Wednesday, December 19, 2012


 By Chriss Street

Last week, the Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed State Bill (HB 4929), to approve Michigan’s first right-to-work laws for both private and public sector workers, that make it illegal to require workers to either join a union or pay union dues without their permission.  The law was heralded by conservatives as protecting workers’ right of free association, but was scorned by liberals as destroying jobs at good wages.  But as reward for Michigan’s new pro-jobs environment,General Motors announced they will bring back production of the iconic Chevrolet Camaro to the Michigan from Canada.

In his first public appearance after signing the historic legislation, Michigan Governor Snyder was heckled as the keynote speaker for Michigan State University’s commencement ceremonies last Saturday as he encouraged students: “We want Michigan to be attractive to you so you stay here”.  Inundated by news organizations that had been hoping for some wild protests and counter-demonstrations, Snyder tried to avoid controversy by stating: “I’ve talked enough about public policy this week…my preference is always to talk to the graduates“, even as he did recognize: “there are some people here that don’t agree with me today.”

Speaking about his own post-college experiences, Snyder said he chose an accounting job in Detroit over a higher-paying offer in Houston, because the company helped foster his career and allowed him to stay closer to his family and friends.  Union supporters and protesters sneered at Snyder’s noble words as hypocritical rhetoric: “We are here to show our appreciation for the MSU students,” said Bill Reed, president of UAW Local 602 in Lansing.  ”The trouble is, the governor has not shown that same appreciation. This legislation harms these students’ future.

The Camaro decision represents at least 1,000 union jobs and comes as a big win for Michigan’s hard-hit auto sector over foreign competition.  It seems that after the GM bankruptcy, higher productivity at plants in the U.S. are reducing GM’s capital investment costs and improving profitability.  Kristin Dziczek, Director of Labor and Industry at the Center for Automotive Research, said labor costs for new hires in Michigan are now lower than the wage costs for veteran unionized peers in Canada, since; “There’s a considerable number of entry-level people and a lot of the older workers have already retired or taken retirement incentives.”  Dziczek also added that that the relatively strong Canadian currency, known as the loonie, is dragging down Canadian manufacturing sector versus American competition.

In an interesting twist of fate, the Michigan job gains will come from GMs Ontario plant that was the scene of one of the most vicious strikes in labor history.  From April 8-23 1937, more than 4000 workers struck for better wages, working conditions, seniority system and recognition of their new United Automobile Workers union.  The UAW was to be an affiliate of the recently created Congress of Industrial Organization that was organizing industrial workers throughout the U.S.  Ontario Premier Mitchell Hepburn vigorously supported GM management’s efforts to try and keep the CIO out of Ontario.   To break the strike, Hepburn even created his own police force, known as “Hepburn’s Hussars” and “Sons-of-Mitches.”

Fellow unionists, neighbors and communist activists funded the GM Canada striking workers for 2 weeks.  Eventually, GM capitulated over fears of losing markets to its competitors.  In the April 23 agreement GM accepted many of the union’s demands, without recognizing the union.  To gain recognition, the union leadership publicly repudiated the CIO connection.  But everyone knew it was a great CIO victory and the first major one in Canada.  The strike marked the birth of industrial unionism in Canada.

Michigan was hammered with a “D” rating in the 2009 Index of Worker Freedom.  But the success in attracting the Camaro back after passing right-to-work legislation is motivating the Republican controlled Legislature to adopt more pro-business legislation:
·                       HB 5024 would increase penalties for violation of Michigan’s mass picketing statute and allow employers to seek legal means to stop mass picketing;
·                       HB 5023 would increase penalties for illegal public sector strikes;
·                       HB 5026 would allow employers to more easily hire new workers during labor union disputes.
Rick Snyder had served as the Chairman of the Board of Irvine, California computer maker Gateway, Inc. and Ann Arbor, Michigan based Ardesta Venture Capital, before he ran for Governor in 2010 on the motto: “I’m pro worker”.  With state unemployment falling from 9.4% to 8.9% since August and GM jobs on the way, Snyder is proving that passing right-to-work laws is great for workers.

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nt-C� l:�� vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(46, 132, 219); text-decoration: underline;">Ann Arbor, Michigan based Ardesta Venture Capital, before he ran for Governor in 2010 on the motto: “I’m pro worker”.  With state unemployment falling from 9.4% to 8.9% since August and GM jobs on the way, Snyder is proving that passing right-to-work laws is great for workers.
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Costa Mesa man Baylor Eldric Maggenti charged with possessing pipe bomb materials

Posted by Cotoblogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA-  Costa Mesa man Baylor Eldric Maggenti, has been charged with illegally possession firearms and materials to make an explosive device in his Costa Mesa home, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) office. 

Maggenti, 66, Costa Mesa, is charged with one felony count each of intent to unlawfully make a destructive device, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, and possession of an assault weapon. I

On Dec. 17, 2012, the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) received a tip that the defendant was in possession of explosive material in the building on Whittier Avenue where he lived and had a wood-working business. 

At approximately 5:30 p.m., CMPD searched the property. Maggenti is accused of being in possession of pipe bomb-making materials including explosive powder, fuses, galvanized pipes, and other items. No completed, assembled bombs were found. Maggenti is also accused of being in possession of multiple firearms, including illegally possessing a short-barrel shotgun and assault weapon. 

Maggenti was arrested at the scene by CMPD and the investigation is ongoing. 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Duff of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case. 

One Small Small Claims Ruling, One Big Slap on the Wrist Against HOA/Property Management Company


The first thing Judge John Flynn III did was greet the defendant by name and apologize for having kept HER waiting!

I would like to report on what happened at my Small Claims action for production of documents.
I appeared before Judge John Flynn 111.  The first thing he did was greet the defendant by name and apologize for having kept HER, 
Wendy Panizza, from PCM, the property management company who was representing the United Laguna Woods Mutal HOA, waiting.

The next thing the Judge did was to ask the Defendant to explain her case.  This is out of line with Court procedure.  Always, the Plaintiff, should go first and present their case.
The defendant went into her explanation over and over again, that there were no accounting records to produce since the Board only wanted to know the use of the washing machines, laundry room by laundry room and not how much cash was taken from each laundry room
My case was for an accounting of cash collected from the laundry rooms, laundry room by laundry room.  The Board had asked the management company to do this task and in fact gave them extra money in order to determine the use of the washing machines, laundry room by laundry room.  A graph was presented to the Board showing the usage. This graph was given to the Judge. 


My argument was that if the management company could produce a graph showing the use of the washing machines, that there had to be an accounting of the cash collected from each laundry room. 
I won my case, $500 fine with $60 costs, but the Judge has not directed Defendant to produce the records, which I presume, PCM/the Board do not want me to see. What are they hiding?
Mary Wall

We assert that fundamental transformation of America is as easy as eating an elephant.  Starts with one school district at a time.
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Alleged Judicial Misconduct: Is Small Claims the right venue to settle HOA disputes?

Alleged Judicial Misconduct: Is Small Claims the right venue to settle  HOA disputes? The jury is still out in Orange County, CA 

Coto de Caza, CA – The verdict  is in, in the Small Claims Court trial  30-2012-00570806-SC-SC-HLH,  held July 23, 2012,  against the Coto de Caza Homeowners Association, otherwise known as CZ Master Association. In the case, it was alleged that the association not only failed to comply with Civil Code § 1365 but that  it continues to claim it is beyond local, state and federal jurisdiction,   The Honorable John L. Flynn III ruled that the HOA board of directors  indeed is not under  the jurisdiction of state and  federal law. Sort of

Coto de Caza, CA – while most pundits speculated over what the Supreme Court would do about the individual mandate included in the ObamaCare legislation, most also warned not to read too much into the Justices’ line of questioning.  Most of the pundits were right on the latter, wrong on the fate of the individual mandate.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Show Off! The 2013 Playwriting Festival At Camino Real Playhouse

Posted By CotoBlogzz

San Juan Capistrano, CA – The International Playwriting Festival 2013  Show Off! to be held Januray4-12 is  always a subscriber favorite, with drama, comedy and intrigue, where the audience votes for their favorite play, will feature seven different 10-minute plays directed by seven different directors.

The 2013 play titles and scenarios are as follows:

Mary Higgins Throws a Dinner Party - Mary and Bob Higgins attempt to set up two of their recently divorced friends.  Bob forgets to tell his friend Rich about the set up and hilarity ensues as Mary tries to salvage her soiree.

Henry Webster Steps Out - When Dad invites his children home to let them know he wants to start dating again, they are surprised in more ways than one.

Can You Hear Me Now? - A tense, psychological thriller that shows you can never know who is on the other end of the line.

So Long Pluto - Pluto may now be just a dwarf planet, but nothing can diminish love's power or the resilient human spirit.

49 Rose Bushes - Martha has invited two new writing friends over and is excited to retire and start writing romance novels!   It’s what Martha retires from that is cause for concern.

Emily's Gift - When Paul shows up at a client’s holiday party in hopes of meeting a girl, he finds that his past, present and future are at the party as well.

Reflections - This tender play about a missing 5-year-old and her grieving parents will keep you on edge past the final twist.

The cast and directors are: Jessica Morrow (Director), Casey Moriarty, Linney Allen-Dana Point, Mark Schwartz, Joann Underwood, Lisa Black (Director), Richard Lindroos-Mission Viejo, Michael Casteel, Armando Dubon, Kathy Fischer, Craig Mason-Laguna Niguel, Beverly Hyde-Monarch Beach, Robb Rigg (Director), Bob Sladek-San Juan Capistrano, LindseyLaw Director), Bruce Alexander (Director), Anya Lee-San Clemente, Ben Cardullo-Riverside, Jennifer Hartline (Director), Nicol Maurer, Justin Equino, Laura Michaud Director)-Irvine, Bruce Schechter-Rancho Santa Margarita, Katie Porter-Corona, Wendy Carp Gallo (Directror)-Aliso Viejo, Barb Turino-Tustin, Gina Treasure-Lake Forest,. 

Gala Night (first Saturday) $34 per person. Includes a buffet dinner (catered by Mission Grill) prior to the performance. Premium seating available for additional $10 per ticket.

Show Dates:
Friday 1/4/2013  8:00 PM - $18- (Preview)     Saturday 1/5/2013 6:30 PM - $34 (Gala)
Sunday 1/6/2013  2:00 PM - $24
Thursday 1/10/2013  8:00 PM - $24    Friday 1/11/2013  8:00 PM - $24
Saturday 1/12/2013  8:00 PM - $24    Sunday 1/13/2013  2:00 PM - $24

Tickets available at

World-renowned Minneapolis Guitar Quartet at Saddleback College

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – The Professional Guest Artist Series at Saddleback College is prescheduled to bring the world-renowned Minneapolis Guitar Quartet to the McKinney Theatre stage on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm.

 With the passion, style, and musical sophistication borrowing from the best chamber music and string quartet traditions, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet has successfully made its case as one of the world's leading guitar ensembles since its founding in 1986. The quartet has performed throughout the United States both in recital and with orchestra, balancing a dizzying array of first-rate repertoire ranging from Renaissance and Baroque to Spanish, Latin American and Romantic, to highly imaginative existing and newly commissioned contemporary works. Cutting-edge composer/performer Daniel Bernard Roumain, one of more than 20 composers commissioned by the MGQ, calls the group "more than a guitar quartet, more than superb musicians, and more than a great chamber group. They are ambassadors of sound, style, and substance." Members of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet are Joseph Hagedorn, Wade Oden, Ben Gateno and Maja Radovanlija.  "Flawless, musical and witty, this quartet is able to do anything it sets its mind on.”  --Classical Guitar Magazine (England)

Tickets can be purchased by calling (949) 582-4656 (noon-4 Wed.-Sat.) or online at Ticket prices are $32 general; $30 students/seniors/Angels; $25 children 12 and under.  

Saddleback College is located at 28000 Marguerite Pkwy in Mission Viejo, just east of Interstate 5 at the Avery Parkway exit.  Complimentary parking is available in Lot 12.  Take Avery Parkway to Marguerite Parkway turn left to the third traffic light, which is Saddleback’s Marguerite entrance. Turn right into the campus and take the third left to “Theatre Circle,” turning right into Lot 12.
Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers over 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please and for Fine Arts information, please visit  


Security Guard gone wild at Fashion Island to be arraigned

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Marcos Sarinana Gurrola,   a security guard is to be arraigned today for discharging his gun at Fashion Island.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) office, Gurrola, 42, Garden Grove, is charged with 54 felony counts of shooting at an occupied building and two felony counts of aggravated assault with sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm. He was also charged with 10 felony counts of the negligent discharge of a firearm for a previous incident.

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2012, Gurrola is accused of driving his white Honda Civic and parking in the Macy's parking lot at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. He is accused of exiting his vehicle armed with a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun and six magazines. He is accused of raising his firearm and discharging 54 rounds of ammunition in the direction of the Macy's building. As a result of the shooting, Gurrola is accused of causing a mother and her 4-year-old daughter to suffer minor injuries from being pushed by panicked shoppers, who were running for cover. None of the bullets struck the building.

The defendant is accused of dropping his weapon and surrendering to Newport Beach police officers. At the time of Gurrola's arrest, police recovered ammunition for different weapons including .44 caliber, .380 caliber, and .38 caliber, and no other weapons.

The Newport Beach Police Department investigated the case and linked the defendant to a previous incident. At approximately 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2011, Gurrola is accused of discharging 10 rounds from a firearm in a parking lot at Fashion Island. The shooting was reported to police but no suspects were detained or identified. The defendant was linked to the November 2011 crime as a result of the investigation into the recent shooting.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Coto de Caza Mailboxes Vandalized - US Postal Service

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Coto de Caza, CA – According to a notice from the  US Postal Service, Coto de Caza Mailboxes “may have recently experienced the theft of US Mail.  We do not know how widespread the problem may be at this time..”

The notice also recommends that if “you have become aware of fraudulent activity on any bank account, credit card, check or other fraud or identity theft, as a result of mailbox being stolen, please report it to the US Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.”

We continue to argue that the Coto de Caza Gate Access Process Does Not Prevent Crime of Opportunity, Rather it Provides an Opportunity for Crime- This notice seems to support our argument.

Related Stories

The CZ Gate Access Process Does Not Prevent Crime of Opportunity, Rather it Provides an Opportunity for Crime

Today’s WSJ article titled Wealthy Home Invasions Puts the Wealthy on Alert, Lax Security Often Open Doors to Increasingly Brazen Crimes; the Buffets Uninvited Guest, echoes the message often delivered by the CotoBuzz Journal: The CZ Gate Access Process Does Not Prevent Crime of Opportunity, Rather it Provides an Opportunity for Crime 

Bernake Shooting Blanks


By Chriss Street

Over the last two years, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has begun violating conservative monetary policies by funding a third of the Obama Administration’s $5.4 trillion deficit-spend-a-thon through multiple rounds of money printing, called Quantitative Easing.  

After thirty years of Fed stability produced declining interest rates, these new Fed actions are scarring off traditional buyers.  Fearing the inevitable inflation and higher interest rates, China cut their annual purchases of American debt by 80% last year.  Consequently, the Fed for the first time in their 100 year history is now in the dangerous position of being forced to finance 100% of America’s exploding debt.  Albert Einstein said: “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  He obviously was intimately familiar with Ben Bernanke!
To justify his action’s Bernanke said: “We have innovated quite a bit in the last few years, and (it) is always possible we could find new ways to provide support for the economy.”  Piously he suggested it was; “critical that fiscal policymakers come together” to deliver spending cuts and tax increases that would lower the deficit without stalling the recovery.  This rhetoric reminds me of a saying by P.J O’Rourke: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

Bernanke was one of the top 50 most published economists in the world and the Editor of the American Economic Review, before being appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve in 2006.  Bernanke wrote numerous research papers on the economic and political causes of the Great Depression.  The dominant economic theory for the cause of the Great Depression was Milton Friedman’s monetarist beliefs that the Fed caused a depression in the 1930s by allowing the money supply to shrink during the early years of a recession, instead of maintaining a stable amount of cash in the economy.  In a Chicago speech in 2002 on Friedman’s 90th birthday, Bernanke reassured conservatives to gain support for being appointed as Fed Chairman when he looked at Friedman and said: “Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it.  We’re very sorry.  But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

When the “Great Recession” hit in late 2008, Bernanke responded as expected by purchasing a $1.3 trillion in Mortgage-backed securities to prevent the money supply from shrinking.  When the economy began recovering in early 2010, the Fed appropriately discontinued bond purchases.  But with the Democrats solidly controlling the Presidency and both Houses of Congress, they irresponsibly increased deficit spending and passed budget-busting new social legislation.  The stock market that had steadily rose by 70% since the bottom of the recession in March of 2009, dropped by 15% after the March 2010 passage of Obamacare, as investors fled over inflation fears.

Instead of allowing politicians to suffer blame for killing off the economic expansion, Bernanke abandoned monetarist stable money creation policies by cranking up the government’s printing presses with QE-2 a few days before the 2010 mid-term elections and QE-3 two months before the 2012 Presidential election.  By November 2012 the Fed’s fire house of cash had driven stocks to five year highs, allowing Barack Obama and the Democrats to achieve a surprising election triumph.

But the Fed’s actions have done more damage than simply frighten foreign buyers of U.S bonds.  According to the November’s Wells Fargo/Gallup Survey of U.S. Small Business Economic Index Report”, expectations for future hiring just crashed to the lowest level since the bottom of 2008-2009 recession and small business capital spending expectations have also plunged to 2010 levels.  More startling is the drop in the percentage of U.S. payroll to population rate fell from 45.7 to 43.7% in November, the largest month-over-month decline since Gallup began tracking it in January 2010.

With Bernanke already buying the equivalent of 100% of U.S. government debt, he has no more monetary ammunition to respond to the coming recession.  I am sure that the Administration appreciated Ben Bernanke’s abandonment of economic stability, so that the Fed could fund enough deficit spending to delay the onset of a recession until after the elections.  But if the U.S. economy suffers stagflation from rising inflation and falling economic activity due to the Fed’s shenanigans, Ben Bernanke will own the wrath of the American public.
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Homeowner suspects board of misusing money and covering up

When titleholders can't get their association board to explain how $600,000 in emergency funds disappeared or how dues are spent, what action can they take?

By Donie Vanitzian

Republished with permission from copyright holders

December 16, 2012

QUESTION: A new board took over five years ago. Our dues have never been so high. Our reserves, operating funds and bank balances have never been so low. Five years ago we had more than $600,000 cash in the bank for emergency funds. Now we have nothing. The board cannot explain where the money went or where it is going. For fiscal year 2012 we're in the hole for at least $155,000. The board president rejects owner requests for independent audits, stating our annual audit suffices.

Our bimonthly newsletters tell owners what a great job the board is doing. They say they're careful about financial records, annual CPA audits and third-party investment companies, claiming all these "checks and balances" are done on behalf of owners. These reports are general in nature and not believable.

Requests for documents are sabotaged by the manager and discouraged by the board. We believe we're being misled and want an independent audit that uncovers any "deceit" in our board for the last five years. How do we stop this abuse of power?

ANSWER: The powers of association boards are often extensive and unchecked. With power comes the potential for abuse, so it is up to the owners to police their boards' actions.

Civil Code section 1710 defines "deceit" as including suggestions, assertions and suppression of facts. False financial reports or statements and the failure to make book entries or post notices are punishable by law.

Under Corporations Code section 8813, "every director or officer of any corporation is guilty of a crime if such director or officer knowingly concurs in making or publishing, either generally or privately, to members or other persons (1) any materially false report or statement as to the financial condition of the corporation, or (2) any willfully or fraudulently exaggerated report, prospectus, account or statement of operations, financial condition or prospects, or (3) any other paper intended to give, and having a tendency to give, a membership in such corporation a greater or lesser value than it really possesses."

Association directors have a duty to supervise, inspect and investigate all deposits of funds including but not limited to accounts payable and receivable. In addition to any existing laws, the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) along with other association-related governing documents, often dictate the type of fiscal steps a board must take and what will be provided to owners.

If the association already has a reserve fund in place, the board should exercise prudent fiscal management in maintaining the integrity of the reserve account, and, if necessary, levy a special assessment to recover the full amount of the expended funds within the time limits required by Civil Code section 1365.5.

Most CC&Rs include a mandate that the board perform an audit of the association's finances on an annual basis, but nothing specifies the quality or truthfulness of such an audit. For many associations, an audit usually means having a CPA review checkbook and bank statements to ensure they balance, but little else.

The Davis-Stirling Act permits titleholders to review association books, records, financial reports and statements.

Management's interference with owner demands to access books and records could result in a lawsuit against the association. All directors owe a duty of due care and good faith to the association and its titleholders. A breach of those duties could mean that director would be liable to the association for negligence in the performance of his official duties.

Titleholders cannot afford to be complacent in protecting their assets. There are more owners than board directors, and owners have a responsibility to oversee the board's actions by demanding to see books and records on a regular basis.

The late Stephen Glassman, an attorney specializing in corporate and business law, co-wrote this column. Vanitzian is an arbitrator and mediator. Send questions to P.O. Box 10490, Marina del Rey, CA 90295 or

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Education’s own ‘fiscal cliff, neglected by the media-– Hoover Institute Education Experts

 Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA -   In a report released today by the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education today it identifies media priorities in education based on content analyses of 21,514 education stories in forty-three media outlets: newspapers, magazines, television networks, websites, and more.

The report categories these priorities into hits and misses, where the misses represent K–12 education issues that task force members judged were important enough to deserve more extensive coverage than they received.

The report identified five hits, including, Charter schools, Teachers’ unions, Special education, Pre-Kindergarten education and No Child Left Behind.  Whereas the misses include: The cost of teachers’ pensions, Common Core academic standards, International comparisons of student achievement, Online or digital learning and Louisiana’s education reforms.  See below for additional details

“We analyzed news stories and opinion pieces in two dozen newspapers, ten magazines, five websites, and four national TV news programs over a twelve-month period,” said Williamson M. Evers, Hoover research fellow and project coordinator. “The media did a decent job on the topics they covered, including the most important current reform, charter schools, and the most important political player, teachers’ unions. But the issues the media neglected are at least as momentous—fraught with consequences for American education for years to come--and the public deserves to know more about them.”

“Unfunded teacher pension costs are education’s own ‘fiscal cliff,’” according to task force chairman Chester E. Finn Jr. “The Common Core may well lead to enormous changes in curriculum, instruction, and testing. What Governor Jindal has accomplished in Louisiana should be a model for the nation. Shame on the press for not giving such issues their due.”

Hits- Most covered K–12 stories in the general news media

Number 1. Charter Schools

Charter schools are tax-funded schools operated by nongovernmental groups under a contract or charter from an authorizing agency. State law exempts charter schools from many commonly encountered regulations. Nearly all are nonunion.

Number 2. Teachers' Unions

The national unions are the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. Each has state and local affiliates.

Number 3. Special Education

Special education refers to K–12 programs and policies regarding students with disabilities.

Number 4. Pre-Kindergarten Education

Pre-Kindergartern refers to formal schooling before Kindergarten. Universal pre-Kindergarten would provide such early schooling to all children.

Number 5. No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)

The No Child Left Behind Act (2002) is the major statute governing federal aid to K–12 education.

Misses - Important but neglected issues and developments

Number 1. Teachers’ Pensions

This was the principal missing story on school finance. Public education faces its own fiscal cliff as baby boomers retire from the classroom. Decades of severe underfunding have put teacher pension funds in far worse jeopardy than reported by the media because the figures reported by states are premised on unwarranted, rosy assumptions. To cover their true costs, states and districts will need to find hundreds of billions of dollars that might have gone toward a better teacher salary structure, including extra compensation for high performers.

Number 2. Common Core Academic Content Standards for English and Mathematics

In mid-2012, a national poll asked Americans what they have seen, read, or heard about the Common Core standards. Sixty percent said they had heard nothing; 21 percent said, “Not much.” This is an astonishing level of public ignorance of a policy that already commands hundreds of millions of tax dollars, has Washington and all the major education groups buzzing, and is forcing officials in forty-six states to prepare their schools for compliance.

Advocates believe the Common Core will profoundly transform the central features of modern schooling: curriculum, teaching, testing, and accountability. The nationwide standardization that accompanies the Common Core is also a major change for a country that has emphasized state governance and local control of education. When 80 percent of the public knows little about such a policy, the news media are not doing their job.

Number 3. International Comparisons of Student Achievement

International test results are well covered by the media when new scores are released, but then coverage disappears. That vacuum is filled by pundits who distort the scores for their own agendas. It is particularly troublesome when one policy is singled out as the cause of a nation’s success, followed by education tourism trips and glowing onsite accounts of schoolchildren in foreign lands. Serious analytic work on education policy has moved far beyond this. The media could help by giving broader and deeper coverage of international assessments, describing, for example, the characteristics of the various tests (TIMSS, PIRLS, and PISA) and how they differ and, most important, educating the public about what these tests can and cannot do in pinpointing influences on national achievement.

Number 4. Online or Digital Learning

The school of the future will not look like the school of today. (It may not even have a building.) What goes on inside—and outside—will be different too. Education tomorrow will be altered by the digital revolution and online and blended possibilities, much as other parts of our lives have been. Although it’s too new to be sure about all aspects of its feasibility and effectiveness, digital learning looks to be an education revolution in the making.

Yet the media tend to treat technology (at least in education) as an add-on, somewhere on the periphery of business as usual. Instead, they should help the public imagine schools in which the traditional brick-and-mortar building, classroom, and teacher are not at the center.

Number 5. Louisiana’s Educational Transformation

Public education in post-Katrina New Orleans is taking place almost entirely in charter schools (see hit number 1, above). Disabled children there are served with the help of multischool co-ops and risk pools. Troubled schools in that city (and elsewhere in the state) have been gathered into a new governance arrangement called a recovery school district. Louisiana also has (if the courts assent) a full-blown statewide voucher program. In 2012, Louisiana was the most interesting—and fastest-changing—education reform state in the land. But you wouldn’t know that from the general media.

List of news media outlets analyzed: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bergen County Record, Boston Globe, Buffalo News, Christian Science Monitor, Denver Post, Detroit News, Las Vegas Review-Journal, New York Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune, New York Daily News, New York Times, Orange County Register, Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, San Jose Mercury News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tampa Bay Times, USA Today, Virginian-Pilot, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Forbes, Harper's Magazine, National Review, New Republic, New Yorker, Newsweek, Time Magazine, U.S. News & World Report,, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, National Review Online, Politico, ABC Nightline, CBS Evening News, Fox News Channel’s Special Report, and NBC Nightly News.

The Koret Task Force quantitatively analyzed coverage from October 15, 2011, to October 15, 2012, thus studying twelve months of articles and broadcasts so as to release the analysis in December. (This analysis benefited greatly from technical work by Stanford public policy graduate student Victor Haug.) Because its analysis ended on October 15, the task force could not include coverage of the results of the 2012 election but was able to include almost all articles on the run-up to the election. The descriptions of the importance of topics, however, do reflect task force members’ knowledge of the election results.

Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education focuses on education policy solutions that stress choice, accountability, and transparency.  For more information, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Scribd.  The media hits and misses project succeeds a previous Koret Education Task Force project on the Best and Worst in American Education, which issued reports in 2010 and 2011.

Members of the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education

Williamson M. Evers is project coordinator of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education project on Education in the Media 2012: Hits and Misses. He is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a former US assistant secretary of education.

Chester E. Finn Jr., Koret Task Force on K–12 Education chairman, is a senior fellow at Hoover and president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

John E. Chubb is a distinguished visiting fellow at Hoover and interim CEO of Education Sector.

Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at Hoover and chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Paul T. Hill is a Hoover Institution distinguished visiting fellow and professor and founder of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington.

Caroline M. Hoxby is a senior fellow at Hoover, the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor at Stanford University, and director of the Economics of Education Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Tom Loveless is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Terry M. Moe is a senior fellow at Hoover and the William Bennett Munro Professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

Paul E. Peterson is a senior fellow at Hoover and the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University.
Herbert J. Walberg is a distinguished visiting fellow at Hoover and chairman of the board of directors of the Heartland Institute.

Grover J. Whitehurst is the director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and former director of the Institute of Education Sciences at the US Department of Education.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Saddleback Speech & Debate Team Excels in Fall Championships Event

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - The Saddleback Speech and Debate team finished strong at the Fall Championships at Cerritos College, November 30th-December 2nd 2012. From approximately 37 top colleges and universities competing  with over 600 students, Saddleback Placed 5thoverall beating out schools such as Cal State Long Beach, Azusa Pacific, San Diego State University and defending State and National Champions Moorpark College.

Coach Lucas Ochoa stated, “I am so happy for the students. This semester was all about dedicated work and it paid off. To win this many open level events in Individual Events is staggering and bodes well for State and Nationals. The students are ready for greatness.”

Co-Director of Forensics Larry Radden stated, ”It was amazing that we were able to achieve as many victories in Open and Junior and I am truly excited to work with the most talented group of students we’ve ever had in the Spring Semester. I had a chance to watch the final round of Open After Dinner Speaking and half of the final round was Saddleback – a  truly remarkable tournament.”

Tournament Results:
1st Place Open Poetry-Carolina Beyer-Flores
1st Place Open After Dinner Speaking- Olivia Noceda
1st Place Open Duo- Olivia Noceda/Dennis Meador
3rd Place Open Drama-Carolina Beyer Flores
3rd Place Communication Analysis- Madison Dixson
5th Place Open After Dinner Speaking- Brooke Howell
6th Place Open After Dinner Speaking- Jackson Spencer
5th Place Open Drama-Olivia Noceda
7th Place Open Drama-Dennis Meador
5th Place Communication Analysis- Brooke Howell
2nd Place Junior Poetry- Jordan Kay
3rd Place Junior Drama-Jordan Kay
Finalist Novice Informative-Dominic Hernandez
Finalist Junior Impromptu- Danny McAndrews
Finalist Junior Lincoln Douglas- Danny McAndrews
Finalist Novice Debate- Dylan Lappin/Ken Caradang (7th Speaker Dylan Lappin)
Finalist Novice Extemporaneous- Andrew McDonough
Finalist Novice Prose- Christy Beymer  
Finalist Novice Impromptu Marc Lubric

The Saddleback Forensics Team started in the 1970s and prides itself on offering students the ability to create innovative arguments for future writing and speaking engagements to strengthen their critical thinking skills and to better communicate with others.

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers over 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please visit and for Fine Arts information, please visit