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Ruling against school districts' hiring practices opens Pandora's box

We don’t normally comment on rulings by California’s Supreme Court, but one that came out recently will send shivers up the spine of school administrators from Banning to Los Angeles. In essence, the state’s highest court said that a school district and its administrators can be held liable for an employee who molests children when they knew or should have known the employee had such tendencies.

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Friday 02/03/2012
Lesson almost learned
Posted: February 03, 2012

We’re not saying Beaumont school district didn’t learn from the scandal in the City of Bell. We just don’t think it learned enough. You might recall that Bell was secretly paying its corrupt city manager an eye-popping $800,000 a year. Bell’s lesson is that taxpayers now more than ever want to know how much they are paying their public officials. With that in mind the state controller’s office began requiring local governments to publicly disclose such salaries. It doesn’t matter whether high-paid officials are uncomfortable with disclosure of their salaries. As the U.S Supreme Court famously ruled in a government access case from Riverside County, “embarrassment” doesn’t trump “public disclosure.”

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Friday 01/20/2012
Congratulations, VFW honorees
Posted: January 20, 2012

Each year the Veterans of Foreign Wars Desert Edge Post 233 honors public service in the Pass area, handing out awards to people who have made a difference, including, of course police officers. For 2011, three people involved in law enforcement were honored on Jan. 6 by the VFW, and deservedly so.

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Friday 01/06/2012
Decision to distribute graduation tickets should be determined by school board
Updated: November 13, 2013 - 11:23 am

We’re unsure whether Beaumont High School’s decision to require tickets to get into this year’s graduation ceremony is a solution looking for a problem. But, we will reserve judgment until later. For now, we expect the school to hear comments from parents whose teens are in the Class of 2012.

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Friday 12/23/2011
Guest editorial
Posted: December 23, 2011

The viability and vibrancy of nonprofits is critical for every American community. Banning is no exception.  I have had a series of conversations with numerous Banning nonprofits this past year and I realized that they all need help with fundraising.  Most manage to get by with an annual event and a few donors or members.  With one exception, no Pass area nonprofit has developed an endowment program.  

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Friday 12/16/2011
Councilwoman Gall's concerns justified, but belongs in court
Posted: December 16, 2011

We’ve taken Beaumont City Councilwoman Nancy Gall to task in the past for not thinking things out.

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Friday 12/02/2011
Welcome, Banning economic development director
Posted: December 02, 2011

Banning has hired a new economic development director, Mr. William Manis. The 51-year-old lives  in Claremont, holds a degree in urban planning from Cal Poly, and comes to Banning from Cypress, where he was responsible for atttracting businesses to that city. His experience will be well tested here.

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Friday 11/11/2011
Sundance principal gives much reason for celebration
Posted: November 11, 2011

It is getting as routine as cutting the lawn — praising the work at Sundance Elementary School in the Beaumont Unified School District. Still, it’s worth it, and, somehow, this time it is more like pruning the roses in anticipation of spring.

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Friday 10/21/2011
Downfall of Banning White House is an example of why zoning laws implemented
Posted: October 21, 2011

The case of the Banning White House only proves the wisdom of why we have zoning laws.

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Friday 10/14/2011
Always room to share at Table of Plenty
Posted: October 14, 2011

Table of Plenty is a new nonprofit feeding the hungry in the Pass area. The charity is being run by Jim McConnell, who spent years feeding the needy while heading-up Carol’s Kitchen, which since 1998 has feed tens of thousands of people in the Pass area. But, as many readers of this newspaper know, Mr. McConnell had a falling out with the founders of Carol’s Kitchen. There is no question that he has the knowhow to run such an operation, including raising the money and donations required.

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Friday 10/07/2011
All schools should experience Sundance's success
Posted: October 07, 2011

“In this day and age, it’s a tremendous feat to hit these targets.” That was the chief of Beaumont’s schools, Barry Kayrell, talking about the achievement of Sundance Elementary School: winning national “Blue Ribbon” status by improving student achievement as measured by test scores.

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Friday 09/30/2011
Justice center will transform downtown
Posted: September 30, 2011

Justice is a growth business, and news last week that the state has scheduled Nov. 1 to sell bonds to finance the Mid-County Justice Center in Banning is great for the local economy. Any project is but an artist’s rendering until money is raised to build it. Soon — assuming the bonds sell — the courthouse at Ramsey and Martin streets moves into its construction phase. That will bring activity into the area which should pump money into the local economy.

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Friday 09/23/2011
Brookside's safety improves
Posted: September 23, 2011

Brookside Avenue has been an issue for parents and students for years now in Beaumont.

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Friday 09/16/2011
Cabazon to benefit nicely with its economic stimulus
Posted: September 16, 2011

Talk about economic stimulus. The new Civic Center going up in Cabazon to be completed about this time next year is generating jobs. And not only during construction but future jobs when the $16 million complex opens. It will include a child development center, library and the Cabazon Water District as well as recreation facilities including basketball courts, picnic area and a lighted skateboard park.

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Friday 09/09/2011
Spirit Run encourages community
Posted: September 09, 2011

The Spirit Run in Beaumont is in its second year, and will benefit the local schools and, importantly, promote a healthier lifesyle for residents.

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Friday 09/02/2011
Relive the old west
Posted: September 02, 2011

The annual Stagecoach Days celebration in Banning — this is the 54th edition — commemorates the time when the town was a main rest stop on the east-west stage line.

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Friday 08/26/2011
Searching through cell phones violates 4th Amendment
Posted: August 26, 2011

This newspaper has a dog in this fight — as do all California media — so let’s put that right up front. Still, had we nothing to lose, we’d approve of Senate Bill 914, making its way through the Legislature. In supporting the bill, we find ourselves in opposition to law enforcement, which opposes it.

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Friday 08/19/2011
Beaumont Public Library, congratulations on 100 years
Posted: August 19, 2011

It is only fitting that the public library district in Beaumont is celebrating its 100th year. That’s because this is also the centenary of one of the nation’s best known philanthropic organizations, the Carnegie Corporation of New York. And, after all, it was the Carnegie foundation that built the library, which opened in 1914, for $10,000.

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Friday 08/05/2011
Fire museum could make Pass area a destination
Posted: August 05, 2011

The cost of it will be a tough nut to crack, as much as $2 million. But, a museum to house an extensive collection of fire fighter memorabilia, including antique fire trucks that routinely appear in local parades is a good idea.

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Friday 07/22/2011
Government employees can pay their own way
Posted: July 22, 2011

We don’t have to remind Supervisor Jeff Stone (or do we?) that the last time a state split into two parts to form a new state was when West Virginia declared itself for the Union and carved itself from Virginia which had joined Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy in a losing Civil War.

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Usually, tweets are mundanely routine.
Posted: July 22, 2011

While former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s Twitter page revealed a tale of scandal, the Twitter messages of most of his 400 colleagues tell a quite tamer story.

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Friday 07/15/2011
Banning City Council deserves credit for repairing budget
Posted: July 15, 2011

Much credit goes to Banning’s City Council members and city officials who have been trying to reduce spending and thereby reduce the shortfall in the city’s budget. It hasn’t been easy because, as Councilman Bob Botts put it in a story about the budget in last week’s paper, “Local taxpayers did not want taxes raised.”

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Friday 07/01/2011
Editorial
Posted: July 01, 2011

Beaumont officials pride themselves on the city’s relative success: its high-volume business and housing development; its budget reserve of millions. But, recently the City Council has been taken down a peg from the lofty heights.

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Friday 06/24/2011
Guest editorial
Posted: June 24, 2011

… Not long ago, a little known redistricting proposal appeared on the ballot.  Named Proposition 11, it promised an end to the practice of self-serving politicians in Sacramento controlling the drawing of their own districts. Some raised eyebrows, a few protested, yet it passed with relative ease amidst the chaos of that year’s election cycle.  Most didn’t understand exactly how the new process for drawing political boundaries would work … it was somewhat complicated with several moving parts and a “non-partisan” citizens redistricting panel. Initially designed to merely affect state legislative districts, in 2010 Proposition 20 passed adding congressional districts to the process as well.

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Friday 06/17/2011
Editorial
Posted: June 17, 2011

The Cherry Festival Association has always been an optimistic bunch, even in years past when crowd numbers weren’t as brisk as in years before because of the downturn in the regional economy. But, this year the group — made up of hardworking volunteers — has much to cheer about.

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Friday 06/03/2011
Editorial: Supreme Court wants to unleash felons
Posted: June 03, 2011

The United States Supreme Court decision to release thousands of criminals from California prisons because of violations of Eighth Amendment prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment is radical.

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Friday 05/20/2011
Opinion
Posted: May 20, 2011

Deja vu — paramnesia — is full of sleaze when it comes to San Bernardino County.

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Friday 05/13/2011
Cabazon charter school: proceed with scrutiny
Posted: May 13, 2011

Banning Unified School District is facing big financial problems, as many districts are in California, and the search for local remedies has been far-reaching. One idea involves the elementary school in Cabazon.

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Friday 05/06/2011
Housing Authority will handle task of urban renewal
Posted: May 06, 2011

The City of Banning has set up a Housing Authority to handle the “affordable housing” aspects of the city’s Redevelopment Agency, which has been threatened with extinction by Gov. Brown. The governor wants to take tax money now siphoned off by redevelopment and re-route it into general services, an idea which has generated both support and consternation, depending on where your bread is buttered, and on whether you think revitalization efforts in California’s cities have been successes or failures. By its nature, redevelopment is prone to failure because it attempts to revitalize areas that the free market has shunned, making it an incredibly tough job. It makes redevelopment an easy target, though the governor is finding out that it has vocal champions, and city mayors have been the loudest among them.

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Thursday 04/28/2011
Almost 'junk'
Posted: April 28, 2011

The bond ratings agency Standard & Poor’s rattled world financial markets a couple of weeks ago by lowering its assessment of U.S. Treasury securities from “stable” to “negative” because of the mountain of debt piled up by the federal government. It was considered a “wake up” call.

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Wednesday 04/13/2011
Editorial
Updated: November 13, 2013 - 11:26 am

Fourth-grader Geno Middleton is a symbol of success. No, he’s more; he’s an example of it. Two years ago then-second-grader Geno struggled to write, and he tended to print his “S’s” backwards. So, he entered Hemmerling Elementary School’s CARE Lab. Today his handwriting has improved, his words  put together more eloquently. He recently wrote: “The best thing about school is basketball because it is fun. I like basketball because you can put the ball in the basket and earn points.” (Yes, all 10 “S’s” were printed right-ways. Geno, you can write sports for us someday.)

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Saturday 04/02/2011
Opinion
Posted: April 02, 2011

When Liberty Energy pulled out of Banning along with its proposal to build a multi-million dollar sludge-burning plant in the city, it left behind, well, a mound of controversy.

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Friday 03/18/2011
Glimmer of good news
Posted: March 18, 2011

Regional economy expert Dr. John Husing — a man the Los Angeles Times described as one of the 100 most powerful people in Southern California — spoke recently at a lunch sponsored by the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce. What some in the large audience might not have known is that Dr. Husing is an avid adventurer, having trekked over the Himalayas into Tibet, having entered unexplored jungles of New Guinea to make “first” contact with previously undiscovered stone-aged tribes, and, as an amateur genealogist, has traced his family lineage to the Mayflower. But, they all knew that he is the top expert on the Inland economy, and they hoped for good news for a change. He offered a smidgeon: the local economy is slowly improving on the jobs front. But, Dr. Husing was quick to note, as he had in his January Inland Empire Quarterly Economic Report, robust construction activity must return for true job recovery. He also noted that housing probably won’t recover until 2015.

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Friday 03/11/2011
Nice concept
Posted: March 11, 2011

At first blush, we like the direction the City of Banning is taking for development of the historic San Gorgonio Inn property and its surroundings. It seems as if the city has brought in the right developer, with the right kind of experience to get the project moving ahead, who is fashioning the project in tandem with the budding Mid-County Justice Center in downtown.

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Friday 11/12/2010
Letters to the editor
Posted: November 12, 2010

18-mile walk

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Friday 03/19/2010
Capital projects: where the money comes from in Banning
Posted: March 19, 2010

Bob Botts

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Monday 04/06/2009
Loan to the Fox
Updated: November 13, 2013 - 11:30 am

Banning leaders made a good decision when they approved a low-interest loan to owners of the Fox Cineplex Theater for needed upgrades to downtown’s key entertainment attraction. With the $650,000 loan, the Fox will be dressed out in the latest digital sound and screens, crucial for getting the full enjoyment from today’s digitally enhanced Hollywood films.

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