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San Diego Unified school board candidate Steve Rosen has been making a big deal about how his company, TV Magic, has repeatedly volunteered its services for the benefit of local students. “Steve and his company’s pro bono efforts were instrumental in the District receiving over $9 million in grant funds from the State of California,” says his campaign website. “These funds are currently providing secondary school students with the opportunity to explore and develop their skills in all fields of Information Technology.” But according to Rosen’s personal financial disclosure statement, TV Magic, which specializes in high-end video gear and broadcasting consulting services, has been getting a sizable cut of the financial action.

Included in an itemized list of the firm’s income over the previous year is $90,000 for a “PT Loma HS Motion Picture Facility.” In addition to that, according to an April 2009 news release posted on TV Magic’s website, there have been at least two other San Diego Unified projects. The release explains that TV Magic worked with the district’s Office of College, Career & Technical Education to get grant funding from the state’s Career Technical Education School Facilities program. Then it was chosen to set up a new TV studio complex at San Diego High. 

“After the grant had been awarded, we sat down with TV Magic and realized we needed to find a way to build a fully functional 720p or 1080i facility, on an SD budget, in order to stay true to the grant’s objective,” San Diego Unified program specialist Shawn Loescher is quoted as saying. “The TV Magic team worked extensively with me to make this happen, and now we just can’t wait to see our plans become reality.”

The release adds: “Each site, located at three different high schools, will address how to work in front of or behind the camera, providing students with career preparation experience that will help them learn more about their chief interests and competencies as they progress with further education or move into the job market. TV Magic’s design team will outline the digital workflow and manage all technical aspects of the facilities.”

Rosen’s disclosure lists the source of the Point Loma High fee as the architectural firm of Zagrodnik + Thomas. A $2000 payment from the firm of Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker is attributed to “Mira Mesa HS consulting,” and an additional $2000 was paid by Dominy + Associates Architects for consulting work on a project for the district’s San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.

In an interview last week, Rosen said that TV Magic had been selected for the projects after his company and its competitors responded to requests for proposals issued by the school district. “We bid very low,” he added. Loescher did not respond to a request for comment left with his assistant.

The San Diego County Office of Education paid TV Magic $9340, and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority was the source of $10,115. In addition, according to Rosen’s disclosure, his company also worked for KPBS, the public broadcasting operation run by San Diego State University, making $45,383…Meanwhile, Rosen’s opponent, math teacher Kevin Beiser, has been polishing his résumé. According to his statement of candidate qualifications, Beiser has “valuable fiscal experience in business management.” To back the claim, he submitted a letter from the manager of the Walmart in Lebanon, Oregon. Beiser, it says, “started working for Wal-Mart as the manager of our One Hour Photo Lab in March of 1992. The store was new, and within a year Kevin was managing one of the highest sales and profit labs in the company. In the time Kevin was the manager of the lab he had no turnover in personnel.” Beiser adds that he later became Northwestern regional manager of the photo division at Walmart and was also an operations manager at TJ Maxx for three years, as well as an assistant manager at Target, also for three years.

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JimW Sept. 15, 2010 @ 3:40 p.m.

I'm going to vote for Kevin Beiser for School Board because he is a Teacher and has committed his life to working hard for kids. He was Awarded Math Teacher of the Year and also helped turn around an underperforming school into a National School to Watch by working hand-in-hand, as a team, with his fellow teachers and staff members at Granger Junior High School; where he currently teaches. Kevin was also voted Most Inspirational Teacher and Most Caring Teacher by the students of Granger Junior High, which shows his true motivations for seeking a seat on the School Board. Kevin Beiser has held many leadership roles such Math Department Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee, District Curriculum Instruction and Assessment Committee, District Strategic Planning Committee, AVID Site Team, and Professional Learning Community Team Leader. Kevin Beiser is uniquely qualified as an award winning teacher, and has a proven track record of working together to help turn a failing school around. I'm sure Kevin will do his best by working tirelessly for all the schools in San Diego if elected. So I say Vote for Kevin Beiser, a teacher, for School Board.


MarthaG Sept. 15, 2010 @ 7:08 p.m.

I have the utmost respect for Mr. Beiser's abilities as a math instructor and the services he provides to his school district and his students in Sweetwater Union School District, there is no disputing the major contribution he has made to his students and his district. BUT he will not get my vote as Trustee for San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).

I have watched all of the candidates in District B, since before the primary election in June and on an ongoing basis through this campaign cycle. My perception of Mr. Beiser, and the incumbent (Nakamura) who was beat out in the primary, is that they were both riding Mr. Rosen’s coattails in terms of really having a solid grasp on the numbers and the very serious implications of what those numbers were saying down the road; the incumbent caught up quickly, but Mr. Beiser appeared to be “catching-up” and “getting up to speed” on the substantive issues that have been plaguing SDUSD for years.

The $9M dollar grant referenced in this article is probably 3 – 4 times bigger than anything Mr. Beiser had to manage during his customer service/ retail career, was that specific question asked of Mr. Beiser, oh wait, he wasn’t interviewed for damaging “sound bites”. Mr. Rosen is obviously not trying to hide anything otherwise it wouldn’t be on his website and he wouldn’t be “making a big deal” about it (eyes rolling at the bias and drama brought in the first sentence of the article). I think what you forgot to mention, but was clearly implied by the holes in your information, is that the bid for the work went through the required and legal bid process.

Shame on you Matt Potter and the Reader, for this biased uninformative piece (starting with the unflattering image in which you portrayed one candidate, but not the other) that cannot even be characterized as journalism, but rather a middle school report about who you think should win and who you think should lose. Better luck next time, GRADE D-.


doughardy Sept. 15, 2010 @ 9:21 p.m.

Rosen has the right idea. If other vendors for public projects would spend the time to find grants, imagine the savings. It's funny you compare a man who was instrumental in finding 9 million dollars in free equipment for kids, to a man who managed a photo booth(s) at Wal-Mart. There is a big difference. Besides, Rosen's company made so little on the project, I am surprised you are trying to create a controversy over it.

Rosen has my vote.


Bill_Ding Sept. 15, 2010 @ 9:42 p.m.

I'm so impressed with math teacher Kevin Beiser.

I've taken the time to carefully evaluate the candidates. To appraise them on both at an intellectual level, but also from a gut level. What I can say with absolute certainty, school teacher Kevin Beiser stands heads and shoulders above ANY candidate for ANY office I've voted for locally.

As Math Teacher of the Year he has proven himself as one of the city's finest classroom teachers. He's a gifted educator who helped spearhead the turn around of the low performing Granger Junior High into a top performing school. The results speak for themselves. The track record is proven. Kevin Beiser gets the job done, BIG TIME.

That's what I'm looking for. He's a teacher who walks the walk as well as talking the talk. He's supported by both parents and teachers. And in this case let's listen to the kids. He's a teacher voted by his students as the most inspirational teacher and most caring teacher by the students at his school. What better recommendation is there?

Can you tell I'm enthusiastic? Yes I am! I'm voting for Kevin Beiser.


surfermom Sept. 16, 2010 @ 9:48 a.m.

Thank you Bill Ding and Jim W for pointing out that Beiser is a teacher! I think the teachers union is the biggest problem at San Diego Unified. I'm voting for Rosen -- we need a person who is not in the back pocket of labor unions. Unions have destroyed our city and are doing the same to our schools.


hcsdebater Sept. 16, 2010 @ 11:18 a.m.

So what you're telling me is that Rosen's company didn't do the work for free - they just did it at extremely low cost to the schools?

Wow. Excellent reporting.

Before I was going to vote for Rosen, but now that I know he's just a prudent businessman trying to save the schools money, I'm definitely going to vote for the guy with zero business experience who's biggest recommendation comes from the Walmart Photo Center.


sdbestdad Sept. 16, 2010 @ 11:34 a.m.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure if Beiser had a multi-million dollar company HE WOULD have done the work for free. Which brings three things to mind:

1.) THAT'S why Beiser DOESN'T have a multi-million dollar company.

2.) THAT'S why Beiser would be a horrible choice for school board - he's in the special interest / union pockets and they LOVE to give away taxpayer money.

3.) THAT'S why I'm voting for Rosen. Good business sense with an eye for "win-win" situations.


sdstudent Sept. 16, 2010 @ 11:49 a.m.

If I'm reading this right it looks like Rosen worked hard (and for free) to secure a grant for the school district - then worked hard (and for cheap) to make sure they got the most out of their money. How is this a bad thing? More to the point, has Beiser done ANYTHING to secure state funds for the school system?


Sarra Sept. 16, 2010 @ 7:25 p.m.

I'm voting for Kevin Beiser, Math Teacher of the Year, because owning a "million dollar" company means nothing if you have no experience in Education and that's the position you're applying for. That's why Mechanics don't apply to be Chefs. And for all you out there that think Kevin Beiser has NO business experience and only worked in a "photo lab" you're about 10% correct. Kevin Beiser did START OUT in a photo lab but after a year was Promoted to NW U.S. Regional Manager overseeing 7 States, and a $100 MILLION dollar-plus annual budget. So if you think Kevin Beiser has no experience in a Real BIG business guess again. Kevin Beiser has also been endorsed by hundreds of Educators, Parents, fellow Teachers, and Community Leaders that KNOW Kevin Beiser is the ONLY Candidate for the School Board. Here are just a FEW of the Highly Respected Educators and Community Leaders that Support Kevin Beiser for School Board, Dr. Jane Gawronski, CA Superintendent of the Year (1997) David Valladolid, President of the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) Lisa Burgess, Parent and President of GATE in SUHSD Jose Cruz, CEO The San Diego Council on Literacy Bruce Arnold, President Greater San Diego Math Council Frances O'Neill Zimmerman, Former SD School Board Trustee Arlie Ricasa, President Sweetwater School Board Trustee Sharon Jones, President San Diego County Board of Education Trustee Rich Grosch, President San Diego College Board of Education Trustee Bertha Lopez, Vice-President Sweetwater School Board Trustee Pearl Quiñones, Sweetwater School Board Trustee Francine Busby, School Board Trustee Chris Stampolis, Califonia State Community College Board of Education Trustee Bill Schwandt, San Diego College Board Trustee Peter Zschiesche, San Diego College Board Trustee Maria Senour, San Diego College Board Trustee Teresa Valladolid, Southwestern College Board Trustee Bob Filner, Congressmember, Chairman Veterans' Affairs Cmt, Former SD School Board Trustee Susan Davis, Congressmember, Armed Services Committee, Former SD School Board Trustee Betty Yee, Chairwoman, California State Board of Equalization Christine Kehoe, California State Senator Lori Saldaña, Assemblymember, Assistant Majority Whip, Former Professor Marty Block, Assemblymember, Chair Higher Education Committee, Former Professor Mary Salas, Assemblymember, Chair Committee on Veterans Affairs Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council, Committee on Budget and Finance Donna Frye, San Diego City Council, Government Efficiency and Openness Committee Ben Hueso, President San Diego City Council Sherri Lightner, San Diego City Council Marti Emerald, San Diego City Council Toni Atkins, former San Diego City Council, former Acting Mayor Crystal Crawford, Del Mar City Council *David Roberts, Solana Beach City Council and Parent I'm voting for Kevin Beiser because he'll put the KIDS FIRST, just like he does in the classroom.


sdDemMom Sept. 16, 2010 @ 9:36 p.m.

WE NEED A BUSINESS PERSON ON THE SDUSD BOARD TO BALANCE THE BUDGET AND KEEP THE NEEDS OF KIDS FIRST, and THAT'S STEVE ROSEN'S AGENDA. We already have two Board members who are teachers and three who jump anytime SDEA--the SDUSD teachers' union--tells them to. Why do you think our kids have four fewer days of instruction? Because SDEA wanted four unpaid vacation days over freezing their Step and Column raises or increasing their medical co-pays from $5 to $20. Beiser is just more of the same, and that won't solve the District's problems. STEVE ROSEN IS RUNNING TO HELP THE KIDS IN THE DISTRICT. Beiser's "endorsements" from Democrats across the county make me conclude that he's running for City Council, with a stop at the District to boost his Walmart/TJ Max resume.

Well this life-long Democrat won't be voting for Beiser because I actually care about my kids' educations, not Beiser's political aspirations.


surfermom Sept. 16, 2010 @ 9:47 p.m.

Wow you Beiser supporters really know how to follow the party line.....looks like every Democrat that owes labor their election is supporting your guy.

I'm way more concerned about my kids getting the opportunities to play high school sports, music and being challenged then who has endorsed who. I made a big mistake with my vote last time supporting the candidate who was supported by the teachers....JUST SAY NO! I'll vote for the guy that signs paychecks.


Fred Williams Sept. 16, 2010 @ 10:36 p.m.

Is it just coincidence that the following Reader user accounts were created solely to comment on this article?

  • sdstudent
  • sdbestdad
  • sddemmom
  • hcsdebator
  • surfermom

Is it just coincidence that they all repeat the same arguments, in very similar language?

But the question isn't about Beiser's business experience...it's very clear he has some.

The point of Matt Potter's article is that Rosen, a guy who sells TV equipment, came to the school district, wrote grants as a "volunteer", and then benefited from those same grants by selling TV equipment to the district for "educational" purposes.

I have written a few grants in my time. It's considered unethical to write a grant for which you are the beneficiary.

So I think Rosen's multiple-personality posters here are blowing smoke...it's not about who is the better capitalist, it's about who is more ethical.

I think Rosen needs to answer some hard questions. Does he think it's ethical to write an educational grant, using taxpayer money, and then spend that grant money on his own TV equipment business?

I'm glad Matt Potter brought Rosen's self-dealing into the light. I was already concerned about his business connections to faith healers and religious-right wackos, now that I see he's playing fast and loose with education funding grants to benefit his own business, I'm convinced he's not a good candidate for the school board.


Fred Williams


David Dodd Sept. 17, 2010 @ 12:24 a.m.

Re #12: Yes, I notice this amazing coincidence as well. The first occurence was on a weblog entry, apparently over a dozen or more people were inspired to sign up here, make one (and only one) comment raving about how brilliant the blog entry was (oddly enough the first and only blog entry). Since then, I've become accustomed to it in some story comments as well.

It seems that both candidates have some wonderful imaginary supporters represented here in this campaign. Perhaps it's more of a statement for the effectiveness of Potter in that what he writes is taken quite seriously by both candidates and/or their supporters.


Sarra Sept. 17, 2010 @ 10:36 a.m.

Re#13: Good point, although I would think that out of the nearly 35,000 people that voted for Kevin Beiser, there might be a handful that would take to the "netwaves" to put down the falsehoods and baseless rhetoric that seem to be the tools of Kevin's opposition. Kevin Beiser's handled budgets that were 15 times as large as his opponents, and that is more in-line with the size of the School Budget, but you would think they weren't listening to that. As for the others I can't say. Although it is just a little interesting that the rebuttals to my posting are only minutes apart. There are other comments that are they same, just minutes apart, which is just about enough time to write both and post them. Just an observation. As far as Kevin Beiser's aspirations? I guess that's pretty clear to those that know him. Who has spent the last six-years working hard to better the lives of children? who has spent years working to successfully turn around a failing school and did so by working together with his fellow Teachers (OOOOOOOOOh Teachers BAD)and Staff members ALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CHILDREN? And who was voted Math Teacher of the Year? and who was voted by the CHILDREN of Granger Junior High School to be the Most Inspirational Teacher, and Most Caring Teacher? That's right Kevin Beiser. And that's why I'm voting for Kevin Beiser because he's been working for the Kids, as a TEACHER, for years. One final comment, to blatantly put down dozens of Highly Respected, Regarded, and Devoted Educators, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders that have chose to support Kevin Beiser is disrespectful and disingenuous. You know nothing as to the reasons why these individuals support Kevin Beiser's candidacy, but one would think it's because he is who they think will be the BEST candidate to represent the Kid's needs on the school board.


GeneinSanDiego Oct. 24, 2010 @ 5:29 p.m.

The School Board already has 3 members promoting the "pro-union" agenda. Beisner would make it 4 out of 5.

The Board is already unprofessional in their budgeting process and micromanagement of the School Board president, driving qualified managers to run away.

Beisner, just like the three current union representatives, opposes value-added evaluation of the teachers based on test score improvement/recession.

As much as I liked Kathy Nakamura standing up the three union reps. I'm going to vote for Rosen for the sake of my son.

We don't need another teacher on the board -- we need a fiscally sound manager. Rosen fits that role. IMHO.


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