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Measure G is slated to give 81% of the Parcel Tax to the TEACHERS!!

Original post made by Not Convinced, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009

I was at a parent meeting today for Kindergarten at my neighborhood PUSD elementary school and the group of parents were told up-front by the two teachers, before the meeting even started, that it would be inappropriate and probably not legal for them to comment on Measure G.

However, as they went through the description of a "typical" day, they looked at one another will deep sadness, and then turned to the parents and said, "We will not know until June 4 if your child will be in a class of 20 or a class of 30."

Several parents in the room audibly gasped!

Um, I was not only not impressed with their tactic to make us afraid, but uncertain why they even bothered to state that they couldn't discuss Measure G. They clearly did.

Oh wait! I get it; they can make statements about the possible threats of the district if it doesn't pass, but they cannot tell us that in Measure G, there is zero language that states that Class Size Reduction is first on the chopping block, or that also that it is absolutely illegal for PUSD to make such a threat in order to pass a parcel tax.

And, these "cautious" teachers forgot to mention, in their zeal to scare us, that they will be taking 81.08% of the parcel tax for themsleves in raises over the next four years, leaving 18.92% for the programs for the children.

I am not only am convinced that this is the wrong tax for this community at this time, but I don't think I will ever be convinced after performances like todays where two potential teachers of my child's next year made me feel manipulated using my own child.

I am voting No on Measure G.

Comments (48)

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Posted by GetWithItAlready!
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:06 pm

You are just an example of some parents who need to get with it already! You believe what you want to; often reacting to your own emotions as you go through your day and talk to others doing the same. Not sure how you came up with the conclusion that "81% goes to the teachers..."?? How about if you took a moment and look at WHAT THE TEACHERS give to ALL their students in their classes, EVERYDAY?! For goodness sake, grow up already and do the RIGHT thing for your own child. Stop blaming everyone else, including the teachers for twisting your mind around and manipulating reality from the way YOU want to see it. Do the RIGHT thing! It might not be voting for Measure G, however it does mean getting the correct information to be able to make sound decisions...


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Those zealous teachers scaring us parents. Terrible. If only they spent as much time educating our kids as they do trying to scare people we would have a decent school district.

Wait a minute. We do have a decent school district.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RealitySucks
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm

And to think the Swine Flu has been "scary" enough! Heaven forbid that anyone considers the REALITY of things. Maybe we all might have to change/adjust even just a little bit? Now THAT's REALLY SCARY, maybe even HORRIFYING!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OhPlease...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Not Convinced,

Is there a slight hint of discontent even before you start your child in Kindergarten? Wow, I pity "that" teacher. No one says you can't homeschool. Maybe you should consider it? I don't understand parents who can be so negative toward somehting or someone and yet still consider placing their child in the program? Guess as long as the parent themselves isn't the one in there?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

GetWithItAlready wrote: "WHAT THE TEACHERS give to ALL their students in their classes"

*ahem* They're not giving. They're working and earning pay. Volunteering is giving.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:53 pm

"Volunteering is giving."

Some are volunteering, of course, but that was not what GetWithItAlready was talking about.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by enuf
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm

school night -go to sleep


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:21 pm


$18 million in tax revenue, $15 million in S&C increases. If the district is serious about saving our schools and doing what is right for the community they would freeze these increases.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"I've heard throughout the community people saying, 'The Excellence Committee is great, but you're just going to add a parcel tax and make us pay.' But that is not the case," Kernan said. The district recently hired a consulting firm to investigate the feasibility of a parcel tax for the March 2007 election. "We need to make a statement as a board, be leaders, and back the Excellence Study," he added.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Oops, wrong thread...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 30, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Yes, I agree but...

"For goodness sake, grow up already and do the RIGHT thing for your own child. .....Do the RIGHT thing! It might not be voting for Measure G, however it does mean getting the correct information to be able to make sound decisions"

Do please get the correct information (thread creator had some) and unemotionally and CRITICALLY ANALYZE IT so you actually do make a sound decision. (The grow up comment demonstrates how biased the person making the quote already is. The message is if you disagree with me I will try to diminish your position by telling you to grow up.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 1, 2009 at 8:54 am

Even proponents of the tax admit that Measure G is a SALARY TAX. Of course, proponents are trying to justify giving our wonderful teachers raises at a time the rest of us are taking pay cuts!

What is sad is that some proponents, including some teachers, make a mockery of our "Community of Character" by stepping over the legal campaigning line in every way possible (including "sad looks" and rolling eyes applied at appropriate moments).

I don't know if this web page Web Link is paid for by the district or PTA, but the effect is the same. This teacher is using her class list to campaign for her Salary Tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 1, 2009 at 9:11 am

John Adams -

I agree, I do believe a lot of the Measure G supporters are upset over the S&C increases but they fear there is nothing they can do to prevent them from occurring. This is where they are greatly wrong. If they call, write, or email the district and voice there disgust with this practice things will change. If the district gets call after call asking why the S&C increases haven't been frozen and that a vote for Measure G is contingent on them being frozen it will happen.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 9:15 am

I wonder if Mrs. Carrolan is using a school computer for her "newsletter" to campaign? How many other teachers might be doing this? This is not a gray area, this is crossing the line, it is illegal in my view.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 1, 2009 at 9:26 am

Joe, I am not a Mohr parent. I stumbled across Ms. Carrolan's page by googling "Save Pleasanton Schools." I couldn't go through the whole list of links.

My experience in this area is that some overenthusiastic campaigners will push the legal limit until they get caught. Then they apologize, but the damage is already done. It's worth the minor reprimand they might get, and they know FPPC violations are almost never prosecuted.

This is how the "NO ON G" folks feel: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 10:08 am

Here's an example of how teachers and school districts treat those who dare to question them:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

OMG Pleasanton Resident, that cartoon is great!

The union (CTA) is one of the most powerful forces in Sacramento. Mr. Breen was attacked (kicked out of school, lost speaking engagements) as being anti-teacher when he criticized the union.

There is an important lesson here. It is the union, not individual teachers, I am concerned about. The union is protecting salaries and retirement benefits for their most senior members at the expense of younger (and often better) teachers, who may lose their jobs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community of Character
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

The union is doing the right thing in protecting our teachers' salaries and benefits. Without the union, teachers are at the mercy of the school administrators. The union is good for teachers, good for schools, and good for our children.

Vote YES on G!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 11:12 am

One good political cartoon can say more than 10 paragraphs. I wish I could draw, I could see it now...a mob of teachers in their Volvos surrounding Ruby Hill.
But the point of the cartoon is right on. It is the unions that are causing most if not all of the crisis in Cali and its not just the teacher's union, they are all causing ruin to the State. Gray Davis is still haunting us with those union deals he made. This is why we as free and independent citizens, without union propaganda ringing in our brains, need to stand firm and vote against Measure G and any other govenrment money grabs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 11:33 am

To John Adams
I was being rhetorical. I know that teachers are talking about this in the schools, my nepehw has said as much. In fact, my sister is so mad that it looks like the boy is heading to DeLaSalle next year. I know, more than $233 but a much better education and as she said its "not about the money"...its about the lies and the back stabbing that is going on with the parents who support G. and the others who paint a distorted picture about this measure.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 1, 2009 at 11:40 am

Now we know who is posting as "Community of Character!"

I grew up in a union household in a state where miners and other laborers depended on their unions to fight management for decent working conditions, pay and benefits. There was a need for "Labor Unions."

Teachers are professionals, not laborers. In many states, they work as professionals, without unions to negotiate their contracts, and these teachers are not worse off than in California. Here, the union has become the problem. Many teachers agree with this but the union is so powerful they feel they cannot dissent.

Worse yet, PUSD management doesn't dissent either.

NO on G = YES to Responsible Management.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Adams
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 1, 2009 at 11:46 am

BTW, thanks "Not Convinced" for your insightful post.

I have said for years that if PUSD was completely honest, they would change their motto from

"Kids Come First" to "Teachers Come First"

It might help them attract the best teachers.

That's been the case as long as I remember. I don't think that's completely bad, but maybe they could come second?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

You've got to be a Steve Jobs to not worry about saying anything against teachers' unions - but what does he know? He's only founded and run an extremely successful company for years.
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Pleasanton Resident...Thanks for that Link, now I'm glad I have an i-phone and an i-mac. But he's right, these are not "Labor Unions" that protected exploited, uneducated workers in the 1920's-1940's. Those unions were for the workers and that was their main purpose for existence. The teacher's union and other public service unions are now the exploiters whose main purpose is ther own existence. They may get their members a raise, but then they raise the dues to keep themsleves in business.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community of Character
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm

What does Steve Jobs know about running a business? Plenty!

What does Steve Jobs know about running a school? Nada!

Schools cannot be run like a business. They're not for profit, and they're structured to provide services, not products.

If you want sound advice in running a school, talk to Dr. Casey.

If you want the best for our children, vote YES on G!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Character, the issue you have is that almost no one unless they are a teacher believes that G helps anyone. My niece is a teacher in Pleasanton and has 7 years with the district. They gave a pink slip and she was shocked and they told her not to worry it is just a scare tactic and that if everyone who actually received a pink slip lost their job there would be 100 kids per class and told her not to worry about it but get the word out.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Community of Character -

"The union is doing the right thing in protecting our teachers' salaries and benefits. Without the union, teachers are at the mercy of the school administrators. The union is good for teachers, good for schools, and good for our children.

Vote YES on G!"

The union is good for teachers, there is no doubt about that - the only two groups of people getting salary increases / bonuses right now are those that work in failing financial instituations that received taxpayer money and apparantly teachers. I think that alone says a lot about the union.

The union is not good for our schools nor is it good for our children, its core function isn't to be either - its sole purpose for existance is for the benefit of its members; the teachers. The union uses our children as pawns in its collective bargaining. It manipulates our emotions. This practice goes beyond unethical.

If the union trully had our children's interests in mind they would agree to freeze S&C increases - at a minimum! I hardly see how one can argue, with a straight face, that the union has our children's best interests in mind.

Vote No on G


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm

@Pleasanton Resident

What does that thing by Steve Jobs have to do with measure G? The schools are good here. That piece was about improving schools.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

And yet, what those teachers stated is true. We don't know yet what class sizes will look like next fall.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not the point, Sandy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Sandy,
The point is: It was inappropriate for them to make the statement at ALL.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enrique
a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 3:03 pm

For everyone that is stating that the cost of Step and Column increases are $4M per year, therefore $16M over the lifetime of the proposed parcel tax, you are wrong. The correct amount is approximately $1.5M per year. This comes directly from the district. Anyone who states otherwise is spewing misinformation.




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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 1, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Enrique, the cost is additive. No one said $4MM per year. Neither is it $1.5MM per year. It's a $1.5MM ADDITIONAL amount per year.

That's $1.5MM for year one, $1.5MM + $1.5MM for year two, $1.5MM + $1.5MM + $1.5MM for year three, and $1.5MM + $1.5MM + $1.5MM + $1.5MM for year four. Add that all up and you get $15MM.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 1, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

CoC,

Many businesses sell only services and have no actual product.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not convinced
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm

"OhPlease..." YOU are the lucky winner of my reply...

"Is there a slight hint of discontent even before you start your child in Kindergarten?"

No, there is not. How sad that the district has authored and published this problem and is now selling copies of it at all parent contact points. I went to a Kindergarten meeting. I said nothing about Measure G.

"Wow, I pity "that" teacher."

You should - she showed a lot of unprofessionalism and was disrepectful to the parents - I pity her also for having a complete lack of internal fortitude and it will be a huge bummer if she loses her job because of the inept management of the school district that has caused this fiscal disaster. Where is the 7% reserve again?

"No one says you can't homeschool. Maybe you should consider it?"

You're are absolutely correct! And I already do which is why my child can has already been reading and was the one child that three of the teachers commented about saying, how poised, bright, and enthusiastic she is and that she would be a joy to teach. I do not dilude myself into thinking it is the teacher's job alone to teach. My children were gifted to me and I will educate my children. The school district is simply one tool in the tool box and if they can't do their job or keep their political comments to themselves, she will be homeschooled or privately educated where my money is respected.

"I don't understand parents who can be so negative toward somehting or someone and yet still consider placing their child in the program?"

So, you have never EVER been critical or been offended by what someone has said? WOW, now that is AMAZING! Might you be a "teensy bit" overstating it?

"Guess as long as the parent themselves isn't the one in there?"

You are criticizing my parenting skills by wanting a better performing school district? Based on your statements, you may want to review your own parenting skills. They have classes out there for you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not Right Now
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Is there any data out there that shows the parcel tax, if it passes, will be used to pay out step and column?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Check the Facts
a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm

There's nothing in the Measure G language that says that it would not. Therefore, it can be used for automatic annual salary increases. Always go to the Measure G ballot language to know exactly (or vaugely as the case is) what you are voting on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NoTaxesEver
a resident of Parkside
on May 5, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Everyone knows those teachers are making MILLIONS already! If we keep upping their salaries, in a few decades they're going to be able to afford to LIVE IN PLEASANTON!
Then what?!?!?
OMG would you want a TEACHER living next door to you?
Ha! Then good luck selling and moving up to Blackhawk!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by res
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm

While the previous poster needs to check his or her meds, I believe over half of Pleasanton Teachers live in Pleasanton and most of our teachers live in the Tri-Valley. There are only 3 or 4% of our teachers that live in the central valley (i.e., cheaper housing). California has the highest average teacher salaries in the US, and Pleasanton's average teacher salary is the second highest in California. I am not saying our teachers are overpaid but I do believe they are well paid. With that being said, since the private sector has essentially put a hold in raises, if they are not decreasing wages or laying people off, I believe that a wage freeze for district employees is not asking for much at all. Is is possible that if the district just froze salaries alone, they would not have to lay off a single teacher.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mac
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Res, you're right. I know at least 15 local teachers who live in town and another dozen who live in neighboring towns.

That said, they should be able to afford to live where they work.

Now, I have a DIFFERENT gripe! While visiting the Senior Center and the Parkview (a senior housing community) I found stacks of flyers encouraging seniors to get out and vote for Measure G, touting the benefits to those seniors! Benefits to our seniors? Really?!? What the heck is that all about. This is clearly taking advantage of our SENIORS and I find that outrageous and offensive. Unbelievable how far people will go to put something on the ballot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon
a resident of San Ramon
on May 5, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Here's something from the San Ramon Parcel Tax ballot Senior Citizens might want to consider:

Fair-minded seniors recognize the inequity (and impropriety) in supporting taxes they needn't
pay themselves.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Res and Mac, I would agree teachers do live here and close by and it certainly is nice that is the case. As a commuter, I seem to be leaving town five days a week with a lot of other P'towners commuting many a mile to their jobs. So it isn't exactly a California norm to live, work, and play all in the same community. Not against anyone who can do that, and I'm only jealous . . . just saying.

I believe they are marketing to seniors because they are voters who turn out, and they are marketing with the form they need to file with the district to get the exemption if the tax passes. It's shrewd. What I hope the seniors will do is turn out, vote no, and save themselves the annual paperwork. Shrewder yet!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 5, 2009 at 8:02 pm

And, yes,
if this tax fails,
and if the community gets the opportunity to work together to get the district's fiscal house in order,
and if we determine a tax of X for counselors at 400:1 is something we value and will need to pay --

I'll be out there talking to the seniors and will have to eat my words. But at least they'll be mine!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by around the corner
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on May 5, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Web Link
.
Not really directly related to the discussion but stumbled onto
it while looking for info. Just interesting is all.
Have to admit i want to vote yes but things not so good. Possible won't be here to pay in anyway. Painful, really is nice here and has the largest bunch of great people i've ever experienced.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by res
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 9:22 pm

mac, if the senior center has measure G info, that is actually illegal since that is a city facility (i.e., public resource). If you see stacks of info there you should let the people at the desk know that there is information being distributed on city property advocating a political stance and that is use of public resources for an election. I am sure if they are made aware of this, they would remove the literature. They are good people there. Parkview is a bit different since they are not a public entity although they might be using city property for $1/year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mom2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Kathleen,
Your post below.....

Res and Mac, I would agree teachers do live here and close by and it certainly is nice that is the case. As a commuter, I seem to be leaving town five days a week with a lot of other P'towners commuting many a mile to their jobs. So it isn't exactly a California norm to live, work, and play all in the same community. Not against anyone who can do that, and I'm only jealous . . . just saying.

YOU finally said it in your own words...."I'm only jealous".....I have read your posts and you do seem a bit bent on putting teachers in their place.....I guess you want them cowering on a low salary in neighboring towns or moving out of state. You don't appear to support salaries which are competitive with neighboring school districts or salaries which provide teachers with a bay area standard of living.

I was trying to stay open minded about your posts, but now I am weary of your negativity toward anything PUSD. I hope my child's teacher does read these blogs. So, I am logging off until after the VOTE.

Hopefully, enough of us want our community, schools, and children to thrive even if the state has pulled the rug out from under such an incredible school district full of very dedicated teachers, parents, and support staff. The children are quite spectacular too, and I for one want to keep their schools safe, well staffed, and familiar.

San Ramon has it right, and I won't be surprised if more young families choose communities like San Ramon, Dublin, and Livermore over Pleasanton. I would if I was making a decision based upon these blogs. My guess is that the Weekly blogs are going to turn people away from this town. There is a lot of hate, anger, and jealousy running through these blogs. I have been so saddened by the comments of some towards children and the people who teach them. Be careful what you wish for.....only time with tell.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Mom2,

Does that do it for you? Finally having your suspicions confirmed that Kathleen must have some sort of emotional motivation? But how does that change any facts Kathleen has presented?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 6:24 am

Mom2, it seems to me that rather than looking at the facts as presented you are trying to talk down Kathleen because you cannot dispute her facts with logic and reason. Most people in Pleasanton commute out of the city and who wouldn't be jealous of living, working etc in the same community. I think you might find that many teachers in the others districts are just as good as ours. Our teachers are getting to much credit for the job they do and the parents who are involved do not get enough.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2009 at 6:30 am

Mom2: That was a bit of a stretch. I said I was jealous about those who don't commute . . . and I used the word "anyone." It's my choice to live here and work elsewhere. I work with teachers, have friends that are teachers, have family in teaching, and have a tremendous respect for teachers. I'm in favor of finding ways to reward the best in the profession (merit pay?). That, too, is all stuff I've said already on these blogs.

Clearly there are a few out there cherry picking and waiting for some perceived slip to prove . . . I don't know what.

This is about the record on fiscal prudence. San Ramon has done what it said it would do with the first parcel tax and has schools/teachers/students that do well with less than Pleasanton. Voters could see that and supported them.

This administration was handed a fiscally sound district by the two previous administrations (and I say two because the lion's share of the credit goes to the people who made it possible: Bill James and Buster McCurtain and took a 13 year tenure in PUSD to put it on the right track when Pleasanton schools were a mess and the battles were epic). There is no such prudence behind Measure G.


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