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Jefferson School update

[The below email was received this morning from Heidi Benzonelli]

Here is an update so everyone is in the loop.

  • Dave Tyson has hired SHN to revise the strategic Plan
  • Fuente Nueva Signed a Letter of Intent (to lease) at their Board Meeting
  • Aldergrove Charter school is interested in sharing the space (they are home schooling charter school)
  • Arnie (SHN) has met with Fuente Nueva and with a few members of our group to update us and gather current information
  • David has met with a local lender willing to lend 80% of total project cost
  • The loan can be guaranteed by USDA backed “insurance (sort of)” for business and industry
  • The escrow was extended 60 days but will expire March 13th the School board will vote to put the property to bid at the March 16th meeting if escrow has not closed.
  • I have written a letter of interest for the city regarding the Westside Community Improvement Association acting as 3rd party.  It is being reviewed by a consultant and must be approved by the WCIA Board Officers.
  • WCIA has an FEIN# and all arcticles of incorporation submitted for approval, And officers pro tem seated
  • The landscaping is done beautifully I might add,
  • The garbage is picked up
  • The security patrol is dedicated and walking the property at night regularly
  • We can not access the property to fix the windows according to Gregg Haulk it is against escrow rules to improve the property while it is in escrow.

The formation committee for 501C3 is
Heidi Benzonelli Pres pro tem
Richard Evans VP pro tem
Lisa Ollivier SEC pro tem
David Ogden Tres pro tem
Lorene Dunaway Member pro tem
Sylvia Scott Member pro tem
Ron Kuhnel Member pro tem
Official elections will occur once the 501C3 in fully established.

We have a logo attached, a post office box and a bank account with $ 1300 that should barely cover the costs of formation, we have $2250 grants from better together and first 5 and a letter pledging us $100,000 for assistance with our efforts as a grassroots community group.

The parts that seem to be missing from the Jefferson project right now are

  • 20% total project cost in order to secure the loan (Richard and I will work with the RCAA planning committee on that), we could probably also use help .
  • Maintenance of the building in the interim between negotiating lending writing grants and construction commencement.  We will certainly be able to arrange that.
  • Encouragement, prayers, pressure, that the escrow closes
  • Your continued support.
  • Lets plan a Block Party eh? Off the hook, music, BBQ, invite everyone, flyer the heck out of the whole westside and rock the house!


    1. Anonymous
      January 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

      I pity the politician that gets in the way of this energy.

    2. 454
      January 21, 2011 at 9:44 am

      Smart to post this here, finally.

    3. Anonymous
      January 21, 2011 at 9:52 am

      How much rent has Fuente committed to pay ? How much has Aldergrove committed to pay ?

    4. Julie Timmons
      January 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

      To say “Nice Job” is an understatement.

    5. Plain Jane
      January 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Great work, Heidi and WCIA! Sounds like an unstoppable team.

    6. owltotem
      January 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

      This is what I have been talking about! Commonground working together! Family, Community, Eureka! We Found It!!!

    7. Mo
      January 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

      This would be positive and impressive in any neighborhood, but the Westside neighbors deserve applause and support for having done all this work in a neighborhood that is not united to oppose something., but rather to DO something

      The Westside neighborhood plan benefits neighbors and citizens both physically and emotionally through work they share. Nothing unifies people more than shared work and accomplishments.

      Who is it on the council that opposes grassroots community organization and action?

    8. kale estanoche
      January 21, 2011 at 11:31 am


    9. Anonymous
      January 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Keep this momentum going! It’s so inspiring to see this neighborhood group pulling together to accomplish something great for the city!

    10. Plain Jane
      January 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

      It’s Mike Newman who opposes the Jefferson School purchase, Mo. Incredibly that’s his ward he is working against. The rest of the council, with the exception of Linda Atkins, joined him, at least in the vote to put it on hold. Best case EVER for returning to true ward voting.

    11. Anonymous
      January 21, 2011 at 11:52 am

      Kudos to the West Side group. I hope the good intentions and hard work are rewarded with success.

    12. Anonymous
      January 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      How much rent has Fuente committed to pay ? How much has Alder Grove. It all means nothing if there is not enough income to make the loan payments. Then the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

    13. Humboldt Politico
      January 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      12:13 – Don’t be such an ass.

    14. January 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      Then the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

      This remark lends itself to ignorance. I can’t begin to imagine the kinds of dumb-ass, illogical, and senseless crap my tax dollars pay for.

      Whether I like it or not, my tax dollars support corporate bailouts, soldiers being sent to die on foreign soil, and the most ill-conceived border fence to our nation’s south. That is just to name a few.

      This Jefferson “bill” would be welcome.

    15. Anon
      January 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      This is so inspiring, I can’t recall such community enthusiasm and energy in Eureka. How wonderful, to see people working for a positive vision for their neighborhood!

    16. anon1
      January 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Newman probably posted the only negative comment…How about contacting the YMCA they have money and we could really use the help and educational opportunities they offer..How cool would that be? Classes,daycare,sports for the kids after school..and safe..Maybe we could get city league basketball back? Great job..

      January 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Good to read, although I don’t know why replacing the windows is against escrow rules unless a party intentionally put specific language to the fact. Otherwise, improvements can be done when negotiated, but maybe because it is public property versus private property that improvements can’t be done.

      ANyhow, Good Luck to Heidi and crew.

      Jeffrey Lytle
      McKinleyville – 5th District

    18. Neal Latt
      January 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      The wind is at our backs! Good job, WCIA!

    19. 69er
      January 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      My best to the westside group, may you be successful in this endeavor. It will mean much to the neighborhood, especially the children. I have fond memories of the school, having attended in sixth grade, school year 1946-47. Mrs. Lambert was my teacher and Mr Jameson was principal. Good luck.

    20. Richard
      January 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      With all the troubles facing our great country, in the United States Congress, our House of Representatives will, rather then tackle any of these challenges, try to undo the work of the last congress by passing a bill to kill health care reform.

      And back here at home in Humboldt County the Eureka City Council, with all of the troubles and challenges facing the city of Eureka, rather then to move forward and take on any of these many challenges, has chosen to instead spend its time and the newly seated council-members’ political capitol on undoing the actions of the previous council, which had settled the issue of Jefferson School waiting only the closing of escrow on the deal. It is time for citizens to speak up and let their council-members know they want them to get to work on solving problems and to stop wasting their time undoing the work of the previous council. The most pathetic of all of these players actions must be those of the new mayor, Frank Jager, who was one of the unanimous votes on that previous council, and who now seems eager to facilitate this new council’s actions which includes canceling his own vote!

    21. For God's sake people !
      January 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      I second the question, how much rent has the charter school committed to pay ?

      What if the charter school doesn’t even come to Eureka? It is doing poorly & losing students in Arcata. Who will pay the loan? You are all so warm & fuzzy and unthinking, no wonder California is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy!

    22. January 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      You are all so warm & fuzzy and unthinking, no wonder California is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy!

      The bus to Ignoramosville must be standing room only. I had no idea that grassroots community organized groups were bleeding our state to a financial death.

      Good to know!

    23. Evil Left-Handed Person
      January 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      4:49, what’s your evidence that Fuente is anything except healthy and looking to expand? It currently shares a school site with Coastal Grove (a school “inspired by Waldorf education” which, if you don’t know, is a nutty educational philosophy rooted in one man’s religious philosophy he invented). Google what Waldorf education has to say about left-handed children. If I were Fuente, I’d be kicking and screaming to move away.

    24. anonymous
      January 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      This group of people is an inspiration to all of Eureka!! Now, what’s holding up closing escrow?

    25. anon1
      January 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      No don’t do something for the people..Put cranes on a boardwalk..Fisherman’s terminal? There isn’t any fishing and surely no need for 4 large cranes..I think those cranes are about 40,000 dollars each, not counting the install..hmmm there’s part of our money for the school..Add the money David got us sued for 200,000 plus all the dollars spent on defense..Street sweeper not used..130,000 dollars?hmmmmmm A library that is closed 4 days a week..An adorni center and there is no adult recreation in eureka..This isn’t hard to add up..What about the cars bought from uncle Harvey before he died..We didn’t need. There is so much waste. If Ginny and her co-conspirators look deep enough in the money they have all wasted..We probably could have bought Jefferson..Has anybody found the contract with HCSD..How much money is still missing for the upgrades they now want us to pay for and we already did.hmmmm I guess our public officials are to busy eating free meals at high end restaurants and getting FREE jet rides, to really care about us..Remember these bought and paid for politicians around here don’t care one bit about you..How can there not be charges brought against these people? These people work for us..We are the people, remember..

    26. Anonymous
      January 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

      Congratulation to Heidi and the WCIA!

      And completely off topic – Keith Olbermann resigned from MSNBC today – tonight was his last “Countdown.”

      January 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Keith Olbermann was a sports anchor too prior.

      He does a good job at many things news.


    28. Ponder z
      January 21, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Is Larry helping to organize this?

    29. Truth in information
      January 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      Well done to all those in the community who stepped forward with their time and energy. What more could you ask for than a committed involved community. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Or as Barak put it, Yes we can. And the first ward’s council member is the Brady Bunch.

    30. Plain Jane
      January 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      My mistake. I thought Jefferson was in the 3rd ward.

    31. owltotem
      January 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      Si Se Puede

    32. Walt
      January 22, 2011 at 5:19 am

      “A library that is closed 4 days a week.” That’s news to me, and I volunteer there 4-5 days/wk. You mean it’s closed 2 days/wk. Or are there 9 days a week in these inflationary times?

    33. Decline to State
      January 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

      I’ve changed my mind. I was originally opposed to having the City of Eureka buy Jefferson. I didn’t think that having the entire city pay to support this community project was good business. The city is strapped for cash and I simply didn’t feel we could afford it.

      I’m pleased to say that the last couple of articles and comments on the Jefferson situation here on the Herald have changed my mind. I can see the dedication and hard work being done by the WCIA. They make a powerful argument.

      It’s time to give the west side a much needed and deserved break and I am now willing to commit with my voice and my tax dollars to this worthy cause. The entire city of Eureka will benefit from your good work. Nice job folks.

      January 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

      Tapperass says:
      January 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm
      Then the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

      This remark lends itself to ignorance. I can’t begin to imagine the kinds of dumb-ass, illogical, and senseless crap my tax dollars pay for.

      Whether I like it or not, my tax dollars support corporate bailouts, soldiers being sent to die on foreign soil, and the most ill-conceived border fence to our nation’s south. That is just to name a few.

      This Jefferson “bill” would be welcome.

      Response: Don’t forget the bank bailouts AFTER they forced higher loans that were not necessary just so they had a higher homeowner loan total to base higher interest charge fees. So, they fraudulantly bumped up loan totals to help their finanace fee structures and profit marginizations (Coast Central Crooked Union too did the laon trick) AND to forward the falsified valuation figure to the building department (routine in loans) which then forwards the falsified figures to the tax appraisers in the county who then forward the false tax value to the tax collector who then falsifies the local tax roll with fraudulant property values that equates to higher taxes collected (and perks and benefits on that public employees public employment record – money that was stoilen outta peoples pockets…..

      So, no bailout for those who got ripped off either. Bailouts only went to those who ripped off and grafted society.


    35. Mitch
      January 22, 2011 at 7:46 am


      The bank bailouts are the single best argument I’ve ever seen for the conservative goal of limiting government. Unfortunately, in my lifetime, the people who want to limit the size of government almost always seem to be outraged against the infinitesimal handouts given to those at the bottom, and never actually investigate or admit to the enormous, systemic way in which the government actually feeds taxpayer money to society’s wealthiest.

      This is why I’ve never understood those on the left or those on the right — the right seems to make bashing the powerless its priority, while some on the left seems to think that government will magically stop serving the interests of the most powerful. I agree that would be nice, but as long as our democracy is buried under bribery (I mean “campaign contributions”) and media whoredom, I don’t see any path towards its happening.

      Obama looked good for five minutes — then he put in his financial team, and it became clear who owns the government, regardless of whether the figurehead is a Democrat or a Republican. I think Obama’s a good man, and I think what we’ve seen is close to the absolute best someone with principles can accomplish in today’s Presidency. Sad, sad, sad.

      Eureka looks to be the whole sorry national dysfunction in microcosm. I wish the neighborhood group all success.

      January 22, 2011 at 8:18 am

      Good Words Mitch and on point too with relativity to where greed is going and where tax dollars should and should not …….then, the whole Obama and GE cabinet economic advisor thing-a ma-jiggy…..

      Losers at the top, pure losers! Even Obama is a loser liar and backstabber for the big and wealthy while putting on and pulling numerous faces. He just talks to much rubbish that is easily shown afterthe-fact as rubbish.

      Face it, America has not had good leadership for over a half decade or longer. This country has been living one big fat LIE. We will all feel the pain yet to hit.


      January 22, 2011 at 8:19 am

      “half century” – oops.


    38. School administrator
      January 22, 2011 at 8:50 am

      Just a couple of years ago, Fuente had 110 or more students. Now their web page says they are down to 79. The charter school on Campton road has lost 50 kids in the last couple of years also and now are only at 125 students itself. Their teachers average tens of thousands of dollars less than public school teachers in pay and as a result don’t attract the best.

      The fact is, Fuente’s claims of achieving 125 students is dubious at best and wildly exaggerated at worst. Look at what happens if they get only 80 students, a far more reasonable figure.

      Revenue would be about $450,000. Teacher pay (including benefits) would be at least 4 X $60,000 = $240,000. A principle, Secretary, janitorial & grounds services, Part-time nurse & psychologist, substitute teacher would add at least another $150,000. PG&E, phone, insurance, routine repairs & maintenance would be at least $50,000. Supplies (books, pencils, paper even toilet paper) is at least another $10,000 a year.

      Do the math. The budget allows -0- for rent.

    39. Anonymous
      January 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

      Why would Fuente want to change from Arcata to inner city Eureka? That would be a deal breaker for me, as a parent. The transportation alone.

    40. Anonymous
      January 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

      Get use to it. From what I hear Fuente’s Arcata location has a number of students attending from Eureka. The Arcata location may be forced to close due to the loss of those students.

    41. huufc
      January 22, 2011 at 10:35 am

      Federal debt over 14 trillion dollars, defcit this year 1.4 trillion dollars over 100 trillion dollars in unfunded promises to social security, medicare, and medicaid.
      No one knows how much the State of Califorinia is in debt or the size of the current defcit, it might be 20 billion dollars, more or less.

      There is no money folks. The liberals have spent all of the other people’s cash. Now what? Put together another taxpayer black hole? Please no.

    42. Anonymous
      January 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

      My neighbor just got this letter from Fuente Nueva.

      “Our school leadership team has not fully decided if adding this additional campus is in our school’s overall best interest.”


      “Although there is not a lot of support or evidence to point to this being a good idea for our school, it is still a consideration…”

      Also in the letter they blatenly state they would target spanish speaking families in Eureka if they move there. Huh? Wasn’t the whole idea of spanish immersion schools was to teach our kids spanish rather than let Mexican children NOT learn english?

      Folks, somebody is not being honest with somebody in all this. Something doesn’t smell right.

    43. Anonymous
      January 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Nicely stated, Mitch. Your summary covers a lot of ground, accurately.

    44. Plain Jane
      January 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

      And we should just take the word of “Anonymous” that their “neighbor” received the letter and the contents of said letter are as represented? LOL!

    45. sfb
      January 22, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Didn’t the school speak at the manila community center meeting about that site too?

    46. sfb
    47. Anony2
      January 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Plain Jane, you are such a kool-aide drinker. I didn’t get the letter either but I read it on line & it took me an entire 60 seconds to find it.


    48. FNCS
      January 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      Fuente Nueva Charter School:
      1. is acting in accordance with best business practices and has provide the city staff a clear picture of what we can afford to pay in rent.
      2. currently has 93 students enrolled and has increased enrollment each year since it first opened in 2005 as a Charter School.
      3. is counting on the city staff, their consultants at SHN and the city council to determine the feasibility of the school being able to afford the rent of a refurbished Jefferson School site.
      4. is not looking at this as a place to move our current program but as a second sister school.
      5. would open this 2nd school in 2013 and serve the west side community and the greater Eureka area with a target population of at minimum 30% Spanish speakers and the rest English speakers or other non English speaking students. The goal would be equal literacy in BOTH Spanish and English, a model that has proven to produce a higher level of proficiency in English for the Spanish speaking children than a traditional education would and gives English speakers a chance to learn a 2nd language at an early age which has many proven positive effects.
      6. did express interest in renting the Manila site as a place for an Arcata location. At this point, we are stepping back to allow the Manila community an opportunity to vision if they would like a school there.
      7. did send a letter to our parents expressing that this is not a done deal but we have formally expressed interest and are pursing this as an option with the understanding that there are a myriad of obstacles that can prevent this from happening. It is easy take anyone’s letter out of context without reading the whole letter. (The intended audience for that letter is school community who hopefully have a greater understanding of the situation and it’s complexities than the average citizen)
      8. is excited by the community energy around this project. With so many partners coming together to change a community for the better, this is what charter schools are made of and FNCS would be fools not to seriously examine their potential to participate. We are hopeful that the answers continue to propel us forward.

    49. A fuente parent
      January 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Here is a direct quote from the letter sent to parents. You see the last sentence was referring to the potential of moving the ARCATA site to Eureka, not referring to what is currently being proposed for Jefferson. (a 2nd site). During our strategic planning process a small minority of parents expressed interest in moving to Eureka in order to obtain our most idea facility. If we could do this and retain our current population, then it will be up for consideration. If moving to Eureka means losing our population, we won’t do it. Again, this has nothing to do with Jefferson which would be in addition to the Arcata site.

      “What this is not:
      This is not a decision to move our current Arcata location to Eureka. While we are filling our current space to the maximum, the FNCC and its Facilities Committee is looking for alternative site options within the Arcata School district at this time. With that said, a decision to move the Arcata program to Eureka is on the table within the strategic planning process. Although there is not a lot of support or evidence to point to this being a good idea for our school, it is still a consideration if we want to prioritize having all the facilities we desire over the location of our site.”

    50. Anon2
      January 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      I have tried to post the link to Fuente’s web site. The web site has the full letter & not just the excerpts above.

      Everything that 11.03am posted is true.

    51. AJ
      January 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Wasn’t the whole idea of spanish immersion schools was to teach our kids spanish rather than let Mexican children NOT learn english?

      In short, no.

      I’m at parent at the other immersion school in the county, unrelated to the Jefferson issue. The point of an immersion school is to create bilingual, biliterate children regardless of the language spoken at home. There are philosophical points beyond that, such as preparing our kids for the multilingual, multi-ethnic world they will be entering as adults, giving them a competitive advantage in the workplace, giving them far more choices in what they do with their life, etc. I’m thrilled by the idea of my kids hitting high school and debating whether to learn a third language or to continue their language studies with college courses.

      I’ve heard Fuente is starting a ‘full immersion’ model where kindergartners receive a high percentage of their instruction in Spanish. That percentage lowers in upper grades where English is progressively spoken more often, thus equaling out mastery of both languages. In that model, it’s important to have a significant number of native Spanish speakers (or at least ones who hear Spanish spoken at home) to act as peer role models. It’s a tough thing to achieve with Humboldt’s demographics. Morris uses a 50% immersion model where students swap teachers midway through the day.

      As for the stated notion that all Spanish speakers must come from Mexico, Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world (behind Mandarin), and is the official language in 21 countries. Regardless of a student’s native language, immersion students in California are taught the same district and state curriculum as single-language students and take the same standardized tests in English.

    52. Truth in information
      January 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      I like the fact that FNCC has a very involved parent aspect. I sure hope this works and could be a real advantage for all of Eureka. People getting involved with their future builds community. We have many spanish speaking families and the local program would be a real asset.

    53. January 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      11:03 wrote, “Folks, somebody is not being honest with somebody in all this. Something doesn’t smell right..”

      Yep. Something looks fishy.

    54. Anonymous
      January 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      Fred, what part are you agreeing with, doubt about the school’s public statements, or 11:03’s racist remark?

      I agree there’s something odd about framing this situation as mere exploration with lots of language to assuage concerned parents when there’s also apparently a letter of intent in existence.

    55. A-Nony-Mouse
      January 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      It is also probable that the news that the site will actually be available will bring more potential tenants to the table. I think Fuente Nueva will be the anchor. There could be room for others, depending on many factors. Some of the many start-up food businesses will use the kitchen, like they do at the Arcata Food Works.
      This whole project is the epitome of connectedness, community, and sense of belonging. It represents the very best efforts of residents. I have no doubt about its success. Good job, people!

    56. Anonymous
      January 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Did you even bother to read the fiscal analysis at 8.50am A-Nony-Mouse ?

      Which one are you, the see no facts, hear no facts or speak no facts monkey?

      January 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      There is no reason occupancy fire walls could not be installed within the facility to create the mini mall center affect, but without the retail shmeeztail businesses that have become accustomed to the retail shopper’s non-needs.

      First thing I’d do when legal – plant indigenous species of trees, bushes, plants, etc. around the whole site to enclose it scenicly(is that a word?) and thus, reduce outside noises, import more birds by way of natural setting, etc…. The focus would be of course to reduce the concrete and steel approach or ambiance.


    58. anon1
      January 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Henchie, makes sense..

    59. Heidi
      January 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Decline to State, Thank you

    60. Anonymous
      January 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      School administrator,

      Your math back calculates ADA as 3600 a child Really?

      I found this source on line

      “The money the state is paid per pupil in California for education is based on ADA which stands for Average Daily Attendance. If the pupil attends school every day without taking days off the district would receive $8,074 per year.”
      This was posted by a teacher in San Diego County.

      I called a local teacher he told me Humboldt County Office of Ed ADA was $6300/student (he was not sure if that was before or after absenteeism).

      School administrator, it appears all parties involved are doing their homework so everyone is protected.

    61. longwind
      January 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Thank you everyone for so much information and perspective. This is a great community read.

    62. Plain Jane
      January 23, 2011 at 7:00 am

      It sounds like “school administrator” isn’t a school administrator since they don’t even know what the ADA payment is per student.

    63. School Administrator
      January 23, 2011 at 7:56 am

      If you had been in my classroom in my earlier days, I would have flunked 10.07am in math and flunked Plain Jane for lack of critical thinking skills.

      $450,000 divided by 80 students is $5,625 not $3,600.

      The ADA that the local school district currently gets varies from $5,600 to $5,800 per ADA. If that San Diego teacher was correct, it could only be because her district has special circumstances. More likely that teacher was wrong.

      That local teacher was also wrong. Her problem is that she exaggerated slightly and then failed to take into account that the state reduced our ADA payments by approximately $250 last summer.

      Next time be a little more careful and do a little bit of research before you make foolish statements.

    64. Plain Jane
      January 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

      “School administrator” should fail itself. Without any knowledge of how many students would attend a charter school at Jefferson, (which would likely include many of the kids who live in the neighborhood now attending ECS) it “counts” (guesses) at the number of employees which would be required (again based on its guess of how many students will attend and what services the school will offer its students) and then declares that there is no money for rent. It’s understandable that teachers (and administrators) at standard public schools are opposed to the competition from charter schools (I’m not a big fan of charter schools myself) but that’s irrelevant in this discussion. When you make up figures as to how many students will attend and how many teachers and ancillary staff will be required, its easy to “prove” there is no money for rent. No critical thinking required, just guesswork and projections based on wishful thinking.

    65. skippy
      January 23, 2011 at 10:00 am

      Outstanding job. As an average citizen not directly involved, I clearly see WCIA’s stellar efforts here– and what they’re trying to accomplish. A+

      Taking a field trip to the Jefferson School site (1000 block of A and B Street, bordered by Clark and Washington Streets) one can see their ongoing care and concern. The quiet neighborhood is struggling for an identity and purpose. Residents surrounding the property take pride in their homes and surrounding neighbors.

      WCIA has done a splendid job of maintaining the grounds; it’s evident they care deeply. 10 young men were playing basketball; other residents walked the neighborhood safely. Neighboring yards were kept up, some houses freshly painted by owners. These folks have been taking back their neighborhood and community… in a good way.

      The Times-Standard carried an update this morning: http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_17174407

      The City Council will discuss the strategic plan at their meeting on Tuesday, February 1. Will it all pencil out?

      The closed meeting is at 5pm; the open meeting at 6pm. When posted, the calendar and agenda can be found here:

      Yours truly hopes you’ve done your homework well… and will successfuly throw that block party for your fine and worthy Herculean efforts.

    66. Pookie
      January 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Good show of people power. Anyone do a soil sample?

    67. Anonymous
      January 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

      PJ is entirely clueless about charter schools. Which wouldn’t be so bad if she simply recognized that fact and listened instead of arguing with people intimately familiar with public & charter school issues.

      Reading “School Administrator” above and the fiscal analysis at 8.50am yesterday, convinces me more than ever before that we are being lied to.

    68. Anonymous
      January 23, 2011 at 11:07 am

      And before anybody tries to be funny, I want to be clear. It is Heidi & her group that are not being truthful here.

    69. Anonymous
      January 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      Jan 23 11:07 Huh? How so, they seem to be well know local people of integrity. I recognized 1/2 a dozen of the folks from the city council meeting as people I have known for years and done honest business with. I believe this group is sincere and straightforward. Refreshing to say the least.

    70. Anonymous
      January 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

      They are sincere. But they are withholding information, exaggerating income possibilities and claiming commitments where there really is only statements of possible interest.

    71. Anonymous
      January 25, 2011 at 9:49 am

      If given odds on honesty and integrity I would bet on the West siders. They do not appear to withhold anything, do you watch the Council Meetings? Do you really think Mike Tyson is in the dark? He certainly never says he is in fact, quite the opposite he has consistently said he is working with them. The partners and potential tenants have come to these meetings speak for themselves. According to the email above Arne, SHN, is meeting with the tenants. These people are simply committed citizens working with the City and bringing multiple partners to the table. They volunteer their time and their talents for the benefit of the community. Get used to it, the States budget is changing, citizens will have to take responsibility for their communities and assist relieving the burden from Government where ever possible. This group is a model of how City government can engage the community.

      Once again anonymous, if integrity was the bet, I take the West siders, hands down.

    72. Plain Jane
      January 25, 2011 at 10:18 am

      People like 10:50 who believe unnamed people because they claim to be a “school administrator” but call Heidi Benzonelli, et al, dishonest are obviously the sort who believe those who tell them what they want to hear regardless of credibility. I’m thinking Newman should stop using Anonymous and pick a pseudonym.

    73. Anonymous
      January 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Point out where “school administrator” was wrong & then you are worth listening to. Otherwise you are spewing nonsense & are not worth listening to.

    74. Anonymous
      January 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      “Revenue would be about $450,000”

    75. Anonymous
      January 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

      As stated before, 80 X $ 5,625 does equal $450,000.

      The 125 number is made up. She could have just as easily said 150 or 250 or 500. 80 is a more realistic number that is still optimistic.

      They might not even get 80 especially the first few years.

    76. Anonymous
      January 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      I do not believe this charter school nor the west siders are anything but up front honest people. I also believe the charter school is fiscally prudent as evidenced by their 9 years is business. The community kitchen, another proven business model, Aldergrove has been renting 2 facilities and has been around a decade with proven fiscal solvency. They are all presenting themselves at face value as upstanding members of the community. I would be proud to do business with or live next door to any one of them.

    77. Anonymous
      January 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Nobody claimed the group isn’t honest. They just wear blinders to anything that doesn’t serve their goal. Their laughable claim that Jefferson would rent out for $215,000 is a perfect example of that.

      Define “fiscally prudent”. Somebody earlier proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the school can not afford to pay anything other than a token rent.

    78. Anonymous
      January 27, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      The numbers were based on the SHN report by Arnie Herscovic (2008) absolutely trustworthy, honorable, top notch, economic planner. You are beating a dead horse, and, you are wrong.

    79. Anonymous
      January 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      All I can say is WOW. You guys are scary in your blind devotion to these ridiculous numbers Heidi.

    80. Waldo
      January 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      While many people are making plans on how to use Jefferson I submit there is a deal going on that will involve Mr. Tyson, at least one councilperson, Mr. Arkley, his money, his bank and a couple of cronies (maybe Anonymous is one). I see Federally funded Section Eight condos going in at a huge price to taxpayers and a huge profit to investors. And I am going to say, “I told you so” after it happens.

    81. Anonymous
      January 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Wouldn’t providing housing for poor people be a GOOD thing ?

    82. the real mitch
      January 29, 2011 at 10:58 am

      It sure would be. Anything available in Mr. Owen’s neighborhood?

    83. heidibenzonelli
      January 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Anonymous 3:48
      Hey HiFi How’s it going. There is nothing ridiculous about work produced by a Top Notch agency like SHN nor their Senior Economic Planner. No one said it would be cheap, just feasible, and a benefit to the community.
      Builds good will and friendship
      and Beneficial to every Eurekan
      I live it man (tirelessly), how ’bout you?

    84. Anonymous
      January 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Instead of lurking and posting anonymously Heidi, why don’t you address the numbers posted on Jan 22nd, 8.50am ? Or are you going to run and hide again.

    85. Anonymous
      January 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      “Their laughable claim that Jefferson would rent out for $215,000 is a perfect example of that.” ??????

      CR pays approximately $200,000.00 per year on a lease of their current 6th and K location (to Tom McMurray). It is a smaller site than Jefferson and I’m sure CR is smart enough not to pay more than “market value”.
      So, why is $215,000 for Jefferson laughable?

      And 2:08 – Heidi is one of the only people who IS NOT posting anonymously. Just because 850am says he/she is a school administrator doesn’t mean they know #$# about this topic. Several others have refuted the pseudo number of 8:50; why should Heidi do it again?

      Finally, the Newman/CR deal is falling apart. CR has troubles (accreditation breathing down their neck with a possible “show cause” outcome in the fall) of their own and will not engage in a community fight. A lot of “middle of the road Eurekeans” are asking to give the neighborhood plan a chance.

    86. January 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Instead of lurking and posting anonymously

      Look who’s talking.

    87. Outsider
      January 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      Why the silence Heidi?

    88. Outsider
      January 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      3.17pm, who & when refuted those numbers?

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