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Jefferson updates

1) Wednesday night the Westside Community Improvement Association (WCIA) presented the Eureka City School Board with an Exclusive Right to Negotiate the purchase of Jefferson School at the School Board meeting, according to WCIA president pro tem Heidi Benzonelli.  She said WCIA is optimistic that with the talents, trades, contribution and commitment from the community the project will begin to move forward.  The group will meet tonight (Thursday) at 7pm at 1015 B street to discuss progress and new plans for Jefferson as well as 2 other Community Improvement projects underway.  Email lets.buy.jefferson@gmail.com for more information.

2) Here’s a 25-minute interview with former Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass about Jefferson School and Eureka’s west side. It starts about 6 minutes in so jump ahead unless you want to listen to the whole hour.

3) College of the Redwoods is taking a tour of Jefferson next week. See below.

On behalf of the Facility Planning Committee (FPC) I would like to extend an invitation for you to join the FPC in a tour of the Jefferson School Site. This tour will provide an opportunity for constituency groups to get a first-hand look at the former elementary school site.  Steve Brown and Mike Peterson will present to discuss possible space utilization at the site, along with Arnie Herskovic from SHN who can answer questions related to structural soundness and renovation.   Please forward this invitation to your constituent groups and encourage anyone interested to attend.

Where: Jefferson School Site – 1000 “B” Street, Eureka CA

When: Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time: 1:30 p.m.

    February 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Good Luck next week.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  2. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    If I was on the Eureka school board, I wouldn’t vote for any idea that might help WCIA. Here’s why: One of the proposed tenants is a charter school from Arcata. If the charter remains in the Arcata district, then the little public money a district gets for hosting the charter school would remain in Arcata. In short, the charter school would siphon students out of the Eureka district with no benefit to the Eureka district, only harm. There is no upside to such a scenario.

  3. High Finance
    February 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Why would we want to help Arcata schools hurt Eureka schools and Eureka students ?

  4. skippy
    February 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you! This is exciting news. Also, H, thank you for this post of Larry Glass’ interview on KMUD. It was informative hearing Larry speaking to the development and history of the Jefferson School project with his insights and lengthy institutional knowledge.

    Three notes for readers:
    Larry mentioned a Benefit for Westside CIA to be held at Unity Church, Saturday, February 26 from 5:30-8:30pm, 1619 California, Eureka.
    Yours truly hasn’t heard this officially by the WCIA yet, only here on the interview. I support these efforts. Good job, WCIA.

    On another note, I saw Larry. He’s exhausted from moving his stores– and very tired. Working as hard and honest as the skin on his brow– yet seemingly beleagured and discouraged. Please let Larry know you care, cheer him up if you could, stop on by and give him a kind word or call, support him after all he’s done. He needs to get his second wind back– and get passionate again after he rests. I think he’d benefit from your kind word of support. He’ll undoubtably be back in the saddle again in some way, shape, or form, tirelessly, making our community better. We need his contributions helping our fair city.
    Thank you, Larry, for all you’ve done. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
    And to you, too, WCIA.

    Today’s Times-Standard link to “Westside Groups Asks ECS for Time to Buy Jefferson School” by steady stalwart reporter Allison White is here for readers, supporters, and pledgers.

    (owl had a nice comment on another post– yours truly will let him repost it here, if he wishes)

  5. anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Just to clarify, Dennis. This city council does not have a mandate – at least not from the Eureka voters. Lance Madsen was elected because he didn’t have an opponent. Mike Newman did not get a majority of the votes; the total votes of the two “progressives” exceeded his. I don’t know how much Marian Brady outspent Larry Glass but reading her campaign literature – unbelievable amounts in our mailbox – she promised to raise the city of Eureka to new heights while telling half-truths about Mr. Glass. I wish now I had kept some of them. For some reason the people of Eureka still think Frank Jager is a great guy because he was a Boy Scout leader. He has deep ties here and that trumps true concern for this city or good government, it seems. And then, we have impoverished people hanging on by a thread. At one of the city council meetings, a fellow named John, actually spoke for the Marina Center because it would provide minimum wage jobs. If people get desperate enough, they’ll fight for that job and then go home to the Serenity Inn and think they’ve got it good because at least they have a roof over their heads. This is happening all over this country as the very wealthy keep sucking wealth to the top – e.g. buy the land, develop as cheaply as possible, sell at a nice profit to another wealthy entity, suck the life out of the working people and their communities while sending the wealth back to greedy CEO’s and the investor class who don’t give a shit about how they get their money.

  6. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Why don’t you state that the FPC is CR’s Facilities Committee, and your #3 is an invitation sent to CR employees?
    Also, there appears to be considerable unrest about this at CR – again the president is railroading the issue without much in the way of long-term planning or communication with the campus. Next fall CR faces an accreditation visit focused on planning and a deficit of over $1million dollars. ..but why worry?

  7. February 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Post updated, thanks.

  8. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    A slap in the face! WCIA presents and Exclusive right to negotiate Wednesday Night and CR offers a tour on Thursday. I think we should ALL show up and I mean ALL of us!
    Thursday 2/24
    Jefferson School

  9. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Legal question: Assuming you scare CR away, is there anything stopping ECS from simply choosing not to sell to the neighborhood group? Because the neighborhood’s plan with the Arcata charter school poses an enrollment harm to the Eureka school district.

  10. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    This is a quote from CR’s Board of Trustees in a January 7 Times-Standard article regarding the purchase of Jefferson School:
    “the college’s board of trustees consider community support essential for such a project.”

    Perhaps the community should show the trustees just what they think.

    1:30 pm, Thursday February 24. Jefferson School.

  11. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    “Why would we want to help Arcata schools hurt Eureka schools and Eureka students ”

    Why would we (or ECS) help CR. They have an alternative High School (Academy of the Redwoods) that siphons high school students away from Eureka High?

  12. "JG"
    February 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Larry who?

  13. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Why would we (or ECS) help CR. They have an alternative High School (Academy of the Redwoods) that siphons high school students away from Eureka High?

    Easy answer. The CR high school is for underrepresented groups in college, read: they don’t do well in regular high schools and don’t continue on to college. It’s a service to Eureka City Schools for such students to leave the district. Also, it’s actually located in the Fortuna district and to leave ECS, such a family must obtain permission from the ECS school board first.

    In summary, accepting the Arcata school does real harm to Eureka. Accepting CR does no harm (CR is not opening another high school) and the one high school CR does operate south of Eureka is a net benefit for Eureka City Schools.

    Understand now?

  14. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 10:36 pm


    If the Westsiders come to the table with the means to purchase the property they should have as much right as anybody else.

    “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel


  15. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    “read: they don’t do well in regular high schools and don’t continue on to college. It’s a service to Eureka City Schools for such students to leave the district.”

    OMG are you kidding me?! These are kids, struggling adolescents, do you think kids do not KNOW when someone wants them to go away? Their school is their consistency, the bridge out of home and into a career or higher education, Not doing “well” does not give ANY school the right to discriminate . Saying it is a SERVICE to remove these kids is blatant downright discrimination and just plain wrong!

  16. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Jeez Owl, it’s just an explanation. The federal government has tied funding to test scores with the expectation that schools will eventually achieve 100% proficiency. It’s impossible, and the more “struggling adolescents” as you call them, the worse off the school district is on test scores. I’m not judging the kids. I’m explaining why CR isn’t a demon from the netherworld. Get off your high horse and see what’s happening.

    Bottom line, the neighbors found the wrong tenant, not realizing that an Arcata school will hurt Eureka school enrollment.

  17. February 18, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Seriously? That’s the argument shift now: an Arcata charter school will siphon funds from Eureka? Lame.

  18. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Dear Anonymous 10:34
    The Academy of the Redwoods students (the High School run through CR’s campus) are NOT dominated by groups that are “under represented in college”. They are mostly middle class white kids who don’t want to put up with the BS of a traditional high school, and most of their parents are concerned about academics and want them to enroll in college courses (what they get to do by their sophomore year). I’ve met a lot of them and know their parents, and they tend to be brighter and better prepared than the average high school student, and their parents tend to be college graduates. So EHS is losing “good” students and lowering their own academic level by having these students go to CR.
    This is no different than a parent that may chose to send their kid to an Arcata Charter School. The parents send them there because they think the environment is better, and they don’t want their kids to put up with the BS of traditional Eureka elementary schools.
    It’s exactly the same. Understand Now?

    If your argument is that “the charter school would siphon students out of the Eureka district ” the same argument can be made for a sale to CR. Both the Arcata Charter School and Academy of the Redwoods can be “spun” as a net benefit to Eureka City Schools – they provide an alternative to students who don’t want to be at ECS. Both schools enroll very similar population groups.

  19. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 7:16 am

    The Academy of the Redwoods students (the High School run through CR’s campus) are NOT dominated by groups that are “under represented in college”.

    Really? Because that’s what the Academy says it is doing on its own website. Are you saying the Academy is lying?

    To quote:

    is designed to assist historically under represented populations in higher education gain access to the college experience.

    Wait, so, is it you who is lying?

  20. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 7:18 am

    And, sorry, there is no upside (to ECS) to bringing in an out-of-town school and plopping it down in the middle of Eureka where the students have been attending Eureka schools. The state funding given for each student who attends the Arcata school will move from ECS to the Arcata district. There’s no way you can polish this turd. The facts are too obvious.

  21. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 7:22 am

    That’s the argument shift now: an Arcata charter school will siphon funds from Eureka?

    No Reporta. I’m just some anon. Contrary to your conspiratorial mind, not everyone who posts on this blog is not a member of the boy’s club. I’m simply explaining a possible, probable, reason for the ECS decision because it hasn’t occurred to any of you brainiacs. If the neighborhood brings in a carpetbagging school, ECS stands to loose a bunch of students overnight. The Arcata school has a target enrollment of around 100. I’ve got to assume the Eureka school would be as big, if not bigger. The ECS board members should be voted out of office if they embrace a plan to bleed their own district.

  22. Plain Jane
    February 18, 2011 at 7:34 am

    7:16 selectively (for deception) quoted only a portion of the CR Academy. What it said IN FULL is, “Academy of the Redwoods Early College High School is designed to assist historically under represented populations in higher education gain access to the college experience. Under represented populations are defined as first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of under represented ethnic/cultural groups, low-income youth and other young people who want something other than a traditional high school experience. Students can simultaneously earn a high school diploma and one to two years of transferable college credit to a four year institution — tuition free. By design an early college high school also saves an individual or family money in the pursuit of a college degree.”

    What it DOESN’T say (10:34) is, “they don’t do well in regular high schools and don’t continue on to college.”

    I personally know several students attending CR’s Academy and they are very bright kids who were doing great in high school but who want a head start in college both for financial and academic reasons.

  23. Mitch
    February 18, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Anonymous 7:22,

    If the ECS is worried it might lose students to an “Arcata school” set up at the Jefferson site, why doesn’t it open its own school at the Jefferson site?

    And yes, Reporta, it does appear that new talking points have been issued by “Shut up and Sit Down HQ.”

  24. February 18, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Ok stop using the kids at the academy to further your political BS. I’ve been in multiple classes with these kids. In Spanish 1A I had three kids at my table all the same age as my own son. and they are brilliant! Seriously, these are not troubled kids. These kids give me hope and prevent me from slipping into a bottomless pit of cynicism.
    Just let the neighborhood alliance do what they have worked so hard to do, and quit pretending there is any other motive against it other than the planned exploitation of the property by corrupt officials and cut-an-run developers.

  25. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 8:01 am

    If the ECS is worried it might lose students to an “Arcata school” set up at the Jefferson site, why doesn’t it open its own school at the Jefferson site?

    Mitch, you know ECS is hurting for enrollment so much that it had to consolidate schools, which is why this building is vacant. (You know that, right? Right?) Your pointing this fact out supports my position, not yours. ECS is hurting for enrollment so much that it makes the likelihood of embracing an out-of-town charter school that much more unlikely.

    I’m sorry you guys didn’t understand how school systems are funded, but this was a rather poor chose of tenant to pursue. You can debate me all day to keep up appearances, but the facts are the facts. The ECS school board would be remiss in its responsibility to the district if it sold sell a building to a group that has made this proposal. Trust me, this issue has to have occurred to the school board members. I don’t see how they can ever seriously consider selling the school when such a plan is on the table… maybe if there is absolutely no other buyer interested.

  26. Owltotem
    February 18, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Rosanne Rosanna Danna says “It’s aaaaaaalways something”.

    These folks have consistently stated that “this is a community project” .
    A park, playground, large garden area and commercial community kitchen are all other parts of this project with huge demand and many interested parties but all the naysayers want to talk about now is the charter school.

    What is the purpose of consistently undermining the efforts of these committed community volunteers? It feels like systematic denigration. An attempt to continuously alienate these people from the community probably to alienate them from reasonable, upper middle class decision makers in the community. Problem is, these people ARE the community, there is no separation so this old methodology is no longer going to work. They are breaking down the power structure itself by their broad base of support and therefore they are a threat.

    This is not about Jefferson nor a charter school, this is about power, profit, ownership and control.

    I support the Westsiders because they are we, their efforts are for me, our efforts are for Eureka there is no divide, there is no us and them.

  27. Plain Jane
    February 18, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Well said, Owltotem!

  28. High Finance
    February 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

    The Fuente charter school will not go into Jefferson for the same reason that Eureka schools won’t open a charter school there. It will take at least $2.6 million dollars to fix it up.

    Nobody has that kind of money except for C/R which has bond funds still available.

    The neighborhood group is trying its best to scare C/R away and it will come back to bite them in the ass. Reading between the lines of what the Eureka Superintendent says in the media, the board is going to sell Jefferson to the highest bidder now. The highest bidder may very well be a developer looking to tear down Jefferson and put housing in its place.

    So neighbors, you have a choice. C/R or housing. Better work with that developer to convince him to put in a small city park. Better work with the city council to get them to accept that new park and do the upkeep on it.

  29. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 8:40 am

    HiFi, you so silly! We’re talking about activists. They stick to their guns with a singular focus. They’ll keep CR at bay and then cry fowl when a developer levels the building and puts in apartments. In their mind, if this ordeal ends with them being able to cry fowl, they still win. They have victim syndrome and it’s a reinforcing, emboldening feeling to believe you’re being victimized again. It’s so much better than the alternative — facing up to the fact that the outcome was by your own ill-conceived design.

  30. Plain Jane
    February 18, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Is calling fowl doing bird calls?

  31. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

    If ECS is so worried about losing students and if it is such a detriment to their finances and results in closing schools, why do they freely sign transfers to other districts? All they would have to do is say “no more out of district transfers”, and all the kids would HAVE TO stay in Eureka. So, by your logic they’d rather oppose a neighborhood group and take on a big fight now, than regaining all of the out of district kids by one stroke of the pen.

    BTW – I agree with MovieDad about both the AR students and what is “really” going on here.

  32. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

    You guys are in denial. It’s not going to happen. You’ve concocted a business plan that should actually be offensive to the seller.


    Clap. Clap. Clap.

  33. Heidi
    February 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    No victims here anon 8:40, we just continue to do our best, listen to the citizens, gain support, and try to be the responsible, active participating members of society as all of us should be. We care about the needs of our neighbors and our city and try to provide realistic solutions with the resources available. Community response and citizen responsibility is in my opinion the most effective means of building a sustainable future.

    We are an active citizens group, we do have strong community support, we have partners with capacity, we are flexible and as a result capable and willing to adapt to the needs of the community.

    The affordable community commercial kitchen as Owl pointed out, park and playground are valuable parts of our Park, Playground, Community Interpretive Gardens and Multi-Use Community Center Model. As we proceed with this project ourselves with the support of the community, the Multi-Use community center will develop into the project that best serves the community. A big part of that is not intensifying the use of the facility and having a beneficial impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

    Thanks again to all the outpouring of support, offers of professional services, funds, advice, donation and prayers. Together we have a chance.

    My best, always

  34. Not A Native
    February 18, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Well it seems to me, this is a ‘spin development’ exercise by those who politically oppose letting the Westside Citizens group develop the site.

    First, the City Council said they rejected the deal because they doubted the Charter School tenant had the means to lease and whether the Westside group’s plan would produce sufficient income to fund the work. But now the ‘spin doctors’ say in fact it would be too successful and ‘bleed’ ECS. Well which is it, not viable or too successful. See the spin?

    So we’re left with the ‘not viable’ argument which shouldn’t matter to the ‘free marketers’ because they usually say ‘the private investor’, not Government is always the best judge of how capital should be allocated. But here, they are suddenly concerned that a private group will buy the property and later reget it. And I think thats the spin the ECS board will eventually play. They’ll decide to sell at a lower price to a residential developer for that reason. While the Westside folk need to be getting their money together now, they should also be looking for counsel to represent them in court.

  35. mayfly
    February 18, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Let’s not forget that the Jefferson neighbors put up a big stink when ECS announced that Adult Ed and the continuation high were going to move into the building in the fall of 2005 following the closure of the elementary school in June of that year. ECS spent more than $20.000 for an architect and went so far as to install a huge new server and follow through with asbestos removal. Teachers from the Adult School made repeated visits to Jefferson to measure their new classrooms to plan for moving furniture, computer stations , et cetera.
    If the neighbors had accepted the plan, the site would be a bustling entity complete with a first-rate daycare.

  36. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Heidi, thanks for confirming you’re in deep denial. At not point did you address why ECS would want to sell a property to a buyer who has been open about plans to site a tenant who will siphon a significant number of students from its district.

    Generate a good answer for why ECS would want to sell under these conditions, and maybe you have a chance with the school board. If not, your endeavor is a colossal waste of time.

    Your only other option is to scare away every other potential buyer so that ECS has no choice but to embrace a negative offer. I guess we’ll see mighty quick which approach you’re going to take — sober realism or scare tactics.

  37. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 9:36 am

    If the neighbors had accepted the plan, the site would be a bustling entity complete with a first-rate daycare.

    Unbelievable. Oh, wait, it is believable. The neighbors are their own worst enemy.

  38. Not A Native
    February 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Well mayfly says the neighbors rejected a plan for ECS to have adult school. Wow, those neighbors were pretty important to the city council at that time, comprising 3 right moderates and 2 left moderates who agreed with their concerns.

    So whats changed that has now caused the ECS to not be responsive to the neighbors concerns? Oh yeah, the right moderates on the council have morphed back to their true hard right colors.

  39. Living In Eureka
    February 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    As far as performance goes, in California, Eureka schools are tied for last place with the Imperial Valley! If Eureka wants its students back, things must change. While parents are waiting for that to happen, a charter school is the perfect fit for Jefferson School! CR wasn’t welcome last year & that has not changed! EVERYONE needs to be there on Thursday! We are a neighborhood & we don’t want that Damn College in the middle of it! Larry thank you for setting the record straight!

  40. High Finance
    February 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Are you talking about Larry’s rant on his KMUD interview ?

    If Larry really believes that garbage then he is even more uninformed than I feared. Thank GOD he was defeated !

  41. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Well, nobody on campus, nobody on the committee, no faculty, no staff, no one knows (or no one’s telling) anything which is a sure sign that this is another directive from Jeff Marsee. Who said, in reference to the Westside group, “Those old ladies are hung up on seeing the little kiddies skipping along the sidewalk on their way to school. But that’s not happening. The demographics are just not there.” Because a few people have called for CR to reconsider, in cranky blog posts or letters to the editor, he thinks that means there is now some community support. Whatever happens at Jefferson School should be the decision of the residents and taxpayers. I don’t believe CR has the money or the enrollment to sustain it, the college is right now engaged in a frantic attempt to make ends meet for this fiscal year, and next fiscal year will be even worse with up to 17% additional cuts forecast. If the college commits to this purchase, we (residents, voters, taxpayers, college employees, students) will be stuck with it long after Marsee is gone. The same thing will happen with the Garberville site- it will be a black hole for taxpayer money for years and years to come. But Marsee is already talking about another bond. Seriously. As if. His use of Measure Q bond monies has already been challenged by several groups, including the Academic Senate, and his reply was, basically, ‘what I did was not illegal.’

  42. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Let’s not forget, Jefferson School was fully-attended when it was closed. OF COURSE the neighborhood was furious with “alternatives” at that time, (the adult school)…their own “ward representative” did nothing to protest the closure saying, “We enjoy sending our child to a charter school”.

    Some of us just haven’t learned our lesson yet, the development community dominates local campaign funding, elected representatives, and appointees.

    Effective community activism MUST BE OPPOSED!

    These same WCIA opponents have circled their wagons at every county GP Housing Element Workshop demanding compensation if they are denied their “principally permitted” right to build the next housing bubble…while SIMULTANEOUSLY complaining that the infrastructure won’t support it!

    You see, it’s only “wasteful” if public subsidies aren’t being squandered by the usual gang. They harvested the public’s infrastructure as a private gold-mine, and proceeded to drop the housing affordability rate to 25% for the public that subsidizes them!

    From Wall Street to Main Street, the LAST THING the plutocrats desire is a public that figured this out, and begins to fight effectively to benefit from our own public wealth.

    Imagine that, a community center in the middle of a community.

  43. tra
    February 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Fi,

    I think you’ve stated a couple of times now that if Larry Glass believed what he said in that interview, then he must be misinformed. So if you’re saying that Glass made factually inaccurate statements in that interview, perhaps you could tell me which specific statements were, in your view, inaccurate?

  44. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    These same WCIA opponents have circled their wagons at every county GP Housing Element Workshop demanding compensation if they are denied their “principally permitted” right to build the next housing bubble

    Now you’re just making stuff up. How do the shadowy opponents of the WCIA remain in the shadows when you seem to be lumping every person you disagree with into this mythical beast?

    Bottom line, ECS would be foolish to sell to a buyer who is bringing in an out-of-town charter school. You can’t get around this one simple fact. There’s real and serious harm done by selling to WCIA. Would anyone care to dispute this fact? Explain how it isn’t true. And please, stick to facts, not conspiracy theories and delusional episodes.

  45. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    “Bottom line, ECS would be foolish to sell to a buyer who is bringing in an out-of-town charter school. You can’t get around this one simple fact.”

    Anonymous you don’t appear to be listening. If ECS is SO concerned about that one fact, they can stop EUREKA students from transferring to other schools – they don’t. They allow and support transfers. Why would they block this particular charter school when they NOW approve student transfers to charter schools all over the county?
    Secondly CR’s “charter high school” accepts ANY students (even if they try to appeal to under-reprsented students), and several people have mentioned that the bright kids from Eureka are going to the CR high school. So. your “siphoning off” argument would also apply to CR building a site at Jefferson. By the same logic ECS would not sell to CR.
    That’s the explanation and those are the facts.

  46. PLUTO
    February 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    High Finance you are so full of shit we can smell you all the way from Crescent City. Name one thing that Larry said that wasn’t true. Are you saying that the West Side and it’s historic neighborhoods are not singled out to blighted? One of the new Eureka Planning commissioners wanted to change the neighborhood to Commercial residential as if Multi Family was not bad enough. This was a few months ago. Why does the city want to get rid of the residents that are making the town worthy of being in two National magazines.

  47. High Finance
    February 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Pluto, how would you know anything about what happened ? How would Larry know anything about the motives behind the actions of any of the school district people.

    I did not say EVERYTHING Larry said was bogus, but his attribution of motives to people he doesn’t know and doesn’t talk to is ridiculous. I have asked several of the board members and they all say that Larry has never spoken to them about this matter.

    Just because you are anonymous Pluto, does not give you the right to be stupid.

    2.08 pm. Are you saying that parents should not have the right to decide where their own children should attend school even if that decision is stupid ?

  48. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Is it true that High Finance is Tom Stewart?

  49. High Finance
    February 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    The simple matter of the fact is, those of us opposed to the city’s purchase of Jefferson (and belive me, it is a large majority of Eureka) is that it would be a foolish & costly decision. In these tough financial times, with cops & street sweepers being laid off, we cannot afford to squander precious tax dollars.

    Anybody involved in finance, anybody with a lot of experience in business, anybody with knowledge of the current lending practices and how non profits operate, know this venture will NEVER make money, it cannot make money. They all know this will be a costly drain on city finances and will benefit only a tiny handful of residents.

    These childish attempts to demonize your opponents with silly conspiracy theories makes you turkeys seem small. There is a reason that Larry Glass lost and lost big. That interview is a perfect example of why he lost.

  50. High Finance
    February 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    4.33pm, what the hell difference does it make ?

    The old saying is, when the facts are on your side, argue the facts.

    The facts are on my side, I am arguing the facts.

  51. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Where do you live Tom? In an area that has been purposely blighted and discriminated against for decades. Probably not. What is wrong with treating a neighborhood well. Why not treat another’s neighborhood as you would your own.

  52. Reporta
    February 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Contrary to your conspiratorial mind

    Nothing conspiratorial about it…it’s what you, and another Anon, said.

    Now, let’s talk about your conspiratorial mind in assuming I was weaving a conspiracy…Head hurts.

  53. High Finance
    February 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    So 4.44pm, what is better for the area around Jefferson ?

    To have a decaying building getting worse & worse, sitting empty or mostly empty and seldom used ? Or to have C/R fix it up, make it sparkling and used for education ? Or even have a developer turn the site into nice new homes with a neighborhood park ?

    The objection you had against C/R was a lack of parking and the noise of car doors slamming at night. But then you same objectors want to use the entire playground for a park, leaving NOTHING for parking for all these businesses you claim will use the building ! Then you claim that lots of people will use the location for a “community Kitchen” at NIGHT !!! You don’t think these kitchen users will be quiet ??????

    You people are so far gone you cannot even see the descrepancy in your positions ??? Try thinking rationally !

  54. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    The neighborhood would like to see a park and single family homes on the sight. But the way we have been treated for decades means that all we will get is low income welfare mongers and apartment buildings.

  55. anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    No wonder Brady thinks that CR would be good for OUR neighborhood. She owns a house across from a pizza parlor, an ambulance yard on a busy street surrounded by low income apartments. If this her frame reference no wonder she thinks our quiet neighborhood would be lucky to have CR. In her case CR would be a huge upgrade. Our neighborhood has had Jefferson School on that sight for over 100 years. Our neighborhood is a quiet residential neighborhood. CR would not be desirable, nor an improvement.

  56. Anonymous
    February 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Remember it was Redevelopment funds that bought the Serenity Inn. The city is their landlord. Interesting that Tyson brought up redevelopment as the answer to Jefferson and now the rug gets pulled out. Now Madsen said that there are not enough redevelopment funds for the school because they have to give it to low income housing. Yeah, at the meeting when they turned Jefferson school down. Discrimination much?

  57. Owltotem
    February 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Discrimination, systematic denigration, “these people are not worthy of having anything of value”, ghettoization, dumping ground. Shall I continue. This power structure needs to be ROCKED

  58. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    OOh boy, HiFi’s back so now I can take more shots at his ignorance. The game is afoot!

    Mr. HiFi, did you not notice that the WCIA is no longer asking the city to buy anything? The group is arranging its own financing. If they can meet a reasonable bid price, however they can manage it, why should you give a $2 FIG what happens to it? It’s NOT your concern. If they fail, it doesn’t harm you in any way. If they succeed, maybe you could buy a season ticket? So quit bashing the WCIA for actually doing things to make Eureka better. South Bay School District just invited a charter school in because it brought MORE money to their district, for cryin’ out loud.

    So the upshot is, HiFi, if you want to buy some property, I PROMISE that I won’t try to stop you or question your motives or any such thing (unless your real initials are RA, that is).

    Now get off your poor old high horse and maybe try to help instead of trying to see what you can kill all the time.

  59. Owltotem
    February 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    His Daddy let him come back out and play.

  60. High Finance
    February 19, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Mouse, how can you be so uncomprehending ?

    The worst of all worlds would be if Heidi’s bunch does somehow get some fool to give them 100% financing. Then the building will sit for a decade decaying & falling apart, hurting the city and the neighborhood. Then, it will be foreclosed on or the city will have to condemn it.

    The WCIA “officers” should consult legal counsel to explore their personal legal & financial exposure.

    We all benefit if the property, whether it is C/R or a private developer, turns it into something useful and vibrant. Why your kneejerk opposition to that ?

  61. tra
    February 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I guess what you mean is that if they get the financing to buy the property, but not the financing to renovate it, then it might sit empty?

    Because if they do get the financing to renovate it, it won’t be sitting empty, or decaying or falling apart.

  62. Plain Jane
    February 19, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Don’t we all benefit if WCIA turns Jefferson School into a vibrant community center, HiFi? Your bias against that neighborhood seems almost malignant. Are they interfering with some business plans of yours?

  63. High Finance
    February 19, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Like SHN said TRA, any bank will require 25% down on a construction type loan.

    The engineer said they would need to come up with at least another $700,000. Even then, he said, it would be difficult.

    Based on my experience, there isn’t a bank in the country that would consider a loan of that size to that group for a second. Think about it, even if the group could get a total of $2.5 million dollars at 30 years and 5% interest, the annual payments would be over $161,000 a year ! $13,500 per MONTH !

  64. High Finance
    February 19, 2011 at 8:53 am

    You’re not using your head PJ.

  65. February 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

    if they do get the financing to renovate it, it won’t be sitting empty, or decaying or falling apart.

    Don’t take away HiFi’s boogyman.

  66. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

    The city throws redevelopment money away on things like The Serenity Inn. Why can’t they spend redevelopment funds on a neighborhood park? Because the city gets government grants and funding for creating more low income housing. This done to procure funds for their projects like the boardwalk.

  67. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

    “Why would we want to help Arcata schools hurt Eureka schools and Eureka students ?” HiFi

    I love how the “free marketers” are so quick to have a govt entity (ECS) restrict the “free choice” and “market forces” presented by a charter school. Hypocrisy There?

    I guess HiFi can’t see how the “choice” to attend a smaller number or ECS schools or a growing number of well-run charter schools “helps students”. If the charter schools offer inferior education, then students pick ECS and they expand. Isn’t that the “free market”?

  68. Not A Native
    February 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Is Hi Fi trying to discourage potential investors or think he’s performing a service for them by educating them to the risks of investing? Like the pulp mill and ice house, this project will get funded if people decide to fund it. From an investor’s point of view the question is whether the economic value in the buildings is greater than the purchase price, Hi Fi doesn’t have an exclusive lock on the answer to that. And BTW, many public companies go for years with no profits and negative cash flow while executing their business plan. Some ultimately produce returns, others don’t.

    But I think what really motivating Hi Fi is wanting the neighborhood ownership to not suceed because that would be proof that the current city council is incompetant, inept and unwilling to be a partner with citizens in community development. That would have significant election ramifications.

    Whats at stake here is the principle of community nonprofit development of property as a better way to improve the city than private profit seeking. At least for this neighborhood, it seems that private profit seeking to date has resulted in a large decline. shouldn’t that alone be indication that a different approach might be better?

  69. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    HiFi, I have to question your moniker. You know as well as I do that financing for such a purchase RARELY comes through a bank. Private lenders, other nonprofit funders (both grant and lender), and companies who do specifically this kind of lending exist and have been contacted.
    Again I must ask, what the hell difference can it possibly make to you? I doubt if you live in that area. I also am guessing you’ve never joined a neighborhood work party or helped put on a benefit fundraiser and enjoyed that special commeradery that results.It’s call “COMMUNITY”. Trty it sometime. All you can do is bitch and KILL anything in front of you. Maybe you should use the handle “PitBull”. At least it fits your attitude better. I sure hope you don’t treat your clients/customers this way.

  70. High Finance
    February 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Mouse, I am a resident of Eureka. Every resident of Eureka is affected when the city has to lay off cops, street sweepers and reduce services when a city council blows our tax dollars on boondoggles like this one.

    Thank God our new city council had the backbone to stop the city’s purchase.

    Now I am less concerned. But we are all still affected by blight areas like the old Downtowner Motel site and the big church on Wabash.

    If Heidi’s group does somehow find a sucker to help them buy the Jefferson School building, it will decay and become another blighted spot.

    According to the SHN engineer, the chances of her group finding funding is next to nil.

    I would like to turn your question around to YOU. What the hell difference does it make to YOU ?

  71. High Finance
    February 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    And Mouse, if YOU had any experience in the finance field, you would know that private lenders do not throw away their money any more than banks do.

  72. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    We want a good quality of life here on the West Side. We have been abused and used and our neighborhoods degraded. We are sick and tired of being the warehouse of Low Income trash apartment buildings and Drug rehabs. We do not want to be used by the city in this way. For decades our neighborhoods have been the storage place for everything that is undesirable to meet the state and federal mandate to obtain grants and government funding. Tax $ that goes to the welfare mongers, slumlords and builders of cheap ugly apartment buildings. Bringing in College of the Redwoods would institutionalize our quiet residential neighborhood and ruin our property values. This is a RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD.

  73. anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Hope Marsee gets the new job. Far far away from Eureka.

  74. High Finance
    February 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    1.42pm, your realistic choices are probably either C/R or housing. Both C/R or a developer can be required to put in a small neighborhood park.

    Serious question, if the choices were C/R or single family residences, which would you prefer ?

    Would your answer change if, instead of single family residences, it was duplexes or fourplexes ?

  75. Not A Native
    February 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Fi, you’re offering anon 1:42 bad choices limited to what you think he is worthy of. He wants open space for public use and a restoration of a place of community identity and gathering.

    And Hi Fi, if private lenders and banks ‘don’t throw away their money’, how is it that banks and lenders all over this country (and much of the world) have been in a liquidity and solvency crisis for the last 4 years, with no end in sight even while the Federal Reserve has reduced their discount rate to zero?

    Hi Fi, your denials are exceeded only by your duplicity. I’ve written before that you’re a traitor to this country and you continuously reaffirm my opinion,

  76. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Lordy, lordy, Eureka sure has a lot of fine wealthy citizens who step forward to make sure that sites don’t become blighted and ECS doesn’t lose students! They seem so selfless and filled with concern for their community.

    I know that when I see an empty school, closed by the school board, my first thought is always “I hope to God that no community group steps forward to bring in a charter school, community center, kitchen and park. If that worked, which it won’t because those people don’t know what they are talking about, then ECS might lose students to the charter school!”

    So I rush out to my friends on the city council to warn them I don’t want taxes going to such a horrible drain on the city.

    And when the community group shows enough spunk to go it on its own, despite the city’s wise and selfless leaders telling them to fuck off, my immediate reaction is that this community group is going to create blight.

    So, even though it doesn’t concern me that a motel directly across the street from Eureka’s historic landmark have been left to rot, I leap up and defend the city from this evil community group that is going to cause blight.


  77. High Finance
    February 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Nice avoidance of answering a serious question.

    What, afraid of any real thinking ? Better to demonize your opponents rather than engage them ?

    You had better start thinking instead of stamping your feet & holding your breath like children. Otherwise, other people are going to make that decision for you.

  78. Cristina Bauss
    February 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I really need to second Plain Jane and Moviedad on their comments about Academy of the Redwoods. And, what I don’t think anyone else has said yet is that the Fortuna Union High School District STILL gets the ADA (Average Daily Attendance) for the kids who attend Academy of the Redwoods, so Fortuna isn’t losing any funding. Additionally, these kids can take high-school and college classes concurrently, and graduate way ahead of some of their peers if they so choose. There’s a bright young woman in my history class who will be graduating with both her high-school class AND her AA this spring, and she just turned 18 a few weeks ago. That’s right: she just turned 18, and she’ll have her two-year degree THIS SPRING. So, yes, while CR may be targeting kids who are underprivileged for whatever reason, these are NOT “throwaway kids” who aren’t doing things with their lives.

  79. Sylvia Scott
    February 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I wish I could tell everyone out there that the WCIA is going to see all of our hard work & dedication with this Jefferson project work. But I can’t. I do want to set the record straight about a few things.

    We did not go to the city with this project with our hat in our hand. The city came to us! David Tyson is the one who convinced us that this was the perfect project for redevelopment funds. After everything we have been through, I don’t think we will be working with City Hall anytime soon.

    CR is a wonderful college and I respect the service they provide our area. BUT…..they’ve been informed of our objections to their presents in our neighborhood. The increase in night traffic, the parking problem, all night lights in the parking lot, the night noise. We also want to try and preserve the historical integrity of this building in this historical neighborhood. And…we still want a park for our children! Now, we tell them again on Thursday!

    I’m sorry they won’t listen to us & we are now at odds with them. But quite frankly, what else is new in this town. We will fight this battle to the bitter end. We are not going away & we are going to take our neighborhood back. If necessary, one square inch at a time!

    I would like to thank all of you for your support. On the bad days, it meant more to us than words can express. For the HiFi’s in this place, you just don’t get it & you never will!

    Wish us luck everyone, we’re going to need it in the weeks to come.

  80. Sylvia Scott
    February 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    oops…I really need to proof read! It should be “presence” not “presents” Somehow I don’t think CR will have “presents” for any of us.

  81. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    It sounds like the intensified use of this facility by the college for adult services would adversely impact the existing residential neighborhood.

    I thought the neighbors had a great plan, I was at the city council meeting when they first presented and the council voted to support the project (my first). I am new in town and was shocked at the opposition from the new council a 180 turn around, sure looks like something is not being said out loud.

    Huh the Real Estate agent never mentioned the seedy underside of this city(and I am not talking about the Jefferson neighborhood).

  82. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    There are a LOT of at CR (employees) who think a Jefferson purchase is a bad idea. We need to make a decision with the downtown site because the lease expires in 2012. But that could include a lot of things like merging some of the “101 corridor” sites or finding cheaper space. To many of us, the idea of spending millions on Jefferson when that bond money could be spent of badly needed main campus, and DN and Mendo campus, maintenance and improvements is bad planning.
    Many are also concerned that the bond money will not pay for the additional maintenance, staff, and technical support that will be required for an expanded Jefferson site. That would have to come out of discretionary funds and we are facing a 17% cut this fall (at least).
    So, please know that MOST of CR is not in favor of a Jefferson purchase.

  83. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Also, the CR Board of Trustees has said they will not go forward with a Jefferson purchase if there is not community support.
    Thursday, Feb 24 130pm would be a good time to show the CR Board that there is NOT community support. You may even have some CR employees in your ranks.

  84. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Single family homes would bring property tax to the city and stability to the neighborhood. Single family good. More multi family bad.

  85. Owltotem
    February 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    There are more things of longer lasting and greater value to a community than property tax and profit. But if we must focus on Economic Benefit how about this


  86. Owltotem
    February 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm
  87. Owltotem
    February 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Community kitchen:
    Cooking clubs
    Canning clubs
    Specialty food manufacturing
    Food service business incubators
    Food manufacturing business incubators
    Safe Food Handling instruction
    Nutrition Education
    oh maybe even meals for a uh oh no dont say it the children of a charter school
    maybe even food they planted and harvest at the on site community garden and learn how to prepare and store in the community kitchen?
    Oh no dont say literacy, dont say library, these bleeding heart MUST BE STOPPED oh my god did someone say park? Healthy outdoor activities? Common-ground. Crush these liberals they are not turning a PROFIT. THIS IS NOT PART OF THE PLAN!

  88. Anonymous
    February 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Owltotem this is beginning to sound like a rescue mission.

  89. Owltotem
    February 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Community Kitchen means Commercial Kitchen it is for rent, affordable, not free. And I dont get it, rescue mission like what, reconnaissance or a homeless shelter? Neither are even close to the case. Owls fluffing the nest, night.

  90. Anonymous
    February 20, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Virtually all the employees at CR know that this is a really bad idea for the college right now. We should be closing some of our too many sites–like Garberville, McKinleyville, and possibly downtown Eureka–not buying and renovating another. Marsee’s reckless expansionism is over. Its financially destroyed the college. If he and CR’s board try to ram this purchase through, then cut yet more classes and start laying off CR employees (like they’ve been threatening to do) they will have an even more furious crowd on their own campus than they do on the West side of Eureka.

  91. Anonymous
    February 20, 2011 at 1:30 am

    I’ll help you kill the college idea. I want to build an apartment complex instead.

  92. Eric Kirk
    February 21, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Not very subtle are they?

  93. WTF
    February 21, 2011 at 1:06 am
  94. Anonymous
    February 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    For the record, unless Fuente Nueva has some sort of waiver or has its charter “held” by onsored by HCOE, then the whole Arcata vs. Eureka ADA argument is moot. Laws that govern charter schools were updated years ago, requiring that each charter school’s charter be “sponsored” by the school district within which it physically resides.

  95. Mitch
    February 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Hey Anonymous 1:58,

    Don’t interrupt fear-mongering with facts!

  96. Anonymous
    February 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Nah Mitch, he interrupted legitimate concerns with BS. Our county is completely broken up by carpetbagging charter schools.

  97. Anonymous
    February 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I posted this twice, but it never appeared, but my 2:12 comment did. I’ll try a third time.

    I call BS on 1:58.

    Consider the Mattole Unified School District centered in Petrolia. It includes Cutten Resource Center (Cutten), Laurel Tree (Arcata), North Coast Learning Academy (Eureka), Willowbrook Learning Center (Fortuna), Beginnings (Briceland), Campus House (Arcata), Redway Site – I.S. Learning Center (Redway) and Mattole Valley Charter School (Petrolia).

    This list is available on HCOE’s website.

  98. tra
    February 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Wow, all that from out of the little Mattole Unified School District in Petrolia!

    Apparently they’re doing something that students and parents value.

  99. AJ
    February 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Fuente’s letter to parents listed one of the benefits of starting a second campus as “Increased ability to hire specialty teachers by offering more competitive jobs with hours working at both sites.”

    What are the logistics of that if the two schools are in different districts? If it’s possible, then they could have sought collaboration with the immersion school in McKinleyville, which has greater resources.

    The letter also lists as a perk, “Increase revenue for this site. (the larger we are, within the definition of small schools up to 300 students between the 2 sites, the easier it is to finance all the needs of the school).”

    That sure sounds like they’re expecting to pool resources between the two school sites. Again, how would that function if they are two independent schools?

    Finally, the letter states, “Several logistics are still being navigated; how we expand our charter…”

    Expanding the charter sounds like the new Eureka school would be in the Arcata district. Fuente was to hold a meeting on Feb. 8th to discuss this issue. It’d be nice to know the outcome.

  100. AJ
    February 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Fuente’s letter to parents listed one of the benefits of starting a second campus as “Increased ability to hire specialty teachers by offering more competitive jobs with hours working at both sites.”

    What are the logistics of that if the two schools are in different districts? If it’s possible, then they could have sought collaboration with the immersion school in McKinleyville, which has greater resources.

    The letter also lists as a perk, “Increase revenue for this site. (the larger we are, within the definition of small schools up to 300 students between the 2 sites, the easier it is to finance all the needs of the school).”

    That sure sounds like they’re expecting to pool resources between the two school sites. Again, how would that function if they are two independent schools?

    Finally, the letter states, “Several logistics are still being navigated; how we expand our charter…”

    Expanding the charter sounds like the new Eureka school would be in the Arcata district. Fuente was to hold a meeting on Feb. 8th to discuss this issue. It’d be nice to know the outcome.

  101. Anon 1:58
    February 22, 2011 at 6:39 am

    All those Matole “schools” cater to indpendent study/”homeschooled” kids as resource centers. I note that the dread Fuente Nueva isn’t on that list. Their charter is currently held by Arcata School District, which became necessary when the law I mentioned above was passed. Prior to that, Matole was happy to accept the ADA of other schools (Equinox, Coastal Grove, Fuente, etc), becuase it was easy money. Charter schools aren’t the bogey man some of you are making them out to be; they give parents the opportunity to choose schools that best suit their individual children. The Arcata School District is quite supportive of the charter schools it sponsors; they get a nice chunk of change for doing very little in return. Like I said, Fuente will likely switch to Eureka City Schools or HCOE. Either way, that makes your “carpetbagging” argument rather moot, eh? How does either one hurt ECSD? Fuente already shares a campus with another school and some resources are shared, such as janitorial services, use of common space, and food services- resources don’t necessarily mean teachers alone. And, also for the record, my children do NOT attend Fuente and I am a she, not a he.

  102. High Finance
    February 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Charter schools (carpet baggers or not) hurt public schools by taking desperately needed state funds away and giving nothing back.

  103. AJ
    February 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    they get a nice chunk of change for doing very little in return.

    Be fair. The district gets a smaller chunk of change than if those students attended regular public schools in the district. There was an AP story in the Times-Standard just yesterday about issues surrounding charter schools.

  104. nothing back to whom?
    February 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    They give back quality education to the youth of underserved communities that otherwise get bussed and excluded from after school activities and tutoring if they do not have a parent with the time and luxury to drive them. Children under 10 can not ride public transportation alone.

    Charter schools can step in and offer services in areas public schools have abandoned. Not only do they (ECS)abandon the buildings but they abandon the community, the children and the neighborhood consistency and common ground the neighborhood schools provide. If the public school was focused on its primary goal, safe, effective, well rounded, elementary education there would be no room for charter schools thus no competition for ADA.

    I drove my children out of Eureka to a charter school because I had the luxury to do so ECS did not provide the consistency nor the quality of education I wanted for my kids.

  105. nothing back to whom?
    February 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Where do we choose to focus our time money and attention, on the broken system or the health of our community? Healthy, safe kids build a healthy safe community.

    I am a parent and I bet you can guess where I live AND where I will be Thursday at 1:30!

  106. AJ
    February 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    otherwise get bussed and excluded from after school activities and tutoring if they do not have a parent with the time and luxury to drive them.

    Is there a charter school that offers after-school activities and that buses the kids home after the after-school activities? That’s an interesting claim about charter schools. I’d like to know more.

    Normally, a public school may offer after-school care for working families, but yes, an extra activity such as track, cross-country, basketball or clubs requires a parent to pick the child up afterward.

  107. Anonymous
    February 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I’m not continuing this discussion as any reflection on Fuente or the neighborhood plan. I’m sincerely interested simply in the issue of charter schools.

    Here’s an interesting article about charter schools in New York. Statewide, 50% of high school graduates are college-ready, but only 20% of charter school students are college-ready.

    Does that reflect an issue with charter schools, or the families who choose charter schools or… any ideas? Curriculum-wise, how are charter schools different from a regular public school? Students at both take the same standardized tests, correct?

  108. AJ
    February 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Whoops, that 5:22 comment was mine. WordPress makes me log in for each new browser session for some reason.

  109. High Finance
    February 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    People who think charter schools give a better education than the public schools had better take a closer look before shortchanging their children’s education.

  110. tra
    February 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I think there’s a role for charter schools, in terms of trying innovative teaching strategies and serving students who are not flourishing in standard public schools.

    But I went to public school and received a good, solid education that prepared me for success in college and the workplace.

    Public schools are the backbone of our primary education system and need more support from the commuity to keep up with the educational needs of today and tomorrow. If I had to choose between healthy public schools or charter schools alongside failing public schools, I’d definitely choose the public schools.

    But I think that to a large extent, that’s a false choice. There’s no good reason why we can’t have high-quality public schools as well as some charter schools that innovate, specialize, and provide different and unique learning opportunities to interested students.

  111. tra
    February 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Anybody else find it interesting that it is our resident conservative, HiFi, who is stressing the importance of public schools and worrying that charter schools draining funds from the public school system?

    Of course at the state and national level, it’s been the conservatives who have led the charge for “school choice” in which public education money could go not only to public charrter schools, but also to private and parochial schools. That approach has generally been anathema to liberals/progressives (not to mention teachers’ unions!) with the notable exception being otherwise liberal folks who happen to live in areas that have low-performing public schools.

    At any rate, I’m glad to hear of HiFi’s support of and concern for our public schools.

  112. AJ
    February 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    There’s no good reason why we can’t have high-quality public schools as well as some charter schools that innovate

    I’ll go a step further and say we should have our high-quality public schools innovate, making most charter schools redundant. Consider our two language immersion schools, one in Arcata and one in McKinleyville. One is a charter school and one is a regular public school.

  113. Anonymous
    February 23, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Dear High Finance:

    I DID compare Charter Schools with standarad public schools. (you DO realize that charter schools are public, right? They just have the ability to tailor their curriculum a bit, based on state guidelines. They also provide local districts with a portion of the funding they receive, pay rent for the space they use, employ teachers, often offer lower class size, and show comparable or better test scores.)

    Lo and behold, I chose the charter school route and couldn’t be happier with the education my children received. In fact, child #1 had the joy of attending both regular public school and charter school; the charter experience was MUCH more satisfying in all ways and he is excelling in (public) high school.

    My view is based on personal experience. Yours?

  114. Owltotem
    February 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I seem to remember the Jeffersonians first attempt was to keep Eureka City Schools from closing Jefferson, to no avail, then it was to partner with the city and NorthCoast Childrens Services for Headstart and a Multi Use neighborhood community center with children’s services and activities. When that got delayed into oblivion the group came back with the Charter school as a tenant. It seems the common thread here, which they have been saying all along is that elementary education and consistency for the children of the community is of high priority. Children are ALWAYS a communities best investment in their future.

    Hi-Fi I can not help but wonder if you were a young parent and you had say a 6 and 9 year old, your neighborhood school closed and your children were bussed to 2 different schools, with no assurance those were the schools they would continue to attend, that you would be OK with that.

    Hi Fi I think know you well enough now to know that as a good, responsible parent you would not accept that for your children. You would understand that social development, becoming a responsible productive member of a community and society, begins at home and is emulated at school. Continued interruption of the “structure” of that society (new school different classmates) breaks the development of the “society” and in turn interferes with the child defineing his or her “role”. Consistency, structure, accountability, leaders, followers, teachers, worker bees, these roles develop and as a society, children define their roles at home and practice them at school. The public education and neighborhood school model is what helped build America and American spirit.

    I believe this is the burning ember of the Jeffersonians drive. I do not believe the Jeffersonians are “charter school fans or City Schools foes” I believe they are correctly prioritizing the needs of the future of Eureka, consistency and good, strong, healthy, social development of our leaders of tomorrow, our children.

    Hi-Fi lets try and meet on grounds of mutual respect. I respect you, I know you are smart, responsible and I know you care. I also suspect you are committed to healthy children and good education, thus your vehement defense of public education.

    From a “somewhat” outsiders perspective (thank you Heraldo for consistently following this story) I do not really see that your passion is that far from the priorities of the Westsiders. I can see you as a pivotal person to work with these folks and find common-ground.

    Thank you for your passion Hi Fi, really.

  115. AJ
    February 23, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Okay, if we’re back on the topic of this specific school at that specific location, I’ll point out a wrinkle as devil’s advocate.

    Placing Fuente into a neighborhood that lost its neighborhood school is not an automatic recipe for success. It’s a school that teaches two languages, and the second language is Spanish. That point makes it a controversial school for some people.

    I’m an advocate for language immersion — I think almost all of our schools should offer immersion — but there are a significant number of people who don’t speak Spanish who don’t like the idea of their child learning Spanish. In McKinleyville, I know a family who lives less than a block from the immersion school and they drive their child elsewhere. Do not underestimate how much parents can be opposed to bilingualism.

    Secondly, it’s not a given that parents who speak Spanish as their first language will embrace immersion. There is a portion of that population who specifically want their kids learning English only, mistakenly believing the understanding of English will be less at an immersion school (the opposite is true — immersion students have a greater command of language than their single-language peers). Or, the parents don’t want their kids knowing Spanish as an overall effort to distance their kids from the parents’ or grandparents’ heritage, thinking the kids will somehow grow up more American.

    On the plus side, we have a handful of parents who drive from Arcata and Eureka to attend in McKinleyville. I suspect Fuente in Eureka would be no different, pulling students from a wider area than the immediate neighborhood. I’m just saying, a good many parents in the neighborhood could still choose to bus their kids elsewhere when a neighborhood school is staring them in the face.

  116. Anonymous, Yetta Nuther
    February 23, 2011 at 9:52 am

    CR Trustees each have geographic “districts” they are supposed to be representing. Richard Dorn is the Trustee representing the Eureka area that includes the Jefferson School neighborhood. Constituents from that district who wish to let him know how they feel about CR should contact him.

  117. Anonymous
    February 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Excellent post, Oweltotem.

    As for High Fianance… the crickets are deafening.

  118. Owltotem
    February 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    See you all tomorrow at 1:30 with love, compassion and our vision. These facilities folks are citizens too, probably parents and maybe even some Westsiders. It is time to come together as a community.

  119. Owltotem
    February 24, 2011 at 7:45 am

    See you at 1:30, Jefferson, communicate the vision with love and the greatest degree of respect please.

  120. Anonymous
    February 25, 2011 at 12:56 am

    They’re not crickets, they’re chickens bock bock boooock

  121. skippy
    February 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

    On a related note, the stalwart Allison White of the Times-Standard reported on the “CR Committee Tours Vacant Halls of Jefferson Elementary School” today.

    Allison writes: “The facility committee is scheduled to discuss the tour at its Monday meeting, and CR’s board of trustees will discuss the Jefferson School site in closed session on Tuesday, under the agenda item of a conference with real property negotiators. Outgoing CR President Jeff Marsee is listed as the college’s negotiator.”

    More of Allison’s article
    for interested readers can be found here.

  122. Anon
    March 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    The Eureka School Board has an agenda item for their meeting tomorrow to give public notice of intention to sell Jefferson. If they adopt the item, they probably have a buyer in mind.

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