Editorial: ‘Thumbs’ for October
THUMBS UP to the Rancho Bernardo Maintenance Assessment District Committee for trying to obtain residents’ thoughts on installing artificial turf on RB medians and for saying a small strip will be used as a test area. There is much to consider beyond the financial merits of artificial turf versus stamped concrete or other surface, including aesthetics and durability.
Having a test area instead of just redoing several medians is a wise and prudent choice considering potentially tens of thousands in taxpayer dollars could be invested in this endeavor. Since committee leadership says it will seek residents’ input as time goes on we hope the residents do their part by speaking up with approval or disapproval once they see the test area installed in the spring at a Bernardo Center Drive median near Chase bank.
THUMBS UP to Rancho Bernardo Historical Society for sponsoring the new “Coyote Tales: History Stories of Rancho Bernardo and Poway,” a free program for third- and fourth-grade students in Poway Unified schools. It is presented by Lorraine Kaa, a historical society board member, retired history teacher and former Museum of Man docent who has researched the Kumeyaay and local history.
For years Kaa gave similar presentations with her artifacts collection, but it was destroyed in the 2007 Witch Creek fire. With a $500 grant from the historical society she has assembled a modest collection of artifacts for use during the presentations. They are based on the grades’ lesson plans, which for third-graders is studying about the Kumeyaay and fourth-graders about the town of Bernardo and other early area settlements.
THUMBS UP to the City of San Diego for notifying Poway Unified School District that it is interested in purchasing the almost 11-acre parcel on Avenida Venusto dubbed the water tower site. Decades ago it was given by a developer to PUSD for a school site, but the school was never built and it remained vacant with the exception of occasional storage.
Rancho Bernardo has a 34-acre park deficiency, this is likely the last available parcel and per the community plan it is first to be considered for a community park or recreational facility. Therefore, we hope PUSD officials agree on a reasonable price the city can afford instead of insisting on selling the parcel to a developer. If the latter happens, there is no guarantee it will be developed since doing so requires rezoning and City Council approval.
THUMBS UP to the two Poway Unified School District teachers who were named county “Teachers of the Year.” They are Martin Reisert, a sixth-grade teacher at Oak Valley Middle School in 4S Ranch, and Anthony Bayro, a third-grade teacher at Los Penasquitos Elementary School in Rancho Penasquitos. Both will advance to state competition.
THUMBS DOWN to the general apathy shown by the electorate regarding the Poway Unified School District election, where three candidates, including two incumbents, are running for two seats. You would think all the media attention regarding the controversial school improvement capital appreciation bonds would have drawn crowds to the two candidate forums. Not so. The first drew only 13 attendees and just one bond-related question. A second drew about 60 people in the audience, but most had come an hour earlier for a Poway City Council forum. Again, only one bond-related question.
THUMBS UP to Palomar Health for finally getting started on construction of the long-awaited pedestrian bridge that will connect Pomerado Hospital and Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion, which has many Palomar Health and Arch Health medical offices. The $3 million bridge will be paid for by Pacific Medical Buildings, which owns the pavilion. The bridge is expected to be completed in the spring.
THUMBS UP to Poway city officials for taking the time and effort — both extensive — to arrange for the refunding (refinancing) of the 2003 bonds used to build City Hall. The certificates of participation” were sold with a provision that they could be refunded every 10 years. Current low interest rates, coupled with the city’s AA+ credit rating from Standard & Poors, resulted in a sale that will save the city $4.2 million over the next 30 years.
THUMBS DOWN to some of the same city officials for ordering the removal of council candidate Gary Vineyard’s signs, claiming that they violate the municipal sign ordinance. Vineyard, discovering what he said was a loophole in the law, placed three 4-by-6-foot signs right next to each other, then painted his last name across the three signs. The city contends the continuous message of his last name constitutes a single sign. Sorry, but the ordinance is silent on both how close the signs can be to each other and on the issue of sign content. The better route, we think, would have been to leave the signs be for the remaining 10 days of the campaign, then adjust the ordinance for future elections.
THUMBS DOWN to a trio of head-scratching political mailings that have been sent out in recent weeks. Poway Unified School District voters have received two large postcards in support of candidate Kimberley Beatty financed by, get this, the American Federation of Teachers local from the San Diego and Grossmont Community College Districts. One of the cards calls the PUSD “the laughingstock of the nation!” due to its controversial bond issue. Beatty says she knew nothing about the mailings. What is an out-of-area teachers union’s interest in a PUSD race?
Second, there was a strange (and ugly) letter sent out last week to supporters of City Council Jeff Mangum, again related to the bond issue. The anonymous letter had an envelope with a return address of a post office box in Cathedral City. The box is registered to a church. Huh?
The best thing about the political season is that it will be over on Tuesday.
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