Coastsider endorses Pam Fisher for CUSD board

Editorial

Posted by on Thu, October 26, 2006

Pam Fisher is the best-qualified candidate for the board. She’s a former six-year school board member from another district who can bring a fresh perspective to our community.  She advocates more responsiveness in and community involvement from the district. She wants more oversight of the district by the board, including doubling the frequency of board meetings. The board currently meets less than once a month.

We’re lucky to have Pam Fisher as a candidate. The current school board is the hand-picked successor of the boards that have failed to deliver a new middle school or a parcel tax in ten years of trying. Qualified candidates have refused to run for the CUSD because of the vicious personal attacks against challengers by school board members and their supporters. It would be refreshing to have at least one person on the board who is genuinely independent.

I’m not particularly supportive of Fisher’s neighborhood campaign over the modifications of the high school athletic fields. But the district’s neighbors and parents deserved better treatment than they got from the district. If the district had been more responsive in this case, a mutually-destructive lawsuit could almost certainly have been avoided.

What about my other two votes?

Voters have three votes for three open seats in this election. In my opinion, your best course of action would be to vote for Pam Fisher only.  If you feel the need to vote for more candidates, I recommend you vote for Ken Johnson and Dwight Wilson.

Ken Johnson is a gadfly who has been after the district for years over their test scores. I like Ken and know he’s sincere, but he’s probably better as an outside critic than he would be as a board member. His principal qualifications are that he cares about quality education and he’s an outsider. You could do worse.

Dwight Wilson is part of the machine that has consistently failed to deliver the goods. However, among that group he took the lead in solving the middle school location problem, and is willing to listen to other voices.

There are also two candidates who do not deserve your support.

Jolanda Schreurs has been a leading member of the faction that has created an atmosphere of hostility and negativity around the district and its board.  I believe she cares about our kids’ education, but she has actively contributed to the ugliness that has surrounded the board and its elections. She played a big part in a last-minute anonymous attack ad in the last school board election. She was the last member of the board to accept a solution to the middle school problem and did so in a way that stoked the flames of bitterness.

Kirk Riemer looks like the hand-picked successor of the misguided cabal that has controlled the board for too long. He is endorsed by past and present board members Jolanda Schreurs, Dwight Wilson, Charles Gardner, John Moseley, Marina Stariha, Ruth Palmer, and Ken Jones.  Furthermore, he helped create the attack ad that anonymously smeared Jonathan Lundell two years ago. Even if, as the Review believes, he only reviewed the ad before it was printed, that’s pretty damning.


“It would be refreshing to have at least one person on the board who is genuinely independent.”

Is that truly true?

Is she getting any support from LCP?

Comment 2
Fri, October 27, 2006 12:47am
Barry Parr
All my comments

What kind of support do you think she’s getting from the LCP? I haven’t heard anything about her from them.

Heck, I’d never even heard of Pam until she put her hat in the ring.

Comment 3
Fri, October 27, 2006 7:44am
Bev France
All my comments

Shame, shame, shame on you Barry for mimicking the Review in your endorsement of Pam Fisher for School Board.  Just because someone is a “fresh face” to local politics does not mean she will be a good school board member.  Even you say you have never heard of her before.

As an employer would you hire someone who has sued your company?  Ms. Fisher has filed lawsuits against the CUSD twice to stop improvements to the athletic fields.  Besides forcing the school district to spend funds also available by the donor for academics, Ms. Fisher and a small handful of Highland Avenue residents have forced an agreement to prohibit the use of lights on the baseball field for at least 7 years.  These state of the art lights would NOT have interfered with Ms. Fisher’s property rights as she states. Without these lights the games must start early in the afternoon.  The players have to miss 7th period to start the game on time.  And how many times can a parent leave work early and make the drive to HMB in time for a 3pm game?  But Ms. Fisher doesn’t care.

Lighting for the occasional extra hour or two would also have enabled more field usage in an area already short on playing space for young athletes.  Why would anyone who does not like athletics buy a home adjacent to an existing athletic field?  Would you buy a home on a golf course and complain about the lawn mowers?  Would you buy a home on Main Street and complain about the business activity?  No prudent person would because it makes no sense.  Since moving to the Highland area Ms. Fisher has complained about sports activities taking place on the sports field.  One has to wonder what she thought might take place on the sports field of a high school? 

She claims it was only because the neighbors were not notified or included in changes to a school that has been there for 50 plus years.  Did she think things would never change?  If she was only concerned about not being notified why did they try to STOP the improvements?  She continues to guard the Highland area like a pit bull.  Taking pictures of our children, asking people not to park on “her” public street and trying to stop them from walking to school.  Barry, do you really want to endorse this?

I feel that Ms. Fisher’s actions are not only mean spirited, but are entirely against the grain of what a school board members actions should be.  Aren’t we as parents and educators required to encourage the healthy and safe activities that after school sports offer?  Ms. Fisher’s actions have reduced the amount of time for safe and healthy activities for our student athletes.  Her actions have only been self serving.

As a voter I am very suspicious of Ms. Fisher’s motives in becoming a School Board member.  How many other selfish actions will she take to hurt the children of the Coast?

Bev France
Team Mom, Varsity Football, Varsity Baseball
Half Moon Bay Cougars

“What kind of support do you think she’s getting from the LCP?”

Do you want me to draft up a compliance checklist?  To whom should I send the bill for my services?

“I haven’t heard anything about her from them.”

Yes, and that alone is a little suspicious.  In this case, silence is probably a better course of action rather than some kind of blanket denial.  Lots of tedious little bits of evidence would probably work against the denial.  That compliance and disclosure stuff is really tricky.

Question - if this is a “personal” site and you charge for ads, at what point can this “endorsement” be considered and “in-kind” contribution?

526 words, and about 30 of them devoted to her “qualifications.”

Comment 5
Fri, October 27, 2006 9:33am
Barry Parr
All my comments

Brian, you seem to be saying that the lack of evidence support from the LCP is prima facie evidence of LCP support.

Since you can’t buy space in the main section of Coastsider—in fact I give it away all the time—the in-kind value of the endorsement is approximately $0.00.

Regarding Pam Fisher’s qualifications, I think I’m on record as saying that the qualifications for this job are not especially demanding. The principal duties are those of any board of directors: oversight and not administration. I think the cozy relationship of the current members of the board with one another and the superintendent is starting to look like a typical management-run corporate board. That’s always bad news for the owners—in this case the voters of CUSD.

What I like about Pam Fisher is that she wants to open up the board to the community, and I think that’s long overdue. CUSD will never get a parcel tax passed until the board is representative of and responsive to a broader range of the community.

“Brian, you seem to be saying that the lack of evidence support from the LCP is prima facie evidence of LCP support.”

Not at all.

If they are not going to PUBLICLY endorse her, are they supporting her in private?  Just a question.  One of many.

Did they give her funds?  In-kind support?  Time will tell.

Did LCPers do lots of little things for her that collectively might constitute support but which might not be characterized the way most people would think they should?  That’s the tricky part.

The latin term I would use is “alter ego.”

Again, silence might be golden, especially for people whose tendency is to respond to every letter to the editor.

Comment 7
Fri, October 27, 2006 10:12am
Dan Sullivan
All my comments

Thank you for your posting, Bev France.  I confess that I know little about the political machinations, purported or refuted by one faction or another, surrounding the CUSD election.  However, I am a resident of Highland Avenue and can relay additional factual examples of Pamela Fisher’s tactics within the neighborhood. 

Several months ago, a member of Ms. Fisher’s group came to my door asking for my signature on a petition against the construction of the lights.  That person stated that Dr. Bayless’s intention was to build a state-of-the-art, lighted baseball field so that it could be rented out to teams “from all over” in order to generate revenue for the district.  She went on to say that the field would be fully booked, used day and night, and would greatly exacerbate traffic, parking, and nuisance problems in the neighborhood.  This scenario sounded false to me and I refused to sign the petition.  We know Dr. Bayless and, although he was sensitive to not “stirring the pot”, he subsequently assured us that the scenario described by the petition argument was never a consideration. 

This past Spring, Ms. Fisher was also among those responsible for illegally placing “No Parking” notices under the windshield wipers on cars parked near the baseball field.  My wife challenged Ms. Fisher while the latter was placing notices on the cars.  In response to my wife’s statement that there was nothing illegal about parking on a public street, Ms. Fisher very loudly attempted to argue with her.  Parking cars on a public street with no limitations is perfectly legal; however, placing notices on the cars is not (see Review article: http://hmbreview.com/articles/2006/03/01/news/local_news/story08.txt).  Parenthetically, one team mom came back to find her wiper broken, with no note claiming responsibility. 

Beginning in the Spring and continuing through last week, Ms. Fisher has repeatedly taken photos of children, including my own, while they were entering and exiting the sports fields.  I, for one, am very concerned about the intentions of any adult taking unsolicited photos of children without permission and while no parents or other adults are present.

As recently as last week, Ms. Fisher attempted to block access to the sports fields through Highland Park by stationing herself on land that she doesn’t own and informing those who wished to pass that they couldn’t. 

I do not believe these are the actions of someone who should be considered for any public office.  I believe Ms. Fisher’s carelessness with the truth, along with her apparent inability to engage in constructive argument, would jeopardize the effectiveness of the board and ultimately render her campaign promises as moot.  Along with Bev, I question the judgment of Coastsider.com and the Review in endorsing this candidate.  There should be a better reason for endorsing a candidate simply because he or she seems to be an unknown quantity, or because the eye is so jaundiced toward others.

It’s no wonder that our local school system is failing and will continue to lose enrollment as more people opt out.

Anytime someone with outstanding qualifications and good ideas decides to run for school board,  they are promptly attacked by the coalition of people and groups who all seem to line up on the same (pro-development) side of almost every issue.

It happened with Jonathan Lundell two years ago and now it’s happening again with Pam Fisher.

Until people on the Coastside wake up, they are going to get exactly the type of school board that they deserve.

Comment 9
Fri, October 27, 2006 11:44am
Ken King
All my comments

Brian Ginna reads like a witch-hunting redbaiter: Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the LCP? Who hired him for the thought police? Counting Barry’s words and suggesting that Mrs. Fisher owes payment in kind, while failing to note Barry’s wordcount is surpassed by the critical commentary from Ginna and Bev France makes Ginna’s suggestion ludicrous.

The sports supporters in the district won’t vote for Pam Fisher, that appears to be a given. To say that her past work of more than 30 years with kids with speech defects and as an elected school board member elsewhere should be trumped by aspersions on her character by those ready to point fingers reminds me of Jesus and the Pharisees. His point was lost long ago it seems.

Comment 10
Fri, October 27, 2006 11:51am
Hal Bogner
All my comments

I don’t know which is more perplexing: Brian Ginna’s fears that local people who support LCP also might turn out to support better education, or Bev France’s apparent belief that supporting school sports is both more important than education and more important than following the law.

I have met Pam Fisher and am impressed with her credentials and with her ability to contribute as a school board member.

I don’t see anyone saying “I am an educator - and here’s why to keep her out.”  No one can contend that she is against kids, when she has spent over 30 years being generously and completely for kids.

I see “sports advocates” apparently expressing a fear that they will lose out.  True - there was a flap about how sports field improvements were being carried out.  Darn near everything that is worth doing is worth doing right - and I understand that the generous donor funding the sports fields has covered all the costs - including those incurred by the district because the current school board and superintendent tried to avoid “playing by the rules.”

And I see the absolute viciousness of supporters of Ken Jones’ acolyte Jolanda Schreurs, who are apparently afraid of losing a seat on the school board to an experienced educator with experience outside of this district.

Personally, I am a big believer in sports for youth, and I have spent several years coaching youth sports in Pasadena, prior to moving here in 1992.  And I am a bigger believer in education, which is why I have consistently spoken out in support of wiser decisions and better boards locally.

We may not all agree on what those “wise decisions” ought to be, or on who would comprise “better boards”, but at least stop the rhetoric, the wild accusations, the sometimes-defamatory assertions, and vicious whispering campaigns - stop the politics of personal destruction.

It’s people like this that give both politics and little-league parents a bad name.

Hal M. Bogner
Half Moon Bay

Brian,

I am fascinated by this most recent post of yours for many of the same reasons that I am fascinated by your other posts.

Your posts seem to have a penchant for crude rhetorical devices (e.g. making accusatory statements and then hiding behind the sham claim “Just a question”) overlaying a background of paranoia (e.g. suggesting that lack of support for a thing is evidence for that support).

They make my head spin!

I would suggest that they might be made more compelling by the inclusion of more fact and less innuendo.

Otherwise your posts risk looking like nothing more than a smear campaign.

—Darin

Bev France stated that “Shame, shame, shame on you Barry for mimicking the Review in your endorsement of Pam Fisher for School Board.”

The shame should be placed on the real villains for causing the suits against the school district: Namely the superintendent and the current school board.

Why? Because if they had followed the proper process, there would not have been any need for the suits. If they had had a proper permit to cut down the protective tree screening, according to HMB Code, the city would have had to notify anyone affected within 300 feet of the permitting action. With proper notification the Highland Avenue residents could have responded and entered into active discussions with the school board.

The affected people were never notified until the dastardly deed had been done. Their course of action was necessitated by the villainous actions of the school board and their total discard for the approval process.

This is not an attempt to take sides in this debate, but I just have to ask this question:  why is it ok for people who live near the beach to object to beachgoers parking on “their” streets, but it’s not ok for people living near an athletic field to object to people parking on “their” street?

To an outsider (I’m only vaguely aware of the Highland neighborhood), it’s pretty amusing to watch this “we don’t want the Ailanto traffic on our streets” position intersect with “we don’t want Pam Fisher because she objects to non-residents parking on our streets.”  For anyone who can take a couple of steps back, this could be entertaining.

I suppose that I’m going to have to drive over there and try to understand where the fields are relative to the houses.  Of course, I may get attacked by two groups—those who don’t want me driving on “their” street and those who don’t want me parking on “their” street.  Why don’t they just buy the streets from the city and make it a gated community?  (Alert:  that’s sarcasm, and should not be interpreted as a suggestion or as taking sides.)

I am curious as to how many of the “no Ailanto traffic” people are also against Pam Fisher’s “no school parking” position?  Is anyone willing to answer this question?  I truly do not know the answer.  The reason I ask is that it would seem inconsistent to me to object to the Ailanto traffic but attack someone who’s against event parking, or vice versa.

Side note:  having once lived in a place close to a commercial area with insufficient parking such that customers parked in the residential area, I still have to say that I’m totally against permit parking.  If someone doesn’t want visitors parking on their street, they shouldn’t park on the street either.  That’s why houses are required to have garages—you park on your own property.  In the above-referenced city, no overnight street parking at all was allowed, and I don’t think residents could get permits to do so.  Daytime parking on most streets had a 2 hour limit.

Oh.  The original article here is about CUSD candidates.  It’s one thing to say that you can’t move next to a school and complain about the school activities.  I totally agree.  It’s not quite the same to say that when there is a major expansion of those activities you have to just accept whatever they want to do.

Interesting all the commentary about who has sued the school district.  Perhaps the May 17,  2003 Brandt-Hawley Law Group letter from Jolanda Schreurs should be made public, along with the analysis by Gerry Laster pointing out the lawsuit threat by Jolanda was based on a false premise.  She threatened to sue CUSD if Cunha was not built at Wavecrest. 

Does Jolanda Schreurs still stand behind that letter?  How much have construction costs increased due to the delays caused by that letter?  Why hasn’t CUSD used a competitive bid process to see if money can be saved on construction costs for the current project?  How much has every child in CUSD lost, as opposed to the minority on the baseball team who simply can;t play late at night?


Maybe each neighborhood within 300 feet of a a school should just send a note of their intent to sue of the school district doesn’t follow the law or if it tried to hide projects that would substantial construction projects.

Comment 15
Sat, October 28, 2006 12:07am
sv_krieg
All my comments

As someone who has heard first hand of Ms. Fisher’s credentials and background, who would not be impressed?  Those of us who have young children who benefit from the graciousness of donors who make HMB High School fields accessible to the rest of the community!

My name was given to Ms. Fisher soon after she purchased her home in Highland Park. She attended a City Council meeting in order to complain about the noise that came from the high school fields during non-school hours. She called me complaining about the 6-14 year old children who were part of Coastside Football and Cheer. My name was given because I was a member of the Coastside Football and Cheer Board.  Their practice and games were disrupting her weekends and evenings. Although I sympathize with her plight, I have absolutely no regard for someone that lives in a community that has little to offer children, condemning weekend and after school activities on one of the few fields available.

Both my 12 year old son and 4 year old daughter are part of Coastside Football and Cheer, which is an Association that has been part of this community for over 35 years. We, like every other youth service has been on the short end of the stick. We stride to help the children of this community be well rounded, educated adults, but we, like all youth athletics are suffering. Not only are our children not getting what they need in the classroom, they are unable to get what they need on the playgrounds/fields.

Ms. Fisher was often seen at the high school taking photos of the children’s practices and games. Just has disturbing as taking photos without consent of the parents,  was the fact that while she argued with volunteers coaching the children, was the fact that her dog was allowed to run unleashed on the premises. I believe that there is a sign at the access to the high school from Highland Ave. that clearly states, that no dogs are allowed. Yes there are dogs on the premises, but do we really want a school board member bending the rules for themselves rather then upholding the standards that have been set?

Yes our schools are in need of fresh blood, but do we need another board member that has their own agenda representing a community that should have the children’s agenda as a first priority? I applaud anyone that chooses to put themselves in the “hot seat” of the school board, but as responsible voters, we should look at the whole picture and not just the credentials that someone holds. Paper is just that…paper.

What we need are board members who see beyond their needs and the need of today, but who are here to see future of our community and chidren.

Sonja, you make it sound like Pam was the only one objecting to CUSD keeping the neighborhood in the dark about the proposed lights (not the ones we see from the highway, but a second set directly adjacent to the neighborhood. 

It appears to me that you have chosen to take a personal attack on Pam instead of looking at the larger issue of the board policy of how CUSD communicates with folks affected by its actions.

I had heard that about 80 of the 120 or so households had signed a petition or been very concerned about the new lights and the parking issues. 

I have observed several development projects - general practice is to hold a stakeholder/neighborhood meeting at the outset - prior even to a permit application being submitted.  In the County the notification range is 300 ft. for even a new house, permits for cutting a tree need to be posted so the surrounding neighborhood is aware of the application.

I believe if CUSD had done adequate notification prior to cutting the green buffer strip of trees between the neighbors and baseball field a compromise could have been reached.  If the stakeholder concerns had all been addressed prior to ball field and light design, problems could have been ironed out. 

In the same track, I have heard that teachers have not been consulted about the effect of scheduling changes prior to the decison having been made.

I hope the discussion is about issues, not personal attacks. 

Kathryn

I realize that as we approach the election some campaigns are getting rather desperate but to descend to the level of discussing a dog’s urinary habits strikes me as being about as irrelevant as one can possibly get. We have serious issues facing our community and Pam Fisher has already demonstrated an ability to discuss and address those issues in a responsible manner. If you disagree with her stated opinions, then voice those disagreements, but let’s not get into the dog-widdle business.

Comment 18
Sun, October 29, 2006 10:40pm
Ken King
All my comments

Her Poodle peed on the astroturf?  Outrageous!  Let’s get Cheney towaterboard the mutt and find out who gave the order…

Comment 19
Mon, October 30, 2006 7:05am
sv_krieg
All my comments

Just an FYI:

The only reason I brought up Ms. Fisher’s dog at the high school, was to point out that she chose to bend a stated campus rule that is in place as a health issue. If she chooses to ignore this, what else will be ignored? By the way, this took place prior to Astroturf. However, that doesn’t really matter, since the children are still on the grass, even if it isn’t real.

If you read my comments, you will notice that I never brought up the issue of the lights. I do not have all the information on either side of that issue to address it. My issue, has do to with the use of the fields by Coastside Football and Cheer. If it is any consolation, the construction, both times to the baseball fields, directly affected our use of the fields. However, the football coaching staff has been very accommodating to us.

My only issue with Ms. Fisher is the way in which she chose to deal with Coastside Football and Cheer’s use of the fields and the access of to those fields. It just brings up the issue on how she will deal with the issues while sitting on the school board.

And the only reason there was a conflict between the homeowners and the field users was because the field was enlarged without public notice or permits through the arrogance of the board you are supporting.  Put the blame where it belongs. On arrogant policy decisions by the current board… in this case to avoid public notice requirements.  What else has this current board ignored?

Declining enrollment, teachers, parents, Brown Act requirements, test scores to name a few. 

Kathryn

Ms. Kreiger,

Thanks for your clarification.  I have two observations:

1. It sounds like the “no dogs allowed” policy is not enforced.  You wrote: I believe that there is a sign at the access to the high school from Highland Ave. that clearly states, that no dogs are allowed. Yes there are dogs on the premises, but….”  Selective enforcement - or just selective griping - isn’t the answer, is it?

2. For anyone who is on the school board, you ought to expect that they will work within their board, and not usurp the role of staff.  The superintendent reports to the school board; teachers, coaches, etc., do not.

Clearly, there are issues here.  One issue - not being discussed - is the need for board members who can help improve the education provided by the district.  Another issue - indirectly addressed by bringing up this controversy - is that the current school board did not provide public notice to the neighborhood, and did not follow required permitting processes.  Both of these problems need to be corrected.

Clearly, sports will continue here, with improvements, too.  Will education improve?  And will the school board improve?

I hope so.  That’s why I supported Jonathan Lundell last time around, and that’s why I’m voting for Pam Fisher this time around.

Comment 22
Mon, October 30, 2006 11:26am
Don Bacon
All my comments

There’s a straightforward factual disagreement between Pam Fisher and her detractors that occurred in the Review, but I can’t find much discussion of here. 

Detractors claim that her lawsuit cost the district a lot of money (low-to-mid six figures); my understanding is that Pam contends there were no legal costs to the district.  These two positions are so far apart, on what appears to be a factual issue with a discoverable answer, that it would probably be highly instructive to the voting public to find out who has the facts straight.  The lawsuit is clearly one of the central nuts in this campaign. 

Evidence of potential confusion on this issue even crops up in Barry’s endorsement editorial above, where he refers to a “mutually-destructive lawsuit” while endorsing Pam.  I’m not sure she would agree to that characterization, if there indeed were no legal costs to the district.

Does anyone out there have the facts on the legal costs (or not) to the district on Pam’s lawsuit?

Comment 23
Mon, October 30, 2006 12:17pm
Ken King
All my comments

Mr. Bacon, the figures appearing in another letter were $373,000 for the district side, and almost a fifth as much for the neighbors, according to Mrs. Fisher, which would be near $80,000. That represents a lot of $$ for a few families to raise, so “mutually-destructive” would seem to apply.

Superintendent Bayless told the neighbors that a donor was paying for the entire development as well as any legal costs incurred, presumably to indicate his commitment toward proceding, and that deep pockets backed him. The neighbors saw it a veiled theat, so considered their options carefully.

It is ironic that the threat of the donor absorbing the legal costs actually influenced the Fishers and others to sue when they would not have otherwise, because they knew the district was strapped for funds. Mrs. Fisher posted this and there is no reason not to take her at her word, the sports detractors’ rancor notwithstanding.

Comment 24
Mon, October 30, 2006 12:52pm
Sally Harms
All my comments

RE:Pam Fisher: In the spirit of full disclosure, I should state that I am friendly with the Fishers and their immediate neighbors and am a Highland Park homeowner, although I do not live in the areas affected and I am not a party to the litigation. 
 
Reference has been made to two lawsuits.  In fact, the neighbors whose peaceful enjoyment of their homes was threatened tried very hard to solve the problem without suing.  The school was totally non-responsive.  After the neighbors had no other recourse but to bring suit, they agreed to dismiss the suit if the school committed, in writing, to move the softball lights.  The school failed to do so, necessitating a second suit.  The judge, who has no vested interest in these issues, agreed that schools must be held to the standards of any neighbor.  No private citizen would be allowed to inflict nuisance-level lights and sounds without notice or permission.  If the School Board had participated in the dialogue the neighbors kept requesting instead of ignoring the concerns of its neighbors, the lawsuit would probably never have been brought. 

I have been very disturbed by the often-repeated argument that if you move next to a school, you must accept anything that school chooses to do.  In this case the the homeowners next to the school could not anticipate the problems they would have.  When they moved in, there was a buffer zone of trees between their homes and the school.  Without notice or consultation, the school took out those trees and allowed non-school sports organizations to use this space on weekends.  When the school refused to replant any buffer, Ms. Fisher went to considerable personal expense to put in a new buffer in hopes of someday being able to enjoy a peaceful Sunday at home.  Of course, the softball lights were erected later, again without notice or consultation.

I have to admit, I have had reservations in the past about living next to a school, and after what these neighbors have gone through, I would certainly never do so in the future.  I lack the faith Pam Fisher had that schools make good neighbors.  This does not make me anti-child, however.  I have grown children and pre-school grandchildren, and one of the lessons I hope they all learn at home and at school is the spirit of compromise and concern for the rights of others.  How can we expect our children to stop bullying when we adults allow schools, certain parents, and other athletic organizations to dictate terms rather than engage in creative problem solving?  If anyone thinks I am overstating the case, I invite them to read the online comment by the wife of a student ball team announcer urging her husband to broadcast even louder.  What�s next—bullhorns in front of people�s homes forcing them to move?
 
Sally Harms

Editor’s note:  If you’re getting email notification of comments, you’ve probably seen one from “hmbneighbor”.  That comment was released accidentally and is being held pending permission to put the author’s full name on the post.

Ken,  maybe it was the offer by the wealthy donor to fund the lawsuit that encouraged the current CUSD board to ‘stay the course’ in not collaborating with the neighbors, thus necessitating the lawsuit by the neigbors.

Calling it “Pam’s lawsuit” mischaracterizes the case.  There were 11 other individuals party to this suit.  It would be more accuratte if you used all 12 names; perhaps in alphabetical order.


Kathryn

I wanted to make some clarifications about comments that have appeared here. 

Hal Bogner writes:
“or Bev France’s apparent belief that supporting school sports is both more important than education and more important than following the law.”
Clarification:  I have worked many years in public schools as both a volunteer and paid employee.  I have never stated ANYWHERE that sports are more important than education.  The issue was the sports field, not the chem lab. But isn’t it better to have our students busy after school with team sports rather than hanging around on the streets?

Katyhryn Slater-Carter writes:
“And the only reason there was a conflict between the homeowners and the field users was because the field was enlarged without public notice or permits through the arrogance of the board you are supporting.”
Clarification - the field was NOT enlarged, the existing field was turned around to provide a larger buffer between the neighbors and the school. 

Sally Harms writes:
“Without notice or consultation, the school took out those trees and allowed non-school sports organizations to use this space on weekends.”
Clarification:  That “non-school sports organization” you speak of has been playing at the high school for more years than the homes on Highland existed. And let’s also be clear in the fact that these players and parent volunteers are FROM our schools!  They are not imported from elsewhere.

Oh, and I think someone labeled me “pro-growth”. How can making improvements to an existing school be pro-growth?  More people will want to move here?  So are those of us here supposed to just let everything go to pot?

I presume we can only agree to disagree.  And I still disagree with Pam Fisher’s bid for CUSD.  I’m still questioning her motives.
Bev France

I was surprised and dismayed to open the paper this evening and find myself listed as a community endoresment for Pamela Fisher. I am Pamela’s neighbor and have had several conversations with her about the school board race. She is an intelligent woman with many good ideas. She has sought my endorsement.

However, I did not sign the neighborhood petition regarding the HMBHS field issues neighborhood issue nor did I sign up as a community endorsement for a variety of reasons that I have expressed to Pamela.

I have spent the past 16 years working in education and have managed to stay out of the political fray and concentrate on my work with the youth of the South Coast and as a parent advocate of the Cabrillo schools. I would like to continue to do the same.


Amy Wooliever

Comment 29
Thu, November 2, 2006 10:54am
Pam Fisher
All my comments

I’ve sent an email to Amy apologizing for the mistaken listing of her name in the ad.”
Pam Fisher

After watching the video with all candidates I am reminded of a quote from Einstein:

““The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”

Kathryn

I don’t have a firm opinion on this matter, I’m still trying to fill out my sample ballot before it’s time to go to the polls tomorrow morning. Since Pam Fisher has commented on one of the postings here maybe she’d be willing to address some of the other points that have been made, such as:

Has she been taking photographs of children entering the school grounds? If so, for what purpose?

Did she attempt to block access to the school grounds as was stated above? If so, were the actions conducted in a lawful manner?

Did she place “no parking” fliers on windshields in the neighborhood? If so is it her position that it is lawful for her to do so? I would have thought that it was not but I have to admit to not being up on finer points of traffic control.

A final point, and this is NOT directed at Pam Fisher or any other individual (candidate or not).
Can we PLEASE agree that the function of roads, water mains, schools, and parks are to serve the community?

A road is something that we drive on and it takes us from one place to another.

A water pipeline delivers water, playgrounds and parks are for playing games and enjoying time outside.

What these things are NOT is growth control devices. If you want more development, support measure that call for more development. If you don’t want more development, pass measures that limit development (didn’t we do that several times already?).

Please stop using public services as a growth control measure and please stop saying things such as “well, we can’t build/improve the school/road/water mains because that would lead to growth”. If we need a school, road, water pipeline or park built/improved let’s do that and continue to address growth in measures that address growth directly.

I want to address a couple of Todd’s questions. I don’t speak for Pam Fisher, but I’ve been thinking about these questions myself lately.

If Ms. Fisher was trying to document something happening in public (say how people were getting from the school to Highland), taking pictures should be permissible.  To say that she can’t take pictures for that purpose, simply because the participants are children, seems overly fussy at best. If it could be established (as has been suggested and gossiped about, but not proven) that she were trying to intimidate people, that would be a different matter.  The burden of proof for that is really high.

I would strongly object (on first amendment grounds) to any law that prohibited leafletting parked cars on a public street. Such a law is indefensible on its face.

I believe that the access point under contention is private property that is prominently posted “No Trespassing”.

Finally, I don’t believe that limiting infrastructure to control growth is an issue in this election. Also, for what it’s worth, I strongly oppose limiting the lawful use of public streets by nonresidents. That is also not an issue in this election.

Barry,
I think the leafletting of parked cars with notices that say “no parking” is arguably quite different than putting a notice of an upcoming bake sale or other event. One is informational and the other seems intended to deliberately misinform. That’s the nature of my question.

Todd,
Thank you for speaking so eloquently about public services.  I agree that these are seperate issues. 

Here are my accounts.

I was at the field the day Ms. Fisher asked the Pop Warner teams to “go somewhere else”.  (By the way Barry those Pop Warner Cheerleader pictures on the front page were cute, good thing they have a field to practice on).

My son has been photographed by Ms. Fisher.  I was not present but he told me about it immediately.  He rarely parks on Highland but was late for practice one day and took the short cut.  He did not like it.

I was at the baseball field the day Ms. Fisher put her signs on all the windshields, breaking one.  These cars were NOT parked in front of homes, but next to the pasture.

I believe Dan Sullivan’s account of Ms. Fisher blocking access as early as two weeks ago.  I have heard similar things from the kids I know as well.  I personally do not use that access point out of respect for the neighbors, even though it is a public street.

That access point is posted No Trespassing by the owner, probably for liability issues.  It has been used by Highland residents since the residences were built.  It is not Ms. Fisher’s property.  I’m sure she protects it because of the parking issue.

I’m sure someone else will chime in here and tear apart everything I just wrote with legal jargon and how she is within her rights etc.., but I still don’t think she is worthy of representing my children.
Bev France

I don’t think Todd needs anybody to answer his “questions”; they are just being asked in way to try to attack Pam Fisher—-as I believe he has done on another website.

By the way Todd, both the California Coastal act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) require that local governments consider the growth-inducing impacts of infrastructure projects (see below for example).

So we cannot just “agree” to ignore these impacts as you and others (such as the CCWD directors) would like to.


From CEQA Guidelines 15126.2(d)
http://www.ceres.ca.gov/topic/env_law/ceqa/guidelines/art9.html

“Growth-Inducing Impact of the Proposed Project.”

“Discuss ways in which the proposed project could foster economic or population growth, or the construction of additional housing, either directly or indirectly, in the surrounding environment. Included in this are projects which would remove obstacles to population growth (a major expansion of a waste water treatment plant might, for example, allow for more construction in service areas). Increases in the population may tax existing community service facilities, requiring construction of new facilities that could cause significant environmental effects. Also discuss the characteristic of some projects which may encourage and facilitate other activities that could significantly affect the environment, either individually or cumulatively. It must not be assumed that growth in any area is necessarily beneficial, detrimental, or of little significance to the environment.”

Who? Me? I’m not attacking anyone and I’ve never written Ms. Fisher’s name before today, certainly not in some other forum. I honestly thought I was asking reasonable questions that Ms. Fisher might want to address and could then lay this whole thing to rest. If her explanations are reasonable I’d still consider voting for her.

And for what it’s worth I don’t really like it when people park a bunch of cars in front of my house or trespass in the open lot near us so I can understand someone wanting to educate other people that their use of the neighborhood is not always appreciated.

Please, do not respond to my quesitons or any of my posts. I withdraw the questions and will decide how to vote based on the information I have available to me already. I’m sorry I irritated folks.

I still think that with her intelligence and experience as a school board member, speech pathologist, and neighbor of a school that Pam Fisher would make an excellent addition to the school board.

Especially when you realize that the alternative to to accept the board’s hand-picked replacement for Roy Salume. This board’s record of failure on the middle school and parcel taxes makes that a non-starter regardless of who the candidate is.  We need some fresh blood and new thinking, and Pam Fisher is a good start.

This whole dustup over the sports fields seems tragically petty and personal to me.  Many of the accounts are second-hand. If you have any doubts, go back and read what was posted. As far as I know, no one has faulted Ms. Fisher regarding her experience or suitability for the job.

As I wrote in my only previous post on 10/27, the examples I conveyed of Ms. Fisher’s neighborhood tactics were ones that I, my wife, or children experienced personally.  I am not a “political” person and felt strongly that if I were to publish an opinion that Ms. Fisher’s behavior was unacceptable to the point of withholding a vote for her, my argument should be based on facts and not innuendo or hearsay. 

It is also a fact that Ms. Fisher has so far failed to respond to Todd McGee’s reasonable request for her to “confirm or deny” certain of her tactics.  In addition to recognizing that what I wrote is absolutely true and irrefutable, I suspect that Ms. Fisher has the good sense to realize that Barry Parr stands ever ready to leap to her defense, probably more effectively than she could do so herself. 

I’ve never read Coastsider.com prior to this past week, but my sense so far is that Mr. Parr is the metaphorical kid with the ball who insists on deciding what games will be played and that he will participate as both player and referee.  Perhaps a more accurate description of this thread would be “Barry’s Blog.” 

Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s election, let’s all hope that the kids ultimately benefit.

Technically what do we know of her experience?  Six years on some school board across the country.  Have you checked her record?  Does she work for Cabrillo as a speech teacher? 

I attended the forum last week and was not impressed.  I felt other candidates had more passion and a better handle on the current problems than Ms. Fisher.  And some of the other candidates have children in the school district, always a good thing.

Maybe the issue over the field was petty in your opinion, but bottom line it cost the district $$$!  There is no way anyone can deny that, they may spin it a different way, and blame the district, but the lawsuits could have been avoided.  It’s hard to vote for a candidate that is already coming to the table as a liability.  That would make her unsuitable.

Yes Barry you are right, it is personal for me. I enjoy the sports teams and work hard for the boys.  I’m not ashamed of that.

Pre- Election Summary
A few final notes before the election…

1. Apparently at the Friday night HS football game the announcer told the crowd to go vote for the do-nothing slate. Wasn’t THAT a special use of a school sponsored event.
2. The do-nothing slate claims in an ad that folks should vote for them since they’re going to build the middle school at Cunha. Wow that took guts. After nine years of pushing Wavecrest, they were “forced” to build at Cunha, the only good site from the first. Please give credit to the folks who actually got the school at the Cunha site. Typical, though.
3. Jolanda initiated the legal suit threat that gave the Board the “excuse” to push Wavecrest. How many millions were lost? The same Board refused to tell us. How convenient.
4. All the earlier Board members that started the do-nothing process came out in major support of the new slate that also pledges to do nothing. Anybody see a pattern here?
5. The PCF/CCF/CQL and the orgs from which they were cloned demand nothing less than total control with their brand of exclusionary politics, while claiming they are “for the Community”.
6. All parcel tax bids failed.

Who loses in all this? You got it. Our kids.

Who loses

I am so sorry that I’ve missed most of this spirited debate on Pam Fisher’s candidacy for the CUSD.  Tonight I was also forwarded the letter that was sent to CYA parents which is why I visited the Coastsider.   

I’m sure that there are some legitimate pros and cons to the arguments being made for voting for or against Pam Fisher…as well as the ongoing issues with the HMBHS facilities.

What surprises me most is that from what I can tell, Pam Fisher has only posted once in the two weeks that this thread has been running…and that was a brief apology to someone for mispresenting a perceived endorsement. 

If Pam Fisher is indeed interested in opening up the school board to the community, she should start by opening up to this community who clearly have passionate views. 

It would help me to understand why I should/should not vote for Pam based on her interaction with the exact community she’ll be SERVING if she is elected. 

Pam, there’s still enough time left to engage.

Todd McGee wrote Did she place “no parking” fliers on windshields in the neighborhood? If so is it her position that it is lawful for her to do so? I would have thought that it was not but I have to admit to not being up on finer points of traffic control.

I don’t have time to research it now, but years ago, it was up to each local jurisdiction, so you’d need to check with Half Moon Bay.  I used to live in a large city which made it illegal to flyer cars but allowed the pizza places to litter our front steps.  My parents lived in a nearby city which didn’t outlaw flyering cars but made it illegal to litter front steps.  Go figger.

Barry Parr wrote: I would strongly object (on first amendment grounds) to any law that prohibited leafletting parked cars on a public street. Such a law is indefensible on its face.

I believe that the access point under contention is private property that is prominently posted “No Trespassing”.

Ok, everyone, watch this, maybe a first.  I totally disagree with Barry regarding flyering cars.  The street may be public but the car is not.  I consider it trespassing.  It has nothing to do with the first amendment.  It has everything to do with people touching other people’s property without permission.  It’s no different than someone walking up to you and stuffing their flyer in your pocket.  Who would put up with that?

Would it be ok for someone to break into your car to leave a flyer?  No, what if the car is unlocked?  No, what if the window is open?  Still no.  Ok, so why is ok to leave something under the windshield wiper, possibly breaking it in the process?  Come to think of it, I used to know someone who put vaseline all over the windshield wiper arm to try to annoy people who did that.  Would it be ok for me to coat my wiper arms with wet permanent black ink to reward those who touch my car without permission?  I say yes.  Would be ok for me to do that to a public bus bench?  No!  See the difference?

A significant fraction of debris left on cars ends up on the street because people are annoyed with it.  Therefore, people placing things on cars should be charged with littering if any of them end up on the public street.

I don’t care whose cause, or how good the cause, I will never support anyone claiming a right to litter my car just because it’s parked somewhere where they can reach it.

And I still have no opinion regarding this particular cause.

That said, have the incumbents really done anything to warrant re-electing them and their annointed replacement?

Comment 43
Mon, November 6, 2006 10:50pm
Ken King
All my comments

Looks like Night on Bald Mountain with all the spooky witches and goblins flying about, Pam Fisher playing the mountain, of course. The only thing missing is the Mussorgsky soundtrack.

Reading this blog from start to finish, there has not been one word written, one fact offered that even hints that Pam Fisher would not be a superb board member. Instead, there has been a well-orchestrated assault on her character, that is wildly colored beyond belief.

Examples:
she has a large, menacing and incontinent poodle.
she photographs children for obviously lurid purposes.
she broke someone’s windshield when placing a leaflet on it.
she sued the district and won twice.
she’s ever on the prowl. . .

Bev France gets the closest to a reasonable criticism when claiming she was not impressed with Ms. Fisher at the candidates’ forum last week—of course Ms. France was receptive and well-disposed toward Fisher, so can report objectively about her; that’s why she keeps posting here and on the Review’s site.

Gardner, Schreurs, Wilson, Riemer. Once John Mosley declines to run again, PCF will be akin to the Republicans in 2001 with all of the power, and you know how judicious folks are when they get all that control. Is this what we really need?

Back to Bald Mountain for your viewing pleasure.

Comment 44
Mon, November 6, 2006 11:26pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Regarding Pam Fisher’s nonappearance, I should point out that none of the candidates (except Mr. Johnson) have made much of an appearance here.  And we’ve been pretty tough on all of them.

The nature of the forum makes it tough for any candidate to participate here without being piled on.  I’d like to see more participation by political candidates in online forums. The live forums are pretty useless for understanding what they’re all about.

Maybe next year.

Upon rereading my recent post, it occurs to me that it might be possible to misinterpret my intended meaning in one particular sentence, so I’d like to adjust that sentence as follows:

I will never support anyone’s claim that they have a right to litter my car just because it’s parked somewhere where they can reach it.

(The original wording could have allowed the interpretation that I wouldn’t support someone in general just because they believed that littering car windshields is ok.  That was not my intent, hence the above rewording.)

Comment 46
Tue, November 7, 2006 12:51am
Todd McGee
All my comments

Okay, I promised myself I would not respond to any more of this discussion but I can’t help myself.

“she has a large, menacing and incontinent poodle”

That is hilarious.

I understand that the other candidates have also be invisible.  However, this happens to be about Pam Fisher and not the other candidates.  I would have liked to see her stand up for herself rather than have others (Mr. Parr) be her voice.  She is going to justify her policy decisions on the CUSD if she get’s elected.  This would have been a great opportunity to see her in action prior to the election.

All of this discussion is interesting.  Personally, I decided to share information and facts about which I had personal knowledge after the Review endorsed Ms. Fisher.  I had heard a few weeks before that she was running but, having interacted with her several times, I was sure that no one would take her seriously. 

Mr. Parr calls the verified information about Ms. Fisher “petty.”  He sounds exactly like Ms. Fisher when she told me that running her unleashed dog on school property in violation of local ordinance was not a “real issue” and the only real issue in her view was the noise the kids were making that was interrupting her afternoon.  (By the way, our cheer leader coach reminded me that Ms. Fisher also ran her dog through their cheer practice on the track a couple years ago, scaring the young girls.  I did not witness this but certasinly heard about it.)

The issue here is the children.  The FACTS about Ms. Fisher would make any reasonable voter question her motives in running for a school board she has sued when she has no connection to the school district or the children who attend school there.  Is she really just a community minded person who wants to help our kids.  If so, before she would get my vote she would have to do something like volunteer in a community project or at the schools.  She should develop a track record before seeking this position on the school board.

Comment 49
Tue, November 7, 2006 10:58am
Barry Parr
All my comments

I’ll keep it short. As far as I can tell, all the attacks on Pam Fisher are coming from a handful of sports boosters who don’t like the fact that she forced the district to get the correct permits and consider the neighbors when improving the sports fields.

That seems petty to me. I don’t think I’m the only one.

At the same time, I think her experience strikes a sympathetic chord with parents and CUSD taxpayers who feel the district does not listen to them.

Comment 50
Tue, November 7, 2006 12:58pm
Ray Olson
All my comments

I like Brian G’s original comment about having at least one independent member, which of course is NOT true (as Brian states) and should not be a reason for voting one way or another. What we need is a board that is inline with what the public wants to get done. The board should be a proxy for the public’s voice. I’m not sure what we would get with Ms. Fischer, and I certainly believe we would get only bickering and non-results if Ken Johnson were added to the mix. I do respect his opinions on improving test scores and teacher proficiency but I think the most important ingredient to being a board member is to be able to work effectively with the rest of board. I don’t think he can be successful in that area. I think the incumbents have definitely added value to our school and our community, and don’t see any negative reasons for preventing them to continue.
Ray

Ray Olsen wrote:
“I…don’t see any negative reasons for preventing [the CUSD board incumbents] to continue.”

Maybe you need to look a little more carefully.

http://ayp.cde.ca.gov/reports/APIBase2006/2006AYP_Dst.aspx?cYear=2005-06&allCds=4168890&cChoice=PI5a

Comment 52
Tue, November 7, 2006 3:32pm
Ray Olson
All my comments

Kevin,
I Just read the AYP report you provided above. So what? Can you explain the point you are trying to make? I see that our district met ALL API criteria in 06, ALL Math API for 06, and English has not been met everyone. This is a problem that has been with us for some time now, and you will see as a main reason for lower overall test scores. My bet is that next year you will see better results in this category because I’ve noticed a change in Hatch school around english proficiency for this new school year. What I see is that a change is being made in Hatch to raise up the kids that are not as proficient in English as they need to be. Would like to know what you think.
Ray

Comment 53
Tue, November 7, 2006 3:38pm
Ray Olson
All my comments

Barry,
Can you give some background to your original editorial comment around Yolanda:
“created an atmosphere of hostility and negativity around the district and its board.”?

I am interested in understanding why you believe this, as I haven’t seen this.

Comment 54
Tue, November 7, 2006 3:52pm
Ray Olson
All my comments

After thinking about Ms. Fischer’s past actions I would have to agree that I wouldn’t want her to represent me on the board. When she sued the school district twice and won, it was like taking money from my kids, into her pocket. Maybe the year after each suit, my kids could not go on an extra field trip, or the weekly music program had to be cut. And reading all of the personal statement about negative interactions with Ms. Fischer makes me wonder why she is even running??

Is that being petty?

Ray, there are 3 schools in CUSD that did not meet the English Language standards in 2006 and 2 schools in CUSD that did not meet the math standards in 2006.

Cunha is in year 3 of “program improvement” (PI) status, meaning that the school is failing to meet federally-mandated standards. Hatch is year 2 of PI status.

Your reaction to this is: “So What?”

I think I now have a better understanding as to why you don’t see anything negative about the current CUSD governing board.

Comment 56
Tue, November 7, 2006 4:52pm
Ray Olson
All my comments

The reason for PI status is due to the english literacy problem on the coast, which has been a problem for a while now (for obvious reasons). That is a known problem, and I only see each school (and board) making changes to address this problem.

It is interesting to piece to together that english literacy being poor in Cunha, and the fact that Cunha has now become a white minority school. On another story on this site Ken Johnson posted some numbers on decline of enrollment of caucasian children, resulting in a larger percentage of latino children. I can see how this is connected to lower scoring in the english literacy subject for Cunha. Should you blame the board for this?

Ray asked, “Can you give some background to your original editorial comment around Yolanda: “created an atmosphere of hostility and negativity around the district and its board.”?

1. Jolanda Schreurs hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit in 2004 when many in the community were pressing for a reexamination of the Cunha site.

2. She played a key role in the anonymous attack ad on Jonathan Lundell. Ironically, it was this ad and not Lundell that made development an issue in the 2005 campaign.

  https://coastsider.com/index.php/site/news/277/

3. She dragged her heels for weeks when it was clear to everyone that the board would have to pick Cunha. She was the final board member to acknowledge the inevitable, saying it was time to “Make lemonade from the lemon that is Cunha.”

  https://coastsider.com/index.php/site/news/894/

These are not the acts of someone who is willing to listen to the community or consider alternative points of view. In my opinion, this kind of take-no-prisoners politics is utterly out of place on a school board.

As Pam Fisher’s eldest son, I feel the need to say something on this forum.
Unfortunately to me it seems that the people in HMB that are most vicious towards Pam are upset over the loss of lights on a baseball field and are not concerned with the educational future of their and others’ children.
Even a quick glance at Pam’s qualifications would lead even the most uninformed voter to see that she has more experience and more dedication to education than the other candidates up for election. A quick look into her past on the school committee of “some town on the east coast” will show 6 years of dedication and innovation. One example: Barrington (that town on the east coast) decided on a model of a senior project requirement for high school graduation instead of the high stakes standardized assessment the state was offering. Lo and behold this year the entire state of Rhode Island has adopted this model. What’s that? Students in California are struggling with the same issue? Has anyone heard of the benefits of inquiry based education?
She is also not an enemy of sports, I and my brother were involved in community and school sports teams from the time we were 5 years old through to high school, always supported by our mother.
Lawsuit:
Pam wasnt the only one involved in the lawsuit and it was by no means “her” doing. She also was by far not the greatest contributor to the legal costs either.
The references to the lawsuit costing the school district money are totally unfounded. The donor who was providing the million dollars for the lights covered the costs, the same donor that is giving 4 million dollars to improve the baseball field. That’s right 4 million dollars to improve a field when schools in this community are on academic notice or provision, i cant remember the exact phrase. What about textbooks, teachers, afterschool programs, enhancing the libraries, microscopes and other science equipment, language classes for ELL students,  setting some money aside for girls sports fields (Title IX anyone?)
Flyers:
The descriptions of episode with the flyers is also incorrect. The window that was broken was most likely broken by children who were sent out to the street to remove the flyers that were placed there. She confronted Pam (I witnessed this) angrilly and after maybe 10 minutes the two were exchanging hugs and the woman in question was agreeing with Pam on her right to be angry about the field issues. Oh, what’s that? Pam also sent the woman money to cover the cost of the broken window? Lets get all the facts straight before we go accusing someone of something. That leads me to…...

a continuation of the previous post due to character limits:
Photographs:
She does not take pictures of children for questionable reasons and you people should be ashamed of mentioning this. How dare you defame a woman, compare her to a pedophile without knowing the whole story. She takes pictures of cars parked on a street that the pop warner, high school football and baseball and superintendent assured her people would no longer be parking on…
Parking:
The residents of the upper Highland Park area have problems with the parking during sporting events. People ARE parked in front of houses and even blocking driveways at times. Students change in their cars, drink alcohol, sell drugs and leave trash (food and drink containers/wrappers) in thier wake.

I could write more but I need to go to bed. I have to student teach tomorrow.

Next time try focussing on the issues at hand, not petty arguments about who did what to who and slinging mud about people you hardly know and who’s positions on the issues you make little effort to investigate.

oh, I forgot to mention.
When I was in high school I was injured playing Freshman Football. I ruptured my spleen and liver and spent 11 days in the hospital.
The trainer (who was not medically trained) and the athletic director sent me home unsupervised with a massive internal injury. My parents could have sued the school district and in fact were advised to do on gross negligence due to the lack of a medically trained “trainer”, lack of requirement to wear rib pads. They did not. they sat down with the athletic department and hashed out new regulations for the medical training of athletic trainers, appropriate equipment requirements. Do these sound like the actions of the litigation-happy woman you are painting a picture of. I almost died, the doctors said that if I had not recieved treatment for an hour longer I would have bled-out internally. If ever there was an opportunity to sue that was it, and there was no lawsuit.

This same type of response was attempted with the CUSD, the donor and the superintendent who were uninterested in coming to a consensus.

Did I mention that the neighbors of Highland Avenue found out about the plan to install 80 foot light towers through rumor and the donor himself said that they were never going to let them know because they knew there was going to be a fight?

Andrew,

I admire you for holding back with a reply until the election was over. I’m positive you had wanted to correct many invalid posts before but that would have just added more fuel to a vicious and unproductive hate mongering fire. And you showed very mature restraint to wait till there was no need for venom anymore.

While it is certainly a popular national tactic that if one doesn’t have substance to debate, then picking issues that can carry emotions is a good approach to focus folks away from what should matter in an election.

We seem to no longer look for what is right about candidates but rather try to find anything that could be used to show how they are not good at something and then try to correlate that to their qualifications.

It is refreshing to see a young man demonstrate restraint and logic. Hopefully some of the adults will follow your example in the future.

Barry,

A few suggestions in light of some of the above comments: if someone types “FACT”, they should be presented an option box:
enter a URL to a verifiable document or the choice of one of the following alternative entries:  hearsay, rumor, slander, opinion…

Never mind, it would eliminate a substantial part of the above that are so tragically challenged.

It must be so much easier and faster for the opposition: just make something up and call it a “fact’. Many of us are actually wasting time and effort trying to be factually accurate and honest.

Ken Johnson