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  • Monday, June 18, 2012

     

    Summer brings neighborhood movies to Greater Orange

    Summer brings neighborhood movies to Greater Orange

    Summer time is always blockbuster movie time, but it can also be a time to catch up on old favorites or movies you missed by going out for a family night at many of the local venues that offer movie screenings and are much easier on the budget than those ever in creasing costs at a traditional theater.

    The official first day of summer, Thursday June 21st, the Orange Public Library and History Center continues its summer family Film festival with the showing of The Smurfs.The movie will be shown in the air conditioned community room, Sponsored by the Orange Public Library, the viewing is free, with snacks and popcorn available for purchase. Bring your blanket for viewing! The movie will be shown from 2:00 pm- 4:00 pm. The movie is G rated.

    Check out all the events at the Orange Public Library calendar link:
    Library calendar

    The Villa Park Community Service Foundation is presenting the movie Dolphin Tale outside on the Serrano elementary school playground. The playground gates open at 6:30 pm for the free movie activities and snacks. Movie goers are asked to bring flashlights, lawn chairs and/or blankets for viewing of the outside event. The movie is PG rated.

    For more information on the movie CLICK ON:
    VP Celebrations

    Wednesday, June 06, 2012

     

    Moffat and Ortega trade barbs over Readiness Grant

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

    Moffat and Ortega trade barbs over Readiness Grant
    Orange Unified School Trustees Kathy Moffat and John Ortega publicly traded barbs over OUSD’s $600,000 federal Readiness and Emergency Management in Schools Grant during the May 10, 2012 OUSD Board Meeting. That meeting’s Agenda Item 13 A was the first presentation on the grant from the OUSD staff to the trustees after winning the grant over 18 months ago. After the presentation, Moffat detailed the history of the grant and various aspects that raised her concerns. Moffat questioned how the grant process came into being stating that it “mystified” her that OUSD had applied for the grant when the needs the grant addresses were not spelled out in the district’s goals as outlined in OUSD’s Strategic Plan. Moffat stated that no identified Strategic Plan goals were included in the grant application.

    Calling the $600,000 federal grant a “landmark grant” Moffat noted that the OUSD Board was not apprised of the grant application or of the acceptance. Commenting that OUSD Trustee John Ortega was OUSD Board President at the time the grant application was made, she noted that Ortega was at the time involved in school security and this may have been the reason OUSD pursued the grant (Ortega at the time was a Captain with the Montebello Unified School District police). Moffat also raised numerous concerns about the grant including: whether OUSD had applied for the grant for the right reasons; not having the OUSD Board thoroughly involved in the grant process; using staff time to deal with the grant during a time of cutbacks; and why it took so long to get an information presentation about the grant to the OUSD Board.

    While Moffat reviewed the grant’s history, she shed light on a cryptic procedural incident that took place at the April 21, 2011 OUSD Board Meeting. Moffat stated that the reason that the $224,000 contract from the grant money to the Anaheim security firm to Willdan Homeland Security was pulled from consideration by the Board by then OUSD Board President Rick Ledesma from the April 21st, 2011 agenda was because of an alleged conflict-of-interest between the firm and Trustee John Ortega. During that 2011 meeting, the contract item had been pulled without an explanation by Ledesma at the beginning of the meeting. Moffat and OUSD Trustee Diane Singer had tried to publicly get Ledesma to reveal why the $224,000 grant contract item was pulled at the time, citing the conflict-of-interests rumors without naming Ortega in connection with the alleged conflict-of-interest. (For a recap of the April 21st meeting CLICK ON: April 21 ). It was not until Moffat’s revelation at this May 2012 meeting, one year later, that any mention of Ortega in connection to the alleged conflict-of-interest had been raised. In that same April 2011 meeting, Singer tried to have Ortega’s request to receive his stipend paid after missing a meeting voted down by the Board.

    After Moffat aired her concerns at the May meeting, current OUSD Board President Timothy Surridge responded to Moffat’s statements by stating that he was “comfortable” with everything about the grant and “applauded Mr. Ortega” if he had helped OUSD get the grant.

    Ortega responded to Moffat by refuting the “negative” and “demoralizing” talk about the grant. He further accused the motives behind Moffat’s questions as political stating that “we are in a political season”. He then warned Moffat not to “make accusations that are false” about his character and warned her that if she continued to do so he would explore legal options for defamation of character and “character assassination”. Ortega was elected to the OUSD Board in 2001 with Moffat as part of the Citizen’s Board that ousted the incumbents in the Orange Recall. Serving in OUSD Trustee Area 2, Ortega has faced no challengers in his re-elections. Late last year his name was floated as a Republican congressional candidate until his $115,000 employment contract as the Chief of the Mt .San Jacinto Community College police force was not renewed after he was placed on administrative leave. Media sources cited alleged “sexual harassment” allegations against Ortega, however the college would not confirm or deny the reasons for the administrative leave, or the reasons for not renewing Ortega’s contract. Ortega’s current OUSD trustee term expires in November of this year.

    INSIDE the June 7 OUSD Agenda
    Agenda Item 12 C deals with the reorganization of the district’s Special Education Educational Services Division, necessitated by the 2011 California State Budget Act which shifted providing mental health services in California for youth from the county mental health agencies to school districts.

    The reorganization which will result in elimination and reduction of positions for a net savings of $132,000 to OUSD includes making the current OUSD Special Education Administrative Director, Dr. Marcia Schoger the new Executive Director of Special Education with an increase of 9 pay grades (L118 to L127). The reorganization comes on the heels of ongoing OUSD high profile meetings between the teacher’s union, special education teachers, psychologists, speech therapists and the district management over increasing strife in the OUSD Special Education division.

    Agenda 4 C Appointments: new Executive Director, Elementary Education; High School Assistant Principal; four new Elementary School Principals.
    Agenda 9 F Recognition of OUSD’s top graduates from each of OUSD’s comprehensive high schools
    Agenda 12 A El Rancho Charter Renewal
    Agenda 12 B Public Hearing for Estimated Actual All Funds Budget
    Agenda 13 A (page 47) Three qualified developers will present their project proposals for the now surplus Peralta school site.

    INSIDE Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus
    Running total (beginning 8/2008)
    $55,480.00*
    * 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 OUSD Board Meeting Thursday -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON AGENDA

    OUSD Regular Session: 6:00 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/

    Monday, June 04, 2012

     

    METRO Views

    METRO Views

    Mary Galuska for OC Board of Education
    by Kathy Moffat

    I am writing to ask you to please consider voting for Mary Galuska for Orange County School Board, Area 3 in Tuesday's election. I have known Mary for more than 20 years, beginning when we were both PTA presidents at our children's elementary schools.

    Mary is a bright and dedicated leader who knows education, and knows what is important for children and schools. Mary knows that students today need a complete curriculum, including the basics of language arts, reading, social studies, math and science plus the vital components of technology and the arts in order to be prepared to lead our country in the 21st century. Mary is admired by all for the way she carries out her every responsibility with impeccable professionalism. Mary is a passionate supporter of public education, and her children are all graduates of public schools. This is something that her opponent cannot say, as he sent his children to private schools.

    Mary has worked for years to assist parents to become involved in their children's education because she knows that parent involvement is a key to student success. She is a leader who has risen to the top among PTA leaders locally, county-wide, and even state-wide. Mary is an advocate for the arts as a critical part of a child's education, and she was recently appointed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson to a statewide work group to give recommendations for including the arts in every California child's schooling. Mary's strong background in business and finance - including an MBA from Northwestern University - give her unique and valuable perspective on the important fiscal issues dealt with by the Orange County Board of Education. Her education and experience, coupled with her sound judgment and fiscally conservative views, will make Mary an excellent watch dog over taxpayer funds.

    It has never been more important to be a fully-informed voter as you mark your ballot. You can read more about Mary by visiting her web site: www.marygaluska.org If you like what you see, and I think you will, please forward this message to your friends and family in the following Area 3 cities – Anaheim Hills, Brea, Irvine, Lake Forest, North Tustin, Orange, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda.

    In addition, your donation in any amount to Mary’s campaign is critically important. Campaigns are expensive, and your support will help. You can donate online on her web site. Please join me in voting for Mary Galuska for Orange County Board of Education, Area 3!

    Thank you! Kathy Moffat

    Views expressed on METRO Views are not those of the networks, or forwarding email ecasts of the Greater Orange News Service and its associated orgainizations.

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