Behind the Front Page

By Maureen Robertson

EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING—That’s how Nora Seidl at Packards is taking a disappointment. Packards was on the lineup of Ramona’s Nine Days and Nights of Music until a sheriff’s detective showed up at the coffee shop with a cease and desist order, telling her she couldn’t have entertainment at her business without an entertainment license.

“We would have been arrested if we had the entertainment,” she said of herself and husband Gene.

Dusty and Indian Joe of the Ramona-based Dusty and the Love Notes were scheduled to entertain for two hours at Packards on May 2. Rob Lewallen, co-chair of the Bluegrass and Old West Fest May 4 and 5, came up with the idea of Nine Days and Nights Music when organizers of this year’s Ramona Music Fest scheduled the event for April 27. Concerned people would confuse the two, he put on his marketing cap and said let’s schedule music every day from April 27 through May 5. The idea caught on, and that’s what happened, with the exception of Packards.

No problem, the optimistic Nora said, smiling. “We’ll get the permit, because once you get your permit, you can have more music.” She’s already planning….

PARENT POWER—How else can one view a group of parents who, when they see a problem, focus on getting the facts in an effort to resolve the controversy. They introduced themselves at the school board’s special meeting last month and said they want a financially stable school district.

The Ramona Parents Coalition met at Mt. Woodson Elementary School Monday afternoon and, according to one attendee, presented information that appeared unbiased and well-researched. It apparently was an invitation-only meeting — and we weren’t invited — so we appreciate Dr. Jane Tanaka’s report.

Among coalition observations was that the district could save an estimated $500,000 a year by having one health-care provider rather than offering employees a choice. Some expressed concern about the deep pockets and influence the California Teachers Association has, to the point of some teachers feeling intimidated by the CTA and Ramona teachers union.

While the coalition supports the Fact Finding recommendations released last month, it didn’t side with either the district or the teachers union. The union may be overestimating parental support for a teachers strike, they said.

They suggested the district include restoration language in any agreement with the teachers if it receives more money than anticipated, and they commented on the enormous distrust issues on both sides. They also suggested the teachers union postpone the strike authorization vote scheduled for this week. They plan to share their information and insights with the school board and superintendent.

Kudos to these parents who, rather than take what one person or group says, get the facts themselves and attempt to bring everyone together. They have their eyes where they belong — on the students — and we hope that their efforts bear fruit.

Tanaka, who’s been staying informed, sharing ideas and asking questions, said she thinks she sees a glimmer of hope. That’s promising….

FURLOUGH WEEK—With the school district’s unanticipated “week off” May 20-24, some working parents may be scrambling for what their children will do those five days. Simone McCune at the Ramona Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego, said the youth club will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for those five days.

Annual membership of $60, which current members have already paid, covers drop-in hours of 1 to 6 p.m. Morning camp from 7 a.m. to noon will cost an additional $99. Scholarships are available, McCune noted.

Children must bring a sack lunch. An afternoon snack will be provided.

Ramona Boys & Girls Club is in Collier Park at 622 E St. For more information, contact McCune at 760-788-7564 or

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Posted by Staff on May 8 2013. Filed under Behind the Front Page, Columnists, Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Behind the Front Page”

  1. Jane Tanaka MD

    SHELLY YERKES etal, members of the RAMONA PARENTS COALITION will be presenting their fact checking data at a meeting open to the public on WEDNESDAY, MAY 22ND AT 7PM AT THE RAMONA LIBRARY CONFERENCE ROOM.
    Their presentation " Fact or Fiction" will help clarify the issues of dispute between the RUSD Board/Administration and the Ramona Teachers Association, and the ramifications for our students. For more information, .
    Thank you to the merchants of Ramona who have posted the meeting announcements in their businesses , and to Perla Martinez, and 2 of her kids Jayden and Casey for going shop to shop yesterday in the hot weather.

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