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The district has already stated that it intends to seek pricey entitlements for high-density housing on the L Street property — although again the community has not been consulted.

In the December 9 surplus-land presentation, Calhoun told the trustees that Plan Nine Partners “wanted to get out from under the agreement” with the district.

Wait a minute.

According to Plan Nine Partners/California Trust CEO Marc Litchman, he sent an offer to Brand on December 6 for a long-term ground lease that would ultimately reimburse the district for its investment, create an ongoing revenue source for the district that could support classroom instruction, and that would enable the land to be used for a “state of the art academic programs and opportunities for Sweetwater students.” In a December 16 email, Calhoun acknowledged that he was aware of the offer when he made the presentation.

In a December 12 interview, Litchman said that he and other members of his board of directors are anxious to see the L Street property put to its “highest and best use.” Litchman says the most preferable choice would be to have the district go forward with the initial plan and put the district offices and corporate yard on the premises.

Litchman has also been gathering support from the community for a sports complex and charter school on the property. Regarding the charter school, he said his first step would be to work with the teachers’ union.

Problem Four: Is the committee legal? On the two agendas posted in the remote hinterlands of the chief facility executive’s website are the agendas for the slam-bam meetings on 11/21/13 and 12/5/13. Both meetings have 700 forms agendized. But the conflict-of-interest forms are not posted on the site.

On Tuesday, December 10, an email request for the 700 forms was sent to the board's clerk. On December 20 at 4:10 p.m., the Reader received this response: "The district is still in the process of collecting the Form 700's for the 7-11 committee members. We will provide the responsive documents once they have all been received. Please be advised that we will be closed the next two weeks for winter break, so we will have the documents to you in January."

(rev. 12/21, 8:25 p.m.)

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shirleyberan Dec. 21, 2013 @ 8:32 a.m.

Isn't that conspiracy and funneling the school money into a private account?


anniej Dec. 21, 2013 @ 9:04 a.m.

It is clear that with Ed Brand running the show the SUHSD will NEVER EVER progress.

Transparency is the exact opposite of how Ed Brand conducts his business.

Mr. Brand OPEN up those dark shades and let the light shine in - allow those of us who live IN the District and PAY taxes in the District to know the TRUTH about what is happening.

I for one am glad that Mr. Kevin O'Neill was on this committee. I TRUST THIS MAN - we do NOT always see eye to eye but he is NOT afraid to listen to others points of view. But most importantly he is a person who is all about 'doing the right thing' and HE CAN NOT BE BOUGHT with money, title, or notoriety - a simple kind of guy who he makes his own honey (well the bees make it, he gathers it) -

Short story - I attended a City Council meeting in National City where a young man stood before the City Council asking for financial help from the City for a community service project he wanted to do. After the meeting as the young man and his father were standing in back of me I overheard Mr. O'Neill walk up to the two and offer help. The young man was overcome with excitement and his Dad could not express enough Thank You's. Have we heard about this at football games coin tosses - that would be a NO.. Did you read about it because O'Neill sent in a press release to the UT - another NO. THIS folks, persons like O'Neill do exist in the South Bay - there are many of them.

Hopefully once Brand is gone we can find more persons like this - persons wanting to pay it forward by SERVING!


shirleyberan Dec. 21, 2013 @ 9:25 a.m.

If Ed purchased L Street in 2005 with school funds and then opened a business named California Trust that is holding that title, how is it that any money from the sale of the property goes into Ed Brand's "California Trust"? Exchange agreement by who?


anniej Dec. 21, 2013 @ 9:34 a.m.

Where would this community be without the factual news reporting of Ms. Luzzaro of The READER?

It is NOT just this story I am referring to - ALL OF THIS BEGAN with the reporting of Luzzaro, even before the antagonists and all of the other unsung heroes committed to exposing the truth about Southwestern and Sweetwater there was Luzzaro.

Non political, unbiased - what a novel concept for a news organization The READER, who would have guessed?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!


shirleyberan Dec. 21, 2013 @ 9:43 a.m.

Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty - (Keats) and also Susan Luzzaro.


anniej Dec. 21, 2013 @ 9:53 a.m.

Be sure to hit next, I overlooked it the first time page 2 seems to indicate that the presentation Mr. Calhoun gave to the community was less than forthcoming - for some strange reason that offer by Mr, Lichman was never divulged - and WHY?????

What Calhoun did share was his 'alleged' wonderful relationship with a previous colleague at the City of Chula. Now we hear he made the decision to hide/bury/keep secret the Lichman offer - troubling yes, but a surprise NO - after all this is the same person who stated 'all was well with the fire alarms' BEFORE THE CHANNEL 10 story, before the actual fire at Chula High.

But hey what do I know, I am one of those who has been labeled a CAVE person (citizens against virtually everything) by our soon to be deposed super -

Mr. Brand we are pretty sure you being every day with a 'TUMS' and The READER - something tells me this is a 3 day TUMS morning - YOU NEED TO GO!!!!!


eastlaker Dec. 21, 2013 @ 10:31 a.m.

Well, it is the season of giving, and--Ed Brand does believe in giving--to himself!

But in so doing, he also gives the public the awareness that he, his pals and his processes are as crooked as crooked can be.

Yes, I have been calling for forensic accounting going back to the first day Ed Brand walked on the job as superintendent the first time. Why? Because it is clear that he has been setting up shell games, shell companies and arranging all sorts of schemes for himself.

What could the district have done if things had been done right the first time around?

Meaning--if L street's secret arrangements had been arranged to benefit the students instead of Ed Brand and pals--well, that money might have been applied to facilities improvement, necessary repairs, maybe those science teachers at Olympian would have labs and decent classrooms? Maybe there wouldn't be a deficit? Maybe the teachers would be getting what they should be getting instead of getting the short end of the stick? Again.

But that would necessitate good leadership, which will never be available as long as Ed Brand is sitting in the position of superintendent of Sweetwater.

For the love of Pete, isn't it time to ask Fast Eddy the tough questions? Recording his answers for posterity and court dates?

And while we are at it, what's with McCann and David Malcolm. Guess their paths must have crossed while McCann was working for the city. I'm guessing this is part and parcel of McCann working on building support for a return to that arena. Yet, he has done absolutely NOTHING for Sweetwater UHSD. So--will anyone please tell me why McCann should attain a further or higher office? So he can again do nothing for the community and just fall in line for the monied group that so enjoys holding power?

I sure hope that the voting public shakes themselves awake, and soon.


margaretmead Dec. 21, 2013 @ 11:03 a.m.

HAHAHAHAH Pearl appointed her guido boy Jimmy. The one called Alex multiple derogatory names and tried to challenge him in a fist fight after one of the hearings. There is plenty more to comment on in this article but just had to throw that out there for right now. He has absolutely NO qualifications to be on that committee!


eastlaker Dec. 21, 2013 @ 12:24 p.m.

Yeah, I'm so glad the public's input was considered when this committee was formed. So glad Sweetwater, as usual, paid attention to the rules and regs and the spirit and letter of the law! (Sarc alert, for any who still believe in Santa Claus and in any honesty in Sweetwater's administration).


Sjtorres Dec. 22, 2013 @ 7:21 p.m.

Jim Delgado is a crooked thug. He should never be in any position of public trust. And speaks volumes of Pearl Quinones lack of integrity and maturity.


mko Dec. 24, 2013 @ 2:57 p.m.

Mr. Delgado resigned his position on the 7-11 committee. He had not been able to attend either of the two meetings. Dan Munoz will replace him.


eastlaker Dec. 24, 2013 @ 5:53 p.m.

Anyone know anything about Dan Munoz?


shirleyberan Dec. 21, 2013 @ 11:14 a.m.

Bet FBI is looking for money/paper trail too.


shirleyberan Dec. 21, 2013 @ 11:18 a.m.

Biggest corruption scandal is Ed, allegedly - Seasons Greetings.


erupting Dec. 21, 2013 @ 1 p.m.

Let's all be cognizant of who will replace Ricasa,and make sure the process is legally followed and the public made aware of the mtgs. We have an opportunity to force Brand to do it correctly. We all know that Brand has something up his sleeve so to speak. Any civic minded sane person will want to rid this district of Fast Eddy. Opportunity is knocking let's open the door. Thanks again Susan for a job well done.


Greenville Dec. 22, 2013 @ 2:16 p.m.

We have tried over and over again to make sure the process is followed. This district office has thumbed it's nose at the process. I think the only thing that will end this is a 60-minutes report or similar national exposure. These guys are sociopathic when it comes to process. They do not give a flying fling in a donut hole. And if Arlie's plea deal is any indication, nothing much will change because it appears that the people who would or could enforce the rules don't really care either. I think the teachers had it right the night they took over the board meeting. That's what it's come down to--civil disobedience in order to draw attention to a corrupt, and lethargic system.


Sjtorres Dec. 21, 2013 @ 1:20 p.m.

Pearl Quinones is such a crook.

But anyway, why do these D-List political player wannabes always get appointed to boards? Malcolm?!

These boards should be populated by people that have not been involved in politics.


joepublic Dec. 21, 2013 @ 2:25 p.m.

Sjtorres: To your comment about political involvement I would add business dealings that pose possible conflicts of interest as well. In fact, the California Political Reform Act requires certain government officials (including 7-11 committees) to disclose their personal financial interests. That's what 700 Forms are all about. However, according to this article (as of December 20) "The district is still in the process of collecting the Form 700's for the 7-11 committee members…." Without disclosure to help inform the public about potential conflicts of interest, the actions of this committee dealing with our property, should be nullified, and maybe the committee itself disbanded. I guess according to David Malcolm, it is anyway.


shirleyberan Dec. 21, 2013 @ 3:41 p.m.

I read a little bit about David Malcolm. Quite the wheeler- dealer. No wonder he doesn't want to admit conflict of interest and you can guess what else. Nice choice for more malfeasance Mr. McCann.


oldchulares Dec. 21, 2013 @ 3:52 p.m.


O'Neill is a stand up guy, the kind of person you can trust to follow the letter of the law. Known the guy for more years than i care to admit to. Are you endorsing him as the replacement for Arlie Ricasa?


ZORRO Dec. 21, 2013 @ 5:35 p.m.

Gloria, you are right Republican Mayor Cox wants to be Sweetwater's next superintendent so she is not about to alienate the two Republicans on the board: Cartmill and McCann. Cox is also a political friend of Bertha Lopez. They have endorsed and supported each other when running for office. So there you have it, three votes. In case you missed it, Cox began campaigning for the job by holding a series of town hall meetings promoting literacy, a very controversial topic. During her tenure she never once spoke up about the corruption and abuse of taxpayers’ money in spite of the fact that the lion's share of that money comes from the city she governs.


eastlaker Dec. 21, 2013 @ 6:20 p.m.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't former mayor Shirley Horton on the payroll of the afterschool program that has some problems with data purchase/selling/mining?

There are too many people invested in Sweetwater's rotten status quo...Sweetwater could be the new textbook definition of entrenched corruption.

I would think that some of these people might want to pay attention to the voters, the community, the students and the teachers and work on correcting the problems, or else they will be seen as part of the problem.

JFK once said something to the effect of "Determine whether you are part of the problem or part of the solution!", and I think it is high time some of our local politicians actually stood up for what is right.

If they will not stand up for what is right, they are useless, merely collecting a paycheck as part of the get along/go along crew?

Do we need any more of that? I don't think so.


oskidoll Dec. 21, 2013 @ 7:58 p.m.

yes eastlaker....check out the website for the South Bay Community Services organization and you will see that former mayor Shirley Horton now serves as that organization's director of development/community relations. A former realtor-turned politician, her credentials for such a high-paid job are mysterious. It is the same SBCS that reportedly received confidential student data from the SUHSD to help generate interest in Alliant University.


Greenville Dec. 22, 2013 @ 2:23 p.m.

Right on! Entrenched corruption with really deep roots. You folks who go to these board meetings and speak all of the time...you need to find a candidate to run for the board and focus all of this anger and frustration on getting him or elected. And then you need to get two more elected after that. It's a long process, but that's the only way this is going to change. Simply putting a name on the ballot is not enough these days. Get out! Start kissing babies! Start shaking hands! Start raising money! Start getting endorsements!


Ensenadamaria Dec. 21, 2013 @ 7:24 p.m.

Mr. Calhoun is not his own man, he is Dr. Brand's little tin soldier and can not be trusted. This is the same man who said our schools were safe when he knew it was a lie. Two months later a fire at Chula set off no alarms or sprinklers. When Dr. Brand goes so must Tom Calhoun. This news shows he lied by omission, but he does that all of the time.


oskidoll Dec. 21, 2013 @ 8 p.m.

The plot always thickens when David Malcolm enters the picture. As I recall, as ceo of Suncoast Financial, he once at office building on third avenue near, if not adjacent to, the property the SUHSD now owns. Coincidence?


shirleyberan Dec. 22, 2013 @ 9:02 a.m.

There might be one or two well-intentioned people on the board appointed (illegal 7/11) advisory committee but most are (apparently) extensions of corruption, rushing to not get caught in a tangled web of deceit. Crazy widespread, I know now. Good people have broke open the San Ysidro problem and Sweetwater, many more to weed out. Stay at it, it will be worth it.


shirleyberan Dec. 22, 2013 @ 9:14 a.m.

Yes LaLucha, if they are not helping stop it they're part of the problem.


anniej Dec. 22, 2013 @ 9:28 a.m.

Pandora Bracelet by Jared - Christmas gift to commemorate life's journey

Lets see what charms would I buy to commemorate the last 4 years

1- beauty pageant trophy -

2- coin - memories of ALL those BORING McCann self promotional speeches prior to football game coin toss

3- 24 ct. Gold tree - couldn't find a 'wedding' tree in the catalogue

4- American flag - reminder that the values this Country was founded on mean something and are worth fighting for

AND,,,,, looking forward to next year - perhaps a pair of handcuffs - gold of course!


erupting Dec. 22, 2013 @ 10:37 a.m.

anniej, you forgot a horse shoe. Isn't Arlie the luckiest person in town. She got the deal of the century. Could it be true she is the pawn of the DA to force Pearl to plead out,or the star witness against her if she chooses a trial? How else do you get all those felonies dropped to a misdemeanor?


eastlaker Dec. 22, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

Maybe a miniature brass-plated entrenching tool for:

 a) disposing of all the unpleasant truths/physical evidence


 b) attempting to dig out of the mess

Sjtorres Dec. 22, 2013 @ 1:58 p.m.

Another example of board shenanigans is the Prop R oversight board at Southwestern College. All of the members of that board are cronies and political donors of the governing board of trustees. Again, people appointed to these boards should not be political hacks. It's unethical and wrong.


VigilantinCV Dec. 22, 2013 @ 9:08 p.m.

Is anyone going to be surprised when Shirley Horton signs up to run for Chula Vista Mayor in the spring with the backing of Cheryl Cox? And when Cheryl becomes Superintendent of SUHSD, she will control both the high school district and the city. Both have had very strong ties to David Malcolm.


oskidoll Dec. 22, 2013 @ 9:23 p.m.

And David Malcolm will be the puppeteer. So sad.


miagd Dec. 22, 2013 @ 10:10 p.m.

Shouldn't people who want to get involved with SUHSD care about students? All David Malcolm cares about is status.


Sjtorres Dec. 22, 2013 @ 11:34 p.m.

Professional politician With ties to Seville construction Mary Salas is running for CV Mayor.

Too bad Cox can't run again. Only decent mayor we've had in a long long time.


anniej Dec. 23, 2013 @ 8:03 a.m.

All of these politicians names - a preverbial plethora of whose who in the political world.

Me, a nobody has a simple question - where in the hell have they been for the past 4+ years and even before (Brands first term)?

What would a board seat mean to them now - hopefully an opportunity to serve.


eastlaker Dec. 23, 2013 @ 10:31 a.m.

I would hope that anyone in the position of superintendent of a school district, or a board member of that district, or a mayor of a city, or a member of the city council would all be there to represent and lead to the best of their ability--and rise to the occasion when challenges appear.

I think a person should need to actually accomplish something, not just occupy a seat and keep voting for the side of corruption.

New slogans: "John McCann, the Empty Suit's Empty Suit!"

"Cheryl Cox's Silent Days--Will she ever go on record speaking out against Sweetwater's corruption?"

"Jim Cartmill--Health sells. Sells what? Sells out!"

"Pearl Quinones, The Learning Curve Never Quits (If You Never Learn)"

and last but not least

"Bertha Lopez--Telling the Truth Isn't Always Easy, But It Is Right!"


shirleyberan Dec. 23, 2013 @ 10:32 a.m.

anniej - when do next elections come up for mayor for example? 250 business cards cost 10$ maybe connect those few dots first ie Mary Salas has ties to construction developers... Who is running opposed? They need some clean and clear credentials to brag about.


shirleyberan Dec. 23, 2013 @ 12:43 p.m.

And why do people with a background in real estate keep showing up at schools?


eastlaker Dec. 23, 2013 @ 12:49 p.m.

Because "that's where the money is..." to quote a famous bank robber!!!


Woodchuck Dec. 23, 2013 @ 2:04 p.m.

To all of the frequent posters on Susan Luzzaro's articles: We are all in agreement that the SUHSD needs massive reform and a change in leadership and direction. The problem is that all of you are mostly only getting the attention of each other when the general public needs to be involved. Is there one person willing to be the leader of this group? Can we organize and make our voices heard beyond an internet presence? Do any of you want to serve on the Sweetwater Board? I greatly admire your passion but the need to spread out into the community is growing by the day. Please respond to this post because the alternative is to watch the same old unethical representatives get re-elected. By the way, I personally pledge to bring this up at city council and hope others will join me.


bbq Dec. 24, 2013 @ 6:55 a.m.


Maty Adao (sp) and Jaime Mercado are two candidates worthy of assistance, both with the "Education Cred", if they will run, I would be willing to work for them and consider running myself.

The key is to only have one viable candidate in opposition to the "existing" leader's choices and work for that "team of candidates". So, I believe that a "CAVE" party get organized.

Oh, what would BBQ bring to the board? Ethics, Business background (TMS, Lean), a STEM background, an open ear and a passion to provide experience to education.

Lot's to do as a group, Happy Holiday's, BBQ


Susan Luzzaro Dec. 24, 2013 @ 9:04 a.m.

Woodchuck, It's my view that blogging (on several newspapers) is only one dimension of what this Sweetwater group do. In the years since I have been covering the district, I have seen this group at every single board meeting. They study the agenda, pull items--make serious useful comments to the board. I have seen new people become involved--the group expands not exponentially, but it does grow. I have seen this group contact every politician in the county--more recently they have contacted people nationally. I have seen them go to the county board of ed meetings, I have seen some go door to door (for example around the dirt issue). While I don't always agree with every thing they do, I have never seen a phenomenon like them--they model the kind of civic engagement we hope this country is built on. (BTW: The young mothers who are currently opposing Common Core and more specifically the mandated electronic testing that will accompany it--might just rival this group in their level of commitment. ) Perhaps, it's not about them going to the community--perhaps it's about the community coming to the board meetings. Holiday Wishes to you Woodchuck. Now that we're past solstice, it's one minute lighter every day. Susan


bbq Dec. 24, 2013 @ 1:57 p.m.


while I usually refrain from and resist the mutual admiration stuff, I would prefer to see it go away, but... my relatively recient (4 years) indoctrination to this public forum and discontent with the response to the Sweetwater issues, both the public and the adminstration/board move me to thank you.... for doggedly following up on the SUHSD issues.

Your straight forward reporting is an eye-opener and really supports ongoing discussion of the issues.

Your personal responses to me, unlike requests to Dr. Brand et.al. are truely appriciated. Please keep doing what you do....

Best thoughts to you and your family for the holidays. Back in the new year to see what the Devil, he, Ed is up to next..... BBQ


anniej Dec. 24, 2013 @ 8:26 p.m.


I am honored to have met, on this board, so many truly GOOD people on this journey.

Shirleyberan, bbq, eastlaker, LaLucha, oldchulares, oskidoll, joepublic, margaretmead , and Reader2 just to name a few.

You all and many others have been the silver lining surrounding the dark cloud referred to as 'the alleged corruption of SUHSD'.

I made some banana bread for Santa - left a loaf out in hopes he will bring my Christmas wish - Board changes and a new superintendent. Perhaps I should also sit a bottle of Harvey's in a CHEERS! bag next to that banana bread loaf!!!,


shirleyberan Dec. 27, 2013 @ 7:28 p.m.

The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword - Will Be Done


shirleyberan Dec. 27, 2013 @ 8:01 p.m.

Thank you Annie - my so called brother kept from me that the best person in our family died 4 mos ago, our bestyoungest sister Tina who was unaware of Evil Ed - you bet I have to respond


Cheryl_Harless Dec. 27, 2013 @ 9:28 p.m.

As someone you KNOW is close to your family, I can tell you, Ed had nothing to do with it. It was Tina's decision. A&E both asked her twice if they should call you and she said NO!


shirleyberan Dec. 28, 2013 @ 11:32 a.m.

Cheryl is a dumb friend of our dumb sister Abbi who is Ed's right hand at theft from family estate. I don't know Cheryl and she certainly doesn't Know what happened at my house, that no one speaks of abuse and if you do Ed will shut you down and out.


shirleyberan Dec. 28, 2013 @ 11:41 a.m.

Ed Brand and Co. are laughing at everyone who didn't think of how to stop his take-over. Tina was my friend when the "family" bought a line of BS from a mad dictator.


shirleyberan Dec. 28, 2013 @ 11:52 a.m.

I was only trying to make the point that more should be done aggressively about getting eyes opened as to where Superintendent Brand has made money. He doesn't care about your kids either.


shirleyberan Dec. 28, 2013 @ 4:58 p.m.

Kind people - save your responses to me, I need some time alone. Keep up the good fight.


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