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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday Briefs

Sacramento Bee Coverage of Yamada Misleading

The first internet version of the Sacramento Bee article by Lakiesha McGee contained a very inaccurate description of County Supervisor Mariko Yamada's announcement event in Woodland on Wednesday at noon.

That version read:
"Yamada told a crowd of mostly reporters gathered at the steps of the Yolo County courthouse in Woodland that she plans to focus on supporting working families."
That description accurately described West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon's announcement in Davis in January. However, it was far from accurate in describing Yamada's event which had as many as fifty members of the public in the audience, in addition to a number of elected officials behind the podium with her.

The print version would later correct this after the Yamada Campaign complained. That version reads:
"Yamada told a crowd gathered at the steps of the Yolo County courthouse in Woodland that, if elected, she will continue to focus on supporting working families."
Of course there was no acknowledgment of the error and anyone who read only the initial internet version would get a misleading picture.

Good letter in support of keeping Valley Oak Elementary School Open

This is from the Friday March 2, 2007 Davis Enterprise
Tax ourselves to keep school open

How could a town such as Davis, whose primary identity and attractiveness is squarely based on its superior school system, even consider closing a successful neighborhood elementary school? People decide to pay the enormous premiums on housing to live in Davis for one primary reason: superior public education.

Valley Oak is a superior school, even for Davis. Valley Oak is a neighborhood school successfully serving the most economically and ethnically diverse section of Davis with the most successful English learner program in Davis.

Everyone knows there is a gap between the projected school budget and the cost of running the schools, not as a result of the schools, their teachers, students and parents, but because of the management of the schools by the school board in its incorrect assessment of enrollment projections some years ago.

For this fault of others, and no fault of their own, a unique, thriving, exemplary elementary school serving the most in need of special educational resources has been targeted to close, and by doing so dispersing its educational community, disassembling its parent-teacher organization, scattering its student body, breaking up friendships and study circles and depriving an intact neighborhood of its primary unifying institution.

How clever. How much easier, less courageous, less inventive and principled than in seeking additional and reallocated resources — and by doing the right thing by and from all its citizens.

By closing Valley Oak, what a clear and unequivocal signal the school system would be sending not only to the Valley Oak community, but to all lower-income families and ethnic minorities: When push comes to shove, yes, even in dear good Davis, money counts, race counts here, too. Those that have it get more; those that don't, well, maybe some other time.

Davis can afford its public schools; we are wealthier than we admit. No one will have any less of a comfortable life if we tax ourselves an additional $25, even $50 per household to ensure all public school are fully funded. The only real question is: Are we as decent as we are wealthy? We will soon find out.

Peter London

Freddie Oakley to Be Honored by Gay Rights Group

The Davis Enterprise also on March 2, 2007 reports that Yolo County Clerk and Recorder Freddie Oakley will be honored by the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center. She will receive the "Building Bridges Award."

According to the article:
The award is given to an individual who has shown leadership in fostering positive relationships between diverse communities in pursuit of equal rights for all, said Lester Neblett, executive director of the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center.

"By issuing symbolic 'Certificates of Inequality' to same-sex couples who are denied the right to marry, and doing so at her own expense and on her own time, Ms. Oakley made a tremendously courageous stand," Neblett said.

"Through her actions, she acknowledged the inherent unfairness of denying gay and lesbian people the right to marry the persons they love and denying gay families the huge number of legal rights, protections and financial benefits that go along with marriage.

"Although Ms. Oakley herself is straight and happily married, her actions built a bridge between the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all Californians who support equal rights."
Freddie Oakley has come under fire for her involvement in the issuance of Certificates of Inequality; however, many support her for her courage.

The Charles Goethe Controversy in Sacramento

The Sacramento Bee reports:
The Sacramento City Unified School District board voted Thursday to form a citizens committee to brainstorm new names for the [C.M. Goethe Middle School] after officials learned of Goethe's lesser-known, dark side as a national leader in the eugenics movement.
What caught my attention though was this line:
[Sacramento City] Councilman Kevin McCarty still finds the Goethe story unsettling. "I didn't even know what eugenics meant until a month ago," he said.
Not to make too much out of this, but I find it somewhat alarming that an elected City Councilmember of a city of the size of Sacramento had never known what "eugenics" was until recently. Of course that is not nearly as alarming as being told that a former Police Chief in Solano County had never heard of New Zealand.

Free Film on 9-11

Mark Graham of Davis wrote me a few days ago that he had a film on 9-11 that he would make available to the public for free.

The film contains evidence on the truth about 9-11.

For those interested in contacting Mark Graham, all he needs is some contact information. You can contact him by clicking here and sending him an email.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting