, April 15th, 2009. Rocco was represented by a public defender in the two day trial. Against his attorney’s advice, Rocco took the stand in his own defense and claimed that the ketchup bottle was a plant and that he had picked it up and recycled it. Rocco allegedly was at Chapman University to try and speak with Chapman Political Science Professor Fred Smoller. Smoller had made a documentary for his classes chronicling Rocco’s election and behavior on the OUSD Board.

    Rocco appeared throughout the two day trial in with a white bandage wrapped around his whole head and flipped up sunglasses above his glasses. Rocco’s new look replaced the dark watch cap and always present dark sun glasses that became his trademark look on the OUSD Board. The new look was apparently a result of his being thrown out of a Fullerton courtroom two years ago because of wearing a cap and sunglasses by the judge presiding over Rocco's court case against OUSD over a Censure Resolution the OUSD Board passed against Rocco. Rocco, who was represented by the Californian’s Aware organization, also lost that case.

    Rocco could receive up to 6 month’s jail time, but that appears unlikely. The Orange County District Attorney’s office has stated that a fine and probation is the most likely sentence. The Orange County District Attorney’s was widely criticized in the media for pursuing the trial at a cost of thousands of tax dollars over an apparent $1.27 half empty ketchup bottle. The D.A.’s office reportedly had offered a plea bargain to Rocco but he refused and insisted on his right to a jury trial.

    The Rocco conviction became national news when Yahoo News made the local KCBS/KCAL news report a featured video on its front page.
    CLICK ON: YAHOO NEWS
    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=4226712&cl=13013043&src=news


    COMMUNITY UPDATE
    is community news service of the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    Monday, April 13, 2009

     

    Orange Unified Board to eliminate 136 Staff support positions, plus reduce hours and pay

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

    Orange Unified Board to eliminate 136 Staff support positions-
    plus reduce hours and pay


    At the Thursday April 16th, 2009 Orange Unified School Board meeting the OUSD Trustees will vote to eliminate 136 staff support (Classified) positions in Agenda Action Item 12 C (Agenda page 25-28). The Agenda item's Fiscal Impact section states that the cuts will save OUSD $ 4,998,000 annually.

    Among the 136 Classified positions cut in 37 job categories (all listed on page 26 of the Agenda) are: 33 Technology Assistances; 15 Regular Instructional Aides; 15 Community Based English Tutoring (CBET) Aides and Instructors; 8 Senior School/Staff Clerks; 7 Bus Drivers; 5 Custodians; 5 secretaries and 4 Food Service Assistances. Also included in the 136 eliminated positions are 10 Management/Supervisory positions: 5 Executive Secretaries; 1 Bus Driver Trainer; 1 CWA Coordinator; 1 Director of Purchasing; 1 Nutrition Services Operation Supervisor; and the Nutrition Network Project Coordinator.

    The reduction in hours will affect fifty three employees in 9 support staff job classifications. Five high school and middle school Kitchen Managers will have their hours cut and 51 employees in 19 job categories will have their yearly work calendar cut (Agenda page 27). Eight job categories were reclassified with reductions in pay (five are Classified/Supervisory positions).

    OUSD Board to approve current 2008-2009 contract
    and call for pay cuts next year


    Agenda Action Item 12 A (Agenda page 7) approves the 2008-2009 agreement between OUSD and the teachers association, the Orange Unified Education Association, at the April 16th OUSD Board meeting. Agenda Action Item 12 B (Agenda page 23) is the public “sun shining” and holding of a Public Hearing for input on the OUSD Board’s 2009-2010 contract proposals that include a 3.75% pay cut, cuts in the work calendar, and cuts to Certificated contractual positions. All of the proposals with the teachers association are subject to negotiation.

    Early political polls (conducted before the recent political advertisements in support started) showed the May 19th 2009 Special Election Budget Propositions being defeated by voters. A defeat of the budget measures would create a whole new budget crisis for the state and school districts. The local watch dog group the Greater Orange Communities Organization has called for OUSD Administrators to lead the way on a 3.75% pay cut immediately and to close OUSD's remaining small schools; Panorama (214 students in 2007-2008*); Riverdale (196 students in 2007-2008*); and Imperial (258 students in 2007-2008*). OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith again brought up her proposal for the second time at the March 26th, 2009 OUSD Board meeting, that the OUSD Trustees cut their own per-meeting honorarium. Board President Rick Ledesma assured Smith that her proposal would appear as an Agenda item.

    * Figures from the student testing data from the California Department of Education

    More Donations for April 28th Strategic Planning Workshop
    OUSD Superintendent Renae Dreier announced that the $3950 in donations listed in the March 26th, 2009 OUSD Agenda for the OUSD Strategic Planning Workshop would pay for the “facility and food costs” for the now one-day workshop. The April 16th Agenda includes another $4,000 in community contributions: $3,500 from the Orange Education Foundation; and $500 from Citizens Bank. The contributions for the workshop were directly solicited by the OUSD Superintendent’s Office. The original location for the event was Chapman University, which would provide the facilities free of charge. The event was moved to the Anaheim Hills Golf and Public Country Club, prompting the need for community donations.

    For a virtual tour of the exterior and interior rooms of the Anaheim Hills Golf and Public Country Club CLICK ON: AHGC TOUR

    Other Community Donations
    Esplanade PTA- $1720 for student transportation; Canyon H.S. ASB- $4,000 for Coaches and Cheer stipends; Nohl Canyon School Association-$530 for The Traveling Scientist ; El Modena H.S. Band Boosters- $700 for Stipend.
    For a complete list of the $20,323 in community donations see Agenda pages 51-52.

    INSIDE the April 16th, 2009 Agenda
    Other items on this Thursday’s OUSD Agenda include:

    Action Item 12 D: Proposed Board Policy Revisions (pages 29-50) Updating Board policies to include an assortment of revisions including 21st Century items like a policy on “Cyber bullying”.

    Information Item 13 C:
    A report on the Legislation Coalition’s trip to lobby in Sacramento.

    Board Proclamations (Agenda page 3-6): School Bus Driver Day- April 28th (yes in this same meeting they are cutting 7 bus driver positions and 1 bus trainer); School Nurse Day- May 6th 2009.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2009:
    Total $378,000
    2009 Attorney Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Parker & Covert (for 1/09 -6/09) $200,000
    3/12/09 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya (Sp. Ed) $ 50,000
    Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 98,000
    Total $348,000

    2009 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    01/24/09 Leadership Associates Consultants $ 3,000
    2009 TOTAL $ 378,000

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total
    (beginning 8/2008): $9689.00*
    * The Godley Retirement Bonus presented here is an estimate of the amount in “bonus retirement” accrued since the Superintendent’s retirement on 6/30/08 using a 6% lifetime formula calculated here at $1210 a month since 8/08. The actual retirement plan the former OUSD Superintendent opted to take is not public information and the figures presented are only as an estimate of the taxpayer costs after the OUSD trustees voted against an amendment to exclude Godley from the retirement program. The on-going estimated figure is presented as a reminder to the community of the high cost in educational tax dollars the OUSD Board vote to allow the former Superintendent to participate in the 6% retirement incentive cost the OUSD education community in tax dollars. Godley retired from OUSD on June 30, 2008 after he worked for the school district for a little over five years.

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2008: $901,200
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    6/19/08 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    6/05/08 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 40,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $150,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $200,000
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (for 1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    $750,000
    2008 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Subs for SDCDE (Reading First) $24,000
    11/13/08 SDCDE (Reading First) $30,000
    10/30/08 Dr. Willard Daggett (ICLE) $ 4,500
    10/16/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 4,200
    9/25/08 Visual Ink for Sadler Consultant <$ 6,600> CANCELED in 2009
    9/25/08 Bob Sadler Consultant Fee $ 8,500
    9/25/08 Candace Simpson-Sadler Helper $ 5,500
    7/24/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 10,000
    4/17/08 Dr. Kenneth Stichter Speaker Fee $ 6,500
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    Consultant Total $ 101, 200
    2008 TOTAL $ 901,200


    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090.00**

    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 April 16th -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    FOR the Agenda CLICK ON: OUSD AGENDA APRIL 16

    CLOSED SESSION- 6:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

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

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/

    Tuesday, April 07, 2009

     

    Metro TALK: Spring Tea and Spring Rocco

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

    YWCA Spring Tea set for May 2nd
    Tickets have gone on sale for the YWCA Central Orange County 6th Annual Spring Tea, The popular annual Spring fund raiser is scheduled for May 2nd. The afternoon’s activities include a silent auction, scholarship honoree award and a formal High Tea complete with traditional white starched linens and exquisite place settings. The Spring Tea raises money for the YWCA Central Orange County’s various outreach activities including its signature program, Beverly’s House – which serves young women emancipated from foster care and offers them a safe, caring, home-like environment where they can gain the skills necessary to achieve independence and was named in honor of Beverly Nestande, one of Orange’s most famous activists and volunteers.

    Each year volunteers at the Spring Tea vie to set the best tea table resulting in place settings as individual as their creators. Handmade tableware, Parisian poodles, 50’s kitsch and priceless Victorian china patterns have all been seen gracing tables in year’s past. This year’s event will include recognizing the guest with the most uniquely decorated table.

    Individual tickets are $60 and Table Sponsorships are available at a $480. Potential Table Decorators and event guests should contact the YWCA directly by calling 714-633-4950 or by emailing ywcacoc@hotmail.com. You can also learn more online at www.ywcacoc.org.

    Founded in 1858, the YWCA is a national women’s membership movement whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. The YWCA Central Orange County has been an active part of the community for over 85 years and currently serves women, girls and their families through a variety of outreach programs.

    Seating is limited and last year’s Spring Tea sold out well in advance so early reservations are encouraged.

    For more information on Beverly House
    CLICK ON: YMCA BEVERLY

    OC Weekly gives Steve Rocco 15 more minutes of fame
    Most community members in the Greater Orange Communities have moved on past former Orange Unified Trustee Steve Rocco, especially with the current fiscal state melt down threatening the educational programs in OUSD. We have to admit however, the April 1st issue of the OC Weekly with its ROCCO KETCHUP front page was too irresistible not to pick up. Staffers here all almost universally admit to looking around for witnesses when picking up the ketchup covered weekly (like picking up a World Weekly News at the super market checkout stand).

    What more entertainment could you want to relive the Rocco Years during an economic meltdown? OC Weekly reporter Nic Schou (admittedly showing at the Rocco trial up because he was subpoenaed) takes Greater Orange readers down memory lane with quotes not just from Rocco, but other subpoenaed audience members including: former OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma; long-gone OUSD gadfly Kathy Moran; former Rocco opponent Phil Martinez; and long time anti-Rocco antagonist Chapman University Professor Fred Smoller. Better yet, the Rocco fame train continues this week as the trial continues after Rocco received a public defender.

    Miss the Ketchup Cover issue? Not to worry, read all about it in the privacy of your home…without witnesses….don’t forget to delete your computer History files after reading!

    For the OC Weekly story
    THE BIZARRE CASE OF THE PEOPLE VS. EX-ORANGE SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE STEVE ROCCO CLICK ON: BIZARRE CASE


    Metro TALK
    is a community service of ORANGE NET NEWS /O/N/N/

    OrangeNet.News@gmail.com

    Ecast on the
    INTERNET COMMUNITY GROUP i/))) cg
    A 21st Century Communications System
    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/
    The /OCS/ News family

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