Santa and Grinch visit Sweetwater District meeting

Teacher negotiations at impasse, trustees may resign Friday

The continued presence of three JDS security guards at Sweetwater Union High School District board meetings is a monthly reminder of the deteriorated relations between the district, the public, and teachers. Even with the presence ...

anniej Dec. 16, 2013 @ 5:52 p.m.

While I had suggested that chulateacher was Ed Brand himself my opinion has changed. My opinion now - Burt Grossman - but I guess it could be said they are one in the same. Grossman working to his verbal 'contract' with Brand. What was it that Brand allegedly said to a BOC aoplicant - 'I would like to find something for Grossman here at SUHSD'

I have made no secret of my opinion of Ms, Lopez. Those laws she is alleged to have broken, she like the rest will have to take her case up with the judge. I have publicly stated I do not want to see any of them serve jail time, but, it is not for their sake it is for the sake of the taxpayers that will have to pay more taxes to house them and, most importantly it is for the sake of their families. I do know that Lopez is the ONLY board member to have met with the DA's office early on and share concerns. What of the others? Where were they? Jibaro - chulateacher where were the other board members?

Jibaro prefers to speak of the now - so, allow me to ask what of the firing of the CFO? What of Ed Brand bringing back Dianne Russo? What of the $10million deficit? What of the L street debacle - $34 million investment of Ed Brands now estimated by some to be worth a mere $8 mil

I am wondering how Ms. Limbo is going to take her being bashed by someone I am of the opinion of is attached at the hip to Ed Brand. Oh, this was NOT a smart move. But hey, we the CAVE people tried to raise the yellow flag on the Arne Duncan visit and the monies spent, we tried to alert all to the federally protected data being shared, we have tried to raise concerns regarding the partnership of Ms. Limbo (Promise Neighborhoods) and Ed Brand (SUHSD) - and now we are seeing for ourselves what is happening - Limbo is being thrown under the preverbial bus. Hmmm, somewhat like the CPM students, parents and good teachers!

Name calling of me matters little - I have no importance I am but one. What I am looking for are persons who defend Ed Brand to tell us why?

Uniting with Ed Brand? In case certain persons have not yet had the light bulb go on - there are some mighty big problems that are getting ready to be exposed. All of the name calling is not going to help your case as to why you aligned ourself with such a person.

In closing I would like to offer up the following - fact check - chulateacher - jibaro try fact checking.

Arlie Ricasa has found herself in trouble before. I refer you to her Assembly run - fine of $2,000 regarding questionable loans.

Jim Cartmill had a bit of an issue when he ran for CV City Council - it appears his name was linked to someone charged with an issue regarding a couple of campaigns.

When you know better, you are SUPPOSE TO DO BETTER.

Why did Arlie Ricasa and John McCann voice concerns about the budget yet they and Jim Cartmill voted in favor of it at this months board meeting. Lopez voted against it. Chulateacher - jibaro. What say YOU?


gobigal Dec. 16, 2013 @ 7:25 p.m.

As a teacher I have to say no one I know is using the children like pawns in a custody battle. My professional colleagues and I still do everything we can for kids all day long. I personally stopped doing the things I did out of courtesy to the adults. I spend my prep time grading and planning- not attending meetings. My papers take longer to grade because I don't take them home any more, but they are done quickly and the kids get the feedback they need, though it is no longer in fun bulletin board form. We are not hurting kids and I object to the thought that we ever would. If I don't do extra and it engenders conversation with a parent who noticed, then I have done my job.

And as a side note- I was not even a SEA member for over a dozen years. Ironically it was the return of Dr. Brand and in particular the scary principal he gave us that pushed me to join. Heck I was even happy when Dr. Brand came back. I really thought he was one of us and would have our back. Like many I am so hurt and saddened by the direction our district is going. I love Sweetwater and I hate this dissent.

If I said to my students that I was going to weigh a test for 20% of their grade, then at the last minute told them it would be 80% of their grade unless they agree to give me their cell phones for the next 3 months- that would be unethical and I would be disciplined. How anyone can defend Dr. Brand using a huge uptick in benefit costs that his own advisors told him was not necessary in order to beat concessions out of his staff is beyond comprehension. Wrong is wrong.

Dr. Grier is a proponent of putting money in the classroom. It is an insult to him to compare Dr. Brand's problems to his- Dr. Brand just took back all the money our schools have to help in the classroom (SEI, Title I, LEP...). I have met Dr. Grier and Ed Brand is no Terry Grier.

Yes even Bertha is a criminal- but she seems to be the only one who has the backbone to ask a question or stand up for common sense. We will all be relieved when the new board is seated.


eastlaker Dec. 11, 2013 @ 5:47 p.m.

Where to begin?

So Board Member Lopez is not getting all the information she should be getting. Yet another tactic by the majority board members lead by Ed Brand to make sure she is marginalized and uninformed. This is a problem, and should be addressed. This should not be allowed--but it is the tip of the iceberg of Ed Brand's wrong-doing.

Let us hope that Mr. Alt is assisting in the inquiries...

Thank you Ms. Lopez for requesting an audit of the district's finances. Let's hope that actually takes place, and soon.

The students and teachers of Sweetwater deserve so much better than they have been given. I really hope that the damage Ed Brand (and all who have gone along with him) has done can be corrected. I hope that no student has been permanently damaged, although I am sure there are quite a few who are very cynical when it comes to those claiming it is all for the students. We all know Ed Brand is all for Ed Brand. A hollow, vacant, ethically challenged individual who has no business being in the position of superintendent of schools.


bbq Dec. 11, 2013 @ 6:26 p.m.

So as we all now know that the district is in deficit spending to a tune of quote:
Michel gave the board the bad news for the first interim 2013–2014 budgets: “The district is deficit spending and the deficit is 10.8 million dollars,” said Michel.

After a good meeting with Dr Alt last Feburary where only 4 citizens showed up it was appearent that since Gandara and Brand's return we've been dipping into reserves to the tune of over $10 Million a year, and thus now no reserves.

Why in heavens name are we in negotiations for a $10 to 14 million Adminstration building? I tried to hear Mr. Calhoun's presentation on the Board website and found the quality of the tape unacceptable, where are the minutes and transcripts? Is the powerpoint presentation available? Frankly let's get out of the real estate speculation business before buying noneduc ational facilities!! It is completely messed up that our superintendent and Board are so out of control.

I did have a conversation with the San Diego County Office of Education, District 2 Representative, Dr. Lyn Neylon. Unfortunately the Sweetwater District still has at least two years of subpar financial reports before the County Office of Education can step in. (Also look at my comment in the previous string about appointing replacement board members)

People it's time to have the power that have control know that,"We're mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore"

Let's have a good planning session and fight the good fight in the new year. Best, BBQ


anniej Dec. 11, 2013 @ 7:17 p.m.

There is an OPINION written Ed Brand in the C.V. Star News. If you want to read some fiction take a glance.

No doubt this is Brands precursor for the new bond he and Caloun continue to try and sell.

Well here is a 411, we are NOT voting for one more red cent to be MISused or MISspent by Ed Brand.

Did you hear that Ed Brand, not one more red cent!

Can you imagine what the San Diego Taxpayers Ssociation is going to have to say about this absurd idea? Our CURRENT Bond is being audited by the IRS, and contrary to what was stated by Mr. Calhoun at the board meeting a call to the IRS revealed a contradiction. No Mr. Calhoun the IRS does not regularly audit all Bond Monies. Seems like SUHSD stood out for some reason.

Ringy dingy - we ARE fact checkers!!!!!!


eastlaker Dec. 12, 2013 @ 12:47 a.m.

It was with great amazement that I approached the article in the Star-News. Imagine, a newspaper running a puff-piece from Ed Brand at this time! The photo looks like it is at least 15 - 20 years old. Eddy was really trying to put his best foot forward...

We can only hope that no one is buying Fast Eddy's line of clap-trap this time, or ever again.

Fast Eddy must lie awake at night, going over all the possibilities for new and enhanced revenue streams. One can only hope that he is cut off from the proceeds of the citizenry's hard-earned money ASAP.

Let's hope the IRS put their A team on this one. Let's hope, for the survival of Sweetwater Union High School District, that the big Scammer has run his last scam.


Susan Luzzaro Dec. 12, 2013 @ 9:57 a.m.

BBQ, that's very useful information from Neylon. So what is the total of subpar years a district could have before the county stepped in ? Thank you, Susan


bbq Dec. 12, 2013 @ 10:43 a.m.

My understanding from Dr. Neylon was two years of subpar Financials the County Office of Education would send in an overseer for the financial aspects of the district.

At this time due to the financial stress in San Ysidro, they have a County employee working there now.

I have not looked for the official policy, just what I was told.

At this point I do not believe Sweetwater has filed a subpar financial evaluation. BBQ


erupting Dec. 12, 2013 @ 3:28 p.m.

Her comment was that she did not know who the other 7-11 members were. Board docs audio portion is now available.


oskidoll Dec. 12, 2013 @ 2:34 p.m.

Now that is SCARY....David Malcolm, Mr. scummy with the 'for sale' sign up again, after he looted the Port District? Next we'll have Steve Peace (Mr. electric degrgulation czar when we all paid through the nose) in the group, and everyone hold onto what's left of your wallets. YIKES!


bbq Dec. 12, 2013 @ 2:37 p.m.


Ed's choice is obvious, he likes to think himself the sportsman and Mr. Grossman is the ex-athlete.

The appointment is to have another Brand Toadie on the review committee. It's also to get Mr. Grossman some name recognition and some Education Cred, proir to next year's election where Mr. Grossman is expected to run for one of the vacated spots.

All of these steps appear to be Ed's modus operandi for remaining in control. Let's not be fooled again!!!!! BBQ


bbq Dec. 12, 2013 @ 2:42 p.m.

Chulateacher, I am assuming that when you say "Ed Code" you mean Education Code, not some new system of The Dr. Brand stacking the deck to remain in power and continued mis-direction of our education and Mello-Roos Funds! BBQ


erupting Dec. 12, 2013 @ 3:48 p.m.

I believe Ms Lopez said she didn't know who the other members of the committee were. The audio portion of the available by now.


bbq Dec. 13, 2013 @ 5:44 a.m.

Chulateacher, First I do not believe that my "Ed Code" response was an attack on you, just a comment on the absurdity of the whole situation. If you cannot laugh at the irony of your statement, I don't know...

As for Bertha, I cannot answer for her and your point is well taken.. however the situation still does not change that at least in my CAVE man opinion, the fox or foxes are still watching the Henhouse....

By the way when you are are calling out someone for throwing stones be sure you are not backing some one who threw first... ie Ed and the boys.

It is very easy to catagorize your critics as crarkpots, nay-sayers and CAVE People. I personally, have made many attempts to open up meaningful dialogs with the district and Dr. Brand only to be catagorized as a CAVE person. BBQ


bbq Dec. 13, 2013 @ 6:40 a.m.

Chulateacher, When one starts with all due respect or ends with just kidding.... your thought is as full of BS and venom as it would have been straight up, so just be straight up next time..

So, your a fan of Ed and Mr. Grossman, good for you, open dialog is a wonderful thing and I encourage it rather than belittle it ... Frankly, I do not have any real opinion of Mr. Grossman, having never met the man, just the Ed Connection, perhaps sometime soon....

Frankly I do not see any of the Board or Dr. Brand a "Threat" I am just commenting on how I see the situation.

Hopefully, the 7-11 committee can come up with some resolution to the ill concieved "Land Speculation" that the district has engaged in. Our District needs to be conservative and prudent with regards to "deals", prior to purchasing more non-educational facilities, a complete review and resolution of the current situation must occur.

As for my background to question the direction of the district; My experiences with the Sweetwatar Union High School District are as a consumer of the services, community representative and a taxpayer, as such I am allowed to criticize what I percieve is Bad Service and poorly managed establishment.

The good Dr. Brand is running rough shod through the district only listening to himself speak, showing distain for the public, who happen to pay his expensive salary.

What is the return on investment for our community and for the product, our students?

The sitting Board do not have the ethics to admit they were caught up in the "Pay for Play" scandel, and now are just admitting to "Know" they were covering up for the issue and copping pleas.

This Board currently seems to be full of over reaching, under questioning, rubber stampers, who have never asked anyone but the faithful Ed followers what they think about the direction of the district. Where are the thoughtful keepers of the public trust?

Perhaps we have a bit too much "Education Cred" running the district and not enough "Outside" influence?

As said before "A wise man knows what he does not know" as such he asks questions and does not always take the word of the "Expert".

We often talk of ethnic diversity being a good thing when it comes to society, what about diversity in ideas, backgrounds, experience and education give better solutions to issues, and improves a business, let's be diverse.

Just my opnion, any time you or the board would like to discuss the issues in an open forum, you can find me here with the CAVE people. Best BBQ


knowthetruth Dec. 12, 2013 @ 5:24 p.m.

I am not sure how Grossman would qualify for 6 out of 7.

•The ethnic, age group, and socioeconomic composition of the District. Grossman is White, in his forties and is a former professional football player who made more money in one season than most people who live in the district will make in their lifetime. Unqualified.

•The business community, such as store owners, managers, or supervisors. I am unaware of Grossman being a store owner or a member of the business community. Unqualified.

•Landowners or renters, with preference to be given to representatives of neighborhood associations. The Grossman's were renting a house in Otay Ranch, they no longer live there. Grossman was not a representative nor involved in the neighborhood association while there. Unqualified.

•Teachers. •Administrators. Is neither. Unqualified.

•Parents of students. As far as I know his children are in elementary school, he is not a parent of a student in the district (please let me know if I am wrong here). Unqualified.

•Persons with expertise inenvironmental impact, legal contracts, building codes, and land use planning, including, but not limited to, knowledge of the zoning and other land use restrictions of the cities or cities and counties in which the surplus space and real property is located. I do not know his background in any of the above.

So how is he so qualified?


Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!