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The Madera Tribune

Board president accused of ‘arrogance’

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webmaster | 02/22/12

It appears to me and others in this community that Madera Unified School Board is in a critical state with regards to its credibility due to its leadership.

First, let me state that my participation with MUSD goes back to the early 1990s as a parent of two boys who attended Berenda Elementary and later because I felt education was essential for children.

Over the years, there were many times when the members of the board and I agreed, and many more times when we were at opposing sides. The one thought that kept me involved and wanting to participate was the fact that my voice counted and my participation was welcome. There was a feeling of cooperation and respect between the school board and the general public. In all those years with many different presidents, not once was I or any other participants made to feel that we were unwelcome and irrelevant, nor appeased by being given only three minutes to speak on complicated subject matter.

The current president has only truly been involved since right before his election. As someone who has participated for many years, I believe that being given only three minutes to speak is an unsophisticated way of saying, “speak, shut up and sit down!” People cannot express intelligent thoughts on budget matters or curriculum issues in such a short time.

I understand new leaders bring new ways of doing business, but to exclude the public as though we were there just to meddle is unacceptable. After all, we have had to sit there and listen to their sometimes unintelligent, long-winded pontification. To hear the president say to other board members that their questions are not relevant to the issue, when in fact they are, only leads me to believe that he has no desire to follow correct protocol. It shows a lack of understanding of the position of the board president.

There is a new arrogance with this board when I hear another board member state that this is their meeting and not the public’s. I agree, it is their meeting to accomplish district business in a public forum; however the public should always be allowed to voice an opinion on any given issue.

There is a sense of arrogance when the board president states to The Madera Tribune that the board voted on these new procedures, when in fact, a board member I spoke with stated to me that there was no vote. Does this constitute a lie?

It is a sense of arrogance when the president states that he is implementing these changes to protect the district from litigation. But in all of the years past, under the old procedures of inclusion, no legal issues have developed.

I strongly believe the board members who elected him to sit as president should reconsider whether he should continue as the board president.

Communication, information and questions amongst board members and the general public makes for a better result.

Carlos Uranga,

Wants casino

I wish all these people who don’t want the casino to come to Madera would keep their opinions to themselves. Not all of us feel the same way. This casino will bring jobs to Madera. We need jobs to keep us from going broke. I keep getting letters to stop the casino from coming here and I just throw those things away, so stop sending them out.

People keep saying the casino will bring crime. We have crime everywhere in Madera and there’s no casino here. You never hear about the crime in the other casinos in Madera.

Target was going to build around the casino and now it pulled out because of the problems people are protesting about. Thanks a lot.

Eva Mendez,

Good wines

Feb. 11, I talked to Steve Shaffer of San Joaquin Wine Co. early in the morning. Steve told me to try his new vintage 2009 Zinfandel later that day at the Wine Trail. He does a good Zin and I was eager to try it.

That afternoon I went down to the winery and Brad McDonald told me to try Steve’s Pomegranate Sangria. I tried the Cabernet and his 2009 and 2008 Zins. Enjoyed all of those, but at home, Gloria and I tried the Pomegranate Sangria and let me say this: It is good. I believe it is only avaliable at the winery but it will be worth the trip.

Pomegranate Sangria. Very good.

Thanks, Steve!

Bill Hoffrage,

The Sing-Along Immigrant Song

I’m an immigrant! I’m an immigrant!
I come from a distant foreign land.
I speak a language you don’t understand.
I’m an immigrant! I’m an immigrant!
I’m an immigrant! I’m an immigrant!
I’m different! I’m different!
I don’t understand your jokes
And you don’t understand mine,
But if I learn English
We’ll all get along just fine.
I’m an immigrant! I’m an immigrant!
I’m so different! I’m so different!
You’re not interested in my point of view.
And I’m often a victim of discrimination, too!
In my neighborhoods you say
There’s no law and order.
You don’t want my daughter dating your son
Or my son dating your daughter
Because I’m an immigrant! Because I’m an immigrant!
You complain my customs and my culture
Are so different from yours,
But you don’t mind if I spend
My money in your stores.
I’m an immigrant! I’m an immigrant!
I’m so different! I’m so different!
Of my music, I’m so, so proud!
But you say I play it much too loud!
No one else here looks like me,
But they all did back in my native country!
America’s supposed to be one united nation.
So, why does everybody treat me with discrimination?
Because I’m an immigrant! Because I’m an immigrant!
And everybody here thinks they are better than me
Everybody here thinks that I’m just a dummy
Because I’m an immigrant! Because I’m an immigrant!
Am I so different from everybody else in this society?
Or is it that I can’t find work and I’m living in poverty?
I’m an immigrant! I’m an immigrant!
I’m different! I’m different!

Brian Donald O’Donovan,


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