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Courier 5.23.12

Courier 5.23.12

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Published by Claremont Courier

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Published by: Claremont Courier on May 24, 2012
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our er i
Private investigator’s report into principal’s dismissal is released
Story on page 5
Wednesday 05-23-12
75 cents
9 days
 Your week in
Calendar starts on page 16
COURIER photo/Peter WeinbergerStage manager Cody Schock waits for the next scene to begin as they check the lighting and sound at dress rehearsal for All Shook Up on Monday night. ShadeTramp, right, who plays a roustabout named Chad, is in the background. The popular, Elvis-themed, jukebox musical will be performed by the CHS Theatre De-partment, and opens this Friday at Bridges Auditorium.
Golden State Water opens up its books
Story on page 3
The secrets to finding the best qualityhistorical Claremont swag
Story on page 4
Ring of fire
COURIER photo/Steven FelschundneffThe 2012 annular eclipse creates a ring of fire at about 6:30 p.m. on Sundayin the sky above Pioche, Nevada. The effect lasted about 4 minutes, duringwhich time the landscape appeared significantly darker, similar to twilight.The eclipse was visible across a wide band along the western United Stateson Sunday, stretching from northern California to eastern New Mexico.
The CHS Theatre Department is
 All Shook Up
Story on page 14
Claremont COURIER/Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Claremont Courier (United States Postal Service 115-180) is published twice weekly by the Courier Graphics Corporationat 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205B, Claremont, California 91711-5003. The Courier is a newspaper of general circulationas defined by the political code of the state of California, entered as periodicals matter September 17, 1908 at the post office atClaremont, California under the act of March 3, 1879. Periodicals postage is paid at Claremont, California 91711-5003. Singlecopy: 75 cents. Annual subscription: $52.00. Annual online subscription: $47. Send all remittances and correspondence aboutsubscriptions, undelivered copies and changes of address to the Courier, 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205B, Claremont, Cal-ifornia 91711-5003. Telephone: 909-621-4761. Copyright © 2012. Claremont Courier 
One hundred and fourth year, number 39
420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205BClaremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4761Office hours: Monday-Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Janis Weinberger
Editor and Publisher
Peter Weinberger
Managing Editor
Kathryn Dunn
City Reporter
Beth Hartnett
Education and Sports Reporter
Landus Rigsby
Features Reporter/Obituaries
Brenda Bolinger
Photo Editor/Staff Photographer
Steven Felschundneff
Reporters At Large
Pat Yarborough, Sarah Torribio
Calendar Editor
Jenelle Rensch
Back Page
Ad/Page Design
Jenelle Rensch
Page Design
Kathryn Dunn
Editorial Intern
Sasha Rindisbacher
Advertising Director
Mary Rose
Classified Editor
Jacquie Fischer
Business Administration
Marketing Manager
Vickie Rosenberg
Billing/Accounting Manager
Dee Proffitt
Tom Smith
5 Second Film Festival
Dear Editor:On behalf of our volunteers, I wish tothank you and the community for yoursupport of our 4th Annual Claremont 5Second Film Festival.This year’s event showcased filmsfrom around the world along withmovies made locally. The Back Abbeywas the perfect setting for the receptionand the Laemmle Theatre is, of course,synonymous with independent films.We are pleased that the show attractedan audience from throughout southernCalifornia along with industry profes-sionals from Hollywood.Proceeds from the show are used tohelp deserving children and their fami-lies during the holidays.We look forward to our fifth annualfestival next May. During the year, wewill provide film-related workshops andopportunities for local students to learnthe art of filmmaking.
Vincent Turner
Claremont Community College
Not abuse
Dear Editor:As a pastor and a teacher I have donea lot of research about, and had consid-erable experience of, child sexual abuse.An occurrence like this, between 7- and8-year-olds, is not child sexual abuse.See references below.*Though she covered the story welland otherwise sensitively, I invite the re-porter to further research the subject.Furthermore, I don’t understand whyit was the [principal’s] responsibility toreport anything to DCFS when it wasn’ta case of child sexual abuse and when ithad already been reported by the familyof one of the children.I agree his not being honest about re-porting the incident was a failure in wis-dom, but confusion about whatconstitutes child sexual abuse in this in-stance is a major part of the problem.
* American Academy of Child and  Adolescent Psychiatry American Psychological Association National Center for PTSDU.S. National Library of Medicine
Judith Lane Chatfield
The health of our civic culture
Dear Editor:There is probably no more humblingand thankless job in American publiceducation than to be legally entrusted,by election, to a school board seat.Board members are “civilians” whodepend on the judgment of the profes-sionals they employ, and they bear re-sponsibility for the quality of schoolstoday and in the future. Schools, boards,peopled by unsalaried volunteers, arewhere the buck stops. Lawyers knowthat schools may be cash-poor but canbe intimidated into signing big checksto settle lawsuits.The decisions about FrankD’Emilio’s future must have been heart-breaking to make, and one suspects ourboard knows how out-of-balance thingshave become. But one needs to ask: Hasthe fear of damaging litigation beenweighted too heavily? Are we beingbullied by lawyers unconcerned aboutthe health of our local civic culture?Insights from 2 former board mem-bers, Joan Presecan and Nat Lord, areinstructive. Joan, a parent and teacher,once observed that schools need to berisk-takers. Indeed, if they don’t takerisks, the weaknesses of the past willdominate any future agenda.Nat, a parent and business executive,frequently observed that school boardswere too easily bullied by the plaintiff bar. Sometimes, he said, going to courtwith a suit is the better thing to do. Natclearly understood his duty to ourschools, but also knew that sometimesboards were better off long-term tostand up to the plaintiff bar.Absent any unknown facts that wouldunambiguously support the terminationof Frank D’Emilio’s employment, Ithink the CUSD’s decision should sidein favor of a man whose excellent char-acter is well-known. An unnecessarilyconservative, take-no-risk attitude is amistake.We have to ask ourselves a questionthat our legal counsel cannot: What arewe putting at risk to our local civic cul-ture if injustice is allowed to stand?
Richard OʼNeill
Board recovers thousands
Dear Editor:The CUSD board of education re-ported recovery of $150,000 from formerhighly paid, short-term Superintendent,Dr. Deceipt, who broke his contract in2011 in order to move to a more lucrativeposition.“Cozy financial deals between schoolboards and opportunistic superintend-ents are not acceptable in this district,”stated board member Ms. Concern.“This money will be used to providesorely-needed materials and incentivesto our devoted child-centered teachers,and to cover the expensive costs of get-ting another superintendent.”In other actions, the board unani-mously supported Frankly Humane, 25-year exemplary employee of the districtand principal of award-winning SumerSchool, in a so-called but largely imag-inary child-abuse issue.“I am thankful the board had thecourage to thoroughly investigate whatwas in the best interest of the childreninvolved,” stated Principal Humane.“In a sexually hysterical and fear-basedculture, the board could have made thesafer C-Y-A decision, which would havedestroyed my career and all I have stoodfor.”
: The above narratives aremake-believe.
John Roseman
Haiku submissions should reflect uponlife or events in Claremont. Please emailentries to editor@claremont-courier.com.
 Long shadows on the lawn--a dark ball rolls overthe May sun.
—Mary Banwart
 Agendas for city meetings are avail-able at www.ci.claremont.ca.us
Wednesday, May 23
Architectural CommissionCancelled
Thursday, May 24
Independence Day CommitteeHughes Center, 7 p.m.Traffic & Transportation CommissionCancelled
Monday, May 28
Memorial DayCity offices closed
olden State Water Company an-nounced Tuesday its endorse-ment of Senate Bill 1364 to giveratepayers more involvement in the waterrate adjustment process.
California Senator Bob Huff introduced Senate Bill1364 with the goal of requiringwater companies and agencies to besubject to the same review and auditprocess as other public utilities. Thebill has been sponsored and supported by the city of Claremont, among others.In announcing to their added support of the bill,Golden State officials say they will continue to worktoward enhanced company accessibility with its cus-tomers and stakeholders.“We believe greater transparency throughout thewater industry is a positive reform to help people un-derstand what we invest to maintain our systems andthe corresponding value to customers,” said DeniseKruger, Golden State Water’s senior vice president forregulated utilities, in a news release. “This legislationgives customers more information so they can see ex-actly what they’re getting when they pay a water bill.”According to the bill’s language, SB 1364 wouldgive the public access to “inspect the accounts, books,papers, and documents of any business that is a sub-sidiary or affiliate of, or a corporation that holds a con-trolling interest in, a water corporation.”Proposed changes include requiring utility compa-nies to send customers notification about rate increases,if approved by the California Public Utilities Commis-sion (CPUC). They will also ensure that those servedby private water companies are provided with infor-mation about a general rate case necessary to protectthem from regularly rising water rates.“This bill really addresses the sheer frustration thatwe have with our water company,” said Councilmem-ber Sam Pedroza in a recent interview, adding, “CPUC,the organization that ought to be keeping a check onour rates, isn’t doing their job. That’s what this bill isintended to do.”Under the new bill, Golden State Water and otherpublic utilities can be subjected to a public review atany time. The company is currently subject to an ex-tensive audit by the CPUC every 3 years as part of thegeneral rate application to change the price of the waterit provides to its customers.“[SB 1364] enhances the transparency that alreadyexists in our ratemaking process through the CPUC,”said Patrick Scanlon, vice president of water opera-tions. “Any customer can become part of that process.The company is always available to sit down with cus-tomers or stakeholders and explain the application andthe reasons why water rates are increasing.”Others within the city of Claremont are unconvincedby the support. Hal Hargrave of Claremonters AgainstOutrageous Water Rates calls Golden State’s claim fortransparency “laughable,” a spin created by RandleCommunications, a public relations firm hired by thewater company. Mr. Hargrave said he was left una-mused after a meeting with Golden State and city of-ficials in late February, and still doesn’t feel ratepayershave answers to their questions.“This was a meeting arranged by GSW so that theycould communicate more effectively with their cus-tomers. What did GSW do…they brought in the hiredspin machine, Randle Communications, to communi-cate on their behalf,” he said. “Our high rates are goingto continue to support their outrageous salaries, profitsand, yes, spin artists in an attempt to confuse theratepayers...Transparency I think not. Spin, I think yes.”Golden State representatives maintain that the com-pany already goes through an extensive independentaudit through the CPUC. These documents can beviewed at any time, according to Mr. Scanlon. Thecompany added that it does recognize the challengesin meeting the concerns and needs of both its cus-tomers and its own staff.“As costs continue to rise at both the wholesale andretail level, compounded with costs to replace and re-pair aging water systems, our customers have beenvery clear about their concerns with higher rates,”wrote Ms. Kruger in a column published in theCOURIER last Saturday, May 19.Ms. Kruger alluded to other water principals makingthe news as of late. Three Valleys Municipal WaterDistrict—the overseeing provider for agencies in theeastern San Gabriel Valley such as Golden State—hasbeen making headlines over the past several weeks, asan agency-approved parcel tax may increase next yearfrom $18.54 to $20.46. An initial vote was approvedlast month with a final vote to be taken in June.Moreover, Three Valleys will also be increasingcosts for water provided to retail agencies, like GoldenState. The price will now be $3 surcharge per acre-foot.At the same time as Golden State Water moves for-ward with its plan to endorse SB 1364, the city of Claremont continues on with its 3-pronged approachto contain the community’s rising frustration and es-calating water rates: legislation, fighting rate increasesand a potential acquisition of its water system fromGolden State, which was discussed in closed sessionat last night’s city council meeting.In response to Golden State’s endorsement of SB1364: “The more transparent Golden State Water is,the better it is for our community,” said Mayor LarrySchroeder.
—Beth Hartnett
Claremont COURIER/Wednesday, May 23, 2012
New bill has water companies opening their books
With contract inked, new CUSD super gets ready for July start
ccording to the terms of his con-tract, signed at last week’s schoolboard meeting, incoming Clare-mont Unified School District Superin-tendent James Elsasser, EdD will be paid$218,000 per year.
His paycheck is higher than that of his predecessor,Terry Nichols, notes CUSD board president Jeff Stark.However, because certain benefitswere taken out of the current contract,the overall package is in line with pastsuperintendents. The key items not in-cluded in Mr. Elsasser’s contract were a car allowanceand life insurance.“We put it into full face value. It was important forus to be transparent,” he said.Mr. Stark shared the process of how the board de-termined the new superintendent’s salary. They lookedat what superintendents are paid in the surrounding 10school districts and strived to reach a median. The re-sulting figure is “quite a bit less than” what is paid tothe head of the Bonita School District, which clocks inat about $268,000, but more than what is paid toAzusa’s superintendent.“If you want people to stay, you do have to pay themfor what they’re worth,” Mr. Stark said.Mr. Elsasser’s contract, which covers the periodfrom July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2016, includes the samebenefits granted to any other management employee,according to the board president.Mr. Elsasser has an allowance for job-related ex-penses, but must submit receipts for reimbursement ona monthly basis. Any expense exceeding $1500 re-quires prior board approval.The superintendent also has an allowance for pro-fessional development and, given the nature of his job,it’s likely he will attend more conferences than mostmanagement personnel. It’s closely monitored, withadvance approval required for any event that takes thesuperintendent out of state or that costs more than$1500.Mr. Elsasser has served as a district administratorbefore, as assistant superintendent of human resourcesfor the Anaheim City School District and, before that,as director of classified personnel and special projectsfor the Los Alamitos School District. Prior to joiningLos Alamitos, Mr. Elsasser was a teacher, assistantprincipal and principal in the Downey Unified SchoolDistrict.Despite the new hire’s varied experiences, Mr.Stark said “being a first-time superintendent is verydifficult.”To help with the adjustment, Mr. Elsasser will beginhis term by conferring with a Professional Develop-ment Coach, a process stipulated by his contract andfunded by the district. It is likely that Mr. Elsasser, whois encouraged to select his own mentor with superin-tendent experience, will reach out to a superintendentfrom one of the districts for which he has worked inthe past.Along with the professional guidance of his coach,he will be evaluated by the CUSD board at least onceannually, starting with the 2012-2013 school year.Mr. Elsasser’s contract allows for 24 days of paidvacation per year, exclusive of holidays. The contractspecifies the superintendent may “cash out” up to 10accrued unused days in July at the end of the schoolyear; the lump-sum payment is subject to normal with-holdings.The contract is very “bare-bones,” Mr. Stark says,noting that Mr. Elsasser was “all for” the agreement’swhat-you-see-is-what-you-get quality.“Jim is a hugely ethical guy,” he said. “I think he’sgoing to be a great superintendent for us.”CUSD has experienced significant turnover amongsuperintendents in recent years, going through 3 districtheads—Sheralyn Smith, David Cash and TerryNichols—since 2006. Mr. Nichols, notably, resignedin 2010 after less than 2 years in office, trading CUSDfor the Duarte School District. Gloria Johnston hasserved as interim superintendent since that time.Mr. Stark says he has high hopes the new superin-tendent will stay for at least a few years.
Claremont Unified School Districtʼs new Superin-tendent Jim Elsasser, seen here at ThursdayʼsCUSD board meeting, his first day with the districtwill be July 1.NEW SUPERINTENDENTcontinues on page 5

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