Letters to the editor: Sept. 29, 2011
From the Poway News Chieftain:
How about putting students first?
In the Sept. 15 article regarding the Westview High teacher’s patriotic banners, Poway Unified School District Board President Penny Ranftle was quoted: “…the district is hoping to move forward without further calls on our limited resources in defending this lawsuit…” This is quite hypocritical considering that last year, after the local judge ruled in Mr. Johnson’s favor, it was the PUSD that continued the lawsuit through the appeals process. At that time, PUSD had announced they were moving into new district headquarters at a cost of over $17 million (nearly $4 million over budget), and that layoffs, pay cuts and budget cuts were in our future, yet the PUSD board elected to pursue this court case. If nobody has accused Mr. Johnson of proselytizing in the classroom, and no student or parent has complained in over 25 years, it is not clear what the PUSD is afraid of with these banners.
As a 25-year Poway resident and property owner, and a parent whose children attended PUSD schools, our school district is still of primary importance to my family. It would be so refreshing to think they actually put the students first, but it seems clear that the appearance of political correctness at all costs is the school district’s primary concern.
Leslie Ashor, Poway
Valley scores should not be ignored
A recent story in your paper reported that overall, the Poway Unified School District API went up 5 points.
In April 2010 Poway was presented with a report by Community Housing Works that stated low-income housing students don’t lower the API in schools they attend, in fact, Valley Elementary showed the highest percentage increase in scores. The council praised the report. Yet now Valley shows the highest percentage decrease in API in the district and are in year one of “program improvement.”
While some might argue that the scores are artificial and don’t correctly measure the kids’ intelligence, the scores are very important because they do determine whether money will be going to the schools or withheld under the “No Child Left Behind” act. Valley finally broke 800 in 2007 and is now heading down there again. So please explain to me what caused the scores to go down and what corrections will be made to get the school API up again?
PUSD has a reputation of having quality schools, the low scores at Valley should not be ignored. Let’s get things turned around there.
Joe St. Lucas, Poway
Arrest could have waited
Shame on the Poway Sheriff deputies who denigrated the Poway Patrotic Parade float honoring a fallen hometown Marine hero by stopping the float and arresting a float rider who was there to pay tribute to his friend.
I was standing near the grandstands and had a front-row view of the disgraceful and thoughtless acts of the deputies. Float riders were yelled at and demands were made for IDs. As a young man was removed from the float and taken into custody, others on the float and in the crowd were shaken by the display. My understanding is that he was arrested for a failure-to-appear matter.
Why couldn’t the deputies have waited and made their arrest a couple blocks away at the end of the parade route? Why was no respect shown for the purpose of the float they stopped? Why do this in front of the grandstands where children were witnessing this arrest? It was thoughtless.
Congratulations go to the Abraxas High School group for creating such a wonderful parade float in tribute to your friend, Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Hill. Your patriotism, enthusiasm, pride and love of Jason was obvious to the crowd.
Anne Woods, Mira Mesa
From the Rancho Bernardo News Journal:
Gore would have been fine
So Mr. Wainwright (Letters, Sept. 22) writes that the Electoral College saved us from that “flake” Al Gore. Instead, we were treated to a president who gave us two wars, one of which was entered under pretext, a reputation for torture of prisoners, and a Great Recession — some bargain!
Mr. Wainwright neglected to mention the Hayes-Tilden election of 1876, where the loser also received the majority of the popular vote. The consequence of that election — the recently emancipated blacks in the South were sold out, and subjected to a long period of disfranchisement, segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror.
With this country being so polarized today, I shudder to contemplate the aftermath of another Electoral College contretemps.
Harvey W. Yurow, Rancho Bernardo
Vote ‘no’ (again) in Seven Oaks
The first time the “fairness” amendments were presented to the Seven Oaks community for a vote, they were full of errors and obviously not responsibly reviewed by the board. Less than half the residents even voted — a resounding “no confidence” vote.
The board canceled the first election. Instead of listening to the community, they corrected and repackaged these flawed amendments and sent them out again for yet another vote. More mailing and printing expenses, more attorney fees, more turmoil. Little wonder our assessments went up $20.
Each attempt to alter the substance of our CC&Rs has been turned down by the Seven Oaks community. How many times do we have to say “no”?
In response to “vote no” circulars recently distributed by concerned community members, I anticipate there will be a more aggressive approach for this second effort to pass these amendments, such as intrusive telephone contacts or a door knocking campaign or “third party” circulars.
Tell the board to stop wasting our money trying to change our CC&Rs. Vote “no” on these so-called “fairness” amendments.
Glen Vaughan, Rancho Bernardo
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