Letter to the editors Aug. 12
Teachers do not support Muir and Salazar
I read with interest a recent letter to your opinion page written by Rajy Abulhosn, 7-28-16, in which he expressed his support for San Dieguito school board members Muir and Salazar and encouraged the community to attend San Dieguito Union High School District board meetings. Mr. Abulhosn added that those attending should ignore the “three or four people who happen to be holding signs outside [the] board meeting.”
Well, I was one of the – not “three or four” – but 20 San Dieguito District teachers informational picketing outside the last San Dieguito school board meeting to raise awareness that district teachers overwhelmingly do not support nor trust board members Muir and Salazar. While I am a teacher in the district, I am also an Encinitas resident and a parent of a student in the San Dieguito District and have become increasing alarmed, as have so many of my colleagues, about Muir’s and Salazar’s actions which we find detrimental to our nationally-recognized school district. For example, Muir and Salazar have voted to thwart the taxpayer-approved Prop AA school infrastructure projects, most recently voting against the construction of desperately needed new, modern science classrooms at Canyon Crest Academy. They also have taken actions that teachers believe undermine the integrity of our district’s outstanding instruction and curriculum, while also recently casting votes that were far from the “fiscal responsibility” that Mr. Abulhosn seems to champion.
I strongly agree with Mr. Abulhosn when he says that “the decisions made by our board, the first priority should be our children.” Please do, as he further suggests, come to a board meeting and see for yourself, and meet some of the many teachers who do not believe Muir and Salazar are making our students the first priority. Also, let me share that never before in the district’s long history have district teachers rallied like this to carry signs at school board meetings. However, my colleagues and I have reached the point where “enough was enough,” and we wanted our parents and our community to understand what Muir and Salazar have been up to. When an overwhelming number of my district’s teachers do not support, do not trust, and do not have any confidence in Muir’s and Salazar’s leadership, it should be of great concern to all our community.
Is Encinitas too wealthy?
On Aug. 17, at 6 p.m., the Encinitas City Council will discuss the offer by the Mizel Family Foundation to add the name Patricia Mizel to the Encinitas Library’s name, in exchange for a $2 million donation to the city, a quarter of which will go to the Friends of the Encinitas Library.
It can be seen offensive to rename public buildings if taken out of context. However, this is a unique case, and I would like to place it in its proper context to solicit your support.
Steve Mizel’s intention was to honor his wife, for over 30 years of dedication to her library.
Patricia Mizel has been an active supporter of the Encinitas Library since 1995. For 10 years, she sold donated books on the Friends of the Encinitas Library Amazon storefront, from her house. Her name attached to the library has meaning. Many people have contributed to this gem, maybe in more significant ways, but this offer is rare.
The Mizel foundation is generous to the residents of Encinitas. On June 8, 2016, the Encinitas City Council allocated $75,000 to 48 arts and civic nonprofit organizations, through its Community Grant Program (CGP). Since 2008, the Mizel Family Foundation has matched dollar-for-dollar the city’s budgeted CGP allocation, for a total of $1.2 million.
As a long-time resident and artist, I can think of many ways the city of Encinitas can use $1.5 million starting, for example, with the future Art Center at the Pacific View School. We can see every day the consequences for children and adults deprived of art and music experiences. It is not a luxury and it takes money. Infrastructure improvements can benefit us all.
As a retired librarian, and one of 70 volunteers for the Friends of the Encinitas Library, I can assure you the library would not be what it is without the Friends’ financial support. Every dollar donated for purchase of material is matched by the county. Most programs are funded through selling books donated by the community. How can we say it doesn’t need a gift of $500,000? How about 3D printers and computer classes the library cannot provide? I am sure all of you have something to add to the list. It is yours. What a gift.
A library is a public building, but it is unique. It is a space of learning. Its walls are inanimate, and can only carry the symbolic values we want to give them. These belong to personal opinions. The universal message is simple: learning is empowerment, and it takes money to provide it.
In a healthy democratic place, the universal is the solution of choice.
Please express your support by calling City Hall at 760-633-2618 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blakespear stacked Rail Trail Committee against Cardiff’s NoRail Trail group
Encinitas Councilmember Catherine Blakespear proposed a “citizens working group” to oversee the entire Encinitas rail corridor, including the Cardiff portion of the Rail Trail. To ensure the process was open and transparent, the council hired a consultant to review applications and select a group of qualified residents for the “citizens group” that would be representative of the whole community.
Meanwhile, Blakespear colluded with her supporters to create a new group, which the council approved. We suspected that her private selection process was not fair, not open, and not honest. But after fact- checking both lists, it’s clear that Blakespear rigged the process.
The demographics of Blakespear’s secret list:
Of the seven people removed from the original consultant’s list by Blakespear: None were campaign contributors to Blakespear’s campaign and none were from the Yes on the Rail Trail group.
Of the seven people carried over from the consultant’s list to her list: three are Blakespear campaign contributors and two are Yes on Rail Trail members.
One slot was kept for the No Rail Trail group, but Blakespear cut our most qualified representative and replaced him with another member, who resigned in protest.
Of the seven new people added by Blakespear for her list (note, some are in more than one group): three are campaign contributors; three are hosting or have hosted Blakespear campaign events at their homes; two are Yes on the Rail Trail; and three are political appointees (City Commissioners).
Moreover, 75 percent of the new working group are either Blakespear campaign contributors or Yes on Rail Trail members; 100 percent of people added to her new list were either campaign contributors or Yes on Rail Trail members; and all applicants she dropped from the consultant’s list did not contribute to her campaign and are not Yes on the Rail Trail supporters.
The only recourse for No Rail Trail is to protest this rigged process by withdrawing our only member from the working group. The city recently asked us to fill our vacant slot with another member of No Rail Trail, but we are currently analyzing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) report and an attorney’s opinion to determine whether any illegal and/or unethical actions have taken place. In the meantime, we will be attending the working group’s meetings as nonvoting members of the public and will re-mobilize our grassroots effort to protect Cardiff’s natural environment and prevent unprecedented cronyism on the City Council.
Keep it natural!