Tag Archives: school

Others’ views on school board issue

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 16, 2013 —

  On the News-Ledger’s “Facebook” internet page this week, we invited comments to last week’s newspaper editorial.

  The editorial (we’ve provided a link below) contrasted the way Washington Unified School District and Sacramento City Unified School District each handled the appointment of a new school board member to fill a vacancy, and suggested WUSD commit itself to more transparency.

  We received the following feedback on Facebook:

  Jenni Zimmerman Yarwood: The constant badgering and belittling of the WUSD board by both the News-Ledger and the mayor is very disheartening and troublesome.

How about being mature, responsible adults and not lowering yourself to elementary schoolyard bullying? How about coming together in a positive way with a workable solution without the constant mudslinging and backstabbing?

Sadly, this kind of behavior is very typical of the media and our government these days and it’s got to stop. We will never come together as a community, a state or a country if this kind of behavior continues. It is this kind of behavior that is literally tearing our country and our communities apart.

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  Ardeene Brueske Westvik: Thank you for pointing out that the Sacramento School District managed to appoint a new temporary member without the cost of an additional election. I agree that transparency is always important in any public institution.

[adrotate group=”4″]   However, I would suggest it is also important when the public is asked to elect a school board. It is shocking to hear about some of the money that is very likely going to be spent to elect members some political figures wish to be placed on the Board. One really wonders what their motives are. Do they actually have some magic answer to make major improvements in the district or is their motive something less apparent?

Having been a district teacher, administrator and school board member, I know there is not a financial reason, nor can school boards make many of the decisions that are now made by Federal and State categorical fund requirements. So if some group is willing to spent as much as $10,000 for a school board position, we need to know where that money comes from.

As our most-read local newspaper, I sincerely request that you make the public very aware of the source of all funding for all candidates running for a seat on the school board. Lets have transparency in all aspects of our public offices.

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  Irene Perrigo Eklund: Even more important, why don’t you let the public know where the mayor and our supervisor got the money they spent on their independent expenditure committee and who is putting their name on them.

I read the article in the Bee about the Sacramento appointment and it was pretty much the same process as WUSD used. The mayor has already made the statement that if his candidate would have been appointed, this costly election would not be taking place.

So let’s just be honest about why this special election is taking place. It’s all about politics, power and greed. They surely do not care that the $130,000 price tag [for the special election] will come right from our kids’ classrooms. It is very obvious those involved do not care. Very sad indeed.

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  You can find the original News-Ledger editorial here.

  You may comment on this or other local issues by sending a ‘letter to the editor’ to us by email (call 916-371-8030 for email address).

  Or, by mail to:
  News-Ledger, P.O. Box 463, West Sacramento, CA 95691.
  Either way, please include your real name (for publication) and your address and phone number (not for publication).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Drop off your documents & e-waste to help RCHS music program

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER NEWSPAPER —

Support the River City High School music department by bringing your old electronic items and your old documents to an e-waste and shredding fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 12) in the music building parking lot, west side of campus. Bring your old phones, hard drives, monitors, etc. You may also bring documents to be shredded — $5 for a tall kitchen bag full, or $10 per 11” X 18” box. Shredding is done at the time of drop-off. Drive-through, and someone will take your items from your car.

[adrotate group=”7″]   For information, call 375-7800 or email amarvelli@wusd.k12.ca.us.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Bits & pieces from around Yolo County:

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 2, 2013 —

Some of the goings-on around Yolo County in recent weeks:

[adrotate group=”9″]   The Yolo County Children’s Alliance announced it had received a $45,000 grant from United Way Capitol Region.
The money is intended to fund participation in the United Way STAR Readers project for 80 local kids in kindergarten through third grade. The program will be run by the Childrens Alliance at Westfield Village Elementary School. It’s intended to help kids learn to read.

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Blue Shield of California Foundation gave $35,000 to the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center (SADVC) in Yolo County. The money is intended to help the center “provide services and assist survivors of domestic violence in Yolo County,” said a press release from the SADVC.

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The Delta Elementary Charter School in Clarksburg purchased a new 82-passenger bus to transport students from the region – including West Sacramento.
The school traded its old bus for a new one arranged by a program of the Yolo Solano Air Management District, as part of an air quality improvement program. The new bus is scheduled to start service this month.
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The animal services division of the Yolo County Sheriff’s office in Woodland received a face-lift in late October, thanks to outside help.
Brooks Painting of Davis and a $10,000 grant from “National Make a Difference Day” paid for the sprucing up. Volunteers helped paint the cinderblock building and its “puppy park.”
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About 450 people attended the “Art Farm” hosted by YoloArts in November, with buyers picking up at least 55 fine-art paintings and sculptures. The event in Woodland’s Gallery 625 (the county administration building at 625 Court Street) raised an estimated $15,000 for distribution to the “Art and Ag Project” and partners Yolo Land Trust and Yolo Farm to Fork.
It’s an annual event.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

They could have been anybody’s kids

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 26, 2012 —

‘MY BACK PAGES’: Daryl Fisher’s column

So, just what is the “Bushmaster .223 AR-15” assault rifle that was used to slaughter 20 grade school children and six of their female teachers and administrators a week ago last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut?

BY DARYL FISHER

To begin with, it’s actually a demilitarized version of the deadly M-16 rifle I carried around in the jungles of Vietnam more than 40 years ago. It’s lightweight, doesn’t have much of a recoil, and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has even said it is her favorite gun, “because you can be so accurate with it.” Its makers officially call it a “modern sporting rifle” and one of its best-selling points is that it is set up to handle high-capacity magazines (ten or more rounds) which give the shooter the ability to fire off dozens of bullets without having to take a bunch of time out to reload.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, it is also one of the most popular rifles in the country, with more than 2 million of them having been sold in the last decade alone. They usually cost anywhere from $900 to $2000, although I hear there are some really nice sales going on right now that will make you the proud owner of one for as little as $799.

In addition to being very popular with target practice enthusiasts (like Adam Lanza’s mother, who was the first of her son’s 27 victims), they have become wildly popular with mass murderers. It was the weapon of choice for the two killers who came to be known as the Beltway Snipers back in the early 2000s, terrorizing much of the Washington, D.C., area and leaving 15 people dead before they were caught. And an AR-15 (with a 100-round barrel magazine) was also one of the weapons used to shoot up an Aurora, Colorado theater not that long ago, leaving 12 dead and 58 wounded. Oh, and it was the weapon another crazed killer used in the very recent Clackamas, Oregon, shopping mall shooting that left three dead (including the gunman) and many people in that community too scared to finish their Christmas shopping.

So, as any sane person should finally get around to asking, why in the hell is such a weapon allowed to be in the hands of any American other than a soldier or police officer? Well, apparently it has something to do with the American gun culture, which now has our nation afloat in somewhere between 270 and 350 million guns. No one really knows the exact number, but whatever it is, it’s almost half of all the guns in the world.

According to the National Rifle Association (NRA), it also has something to do with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which as I understand it, the Founding Fathers set up to make sure that we could each have our own musket (the kind that takes about a minute to reload) and there would be a well-regulated militia in case the British ever got back on their ships and tried to reclaim their American colonies again.

It’s one thing for a hunter to have a properly registered rifle and shotgun, and for citizens who feel they need a handgun to protect their family and possessions to own one. But to keep accepting close to 10,000 gun deaths every year in this country as simply part of the price we all have to pay for our Second Amendment rights is nothing less than madness.

The NRA, which can apparently make or break some of our most cowardly politicians, also says that we don’t really have a gun problem in this country, just a crazy people problem, and that if we really want to effectively deal with gun violence in America, all we really need to do is get off our butts and buy more guns (that really is what their organization is mostly about you know: selling more guns so they can continue to get more than half of their yearly multi-million dollar lobbying budget from gun manufacturers).

When talking to the NRA and their knee-jerk supporters, they will give lip service to everything from violent video games and movies to our inadequate mental healthcare system (all of which, by the way, should indeed be part of any serious discussion about gun violence in this country). But in their first news conference since that bloody Friday morning in Newtown, their only answer to making sure it doesn’t happen again is to put heavily armed police officers into all our schools, effectively moving future “OK Corrals” from the dusty streets of the old Wild West into our nation’s classrooms.

In reality, meaningful gun control laws can be enacted and can even work, as Australia proved less than two decades ago when they put the safety of their citizens ahead of the profits of weapons manufacturers after a gunman opened fire on tourists in a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania. By the time he had finished, that gunman had killed 35 people and wounded dozens more. It was easily the worst mass murder in Australia’s history, and only twelve days later, Australia’s conservative government announced a bipartisan deal with state and local governments to enact sweeping gun-control measures, including a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles. Polls showed that 90 percent of the public supported those measures, and they have gone a long ways towards making Australia a much safer place to call home.

[adrotate group=”10″]   On the day I was wounded in Vietnam, 21 of the 28 members of my Aero Rifle Platoon were also hit, and two of them were killed. The scene was unimaginable, with blood and guts everywhere and with trained soldiers in shock from what they had just witnessed and somehow lived through. It was the most deadly and terrifying ambush I experienced during my year in Vietnam and yet it was nothing compared to what those poor little kids and their teachers and administrators had to face at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty kindergarten and first grade students shot dead, with each of their little bodies having been hit at least three times (some as many as 11). Six brave female teachers and administrators also shot dead while trying to keep their precious students out of harm’s way.

And as someone who has seen up-close-and-personal the way a rifle like the Bushmaster AR-15 does its terrible thing, I can tell you that those poor little kids weren’t simply killed – they were blown away!

So, will meaningful gun control laws turn all the bad guys into good guys? Of course not. But all important journeys begin with the first step, and it’s way beyond time that our country and its politicians manned-up and started getting these god-awful weapons and their high-capacity magazines off our nation’s streets and out of our homes and neighborhoods.

Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin, and Allison could have been any of our kids and grandkids. They should all be home opening their Christmas presents this week, instead of being buried in some lonely cemetery by the completely shattered families who adored them. And each of their lovely, innocent souls deserved so much better from the nation that now mourns them.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012