The latest from our friends on the Chino Valley Unified School Board occupies the top of Sunday’s column, followed by reaction to my Covina Bowl column, a plug for this blog and a vignette.
Sunday’s column begins with an oddity about a street named Diablo that will be changed due to complaints, then continues with items from Ontario, Upland and Pomona, and about two Rancho Cucamonga tie-ins to TV.
Sunday’s column takes you on a tour of the former Chino Superior Court, closed on Dec. 31, 2012, and left somewhat intact. I took plenty of photos, which you can see in a photo gallery. Above, the photo referenced in the column of me at the bench, with no chair or gavel, yet looking casually judicial anyway.
Sunday’s column updates you on the ever-controversial Chino Valley Unified school board. The board president left her post earlier this month, two months ahead of schedule, paving the way for the outspoken Andrew Cruz to be acting president. Cruz, you may recall, got in hot water for political comments at a July meeting.
Who says city council meetings are dull? In Chino, they heard a detailed report from two cops about a prostitution sting at a massage parlor in which services were offered by a masseuse in a pink dress who goes by the name Lulu. Read about it in my Friday column — but don’t read it aloud! The kids might hear.
I attended Thursday’s highly unusual Chino Valley Unified School District board meeting. Read all about it in Sunday’s column.
At Thursday’s Chino Valley Unified School District board meeting, the first since his political monologue at the July 16 session that created a furor, board member Andrew Cruz asked for time to speak prior to the 19 public comments. I shot video (watch the first part here) and transcribed his comments verbatim, mistakes, missing words and all, as best I could.
Cruz: “Since our last board meeting, I thought a lot of my comments made in an unorganized, hasty manner. Although I support strong family values, I have never intended to exclude any single child from my heart, because I believe every living human being is very precious and is born with unfortunate purposes in life. If my comments made, derived from research and news media reports, may have left you victimized, please accept my sincere apologies. ‘Cause that’s not who I am.
“I’d rather choose to be the victim but never to be the one who would hurt someone both intentionally and intentionally. Thank you and I truly love each one of you.”
[finishes reading from prepared remarks]
“I just want to say one thing. And that is, this boardsmanship that I have is a very beautiful experience that I am dealing with. I am grateful and humbled of the things I am doing and how I am working with children throughout these three years. But I have tremendous joy in my heart, and that these things I see, and the things that are going on, I will speak from my heart. I am grateful and humble knowing the fact that the pain that you guys are feeling, I can definitely relate what you are going through here. You know, as a special ed student, I do, based on things that I have experienced, a lot of these things that felt the same way that I felt when I was younger. And it’s a dirty shame that it had to be the way it was directed. It may have been misguided, but it was from my heart, of the things I had seen and the direction of this country that it’s going towards. And you may not accept that –”
Irene Hernandez-Blair, the board president: “OK, Mr. Cruz…”
Cruz: “Hold on please.”
Hernandez-Blair: “This is a statement for public comment.”
Cruz: “Thank you.”
Look for my column on the meeting in Sunday’s paper.
Following up on my Wednesday column, Friday’s has more on the Chino Valley Unified School District controversy regarding board member Andrew Cruz. My mistake: Although there was no immediate response, the board president fired back at him a minute later in the meeting. Also, it turns out that Cruz’s comment about having his rainwater tested for chemicals probably relates to a conspiracy theory about so-called “chemtrails.” For those uninterested in all this — do such people exist? — there are three Valley Vignettes and a rundown of recent posts here.
Wednesday’s column starts with the latest from the Chino Valley Unified school board, where one member made the TV news for a nine-minute monologue at a recent meeting on a multitude of hot-button topics. From there, I’ve got three Culture Corner items (two involving Debbie Reynolds — how about that?), two examples of the 909 in the news and even more.
Wednesday’s column breaks some news about Dennis Yates, the mayor of Chino, who plans to retire from the City Council when his term ends in 2016. He was first elected in 1992. The council is remarkably stable, without a new member since 2001. But that will change with Yates’ retirement.