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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

TUSD - mob rule. What an unprofessional board. This is not how you handle business with your superintendent.

Posted by bslap on 02/23/2017 at 10:16 AM

Re: “Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr on Rolling His First Kid Joint to Grand Funk, and 'We're An American Band!'

Billy - Great article, btw. I have a connection to Grand Funk Railroad and "American Band" I think you might enjoy. In 1990 or so, my band was on a bill with the Dead Milkman in Oakland. Backstage, as the opening band was playing, I got into a conversation with Joe Genaro of the Milkmen. We found common ground making fun of - and admitting admiration for - these early arena cock rockers. At one point he said, "hey, I have something for you". He proceeded to hand me a folded piece of paper. The scrap had a phone number and the name "Connie". He went on to say that this was "sweet, sweet Connie's" phone number, the she was still um, active. "When you get to Little Rock, make sure you call her, she'd like you", he said. As a young musician and deep music fan, the surreal image of this grand dame of groupies bookending her career with Grand Funk and the Dead Milkmen was intoxicating. And that I now held this key to club, was like being bestowed the most sacred talisman. I never called the number- never really thinking I rocked appropriately to earn it, I guess - but I do of course still possess that scrap of paper. -slutes

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Slutes on 02/23/2017 at 9:41 AM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

Oh I missed this article when I commented on the OTHER unbiased reporting of TUSD affairs (NOT) that came through on my news feed. I saw you there David, and wondered if you too had to take a shower after the meeting because of all the slime that was being spewed from the dias and the audience commenters. Guess not. The comments above have pretty clearly indicated why people wouldn't show up but there is more. The attempt to get people to speak out in favor of Sanchez' leaving took place considerably AFTER the district phone calls to administrators and teachers to attend and support Sanchez, the changing of the SCPC meeting to make sure to pack the place with parents (although most SCPC people are not parents anymore) and the FB event that invited people for 4:30 (none came) demonstration and, yes, featured a nauseating picture of HT Sanchez as if he were Barack Obama and stood for HOPE. Well, he doesn't stand for HOPE for teachers, counselors or nurses, all of whom lost important benefits when their new contracts were released, nor for minority/majority students that should have been benefitting from the magnet school monies, nor for blue collar staff that received a whopping 1% raise (adding up to pennies on the dollar while administrators' 1% raise added up to thousands).....He also doesn't look like HOPE for any Board member who wants to know how many families have been thrown off of TUSD grounds with a police order to not return (a question not answered) or even one who wants a staff member to schedule a doodle poll (at LEAST 5 minutes of work for a highly paid assistant to pull off) of Board members to plan a Budget study session (which, incidentally, it is really hard to understand why the old Board majority is so opposed to!) While those of us who did stand up for taking Sanchez down from his pinnacle of un-acountable caudillismo are often berated, we do still represent almost 200,000 votes within TUSD just a few months ago calling for that very thing. That is a total I do not see you cite, David.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 02/23/2017 at 8:39 AM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

TUSD has lost 15,000 students under Adelita Grijalva and H.T. Sanchez. Those parents don't go to the meetings.

Choice is a wonderful thing for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by What, Again on 02/23/2017 at 8:20 AM

Re: “TUSD Suspense Continues

Of course, "Who showed up", the whole thing is a dog and pony show that forefronts politics while putting kids, achievement and learning on the back burner! There were a few key facts left out by this one-sided account of the most recent Board meetings. The majority of the speakers the first night that this issue was considered showed up solicited by Kristel Fosters' campaign, and some had given campaign donations as well. Not noted here is that Cassandra Becerra is also an aide to Congressman Grijalva, the illustrious father of the previous Board president. Also not noted is the number of people who throw accusations at Stegeman and Sedgwick and heckle throughout the meetings that have deep connections to the local Democratic power structure: think Adam Ragan (major player in the Kristel Foster campaign and becoming well known for trumpeting invectives against the twosome) and Derek Harris, an OMA teacher. Neither of them have been active prior to this election at school board meetings and to my knowledge neither of them have children in the district either--not that parents are the only ones with interest in TUSD. Given that its all more about politics and less about substance, how surprising is it that people who received the Superintendents' largess showed up to support his regime? What else is personal largess for?! I recall when the decision was announced to give $10,000 to an individual school as well as a considerable sum to Davis Elementary for their mariachi camp, (attended by a few Board members' children)--conveniently enough, Davis families and administration are also strong supporters of Sanchez. I thought that it was unethical and should be against policy: in the past Superintendents have donated to Educational Enrichment Foundation and allowed it to give the money to children and schools on a greatest need basis.But there is absolutely no political patronage benefit to doing something so simple and altruistic--better to give it to a few chosen schools (whose favor you need) out of the 86 that the Superintendent is responsible for. It was so obviously buying allegiance that only a caudillo would have thought of it to begin with.

In trying to explain TUSD to an out of town friend the other day, I was reminded of how amazing it is that a district could be such an abject leadership failure on so many fronts all while receiving 65 million extra dollars to desegregate and improve the education of who has now become the majority of its students. How could that even happen if the Board and the Superintendents WERE focused on doing the best by the kids? Its always amazing to me that the Board member who talks about continuity the most often says "I have seen X number of Superintendents over my years on the Board" without wondering whether her own very long-term presence or actions could have been a part of that level of discontent! Continuity is a brand new value: I don't recall any of the Board majority 4 years ago begging Dr. Pedicone to stay (although Kristel Foster did have an epiphany during the most recent campaign, with photos and stories to prove her new BFF relationship with the man she eviscerated for his MAS stance during the first campaign).

In short, this article is another stunning example of biased reporting on TUSD from the once-great Weekly. On that note, I will say that it was a real thrill to see David Safier, the usually very biased TUSD blogger actually AT THE MEETING taking notes. I'd like to think that by actually being there, he might have noticed the grotesque level of disfunctionality in the Board family that is NOT caused by the new majority. Whether or not he would make such a thing public, though, is a different question. I am not holding my breath!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 02/23/2017 at 8:18 AM

Re: “Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr on Rolling His First Kid Joint to Grand Funk, and 'We're An American Band!'

Now that's what Rock n Roll is and should be all about!

Grand Funk (Railroad) weren't the critic's darlings, but they couldn't care less. They were loved by the people...and they packed every venue, no matter how big, that they visited for several years.

Both of the videos posted here prove why. They fucking rocked.

I have major respect for Mark, Don, Mel and (partial member) Craig. Shit, even Homer J. Simpson is a fan.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YXKmsvRXE4A

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC on 02/23/2017 at 7:35 AM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

The bully prepares the ground by giving candy to anyone who agrees with him publicly and by punching anyone who disagrees with him publicly in the face.

Then the bully puts on a show: "How many people agree with me?"

And we are supposed to conclude that because a lot of people are willing to publicly agree with the bully to get candy and very few are willing to publicly disagree and get punched in the face, there is no genuine, widespread opposition to the bully's opinion?

How many people are too stupid to see this for what it is? David Safier pretends to be, but somehow I think that he, having recently served as part of the bully's enforcement squad, understands how it works very well.

Thank you, Jim Campbell, for providing very effective personal testimony. And thank you to Kathy for being one of the only people in town willing to take the risk of very publicly and very effectively asking for better for our kids.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bullying people into silence does not equal genuine support. on 02/23/2017 at 7:16 AM

Re: “Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr on Rolling His First Kid Joint to Grand Funk, and 'We're An American Band!'

Mark was part of the "Happy Together" tour that came though Tucson about a year ago. He 's still got the chops!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Wise-Guy on 02/23/2017 at 6:30 AM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

David,

Let me see if I can explain this to you simply. Why don't people show themselves to you re: TUSD?

Here is Kathy Campbell, mother of three TUSD students, owner of a small homebuilding business that builds about 20 homes a year for families in Tucson. She prides herself in what she does and prides herself in Tucson. But she is dissatisfied with the bullying of her girls, she struggles with the lack of dollars and textbooks in the classroom, her kids with 504 learning plans are ignored and she has great empathy for the teacher friends that are being financially abused by the District. She decides to speak up. Raise her hand. She decides to try to make a positive difference. She simply tries to have a voice in what is best for her kids.

And what do you do David? What do your friends from the embedded establishment do? You try to destroy her. You and your ilk create a website and spread rumors that stain her. We all hear she wants to destroy schools. She wants to kick out the kids (hers as well) and tear the buildings down. Then, because she is a greedy homebuilder who cares zero about her own kids and their education, she wants to build homes on the lands of the destroyed schools. She wants to make money on the destruction of her own kids education. She (and her husband) are the anti-Christ. How dare they speak what they feel is right and fair for their children?

David, you and the ones you support destroy ANYONE that cares differently or may believe in a slightly different direction. A direction that is less political and a bit more about the kids. A direction that pays teachers what they are owed and wants greater than 50 cents of every dollar in the classroom. You destroy them.....and then you wonder why more don't expose themselves to your brutality. Good day sir.

14 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jim Campbell on 02/22/2017 at 10:03 PM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

Here's some information on a couple of the devoted Sanchez fans who spoke in the Call to the Audience in the 4/14/17 and 4/21/17 TUSD Board meetings, David. It was just posted in another Tucson Weekly article's comment stream, but it is also relevant here:

One of the speakers in the 4/21/17 Call to the Audience was a former President of the University High School P.A., the same one who had come down to the "dog and pony show" portion of a TUSD Board meeting on June 23, 2015 to receive a $10,000 personal donation check from Sanchez on behalf of the counseling office at University High School.

Ms. Barnes was accompanied on that check-receiving occasion by Suzan Costich, a University High School fundraiser. By a strange coincidence, Ms. Barnes spoke in support of Sanchez's leadership in the 4/21/2017 meeting, and Ms. Costich spoke in support of Sanchez's leadership the previous Board meeting where "Fire Sanchez" was on the agenda, 4/14/2017.

Here's a link to the video tape of June 23, 2015 meeting, where you can see Ms. Barnes and Ms. Costich receiving the $10,000 personal check from Sanchez at about minute 40 in the videotape:
http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo062315.html

If you'd like to view Ms. Costich speaking in support of Sanchez's leadership, that's at about hour 2, minute 14 in the video of the 2/14/2017 meeting:
http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo021417.html

If you'd like to view Ms. Barnes speaking in support of Sanchez's leadership, that's at about minute 17 in the video of the 2/21/2017 meeting:
http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo022117.html

I do feel sorry for you sometimes, David. You try so hard to make a good case for your friends, and they make it very hard for you sometimes, don't they?

12 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by A couple of Sanchez's "staunch supporters" on 02/22/2017 at 8:04 PM

Re: “TUSD Suspense Continues

Oh look, it's Lisa Barnes holding a "Keep Sanchez" sign.

Wasn't she the President of the University High School P.A. who came down to the "dog and pony show" portion of a TUSD Board meeting on June 23, 2015 to receive a $10,000 personal donation check from Sanchez on behalf of the counseling office at University High School?

I do believe Ms. Barnes was accompanied on that check-receiving occasion by Suzan Costich, a University High School fundraiser. By a strange coincidence, Ms. Barnes spoke in support of Sanchez's leadership in the 4/21/2017 meeting, and Ms. Costich spoke in support of Sanchez's leadership the previous Board meeting where "Fire Sanchez" was on the agenda, 4/14/2017.

Here's a link to the video tape of June 23, 2015 meeting, where you can see Ms. Barnes and Ms. Costich receiving the $10,000 personal check from Sanchez at about minute 40 in the videotape:
http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo062315.html

If you'd like to view Ms. Costich speaking in support of Sanchez's leadership, that's at about hour 2, minute 14 in the video of the 2/14/2017 meeting:
http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo021417.html

If you'd like to view Ms. Barnes speaking in support of Sanchez's leadership, that's at about minute 17 in the video of the 2/21/2017 meeting:
http://www.tusd1.org/contents/govboard/gbvideo022117.html

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Who showed up to support Sanchez's leadership? on 02/22/2017 at 7:57 PM

Re: “TUSD Suspense Continues

Nicely written. Thank you, Danyelle.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 02/22/2017 at 6:25 PM

Re: “'Enemy of the People': The Phrase's Ironic and Instructive Literary History

Great article! What an interesting take on this whole bizzare circumstance we find ourselves in.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Adam Borowitz on 02/22/2017 at 5:58 PM

Re: “T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: Bless, Keep and Protect Our Free Press

Francine. Follow your own advice. Don't like things, leave.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 02/22/2017 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

Sylvia Campoy's name seemed to come up a couple of times last night as the Board bickered about who would and would not get to speak in the Call to the Audience and how long the Call would last. Ultimately, they closed the call without allowing Sylvia, the Latino Plaintiff's representative in the desegregation case, to speak.

Why was that? Personally, I would much rather hear someone who tracks social justice issues and desegregation plan implementation in TUSD speak than I would like to hear the head of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce speak. Yet Adelita Grijalva was very eager to have the head of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce -- a man who is not an expert in the management of public school districts, to my knowledge -- effusively praise Sanchez, while she had no interest in hearing Ms. Campoy's perspective.

Why do you suppose that was, David? Whose interests do your friends actually represent? The interests of the disadvantaged, or someone else's interests?

19 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Why wasn't Sylvia allowed to speak? I wonder... on 02/22/2017 at 5:04 PM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

Rules for Radicals!

"After losing his 1972 bid for a seat on the Tucson Unified School Board, Grijalva studied the activism of Saul Alinsky and came to understand that his own unfiltered militancy was likely alienating some members of his local community. "

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1316

18 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 02/22/2017 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Arizona Environmental and Wildlife Officials Continue to Push for an Update on the Recovery Plan for Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves

Did Michael Robinson describe Mexican grey wolves as beautiful creatures? These 'beautiful creatures' don't have such 'beautiful' traits in the way they consume their prey. I understand they're not always very hungry when they take down an animal for consumption; that they like to eat a little now and maybe come back and eat a little later. How sadistic is that? Oh yeah, we're talking about wolves here. Liberal urbanites~they can be so boring.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Bethel Bennett on 02/22/2017 at 3:20 PM

Re: “'Enemy of the People': The Phrase's Ironic and Instructive Literary History

Francine. If things are so bad I suggest you move elsewhere.

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by CW13 on 02/22/2017 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

" a room filled with a mixture of community members, staff members who were there as part of their job, reporters and curious onlookers,"

Well for goodness sakes, who was missing?

Parents of school children affected.

But they now can identify the supporters.

20 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by TUSD should be ashamed on 02/22/2017 at 2:18 PM

Re: “Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

Gee, David, you really are a little slow on the uptake. This issue of why support for Grijalva and her hand-picked administrative servant is so loud and public and why opposition takes place anonymously has been addressed many, many times in this comment stream. Here's one comment among many that explains it:

"People who support those currently in power in the district, like Andrea Rickard, have no reason not to post under their own names, and may in fact be earning brownie points with leadership for doing so. This is power politics 101 (actually, remedial power politics -- any grade schooler who chooses not to "dis" his teacher to her face gets it). So why is this hard for you to understand?"

Several people I know received requests from a few different directions to speak in the Call and write to the Board. Some received these requests to speak in support of Sanchez. Some received requests to speak in opposition to Sanchez. I've talked to representatives of both sides, so let me brief you on how the thought process goes:

Case A: I've received a request to speak in support of Sanchez. Perhaps I don't like him, but at this point I don't know whether or not he will continue to occupy the powerful position he occupies. Do I go to speak in support of him, no matter how ambivalent my feelings about his leadership may be? If I have a child enrolled in these schools and / or if I represent people who hope to continue getting contracts with the district and / or if I am an employee or am related to an employee, you bet I go. Not to obey the summons would be dangerous to my interests.

Case B: I've received a request to speak in support of firing Sanchez. Perhaps I am passionately in support of giving him his marching orders and securing more competent leadership for this troubled district, but at this point I don't know whether or not he will continue to occupy the powerful position he occupies. Do I go to speak in support of firing him? Though you do seem pretty dim sometimes, David, I think you can probably see where this is going: If I have a child enrolled in these schools and / or if I represent people who hope to continue getting contracts...etc. Do I go to speak in support of firing him? No way. To agree to do so is potentially dangerous to my interests or the interests of my loved ones. Multiply the potential dangers of blowback within TUSD to include potential blowback within various other city agencies where members of the same network hold office: there are contractors who've said they fear running into difficulties getting permits for work they need to do if they publicly oppose some of TUSD's entrenched politicians.

Do you get it now?

FYI, what they decided in the meeting was to proceed with external counsel. When Stegeman responded in the comment stream on the Star's article on the same Board meeting you are writing about here, he wrote, "You are right, but this is a personnel process. Personnel processes are generally not public processes. Things usually become clearer at the end."

Perhaps I'm reading the tea leaves wrong, David, but I believe this all means they are in the process of trying to fire Sanchez with cause. If that happens, after it happens, you may see a very different Call to the Audience than you saw last night. And then again you may not. Why would anyone take the trouble to attend and speak in one of those egregious meetings when what they believed was best for the district has already been accomplished? Perhaps it would be better to just send Mark Stegeman a personal thank you note, if he succeeds in doing what he seems to be trying to do: something that is without doubt the best possible thing to do to help this troubled district.

22 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by For David: Remedial Power Politics on 02/22/2017 at 2:15 PM

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