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Town Square

PUSD Budget Reductions

Original post made by Kathleen Ruegsegger on Jan 29, 2012

From the PUSD web site:

"Budget Information
Once again we face an uncertain future with the budget. The Governor's proposed budget released this month is based on a tax initiative on the November ballot that if not passed, will result in triggers and midyear cuts for the 2012-13 school year. Districts will need to assess the risk of a midyear cut, make an informed estimate of the potential exposure, and plan accordingly.

"For PUSD, the risk equates to approximately $5.5 million dollars for 2012-13. This is in addition to ongoing cuts made to PUSD's budget in the past four years. Due to statutory timelines, unfortunately we are unable to wait things out until November and hope that the Governor's tax initiative passes. As a result, we must once again come up with possible reductions Web Link in addition to a list of already approved cuts Web Link ."

One position still not on the list is the Public Information OfficerManagement Assistant. There appears to still be a "Your Schools" show on CTV; I don't know that it adds value or whether it is an expense to the district (there is, at least, a cost in personnel's time). I'm sure there will be more coverage on this topic.

Comments

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2012 at 8:03 am

The Public Information officer position is still there, but the emails we now get show a different person in this position, with the previous person having been assigned to a different position. So now we have two people working for PUSD: the former and the current public information officers.

Also, it shows on the document that they want to reduce the car allowance... how about getting rid of it altogether?

I am okay with them reducing counseling services, especially at the elementary level. Come on, we are a school district meant to educate, not act as social workers. Troubled students in need of counseling should be referred to outside of school psychologists, and the parents need to finance their child's counseling services.

At the high school and middle school level: counselors are needed at the start of each semester to re-arrange schedules, but throughout the year they are not needed. Again, troubled students need to seek help outside of school and such help should be financed by their parents.

Custodian services need to not go away, we cannot have dirty schools. But we can maybe start using contractors instead of union employees. A union janitor is very expensive. Look around, and a janitor does not make that much money anywhere but a school. Get rid of the union janitors and hire independent ones.

The Barton program is run by volunteers. What funding is the district talking about? Some "management" type position that does not really do much? All the barton tutors are volunteers, and I am sure there will be someone who volunteers to coordinate the program.

Other cuts I suggest: trim management. THe PIO position is an example of waste at the admin level. Call the district office sometime, and ask for something: you may be transferred to so many different people before reaching someone who can help you. We do not need so many clerks and redundant admin positions.


Posted by long time parent, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Agree with what Kathleen suggested here.

The PIO and related activities with TV should be eliminated now. IT is a matter of priorities. Expense there means something else on our high priority list is not being funded.

The auto allowances should have been eliminated some time ago. I bet we are still paying a fortune in cell phones also.

The budget cuts talk about not completely funding their OPEB contribution (that is the retiree medical program). This program should completely go away now! We cannot afford to give out free medical insurance to those who retire from the district. The money spent here could actually go towards education.

Kathleen, I agree with you on the social services of the school district being an issue. The school are supposed to be for education. Then the government said, "the kids are all there so this makes it easier to administer social programs." I have no problem with that EXCEPT the social programs should be funded outside of the education budget. If they want to use the school for convenience, fine. They can use the facilities, but fund those programs in other ways. And you are right, they should be referring people to counselors/psychologists in town for items other than educational items.

Speaking of unions, the city has been working with the school district to try to consolidate some functions to save money. However, the school unions will not allow that to happen. They will not allow anything that eliminates or reduces the hours of a school union job.

As for reading programs, the Barton program is highly successful and very cost effective since it is run by volunteers. With this success, the district has not reduced the paid reading specialists. That should be done now. We have overlapping items here.

I know there are jobs at the district office that can be eliminated, or outsourced. Need to look at the jobs there and say, is that job more important than a teacher or a reading program? If not, why is that job still there while we lay off teachers, or eliminate reading programs?

Instead of reducing the work year for management to save money, we should be doing what companies in the private sector do. Reduce the pay of management and they still have to work the same number of hours. In fact, I would advocate for management working additional hours and doing the job of some of the functions where we have to eliminate personnel. No reason why management should be having months of vacation time; especially for the salaries we give them. They have worked the system long enough.

We also need to do something about the step and column raises that will still be continuing. We cannot afford to keep giving out millions of dollars in raises while we eliminate needed items and teachers.

What is it with the portables in all the schools? We pretty much eliminated class-size reductions, which was why we needed the portables. Without CSR, we should be able to house the students without portables. In many schools, they are using the 'empty' classrooms for break rooms and other things, instead of getting rid of the portables which we are currently leasing and paying money for.


I would like to see the day when I feel the district has done everything it should to reduce expenses. Then I would consider paying a possible parcel tax. While I still see this spending going on, I see the district is not serious about doing what it takes and prioritizing expenses.


Posted by simple solution, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Simple solution: Do what Jerry Brown has suggested and leave everything alone until after the election and have it negotiated right now that two weeks go off the school year if the tax doesn't work out. Two weeks = 4.5 million, so the job is nearly done. There is a small shortfall that can be covered by the car allowance, PPIE fundraising and perhaps the suggestions above if needed.

There is absolutely no reason (other than to scare people) to be bringing any of last year's cuts back, suggesting new ones or sending out pink slips to 75 people.

My biggest concern is that management are suggesting one week off. It needs to be two weeks, which can be reinstated if the taxes come through.

Don't threaten the kids and the teachers, do what Jerry Brown has suggested doing and make the logical cuts that are needed OUTSIDE the classroom.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

They can probably stop offering retiree medical insurance for people who haven't retired yet. It is probably doubtful they can just stop paying retiree medical insurance for current retirees. So the cost-savings of doing away with it wouldn't save anything short-term.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Regarding Barton, it's important to understand that the program does not address all different kinds of learning disabilities, nor is it large enough to serve all children who face reading difficulties. There is still a need for reading specialists to work with children who have other needs.

The Barton program is staffed by one specialist who conducts all the training of more than 100 volunteers per year, tests all the students referred to the program to ensure that they might potentially benefit from it, and helps to ensure that students are demonstrating progress. That specialist has access to individual student data that would not be available to volunteers. The state also requires that one certificated person be present to coordinate volunteers at each school -- those are very part-time positions.

Stacey is absolutely right that the district should renegotiate the payment of other post-employment benefits to future retirees.

I believe the Public Information Officer position was reduced in hours. The previous PIO is a staff member with seniority represented by CSEA, so moved into a different position in technology.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Sandy, The new Management Assistant (new name for the PIO) is management, is the last in, should be the first out, and is, at best, a nice-to-have, but non-essential position. The former PIO who was eventually paid out of multiple pots, was also management, but had bumping rights through CSEA. I didn't follow it closely enough to know if the person bumped someone else out of a job or filled a CSEA vacancy.

Do you know why Adult Ed is on the chopping block? This is an area that can increase fees, assuming there are still willing participants, and one that used to runs a surplus . . . which was eventually gutted to cover other district expenses.

As for summer school, there are districts that have worked to provide high school level classes for a fee in coordination with their local City. It seems our administration is not being creative or looking at the practices other districts are using to maintain services.

I still feel that County Offices of Ed should be regionalized to two or three (or frankly just use the current bloated state department of education) to stop the bleeding occurring in local districts.


Posted by Why , a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Why arent we looking to eliminate or significantly reduce the district office. Those are some real high priced jobs and of little value for a city with only 2 high schools.


Posted by long time parent, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I was not suggesting we cut the retiree medical for those who retired. Probably not legal anyway. However, if we cut that benefit right now, we no longer accrue additional liability. This should be done ASAP, or rather, should have been done some time ago. If it was done a few years ago, we would be getting more rewards for that cut now. However, it is completely irresponsible to give out a benefit that you cannot afford, or even properly fund. The district is just adding to the charge card. Since the district's retiree medical only covers up to seven years of insurance, if we stopped this benefit now, there would be no more cost to this program at all in 7 years. By stopping now, the unfunded debt will go down as the actuarial study for that liability assumes the liability remains there forever and so we have to fund it to the actuarial value (which we have not been doing). The liability goes down significantly each year we do not give out the benefit. In 7 years, there is no cost and no debt left.

Kathleen, I am also confused on what happened to Adult Ed. This used to run a surplus and had hundreds of thousands of dollars of accrued profit in their restricted fund. Not sure if the State significantly affected that but would like to know how the complete account was drained and we cannot cover expenses. The State used to pay for a significant amount of this cost so if we cut adult ed programs, not sure how that affects the income from the state. If it does not affect things much, I would much rather cut adult ed than K-12 classes. I like Adult Ed and think it is a good program but I would not want to save that if it negatively affects K-12.

Yes, do away with the County department of Ed. Nobody would even know it was gone as I cannot even think of one thing they do for our schools.

The former PIO replaced a staff member who retired so nobody got bumped there. She is now Director of Purchasing (and not sure why that is a director level position anyway).

Sandy, while Barton is not a complete replacement of all reading specialists, I think with Barton you do not need as many reading specialists.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 8:05 am

LTP, As the community gets more diverse, there is a value in Adult Education in what the parents can learn about the importance of their child's education. There may be other ways to deliver it differently and more cost effectively. So, yes, maybe Adult Ed impinges on K-12. I've been saying that we should start with the classroom and work out instead of from the DO and toward the classroom. The cuts, I think, would look much different.


Posted by long time parent, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 30, 2012 at 9:19 am

No argument with you there, Kathleen.

However the DO will never let that happen. You probably remember the Budget Committee's they had some years ago. District Staff presented budgets cut possibilities to them and if somebody on the committee had some other items to consider, staff immediately shot them down and said they could only consider the items that staff brought forward. About half the people there were staff members trying to protect their own pet projects. The Budget Committee continued meeting until staff got them to agree that the only options on the board were those being presented. Then when the budget committee was completely run down and said ok, staff would come to a board meeting and tell the board that the budget committee agreed with the list of cuts being presented.



Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

Committees led by staff, heavily weighted by staff, and with presentations to the board made by staff are doomed to have the outcome staff would have come up with on their own anyway. Usually a waste of volunteers' time.

On the other budget topic, the question of "what to do" was raised. I'm pretty sure if we don't all start writing to the board members about our expectations of them as our representatives, they will only continue to nod to staff (well, three of them at least, and that's all that's needed).

Perhaps some independent thinking parents are willing to set up a survey and get the word out to the community so the board gets information directly from the voters. It is an election year for the board (three seats which could change the direction of decision making). I'd be willing to donate to that effort (on-line survey, ads).


Posted by Waste, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:26 am

I received a letter last week from PPIE to asking me to donate, and I have in the past, but will no longer do so.

The district just approved (maybe they were split votes on the board?) a series of high priced consultants to do sort of demography, facility and energy studies from unbudgeted money, one after another.

They should have anticipated their potential funding problems and not spent this money on consultants.

Since they seem to be spending money like Monopoly money instead of real money, I will no longer donate to PPIE or to PTA or to anyone else (the various other fund raising organizations) because any money I donate seems to be forked over to consultants for studies rather than actual education.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Ironwood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

I've been so generous with my money in the past. Now, I'll only donate if it's a worthwhile witchhunt that'll get rid of a secretary or two. I'm so tired of the union dictating matters. No more money from me until positions are axed, especially the communist union ones. My son has had communists in the classroom for five years running now. I caught him sleeping with Rosa Luxemburg under his pillow at night. I've written complaints until my fingers are sore. How dare they ask such a financially strapped community like Pleasanton for more money. Do they think we're a wealthy community, or what?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

"Independent," "Libertarian," wolf in sheep's clothing . . . This isn't about getting rid of a secretary or Pleasanton being financially strapped--but you know that and just have nowhere to go with your logic. If you are so inclined and have the wherewithal to pay for everything the various government agencies want and don't feel there is any reason to question the decisions being made when spending your money, please feel free to do so.

There are very few unwilling to pay for a reasoned and responsible approach to education or anything else. For instance, saving a teacher, counselor, reading specialist, site secretary, or custodian over a PIO position is an easy decision.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Ironwood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I judge reasoned and responsible according to my own pocketbook needs. And my needs don't include cawdelling custodians and counselers or PlO positions. We're not a wealthy community like Fresno or Bakersfield. Let them splurge. We've got to act reasonably and responsibly here, otherwise your acting illogical and unfrugal. I volunteer to participate when the mob forms. Kathleen Ruggsegger, I think you have a bad attitude. There's no place here for your uppidityism.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Ironwood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm

"I am okay with them reducing counseling services, especially at the elementary level. Come on, we are a school district meant to educate, not act as social workers. Troubled students in need of counseling should be referred to outside of school psychologists, and the parents need to finance their child's counseling services."

Besides, what do we have sniffing dogs for anyway? Sheeesh!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Lobbying elected officials doesn't require a mob; just asking for a better approach to possible cuts for K-12 education. Do you have any constructive suggestions for solutions?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Kathleen:

Do you really think it would make a difference to email the board or go to meetings? Yes, it is an election year, but last election, we only had a few candidates running, and the two the teacher endorsed got in.

But even if Sandy had been elected, there were no other choices. As long as the incumbents run, and as long as the teachers heavily campaign for who they want (Bowser, Laursen last time), there is little hope of someone smart actually getting on the board.

Even Arkin, who seems to have good ideas, is now simply going with the flow. I don't blame her, she was always in the minority, but I wish she continued to vote her conscience even if the proposal got approved by the yes people she has to be on the board with.

Last time around, many suggested to trim the admin, to get rid of the position of the PIO, and did the board listen? No, the simply rubber stamped what the admin said


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Resident, It would take a collective effort of the community--a couple dozen emails or people at the meeting won't be enough. It would not be a small thing to organize.

I'd also like to think that teachers are aware that everything and everyone are on the line right now. They need board members who are asking tough questions about where the money goes and what the priorities should be as much as parents do.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Ironwood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm

"I'd also like to think that teachers are aware that everything and everyone are on the line right now."

Kathleen Rugseggeer might be uppiddy but she sure makes a good point. It's a travesty to have teachers who think they can rest on their laurels and not have to worry about the community waging a campaign to have them fired. Every teacher should be quaking in their boots, because that'll make them better teachers. I especially like the idea that we know better about their "performance" than they do. Who do they think they are? Bunch of union-paid slackers is all they are, and that's why the school scores dropped below Oakland this past year. Any campaign that spreads the fear of the Lord into them is good in my humbeld opinion. Promote insecurity among our union-fatcat teachers!


Posted by To independent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

You're not getting it. We want the teachers to stay, to not get pink slipped. Parents and teachers together can push for a fair way ahead.


Posted by Bob Johnston, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Speak for yourself, "To Independent". I'm all for P-town's communist teaching corps to be served notice. Like Kthleen Ruegsegger says, they need to be put on alert because "everything and everyone are on the line right now." This is how a responsible electorate works. Make them so scared of us they won't dare shoving that collective communism down our kids throats. We need to show them we mean business. Private corporate model is what we need as a antidote to union financed, collectivist communism. Fight the teacher tyrants! Save our tax dollars!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

The suggestion was exactly as "To Independent" says. I truly believe the interests of teachers and the community are the same. Money is being wasted, cuts are unbalanced, teachers are losing their jobs, education is suffering. The board needs to ask the tougher questions and be responsive to our community.

Editors: Independent/Bob Johnston . . . same person?


Posted by to Bob Johnston, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

She meant because 75 jobs are on the line due to the cut list recently published by the administration.

There are other ways foward that would be less costly in jobs and have less of an impact on education that might well be worth exploring if you care at all about the future of our country - our children.

More than a few of us are a bit tired of the old, young and poor bearing the brunts of cuts in this state rather than looking seriously at the structural issues we face and that lobbyists on both sides of the fence are not allowing to be addressed.


Posted by Waste, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm

How many times have we heard from Pleasanton USD that "The Sky is Falling!!!" "The Sky is Falling!!!!" "Really!!!"

And "The Sky is Falling!!! I REALLY Mean It This Time!!!"

I mean, talk about a broken record. Come on!

For those that don't know what a broken record is because they are too young to have ever owned one.

broken record (from the urban dictionary)
One who continually repeats the same statement with little variation, if any.

Derives directly from the (slightly inaccurate) term involving polyvinyl record albums, where such a "broken" record would repeatedly skip back a moment in what being played. (The term was inaccurate - usually such skippage was caused by debris on the disc.)


Posted by Long Time Resident, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I've been following the Board for many years and am disgusted once again by the actions of this district. As referenced above, I saw the recommendations of the budget committee and their list of priorities to John Casey and the Board. The PIO position was not in the top 10 to be funded, but JC and crew brought it back as #1 repackaged as Management Assistant. It's been on the chopping block many times since then. Considering the current PIO is from the Superintendent's former district, don't look for cuts to happen there.


Posted by Bob Johnston, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Teachers and community interests are not the same. Teachers are union and communist. They advocate collectivism in the classroom, God help us. Community is made up of free individuals who don't want their kids bearing the brunt of Governor Moonbeams communist policies. All we have left is to storm the bastion and demand that cuts be made. Our school board doesn't know what it's doing, and that's because communists, led by union teacher thugs, elected them to fiddle while Rome burns to cinders. Teachers are overrated. Theyre fat and pampered and protected by the union. We can start be threatening to fire them. Some might listen to reason and quit their corrupt communist union. What does a school board know that we don't know better? Next theyre going to tell us that teachers know what and how to teacher better than we do and other Marxist notions.

Editors: Kathrine Reugsegger/To independent ... same person?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Bob, not sure who you hope to represent with your comments. Editors already know I'm only posting with my real name.


Posted by Bob Johnston, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I'm sure you are always posing using your name the way you do. I only represent my own point of view which is held by millions of other GOD-fearing patriots. I'm joining hands in solidarity with the thousands upon thousands who raged against the machine and voted against the last Stalinist parcel tax, just like you did. I'm against goverment intrusion, just like you, because it's collectivist and communist. I'm against raising taxes because I'm libertarian, just like you. So we share a lot. Politics makes for all kinds of alliances. I'm happy we're on the same side here! Your friend, Bob. BTW, I'm planning to run for the next school board position that opens up. Can I count on your vote?


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm

"Editors: Independent/Bob Johnston . . . same person?"

To the poster of this. The editors would have no way of knowing if they were the same person, and no, IP address does not tell you that.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

My opposition to the parcel taxes was because of a record of poor management/transparency of tax dollars use and lack of specific language to designate the use of new funds. Not big on name calling or labeling. Best of luck on running for any elected position.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm

John, The editors have taken down posts linked to one poster using multiple names. I don't know what makes that possible, so I suppose you are correct that there can be a houseful of contributors on one IP address.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm

It can be a lot more than a houseful. It can be a workplace, or even multiple houses. The DHCP mechanism used by most ISPs can recycle IP addresses used by various subscribers. Pleasanton Weekly is mistaken.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 31, 2012 at 7:14 am

John, The editors would have to tell you what they are doing. So far, the posts that were removed as being attributed to one person using different names on one topic (not if they change their name on each topic) has been effective. The tone of the writing (insults, referrals to communism, and many other markers) has been the same. I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but I do understand there can be multiple posters who take this up for sport. Unfortunate because it slows civil discussion.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 7:16 am

Stacey is a registered user.

John,

Frequently changing IP addresses... That's so '90s dial-up. Unless you keep powering down your cable modem or 2wire AT&T box whenever you post, of course. The PW's idea of managing it isn't without its flaws, but they can be pretty confident that multiple posts in the same thread from the same IP within a few hours of each other is from the same source.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 7:28 am

Stacey is a registered user.

No wait, I know! Someone just happens to be posting at the same time a stranger is also posting from their IP because they didn't read the instructions on their little wireless router on how to set up WPA security. Rogue wireless roamers writing on the PW... Go figure.


Posted by Elementary School Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:29 am

Please keep talk of teacher lay-offs out of the classroom. My 7 year old came home yesterday, crying because her teacher told her she might not have a job next year, then she handed out the PPIE flier for the kids to take home.

These little guys should not be placed in the middle of the budget mess and using these tactics is only going to keep my wallet closed.

Please STOP!! The children simply don't understand.


Posted by Marie, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:48 am

The Board should consider looking at more management positions in their cuts. What about cutting the management assistant? What about cutting (or at least reducing) the position of assistant superintendent of Ed services (the current person in this position is retiring at the end of this year). What about not using subs but instead using existing management to fill in for absent managers? Why haven't all car stipends been eliminated previously? Why not look at reducing the work year for asst superintendents and the superintendent? Why are retired mgmt hired to mentor newer mgmt instead of using existing employees? All positions are valuable, but the reduction of some services by mgmt are more acceptable than classroom cuts.


Posted by Waste, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:23 am

The city of Vallejo declared bankruptcy a few years ago in order to get out of perceived sweetheart contracts with public employee unions and cancel lavish pension deals. Given the PUSD doesn't seem to have the backbone to do a pay cut and freeze on consultant contracts, the only option is to demand to the PUSD board that they get rid of supt and find someone with experience in financially troubled school districts.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:44 am

"but they can be pretty confident that multiple posts in the same thread from the same IP within a few hours of each other is from the same source."

No they can't. They could easily be too people in working at different desks in the same building of 1000+ employees.

"Unless you keep powering down your cable modem or 2wire AT&T box whenever you post, of course."

That is so 2005. People connect in Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and McDonald's and get their IP addresses from that same pool. "flawed" is a gross understatement.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:12 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I can see it now, two people sitting in Starbucks having coffee for hours at a time and giggling with each other while they are posting under different names on the same thread with the same writing style. Yea, that's what Kathleen does. I see her sitting at Starbucks all day buying those lattes and typing away.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:16 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Or better yet, two random people who don't know each other sitting all day at Starbucks posting to... get this... the same exact thread on the PW. And amazingly their writing style is eerily similar! They could be twins! In the meantime the vast majority of people accessing the Internet from Starbucks could give a rat's *** about posting to the PW. I know the PW is just a popular site...


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:18 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If people are _that_ worried about having their posts removed because they are posting using the same IP as another person, I have an easily solution for them: REGISTER.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:24 am

Hey Stacey,

I did have a post removed by the Pleasanton Weekly for the multiple names things. It does happen. PW is very popular at times, like when parcel taxes are being debated, so it not only likely but probable that two posts from different people on the same thread could arrive at PW servers with the same IP address. It obviously happened to me.


Posted by Independent, a resident of Ironwood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm

My biggest pet peeve after communist teachers is people like Stacey who change the topic to some irrelavant.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yea, let's stay on topic so Independent can continue to abuse anonymity by posting under multiple names and attack people like Kathleen.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Remember folks, you too can do as Bob/Independent does. Here's the short list: Web Link
- Attack an individual instead of the issue
- Use racist and sexist stereotypes
- Make ad hominem attacks
- Be loose with the truth or blatantly lie
- Make unsubstantiated negative generalizations
- Act like a hypocrite
- Pretend you're someone you're not
- Act as if you know it all
- Fail to apologize when you're wrong
- Innocently pretend that you're simply exerting your freedom of expression when you're acting like a jerk


Posted by Independent, a resident of Ironwood
on Jan 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Here are some others!

- Pretend to be searching for truth when you're actually pushing a political agenda.

- Pretend to be an interested citizen when you're actually angling for political office.

- Presume to know who other posters are and make wild claims about John being Simon being Shelley being Steve (actually, all rightwingers like Steve who engage in any of the above are okay, because they, unlike the lefties, are engaging in CIVIL discourse).

- Presume to censor others based upon your convictions that they must be jerks because they disagree with you.

- Ignore others' validity claims and carp instead about how you're personally insulted by their point of view.

- Feign disgust and indignation when others' arguments best your own, and fall back on how they don't use their registered name like you sometimes do.

- Condemn all uses of sarcasm, irony, hyperbole, unless they are used by yourself.

I'm certain there are many more. Oh, yes, and an overlapping category that deserves to be mentioned again:

- Act like a hypocrite.

- And perhaps finally: Act as if you own the internet posting site on which you are contributing.

- Oh, yes, and compliment your own civility because you offer a link that uses profanity, and ignore the creative accuracy of someone who actually takes the time to think up categories of boorishness.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sorry, I didn't find those in any "how to annoy" or "signs of a cyberbully" list and I agree with you that there are other conservative posters who don't engage in civil discourse. What can YOU do to help elevate the level of discourse? You've been asked many many times and only ever come up with excuses for why you don't, that you're "kicking up" insults, etc. Now somehow it's my fault that you write the way you do because you think I'm angling for political office? LOL! It's very intellectually dishonest to pretend others are getting upset at your validity claims when you're also busy calling them names and misrepresenting their position. If your claims are really valid, they will stand without name-calling and calumny of other posters. Steve asked me to stop the sarcasm on another thread and I did. Why can't you?


Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Jan 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

This is becoming a back-and-forth between two people and is totally off topic. If it continues I will be forced to close the thread.


Posted by Beth, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Feb 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

"I believe managing the education budget as has been done in California is nothing short of aggressive neglect of public education."

I agree.