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Post 2018 Alpine Election Thoughts – By Mary Harris

Food For Thought: Alpine Elections 2018

Running for a seat on the Alpine Community Planning Group taught me a lot. It was like a crash course on local politics.  I’ve been attending the group for over three years and I can tell you this:  if you have views that are not a carbon copy of the group majority, don’t expect to be warmly welcomed.  When I was campaigning, lies sprouted up like weeds from long term group members, and their friends, on Alpine’s social media sites. Some made little sense. One individual said that I had called Cal Trans and asked them to remove a church banner. This had nothing to do with the election. It was coming from a person grasping at straws, looking to put me in a bad light.

One Alpine woman, who works for Channel 10 News, posted a three year old video (edited) that she made of me and my puppy, walking on Christmas Eve. She was angry that my puppy was off leash in an area where he should have been leashed. I was startled by her abrasiveness. She came at me like a bully, demanding that I tell her my name and where I was from. I was ready to get home after a nice, long walk. I was alone, and, frankly, afraid. Not knowing how to respond to her aggressive demands, I gave her a false name, hoping she would go on her way. Before they left, she gave me this sarcastic greeting, “Merry ****ing Christmas! In all fairness, if one intends to publicize moments like this one, they should either notify the public that it has been edited or publish it in its entirety, which she did neither. She claimed that I gave her permission to do this. While I did tell her, “Go ahead”, it was without understanding her intent. As it turns out, she is friends with planning group members who had their own reasons to discredit me. When she found out I was running for the ACPG, she used the video to make me look bad, saying I was irresponsible, and a liar. Really? Many people were allowing their dogs off leash in that area, and it just emphasized to me how much Alpine needed a dog park. And who has not given a fake name to throw a bully off their trail? None of the good things that I have accomplished were taken into account, and indeed, not many are known by that group. When they want what they want, this is how they go about getting it.

Ironically, it was this meeting along with my discovery of Back Country Land Trust authorizing the use of Roundup at Wrights Field, on the very kind of plants that dogs like to eat, Wild Oats, that brought me to the ACPG in the first place, which was to advocate for a dog park in Alpine. I found out that the planning group had not been able to get a community park here, even after trying for twenty plus years. My efforts then went towards advocating for a community park, with the intent of having a dog park located within the park once it was established.

No one who attacked my character actually knows me. All of this nonsense was just to try to alter the outcome of the election. If someone like me, who is minimal competition, is gone after in such a fashion, imagine what lengths would be gone to in order to affect the chances of one who is significantly greater competition. The only thing I can say is: shame on these manipulators, whose intent is to destroy the names of good people, attempting to discredit them. I hope that the people of Alpine will ‘consider the source’.  As I’ve said, I have learned a lot.

Mary Harris

 

 

Al Guerra: ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD Candidate (Incumbent)

Researched by Voter’s Edge
Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters
*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE. All candidates are welcome to submit information to be posted so the community of Alpine can be better informed.

AL GUERRA
Governing Board Member, Alpine Union School District/Parent/San Diego County School Board Delegate

My name is Al Guerra and I advocate for an environment where all students, all teachers, and all staff are equipped for success. As the only locally elected officials chosen solely to represent the interests of students, school board members evaluate the superintendent; monitor, review, and revise policies; and are fiscally responsible for the yearly budget. I bring experience and understanding to every decision that I make.

I am a longtime resident of Alpine and know that great schools go hand-in-hand with great communities. My children have been in the Alpine Union School District since 2008 and are now in fourth, seventh, and tenth grade. I hold a degree in Organizational Leadership and have a sincere interest in the quality and efficiency of public education in the community. I also sit as a delegate on the San Diego County School Boards Association where school board members share best practices on topics such as budgets, legislation, and continued board member education.

I ask for your support to serve as part of a school board that will keep the district focused on learning and achievement for all students; communicate a common vision; operate openly, with trust and integrity.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The statement above was entered into Voter’s Edge on 10/22/2018 by a League of Women Voters volunteer, using the PDF version of a sample ballot prepared by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters:  https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Sample_Ballots/Eng/SB-ENG-104.pdf

That might not be your version of the sample ballot, though. To find your own sample ballot version, containing all the candidates and measures on your own ballot, please use the ROV’s sample ballot look-up tool at https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Eng/ballot.asp .

Eric Wray: ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD Candidate (Incumbent)

ERIC WRAY: ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD Candidate (Incumbent)
Researched by Voter’s Edge
Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters
*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE. All candidates are welcome to submit information to be posted so the community of Alpine can be better informed.
ERIC WRAY AGE: 49
Governing Board Member, Alpine Union School District
 
As a Governing Board Member of the Alpine Union School District, it has been my pleasure to serve the students, parents, and residents of Alpine for the last 12 years. We have accomplished so much together including increasing test scores, balancing our budgets, school safety programs, and adapting to the 21st century to include a national robotics program, bilingual language programs and new technology programs. We have continued to reiterate the importance of a primary education in Alpine to ensure all school children are prepared for high school and beyond. Alpine School District will continue to innovate while requiring all school children to understand the importance of mathematics, language arts, and science. Together we can continue to grow our local education initiatives into the 21st century and I ask for your support and your vote.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The statement above was entered into Voter’s Edge on 10/22/2018 by a League of Women Voters volunteer, using the PDF version of a sample ballot prepared by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters:  

An Open Letter to Alpine About False Political Mailers – By Lou Russo

October 17, 2018 – Submitted by Lou Russo

Good morning all. I am in Norfolk, VA on business this week.  Back there in Alpine, your mailboxes are receiving the latest round of false slime political mailers about me in the election for Alpine School Board.  They began to appear in our mailboxes two elections ago and I knew they were coming this election, and what they would say.  The same person is responsible and as before, not a single one of the people running against me has stood up to condemn them.

To begin, let me state that the assertions on it are false, as have been the ones on the previous elections.  I am 66 years old and have NEVER been fired from ANY job.  I have never attacked ANY fire victim.  I have lost political races in the past but have NEVER lost a race for the Planning Group.

You may wonder why the same person keeps sending these out, election after election.  You will have to ask him (though I learned yesterday he won’t even admit to doing it).  In the end, he, and my opponents, believe a little bit of political power is worth the lies, worth having my family stared at the walk into Albertsons or Starbucks or anywhere else in Alpine and worth lying to Alpine.

The facts are simple, I can bring the change Alpine needs in our schools, while my opposition can only give you more of the same.  Their record is attached.  My ballot statements for both school board and planning group are attached.

Ask yourself if your schools are better off than they were four, or even two, years.  You know they are not.  You know if my opponents had anything positive, they would present it.  Their false slime flyers shows they don’t. Vote Russo!

 

The West Fire has taught us a lesson that I have known all along…

Development in Alpine must only be done with careful consideration for the fire threat in our area.  Emergency access is essential.  For years I have been the voice of reason on the Alpine Community Planning Group.  My primary concern is the safety of Alpine’s residents and protection of our homes, animals and possessions.  I have consistently stood up for intelligent, safe, development while protecting the private property rights of us all.  In addition, I am the only current planning group member to have worked with a group of residents for a park for all of Alpine, one that has shade, sports fields, picnic areas and a leash-free dog park.  Finally, I was the only current planning group member to have worked with parents to place the lighted crosswalk at Alpine Elementary and the traffic slowing signs at Joan McQueen Middle School.  A vote for me guarantees that you will be represented in planning decisions in our community.  I will not place any special interests above your interests.

 

ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT (AUSD) HAS BEEN WASTING MONEY

AUSD was sued by San Diego Unified for putting Endeavor Charter School in San Diego Unified boundary.  AUSD lost and Endeavor was shut down with employees losing their jobs!

AUSD sued Dehesa School District over the Heights Charter in Alpine.  AUSD lost.  (Recently Dehesa renewed the agreement with the Heights.  AUSD threatened to sue again!)

AUSD sued Grossmont Union High School District over bond language.  AUSD lost.

AUSD applied to the State Board of Education to break away from Grossmont and have its own Unified District.  AUSD lost.

AUSD had to shut down the district office and move the district headquarters to JMMS….because the office was damaged by a storm and AUSD didn’t have the money to repair it.

AUSD had the buses fail inspections by CHP two times and was on the verge of failing a third time.  AUSD couldn’t afford to fix them and had to contract with Grossmont to run our transportation.  AUSD sold its buses for scrap.  Our children rode on them for two years while CHP said entire transportation department was unsatisfactory and the buses unsafe!

The principal and vice principal at JMMS were illegally changing grades.  When caught, the principal was allowed to resign and the vice principal was sent back to the classroom.  Neither had any adverse action filed with the State as required!

One of the Trustees’ wives was illegally promoted and had to be sent back to her old job.

Federal Department of Education Civil Rights Division in San Francisco currently investigating AUSD over bullying/racial bullying!

Essential staff positions are going unfilled.  In particular, JMMS missing both a vice principal and a librarian.  No vice principal means no one to handle discipline.  No librarian means that school certification at risk because a librarian is required by state certifying agency.

AUSD spent over $1 Million of YOUR taxes in legal fees for the lawsuits/illegal activities!

AUSD is rated as AVERAGE by Great Schools ranking website while Heights Charter and Los Coches Creeks Middle School are rated superior!

AUSD running out of money in October and has to borrow.

AUSD employees, from best principal to best teachers to Chief Business Officer leaving district.

MOST IMPORTANT!  THE CURRENT AUSD TRUSTEES UP FOR ELECTION (DICKIE, WRAY, GUERRA) PROMISED US A HIGH SCHOOL IF WE ELECTED THEM LAST TIME.  WE GOT DEGRADATION OF ALPINE UNION SCHOOLS BUT NO HIGH SCHOOL!

 

*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE. All candidates are welcome to submit information to be posted so the community of Alpine can be better informed.

 

LOU RUSSO Campaign Statement: Alpine Union School District 2018 School Board Candidate

*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE and has reached out to ALL of the candidates for their statements so the community of Alpine can be better informed.

October 2018  – Lou Russo Campaign Statement – Alpine Union School District is a district in trouble.  It has spent $1 million on legal fees in suits against other school districts, and has lost every one.  It cannot fix its district offices for lack of money.  The district transportation department repeatedly failed inspections by the California Highway Patrol and was on the verge of being shut down when it contracted with another district to take over.  The students in the district rode on unsafe buses for two years.  Parents are taking their children out of the district for other schools, public and charter.  Administrators were illegally changing grades.  The district must borrow money to pay its commitments.  The list goes on and on.  Alpine Union needs change at the top and I am the person who can lead the district to excellence.  Our children should receive every penny of our tax dollars, to make our class size smaller, to make our classrooms safe and to provide the highest academic instruction, for all of our students.

Our children should feel welcomed, be with their friends and look forward to attending school every day.  A vote for me with ensure this is the case in Alpine Union.

 

I am also running for a seat on the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) …

The West Fire has taught us a lesson that I have known all along; development in Alpine must only be done with careful consideration for the fire threat in our area.  Emergency access is essential.  For years I have been the voice of reason on the Alpine Community Planning Group.  My primary concern is the safety of Alpine’s residents and protection of our homes, animals and possessions.  I have consistently stood up for intelligent, safe, development while protecting the private property rights of us all.  In addition, I am the only current planning group member to have worked with a group of residents for a park for all of Alpine, one that has shade, sports fields, picnic areas and a leash-free dog park.  Finally, I was the only current planning group member to have worked with parents to place the lighted crosswalk at Alpine Elementary and the traffic slowing signs at Joan McQueen Middle School.  A vote for me guarantees that you will be represented in planning decisions in our community.  I will not place any special interests above your interests.

 

*Have something to say? Leave a comment below!

 

GLENN DICKIE Campaign Statement: Alpine Union School District 2018 School Board Candidate (Incumbent)

*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE and has reached out to ALL of the candidates for their statements so the community of Alpine can be better informed.

October 2018 – I am Glenn Dickie, President of the Alpine Union School District, and I am running for re-election and seeking your vote. Having served on the Alpine Union District Board for the past eight years, I know the issues and challenges facing our District and am actively involved in identifying and working towards realistic, long-term solutions.  I have taken the time to visit and observe classrooms at all Alpine schools and have worked hard to make our District a destination.

Some of our major accomplishments to date include:

  • Hiring the best Superintendent in California
  • Successful partnership with Alpine Education Foundation
  • Dual Immersion Program – including JMMS
  • Addition of innovative curriculum
  • Wheel of Experts
  • Ready Break Camps
  • Engineering and Coding program – National champions
  • Middle school sports leagues
  • Training for all staff – Profession Growth (Pro Grow) days
  • Math coaches this year
  • Google training
  • New educational technology
  • IXL for all students
  • New computers for teachers
  • New chrome books for the students
  • Increased visibility and enhanced community engagement
  • Security fencing and restricted access on all campuses
  • Raises for staff each of the last two years – 3.8% last year

 

The District is not without challenges, and one of the greatest challenges is technology in the classrooms. The one place that has escaped the productivity miracle of technology for the last 30 plus years is education.  We need to keep up the pace of implementing technology in our schools so we can continue to provide our kids the best educational opportunities available.

Another challenge is declining enrollment, a problem that plagues all East county schools for the past 20 years.  By continuing to add innovative curriculum, we expect to reverse the trend.

 

School safety is an ongoing challenge and of utmost importance. I feel it is important for of us in Alpine to continue collaborating with our parents, community and local law enforcement, and to follow law enforcement’s recommendations. I also feel it is important that many of the intricate details of our safety plans are not publicized. I oppose armed guards on our school campuses, and do not equate the presence of guards with school safety, as some have proposed.

 

I see myself as a consensus builder.  I may not agree with my peers on every issue but believe there is usually a workable solution, and it is my nature to find an agreeable resolution.  I also believe it is ok to disagree and dissent on a vote.  I value each individual’s ideas and contributions and together our different viewpoints make a stronger community.

 

I would like to respond to some previous comments on this site.  In 2014, the Board was struggling with its finances due to years of cuts by the State. The Board decided it could not continue its deficit spending and keep the District solvent and made some difficult decisions.  At the same time, the teachers voted to go on strike. As was reported at the time, we came together and negotiated an agreement that the teachers approved having felt the Board listened to them.

 

Another comment was made about the Alpine Transportation Department being defunct. Again, this was a Board decision made after careful analysis of the facts at the time. It was determined that Grossmont, being a bigger district, has cost advantages due to their scale of operations that Alpine can never achieve. Both Alpine and Grossmont were winners in this decision by the Board.

 

I am a faithful advocate of quality education for our children and a fiscal conservative.   I will continue to fight to keep our schools solvent while ensuring our teachers and staff are treated fairly and with respect.  Allow me to continue to be your representative on the Alpine School Board.

 

*Have something to say? Leave a comment below!

 

Share Your Thoughts About the Future of Alpine Union School District!

October 2018 – AUSD is excited to share that today we launched an online tool called Thoughtexchange that gives you the ability to provide input and ideas.  We will be using this site as part of our process to improve our schools and identify the priorities of our community. The site will provide us the ability to capture the thoughts and ideas about what our community believes are the most important things we need to consider as we plan for the future of AUSD. All comments on Thoughtexchange are anonymous. Please take a moment to share your thoughts. Click on the link below:

https://my.thoughtexchange.com/#419736425

 

Submitted By: Mary Ann Alvarez – Alpine Union School District 619-445-3236

EMAIL: malvarez@alpineschools.net

 

Alpine School Board Election: Three Incumbents Asking for Your Vote? – By Jon Cotter

Submitted By Jon Cotter

Its School Board election time again. I could not believe my eyes when driving on Tavern road. Three incumbents have the nerve to ask for your re election votes. What??? Lets review the job they have done in the past 10 years. In fairness, some have been on board for less time but results are results.

 

  1. The teacher’s strike. Yes we had an ineffective Superintendent but lets not forget that the Superintendent serves at the pleasure of the board. They were on board with all the stupidity that took place until they realized that they had to make a change. the teachers actually voted a 90% no confidence in the former Superintendent. Somehow the Alpine voters did not hold Eric Wray and the other board members accountable Truly amazing!

 

  1. There has been a mass exodus from Alpine schools with parents desperately seeking alternate school district’s for their students education. I’m told that 200 students have left Joan Mcqueen Middle school for a better education. My children have been in the La Mesa Spring Valley school district for the past three years. They are thriving in a far superior education opportunity.

 

  1. Alpine Transportation Department is now defunct. They failed 2 state safety inspections and were forced to hand over the transportation department to GUHSD. the busses were unsafe.

 

We must hold leaders accountable. we cannot blame the busses for being unsafe. We cant blame the parents for taking  their children to better school districts. The bottom line is the school board has failed our Children.

 

Elect new people. but before we elect them, ask them the tough question. In fact. How about a debate where the people running have to answer tough but respectful questions from the public without prior  notice of the questions.  It is my opinion that the incumbents most go. We cannot fix the broken school system with the same people who have destroyed a once great school district.

 

**Have something to say? Comment below!

 

 

Alpine’s First School Organic Garden Started at Alpine Elementary – Grand Opening Photos!

Submitted By The Alpine Chamber of Commerce (Photos courtesy of Alpine Elementary School Volunteers and Staff)

With community help, the Alpine Union School District has started an organic garden for students to learn about  healthy gardening, eating and exercise in a new program. The  ribbon cutting was April 27, 2018 at Alpine Elementary School. Plans are already under way for similar gardens at three more district schools, thanks to community partnerships.

 

Alpine school opens district’s first organic garden for students

Students cheered at the grand opening of the new organic garden on April 27 at the Alpine Elementary School in Alpine! The garden aimed at teaching students healthy eating, organic gardening and the importance of exercise was put together by students, teachers, parents and an array of businesses and organizations. It is the first such garden in a new Alpine Union School District program.

Three more gardens are planned for Boulder Oaks and Shadow Hills elementary schools and Joan MacQueen Middle School. “We’re very excited,” AES Principal Travis Wall said before the opening at 1850 Alpine Blvd. “It’s been a year since we first planned with Barons Market on a garden.  It’s turned out better than we expected.” The district program is sponsored by the Alpine Barons Market at 1347 Tavern Road. The Viejas Casino & Resort and the Kiwanis Club of Alpine donated grants

After the ribbon cutting, students carrying free “farmer’s bucks” lined up to go through the onsite Alpine Barons Student Farmers Market. The youngsters carefully chose purchases from piles of healthy fruit and vegetables.  “I really like how there’s a bunch of food and they’re all fresh,” said Emily, a fourth grader. “It’s really cool.”

Additional major donors included the AUSD Child Nutrition Department, the AES Parent Teachers Students Association, Janet’s Montana Café, the Alpine Education Foundation, Alpine Fence, Alpine Landscape Materials and Ace Hardware.

Story by Jo Moreland  jom@alpinechamber.sdcoxmail.com