Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Archive for March, 2009

Spring Fling has almost flung! Get your ticket today!

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 30, 2009

Fling is less than one week away!

retro-feverDue to generous underwriting, 100% of your ticket and auction dollars will go directly to our elementary schools. And they really can use the money!

Please purchase your tickets at www.piedmontspringfling.org. Remember that a VIP Reception ticket enters you into a raffle for two Jet Blue airlines tickets anywhere Jet Blue flies. Sales end on Wednesday!

If you can’t attend, please go to www.piedmontspringfling.org and scope out the auction site. You can bid on Buy Now Items now or can complete an Absentee Bid form to bid on items at the auction.

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Piedmont Makes SFGate Again!

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 16, 2009

The folks across the bay just can’t get enough news about our little town. Today’s SFGate has an article “Piedmont: Holding Steady as Storms Rage“. The general theme is that our home prices are holding steady thanks to our great schools and public services.

And on the same day I got this email regarding a Parcel Tax kick-off meeting:

Now that the two complimentary  Parcel Tax measures have been approved by the School Board and submitted for  the June 2nd ballot, the Steering Committee is recruiting  volunteers to build support and coordinate a Get  Out the Vote effort in all Piedmont neighborhoods. There are many ways  to be  involved, every little bit helps a lot, and we would love you to join our  efforts!

Please come to the Parcel  Tax Volunteer Kick-Off Meeting on Wednesday, March  18th from  7-9 p.m.

We will enjoy wine, coffee, and  desserts, and then our local campaign expert, Larry Tramutola,  will explain campaign strategy. It should be a fun and productive  evening. Everyone who would like to help is welcome at the meeting — please  tell your friends and neighbors! (rsvp helpful but not  necessary)

For more information, please contact the Parcel Tax Co-Chairs:
Terry London 428-0144 terry@wfl.net
Sarah Pearson 658-0888  srpear@gmail.com

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Thoughts About Teachers, Schools & Budgets

Posted by drewbendon on March 13, 2009

In their grade school careers, my boys have had 7 separate teachers.  Of them, I’d say that 2 were excellent teachers and a 3rd was very inspiring and got a good deal out of my son.  The best of them got a pink slip today.  And if I can guess at how the seniority system works out I would guess that one of the other two did as well.  Of course that doesn’t mean Piedmont will lose them, but if we do, I have to wonder why.  Do we have to lose the best ones?  Consider this …

The current budget of PUSD listed on the website is $28,370,960.00.  We are regularly told that roughly 90% of that budget ($25,533,864.00)  is salaries & benefits.  The current budget deficit we are told, is $1,500,000.00 or roughly 5.8% of the salaries/benefits the district pays.  Could we save all the teachers in the district for next year if all employees agreed to take a pay/benefit cut of 6%  (maybe slightly more depending on what percent of the $5.45 million paid in benefits is for retiree benefits) for one year?  Or might the union have conditionally agreed to a reduction pending the outcome of the parcel tax and other budget discussions as a way to spare the teachers on the bubble the impact of Pink Friday?

Unions have done great things for workers as a whole.  As they saying goes, they brought us the weekend.  But I have to wonder if they’ve become too bulky to adjust to the fast changing circumstances of our economy and if society as a whole will suffer for it.  Is it finally time to consider some revisions to the tenure system?  Or how we manage retirement systems or health benefits for such large organizations?  Or to repeal Prop. 13, at least on commercial properties?

All I know is that there has to be a better way than losing the best teacher we’ve experienced at Havens because of an arcane, unadaptable system.

drew

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Piedmont’s Pink Friday

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 12, 2009

Wearing pink on Friday, March 13th is one of the ways CTA hopes to draw attention to the education budget issue.

stand-up-for-schoolsCTA is asking the public to join in by wearing pink to support the teachers. Many Piedmont staff will be wearing pink on Friday, March 13 as this is the date that state law requires lay-off notices or “pink slips” be handed to teachers. Wednesday night, the Piedmont Board of Education, authorized the release of temporary teachers and lay-off notices for tenured teachers, administrators, counselors and librarians, affecting at least 50 of PUSD staff. This action was necessary for the District to balance its budget shortfall of up to $1.5 million for 2009-10 school year. Other lay-off notices and budget reductions are anticipated over the next several months.
Throughout the State, it is anticipated that more than 25,000 teachers will receive “pink slips.” From the Pink Friday 2009 website:

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California’s public schools, colleges and universities are facing more than $11 billion in state budget cuts. These cuts are going to impact an entire generation of kids and alter public education for years to come.

March 13 is the deadline for school districts to issue preliminary pink slips to California’s teachers. Last year, more than 10,000 teachers got pink slips and nearly 5,000 lost their jobs. And this year could be much worse.

Please join us on Friday, March 13 and Stand Up for Schools.

What You Can Do

1. Wear pink on Friday, March 13 to show your support for public schools, students and educators.

2. Organize or attend an event at a school near you.

3. Call or e-mail your Legislator. Tell them that investing in public education is an investment in California’s future.

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Blair Park Field Survey

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 5, 2009

Our neighbors over at the Today in Montclair, 94611 blog have created a survey for Montclarians and Piedmonters regarding development at Blair Park, in Oakland, general field usage, and related topics.

Read more in the post “All About Local Sports Fields” or Take the Survey.

–L

Posted in City News, Parks, Recreation, Youth Sports | Tagged: | 1 Comment »