HonestGovernment Dec. 4, 2013 @ 10:37 a.m.

How interesting. The "riding around in Mercedes-Benzes" claim isn't actually disrespectful or incorrect. The Chaldean NMA store owners that I know of love the nicer, finer material goods, as we all do in one way or the other. If you look at any of the FB pages of the Chaldean NMA families, you'll see a glam throw-back look in style. The photos of many parties and celebrations of even the younger hipper generations show a fondness for big, gelled and hair-sprayed dos, satin and silk and gold and silver and jewels, lots of makeup for the women, the works. It's a bit dated in style, but very expensive looking. The families seem to make pretty good money on the much-appreciated stores they own and operate in neighborhoods that are older, lower income than the El Cajon areas in which they prefer to live, maintain their swimming pools, and do business. I just wish that, in the Democratic-voting Central SD areas where some of their markets exist, they wouldn't put up Ron Roberts and other Repub election signs. And it would be nice if they would put some of their money into improving the look and smell of the grocery stores that I know their wives and daughters wouldn't set foot in.


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!"


anniej Jan. 18, 2014 @ 10:31 a.m.


I just had a conversation with a person who can not post. This person reminded me that The San Ysidro issued APPEARED to be over. The deals had been made.

Now we hear that the FBI is involved - is the FBI involved behind the scenes at SUHSD? What other wires may have been worn by those Brand, Cartmill, Ricasa or McCann trusted, what other small conversation that leaked serious issues might have been taped?


joepublic Jan. 19, 2014 @ 3:34 p.m.

In response to, and with all due respect to those who are criticizing the teachers' strategy to demonstrate in front of Mr. Cartmill's house, I have to agree with anniej who wrote, "desperate times, call for desperate measures". Before anyone casts judgement, they should keep in mind the following:

Mr. Cartmill is Dr Brand's superior and therefore must take responsibility for his subordinate's actions.  By his silence Mr Cartmill condones Brand's threatening those who exercise their right to speak out by contacting their employers and complaining that they are "misbehaving". By his silence, Mr. Cartmill condones sending private investigators to outspoken citizens' homes without warning. By his silence Mr Cartmill condones the superintendent's punishing district employees who criticize and conversely rewarding those who "go along".  By his silence, Mr Cartmill condones allowing bargaining to reach a point where teachers are forced to drop their children and spouses from their health care insurance. By his silence, Mr Cartmill allows schools to be unsafe. Mr. Cartmill has consistently ignored the public's and the teachers union's requests for larger venues for school board meetings so that people wouldn't be forced to stand out in the cold facing armed guards hired to keep them out. Yes, these are desperate times, and since there is absolutely no communication going on at board meetings, or at the bargaining table, the teachers contacted Mr. Cartmill at his home where he can't hide behind the, "we're not allowed to respond to speakers during communications", rule at board meetings. From what I've heard and read, it was a peaceful demonstration by very frustrated people, who surely would've rather been doing something else. When you consider all that's transpired, the teachers' action pales in comparison to how they've been treated.


eastlaker Jan. 19, 2014 @ 6:46 p.m.

We are paying Ed Brand his $250K plus benefits because his scams are still in motion, and his puppets are still in place.

His greed is boundless, his wrongdoing equally so.

His behavior is a slap in the face to all those who believe in public education.

If anyone reading really wants to think about it, Ed Brand seems to be determined to destroy this district. Why, we ask? He must feel that we who live here deserve nothing but contempt, that we deserve to be robbed blind.

How can such arrogance go unchecked? Unstopped?


oskidoll Jan. 20, 2014 @ 11:25 a.m.

In the marketing business, the objective is to decide 'what do we want the prospective customer to do?' and then craft the message asking the customer to do just that. It is called 'the ask'.

The upcoming elections will be all about just that.

However, we do not yet know the specific answer to that question (elect so-and-so in order to restore ethics and rid Sweetwater of corruption) because the court scene has not yet played out. We do not know who the so-and-so's are and who the competition will be. A winning campaign is clear about the message and the ask.

Frustration is growing, that is obvious. However, is it possible to save the energy and angst until a clear picture of what we will be asking the voters to do emerges? Otherwise, the messages and efforts (such as picketing a single target seeking asking for just one thing for one group) will be fragmented, those on the fringes confused or turned off.

In the meantime, raising money for the battle ahead would be a good focus. A campaign committee to form a Political Action committee can be organized. A core strategy group can be formed to identify allies and make network connections. There is organizational work to be done before the noise-making should commence.


jerrythomas Sept. 25, 2014 @ 9:49 p.m.

Definition of cluster f- -k cluster f--k noun a mess, a really bad situation. What a clusterf--k!

a disturbance causing confusion; "ruckus"; "commotion". The kid dropped the dishes and caused one big clusterf--k. something messy, messed-up or disorganized. After the party, my whole house is a clusterf--k.

an ill-organized, clutter of equipment and people, all of which create a commotion. This job site is a complete clusterf--k. an unorganized mess, which will be difficult to organize again. Some examples of "cluster f--ks": a car pileup, a messy room, an unorganized meeting. Everything is going wrong. Full of confusion or uncertainty. This whole situation is just a big clusterf--k.

(n): When circumstances become so outrageously f--ked-up (see f--ked-up) that they cannot be repaired, fixed, ignored or blamed on someone else. This engineering project has turned into a total cluster-f--k. .

An organized operation or activity that goes terribly wrong as a result of middle-management incompetence.

Coined by American and Allied soldiers during the Viet Nam Conflict. Majors and Lt Colonels in the Army and Air Force are the equivillent of middle management. Often, the aquisition of supplies and orders for troop movements were originated by these officers. The insignia for each of these ranks is a small round Oak Leaf Cluster (Majors have a gold cluster, Lt Colonels have a silver custer). When an operation went wrong, it was often blamed on incompitent middle management giving stupid or contradictory orders. Hence, cluster f--k.


jerrythomas Sept. 25, 2014 @ 9:34 p.m.

Jim Cartmill and John “Custer F- -k” Mc Cann are hack politicians, hypocrites, crony opportunists, self-servers, lairs, double dealers, and cowards. They have a total lack of concern for the health, safety and well-being of the students and teachers. The uncoordinated transfer and bumbling development of the ill-planned Stephen Hawking Elementary School to Second Ave. between Palomar and Orange Ave to replace our successful R.O.P. program center is a perfect example. It took little account of the general welfare of the students on their part. The automobiles and trucks on the street create total safety, traffic congestion planning failure. Space does not exist for the number of parents pushing baby carriages, walking small children, leaving children in vehicles with their engine on while running to deliver other children. Loading, parking and double parking is strangling the neighborhood with unfortunate environmental impacts. This is the most congested school, residential and business area of the city with the most hazardous intersections. All we got from Jim Cartmill and John “Custer F- -k “Mc Cann was confused, vague, or irrelevant responses to our concerns. They did not even bother to study the traffic problems likely to be created because it wouldn’t have made any difference what the study showed to their self-serving interest. Jim Cartmill and John “Custer F--k” McCann were not focused on their primary educational mission for high school students. They ruined our Regional Occupation Program due to poor administrative planning and lack of consideration of meaningful public participation. Privatizing elementary education makes no educational or economic sense. These two people are low and most contemptible flawed human wrecks and are deeply troubled. Sweetwater Union High School District deserves better.


eastlaker March 18, 2014 @ 6:18 p.m.

I have come to the conclusion that Brand, Cartmill and McCall are slime-merchants more than anything else. Because they may like to call themselves professionals, or elected officials, or educators, but they really aren't. They are trying to sell the public on all sorts of schemes that really end up giving the public nothing, but lining pockets...of whom? Must be some kind of friendships going on here.

Posturing that the teachers can't go on strike because the district is negotiating in good faith? What a laugh and a half.

As if there has ever been any good faith with any of these three. Low, lower and lowest, what's the next installment?

Fast Eddy's University of Universal Truths, Course Listings:

Give Us Your Money, and We Will Mortgage Your Future. There Is Always Another Deal To Be Made, Especially When You Are Working With the Public's Money. Learn How To Finagle Your Way By Cheating Those Who Trust You. Make Sure You Are Always Smarter Than Your "Friends", So They Won't See It Coming When You Stab Them In The Back. Success Means Learning When To Skip Town. If People Are Willing To Give You Money, That's Their Problem.


FatCatSegat March 18, 2014 @ 8:09 p.m.

Time for a recall campaign beginning with an aggressive petition drive. Anyone?


bbq April 9, 2014 @ 6:14 a.m.

Dear John,

Let's see where to begin.... How about we rewrite your Quote in the Campaign ad in the above comment, showing your record as a Trustee at Sweetwater Union High School District:

...I am running for City Council (SUHSD Trustee), because I think our elected officials are letting us down (As Trustee, I let you down). We need to restore ethics and transparency at City Hall (SUHSD, I had a chance and failed) and to make sure our elected officials are working for you, the people and not for themselves (Maybe not directly to my pockets, but with self-interest and interest of the SUHSD Adminstration vs. the taxpayers and students). Less taxes (except for Mello Roos hikes during recessions and mis-approriation of said Mello Roos "Taxes"). Less Traffic (how about distracted Driving?). Less crime (unless it's white collar and fellow Trustees or campaign signs on public Land). Less news stories of our elected officials failing to lead... (Censorship or Higher standards? Have you looked in the Mirror lately?)... and failing us. (You've got that right, you've been in the position to make changes!) We need more positive results. Period... (The only way to ensure positive results is to remove career politicians, like you from office).

By the way I like the disclaimer that you are not endorsed by the Military, similar to those now required by members of the public when addressing the SUHSD Board, after your employee, Superintendent Brand called a member of the Public's government Employer and complained about her personnal research and opinion of activities at the District...

Mr. McCann, be careful when you point things out, they often come back with you standing in the pile of excrement you helped create.



eastlaker April 9, 2014 @ 4:01 p.m.

I wonder if an actual study has been done which explains the association of packs of lies with glossy paper, and the public's inability to delve deep enough to find the truth.

Off the top of my head, I think it comes from the style of reading most magazines--which is lighter and less attentive--versus a school text or something more serious.

So--Fast Eddy is hoping to engage not the critical thinking part of the brain, but the mindless, "let's just think about fun things" part of the brain with his little ad followed by his little article.

Here's a thought--a mere few years ago, Sweetwater was trying to increase the critical thinking portion of English language I wonder how Sweetwater students would do on a "close reading" of the two above-mentioned items.

Do you think the meter measuring effluvia would be engaged and running on the high side?

Might be very educational to find out.

"Fast Eddy and the Disinformation Report", endeavoring to change your reality.

But let's make sure Fast Eddy is caught in all the lies of his own making.


shirleyberan April 10, 2014 @ 6:26 p.m.

Experts in stages of child development, specialists in child psychology of learning, that sort, not administrative manipulators or career politicians giving jobs to unqualifified and out of work friends.


Ensenadamaria May 10, 2014 @ 8 p.m.

Ricasa's pay stub may not indicate punishment, however, her good name is gone. Her good name meant everything to her. No longer will she carry herself as better. Better does not plead guilty to exchanging their vote for gifts. Good riddance.


erupting Feb. 21, 2015 @ 7:57 a.m.

Brand is gone along with his grandiose ideas. Maybe we should ask the new Sweetwater Board and the Chula Board to have a mtg behind closed doors. It appears that Mr. Tamayo is pushing transparency for the community. Thank God! Maybe it's time to join forces (not unification) Lets remove the middle men and ask the boards to communicate with each other,then have a huge public mtg and see what the voters think. Thanks again for keeping the people in the know Susan. How else would we know what goes on behind closed doors. That alone is pretty scary when you think about it. It appears CV elem.does things like SUSHD did in the past.


VigilantinCV Feb. 22, 2015 @ 6:14 p.m.

I think that the 3-2 vote on the charter high school at Silver Wing is fascinating.  I suspect the hidden hand of Cheryl Cox.  The two Board members who supported the charter high school have interesting backgrounds.  David Barajeno was tapped to fill the seat that Cheryl Cox had to vacate when she became Mayor in 2006.  Later, David Bejarano stepped down and his daughter was tapped to fill his seat.  When Franky Escabedo made his bid to become the Superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District, he was supported by Russell Coronado who had a seat on the CVESD Board and Glendora Tremper, who was then tapped to fill Russell’s seat when he resigned.  Both worked for Franky Escabedo when they worked for the South Bay Union School District.  Now, Escabedo with the support of Tremper and Bejarano are trying to sideline the newly elected Board members.  We have to support the new Board members, Bunker, Tamayo, and Reyes, to defeat the insider cabal.  
Dare we to hope that there is, indeed, a new Sheriff in town?

Visduh Feb. 23, 2015 @ 8:11 a.m.

Susan, I think you have misunderstood Clarke's comment. He wasn't talking about voting "districts" for board and council seats. What he wants is to have the school district boundaries coincide with city limits, generally, and proposes they be redrawn. While that's not a bad notion, we need to remember that those school district boundaries predate most of the cities, and that it isn't a simple matter to change them. His example of La Mesa-Spring Valley may be telling in that there is a big difference between the city of La Mesa and unincorporated Spring Valley; there are other examples. The Poway district encompasses more than just the city of Poway, covering a large swath of San Diego in the Penasquitos, Carmel Mountain Ranch and Rancho Bernardo areas. One reason for the appeal of those parts of the city is that they are NOT in the San Diego Unified district. Any attempt to change that, and place them in the slobberin' city schools would provoke a hell of a fight, and likely a movement toward secession from the city of SD. Then there are the questions of schools being required to locate within district boundaries, payment of taxes for bonded indebtedness, and a host of technical issues. The devil is in the details, and there are many, many of them. His proposal will not happen. It is more likely that school districts are eventually abolished and the schools run by the county, or even the state.


Visduh March 2, 2015 @ 4:26 p.m.

Doesn't this all remind you of the governance of Sweetwater during the Gandara and Brand times? The board goes ahead and does just what it pleases. This time it is because the earlier board made commitments that now cannot be escaped, or so the story goes.

eastlaker, I think you may be onto something with your suspicion that this was set up, in part, as a private little school for the chosen few. And as long as it stayed under the radar, they might have pulled it off. But now, with a new CVESD board, it doesn't have to stay that way. If the school is doing what has been alleged, it has been violating the law, and the charter could be cancelled for that reason alone. Either of the things you mentioned about selecting students is NOT anything a charter school is legally permitted to do. If there was ever a time for scrutiny by the COE, the DA, or the state superintendent, now would be it. Those allegations of admitting favorites need to be thoroughly investigated and now, not a year or two down the road.

When Superintendent Escobedo "emphasized that the charter-high students are well behaved", that struck my funny bone. Every supe and every principal will make the claim that the students are well behaved. Usually that's true, but when the claim breaks down is when things get difficult. Teenagers, and this school's students are teenagers, behave as teenagers do. Mostly that's good, but often they do certain things that are not good, even the best of them. Raging hormones can bring out the worst in kids that age, things that are impossible to stop. So, if you are around a high school, you'll see plenty of kissy-face and physical displays of affection. Then there's the language that is used by very, very many teens, and it's not the sort of thing you want first graders to hear.


Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 5, 2015 @ 12:27 p.m.

Now, so much public money goes to huge public pensions and benny packages for a bloated public workforce that there ain't much left for infrastructure.


mystyinsandiego March 8, 2015 @ 4:06 a.m.

Students are missing out on some great experiences for a some "test." Some of us do well and others do. I don't remember any test I took as a child. But I do remember square-dancing, creating those clay mugs that leaked for my dad, great teachers like Mr. Gove, PE and art! I miss art. Students are missing out on all the great activities we once had as students. Education has been starved at the students' end and administrators seem to be part of this big test taking agenda that seems to be financially and esthetically motivated. I think the community needs to take heed and stop the madness. On a positive note, it seems like teachers are finally starting to make connections. We need to get out of our fishbowls and be part of the solution. What is the end of result of all this? Pipeline to Prison, a country of "failures", or the breaking down of society with the 1% controlling the rest of the country through an oligarchy. Something needs to change or we are doomed. We need to give our children time to internalize and become critical thinkers. Purpose testing in the classroom is fine but there is no way that students are going to delve deeper when they are worried about how a test is going to affect them in the future. Everything is so punitive. This method is NOT going to create scientist or mathematicians.


Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!