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Local News May 24th, 2007

Kiwanis Club of San Marcos Collecting Worn Out Flags for Retirement

The Kiwanis Club of San Marcos is holding their 6th Annual Worn, Torn, Flag Collection program now through June 10th by placing collection boxes throughout San Marcos where residents can deposit US and CA flags that are ready for retirement. This year the collection boxes are located at Minuteman Press, 277 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Suite H, Ferris Communications, 1295 Linda Vista Drive, The Country School, 1145 Linda Vista Drive, Star Builders Ace Hardware, 961 Grand Avenue, in the main lobby at the City of San Marcos, 1 Civic Center Drive, and at Albertson’s, 151 Woodland Parkway.

The 6th Annual Flag Retirement Ceremony will be held on Flag Day, Wednesday, June 14, 2007, at 6:30 pm at Walnut Grove Park in San Marcos. The free community event is open to the public and residents are welcome to bring flags and participate in the ceremony.

Large Scholarships Awarded

The Palomar Medical Center Auxiliary awarded $1500 per academic year scholarships for up to four years toward a bachelor’s degree in a health related study. The awards were made at a luncheon at the Escondido Country Club this past May 1st. The 2007 Seselia Johnson Scholarships were awarded to:
Victoria Delgado of Sierra Madre Academy who will attend the University of Dallas to work towards becoming an Ob/Gyn MD.
Briana Krumweide, soon to graduate from Orange Glen High School. She will attend Scripps College in Claremont seeking to become a neurosurgeon.
Robin Sollars, soon to graduate from Escondido High School. She will enroll at the University of Rhode Island where she hopes to become a pharmacist.
Chen Weng, who will graduate from Calvin Christian High School. She will attend the University of California at Irvine with a goal of becoming a Physicians Assistant.

The Siselia Johnson Scholarships were first established in 1972 to honor Johnson, the first president of the Palomar Medical Center Auxiliary. To date, 145 scholarships have been granted.



'HOLDING THE BALL RIGHT IS EVERYTHING' -- Jake Angel, 10, of Carlsbad, left, gets a tip on how to hold a baseball from Padres pitcher Clay Hensley before getting it signed during a recent Saturday morning outing at Brecht BMW in Escondido. The Padres hurler, along with Padres catcher Josh Bard, signed autographs for Brecht customers and fans Brecht BMW is located in the Escondido Auto Park at 1700 Auto Park Way South.
-- Photo by RMD Communications

Former Escondido School Superintendent Finding the Job Market Difficult

When they needed to fill an assistant superintendent slot with someone that could assist them in bringing up the district’s test scores last year, the administrative personnel at Compton Unified School District brought in Nicolas Retana, a long-time school administrator allegedly with an impressive record in creating more accountability in school districts.

But along with that reputation came a past that might have raised red flags in other administrations. The hiring of Retana, who has reportedly now resigned from his position as assistant superintendent, calls into question whether Compton Unified School District board members, administrators and the district superintendent, conducted the necessary due diligence before hiring the controversial administrator.

The Escondido School board fired Retana unanimously after he was found guilty of disclosing personal information about a former administrator that he had hired, and he was ordered to pay $240,000 while the district was forced to pay $15,000.

In March of 2003, two of the mercurial yet controversial administrator’s associates sued him for sexual harassment, alleging that he unfairly promoted an elementary school principal they allege was his mistress to an administrative position and that he retaliated against the district’s former technology director because she rejected his advances. That suit was settled for an undisclosed amount, although a person familiar with the case mentioned a figure close to $ 2 million.

The Compton school board voted last year to retain Retana based on the recommendation of Compton Unified Supt. Dr. Jesse Gonzales.

Some Compton elected officials pondered the decision, in hindsight, to hire Retana.

“It would be interesting to know if [Gonzalez] was aware of everything that went on [in Escondido],” Compton City Councilman Isadore Hall III, a former Compton Unified school board president, mused.

“Probably not,” Marjorie Shipp, another school board official, answered when asked if she would have agreed to hire Retana if she had known about the lawsuits. “We want to make sure that we hire good people in our district.”

“If I had known what I know now, I would have never voted to bring him on board,” echoed Delorise Anderson, another board member.

As of January 12, 2006, Dr. Retana was employed as the Executive Director of Ezequiel Tafoya Alvarado Academy in Madera, California. His resume says he “has been an award winning teacher, assistant principal, principal, superintendent, and corporate consultant. He is noted nationally for his effectiveness in increasing student achievement.”

In 2006 he was actively involved in starting another Charter School in Santa Clara County. That effort was denied by the Alum Rock School District but was referred to the Santa Clara County Board of Education for review in August 2006.

Escondido Police Officers Recognized as Officer(s) of the Year

Craig Miller and Matt Nelson, police officers who survived a firefight with an elderly man armed with an AK-47, received top honors this week when each was named Officer of the Year.

The officers were able to prevent injuries during the gunbattle last year at a retirement home. The gunman committed suicide.

Memorial Day event is set for Rancho Bernardo’s Webb Park

The Rancho Bernardo Veterans Memorial Association will hold a Memorial Day program in Webb Park.

The event, which will honor deceased veterans of all wars, will begin at 10 a.m. May 28.

There will be a flag ceremony, the national anthem by the Rancho Bernardo High School Madrigals, the firing of volleys by the Honor Guard at Camp Pendleton and the retirement of colors.





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