Santa Monica Dispatch

The Santa Monica Dispatch is an independent newspaper founded and edited by Peggy Clifford. Our objective is to give voice to the community.

Monthly archives "August 2010"

When Gifts Are Necesities

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The campaign was called “Save Our Schools,” not “Save Some of  Our  Schools More Than Others.”  It was an impressive community effort, raising slightly more than $1.5 million in 60 days.

Last week’s   Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board meeting was not impressive. There are 13 schools in the District. The PTAs at schools in affluent neighborhoods generally raise more money than PTAs in  other schools. No surprise there. All American schools are not created equal, and never have been.
But   SMMUSD’s   financial situation is further complicated by  the mess of a  “gift policy” wrought by  John Deasy, former  SMMUSD superintendent and future LAUSD boss.

According to Surf   Santa Monica, Board members and staff will have to discuss the role  of  the misbegotten  policy in the District’s continuing financial problems. At  Length.

We have a better idea. They should simply declare all donations  necessities, not gifts.
And divide them equitably among the schools.

Facts of Life in Santa Monica

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FACT: Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights took a hard right turn two years ago when it joined developers to defeat Prop T, a residents’ ballot measure.

Fact: The SMRR Council majority has “packed” the Planning Commission.

Fact: It virtually abandoned public review in favor of development agreements on new projects.

Read More → and not

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By Ava Tramer

Clear and sunny
Highs: 61-85; Lows: 56-66

Mostly sunny and hot
Highs: 84-109; Lows: 56-71

Highs: 101-117; Lows: 71-87

And Santa Monica…
The week will begin sunny and hot,
But by the weekend, hot it will be not.
Yes, it will still be nice and warm,
And true, we won’t experience a storm.
But compared with the heat of the early days this week,
The weekend’s hot air will seem truly meek!

Save Our Schools Saves Nearly 20 Teachers & Staff!

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The Santa Monica Malibu Board of Education commended The Save Our Schools campaign and the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation at Wednesday night’s School Board meeting, citing visionary fundraising that will n affect students throughout district schools for the 2010 – 2011 school year.

The SOS campaign raised $1,517,201.68 in only 60 days. At the same meeting, the Board of Education restored 19.75 positions with SOS proceeds. 9.5 elementary teacher positions will be restored with Save Our Schools funds. In addition, 2 secondary teachers, 1.75 counselors, 2.5 music teachers, and 4 library coordinators will keep their jobs as a result of Save Our Schools funding. The Board also approved additional positions to be restored with expected Federal Education Jobs Fund dollars.

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SOS Raises Over $1.5 Million

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Save Our Schools, the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation’s emergency 60-day fundraising campaign to restore class sizes and programs lost to state budget cuts ended Sunday with a Grand Finale!

Check CEPS blog:

Mayor Says No on Prop Y

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Increasing the sales tax is wrong.

Mayor Bobby Shriver, in opposing this tax said: “The City is rich…” and to say “the City is in some sort of financial extremis is just not borne out by the facts.”

Residents’ objections to Y:

1. Revenues have been secured by a raise in taxes already. A 10% Utility Tax expansion to “preserve essential City services and school programs” was approved by voters in 2008.

2. There are serious unintended consequences. Increasing the sales tax to over 10% can drive many people to shop elsewhere — causing permanent harm to our community. Loss of local small businesses, local jobs and convenient goods and services hurts the Santa Monica neighborhoods we want to preserve and maintain. Local character should not be put at risk.

3. This tax money can be used for ANY purpose. The possibility of education funding is only a politician’s promise. There’s no guarantee schools or police and fire departments will receive monies from this tax increase.

4. The city budget is growing. It has increased $25 million in the past two years to over a half billion dollars! Per capita, Santa Monica is one of the richest municipal governments in the state. In fact, dozens now draw lucrative annual City pensions over $100,000, with many more in the wings.

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Save Our Schools Grand Finale Celebration

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The “SOS Grand Finale Celebration” marks the culmination of the Save Our Schools 60- day emergency fundraising campaign. The event will highlight the campaign accomplishments and recognize the people and organizations who helped make this campaign a success.

WHAT: SOS Grand Finale Celebration: a community celebration of what we can accomplish when we work together.
WHO: Speakers at the event include Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Tim Cuneo, and members of the SMMUSD Board of Education.
WHERE: Santa Monica High School Science Quad. Parking available in the North Lot. Enter the lot through the alley just West of Lincoln Blvd.
WHEN: Sunday, August 15th 4pm – 7pm

For more information, visit:

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Questions Without Answers

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1. The City recently bought a 52,000 square foot parcel at Fifth and Arizona for $45 million. At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the parcel was described as the site of a new parking structure.

Can you calculate the cost of each parking space (land +materials +labor), and how many cars will have to park in each space to pay off those costs?

2. Two decades ago, there was a Spanish language movie theater on Third Street, just north of Broadway. As part of its plans for the Promenade, the City wanted three first-run movie complexes. To that end, City officials promised the theater operator that they would find him another location, if he would give up his Third Street location. He did, and a theater chain took over.

Did the City keep its promise?

Save Our Schools Campaign Goes Out with a “Bash”

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As the “Save Our Schools” campaign begins its final week , plans are afoot for a “SOS Grand Finale Celebration” on Sunday, August 15 from 4pm to 7pm at the Santa Monica High School Science Quad. The event will include announcements of totals raised.

The final week of the campaign will rely heavily on last-minute donors and those who are in a position to increase their current commitment. The campaign has already earned over a million dollars, or about 20% of the funding lost when Measure A, the local school funding measure, did not reach the two-thirds vote required to pass last May.

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