Thursday, February 2, 2012

School Bus Progress!

Southern Humboldt School Board member Dennis O'Sullivan just called me with some good news, SB-81 passed both the California Assembly and the Senate. It will now be placed on Governor Jerry Browns desk, where he is expected to sign it. It is now time to start breathing again, and time to start developing a plan where we can educate our kids with-in the available funding. With more flexibility in the school funding, it is expected that all departments will be cut, the school will stay open, and students will be able to attend.

Both my wife Janis and I attended a meeting in Sacramento, where our school board reps had a meeting with both Senator Noreen Evans and Assemblyman Wes Chesbro. They were very receptive to our pleas, and also very successful  representing us. I have to admit that I am a lot more optimistic that our voices can be heard, and we can make a difference. I fully understand that we need to cut budgets and save money, but first we need to save the school. Now, thankfully, we have some wiggle room.

In the photo below: The beautiful lady in the front with the two clips in her long hair is my wife Janis, she was doing her best to stay out of the photos. She didn't succeed.
On the far left, the lady with the red hair is Senator Noreen Evans, the man in the middle, shaking hands is Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro. Can anyone identify the persuasive young man shaking Chesbro's hand? I think that he was the one that sealed the deal. I'm (sob) not in the photo.....

The young man sealing the deal with a handshake has been identified by Jim Baker as
"Logan Hobbs".

More links! Just click on them!

Copy of Email send to Gov. Brown:

Governor Edmund G. Brown

Please sign SB-81 into law.

Senator Noreen Evans and Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro have both recently listend to the Southern Humboldt School District's, very compeling, plea for School Bus funding. SB-81 will be needed to keep our rural school district fuctioning. Both Evans and Chesbro will be more than glad to give you more information if you require it.

Thank-you in advance.
Ernest L. Branscomb

I also sent emails to both Senator Noreen Evans and Assembyman Wesley Chesbro thanking them.



Jim Baker said...

According to last Tuesday's Redwood Times, the young man's name is Logan Hobbs. And thanks for including my right arm (red shirt behind Janis) in your photo. It's not a done deal until the Governor signs it. Don't let up on contacting him with your support, if you haven't already done so!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Jim

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much good do you think the trip to Sacramento was?

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm the only one who finds it ironic that marijuana-rich Southern Humboldt will get school buses, but Northern Humboldt, with its mostly childless college student growers, is going to be without school buses.

Jim Baker said...

The trip to Sacramento was definitely a 10 since it did seal the deal, I think, but it was only the visible manifestation of the massive effort by so many people in SoHum, especially parents and kids, to organize a defensive plan against the midyear cuts to bus transportation. Too many to name here, but Cinnamon Paula, Clover Willison, Jim Stewart and Dennis O'Sullivan certainly are at the top of the list. I understand that Kim Kemp had something to do with the NPR radio piece as well, which was perfectly timed for the maximum effect on State legislators since many of them heard it on their morning commute to the Capitol and then had to walk through our demonstration on the way to their offices. The heartfelt but respectful dialogue between the crowd and Assemblyman Chesbro and Senator Evans did not hurt, and whoever provided the photo-op with young Mr. Hobbs and Senator Chesbro (probably his mother) should get a special award. This was not the time to express anger and frustration over yet another unexplainable decision made in Sacramento. We were asking for assistance from our elected representatives and we got it by working with them instead of publicly raking them over the coals. There may be a time for that at some point in the future, but not now.
This will not be the end of the battle to maintain school bus service, but it does allow SHUSD to get through this school year without falling apart, and allow some time to plan for next year. If the scuttlebutt is true that many of the categorical funding programs from the State will be combined into block grants to school districts next year, the school board will have to decide where to make the cuts -- basically between transportation or the classroom. As the SHUSD board has been trying to get across for several years now, there isn't anything else left to cut anymore. Other districts are facing similar decisions throughout the state. We seem bound and determined to eat our own young rather than getting behind a balanced approach to dealing with the economic disaster in California.
By the way, I do think that rural school districts have to come up with an answer to why taxpayers in urban districts should pay for bus transportation for students whose parents choose to live in rural areas. I could make a good argument for it based on the very predictable demographic and local economic changes to rural communities which will result if all bussing is eliminated and families with kids are concentrated in more urban centers, we but I'm not sure I could defend it strictly on fiscal grounds during this economic crisis. One thing is certain -- the kids in SoHum and many other districts will not be the ones making the decisions, but it will be their futures which will be adversely affected. Adults, including legislators, need to keep that in mind.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I find it ironic that somebody that doesn’t even have the guts to sign their own name would have the gall to say anything.

You have not done one single thing about the things that you complain so bitterly about, yet you call people that are trying to secure an education for the community's kids "liars and dope growers". Not everybody that has kids in the school are “dope growers”.

Also, I find it remarkable that you are so ill informed. I would tell you about busing and funding in the north, but you are to dumb to listen, and too stupid to understand. AND... no, I don't feel bad criticizing someone that wont even sign their name. Nothing personal!

Ernie Branscomb said...

If I got my anonymice confused with each other, Im half-sorry. It's hard to sort you out!

Jim Baker said...

Anon 3:57 -- just for the record, not everyone in SoHum is rich, although it is certainly true that the largest contributor to the SoHum economy is marijuana. That's just an economic fact. But the money flows throughout the rest of the county, in true Reaganesque "trickledown" fashion. Most of us who live and work there understand that and have made our peace with it, but many of us are not "rich" by any means and could work elsewhere if we chose to. We like it there. That economic reality also holds true for NoHum, by the way. It's important to point out that when a kid enrolls in a SoHum school, they aren't asked if their parents are "rich" or what they do for a living. The focus is on educating them, not punishing their parents for how they make their money. That's up to someone else, not the schools. If you are a childless college student, by the way, I will remind you that the college you attend is largely funded by taxes as well, and your education may be the next thing to be on the chopping block. You have to be able to defend why other people's financing of your education is a fiscally prudent use of their money. I would be in Sacramento to defend that on your behalf, as well. And if you're childless, you have to decide whether it's a prudent expenditure of your taxes to educate someone else's K-12 kid and transport them to school --it's simply a question of how much we all want to work together by paying for things which our society as a whole benefits from, or go it alone. That seems to be the core of the national political debate right now, framed as a false choice between "socialism" and "capitalistic greed", as far as I am concerned.

Ernie Branscomb said...

You are much more diplomatic than I. Nice answer by the way. I doubt that Anon is a college student, If he is he probably failed economics, diplomacy, and civics.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Jeez Ernie, why are you hostile? My comment was not a personal attack, or even an attack on SoHum.

It is especially ironic you attack me for being anonymous when it is *you* who have chosen to provide a forum for anonymous comments. You don't have to. You can force people to post comments with a user account. It's quite the double-standard to attack people for something of your own design.

If you're going to be a jerk, then I'll stop reading. I'm sure your won't mind my departure.

-Humpty D. (and countless prior anon comments that you didn't find reason to assault me over)

Ernie Branscomb said...

Humpty Dumpty

Once again I must apologize. I'm sorry that I'm being hostile. I would have been much more benevolent had you used a name. To tell the truth, I was a little ashamed of myself when "The Master" Jim Baker handled the same subject with such great decorum and finesse.

However, to be honest there are some “Anons” that contribute nothing but vitriol to the blogosphere. Those I just as soon would go away. I understand that there are sometimes good reasons to remain anonymous. If you knew me you would know that I could never live my life that way. I was raised in a world where your name was your bond. Also, sometimes I read something that Anon writes that I greatly wish I knew who they were, to make such an intelligent statement.

I could make the point that I could have replied to you as “Anonymous” and been ever nastier, but I would never do that.

Now having said all that, I wish you would educate yourself on how important the “rural lifestyle” is to the urbanites. The city does-not-supply-one-single-product for themselves. Everything comes from the rural area, all the food, water, and building material. It is unreasonable to expect everybody to live in the city and commute to the rural areas to provide the complete basis the city’s existence. It would be highly expensive to travel back and forth to work. Can you understand that?

The majority of the purchases in the urban stores are made when we rural types come to town. The city’s whole economy is fed by the hinterlands. You don’t really want us to stop shopping in the city just to prove a point do you?

Education is the responsibility of the State. If you don’t believe me you can Google it. As Jim Says, you would be wise to not start picking and choosing which kids are not worthy of an education. They all are, and that requires bussing.

spyrock said...

i only know a few people that smoke pot and they are all over 40. i'm not sure what it costs to buy but i really doubt if any kid without a job could buy it.
i would have to say that the growers selling pot to kids up there is a blatant lie. so why is this person blatantly making things up. they've been growing pot up there for over 40 years. some people with high morals moved to oregon to get away from it. so why is he still there. sounds like he is in denial. the new drug the kids these days are into is called twitter. its use is doubling each year. where i work, all the young guys have these 4g phones even though we only have 3g in our county. they spend all day looking at that damn phone instead of doing the job they are supposed to be doing. i don't do phones or twitter but i do like facebook. but i unfriend people i recognize as facebook junkies because they fill my page with their junk. this anon guy reminds me of newt gingrich. in one breath he is calling obama the foodstamp president because we are trillions in debt and in the next breath he is talking about colonizing the moon which would cost trillions more.

spyrock said...

i remember a few years back there was this conservative push to give tax breaks to charter schools or private schools. this might have been back when we were busing black kids into rich neighborhoods. from everything i remember about the new age and hippies, public education was the old way. everyone was going to homeschool their kids. my nephew homeschooled his kids and both of them moved away from home to go to college.
i have another cousin who sent his kids away to a private school. neither one of them wanted to send their kids to the public school. of course, i'm partial to public school because i think kids learn how to respect different kids from different cultures and diverse beliefs. i think that makes for a peaceful world. rather than my way or the highway which seems to be what goes on up your way.

Anonymous said...

once again, your "community" sells dope to youth nationwide. Your community doesn't bother to pay taxes. Now, once again, your community is being subsidized for services it does not pay for. The least you could do is be magnanimous Ernie, instead you're petty and arrogant. You represent your community well. You're welcome for the buses. Hopefully the children will see the errors of their parents way and decide to become a part of the broader community, not be a part of its destruction.

Kym said...

Fudge, I am tired of people complaining about marijuana growers not paying taxes. A) many of them do--how do you think they explain where they got the money to buy land. They declare that their carpenter job or masseuse job provided them money and they pay taxes on it (no, not on all they make but on some of it.)
B)IT IS ILLEGAL TO SELL MARIJUANA. They can't just declare they make $50,000 growing marijuana and pay taxes on it. They could go to jail for that.

Vote for marijuana to be legal if you are frustrated by the lack of taxes being made off pot dollars.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I'm hardy petty, and I'm only arrogant to the people who post anonymously with uneducated mis-perceptions. We just saved bussing for ALL the kids of California. You are welcome. I am also very greatful that we were able to save the bussing, I'm sorry that it seems, somehow, un-magnanimous to you.

Again, you paint with a mighty broad brush, not all SoHummers are wealthy dope growers.

Anonymous said...

Once again Kym, (I know you have short term memory issues) your "community" overwhelmingly voted down legalization. Don't kid yourself, that was a vote straight from the pocketbook. Again, your "community" decided to continue with prohibition and the jailing and imprisonment of primarily black urban youth - all so you could continue to maintain your overinflated illegal lifestyles. You're also a good salesman Kym, "some" of the illegal dope growers pay "some" of their taxes? You really need to give sobriety a chance Kym.

Like I said Ernie, you know where your bread is buttered. You're a shrewd businessman, maybe now you will understand why I remain anonymous.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"maybe now you will understand why I remain anonymous."


spyrock said...

anon is just another guy who is too lazy to get a real education and sits on his butt watching fox news, rush, Hannity, and bill Oreilly who consistently lie about everything from pot to who has nuclear weapons i. e. iraq. the facts are that pot was illegal way back when only black people smoked it so they would have an excuse to arrest black people. just like they made the indian religion which also including smoking pot in the sacred pipe illegal to either force them to accept christianity or go to jail. the fact is that urban drug users don't buy pot these days. they are all addicted to a much more dangerous and cheaper drug called crank or speed or meth. some of these people have been in the news for killing their own kids before they shoot themselves in a drugged out rage. because of the economy, the war on crank has come to a halt in many communities. you people don't realize that you live in a very unique part of the world. most people in the cities live around toxic meth labs, not pot farms. you also have an inflated sense of who uses your product. i would say that aging hippies are about your only market. when they die. that's when the real economic bust will hit everyone up there.
if i were a socialist like anon, i would want pot legal so they paid their fair share of taxes. make it just like wine, your other crop up there which used to be illegal even though the ills of alcohol use are far more destructive than pot. this is a no brainer bro. aside from being part of the american indian religion for thousands of years, pot has many other uses such as hemp paper which was what newspapers were printed on before william randolf hearst bought the redwood forests up there and was looking for another way to make money on thousand year old redwoods. so he started his campaign against pot paper which was cheaper to make which made the switch to tree paper economical. recently, someone who shall remain like you anon let me try some hand cream called hempz which is the best stuff i've have ever used on my working man hands. the stuff costs $15 but its worth it.

Dave Kirby said...

For the record the cash registers in Eureka are just as full of "dope" money as any here in so hum. With the spread of indoor pot its everywhere and is a major factor in the county's economy. As a matter of fact the largest busts in the last few years have not been in so hum but north and inland. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Ernie Branscomb said...

That's what's amazing about Kirby, he picks up on things that the rest of us miss.

You have the same trouble that the rest of us have. We never know which anon says what. When we finally get fed up and have a major go-off, we pick on the wrong Anon.

spyrock said...

i have been reading about quanah parker whose mother was a white captive who didn't want to leave her comanche family and go back to her white family. i can finally understand why texans are big indian haters. pretty fierce conflict over the years. didn't know that besides killing millions of buffalo so the indians wouldn't have anything to eat, they killed thousands of horses so they wouldn't have anything to ride. so we shouldn't be surprized to see people like anon wanting to spend billions of dollars trying to eradicate a common weed. of course, with logic like theirs we are probably lucky they aren't throwing our children under the bus rather than just refusing to bus them to school and put them in foster homes.