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November 13th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon




Everybody’s known this for what now seems like ever. But no one would say so publically: LAUSD Superintendant David Brewer is way, way over his head, and has been from the get-go. Now he needs to step down. Here’s the opening of LA Times editorial calling it for what it is.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is not without accomplishment.
It has recently seen student test scores improve, and it is on track with a vast, long-term effort to build enough schools for all of its students. But along with much of California, the district is heading into troubled times — largely financial — that threaten its classrooms and students, and that will test its management and educational skills. This is a treacherous moment for a school district that has long operated on the edge of failure, and it demands unimpeachable leadership. In such a moment, the district cannot afford a superintendent who holds the title but isn’t up to the job.


The LA Times’ Jessica Garrison writes a smart, thoughtful news story about the evolving nature of the strategies used by the Prop. 8 opponents—then and now. Here’s how it starts:

Leaders of the campaign against Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California, raised nearly $40 million and ran a careful, disciplined campaign with messages tested by focus groups and with only a few people authorized to speak to the media.

They lost.

In the week since, California has seen an outpouring of demonstrations ranging from quiet vigils to noisy street protests against Proposition 8, including rallies outside churches and the Mormon temple in Westwood as well as boycotts of some businesses that contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Many of those activities have been organized not by political professionals and established leaders in the gay community, but by young activists working independently on Facebook and MySpace.

The grass-roots activism is a tribute to political organizing in the digital age, in which it is possible to mobilize thousands of people with a few clicks of a mouse. It has generated national attention — and set up a series of Saturday demonstrations that organizers hope will attract tens of thousands of people to city halls throughout California.

But the demonstrations also have raised questions about whether the in-your-face approach will alienate voters


We all empathize with the difficulties, really we do, as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger struggles to make ends meet for the State of California (when ends don’t really want to meet). But we would urge him to be wise with his newest round of consumer taxes:

For instance, as UC Irvine’s Peter Navarro points out in an Op Ed this morning, Arnold’s idea of slapping “a hefty tax on ticket sales to amusement parks like Disneyland, Legoland and Six Flags Magic Mountain, as part of his solution to California’s budget deficit” is just plain nuts. In a lousy economy people will spend on entertainment. But if it becomes too expensive, they will stop spending.

And that would be bad.

Tax luxuries, tax alcohol and tobacco. But do not, repeat DO NOT tax fun. Jobs and tax revenue will suffer. (So will the good humor of the citizenry. )

Navarro runs the numbers to explain why.


And here’s a rundown on yesterday’s SCOTUS decision that sided with the Navy over the environmentalists in the whale V. Navy sonar controversy. But, as the article pointed out, with a new administration coming in, this issue may or may not be over.

Posted in Education, LAUSD, LGBT, Propositions, State government | 5 Comments »

5 Responses

  1. Woody Says:

    1. The LAUSD is beyong anyone’s capabilities with their hands tied by “educators,” teacher unions, and illegal aliens. More money is not the answer.

    2. The anti-Prop 8′ers “in-your-face approach” alienates me. How gay can they get?

    3. Tax luxuries, tax alcohol and tobacco. But do not, repeat DO NOT tax fun. Uh, wait a minute. A lot of people consider those things fun. What’s fun to the professor? I notice that he did not list prostitution and gambling?

    4. Save the whales…let Americans die! I don’t know how much whales are really suffering, but I’d torpedo them if it was necessary to save human lives.

  2. Woody Says:

    Gay activists enjoy destroying the lives of people who don’t agree with their radical agenda. I’m not sayinig this flippantly. It started with Anita Bryant’s Florida orange contract and continues today. I wouldn’t stand for such bullying. Ruining people’s careers is not part of the argument over the merits of gay marriage.

    Scott Eckern, the Sacramento theater director whose political donation in support of California’s Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage turned into a lightning rod in the debate over gay rights, resigned Wednesday, saying he wanted to protect the California Musical Theatre, his artistic home since 1984, from further controversy. “I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most,” Eckern, the nonprofit stage company’s artistic director since 2003, said in a written statement.

  3. Woody Says:

    Last one before someone else’s turn:

    Here’s a somber perspective on the forcing out / blacklisting of the theatre director, as referenced in my comment above..

    One person quoted in the SacBee piece is troubled by what he has witnessed:

    “There’s a great degree of hue and cry over getting Mr. Eckern fired,” (Jeff) Whitty wrote. “I’ve searched my soul about this. I’m instinctively not comfortable with the idea of his dismissal, though my activist side still whispers, ‘Punish!’

    “I fear for what Mr. Eckern’s dismissal would say about theater: that there’s only room for the pro-gay crowd. In a way, if we only allow people we agree with, if we only allow people who share a broad sympathy for the human condition, then we become one of those dreaded fantasy ‘elites.’”

    Too late, pal. You profession has proven it’s there already. The blacklist is back in full force in California’s performing arts, and may be coming to your state or city soon.

  4. Listener Says:

    Hey, Celeste. There’s an interesting Prop H8 related story here. It’s actually kind of a tear jerker. Humans are such messy, messy creatures.

    About 70 people gathered at the legendary El Coyote Cafe in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District Wednesday morning for a community sit down/brunch to hear Marjorie Christoffersen speak about why she gave $100 to Yes on 8 via the Mormon Church. Marjorie, a lifelong Mormon, is the niece of El Coyote’s founder and daughter of the current owner. She receives a salary as a floor manager. El Coyote has 89 employees, many of whom are gay.

  5. login Says:

    Thanks for your site!

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