Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Archive for February, 2012

Piedmont Portal is Live

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 9, 2012

Click to visit the Piedmont Portal

Connecting Our Community and Schools


The Piedmont Portal is a joint venture of the Piedmont Educational Foundation (PEF) and the Associated Parent Clubs of Piedmont (APCP). It is positioned as a  “community a go-to source for all things school-related” and they encourage your feedback. I’ve taken a look and think it’s a nice single stop place to find links to information about Piedmont’s schools and educational programs.

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Posted by Len Gilbert on February 8, 2012

Congratulations to the winners in yesterday’s election.

Sarah Pearson and Andrea Swenson are joining incumbent Rich Raushenbush on the school board. For council, incubment Margaret Fujioka’s strong vote total returns her to the table. Joining her appears to be Bob McBain who has a 51 vote lead over Tim Rood as of 10:34pm on Tuesday night.

In addition to congratulations, I would also like to extend thanks to Margaret Fujioka, Bob McBain, Tim Rood, Sarah Pearson, Jon Elliott, Andrea Swenson, and Sunny Bostrom for putting forth a lot of time, effort, and ideas to improve our town.

Final totals should be available at http://www.acgov.org/rov/current.htm at 4pm today.

For Piedmont election returns by district, see http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/election_results.php then click a district to see its results.

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Piedmont Council & School Board Endorsements

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 6, 2012

You may, or may not have noticed that no deluge of letters were published on the PNN this election. The reason is primarily because the bulk of the initial “letters” would be more aptly called press releases and I didn’t want a campaign with a better PR person to get space while an equally qualified candidate would not. I also feel that the deluge of letters sometimes distracts from the goal: elect the best qualified candidates for the positions.

Contested elections are great for democracy. They give different candidates a chance to express their ideas and opinions and the voters then decide which candidates have the best mix of experience and ideas. “Experience” means different things to people; to me, it is a combination of education, volunteer activities, awareness of Piedmont’s issues, and work background. In this and the last council election, candidates with excellent professional experience and educational background were criticized for not “volunteering” enough before seeking a council seat. I feel that volunteering is a fantastic community service and can give you great exposure to different elements of Piedmont’s community, but I put more weight in a city council candidate who has professional experience managing finances or urban planning over someone who has volunteered on the booster club or the school parents club. For school board, leading a parents club, sitting on curriculum committees, helping the district implement GATE programs, the parcel tax committee, or working to keep 4th grade music in schools is very important. Mere “volunteering” isn’t enough, it must be relevant to the position.

Some have questioned whether the council will be “cohesive” if certain candidates are elected. I think that we need council members who ask questions and want details before spending our taxpayer funds. We have many financial challenges facing both the council and the school board and we need people who are not interested in “business as usual”. Both the school district and city staff provide reports and recommendations to those elected to make the executive decisions. Sometimes a critical look and an independent appraisal of those recommendations might yield new and creative solutions. Without careful consideration, adequate due diligence, and the will to ask questions that may be uncomfortable for some, Piedmont’s city and schools may not be as financially sound and strong as we have come to expect and enjoy.

We are fortunate to have  a great slate of candidates for the school board and city council, some familar, some new to Piedmont politics. Here is who I am supporting and I encourage you to vote for them this Tuesday, February 7th.

Jon Elliott, school board

Jon’s thorough and thoughtful approach will be a great addition to the current board. I feel he will be able to help guide us through the difficult financial times our district and state are having while ensuring that we always keep the top-notch educational experience of Piedmont’s schools as the goal. Jon’s experience both with financial and curriculum issues will be invaluable.

Sarah Pearson, school board

Sarah, like Jon, has a great mix of experience as co-chair of the parcel tax committee as well as leader of various parents groups including the Piedmont Parents Network combined with her professional experience as a pediatrician give her an approach that will benefit our children. Sarah can get people to think creatively to solve issues and generate consensus.

Tim Rood, city council

Tim has the professional background needed to help Piedmont look to the future and ensure that our city’s excellent services and infrastructure retain their high quality. We have many financial challenges and we need someone who is willing to ask questions and look for answers and different solutions.

Please remember to vote this Tuesday and I hope you’ll join me in supporting Jon, Sarah, and Tim.

Voter Info

Polling place: https://www.acgov.org/alco_ssl_app/rov/voter_info/voter_profile.jsp?formLanguage=E

Overview of Piedmont’s Election: http://www.acgov.org/rov/next2012-02-07.htm

Candidate Info: http://www.smartvoter.org/2012/02/07/ca/alm/ballot.html



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Beach Dads present Winter Jazz Night

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 5, 2012

Saturday, Feb. 11, 7-9pm, Veteran’s Hall

The Fifth Annual Winter Jazz Night sponsored by the Beach Dads Club will be held on February 11 from 7 – 11 pm at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 401 Highland Ave. in Piedmont.

The evening includes first-class music from Mingus Amungus, an all-star Jazz band founded by Beach Dad Miles Perkins. In addition, delicious food, donated by Butterfly Restaurant (owned by Beach Dad Rob Lam) and drinks will be available. Tickets for this adults-only event can be purchased online for $50 before January 31 or for $65 after that date. For more information and to purchase tickets online, please visit http://www.beachdadsclub.com Childcare for the event will be made available. Details will follow later this month.

All proceeds from the Winter Jazz Night go directly to support math, computer, and art programs, science enrichment, and classroom aids in Piedmont Schools. Do not miss this great evening–supporting the Piedmont Schools has never been so much fun!

Purchase Tickets on Sportability HERE

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Waste Land – Piedmont Connect “Home Movie”

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 4, 2012

Sunday February 12, 7:00-8:30 pm

Waste Land (home showing of movie)

From the Chronicle review: “Waste Land is a film about recycling, but it’s far more intriguing than the average eco-documentary. The subject is Brazilian garbage-pickers and how Brazilian-born artist Vik Muniz created striking photo portraits of a half-dozen of them and transformed their lives. There are amazing shots of pickers at work on the world’s largest landfill, near Rio, and we learn heartbreaking details of the lives of those who became Muniz’s subjects. Directed by Lucy Walker

Location: TBA. Please RSVP at www.piedmontconnect.org and we will send directions. Space is very limited.

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