Editorial: ‘Thumbs’ for March
THUMBS UP to Poway Unified School District administrators and board members who have put the district in a strong enough financial position that the dreaded “pink slips” normally handed out to teachers, counselors and other certificated employees will not be needed this year. The district recognized early on in the recession that revenues from property taxes and from state sources were going to decline and made deep, painful budget cuts well ahead of other school districts. Supt. John Collins is warning that the stable fiscal picture is temporary, and that more pain may be on its way unless voters extend certain state taxes and lawmakers come up with long-term solutions for K-12 funding.
THUMBS UP to Poway High School wrestling coach Wayne Branstetter for his recent 400th career dual match victory, and for this year’s varsity team for winning the San Diego Section CIF title for the 25th year in a row (yes, you read that right.) Poway High is known across the state and nation for its powerhouse wrestling program, and Branstetter and his talented coaching staff deserve much of the credit.
THUMBS DOWN to city officials for taking over a year to respond to a request from paraplegic Steve Scott to have a handicapped access parking space established in front of his Wayland Grove Court home, and for proposing that he pay a $320 processing fee. Granted, the unprecedented request to restrict parking on a city street required the city to prepare an ordinance to create a method to handle the application, but to make Scott and his family wait over a year, and then try to charge them, is unacceptable. The ordinance received preliminary approval by the council last week, and Scott should have his space on or about April 1. The council also took the common sense step to waive the fee.
THUMBS UP to the Poway American Little League as it launches its 50th season on Saturday. As current president Don Sharp noted recently, “Little League is a way to teach the kids responsibility, respect and life skills. It’s much more than baseball.”
THUMBS UP to all committee members who are formulating plans for Poway High’s 50th anniversary, a milestone worthy of celebration. Much has changed, including the school’s renovation in recent years, but school pride seems to be stronger than ever. As the committee collects memorabilia, which could eventually be displayed in a school museum, we hope alumni and others will pitch in to make the event (expected sometime in May) to be a memory-maker that connects Titans of all ages, teachers and staff. To loan memorabilia, or donate funds for the anniversary event, contact PHS Vice Principal Megan Bryant at 858-748-0245, ext. 5106.
THUMBS UP to the Conservative Order of Good Government for organizing an interesting two-part speaker series on Islamic-Christian relations. In February, a former Muslim spoke against the religion, and on March 8, an imam will speak in favor of it. Based upon attendance at recent COGG luncheons that attract 125 or more attendees, the group — led by Marty Judge — is doing something right.
THUMBS DOWN to the Refresh RB Committee for interpreting the results from its recent survey asking Rancho Bernardans to vote on their favorite of three community signage concepts. Members said the winner would be recommended to the RB Maintenance Assessment District Committee for the new welcome sign it plans to install on Rancho Bernardo Road. Whether Bernardo Town Center Property Owners Association would follow suit so its planned signage would blend always remained unclear, though the point of the committee was to get resident input and try to blend the two projects.
When concept C — the traditional sign not favored by BTCPOA — received the most votes, the committee decided to not recommend it to MAD, claiming its lack of gaining a majority of all votes cast was a vote against the winning concept. A majority of all votes cast requirement was never announced. It is not fair to the 824 who took the time to vote for the committee to reject the winner by changing the rules after learning the results.
THUMBS UP to former Rancho Bernardo resident Martha Leebolt for receiving the 2010 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award in Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) on Jan. 24 in London. The 28-year-old became a professional ballerina within weeks of her 2000 RB High graduation and is now a premier dancer with Northern Ballet in England.
It’s always nice to know of a hometown person who is achieving success and living his or her dream, either here or in Leebolt’s case, halfway around the world.
THUMBS UP to RB High wrestling Coach Eddie “Joe” Terribilini and the Bronco wrestling squad for capturing its first CIF San Diego Section championship in school history. In its first year as a Division II squad, the Broncos dominated the competition, racking up 201 team points. Rancho Buena Vista, which finished second, had 135 points. Special kudos to Evan McKirdy, Zach Merritt and Ryan Milkovits who won individual titles and Wesley Abbey, a runner up. All four qualified for this weekend’s California state CIF wrestling championships in Bakersfield.
THUMBS UP also go to the Del Norte High wrestling squad, which qualified for the Masters Championship in its first year of wrestling at the varsity level and Sam Acosta, who won an individual CIF section championship, the first for the school.
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