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  • Tuesday, August 28, 2012

     

    Orange International Street Fair turns 40


    Orange International Street Fair turns 40

    The Orange International Street Fair celebrates its 40th Anniversary this Labor Day Weekend. The theme for this special anniversary is "Home Grown, Internationally Known”. Like the past 40 years, the fun is all about the food, music, more food, drinks…and don’t forget the FOOD…from around the world. Craftsmen will be selling handmade items around the Plaza and present and past Orange Street Fair commemoratives will be on sale to complete your Orange Street Fair collection. As always no pets are allowed at the orange Street Fair and wristbands for public alcohol consumption are required.

    Entertainment all weekend long
    The free entertainment includes bands that will perform thought the four block downtown Old Towne Orange Plaza traffic circle center representing music from around the globe on the numerous stages on the various streets including the famous Main Stage.
    Band Entertainment Schedule CLICK ON:
    FRIDAY

    SATURDAY

    SUNDAY

    Children’s Street
    The Children’s Street family oriented activities will again be offered on North Orange Street just off East Chapman Ave. No alcohol is allowed in the Children’s Street area.

    Parking and Traveling to the Orange Street Fair
    The event draws half a million visitors over its three days. Visitors from out-of- town are encouraged to avoid the parking crunch by taking the Metrolink (at reduced weekend rates-see below) to the historic Orange Santa Fe (Metrolink/Amtrak) Depot conveniently located adjacent to the street fair. OCTA will sell you a $10 weekend Metrolink trains pass that will allow you to ride anywhere in the regional system from 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday midnight. Weekend passes are only sold at the vending machines located at Metrolink stations (no web sales). Those wishing to brave the parking drama may try the Chapman University lots or parking on the surrounding streets. Expect to walk several blocks from where you park just to get to the Traffic Circle area where the Street Fair takes place.


    LINK to Metrolink Pass story: $10 Metrolink Pass

    LINK to Orange Old Town Metrolink Station Information; ORANGE STATION
    Orange Street Fair Schedule
    The Orange Street Fair is in Orange Old Towne at the Orange Plaza the Traffic Circle intersection of Chapman and Glassell Streets in Orange. The fair runs Friday- Sunday (yes Sunday is the last day…Monday Labor Day is clean-up). Entering the street fair as always is free. Alcohol Sales on the street are over at 9:00 p.m. and a wrist band to purchase and drink at the fair must be purchased each day

    Dates and hours of the 2012 Orange International Street Fair are:
    Children’s Street hours are:
    Friday Aug 31st: 5 pm – 8:30 pm
    Saturday September 1st: 10 am – 8:30 pm
    Sunday September 2nd: 10 am – 8:30 pm
    CLOSED MONDAY

    Link To Orange Street Fair website: Orange International Street Fair

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

     

    AP: Feds may investigate Canyon H.S. incident



    Feds take a look as Canyon HS story goes international

    Less than 24 hours after the story of the Canyon H.S. controversy over a three year event called 'Seniores' and 'Señoritas' where students wore costumes demeaning to Latinos broke, the Associated Press wireservice picked up the Canyon H.S. story and reports that "federal authorities are considering whether a civil rights probe is warrented".

    The AP story will be published in papers nation-wide starting Friday August 24, 2012, one day after the L.A. Times broke the story. Meanwhile, the L.A.Times will be publishing a second story on Friday August 24th which reports that Canyon High student Jared Garcia-Kessler was intially told by a school administrator when he first complained to “get a sense of humor". The story does not identify the administrator.

    The Canyon H.S. administration led by Principal Dr. Greg Bowden also had a controversy over student bullying in 2008 (see links below).

    The AP story is being run in papers, on internet news sites and on television stations nation-wide as OUSD again finds itself in the center of a national controversy, this time during a election year with both national and local implications. On Friday August 14th the stroy began going international (see link below)

    As the controversy grew, OUSD Superintedent Michael Christensen tried to shift the focus off the school administrators and onto the school's students despite a report from his own administration that focused on the school administrators. Among the corrective steps the report calls for include: diversity and sensitivity training for the school's administrators; a letter of apology from Principal Greg Bowden to the school staff and community; and a system in place to review all planned student activites.

    TIMES STORY #1

    TIMES STORY #2

    STUDENT CALLED FAGGOT LEAVES CANYON HS

    AP-Possible Feds investigation

    London Daily Mail

    Labels: ,


     

    OUSD Superintendent shifts blame to Canyon H.S. students as controversy grows

    SPECIAL REPORT
    Complaining student told “get a sense of humor"...

    Canyon H.S. controversy grows as OUSD Superintendent shifts blame to students and story goes national

    The Los Angeles Times is following up its coverage of the Canyon H.S. controversy over a three year event called 'Seniores' and 'Señoritas' where students wore costumes demeaning to Latinos. The latest L.A. Times story reports (see LINK below) that when Canyon High School student Jared Garcia-Kessler initially complained about the event as a Senior, he was told by a campus administrator to “get a sense of humor.”

    OUSD had ordered Canyon High School Principal Dr. Greg Bowden and other administrators to under go “diversity and sensitivity” training. In a report on her investigation, Executive Director of Secondary Education Aileen Sterling squarely placed the blame on Canyon High School’s administration. While the report states that the school’s administration “reacted immediately” to confiscate gang affiliated attire, the report concluded that the administration should not have allowed the event at all. Pictures of the event also ended up in the school’s yearbook. The report states:

    "Even if strict guidelines were provided the result would still lead to hurtful and demeaning messages about the Mexican culture and to the students of the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino descent."

    The latest L.A. Times reports further squarely places the blame on the administration with the unidentified administrator not taking the student’s complaint seriously with the comment on getting “a sense of humor”.

    As the controversy grew over the last 24 hours after the story broke, it started to appear on Latino news outlets and started to spread nation-wide. The L.A. Times reported that on August 23, 2012, (the first day of the new school year) OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen issued a written statement. The statement did not appear on the district’s website. According to the L.A. Times Christensen’s statement said that OUSD:

    "does not endorse or condone the behavior of students who acted inappropriately." He reiterated the investigation's findings that the students' dress was "not appropriate and that the actions of these students was demeaning and offensive."

    The statement appears to be a shift away from the report which places the blame squarely on the school’s Bowden Administration to the “behavior of the students who acted inappropriately” which is in a direct conflict with the Sterling Report. That report chastised the Bowden Administration for allowing the event under any circumstances because regardless of the guidelines the report states:

    “the result would still lead to hurtful and demeaning messages about the Mexican culture and to the students of the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino descent."

    Follow-up L.A. Times Story CLICK ON : SENSE of HUMOR

    Labels: , ,


     

    Canyon H.S. Principal Dr. Bowden ordered to diversity training by OUSD

    Canyon HS Principal Dr. Bowden ordered to undergo “diversity and sensitivity training”


    Four year’s ago Dr. Greg Bowden’s Canyon High School Administration was embroiled in a controversy over a student bullying. This month the Orange Unified School District Administration has ordered Bowden and other school administrators to undergo “diversity and sensitivity training” after OUSD found that the administration should not have allowed a yearly event the past three school years that was led to “hurtful and demeaning messages” about Latino students and culture.



    The Canyon High School administrators were ordered to undergo “diversity and sensitivity training” after former student Jared Garcia-Kessler filed a formal complaint about the Canyon High School event titled “Seniores" and "Señoritas". As a senior, Kessler had voiced a complaint against the event to a Canyon H.S. teacher, but the event was again held durning June of the 2011-2012 school year. When the event again took place Kessler filed a formal complaint with the district(his complaint to the teacher apparently was not acted on).

    Evidence in the complaint included pictures from the event of students dressed in stereotypes that the district administration concluded were demeaning toward Latino’s and their culture appeared in the Canyon High School yearbook and were posted on Facebook accounts (See LINKS below).


    An August 10, 2011 letter summarizing the district’s findings by OUSD Executive Director of Secondary Education Aileen Sterling was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article (see link below) about the incident as:

    “I conclude there was a lack of oversight/supervision and that the school administration should not have allowed this activity…Even if strict guidelines were provided the result would still lead to hurtful and demeaning messages about the Mexican culture and to the students of the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino descent."

    Canyon High School Principal Dr Greg Bowden was also the school's principal four years ago when an egregious episode of bullying came to light. In December of 2008, parents of a Canyon High School student who was being bullied appeared before the Orange Unified School Board. The parents told the OUSD Trustees that after physical and verbal bullying of their son at Canyon High School, and receiving no support from the Canyon High School administrators, they were forced at great financial cost to remove their son for his own safety and emotional well being from Canyon High School to a private school. The parents detailed the abuse (see LINK below)for the OUSD Board and stated that when they became involved they contacted then Canyon High School Vice-Principal Frank Huerta. The parents alleged that when they reported that their son was being called a “faggot” Huerta told them “Being called fagot or gay is an acceptable salutation of teenagers at Canyon High School”.

    The parents also stated they then contacted Canyon High School Principal Dr. Bowden. He allegedly told the parents that the only option he saw was to transfer their son to another school. The parents stated that Bowden promised to look into the situation and call them back. Eight days of continued abuse later and with no further contact from Canyon High School Administrators, the family stated they pulled their son out of Canyon High School and placed him in a private school.

    For The LA Times story with descriptions of the demeaning costumes and KTLA TV video of incident including the Yearbook photos CLICK ON:
    DEMEANING

    FOX News Latino

    For more information on the 2008 Canyon Hills bullying episode CLICK ON
    (and scroll half way down ):

    Being called faggot or gay is an acceptable salutation of teenagers at Canyon High School


    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

     

    OUSD students surpass state in exit exam

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


    Orange Unified students surpass state percentages in high school exit exam

    The California Department of Education released this year’s results for the California High School Exit Exam today (CAHSEE). Orange Unified 10th grade students beat the statewide passing percentages in Math and English Language Arts.

    In Orange Unified, 87% of this year’s 10th grade students passed the math portion (last year=84%) and 89% passed the English Language Arts portion (last year=87%). The state passing rate totals were: Math 84% (last year=83%) - English Language Arts -83% (last year=82%). The Orange County passing rate totals were: Math 89% (last year 88%) and English Language Arts 88% (last year 88%).

    The brightest spot in the good exit exam news for the OUSD results were the 99% of the district’s 10th grade English Learners that the district had “reclassified” as English proficient passing the CAHSEE (last year = 97%). English learner students status is "reclassified” after being tested and deemed now proficient in English.

    CAHSEE is administered each year to ensure that students who graduate from public high schools demonstrate competency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Students who do not pass the CAHSEE in grade ten have two opportunities in grade eleven and up to five opportunities in grade twelve to pass the exam.

    In a press release, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Superintendent Torlakson stated:

    “While I'm happy about the progress made by the Class of 2012, I still have concerns for the Class of 2013, the Class of 2014, and all the classes that will follow. We have made solid improvement, but schools and districts are facing some unprecedented challenges right now. Overcrowded classrooms, shorter school years, and fewer teachers are in store for us unless we stop the cuts to education funding and begin restoring some of what has been cut in recent years."

    CLICK ON: OUSD 2012 CAHSEE


     

    Orange Candidates' Forum on Thursday

    Orange Chamber will host City Council and
    Mayoral Candidates' Forum


    The Orange Chamber of Commerce is hosting a public candidates' forum for the candidates running for the two open City of Orange City Council seats and the for Orange City Mayor. Candidates will be questioned on issues pertaining to city government and economic development. Candidates will also have the opportunity to “vote” on issues presented to them.

    The Canidates Forum will take place Thursday August 23, 2012 from 5:30- 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers at the Orange City Hall, 300 E. Chapman Ave.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

     

    Peralta neighbors up in arms at July 26 OUSD Board Meeting

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


    At the July 26, 2012 Orange Unified School Board Meeting, neighborhood opponents to any high occupancy development on the former 19 acre Peralta school site (long being used mainly as the private recreation Super Sports center) showed up to the meeting to protest the three proposed developments that could potentially add over 400 apartments to the neighborhood. In Agenda Item 13 E, the Trustees were to select from three developers to develop the site with a 99 year lease: City Ventures; Fairfield Residential; and Peralta Apartment Partners. While the process to deal with Peralta as surplus had been going on since 2008, the neighbors at the July 26th meeting claimed to be broadsided by the scope of the plans for the site while they accused the district of not reaching out to the neighborhood.

    During the Public Comments section five neighbors representing the neighborhood addressed the OUSD Trustees. Their long list of development concerns included: the loss of recreational and open space; parking and traffic problems associated with potentially hundreds apartments; the diverse affect on property values; and school overcrowding in neighborhood schools. Representatives of two of the three developers also spoke, including Kent Hawkins the current lease holder of the Super Sports site. Despite support to keep the Super Sports, Hawkins told the neighbors that change was coming. Hawkins is part of one of potential development groups called Peralta Apartment Partners. That group includes familiar Greater Orange businessmen Bill Carthcart, Pat Fisy, David Luzzariga, Greg Mc Cafferty, Bob Olson, Steve Sheldon, and Jack Selmar.

    Immediately after hearing all the public comments, the discussion on the choice of developers turned to the OUSD Trustees. Almost immediately Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni (who faces two opponents in the November election) asked to be recognized and in an unprecedented move read from a prepared text citing reasons for selecting the gated 400 plus apartment proposal of the Peralta Apartments Partners as the developer. Deligianni then made a motion to select Peralta Apartment Partners as the developer. Board President Tim Surridge asked for a second to Deligianni’s motion and in an agonizing moment of looking around, Deligianni saw her first and only substantial motion in four years as a trustee die for lack of a second from anyone on the Board including her political allies.

    After the Deligianni was left hanging, OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat gave an impassioned speech on keeping the land open for future needs of OUSD calling it “irresponsible” to lease the land in what could result in permanently loosing the site. Her comments received thunderous applause from the audience. Moffat then moved to reject all three developers. Her motion was seconded by her ally Trustee Diana Singer who spoke about her concerns on the process to select a developer which she characterized as “flawed”. Her long list of concerns about the process included the fact that the trustees were not allowed to take the bid proposals home to review. Urging more deliberation and engagement of the stakeholders, Singer characterized the rush to vote for a developer as a “ramrod decision”.

    In further discussion on Moffat’s motion, both OUSD Trustee Board President Tim Surridge and Rick Ledesma spoke to defend the process. Ledesma (who was the instrumental force in getting to this point in the decision about Peralta) countered that the process was “not flawed” and recounted the legal steps that brought the Board to this point stating; “Since 2010 everyone on this Board knew the road we were headed down regarding this property”. Ledesma also explained that the rational for moving forward was to create a greater income stream for OUSD from the property. Surridge and Wayland echoed the points that Ledesma made. Then, in another surreal Deligianni moment, the trustee that was first to move to select a developer, now announced that she would be supporting Moffat’s motion against all developers because “the neighbors” were against the development. In the end, Moffat’s motion to reject all the developers was voted down 4-3 with Moffat, Singer and Deligianni voting to support the motion and Surridge, Ledesma, Wayland and Trustee John Ortega voting against the motion.

    After the defeat of the Moffat motion, Surridge then made a motion to select Fairfield Residential as the developer citing their experience in overseeing all facets of the project. Ledesma seconded the motion. As the trustees discussed this motion, the neighbors in the audience began to get loud and shout questions at the board, as others in the audience asked to have the opportunity to speak. Surridge went out of his way to be understanding with the angry audience as it grew more unruly. At several points, Surridge almost lost control of the meeting. While he threatened to recess the meeting (which other Board presidents have often done), Surridge never quite was pushed to that point as he continued to try and calm the crowd. In speaking against the choice of Fairfield, Singer tied the firm to the Ridgeline developers. In the end, the motion to approve Fairfield as the developers to work with the city in getting the zoning changed passed 4-3 with Moffat, Singer and Deligianni voting against the motion and Surridge, Ledesma, Wayland and Trustee John Ortega voting for the motion.

    Having organized by passing out fliers to the neighborhood to get people to the OUSD Board Meeting, since the meeting the Peralta opponents quickly organized a website and multiple neighborhood meetings. They have Orange Councilman Denis Bilodeau concerned about the density and have OUSD Trustee Candidate Bob Ausmus running against Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni joining them in opposing the change in zoning. The group has plans to attend the next OUSD Board Meeting on Thursday August 20, 2012.

    Two out of Three OUSD Trustees up for re-election face opponents
    Pulling papers and filing on the last day for the November election for the trustee seat in Trustee Area 3 to face Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni was medical billing specialist Michele Gabbard. She joined Robert “Bob” Ausmus who filed early to challenge Deligianni. Also pulling and filing on the last day for OUSD Trustee Area 6 represented by Trustee Mark Wayland was OUSD Autism Specialist Tracey L Columbo Curtis. Trustee John Ortega, also up for re-election in November will again not face an opponent.

    INSIDE the OUSD August 23, 2012 Agenda

    Michelle Moore’s fairy-tale continues as CAPO principal holds OUSD job spot
    Just when you thought OUSD’s fairy-tale queen of rigor was gone…the fairytale continues-kind of like a nightmare. Moore publicly became the OUSD cheerleader in print for the failed OUSD Focus on Results multi-million dollar boondoggle as she attributed her fairy-tale school scores in the OUSD School News Roll Call to the edu-speak associated with the program. Then her preacher husband also publicly used OUSD’s School News Roll Call paper to write a public faun over his wife as a “successful author” (CLICK ON: MOORE ROLL CALL ). Finally, Moore was dubed the OUSD Queen of Rigor because her public reports at OUSD Board Meetings on the Strategic Plan were full of more "Once upon a time..." consultant double-talk edu-speak.

    Yes, OUSD Inside did reported last month that former OUSD Panorama Principal Michelle Moore took another job as Principal in education-war-torn Capistrano Unified. However, Moore’s fairy-tale OUSD story has not ended. Page 96 of the OUSD August 23rd Consent Agenda shows that Capistrano Principal Michelle Moore, after quitting OUSD-has asked for the OUSD Board to approve her “voluntarily requested” to be changed from an OUSD principal to an OUSD teacher beginning on 8/22/12 to the end of the school year. But wait there is ALWAYS more on Moore than meets the eyes (or ears). You see on the same page, eight lines below, Moore (who was hired in Capistrano Unified in June and her replacement hired in OUSD in July) is also asking the OUSD Board for an unpaid Leave of absence for 1 year from OUSD AS A TEACHER beginning on 8/22/12 to the end of the school year. Perhaps hedging her bets???

    Well OUSD Inside certainly would welcome Moore back with open arms in a CLASSROOM at a school on the OTHER SIDE of the 55 Divide to let her use her fairy-tale once-upon-a-time consultant-speak at one of OUSD’s many program improvement schools. But like many fairy-tales…the truth is not all that simple. You see when OUSD grants a “leave” to a “teacher”- then one of OUSD’s huge backlog of temporary teachers-who stay here in OUSD to work-(and are basically fired at the end of every school year) can not get a permanent position because positions held by “on-leave” teachers must be saved. So the fairy-tale continues as Capistrano U.S.D. Principal Michelle Moore pretends to be a teacher in OUSD, keeping a real teacher in OUSD from achieving a permanent position-while she decides whether to keep her four figure job in Capistrano. Playing with the career and financial peace of mind of at least one dedicated OUSD employee by holding a job for someone with a job...with the OUSD Administration playing along...is making this fairytale come true!

    Maybe OUSD was impressed by the self-promotion of Moore. Moore's newest resume booster in Capistrano (See link below) is being a member of the bureaucratic consultant boosting tax-payer-money-burning Orange County Department of Education Common Core Steering Committee (see LINK below). According to the OCDE website, the “committee” has not met since its kick-off in May of 2011, and the work they have produced is to put the California Parent Guide to Common Core Standards on the OCDE website. Plus, who did this committee turn to for its May 2011 kick-off- none other than the “Once upon a time…” expensive speak-for-hire controversial consultant-gone-wild, the King of Rigor himself...Dr Willard Daggett!
    (CLICK ON: DAGGETT CONTROVERSY).

    So who is helping the Moore Fairytale dream come true in OUSD? Kathy Ward of school board’s past? No. The return of the infamous retired Dr. Godley? No. It is OUSD Superintendent of Human Resources Ed Kissee. It is Kissee's name that appears on the Board Agenda in both places.
    Where is Andrew Jackson or Dr. Dreier when you need them?

    This is yet another example of what the public sees and has issues with in the debates over public school employees benifits. Is this anyway to lead up to a rumoured 2014 OUSD High School Bond attempt? So here again, the choice is forward away from an expensive Consultant Culture or backward as the economy improves-Back to the failures of the OUSD Councultant Culture past?

    When it comes to leadership, fairness, and public perception, the OUSD School Board needs to ask itself…WWDDDWhat would Dr. Dreier do?
    More on MOORE CLICK ON: MORE on MOORE

    MOORE gets job in Capistrano


    $13,500 Drug Dog program to be renewed
    When the OUSD Board originally approved the Action Item 12 A in September 2010 for drug dogs at the OUSD High Schools, this wasn’t what the understanding of the reporting of on going “evaluations” would be as the Agenda item states:

    “Staff continues to review and monitor suspension data to evaluate program effectiveness”


    Action Item 12 A in September 2010 authorized $13,500 for a contract with Interquest Detection Canines to provide drug sniffing dogs for OUSD’s 4 high schools, Richland Continuation School and the OUSD Community Day School. While all the Trustees who spoke to the item were supportive, only Trustee Kathy Moffat asked questions about the proposal. Moffat was also concerned that the use of the dogs would possibly send the wrong message to students like OUSD thought all students were suspect just because they were high school students. In addition, Moffat sought assurances from staff that the district would continue to collect and analyze data to monitor if the use of sniffer dogs does deter the number of drug and alcohol incidents at the district’s schools. The staff told the Board that statistics on the dog’s effectiveness would be reported to the OUSD Board. To date, that report has not been presented and the program is being renewed for another year.

    ALSO on the AGENDA:


    Closed Session Agenda 4C – With the widely popular assignment of Rebecca Martinez as El Modena’s new principal (No! not a Roman Caesar!!), her former position as the school’s Vice Principal will be filled and announced.

    Action Items 12 A-C (Agenda pages 2-82) Second reading of Board Policy revisions on policies for Human Resources, Educational Services and the Board of Education.

    INSIDE Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus
    Running total (beginning 8/2008)
    $57,900.00*

    * 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 August 23, 2012 -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: AUG Agenda

    CLOSED 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
    Is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    "Independent Local Insight”

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

     

    Orange Chamber hosts OUSD candidate's forum on August 16th

    Orange Chamber's Business Issues Vetted at OUSD Candidate Forum

    The Orange Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidates forum for candidates running for the seats on the Orange Unified School District Board of Trustees. The forum will be on Thursday, August 16, 2012 in the Council Chambers of the Orange City Hall, (located at 300 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA) begining at 5:30 p.m.

    There is no charge and the public is invited to attend the forum to learn more about the OUSD candidates. The moderator for the forum will be Trevor O’Neil, Chair of the Orange Chamber of Commerce Legislative Action committee, Chamber Board member and a business owner in Orange. The candidates for the OUSD Board of Trustees will be answering questions and "voting" on issues.

    The format will include an opportunity for introductions from the candidates and address issues concerning the school district, plus general questions on issues important to the business community.

    All the candidates who are running for the OUSD Trustee seats have been invited to attend. The forum will be televised live then rebroadcasted on cable. The Orange Chamber of Commerce political action committee, COPAC, is sponsoring the taping of the event.

    The questions have been developed from the Legislative Action Committee of the Orange Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the forum, candidates have been invited to be interviewed for possible endorsement by the chamber’s political action committee – COPAC.

    For more information, please contact Heidi Larkin-Reed at 714/538-3581.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

     

    Ridgeline and Peralta developments become political hot potatoes

    Ridgeline and Peralta developments become political hot potatoes

    With less than 3 months until the election, a coalition of concerned citizens in Orange are coalescing and organizing around two politically explosive development issues in the City of Orange that could impact the November elections. The Ridgeline development in the Orange Park Acres neighborhood could play a major role in the election of two city council members and a new mayor, while on the other side of town the Orange Unified School District former Peralta School site (closed in 1985) next to the Village at Orange center at Meats and Canal streets, could play a role in the election of two OUSD trustees and change the balance of power on the split school board.

    Ridgeline site opponents organize
    After neighborhood opponents to the 53 acre Ridgeline development lost zone changing votes at the Orange City Planning Commission, then at a May Orange City Council meeting, and the then the final vote at the June 14th Orange City Council meeting (which included a controversial “revision” clause that would allow the arena land to revert back to the developer), a group called Orange Citizens for Parks and Recreation began collecting signatures and filed a court case based on a 1972 Orange Park Acres low density amendment added to the Orange Park Acres Specific Plan. After lossing the initial case, the group appealed.

    The two mayoral candidates, Jon Dumitru and Tita Smith, where on opposing sides of the 4-1 vote to approve the zoning changes needed for the development. Dumitru voted to approve the zone chane plan while Smith was the lone vote against it. Orange Park Association President Tom Davidson vowed to fight the council vote with a referendum. Ridgeline opponents wanted the developer to keep the once recreational center for the community as open space, or at the very least they wanted the developer to deed the city 7.6 acres of land, without restrictions, that includes the long time community horse arena. In the end however, on Tuesday July 12, opponents turned in over 12,000 petition signatures (well above the 7,100 needed). After the signature verification, the Orange City Council will have to rescind its approval, or schedule a referendum election. Either way, the June 14th City Council votes of Smith and Dumitru are bound to play a role in the November election. Smith was the lone vote against the development, while Dumitru joined the majority in approving the development.

    For more information CLICK ON: Orange Needs Parks

    Peralta site opponents organize
    At the July 26, 2012 Orange Unified School Board Meeting, neighborhood opponents to large scale development on the former Peralta school site long being used mainly as the private recreation Super Sports center showed up at a meeting. At the meeting the OUSD Trustee where to select from three developers for the site: City Ventures; Fairfield Residential; and Peralta Apartment Partners. While the process to deal with Peralta as surplus had been going on since 2008, the neighbors at the July 26th meeting claimed to be broadsided by the scope of the plans for the site.

    At that meeting before the agenda item to select the developer, five neighbors representing the neighborhood spoke before the OUSD Trustees during public comments. Their long list of concerns included: the loss of open space; parking and traffic problems associated with hundreds of proposed apartments; property values; and school overcrowding. Representatives of two of the three developers also spoke, including Kent Hawkins the current lease holder of the Super Sports site’ Hawkins who told the neighbors that change was coming. Hawkins investment group called Peralta Apartment Partners includes familiar Greater Orange businessmen Bill Carthcart, Pat Fisy, David Luzzariga, Greg Mc Cafferty, Bob Olson, Steve Sheldon, and Jack Selmar.

    Immediately after all the public comments, the discussion turned to the Trustees. Orange Unified Trustee Dr. Deligianni in an unprecedented move, asked to be recognized and read from a prepared text citing reasons for selecting the gated 400 plus apartment proposal of the Peralta Apartments Partners as the developer. Deligianni then made a motion to select Peralta Apartment Partners as the developer. Board President Tim Surridge asked for a second to the motion and in an agonizing moment of looking around, Deligianni, who lives in the neighborhood, saw her first and only substantial motion in four years on the board die for lack of a second from any of her board allies.

    After the Deligianni debacle, OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat gave an impassioned speech on keeping the land open for future needs of OUSD which received thunderous applause from the audience. Moffat then moved to reject all three developers. Her motion was seconded by her ally Trustee Diana Singer who spoke about her concerns on the process to select a developer which she characterized as “flawed”. Her long list of concerns included that fact that the trustees were not allowed to take the bid proposals home to study.

    In discussion on Moffat’s motion, both OUSD Trustee Board President Tim Surridge and Rick Ledesma spoke to defend the process. Ledesma (who was the instrumental force in getting to this point in the decision about Peralta) countered that the process was not flawed and recounted the legal steps that brought the Board to this point. Ledesma also explained that the rational for moving forward was to create a greater income stream for OUSD from the property. Surridge and Wayland echoed the points that Ledesma made. In another surreal Deligianni moment, the trustee that was first to move to select a developer, now announced that she would be supporting Moffat’s motion because “all the neighbors” were against the development. In the end, Moffat’s motion to reject all the developers was voted down 4-3 with Moffat, Singer and Deligianni voting to support the motion and Surridge, Ledesma, Wayland and Trustee John Ortega voting against the motion.

    After the defeat of the motion, Surridge then made a motion to select Fairfield Residential as the developer citing their experience. Ledesma seconded the motion. As the trustees discussed the motion, the neighbors in the audience began to get loud and shout questions at the board, as others in the audience asked to have the opportunity to speak. Surridge went out of his way to be understanding with the angry audience as it grew more unruly as he almost lost control at several points. While he threatened to adjourn (which other presidents have often used), Surridge never quite was pushed to that point. In speaking against the choice of Fairfield, Singer tied the firm to the Ridgeline developers. In the end, the motion to approve the Fairfield as the developers to work with the city in getting the zoning changed passed 4-3 with Moffat, Singer and Deligianni voting to against the motion and Surridge, Ledesma, Wayland and Trustee John Ortega voting for the motion.

    In an interesting side fact, Orange Mayorial candidate Jon Dumitru was waiting outside the Orange Unified Board Meeting after the July 26th meeting to talk to Trustee Deligianni. (Editor's note: An /O/N/N/ member at the meeting saw Councilman Dumitru waiting outside the Board Room and call to Dr. Deligianni as she exited and engaged her in conversation. Please see the Councilman's explanation on his waiting outside the Board Room that night in the COMMENT. section)

    Having organized by passing out fliers to the neighborhood, the Peralta opponents quickly organized a website and meetings. They have Orange Councilman Denis Bilodeau concerned about the density and have OUSD Trustee Candidate Bob Ausmus running against Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni joining them in opposing the change in zoning. The group’s next meeting is Wednesday August 15.

    For more information CLICK ON: PERALTA BLOG

    Monday, August 13, 2012

     

    Fauteux vacancy causes filing confusion

    eLECTION Watch 2012

    Villa Park election filing closed amid confusion over Fauteux seat

    According to a spokesman at Villa Park City Hall, the filing for city council is closed amid confusion over the short vs. long term seats in this year’s election.

    After the death of sitting Councilman Robert Fauteux, Rick Barnett was appointed to the Villa Park City Council. However, according to city hall, he was just appointed to fill the “gap” between Fauteux's death and the election-not to the particular seat. With two years remaining on Fauteux’s term, this is an important point. However, the Orange County Register of Voters has Barnett listed as the “appointed incumbent" on the two year (“short”) term seat. This is significant, because if an eligible incumbent does not file for their seat election law extends the filing deadline. The new deadline would be Wednesday August 15, 2012 at 6 pm.

    Barnett has filed for one of the regular 4 year term’s being vacated by the termed out incumbents. Only one candidate, Diana Fascenelli has filed for the short term that the Orange County Registrar has Barnett listed as the incumbent. That means without an opponent, Fascenelli will automatically be on the city council because according to the Villa Park City Hall, filing is closed. So while according to the Orange County of Registrar Barnett has filed for a different seat, according to Villa Park, he has not, therefore the filing deadline is closed.

    Friday, August 10, 2012

     

    Last minute candidates enter local races

    GREATER ORANGE ELECTION UPDATES
    Last minute candidates enter races as John Ortega again has no opponent

    Two political unknowns joined the Orange Unified races while OUSD Area 2 Trustee John Ortega again faces no opponents.

    Pulling papers and filing on the last day for Trustee Area 3 was medical billing specialist Michele Gabbard. She joins Robert “Bob” Ausmus to challenge OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni. Also pulling and filing on the last day for OUSD Trustee Area 6 was OUSD Autism Specialist Tracey L Columbo Curtis, Curtis will challenge Trustee Mark Wayland. (for more information CLICK ON CURTIS).

    Orange Mayor
    John Dumitru- pulled papers and filed
    Teresa Smith- pulled papers and filed

    Orange City Council (2 full terms open)
    Mike Alvarez -pulled papers and filed
    Richard Callahan-pulled papers and filed
    Brian Del Vecchio-pulled papers and filed
    Robert Douglas-pulled papers and filed
    Ray Grangoff-pulled papers and filed
    Larry Labrado Sr. -pulled papers and filed
    Mark Murphy-pulled papers and filed
    Joshua Nothom-pulled papers and filed

    Orange City Clerk
    Mary Murphy-pulled papers and filed

    Orange City Treasurer
    Helen Walker-pulled papers and filed
    George Small-pulled papers and filed

    Villa Park City Council (full term)
    Rick Barnett -pulled papers and filed
    Greg Mills-pulled papers and filed

    Villa Park City Council (short term)
    Diana Fascenelli -pulled papers and filed

    Orange Unified Trustees
    Trustee Area 2
    John Ortega-pulled papers

    Trustee Area 3
    Alexia Deligianni-pulled papers and filed
    Robert Ausmus-pulled papers and filed
    Michele Gabbard-pulled papers and filed


    Trustee Area 6
    Mark Wayland--pulled papers and filed
    Tracey L Columbo Curtis pulled papers and filed



    Rancho Santiago Community College District
    Trustee Area 7
    Arianna Barrios-pulled papers and filed
    Greta Rice--pulled papers and filed

    Tuesday, August 07, 2012

     

    Two more candidates file for Orange council race

    GREATER ORANGE ELECTION UPDATES
    Two more candidates have filed papers to run for two open council seats on the Orange City Council. Ray Grangoff and Josh Nothom filed today, joining Mike Alvarez and Richard Callahan in the race that has a potential of 9 candidates so far. Friday August 10th is the filing deadline.

    UPDATE on LOCAL RACES:
    Orange Mayor
    Jon Dumitru- pulled papers and filed
    Teresa Smith- pulled papers

    Orange City Council ( 2 full terms open)
    Mike Alvarez -pulled papers and filed
    Richard Callahan-pulled papers and filed
    Brian Del Vecchio-pulled papers
    Robert Douglas-pulled papers
    Ray Grangoff-pulled papers and filed
    Larry Labrado Sr. -pulled papers
    Mark Murphy-pulled papers
    Joshua Nothom-pulled papers and filed
    Mike Walker-pulled papers


    Orange City Clerk
    Mary Murphy-pulled papers and filed

    Orange City Treasurer
    Helen Walker-pulled papers and filed

    Villa Park City Council (1 full term and 1 part term)
    Rick Barnett -pulled papers
    Jim Brown-pulled papers-decided not to run at this time
    Diana Fascenelli -pulled papers
    Greg Mills-pulled papers
    Donna Porter-pulled papers-decided not to run at this time


    Orange Unified Trustees
    Trustee Area 2
    John Ortega-pulled papers

    Trustee Area 3
    Alexia Deligianni-pulled papers and filed
    Robert Ausmus-pulled papers and filed


    Trustee Area 6
    Mark Wayland--pulled papers and filed

    Rancho Santiago Community College District
    Trustee Area 7
    Arianna Barrios-pulled papers and filed
    Greta Rice--pulled papers

    Monday, August 06, 2012

     

    Nine possible Orange city council candidates as deadline approaches

    GREATER ORANGE ELECTION UPDATES
    Nine people have pulled papers for a possible run for two open council seats on the Orange City Council. Meanwhile, the two termed out council members, Councilman Jon Dumitru and Councilwomen Teresa Smilth, have set their sites on the Orange Mayor's office. With the Friday August 10th filing deadline, candidates are now staring to file their paperwork to make theri candidacy official.

    UPDATE on LOCAL RACES:
    Orange Mayor
    Jon Dumitru- pulled papers and filed
    Teresa Smith- pulled papers

    Orange City Council ( 2 full terms open)
    Mike Alvarez -pulled papers and filed
    Richard Callahan-pulled papers and filed
    Brian Del Vecchio-pulled papers
    Robert Douglas-pulled papers
    Ray Grangoff-pulled papers
    Larry Labrado Sr. -pulled papers
    Mark Murphy-pulled papers
    Joshua Nothom-pulled papers
    Mike Walker-pulled papers


    Orange City Clerk
    Mary Murphy-pulled papers and filed

    Orange City Treasurer
    Helen Walker-pulled papers and filed

    Villa Park City Council (1 full term and 1 part term)
    Rick Barnett -pulled papers
    Jim Brown-pulled papers-decided not to run at this time
    Diana Fascenelli -pulled papers
    Greg Mills-pulled papers
    Donna Porter-pulled papers-decided not to run at this time


    Orange Unified Trustees
    Trustee Area 2
    John Ortega-pulled papers

    Trustee Area 3
    Alexia Deligianni-pulled papers and filed
    Robert Ausmus-pulled papers and filed


    Trustee Area 6
    Mark Wayland--pulled papers and filed

    Rancho Santiago Community College District
    Trustee Area 7
    Arianna Barrios-pulled papers and filed
    Greta Rice--pulled papers

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