Claremont Insider: November 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Around Town

Now that Measure CL has come and gone, we can turn our attention to the more mundane goings on around town.

If you're interested in meeting Claremont's council members, you'll have two chances this weekend. On Saturday, November 6, from 8am to 2pm, the City Council will hold a workshop to review and reviews its ongoing priorties list. The workshop will be held in the Padua Room of the Alexander Hughes Community Center at 1700 Danbury Rd.

Some things, like buying the water system from Golden State Water Company, will fall off the list because the City is no longer pursuing a municipal water service. Others, like a new police station, remain on the A-list of priorties. And there are new items to add to the list, like the problem of Claremont's seriously underfunded CalPERS pension liabilities.

The City has the workshop's agenda posted on their document website. You can review last year's priorities here. They've also posted details on the City's ongoing or completed projects, an update on its existing priorties, and descriptions of new topics proposed for inclusion in the priorties lists.

For more information on Saturday's council workshop, call (909) 399-5460.

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You can also speak to individual council members in a more informal setting at the Claremont Farmers' Market on Sunday, November 7, between 8am and 1pm. The market is located on 2nd Street between Indian Hill Blvd. and Yale Ave. Council members take their turns in one hour shifts in the little council booth, so feel free to talk one of them up.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Measure CL Goes Down in Flames


Measure CL Fails: 7,977 NO, 5,222 YES

According to the Los Angeles Register-Recorder/County Clerk, as of 12:01am Claremont Unified School District's $95 million Measure CL is certain to go down to defeat (55% needed to pass):

NO - 60.13% (6,949 votes)
Update, Final - 7,977 (60.44%)

YES - 39.87% (4,608 votes)
Update, Final -5,222 (39.56%)
That's with 94% of the Claremont school district precincts reporting and only 2 out of 35 precincts left to report. (Now Final) We won't comment further at this point, other than to say that CUSD will be back with another bond or parcel tax. Let's see if they are willing to include the wider community the next time around, or if they will play the same ol' overreaching Claremont game with consultants like Jared Boigon coordinating things and getting hundreds of thousands from school contractors.

Incidentally, there were five other bond measures on the ballots for other L.A. County school districts yesterday. Four of the five appeared to be winning handily, and the fifth, Lynwood's Measure L, was very close at 53.4% with a little over half the precincts reporting. Claremont's CL was by far the outlier in school bond measure NO votes. (Pomona's Measure SS parcel tax, which needed 67% to pass, was at only 49.84% with a quarter of the precinct results in.)

You can check for updates here. The results probably won't be official for a day or two. Click on "SCHOOLS" and then look for the Claremont CL link. You'll need to refresh the screen for updates - be prepared to get redirected back to the original menu.

Click to Enlarge

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Today

In case you missed it, there's an election today. We don't care which cabal and/or vast conspiracy, Right or Left, holds your loyalties. We just think you ought to get involved, assuming you took the trouble to register to vote.

It's part of the social contract, and it's the least you can do as a responsible citizen. That means get up off the couch, put on your shoes, and head on down to your precinct's polling place.

If you don't know where to go, check out the magic polling place locator, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder/County Clerk. Just enter your street address, and the locator will tell you where to go. It's that easy. Then you will get one of these:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Repetition is the Soul of Wit

Measure CL Propaganda

We are sure everyone in Claremont has experienced it. That sense of deja vu when you go to your mailbox, open up the latest CUSD Measure CL mailer, and read the same, old, and by now tired messages. You definitely have the feeling you've read this stuff somewhere before.

"Where's the beef?", you are probably asking yourself. Well, there's not much protein in these political mail pieces, animal, vegetarian, or vegan. There's a lot of saccharin and bromide though.

So you wouldn't have to do it, we went through the nine mailers shown above. We tallied the occurrences and re-occurrences of the messages in the mailers. Most of the time the language was identical. Occasionally, either by mistake, fatigue, ennui, or design the ad-writer threw in a different word. We attempted to be accurate but truth be told, our eyes were glazing over towards the end of this project.

One-sided Messaging or,

$135,000 from Special Interests
Is Not Quite Enough
for Us to Tell the Full Story

Here, in rank order are the top 12 messages (of about 50):

1. Local funding: 12 mentions
2. State an unreliable partner: 10 mentions
3. Protect property values: 9 mentions
4. Replace outdated wiring/fire alarms: 9 mentions
5. Safety: 9 mentions
6. Upgrade classrooms/libraries/labs w/ 21st C technology: 9 mentions
7. Attract/retain great teachers: 9 mentions
8. No money for administrators' salaries: 8 mentions
9. Pay off/Refi old leases and debts, usually paired with offset state cuts: 7 mentions each
10. Replace old/worn-out roofs, plumbing, lights, or windows: 7 mentions
11. Local funds state can't take away (see number 1; this is distinct): 7 mentions
12: Reduce energy/utility costs: 7 mentions.

And the messages that the woman or man in the Trader Joe's parking lot might think were often did they occur in these propaganda pieces?:

A. Measure CL is a bond: 0 mentions
B. Measure CL will borrow $95,000,000:
0 mentions
C. Measure CL total cost estimate:
0 mentions.

The spreadsheet we used to tote up these numbers is reproduced here. Click to enlarge.

The messages above align quite well with the polling done by District consultants prior to initiating the bond. A page from their presentation listing projects is shown below.

The entire polling package can be found below. You can see how the propaganda minister of the Yes on CL side, Jared Boigon, has been feeding Claremont what he thinks it wants to hear. It is somewhat lengthy, but see especially pages numbered 23, ff., for the message "resonance" portion.

Claremont USD Survey Report '10 DRAFT 1T