Letters

12/08/2011

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For what it’s worth
After reading your story on the Sheriff’s Department (“It’s about time … again,” Oct. 20), I wonder just where these deputies come from. The military? Gangs?

Were they raised on psychotropic drugs? Even the History Channel, and earlier George Putnam, mentioned potential dangers of “law enforcement” coming from the ranks of gangs, criminals and sick and mean-minded people.

The profitable prison industry is in a population boom. Right now, it is Latino and black males, but it may be anyone who steps out of line — a line where class won’t protect you. Like that old song, “For What It’s Worth,” by Buffalo Springfield, says: “Step out of line and the man come and take you away.”

With Rodney King, according to court records, the other man with him did as he was told. Mr. King did some mooning of police officers, who were ready to blast him! The rioting that followed King’s beating was forewarned by DuBois clubs — communist agitators. And the LAPD, knowing this, ignored it. They hung up little signs here and there downtown, but could not draw any worthwhile attention from police, and they should have.

Now, Lee Baca is a just a sheriff, but according to law still in effect, he could do much more. He may be second only to the governor in terms of power and has the authority to even keep out federal intrusion. Not well known, but true.
Why he gets his back up with the findings of the ACLU may also have to do with what police power in this county and country have become, sort of a harbinger of legal goon squads given license to rough up common citizens. If what I have heard and read is true, some of the European and other foreigners coming here for police training are concerned with neither human rights nor human life.

As your important article says, “It’s about time again.”
~TERRY WILSON, SUN VALLEY



Coleman drops lifeline
Two days before Thanksgiving, Pasadena Weekly's Deputy Editor André Coleman tossed PUSD Board of Education President Renatta Cooper a lifeline just in time to keep her censure from proceeding at the Nov. 22 board meeting.
Nearly 21 weeks had passed since Coleman's story ran, which depicted PUSD Board members Scott Phelps, Ramon Miramontes and Kim Kenne as detractors, based on statements from PUSD President Cooper about the “closed session” board meetings. Mr. Coleman never denied that he spoke with Cooper about details of the closed session. In fact, Cooper herself admitted publicly that she spoke to the media about dialogue and details from PUSD closed session meetings, a clear violation of portions of the Brown Act, Board Bylaws 9011 and 9271, Ed Code 54963 and the Code of Ethics.

As anticipated, PUSD Board Members Phelps, Miramontes and Kenne brought forth the request to censure Ms. Cooper and, in effect, test the statements and enforcement of the PUSD board bylaws, the California Education Code and the Brown Act. Ironically, Board members Ed Honowitz, Tom Selinske, Elizabeth Pomeroy and Cooper were now at the receiving end of their own mustered up statements from their unsuccessful attempt to censure Phelps a few weeks ago over his written comments to a story that came out after board confidentiality was breached to the media.

Mr. Coleman’s fax to PUSD the previous Friday, Nov. 18, stated, “The Weekly staff is discussing the best way to issue the correction.” His letter came in time to distract and cloud the truth and was used by the board majority to derail the attempt to censure board President Cooper for breaking the law. The skittish board majority, for the time being, managed to slither away from having to eat their own words, as Honowitz and Pomeroy conveniently overlooked Cooper’s own public confession that she had, in fact, communicated closed session information to the media.

As Board member Tom Selinske asked clarifying questions, Board Vice President Ed Honowitz, in quiet desperation, interceded and kept Selinske from further inquiry and then called for the question, which only Honowitz, Pomeroy and Cooper voted to reject from proceeding to a censure hearing, basically killing the investigation for now.

The arguments they used in their attempt to censure Phelps changed from one meeting to the next. It is clear this board majority is only interested in the selective enforcement of the Brown Act, board bylaws and the Ed Code.
Selinske, Kenne and Miramontes voted for further investigation and had Phelps not walked out before the vote in disgust at their deceit and hypocrisy, the investigation into Ms. Cooper’s purposeful and politically motivated disclosures may have proceeded. (Selinske surprised observers with his vote).

Viewing the hypocrisy, lack of integrity and selective enforcement by Cooper, Honowitz and Pomeroy in plain view should open the eyes of this community. The purpose and integrity of the process was thrown out the window by them and we are now left to question the media.

1.     Does a deputy editor of The Pasadena Weekly have the responsibility to correct or retract misinformation as soon he has been notified of the inaccuracy?

2.     Should the public rely on a media that knowingly waited 22 weeks to publish a retraction?
3.     Does the Pasadena Weekly have any other retractions to make that it has known about and has not yet felt 'forced' to retract?

4.     Will the public believe the Pasadena Weekly if it reports biased and opinionated stories made to look like reporting?

As for Ms. Cooper's statement at the ‘Censure Cooper’ portion of the Nov. 22 board meeting, "It is not my practice to go out of my way and contact reporters who misquote me,” might be fine if she did not have an important role in our community. As the president of the Pasadena Board of Education, most in the community would certainly want the words of our leader to be corrected. Your words, President Cooper, resonate in our community. Your words can influence. Your words can heal. Your words and statements are important.

This community should be troubled if you are not willing to set your statements straight when they are misreported by those (reporters) you supposedly trust. We need our board president to care enough about the words attributed to her and the impact they will have on the students and community.
~GERMÁN BARRERO, PASADENa

 

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