Friday, September 26, 2008

Don Sevrens and the SDUT help Bertha Lopez hide wrongdoing

On August 30, 2008 the San Diego Union Tribune published a sorry excuse for an editorial in its south county edition that includes the following statement:

"We have criticized from time to time Bertha Lopez, a busy individual, for failing to respond to media and public inquiries. We have never criticized her integrity."

This editorial appears to me to be the work of Don Sevrens, who regularly manages to avoid logical consistency in his opinions. In fact, Don Sevrens and the SDUT have been kept well-informed about Bertha Lopez' wrongdoing, but they have kept her secrets for many years. Even when writing about the "Castle Park Five," Sevrens and the SDUT kept quiet about the concurrent court case that involved wrongdoing by Bertha Lopez and the rest of the CVESD board as well as several members of the group of five teachers transferred out of Castle Park Elementary.

Photo taken at Castle Park High School candidate forum October 1, 20008. Bertha Lopez is at right, and candidate Stephanie Alcaraz is at left.

Jaime Mercado and Pearl Quinones October 1, 2008.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why doesn't city manager Dave Garcia claim executive privilege?

The legislative body of Chula Vista (the city council), spent the evening a couple of days ago examining what they suspected (hoped?) were pictures of Pamela Anderson and other women downloaded from the Internet by the executive branch of Chula Vista, specifically city manager Dave Garcia.

Why didn't Chula Vista's executive branch refuse to turn over the documents? Mayor Cheryl Cox is an expert at keeping secrets, a skill she developed at Chula Vista Elementary School District.

Perhaps Cox needs a review course in how it's done, so I offer the following:

Palin Claims Executive Privilege
Think Progress
Sept. 10, 2008

The Washington Post reports that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) is “being asked by a local Republican activist to release more than 1,100 e-mails she withheld from a public records request, including 40 that were copied to her husband, Todd.” Invoking a favored practice of the Bush administration, Palin has claimed executive privilege to keep the e-mails secret — despite the fact many of them were sent to Todd, who is not an elected official.

What’s more, Palin and her staff intentionally use her personal Yahoo e-mail account, perhaps to avoid document release requests:

Palin also routinely does government business from a Yahoo address,, rather than from her secure official state e-mail address, according to documents already made public...

The lawyer filing the request pointed out that the point of government e-mail is to ensure “security and encryption.” “She’s running state business out of Yahoo?” he asked...

Palin’s move is eerily reminiscent of Bush administration ploys to dramatically increase secrecy in government, such as when White House aides switched to personal e-mail accounts to avoid subpoenas during the investigation into U.S. Attorney scandal last year:

"But just a week after E-mails in the U.S. attorneys case became a main focus of congressional Democrats probing the firings, several aides said that they stopped using the White House system except for purely professional correspondence..."

As Josh Marshall pointed out at the time, if the White House was using personal e-mails, “they can’t have even the vaguest claim” to executive privilege [regarding the emails that used the government email]...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Southwestern College administrators Arthur Lopez and Greg Sandoval in sexual harrassment lawsuit

School attorneys in San Diego county don't settle claims. They love the money they get from lawsuits.
By Chris Moran
September 2, 2008

A student services assistant at Southwestern College has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against three administrators, including a vice president.

Martha Jimenez alleges in a suit filed in San Diego Superior Court late last month that she “involuntarily accepted” demands for sex from Arthur Lopez, the director of financial aid. Lopez resigned in June.

According to the lawsuit, Lopez would tell Jimenez during their sexual encounters to remember that her evaluation was coming up and who got Jimenez her job.

Lopez's attorney has denied Jimenez's accusations against his client.

Greg Sandoval, vice president of student affairs, is also named in the suit...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Why was a mild essay about Patrick Judd blanked from my website?

Patrick Judd has a lot of control over the media. He succeeded in keeping the story of my lawsuit against CVESD out of the Chula Vista Star-News (above) and the San Diego Union Tribune.


I have long wondered how sentences, paragraphs and entire pages have suddenly disappeared from my Yahoo website from time to time. Attorney Ljubisa Kostic told me recently (when he was deposing me) that all someone has to do to get something removed is to complain to Yahoo. My guess is that the "someone" has to be a lawyer threatening a lawsuit for defamation. Yahoo hasn't admitted this to me, but Mr. Kostic could be right.

So the question becomes: Why did a particular paragraph or page disappear? Was it offensive? Illegal? Defamatory?

No, apparently that's not necessary. Take for example the following passage that disappeared from my "Seven Happy Clowns" page recently:

Judd says that having even one member
on the board who supports teacher unions
would destroy the board’s “collegiality.”

But what does “collegiality” mean?

In this case, it means that the current
board has agreed to hide its conflicts
from the voters. Important
differences exist between Judd and
the two board members who respect
teachers, Cheryl Cox and Bertha
Lopez. Judd's opponent, Jill Galvez,
would bring MORE collegiality to the
board because she shares the
positive attitudes of the board’s two
most forward-thinking members, Cox
and López.

[Blogger's note: Cheryl Cox and
Bertha Lopez, as it turned out, joined
Judd, Pamela Smith and Larry Cunningham
in a long series of unanimous and
irresponsible decisions. They were not
as forward-thinking as I had imagined.]

School boards who keep secrets DO
NOT benefit taxpayers or children;
they only benefit incumbents.

They conduct trade-off diplomacy: I'll
vote for yours if you'll vote for mine,
and the public will never know what
our disagreements were.

Why not do the RIGHT THING EVERY

Probably Mr. Judd genuinely believes
in what he is doing, but his rigidity is
an obstacle to progress in Chula Vista
Elementary School District.

The five-member school board is not
smarter than all the people of Chula
Vista put together.

The decision-making process needs
to become open to all. Does
disagreement result in worse
decisions? No! It results
in BETTER decisions because more
ideas are considered. We need to
hear from educators who DON’T

I honestly can't figure out how anybody could convince Yahoo to remove this mild opinion piece.

So I'm back to wondering if friends of Patrick Judd have been hacking my website.

P.S. A few months ago, part of my California Teachers Association webpage was blacked out, as opposed to being blanked out.

A note to Patrick Judd: Teachers play politics with education just like you do. They need leadership to learn collaboration. I suggest you read "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team."