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  • Thursday, May 20, 2010

     

    Handy Elementary School Sign Wars

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

    OUSD Sign Wars, May the Force be with you
    The Jedi Parent Warriors of Orange Unified’s Handy Elementary, also known as the Handy School Association, are in a battle of good over evil because of their purchase of a new community electronic sign they purchased for the aging lower economic status school. Fighting a modern day local neighborhood Darth Vader, the parents of the school are now under financial attack by OUSD’s Administration headed by soon to be OUSD Deputy Administrator Michael Christiansen.

    The sad story begins with Handy Elementary School's old style “letter” sign being constantly vandalized and creating a logistic and financial burden to continually maintain and repair the aging vandal magnet. Handy’s parent group committed themselves to undertaking purchasing a new sign for the old and neglected school. Being in a lower economic income area, this was no easy feat and it took countless hours from parent organizers and over a year of fundraisers like candy sales and the like to scrape together the $17,000 to purchase a state of the art electronic LED energy efficient new sign. Happy ending? Not quite.

    Apparently one, yes we said ONE neighbor complained about the new sign. The sign, which is programmed to be on only on the weekdays during the day, was not wanted by this neighbor. Complaints about the sign from the neighbor about the color of the LED lights to the place it was located (in the same place as the old one) were made. Questions about how the sign was paid for were raised causing OUSD to issue a press release on April 15 praising the parent group for paying for the sign (see link below). End of story? Not quite.

    A May 1st letter appeared in the OC Register’s Ask Mr. Orange feature with reporter Eugene Fields joining the Evil Empire propaganda machine by publishing a letter from Fay F. Rodriquez of Orange titled “Who pays for the school signs electricity?”, “Fear not faithful reader…” Mr. Orange answered and quoted OUSD’s Office of Communication Larry Hausner as reporting the LED sign costs about $1.50 a day (see the link below). Yes that is right they went after the $1.50 a day for the electricity. Never mind that the school just won the U.S. Department of Energy’s coveted Energy Star award for saving electricity, never mind that the new sign is a STATE OF THE ART energy saver using the newest LED technology. They went after this economically challenged school for $ 1.50 a day spent to inform students and the community of school activities, student and staff celebrations and upgrading a constant vandalism problem. End of story right? Unfortunately and sadly no, it gets worst.

    Not willing to leave it alone there, Orange Unified Assistant Superintendent, and soon to be Deputy Superintendent Michael Christensen then multiplied the $1.50 x 365 days and sent the Handy parents association a bill for $547, Really. No kidding! A BILL FOR $547!!!! End of story? Not quite.

    You see the numbers guy got his numbers wrong. Because the sign is not on all day long, and the sign is not on during the weekends, holidays, summer etc. The Handy School Association has pointed this out to Mr. Christiansen. They have also asked to see the billing to the other OUSD schools for the electricity for their signs. As you probably have figured, there is more. You see, taking OUSD Superintendent Renae Dreier’s mantra “Knowledge is Power” and that information counts, a small group of parents, at a poor school worked really hard to improve the local communication and knowledge and took pride in what they did to improve the communication, knowledge and appearance of their neighborhood. Now one person, and the Evil Empire helpers have taken the joy of that accomplishment away. A sad message for a message sign and Handy’s students

    Handy School Association…may the Force be with You!

    OUSD Press Release CLICK ON: OUSD PRESS RELEASE

    OC Register Article CLICK ON: MR ORANGE

    Orange County Public Works Open House
    Having the Orange County Public Works yard in our own backyard has certain perks, like a short drive over to the Annual Open House that features a locally famous Collectors Car Show and free food.

    The annual event held in conjunction with National Public Works Week takes place Saturday May 22 from 10 am-2 pm, and features displays from the Public Works Department and the Orange and Fire Departments, the O.C. Sheriff‘s Department, games opportunity drawings and the popular Collectors Car Show. In addition free hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, snow cones and drinks will be available. Live entertainment will be provided by “The O.C. Band”. The Orange County Public Works yard is located at 2301 N. Glassell Street in Orange (between Taft and Lincoln Aves.).

    Villa Park Family Picnic –May 30
    Irvine Lake will be a virtual Villa Park on Sunday May 30 when it hosts the annual Villa Park Family Park. The annual blowout is hosted by the City of Villa Park Community Services Foundations and the Serrano Water District. A car show, entertainment, vendor booths and activities will fill the day. Activities will include free boat rides on Irvine Lake and favorites like tug-of-war, a scavenger hunt, and cup cake decorating contests. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day.

    The picnic is 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Active military and children five and younger get in free. Tickets can be purchased at Villa Park City Hall or at the picnic.

    For more information CLICK ON: VP PICNIC
    Metro TALK
    is a community service of the Greater Orange Communities Organization

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