Azusa is opposing governor’s budget

This just in from Azusa:

The Board of Education of the Azusa Unified School District has passed a resolution opposing the Governors 2008 budget.  The Board and the Districts four employee associations including the Azusa Educators Association, Azusa Chapter 299 of the California Classified Employees Association, Azusa Management Association and the Azusa Federation of Adult Educators signed the joint resolution.

The resolution points out that under Governor Schwarzeneggers budget Azusa Unified schools would lose $340,000 in the current fiscal year due to mid year cuts and $6.4 million in 2008-09 due to the suspension of Proposition 98.

In recent years, Azusa Unified has cut more than $3.5 million, which has affected the purchase of textbooks, teacher training, and class size.  The Board noted that California spends $1,900 less per student than the national average.

The resolution points out that the budget reductions are inconsistent with the states goal to improve student achievement, at a time when our students are making progress meeting rigorous state and federal education standards.

How to destroy beef

The CDE (California Department of Education) sent a press release out about how districts should destroy ground beef from Hallmark/Westland. The release also includes a preliminary list of which districts received the meat and the number of units. Only three local districts were included in the list.

Los Angeles La Canada Unified 35
Los Angeles Little Lake City Elementary 60
Los Angeles Los Nietos 50

The highlights:

  • A person of authority (i.e. food service director) must witness the destruction
  • Some costs can be reimbursed, such as transportation to the disposal facility and destruction costs
  • Other costs cannot be reimbused: employee overtime, long-distance phone calls, food used in place of recalled beef

District Spelling Bee

Mountain View School District will hold their second annual district Spelling Bee on Thursday.

Fifth- and sixth-grade spelling bee champions from the district’s schools will compete for the title of District Spelling Bee Champion and represent the district in the Los Angeles County Spelling Bee in mid-March.

The spelling bee will begin at 2:45 p.m. in the cafeteria of Madrid Middle School at 3300 Gilman Road in El Monte.

Come show your support for our local Bees!

Lots of smiles at Wedgeworth Elementary

Thanks to all our friends at Wedgeworth Elementary School in Hacienda Heights for greeting us with a big smile during the “Give Kids a Smile” event on Wednesday morning.

The San Gabriel Valley Foundation for Dental Health screened all the first graders and many of the kindergartners. The excited students also received dental kits, which included not only new toothbrushes but handy charts and stickers to keep track of their brushing and flossing.

Hopefully, the kids will be able to keep their brilliant smiles for many more years to come. See our story and photos in an upcoming story in the Hacienda Heights Highlander.  

Wedgeworth students can flash their new smiles during a big oratorical contest on Friday at 8:30 a.m. May the best speaker win.

Foundation gives Wedgeworth kids a smile

Wedgeworth Elementary School in Hacienda Heights will “Give Kids a Smile” Wednesday morning.

The program will be presented by the San Gabriel Valley Foundation for Dental Health in the Multipurpose Room, from 8:30-11:00 a.m

The foundation is all about helping kids. The nonprofit group is dedicated to serving the children from economically disadvantaged families who have no dental or Medi-Cal insurance.

Founded in July 1996, the foundation has grown to its present ability serving more than 500 San Gabriel Valley children every year.

Talent Show at BPHS

Who needs American Idol?!

Check out some real raw local talent at Baldwin Park High School’s 2008 Talent Show.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 in the school gymnasium. Cost is $5 pre-sale and $7 at the door.

Baldwin Park High School is located at 3900 N. Puente Ave., (626) 960-5431.

Interview with American Idol’s Danny Noriega


For 18-year-old Danny Noriega, school is the last thing on his mind.

The Azusa resident, who planned to start college this past fall, has pushed back his plans in order for a chance at fame. I recently interviewed the Sierra High School student over the telephone,  who of course had his trusty PR guru on the line to make sure he didn’t answer any pressing questions. One subject he couldn’t go into detail on was rehearsals, or of course, what song he would be performing during this Tuesday’s American Idol show.

But I did ask him what he liked to do for fun, besides singing. He loves to dance, and often goes out to clubs with his friends. What club you ask? Well, for some reason Noriega didn’t want to answer that either.

On Fox’s American Idol website, the long-haired contestant claims to love artists Britney Spears, Ashlee Simpson and Chris Brown.

This is the second season Noriega has competed to be named American Idol, which is in its seventh season. Last season, he said he was trying to maintain a look that he thought the judges wanted (shorter hair). Unfortunately, he wasn’t what the panel was looking for. So this season, he came back as himself, he says, and made it through to the top 24.

Nogales student makes youth poetry slam team

She’s a poet, don’t you know it.

Alright, we’ll leave the poetry to Nogales High School student Ashlyn Atkins.  The Vice President of The Poetry Club has qualified to be on the Inland Empire National Youth Poetry Slam Team. 

The top 6 qualify with two alternates.  Atkins came in second.  This summer, the Noble sophomore will travel to Washington DC, where her team will compete against teams from all over the country.

The name of the event is called BRAVE NEW VOICES.  Atkins is a student in the Hip Hop Rhyme and Poetry class at Nogales.

Bassett prepares for proposed budget cuts

With Governor Schwarzenneger’s proposed budget cuts looming over school districts throughout the state, talks of preparing for them have begun in many local valley districts. One of them is Bassett Unified School District which serves a large unincorporated area in Los Angeles County with portions of the City of Industry, La Puente and Whittier.

Though the district is doing well now, if the proposed 10 percent budget cuts go through legislature, the district is expected to be at a deficit within the next two to three years. A public meeting is scheduled next month to discuss options and possibilites if they are faced with these cuts that are expected to continue over the next few years.

The following is from a press release sent on Feb. 8 by Jeff Schenkel, South Coast Media Services, (626) 339-8824,

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