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  • Wednesday, July 27, 2011

     

    Orange to participate in August 2nd National Night Out


    Orange will participate in the 28th Annual National Night Out

    Tuesday August 2nd 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm the Orange Police Department will host the local celebration of National Night Out at the Orange Target parking lot. This years’ event will mark the 28th national anniversary of the annual event with the stated purpose to “strengthen our neighborhoods and enhance police-community partnerships”. The event highlights crime and drug prevention awareness and offers information on local anti-crime program and allows the community to get to better know the police officers who serve them. The event also serves as gathering place for community members to visit with fun family-oriented activities.

    This year’s event will again feature police and fire equipment and demonstrations; children finger printing; Mc Gruff the crime fighting mascot; and refreshments.

    Last year, over 15,000 communities in the United States, Canada and on U.S. military bases around hosted 37 million people in National Night Out.
    CLICK ON: NIGHT OUT

    National Night Out in Orange
    Tuesday, August 2nd from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    Orange Target store parking lot at
    2191 N. Tustin Street.
    FREE for the whole family
    For more information contact Brad Beyer: 714-744-7327

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

     

    INSIDE OUSD: Information Entropy

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

    OUSD’s Information Entropy

    INSIDE the June 11, 2011 Meeting
    The June 9, 2011 Orange Unified School Board meeting in many ways paid homage to mathematician Claude Elwood Shannon, the father of modern cryptography and information theory (i.e. Information Entropy). In his information entropy theory, Shannon said the more uncertain or random the event is, the more information it will contain. Case in point the June 9, 2011 Orange Unified School Board meeting,

    Over a decade ago, Orange Unified was run as a private fiefdom for a far right radical anti-education fringe group that used amassed district resources as their personal treasury to further fringe political war by spending multi-millions of dollars on legal fees and far right attorney’s to try to remain in power as they waged a culture war, all the while watching hundreds of highly qualified teachers and administrators flee OUSD. After a successful community recall and subsequent election, the newly elected Citizen’s Board then allowed the pendulum to swing far to the left taking a hands-off rubber stamp governing approach that allowed the district bureaucracy to create a Consultant Culture that began wasting as much, if not more district resources, on consultant driven fad-culture educational gobbley-gook programs that district administrators had direct ties to– again, ignoring the fundamental district educational problems. During that decade, community watchdogs have kept the pressure on the OUSD Board and Administration by relentlessly informing the community through a 21st Century communications system, born in the 2001 Recall, about the spending sprees. All that came to an end with the financial collapse and the arrival of Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier.

    On June 9, 2011, almost ten years to the day, OUSD’s information entropy occurred as Deputy Assistant Superintendent Michael Christensen, the soon-to-be-next OUSD Superintendent, presented a break down of legal fees to the Board and community in response to Trustee Diane Singer’s pulling of legal fees from the OUSD Consent Agenda in May. In his report, Christensen, who publicly acknowledged the years of public scrutiny of OUSD legal fees, outlined the successful extra-ordinary length that outgoing OUSD Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier’s administration took to control legal costs during the current Financial Crisis. Under Dreier, management review and the Superintendent’s Cabinet level review of legal fees brought those costs down to only 2.13% of the total OUSD Budget.

    While the OUSD Board pre-approves legal budgets to create accounts to draw from, Dreier’s stringent review policies have resulted in a significant savings to OUSD, with the Board approved, but unused legal fee funds returning to OUSD accounts. Christensen in his presentation broke down to the OUSD Trustees and public, for the first time, the actual costs of the yearly legal fees spent by OUSD for the last five school years:
    2006-2007 $714, 277
    2007-2008 $679, 507
    2008-2009 $503, 975
    2009-2010 $365, 543

    Christensen reported that so far in the 2010-2011 school year, the actual legal costs have risen slightly because of dealing with the bankruptcy of the contractor for the Yorba Middle School remodel to $503,975. In his presentation, the community also learned for the first time that the actual legal fee reimbursement that Cal-Aware First Amendment group was forced to pay OUSD in their Rocco Censure lawsuit for suing OUSD was $75,597.

    At the end of the meeting during Trustee comments, entropy examples continued as OUSD Board President Rick Ledesma in a cryptic statement stated that in response to numerous requests for information to the OUSD staff from OUSD Trustees he was proposing that in the future a new process be implemented for Trustees wanting information. Ledesma proposed that all Trustee requests for information from the staff be “evaluated” by the Board President and Superintendent to see if it the request was worthy to have staff spend time on to gather the information and/or present the information to the whole Board as an agenda item. Seeking consensus, Ledesma quickly received approval of his Ledesma Plan from fellow majority block members, Wayland, Surridge, Ortega and Deligianni. Minority block members Moffat and Singer, however protest vehemently. Moffat continued to ask Ledesma for examples of offending requests (which he did not provide), while Singer objected to what she described as an attempt at “controlling” information. The usually upbeat and positive Moffat, in frustration publicly referred to the “dark age” (a reference to the 2001 Recalled Board) where the only way to obtain information was through the Freedom of Information Act, which Moffat stated might be something that Trustees would have to resort to under the Ledesma Plan. Ironically, when Moffat was a part of the majority, it was her majority that changed Board policy from 2 trustees to agendize an item without the Board President to needing 3 trustees to agendize an item. That change was in response to Ledesma who signed on to a request by former OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco to agendize two items which Rocco used to continue his conspiracy theories grandstanding. That same majority in response to Rocco also eliminated the Recall Reform of rotating the OUSD Board offices between all the trustees that former Trustee Robert Viviano had instituted after suffering as an outsider for years under the former Radical Board that was eventually recalled.

    Further Reorganization approved
    Also in the June 9, 2011 meeting parents addressed the Board and presented a petition to the Trustees about a re-organization plan to save $200,000. The parents were against the reassignment of Canyon Hills Principal Dr. William Gee. After a motion to approve the reorganization was made, OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat made a substitute motion to support the parent request. In her motion, Moffat sought to remove the Canyon Hills component from the proposed reorganization in order to allow more study of the Canyon Hills situation. The Board voted (splitting along gender lines) 3-4 against Moffat’s motion (Moffat, Deligianni and Singer Yes; Ledesma, Surridge, Ortega and Wayland –No). The Board then voted to approve the staff reorganization by a 6-1 vote with Singer, who represents Canyon Hills in OUSD Trustee Area 1 casting the lone No vote.

    Other items of note from the June 9, 2011 meeting:

    Trustee Mark Wayland in honor of Flag Day, gave full-size American flags for everyone in attendance at the OUSD Board meeting (200 flags in total). Mr. Wayland also recognized the late former OUSD Trustee James Fearns’ son Jeff Fearns for his family’s yearly $5,000 scholarship award to an Orange High School student enrolled in the JROTC student since 2009. Jeff’s father James, a retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant, was instrumental in establishing the nationally recognized JROTC program in OUSD by personally flying to Washington D.C. to meet with the Marine Corps Commandant. The elder Fearns, who passed away in 2007, was once part of the OUSD Board minority that opposed the Radical Board. Fearns’ minority partners were Robert Viviano and current Board President Rick Ledesma.

    The COSCO stores realty officer presented the OUSD Trustees a packet showing interests in the surplus OUSD Parkside site property

    Staff presented updates on the OUSD Drug Dog program at OUSD High Schools. Inside OUSD administrative sources say staff is planning to ask the OUSD Trustees to expand the program to OUSD Middle Schools.

    INSIDE the July 28 Agenda
    It will be outgoing OUSD Superintendent Dr. Dreier’s last OUSD Board meeting. She will be retiring August 1st, with OUSD Deputy Superintendent Michael Christensen taking the helm as the new OUSD Superintendent

    Ledesma moves to replace lawyer Spencer Covert
    In Action Item 12 B on the July 28, 2011 OUSD Board Agenda (Agenda page 5) Board President Rick Ledesma seeks to replace longtime OUSD lead counsel Spencer Covert of Parker & Covert as lead negotiator for OUSD with its employee groups. Ledesma, who two months ago got Board consensus to bring the matter up, has long been a critic of the “me-too” deals that have been negotiated for administrators under Covert. Covert, who was once replaced in OUSD by various right wing counsel under the Radical Board, was brought back as lead counsel in 2001 after the Citizen’s Board won the election. At the May 12, 2011 Orange Unified School Board meeting, OUSD Board President Rick Ledesma recommended that OUSD change legal representatives for negotiations with its employee groups. Ledesma asked the OUSD Board for consensus to have staff ask for a quote from law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo to be the legal representative for the district in employee negotiations replacing longtime firm Parker & Covert. Ledesma stated it was “good business sense” to occasionally rotate firms for a fresh perspective. While Ledesma was getting the consensus of nodding heads from the Trustees, only Trustee Kathy Moffat spoke up with concerns. Moffat, who stated that she had no objection asking for quotes, however did object to only one firm being considered for the contract to negotiate on behalf of OUSD and also wanted some objected criteria established. Moffat also thanked long time OUSD Attorney Spencer Covert for his service to OUSD.
    Other Items:
    4 B – (Closed Session) new hires for 6 Administrative positions
    13 A- (Agenda 7) page Report on the sometimes controversial OPED Bond
    13 B- (Agenda 8) update on the state budget impacts

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget
    After eleven years of running on-going totals of consultants and attorney fees, Inside the OUSD Budget will no longer keep a running total of these two items. In recognition of the current safe-guards instituted by outgoing Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier, and in recognition of the honest and open reports of current Deputy Superintendent and the next Superintendent Michael Christensen, Orange Unified Schools INSIDE will cease on-going monthly tallies of those items. In doing so, it is our hope that the OUSD Board and Administration will recognize the historical significance of the communities interest in continue yearly reports to the community on legal expenses as exemplified by Mr. Christensen’s outstanding report from June. Orange Unified Schools INSIDE will continue to monitor consultant and legal fees and bring it to the communities’ attention when warranted. As watchdogs, we recognized and appreciate the enormous change in culture that OUSD has achieved under Dr. Dreier and urge Mr. Christensen to continue to embrace Knowledge as Power. We look forward in working with him to keep the Greater Orange Community informed about the most important resource that unites Central Orange County- their once again great education system.

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total (beginning 8/2008):
    $41,130.00*


    * 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.

    NEXT BOARD MEETING: THURSDAY July 28, 2011, OUSD BOARD ROOM
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: BOARD
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:30 pm

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

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

     

    OUSD LegCo bill controversy

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

    Orange Unified’s Legislative Coalition bill in the news

    The following is the CAPITOL WEEKLY article about SB161 sponsored by Orange Unified’s Legislative Coalition and the controversy surrounding the bill meant to help students.

    Jobs vs. brain damage: Epilepsy bill sparks fight

    By Malcolm Maclachlan | 07/21/11 12:00 AM PST

    (Article below or DIRECT LINK TO ARTICLE: CAPITOL WEEKLY)

    In October 2008, over two dozen people sat in a K Street conference room to talk about a potential bill that would allow non-medical school employees to be trained to administer Diastat. This is a gel form of Valium that, when delivered rectally, can stop a major epileptic seizure.

    The parents of epileptic victims said that in many school districts around the state, teachers and other personnel have been successfully administering the drug for years. But there has been was no coherent statewide policy. Those present worked mainly for healthcare advocacy groups, or for unions representing teachers and nurses.

    Then, according to several people who were present at the gathering in the offices of the Chamber of Commerce, the California Teachers Association’s legislative advocate Toni Trigueiro started talking about how the real issue was jobs.


    “She said it was a matter of making sure these children receive this medication from one entity only, school nurses, and that we should be helping to push hiring of more school nurses,” according to Ann Kinkor, a former speech therapist now with the Epilepsy Foundation and the mother of three adult sons with epilepsy. “We knew then, as we know now, that there wasn’t money to hire school nurses.”

    Brad Morrison, a consultant hired to help facilitate the meeting, tells a similar story.

    “She [Trigueiro] set a tone that she wasn’t really in a collaborative mood,” he said. “It was clear we were not going to come to a solution that day. People were falling back into their positions.”

    “There have been no stakeholder meetings since then,” Trigueiro said, claiming it was the other side that cut off talks.

    The thorny, unusual issue has taken traditional allies, labor groups and children’s health care advocates, and turned them into enemies.

    But both sides agree on many of the same facts — for instance, that they would prefer that the state has enough money to hire a nurse in every single school. Currently, fewer than half of California schools have a full-time nurse.

    And the legislator now carrying a bill that would allow non-medical personnel to administer Diastat is a Republican — and many of the parents blame Republicans for forcing the education and health care cuts they say eliminated funds to hire school nurses.


    But Sen. Bob Huff, R-Glendora, and others say that even if there were a school nurse at every school, the bill would still be needed. The goal of the drug is to stop seizures quickly, within the first five minutes. In many schools, the nurse could be on the other side of campus and further away than that.

    Students carry a pre-prepared dose specific to their body weight in a plastic syringe with a soft rubber nipple, along with a blanket to cover them from being seen by bystanders. The federal Food and Drug Administration approved Diastat administration by non-medical personnel in 2005. This decision cited research showing that the drug was effective 85 percent of the time, and hospitalizations dropped by two-thirds among epileptics carrying the drug with them in situations where there was someone around trained to administer it.

    The California Medical Association is among the groups supporting SB 161, and the California School Nurses Organization is one of the leading groups opposing it.

    Estimates show that about 64,000 kids in California suffer from epilepsy. About 16,000 have the severe form that would warrant a Diastat prescription – although CTA disputes the figures.

    Many of the same people met the following February. But this time, no one from the CTA was present, and there were fewer nursing representatives in the room.

    By then, there were other wheels turning.

    That September, Geri Nibbs, a nursing education consultant with the Board of Registered Nursing, sent out a letter stating that the “controversial” administration of Diastat “is a nursing function that may not be performed by unlicensed personnel unless expressly authorized by statute.”

    According to Kinkor and others, this effectively overturned a decade of successful Diastat administration by school personnel that resulted in several cases in which injury or death was avoided.

    The next March, even more definitive word came down from the legal department of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), which oversees the nursing board. In a six-page memo, supervising senior counsel Don Chang took apart the arguments for letting teachers or others administer Diastat point by point. He reiterated that, barring “a modification of the law,” giving Diastat “constitutes the practice of nursing,” then argued that a nurse who teaches someone else how to give the drug may be subject “to discipline for aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of nursing.”

    The memo goes on to state that those giving Diastat wouldn’t be subject to protections offered under the state’s good Samaritan laws, and warns “the possibility of piercing the rectal cavity is high.” Finally, Chang’s memo states that the Nursing Practices Act (NPA) would trump seemingly contradictory language in the California Education Code, saying that giving the drug to someone having a seizure “does not fall within any of the exemptions from the NPA.”

    One of those exemptions is “in case of an emergency,” and that seems to be the key policy disagreement between the camps. Chang’s letter states only that this definition “includes an epidemic or public disaster.”

    By then, Huff was already trying to deliver “a modification in state law.” His SB 1051 — essentially the same bill as the current SB 161, minus some technical amendments — was introduced in January, 2010. It was sponsored by the Orange Unified School District, also a major supporter of SB 161. It got stuck in the Senate Health Committee, where that April seven out of nine senators didn’t even cast a vote on it. In May it died in the Senate Appropriations Committee after Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and others gave passionate floor speeches against it.

    In that debate, Huff delivered a different definition of “emergency,” stating, “Without it, they can have brain damage or death.” He added, “The bill is voluntary. No one is coerced.”
    This time around, Steinberg was one of 32 Senators whose yes votes helped SB 161 get out of the Senate on June 2. So was Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, who said Huff’s previous bill was “lowering the standards” by “allowing what should be done by medical professionals to be done by volunteers.”

    Supporters also point to medical and legal opinions they say show Diastat is safe. In 2007, School and College Legal Services of California delivered an opinion that found “the ‘emergency’ exception would appear to apply to a student who is suffering a seizure” and that Diastat administration is a “routine” procedure that poses “little potential harm to the student.”

    In 2008, the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health issued a 47-page case study on medical care in schools. It found that the lack of nurses in schools was a major problem, but recommended that non-medical personnel be trained to perform some procedures, as long as there was no coercion.

    The CTA and CNA continue to lobby against the bill. Sources who have been following SB 161 say that at least one of the Democratic Assembly members who voted for the bill so far in committee is now wavering on voting for it on the Assembly floor.

    The bill’s supporters say opponents have failed to show instances of the potential harm they cite, such as breathing problems or perforated rectums. Kankor said that some of the amendments the opponents have pushed, such as a mandatory 911 call, would actually make things worse. For instance, she said, in one of the small number of cases where they cite depressed breathing, the problem was caused when paramedics injected more valium into the student, not by the original dose of Diastat. She said the Diastat dose is calibrated so that patients can withstand three doses without a fear of respiratory problems.

    “Valium does suppress breathing,” said Stephanie Roberson, a lobbyist with the California Nurses Association (CNA), which does not represent school nurses. “There can be synergistic effects with other drugs. Whoever is administering this medication needs to know all that.”

    “We really believe that everybody should have access to the appropriate trained medical staff,” said Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association.

    This kind of talk bothers Scott Wetch, a lobbyist who usually represents labor groups. The parent of a 7-year-old epileptic daughter with a Diastat prescription, he has become a leading pro bono advocate for the bill. He also said that life-threatening overdoses of the drug are basically unheard of.

    “You know what the training is?” Wetch said. “You talk to the pharmacist for two minutes. It’s not rocket science. Just give it to them. There’s no downside.”

    The opponents also appear to have played up one discomforting aspect of the procedure — that it involves the rectum of an unconscious student. A July 6 Capitol press conference by opponents featured a two-foot high blowup of the Diastat directions, featuring several panels of drawn posteriors.

    But Naldo Cabanillas, whose now 22-year-old daughter was disabled by a grand mal seizure when she was six, scoffed at this objection.

    “If someone is going to see my daughter’s private parts but save her life, I’m going to choose to save her life, or save her from a brain injury,” he said. “Seizures can damage your brain permanently.”

    Much of the debate seems to get back to overworked teachers who want to make sure they’re not coerced into “volunteering,” something she said has been made worse by budget cuts and the otherwise-desirable practice of “mainstreaming” students with serious disabilities and medical issues.

    “Students are coming to school with more and more medically fragile conditions,” said K.C. Walsh, a special education teacher in San Jose. “Imposing this on teachers who are already overburdened is not the correct solution.”


    LINK TO ARTICLE: CAPITOL WEEKLY


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    Friday, July 08, 2011

     

    1st EVER El Modena H.S. Car Show


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

    El Modena High School hosts 1st Annual Car Show

    At a school rich with traditions, the El Modena High School Cheer Boosters are starting a new one with the 1st Annual El Modena Car Show, this Sunday July 10, 2011 at El Modena High School from 8 am – 3pm. The show will feature pre-1972 Cars and have 8 award categories including Best Muscle Car and “Cheerleaders Choice”.

    Breakfast and lunch will be sold by various vendors including La Casa Garcia, Pogi Boy , The Gourmet Food Truck and of course...KETTLE CORN! Booths will also be manned by Elmo’s Cheer, Football and Basketball boosters. Of course everyone needs a Car Show t-shirt, and this is your chance to have an original 1st Edition car show t-shit to prove you were there for the 1st El Modena Car Show. The crowd will be entertained by a live band and those 50/50 raffles everyone loves.

    The event is a free public show. Entry fees for cars are $25.00 before the event and $30.00 the day of the event. To enter a car or for more information or questions call: (714) 679-8647 or (714) 602-6655. El Modena High School is at 3920 Spring St.,Orange 92869


    AWARD categories:
    Best In Show Best Original
    Best Lowrider Best Paint
    Best Muscle Car Best Full Custom Cheerleaders Choice

    CLICK ON: CAR

    Metro TALK
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    Greater Orange Communities OrganizationProduced by the
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