Saturday, February 24, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: February 24 Edition

Here's Yucaipa news from the past week. Some good, some bad, some indifferent.

School News

February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Teacher of the Year Rick LeVan receives honors"

Canyon Middle School teacher Rick LeVan was honored, along with four other California school teachers, at a special reception and dinner for 2007 California Teachers of the Year in Sacramento. Also attending were Yucaipa-Calimesa District Superintendent Mitch Hovey, School Board Trustee Joyella Beuler and Canyon Middle School principal Melissa Moore.
February 22, Press-Enterprise, "Teachers Union files charges against Yucaipa-Calimesa" (with podcast and survey)
February 23, San Bernardino Sun, "Teachers threatened, Union says"

The Yucaipa-Calimesa Educators Association has complained that the Yucaipa-Calimesa School District has provided false information about the contract negotiations on its web site and in information sent to parents. In addition, there are complaints that Sherry Smith, principal of the Yucaipa High School 9th Grade Campus and a member of the District's negotiating team, has retaliated against union members for the recent withdrawal of services, in which teachers stopped supervising and participating in activities that they are not paid for. The matter will go before the Public Employment Relations Board, which is already investigating claims bothagainst the union and the school district.
February 24, Press-Enterprise, "Yucaipa-Calimesa parents rally behind teachers" (with podcast and video)

While touring schools on Friday, school board members were met by parents picketing in support of Yucaipa-Calimesa teachers.
Greg Stuart, at the protest with his wife, Jamie, worried about losing good teachers for their first-grader and their child starting preschool next year.

"We've had teachers get offers from Redlands, and they just go," Stuart said. "We're going to get left with what's left over."

Deda James, a picket organizer who has three children in the district, described the trustees as "kind of cocky," shortly after board President Jim Oedekerk waved to the crowd on his way into Dunlap [Elementary].
In related news, Principal Sherry Smith has responded to the allegations that she had unfairly treated and attempted to intimidate teachers.
Smith responded in an e-mail, "I am very disappointed that (the union) would make such irresponsible and unprofessional claims against me. Several of the claims are completely false, full of errors in regards to dates and times and actual documented facts, and unfortunately, in many instances, taken out of context."
Personally, I am saddened that the dispute has gotten so personal, on both sides. In the end, the only losers will be the kids in the Yucaipa-Calimesa school district.

February 20, Press-Enterprise, "Yucaipa charter school has variety of supporters" (with podcast)
February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Inland Leaders Charter School gets its turn at the podium"
There was a public hearing on Tuesday on whether the proposed Inland Leaders Charter School should be approved by the Yucaipa-Calimesa School Board, and parents, educators and government representatives showed up to provide their support. The designer of the new elementary school is Mike Gordon, currently an assistant principal at two Yucaipa elementary schools. The new school would meet at Bryant Street Baptist Church, and has already been awarded a Public Charter Schools Grant for fiscal year 2006-2007.
The school would be different not only in its leadership theme, but also in promotion and schedule. Students would progress among grades based on their performance, not the month on the calendar, and would get out of school shortly after 1 p.m., with the same number of instructional minutes.
The school board is scheduled to vote on the petition on March 13.
February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "YCJUSD elementary school #8 is officially a done deal"

The Yucaipa-Calimesa School Board has unanimously approved purchase of five acres for a new elementary school. They are still working on a name.

The full school board meeting minutes and agenda for the next meeting should be posted on the YCJUSD web site soon.

City News

City Council News
February 18, Press-Enterprise, "Cities sue San Bernardino County over cleanup fee"

Eleven San Bernardino County cities, including Yucaipa, are suing the county over a new trash fee meant to help fund the cleanup of perchlorate at the Mid-Valley Landfill in Rialto. Part of the issue is that the county chose to imposte the fee without any input from the affected cities.
"The effect on the average household is less than a buck a year," said San Bernardino County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, whose district includes six of the cities [including Yucaipa] challenging the fee. "But the overall need to clean up perchlorate is enormous."
February 23, San Bernardino Sun, "Loss of Dial-A-Ride weekend service raises concerns"

Omnitrans' proposal to limit OmniLink Dial-A-Ride service in Yucaipa to weekdays has the few people who use the service concerned that they won't be able to get around on weekends. Part of the problem is that Omnitrans is required by the state to collect at least 20% of its costs in fares, but Dial-A-Ride only recovers about 7% of their costs.
Many who attended the meeting and were not Dial-A-Ride customers, said that one day in the future they might need to use it and hoped that eliminating the weekend is not the first step toward eliminating it all together.

"We need to solve this and we can't solve it by putting all of it on the backs of the little people that are already using it," said Clare Lampman of Yucaipa. "I don't think they're fighting enough to find a solution. There needs to be a wider solution because if you want to have fewer people driving and that's their only alternative, they're not going to quit driving, they're going to continue even though they're not safe drivers."
February 12, Inland Empire Daily Bulletin, "Homeowners decry golf course"

The article is mostly about damage done to homes bordering Los Serranos Golf Club in Chino Hills, but mentions similar issues on the Yucaipa Valley Golf Course.

Locals in the News

February 22, Yucaipa News Mirror, "Yucaipa swimmer sets national freestyle time"

Yucaipan Kyle Gornay, a 10-year-old member of the Redlands Swim Team, set the top US time in the 50-yard freestyle for his age group at the January 2007 Southern California Swim Festival.
What makes Gornay's accomplishments even more impressive, perhaps, is the fact that this is his first year of competitive swimming. “I didn't want him sitting around all last summer,” said the swimmer's father, Ed. “We decided to get him involved in a swim club.”

Ed Gornay put in a call to Yucaipa Swim Team, but no one returned his phone message, so he called Redlands Swim Team, which encouraged him to bring his son right down.
(Gornay's time was beat by a North Carolina 10-year-old on February 9th, so he currently ranks #2)

There was a special Senior Lifestyles Supplement in this week's News Mirror, with several human interest stories. Unfortunately, they don't appear to be online, so I can't link the articles.

"Lillian and Maynard Hancock celebrate 70 years of marriage"

Lillian and Maynard Hancock celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on January 6th. The couple moved to Yucaipa in 1960. Lillian is an artist, poet and founder of the Treble Clefs Chorus. Maynard is the founder of the Yucaipa Valley Carving Club and an expert organic gardener. They have two sons, Ken and James, five grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Their advice for a long lasting marriage is to respect and love each other even through the bad times.
"Studying history and culture of Native Americans leads to life rich in purpose"

I'm not sure how Clifford Trafzer qualified for the "Senior Lifestyles" section, since he is far from retirement at age 57, but he is an interesting Yucaipan.

U.C. Riverside History Professor Clifford Trafzer was the was the first professor there to specialize in Native American History, and helped establish undergraduate, M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Native American Studies. Trafzer himself has Wyandot Indian ancestry on his mother's side of the family. His interests aren't just academic; he has served on the California Native American Heritage Commission under four governors, including Schwarzenegger; has been a member of the National Urban Indian Health Commission, which advises the White House and Congress; and is a founding board member of the Native American Land Conservancy. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including the recent Boarding School Blues and As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and the Rivers Flow, and

According to the article:
The Native peoples he has studied have enriched him. He has learned to take things slower, reaping the rewards of taking the time to hear a history. He's also learned to discern what part of the story should be retold to preserve the information. Because the memories of the elders are precious [and presumably because Trafzer is a competent scholar], he makes sure he has the information correct. He has been told by the Indians that they don't mind sharing their stories with someone like him because they want the information to survive intact.
Trafzer plans to continue his studies for the rest of his life.
He would encourage anyone over the age of 50 to find their niche, something that holds their fascination.
(For those interested in learning more about Native Americans, be sure to check out the UCR Extension Courses in Native American Studies and the Crafton Hills College American Indian Association Gallery and Resource Center)

"Brenda Hill does it Again"

Yucaipa resident Brenda Hill Seaman has just completed her second novel, Beyond the Quiet.
Set in Yucaipa, "Beyond the Quiet" abandons the thriller genre for mainstream fiction: After 25 years of marriage, Lisa Montgomery thinks her husband's death is the worst that could happen. A month later, she pushes herself out of bed, dresses and even makes plans to move near her daughter and grandson. She has a reason to live after all. Then she receives a notice about her husband's secret post office box.
Hill Seaman is also an editor and writing instructor. Check out her website for writing tips, information about her services, or to buy a copy of her e-book, "Plot Your Way to Publication". Her first novel was the suspense-thriller Ten Times Guilty.

That's all for this week!




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