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Many people believe a 10News report broadcast at 5 p.m. on September 12 deliberately misinformed the public.

On September 10, the Sweetwater Union High School District held a special meeting with an ambiguous agenda that suggested controversial interim superintendent Ed Brand would be awarded a contract. After several hours of deliberation, the board had nothing to report to the public.

Approximately 20 speakers addressed the board prior to the special closed-session meeting. When Kathleen Cheers, a community advocate, gave her speech to the board, she pointed out that the trustees had forgotten to do the pledge of allegiance. About 15 minutes later, board member John McCann requested a pledge of allegiance. The audience laughed.

“They were laughing at Mr. McCann’s opportunism,” said Cheers in a September 12 interview. 10News quoted Stewart Payne, a member of Occupy Sweetwater, explaining the laughter as well: "The moans and groans you hear aren't about the Pledge of Allegiance. They're about John McCann making it about himself again.”

Nevertheless, 10News told the story differently. “Disrespectful laughter at the flag and victims of 9/11,” said news anchor Kim Hunt, leading into the story. “10News has obtained an audio recording of a recent local school board meeting where the crowd appears to laugh at a request to say the pledge and a moment of silence for 9/11…. Joe Little tracked down the people in the audience to get their take on the audiotape,” said Hunt, perhaps inadvertently suggesting the tape’s provenance was dubious.

The newscast included a four-second audio clip of McCann’s request being met by laughter. Before introducing the sound bite, 10News reporter Joe Little told the TV audience, “During the meeting, trustee John McCann realized the board forgot to say the pledge of allegiance.” Joe Little was not in attendance at the meeting.

Whether or not 10News had a recording of the entire meeting — including Cheers’s comment about the pledge being forgotten prior to McCann’s request for the pledge — is unknown.

Payne, a Sweetwater parent and one of the five people who took corruption charges to the district attorney’s office, sent the following message to Joe Little upon viewing the report: “I have watched the [10News] story of the board meeting held at SUHSD on Monday.  While I feel the story was fairly reported, it is based on inaccurate and misleading information….”

Payne, who is one of those accused of disrespecting the flag, rarely speaks of his military career. He served 21 years in the Marines, was in three combat zones, and retired as a sergeant major.

Following the 10News report, late on September 12, Sweetwater board member Bertha Lopez phoned Little, requesting that he retract his story due to the erroneous context presented. She emailed him today to follow up. As of late afternoon September 13, Little had not responded to Lopez’s messages or two phone calls left by this reporter. McCann’s cell-phone mailbox was full, so a request for comment could not be recorded.

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anniej Sept. 13, 2012 @ 7:25 p.m.

i thank Ms. Lopez for her attempt to set the record straight. why mccann would throw his very own community under the bus like that is a mystery to all. eastlake folks are aghast and commenting, "now we understand who the real mccann is". it is time for the mccann name to remove itself from the politics of the south bay. when someone who has been voted in to represent you on behalf of the education of your most precious gift, children and that someone lies on you, well, what else is there to say? it is time for the mccann name to walk off into the sunset never to return.

while mccann attempted to state that the attendees were 'occupy sweetwater' truth is there were about 4 or 5 there. the majority of community speakers were from mccanns own neighborhood.

i would again like to recommend that john mccann hold a press conference to advise the taxpayers of the south bay why our superintendent has not been fired. he has failed to report to work and a 'duty officer' is running our district; one of the largest districts in the nation. our children have been abandoned by the very person who claimed to have sweetwater running thru his blood. hmmmmm, doesn't sound like the students mean anything to him other than a paycheck.

when john mccann matures and is sitting on his rocking horse, i mean rocking chair most likely he will look back over his history at sweetwater and be as embarrassed of his actions as we all are. at this point he is acting very irrational, which has many concerned in the south bay. sooner or later he is going to implode, we have witnessed him spiraling out of control ever since his tirade at one of his first board meetings when he turned off board member lopez's microphone, when she continued to speak, he jumped up and turned off all of the microphones, then he stomped off of the stage - that, my fellow neighbors was a troubling sight - in retrospect it was only and inkling of what was to come. his irrational behavior borders on .............


bvagency Sept. 13, 2012 @ 8:22 p.m.

I attended the meeting, am NOT a member of Occupy Swwetwater, spoke to the Trustees, and was outraged by the 10News story. I emailed the reporter, and posted on their website on the lazy reporting done by Mr Little. As my email and post stated, the other news organizations present - one of which had a camera crew there - did not even deem it newsworthy! It is unfortunate that our community gets such a lack of respect by 10News. I am an Eastlake resident, and many of us are concerned with the actions or inactions of a majority of the trustees. We know a few of you live out here and your children attend the schools out here; its unfortunate you don't respect us and don't realize we are smart, organized and very frustrated. That is not a good combination for your base of support to feel! And this feeling is spreading like a wildfire out here based on your actions and inactions!!! Don't call us anymore to explain your actions or inactions! Do the right thing and your actions will speak for themselves! But start soon because its probably too late!!!


montana64 Sept. 13, 2012 @ 8:44 p.m.

Muy mal--mcannn's call-- to twist the truth--draped with OUR flag---the PEOPLE's proof-- little man's brash brag.


Nichole Sept. 13, 2012 @ 8:58 p.m.

I also wrote the 10News reporter and the management for that station. Having attended the meeting - the way this was reported did not even come close to representing the truth of what happened. The meeting was adjourned by Ms. Quinones - and then McCann spoke up about the pledge.

This is why the media gets such a bad reputation - one-sided reporting and no fact checking whatsoever.


VigilantinCV Sept. 13, 2012 @ 9:43 p.m.

This is not the first time that Joe Little has played fast and loose with the truth. We can only hope that Channe 10's new owners, the Scripps family, will tell Joe to move on.


Wabbit Sept. 13, 2012 @ 9:58 p.m.

Kath Cheers, Occupy Sweetwater, and other Sweetwater parents, thank you for your diligence!


anniej Sept. 13, 2012 @ 10:20 p.m.

Wabbit: her heroes, the ones we should all THANK are such folks as Fran Brinkman, Maty Adato, John Brickley, Stuart Payne, and SO MANY OTHERS.

these are the folks who have unselfishly fought for the students and the taxpayers of the south bay. the amount of time and energy they have expended to bring about positive change simply can not be measured.


bonitaresident Sept. 13, 2012 @ 10:29 p.m.

Wabbit - Another group that should be included on the thank you list are all of the SUHSD employees who bravely came forward with information. I would like to think that if given the opportunity I would have done so as well. Their honorable efforts will do much to clean out the corruption and bring about the change that is coming.


anniej Sept. 13, 2012 @ 10:07 p.m.

i really have no opinion of Mr. Little. i do have an opinion of channel 10 - and it is a good one. i have found them historically to be fair when it comes to reporting on SUHSD. in this case Mr. Little was used by john mccann - but community members, lets face it john mccann has been using people for a very long time. the true measure of a man are his deeds not his words - what john mccann did by accusing his very own community of being unpatriotic was unconscionable - but at least EVERYONE NOW KNOWS THE REAL MCCANN. he personally pushed the self destruct button - all of the underhanded, self serving, mean, disrespectful actions of john mccann will now serve as his legacy. Mr. Little and Channel 10 no doubt, have by now listened to board docs and realized they were used. but let us look at one other fact, why did johnny boy drag stuart payne into this? payne was one of many at the board meeting - mccann did it because he has a vendetta against payne - he has made that clear. i have known payne for about 3 years, and up until a few months ago i knew not of his military service. i learned of mccann's service, the first, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, (are you feeling my pain) time i listened to one of his self serving speeches. as my vietnam vet father use to say "enough to make a maggot gag" - that is how i feel about mccann and all of his mccann chest beating sessions.

folks at bonita were a buzz, "how dare he" - i was suppose to be there, guess it is a good thing i was not. the glare i would have given him would have burned right thru all that is fake about him. (had to choose those words very carefully, last thing i need is a tro)


erupting Sept. 13, 2012 @ 10:20 p.m.

I also wrote a letter to Mr. Little. I thought after all the contrary blogs and letters that he would have done a little research and talked with a few of the people who were there. Evidently he doesn't care. I'm shocked because they have an excellent reporterAllison Ash who is familiar with the issues at Sweetwater and always done a fair report. She's one of the best reporters around along with Rory Divine. Maybe we should ask the head honcho to do a retake and send Allison out to do the piece since Mr.Little doesn't seem to care about truth. I guess he is waiting for it to blow over like McCann.


anniej Sept. 13, 2012 @ 10:22 p.m.

erupting: this is simply NOT GOING TO BLOW OVER, no not this time.


eastlaker Sept. 13, 2012 @ 11:10 p.m.

Mr. McCann seems to specialize in tempests in teapots, the creation and exploitation thereof.

In fact, if he ever considers writing a book, I would suggest that would be a great topic!

Yes, McCann got all self-righteous about this, as only he can. If he had any sort of sense of perspective, he would know better. More's the pity.


Jmbrickley Sept. 13, 2012 @ 11:30 p.m.

"Payne, who is one of those accused of disrespecting the flag, rarely speaks of his military career. He served 21 years in the Marines, was in three combat zones, and retired as a sergeant major."

I have heard somewhere that John McCann alledgedly tried to be excused from his military call-up to go to Iraq. I think he was alledged to even have written the Secretary of the Navy in an effort not to go. I really wonder if this is the real alledged John McCann. I can't say for real, but I have heard this.


Jmbrickley Sept. 13, 2012 @ 11:38 p.m.

John McCann = Career Politican. Has no real interest in SUHSD beyond using it as a stepping stone for higher office. It was John who brought Ed Brand back to SUHSD, and now he won't own even that. He continues to portray himself as the Savior of the South Bay, but exactly how he is saving it is unclear to everybody who lives here. The sooner he moves on the better it will be for the students and the community.


oneoftheteachers Sept. 14, 2012 @ 6:04 a.m.

I too attended that meeting and others where McCann shamelessly used his military service to promote himself. I too am not a member of Occupy Sweetwater, and I too sent a letter complaining about the newscast to Channel 10. Whenever McCann is criticized, he covers himself in our nation's flag and makes accusations against his opponents. Do you hear echoes of Joe McCarthy? I do. " Are you now or have you ever been a communist?" " Are you now or have you ever been a critic of the leadership of SUHSD?"

Mr. McCarthy, excuse me, Mr. McCann needs to understand that he is a member of the Board of Trustees, not a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee.


joepublic Sept. 14, 2012 @ 8:44 a.m.

McCann's attempt to divert public attention has failed. Thankfully we have at least one true journalist covering the stories in the south bay. Joe Little's report was pathetic. A little off topic, but interesting to note is the fact that we've been without the services of a superintendent for some time now, and the district is still operating the same as it was when Dr. Brand was working. Has anyone who does the day-to-day work with students or provides related services, really missed him or felt less able to perform their jobs in his absence? I doubt it. Let's put that $20,000 a month to better use. Let's spend it instead, on those who actually provide services to the students, or on supplies to help them.


anniej Sept. 14, 2012 @ 9:48 a.m.

the 'duty officer' in charge does not have the trust of the parents (remember the credit recovery fiasco which resulted in a loss of how many thousands of our tax dollars) - she was in fact viewed as the lead puppet of 'the gandaras' (remember the boards vote being totally disregarded by her when 'she' made the decision to do what 'the gandara' wanted her to do?) i have heard the staff at the district office speak openly about their lack of confidence in her. and then there are the teachers and many administrators who view her as an incompetent. question is does the board know this? if not why not?

the fact that our board continues to make decisions that defy any kind of forethought is becoming more alarming by the day.

hopefully we will see an emergency meeting called where we, the taxpaying public, will be informed that brand is gone - we don't need a reason - and that a person who has the respect of the community, employees, and board has been assigned to the position as the interim - at that meeting we would hopefully be told that the search, a real search this time, has begun for a new superintendent.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES - let me ask you a question - Aren't you sick and tired of all of this? Wouldn't you like to put the controversy that has plagued this district and each one of you in the past many years behind us? Wouldn't you prefer to have board meetings where you looked out onto a crowd that was willing to work with board decisions vs. question each and everyone of them? I am respectfully asking, and I am not being a smart*** when I use the word 'respectfully' - I mean it sincerely - I am asking that you think about my suggestion. PEACE, it is time for Peace and Confidence to be restored. We are not your enemy - we are simply asking that you treat our children and ourselves as if we matter. For everyones sake lets start making better choices. Surely there is a person who is trusted by all sides, one that can bring us together until a new 'superintendent' is found. Surely there is a way to find middle ground for all of us to build on - but the foundation of the middle ground is going to depend on the person you temporarily put in charge; we have to trust them, you have to trust them, all of the players have to respect their ability. Does what I am saying make sense to you?


bonitaresident Sept. 14, 2012 @ 12:47 p.m.

anniej What you suggest makes sense. Surely the board members will at least consider taking the first step towards a new beginning by advising Dr. Brand that he does not need to consider returning. I too have heard the horror stories regarding Mrs. C. I am not saying she is a bad person I am saying she does not have the trust or respect of those she has now been charged with leading. The person in charge should be able to carry out the responsibilities of the job and have the respect of those who report to her. You ask if it makes sense to the board members well it makes sense to me. My eyes are going to be fixed on Mr. Mc Cann and Mr. Cartmill the power to change things are in their hands.


savesweetwater Sept. 14, 2012 @ 5:53 p.m.

That is all anyone has been asking for.. to be truly listened to and respected. The Board should heed your advice and hold a community forum to find out what qualities the community would like to see in a Superintendent, and then conduct an honest search to find a new superintendent who is not caught up in the corrupt politics of the district. The south bay deserves nothing less


Libi Uremovic Sept. 14, 2012 @ 10:28 a.m.

what is going on with sweetwater is what's going on with our entire country .... our 'news' media is nothing more than propaganda tools...

it's a 10,000 year old marketing ploy to silence the masses by labeling them as 'unpatriotic' or 'ungodly'

they've got a room full of angry tax payers and instead of DOING THEIR JOB they're sitting there trying to think of ploys to distract from the message...

the community has to rise up to stop the pillaging of their schools and what's the 'news' ? that the tax payer isn't 'respectful enough' and 'pious enough'..??

they want to pledge allegiance to a flag.....where's their allegiance to their to the community??

...people laughed because the trustees' performance was a joke...


eastlaker Sept. 14, 2012 @ 12:28 p.m.

Good morning and a Strong Heads Up, everyone--

There is a new post in SD Rostra on this whole thing, again...guess who is pegged as being disrespectful?

The public, who have been greatly disrespected by the usual suspects, i.e. the majority board of SUHS district.

Please take a look--or would it be better to ignore this additional attempt to discredit people who are only trying to find out what is going on in this school district?

Personally, I do not think we should give in to intimidation tactics, no matter how clumsily and ridiculously they are used...


bonitaresident Sept. 14, 2012 @ 2:06 p.m.

calmer heads MUST prevail. we can not allow john mccann to torpedo what many of us want which is a new beginning. he is desperate, the refusal of many parents to acknowledge him as the great reformer at bonita high has obviously set him on a downward spiral - and he is doing what he always does - react in a less than normal manner. in my opinion the man has severe emotional issues. he wants to be seen as somebody, the problem is the somebody we now see him for is an opportunist and a liar. he continues to tell anyone who will listen that he the ONLY PATRIOT IN THE CROWD AT THE LAST BOARD MEETING stood up for liberty and justice for all. well truth be told, he has done just the opposite.

no matter what side of the fence you are on you have to be asking the tough question - while he walks like a republican and tries to talk like a republican he is a john mccann. what that is no one truly knows. again opportunist is the only adjective that comes to mind. he is not a fiscal conservative, for he is allowing himself to be used by brand so brand can demand as much money as he can get. why didn't john mccann stand up to brand regarding the double dipping, a real conservative would have.

so let us see mccann for what he is - 1 - hopefully cartmill, ricasa, and quinones, (well never mind about quinones - she would not understand the conversation even if i colored it in the pearl quinones coloring book )- will take johnny boy aside and ask him as politely as they can TO ZIP IT CLOSED (his mouth that is). hopefully THE TWO OF THEM will look to the future of SUHSD and begin to build a new foundation - while none of us can change the past we surely can work towards a better future.


anniej Sept. 14, 2012 @ 2:44 p.m.

please read:

Calexico Unified School District and Sweetwater High School District have run on parallel paths for the last few years. Like Sweetwater, Calexico brought a superintendent out of retirement in 2011. Calexico Unified brought back Richard Fragale and Sweetwater brought back Dr. Ed Brand. Due to changes in the California State Teachers Retirement System, the amount of post-retirement compensation either of these superintendents can earn is severely limited.

According to the September 14 ivpressonline.com article, Calexico board members deliberated late into the night on September 13 and finally voted not to approve the $30,000 pay increase that Fragale was seeking.

Fragale has resigned effective September 18 and is quoted in the article as saying, "I will not work from now through June for $1,300 a month, and I don't think anyone out there would either."

The district has struggled financially and last year tottered on the brink of being placed on state receivership.

The Sweetwater board might be facing the same decision as the Calexico board in the near future. Rumor has persisted that the district will offer interim superintendent Brand a new contract. On September 10 a vociferous group of parents and community activists let the board know that they opposed offering Brand a longer or more lucrative contract

*this is another GREAT article by Ms. Luzzaro


why none other than our own 'previous' legal counsel - bonny garcia.

so,,,,,,,,,,,,,, we now see that these two districts, these two boards, these two superintendents are running neck n neck in undermining the publics trust.


eastlaker Sept. 14, 2012 @ 3:06 p.m.

This underlines why it is so important to have responsible and honorable people serving as trustees for the school board.

What you see here is legal counsel telling a school board to proceed in ways that benefit the law firm and the attorneys, not the school district.

Who brought Mr. B. Garcia to Sweetwater? A pal doing a pal a favor, so a pal could have a really nice gig, stealing funds from school children...why do you suppose there were so many law suits that were not settled? Because the attorney fees were higher the longer the law suits lasted.

Reminds me of the law suit a couple of years ago that had dragged on for almost a decade regarding parity for the girls' softball field--was that Southwest High School? The district fought it, but in the end, of course the girls deserved to have a field that was groomed and decent to play on. And the law suit cost much more than just fixing the field would have been.


dbdriver Sept. 14, 2012 @ 3:09 p.m.

That was Castle Park. Southwest just had to settle for the huge pile of dirt.


eastlaker Sept. 14, 2012 @ 3:39 p.m.

Thanks--I just couldn't remember which school it was. But it was a big waste of money for years, when they could have just fixed the field--which is what reasonable people would have done.


anniej Sept. 14, 2012 @ 4:01 p.m.

TO ALL: i am sure by now that many of you have read the fictional accounting of the board meeting on sd rostra - well, i posted a comment EARLIER today. hmmmm, nothing showing up. others posted comments as well, hmmmmmmmm, nothing showing up. so anniej being anniej i decided to go to the rostra's facebook page and what do you know when i attempted to comment - I FOUND OUT THAT I AM BLOCKED. but enough about mccann and his feeble attempt to block the truth.

i would like to recommend that all taxpayers interested in the board meeting of the 24th of this month email board president Pearl Quinones and ask her to change the venue.

ALL need to


oh, and by the way, in answer to questions about brand - well in the education section of the ut - brand has given an interview regarding what is going on. don't you all find it interesting that all of us at the board meeting, you know we, the ones who pay the bills, were not told by our VERY OWN BOARD WHAT WAS GOING ON? we had to read brands fictional tale in the newspaper. are you as frustrated as I? are you happy with the manner in which we are being treated? ONLY WE CAN BRING ABOUT CHANGE.


eastlaker Sept. 14, 2012 @ 4:38 p.m.

Interesting. Blocking you is a clear indication that free speech is a concept that McCann and his friends do not understand!

I hope you are not blocked from commenting on the U-T's website...

Yes, we need change.


anniej Sept. 14, 2012 @ 5:15 p.m.

i use the word 'blocking' because my posts are not going thru - for whatever reason. but then my comment to the article about all of us 'unpatriotic' folks down here has not been posted either, but then neither have many others- there is one comment that disputes the events of that board meeting so i guess we should be grateful for that. who do we thank for that THOR or is it someone who goes by the name, i think it is 'sunnycrest'?


eastlaker Sept. 14, 2012 @ 5:55 p.m.

Sigh. Might be time to quote Churchill now, "...we will never, ever, ever give in"!

Ed Brand still thinks his friends can and will protect him. What he keeps forgetting is that his friends are much like he is, and so will keep an eye out for whatever (or whomever) can be jettisoned. Not that I am predicting a race to see who can be thrown under the bus first, but Ed's got alot of baggage these days. There could well be another Sweetwater PR fiasco looming just off camera as we blog...

It is just a result of the widespread atmosphere that was allowed to flourish under Gandara, and that Brand and the majority board can't seem to discourage.

We need fresh, honest people.


anniej Sept. 14, 2012 @ 6:23 p.m.

just received telecon advising me some of the south bay comments have finally been approved. yep, mine was there - also attached was an explanation that in sorts said "we allow anyone to post anything here, does not have to be the truth, just as long as you do not swear it is a go. think the word libel was in there. in any event anniej now gets it, SD Rostra does not share news, it offers up 'authorized' comments by responders but not vetted stories. are you as confused as i am. so, the long and short of it is this - if you want NEWS, spelled N E W S - look to THE READER, if you want gossip look to SD ROSTRA. just my opinion (Visduh, do not get mad).

and CHEERS TO YOU AS WELL, - THOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

perhaps i could post a story on the SD Rostra stating i was 32 and gorgeous - surely someone would believe that bit of fiction.


joepublic Sept. 14, 2012 @ 7:45 p.m.

I thought Joe Little's report on the September 10 SUHSD special board meeting was one of the worst pieces of journalism I had ever witnessed, but then I read Steve Gramm's report published today in SD Rostra. Mr. Gramm, like Mr. Little, ignores the due diligence expected of serious journalists, but then takes an unprofessional leap further. Forget about fact checking, he launches right into name calling. SD Rostra should reconsider their standards and policies if they ever expect to have any journalistic integrity.


anniej Sept. 14, 2012 @ 8:29 p.m.

if you are up for some interesting reading take a look at the union tribune educational article by caroline dipping. it answers many questions but in turn raises even more. (be sure to read page 2).

it seems as though brand resigned effective 8-31-12 (see page 2 of article) - also of interest brand and quinones appear to have had conversations in which brand was told that the board would be discussing his contract during the august meeting - when that did not happen - quinones allegedly told him last mondays meeting would be addressing it.

i am sorry, but why weren't we told that brand resigned? i am sorry, but why weren't we advised that the august meeting was suppose to address brand's new contract? i am sorry, but last and certainly not least why were we not given the proper notice that last mondays meeting was called to discuss brands new contract?

why is our board president and the rest of the board keeping vital information from us? dummy me i thought we paid the bills and salaries at the district via our taxes.

IF what brand says happened really happened - then he definitely needs to go and the community needs to bring in the authorities and use brands own words as truth that our board is not carrying themselves in a responsible, ethical, perhaps not even legal manner.

i have sent president quinones a request asking that brands resignation letter be posted on the district website. i believe we have a right to see don't you?

if brand has mislead the taxpaying community in this article - well folks we then have a much bigger problem on our hands.

there is a poll "VOTE" on the star news online web address, please take a few moments to register your opinion.


joepublic Sept. 14, 2012 @ 9:25 p.m.

I just found this. I guess they at least have a good policy reagarding name-calling. They should follow it.

(Taken from SD Rostra's website): Commenters of all political persuasions are invited to comment and debate on the blog.  The general rules are that commenters should be respectful, deal in issues instead of personalities, and stick to the topic.  Foul language and NAME-CALLING will not be tolerated. ( my emphasis )


Susan Luzzaro Sept. 15, 2012 @ 9:50 a.m.

Hey Who Is the Poet?

Montana, I notice you've been giving pretty succinct rhyming wrap ups. They make for a lively variation.


anniej Sept. 15, 2012 @ 10:06 p.m.

it appears that brand left a policies and procedures manual when he left - ' the gandara' evidently picked up where brand left off.

is this what we want as a superintendent? please note the board members who were there eating at the 'butcher shop' with brand.


please, all plan to attend the board meeting on the 24th of this month- we need a new superintendent, one who will not visit the days of old where sweetwater was their own 'visa' card.

we must remember the past, as it serves as a reminder of the mistakes we have made. quionones, cartmill, and ricasa have been doing this for so long that they can not remember a before sweetwater.

this, old story, should serve as but ONE OF THE REASONS why brand should not be offered a contract.


eastlaker Sept. 16, 2012 @ 7:03 a.m.

Interesting also that Brand was allowed to keep the car after he left Sweetwater! And this, while he was being investigated for irregularities with Prop BB funds?

Did I understand this correctly?

Apparently the board members and superintendent have been operating outside of regulations so long that they have started to believe they are entitled to do whatever they want; it is long past time to rein them in and bring them back to reality, but we have to start somewhere.


eastlaker Sept. 16, 2012 @ 7:06 a.m.

Oh, the Rostra blog has several more comments that are laughably transparent in their dishonesty--as well as their lack of discernable intelligence. Best leave them to their lies?


Jmbrickley Sept. 16, 2012 @ 9:47 a.m.

I read the blogs about me, and all I can say is wow! I guess the SD Rostra allows personal attacks as part of it's policy. So what if I used the full spelling of BS. Most dictionaries say it is acceptable language today, and that only the elderly and ultra conservative might find it offensive. As to the rest of the "charges" against me... all I have to say is it was written by a raving lunaic. You there John???

BTW: I left teaching on my own terms,something called retirement. I was never removed from a classroom. And, I was Teacher of the Year in Alternative Education my final year.

I believe in honest, competent, and transparent government. I will not sit idle while people without conscience, ethics or morals, hijack the very institution that instills that very ethic into our children.

I have read the Crusader article posted by anniej and come away with a large sense of deja vu. Brand was doing the same things Gandara was doing. Eating almost all his daily meals at high priced restaurants, driving a free car, holding what appear to be illegal meetings with the then board, and all the while asking our student's school ASB accounts to pay into the general fund to make up the difference.

Unbelievable! And to think, John McCann want's this man for superintendent.


anniej Sept. 16, 2012 @ 10:38 a.m.

Jmbrickley: i too read the comments and i, like john mccann's friend will stand up for you - but i will offer facts.

i have a great deal of respect for you Mr. Brickley and there are many reasons why --------------- your reputation as a committed, intelligent, caring, honest educator is known community wide, your willingness to fight the good fight to return the districts good name is appreciated by all as well. you have 'no stake' in this other than the standing up for what is best for the students and the taxpayers. unlike myself, YOU do pay mello roos, and therefore have a real stake in that issue, it is after all your wallet that those mello taxes are taken from.

as i have mentioned in one of my earlier comments, you are one of the individuals i have come to know, respect and yes, like. i am not ashamed to say i like you as an individual, but more important, i respect you as some one who is willing to sacrifice their time and energy in fighting the good fight for the future leaders of this great nation.

*** a side note, and for the record, L O N G before i met you at a board meeting 2+ years ago i had heard of 'john' via my daughter - you were one of her mentors who took the time to share all that you knew about education. she has never forgotten your patience, your knowledge, and yes - your humor. you stand as a living and breathing example of what paying it forward truly means.


anniej Sept. 16, 2012 @ 9:53 a.m.

eastlaker: while i understand john mccann's friend looking out for him, i just wish facts would have been provided in the ?, lets just call it a piece, since it was not a news story.

wouldn't it be great if we could hit the replay button and begin anew - back when i first saw mccann's name - the community wanted to believe in him -. i guess i keep waiting for the 'other' mccann to take control. short story - a while back i went to a chula vista council meeting, i was there speaking out for parks and rec. my grandchildren have been a part of the rec basketball program for years. i have seen first hand how much parks & rec mean to the youth of the south bay, especially the disadvantaged youth. so i am sitting waiting to speak in favor of 'not budget cuts'. well, it was mccann's farewell evening - and as i sat there the time came when mccann personally was honored. i listened to him - and you know what - if he would have stuck to his vision - wow, what a different place we would now be in.

putting everything aside we are all adults and surely there must be a way to dial all of the rhetoric down and begin to focus on the students of our district. after all, isn't this suppose to be about them. every journey begins with a first step, if all parties involved focus on what is best for students and taxpayers perhaps then we will have a chance to come together for the common good.

i would be interested in hearing others perspectives....................


eastlaker Sept. 16, 2012 @ 1:24 p.m.

I agree with much of what you are saying.

However, I am starting to think that the reason McCann and friends hype and distort is because they don't want us paying attention to the larger issues: such as all the fiscal irregularities having to do with Mello-Roos and other bond funds. And Categorical funds, which also have been applied to other areas for some time now.

We understand that with several years of declining budgets because of the State of CA's financial problems that there have been real challenges in making things work.

But--and this needs to be noted--there has been a great deal of (to use the old Navy phrase) 'fraud, waste and abuse' within the system. That needs to end. The misuse of funding needs to end. Administrative personnel need to realize that they answer to the citizens, and the citizens are watching, taking notes and getting smarter every day.

Cronyism must end. We cannot afford to throw contracts to the best friends of Ed Brand, or anyone else, for that matter. Largesse no longer exists, so it cannot be passed out like party favors.

The cleansing winds are blowing, and the citizens are looking forward to honesty, value for their dollar, good examples for their children and a community that encourages that which is best in humanity.

Failing that, our only future would be one of cynicism followed by despair followed by nothing good.


oskidoll Sept. 16, 2012 @ 2:46 p.m.

Trying to post, but the first one didn't take. Eastlaker is right on target. We should not be distracted from the focus on the heart of the corruption, that is the core issue. There are multiple versions of the shell game going on...button, button, who's got the button; blind man's bluff; you get the drift. The ventriloquist controlls his puppets very well, it's just difficult to determine who's playing Howdy Doody and who is supposed to be Clarabelle! There is enough blame to go around, enough duplicity, enough distain for the public's right to know to last hundreds of years.

We have seen that the County Office of Education is, as my wise friend says, 'do-less' and worthless. Let's not expect change, or 'sober behavior from a drunk' because we will always be disappointed. Our kids will continue to suffer, as will enducational integrity of our community, until some entity (insert Grand Jury, Superintendent of Public Education, FBI, etc.) who is supposed to protect the public and the public till steps up to the plate.

I am reminded of a saying during the Nixon Administration: A public office is a public lust. Seems to apply here.


anniej Sept. 16, 2012 @ 5:30 p.m.

olkidoll: it is up to the community to stop the madness. we have attempted to follow protocol - it has not worked, desperate times call for desperate measures.

the drums of the south county beat - can you hear them? we want change and will not stop until..................

there is much history of brand and the board, all one has to do is take the time to dig it out. as i have said before there are no secrets in the south bay.

hope you all were able to take the time to review the link i posted above in my 9-15-2012 10:06 pm post. yes, how our taxes have been spent under the majority of this board and dating way back to brand THE FIRST TIME AROUND should be of major concern to us all.


eastlaker Sept. 17, 2012 @ 12:04 a.m.

The County Board of Education is mostly interested in keeping the funds rolling in. They aren't interested in questioning anything, because that could mean exposure of some ongoing problems.

Pretty sure the only thing Ed Brand would like more than a nice fat contract with Sweetwater again would be a nice fat contract with the County Board of Education. And that's the last thing the County Board of Education needs.

Ed has some friendships there that go back a few years--they will not go out of their way to help us out. Their loyalty is in the wrong place.

But getting back to the Sweetwater Board, McCann is still trying to discredit Bertha Lopez and set up his friend Grossman to run against her.

Pearl--well--I think she is trying to figure out if she can trust Brand. I think we know the answer to that question.

Cartmill I get the feeling is not happy to part of this mess. But then, who would be.

Ricasa still doesn't seem to have grasped the gravity of the situation.

I'm sort of wondering what all the contractors are thinking these days. I'm betting some of them were really pleased when Brand started talking about a 4-year university. It wouldn't be a bad idea, if we could make sure the entire process was completely honest. And therein lies the rub.


eastlaker Sept. 17, 2012 @ 6:40 p.m.

We need to educate ourselves as much as possible regarding bond underwriting.

Here is a link that will provide some background information. Forgive me if everyone else knows this, but some of this was new to me. The wider our base of information is, the stronger we are and the higher we can reach.


I hope the link will work. If not, you can search through californiawatch.org.


eastlaker Sept. 17, 2012 @ 8:03 p.m.

Here is another link. Hope it's ok to share these links.


Read the comments as well. This makes me rethink the approach a bit.


anniej Sept. 17, 2012 @ 9:31 p.m.

eastlaker: wanted to chime in here with a bit of info on the bond oversight committee - as you may or may not know - historically the board allegedly played a key role in the selection of the boc members. there were some who truly wanted to do a good job, but quite frankly they did not have the expertise. well now times have change - the boc are just what we taxpayers need - the five that have been working the past several months as committee members are not only of the highest integrity but they are extremely knowledgeable in all areas regarding the construction. for the first time in 3 yrs we have people who truly understand the process and can not be 'well lets just say influenced'. unfortunately brand and the majority of the board are putting up road blocks - these gentlemen have asked for certain things in an attempt to help them oversee our prop o tax monies, brand is telling them 'we can not afford it'. hmmmmmmm, well then perhaps brand can explain why he is starting a second charter school - that we will be funding?

the boc as you may know presented the board with a 'no confidence' letter regarding brand.

so it appears it is 2-0

community has no confidence in brand bond oversight committee has no confidence in brand

which entity will be next?????????? maybe i should be putting this a different way - who does have confidence in brand other than john mccann, jim cartmill, and arlie ricasa - oh and that is right pearl quinones - 2 of them under indictment, and the other two - well there will be some interesting news on one of them very very soon

THANK YOU BOC FOR DOING WHAT YOU ARE LEGALLY CHARGED TO DO.....................................

plan on attending the board meeting next monday night - not that the board wants you there - remember according to mccann we are a bunch of unpatriotic -------------------. any one know the commander? can you ask him to come and define patriotism for john mccann. in my opinion mccann appears to be doing all he can to discredit the taxpaying community members that have been attending the meetings and speaking out. this is the thanks that those of you who voted for him get?

it would be refreshing to see and hear john mccann addressing the questions his community has i.e. why did brand open up the school boundaries without a vote? why was the bus transportation cut so severly? why is the district borrowing from mello roos funds? why is the district even considering hiring brand for a permanent position when he resigned on the 31st of august. why didn't mccann tell us brand has left? why did quinones call that ridiculous meeting last monday night to discuss brands contract, without giving the proper notice to the community (see brands interviews in the ut and star news where brand throws them all, including mccann, under the buss).


eastlaker Sept. 18, 2012 @ 9:25 a.m.

Yes, I heartily agree that the current Bond Oversight Committee is doing a great job.

But--do they also have any 'jurisdiction' over the financial end, i.e. how the bonds are packaged and sold? And therefore all the financial terms? In my understanding, all that happens prior--

And this bond oversight committee works on Prop O funds, not Mello-Roos. And if there would be another bond that would pass, that Bond Oversight Committee would then be in charge.

Also, sometimes finagling occurs whereby previous bonds are re-organized--so my question is, if the powers that be are as nefarious as we think they can be, could they endeavor to restructure Prop O specifically to get rid of this Bond Oversight Committee?

I bring these things up because I my opinion, we cannot take anything for granted.

The more we know, the more we can anticipate and be prepared for any eventuality.


Jmbrickley Sept. 18, 2012 @ 10:50 p.m.

I would think that Prop O is Prop O. Same committee with any new bonds sold. I doubt though, that any new Prop. X money will be approved by the community while this gang is in power.


bvagency Sept. 19, 2012 @ 7:04 a.m.

Eastlaker - no the BOC does not have jurisdiction over how the bonds are packaged and sold. The district, trustees, their attys and the bond underwriters do this. Yes, this BOC will oversee the entire Prop O program as long as it lives. The members serve two two year terms, so since they are appointed positions approved by the trustees, its important the community stay engaged and involved in the Prop O program as the district will try to slip their chosen ones on the BOC and you know what that means. The BOC does not oversee the Mello Roos fund, only the Prop O and state matching funds. The BOC has the right to question and oversee any bond restructuring but has no authority to approve or deny it. The district and trustees cannot get rid of any BOC members without cause; Prop 39 requires a BOC so the district cannot get a bond without one. Rest assured this BOC has evolved over the last year into a group that is acutely aware of the inner goings on at the Senior leadership level of the district. They are applying an inordinate amount of pressure for rhe district to be more transparent and will continue do so. They have exposed and questioned the district on numerous issues, and Ed Brand is certainly no fan of this BOC. The BOC will continue to tighten the noose and will continue to flush out issues. Stay tuned!


eastlaker Sept. 19, 2012 @ 10:18 a.m.

Excellent to learn that the BOC "has the right to question and oversee any bond restructuring". That means our window on all the bonds for Sweetwater is open--the more information available, the better.



Jmbrickley Sept. 19, 2012 @ 9:26 a.m.

At this month's SEA Rep counsel meeting, held this week, the Rep Counsel voted approval of a Vote of No Confidence in Ed Brand. Looks like Ed hit the trifecta. They also formally endorsed both Bertha Lopez and George Cameron in their respective campaign races.

Pearl Quinonez had held a high level of support from the CSEA for many years brought about by her usually strong support of their members in their issues. However, at this time, with Pearl showing her lack of leadership skills as president of the board, poor decision making on the issues surrounding Ed Brand, and her current legal problems which will more than likely result in her removal from the board this spring, I would find it more that a bit troubling if they were to fomally endorse her in her attempt to hold on to her seat on the board. Loyalty is one thing, but poor decisions and actions that are part of Pearl's makeup (no pun intended) as it relates to all other aspects of her job as board member should overshadow any such loyalty.


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