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January 24, 2021


Bruce Dickinson

Well folks, there you have it, a very timely article from SFGate talking about the biggest recipients from the CTA in terms of political donations! And at the very top of the list, our not-so-frugal gourmet governor, Mr. Newsom himself, is the grand poobah of receiving CTA bribes..er I mean donations.


So folks it has nothing to do with the data which has shown that risk of in-school transmission and affecting kids is tiny. It has to do with the $$$ that the CTA wants to use to push their agenda.

Finally to the Fredo poster above, sounds like you really don't even own a Corvette! Everyone with any car cred knows that a mid-engined or rear-engined car is so much more effective at launching from a dig than a front engined rear-drive car like a Vette. The Vette's wheels will be spinning, searching for grip while a Ferrari 's will be HOOKED-UP!! and all you gonna be staring at is four tailpipes! That's not to say that Vette's aren't cool though! Last year I picked up a 1964 C2 Stingray with the Z06 package, split rear window. Other than the one in the Dickinson Garage, there were only 198 other examples ever built, making it probably worth more than Fredo's entire house in Belmont!

Paloma Ave

BD, (a bit of topic, but interesting). The actor who portrayed Fredo was John Cazale.

He appeared in five films over seven years, all of which were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.


BSD board just voted 5-0 to bring back Grades 3-5 to campus on Feb 22.

This is crazy, Monday the 22nd is after the kids have a week off which is often called "ski week". Most families travel this week breaking 3 California rules : 1) non essential travel 2)travel beyond 120 miles 3)travel out of the state.

Why isn't the district following the required 10 day Quarantine?

I heard many families are planning to share accommodations at Lake Tahoe and many plan to go to the Casino Buffets in Nevada for cheap family meals and drinks. For some reasons they think the rules don't apply to them.


Gee I wonder why that might be? Oh, waiter, I'll have the foie gras to start then the grass fed ribeye medium rare and we'll have the '04 Opus One--better bring two bottles since we have so many people at the table. And could you turn down the propane heater, we are not really outside. Just bill it all to my campaign account. Yes, the one that the CTA is funding. Merci beaucoup.

Peter Garrison

Really like the “Oh, waiter...”
Can just see the raised wrist beckoning and the raised eyebrow...


Yes, that picture of the governor at the french laundry really is a keeper. And then the next week he flew off to Hawaii for more parties.

Crisis = Opportunity

When the schools do re-open, do you want the same schools?

The crisis of the pandemic offers an opportunity to disrupt the embedded system of "education." Schedules, curriculum, leadership, technology integration, etc.

There is no disagreement with BD as the CTA is only second to the prison guard’s union in political power and influence in California.

It could be argued that most low-income school district’s in the state provide the lowest level of facilities and services which put both the students and teachers in danger on a daily basis, much less a pandemic.

What is needed for COVID is a very public and transparent contract between the teachers and the districts regarding ALL of the SAFETY issues to protect the public.

This is a logistics and health issue, yet we have no-one with logistics and or health expertise in developing these policies. It is not as simple as assembling IKEA furniture. Just follow the instructions, what could go wrong?

Does Burlingame want the same bill of fare from BSD and BHS as offered in recent years?

Bruce Dickinson

I for one am glad that BSD is finally seeing that keeping schools closed and kowtowing to the unions is a recipe for disaster, and Bruce Dickinson will be thrilled to have his 4th grade granddaughter in school again!

As far as the quarantine comments above, if you/your kids travel you are subject to a quarantine plus producing a negative covid test before returning to school. Yes it's an honor system, but I have no reason not to trust Burlingame parents to do the right thing...we don't need a nanny to make everyone not go back to school for two weeks because of a few that will be traveling and will likely reveal their travel plans. There are covid tests available for all students (free) and many families are utilizing them even if they're not traveling.

Bruce Dickinson is really hating this paradigm that you need someone in the State or position of authority to forbid everyone to not to do something. In Burlingame, all you need to do is state the rules, ask for cooperation and by and large families will comply.

Bruce Dickinson has a high degree of confidence that in this community, a safe return to school can and will work!



Safety and Science-Verified-(?)

Have the Board members of any of the schools been to the physical school sites to check up on the "Science and Safety" protocols and standards that supposed to be in place?

The Boards are told that the schools are Science and Safety ready, but is that the truth?

HVAC tests done by independent experts, PPE fully stocked and ready to be distributed, essential adult supervision for non-classroom time, drop off and pick up procedures, safety shields, contact tracing protocols, etc.

Is any of this in place and ready to go? Is it verified?

At the last SMUHSD Board meeting at least two parents pushed for the truth about opening the schools. While the Board was presented an "update on re-opening" the "facts" were a bit hard to swallow.

A BHS teacher then went on the record (verified by other sources) to state that the HVAC in the A Building did not function. This was reported that 50% of the BHS campus is not safe for students. (even with PPE)

Maybe the next Board Meeting should be a public meeting at BHS in the A Building so we can test it out?

Canary in a coal mine?


Dear isis=Opportunity,
Don't you "think" it is Ironic that the State of California Prison Guards Union and the California Teacher/Educators Union both seek the best income for their members?
Those are both Horrible Jobs...
For many different reasons there is a lot of "Crossover" between Prison Guard and School/Educators.' Think about it.
It would be great to get a response from a Prison Guard and Educator.


More on reopening from the DJ:

The Burlingame Elementary School District will expand its in-person grade levels from TK-2 to TK-5 on Monday and the San Carlos Elementary School District will begin a transition to in-person learning with on campus orientations scheduled next week for transitional kindergarten and first-grade students. Burlingame launched in-person learning for the TK-2 grade levels Feb. 4.



Sorry Joe. I am going off "topic."
I just read my AARP. There is a photo of Chris Walken playing Bruce Dickenson...

More Cow Bell!

Crisis = Opportunity

In the current situation, look for valid health and safety standards that are both measured and made public to see if the school is safe. In this case, the teachers are ensuring that the schools are safer than the Texas power-grid.

There is no organized lobby or PAC for students in public schools. Private school parents pay for a service so they demand a good value for the dollar. Wealthy zip codes use parcel tax bonds to provide higher levels of education and demand action from its Board (94010 is limp in demanding a return on its money)

CTA steps in and makes the claim that they represent the students simply because no one else does. As a result, CTA is the de-facto representative of public-school students in the state.

It took the Homeschool Legal Defense Association to break the grip on public education in the 1980's. Homeschooling was illegal prior to the organization of this group representing students and parents who wanted something different.

Public school is free, so parents treat it like any other free good and don't bother with it. There is no statewide lobby for public schools and the current situation shows that public schools are needed more for childcare than education. Why has there been little or no action on providing any type of social outlet for students. They don’t want to go to math class, they want to see their peers.

Attend a school board meeting, parents are told NO and they fold.

The Prison Guards formed an alliance with the Victim's Rights organization to lobby the state. Who is going to vote against victims of crimes? A politician can’t get elected to a state office without the backing of the Prison Guards Union. The WSJ argues that California Prison Guards have it better than those with a Harvard degree.


CTA also takes the hits in exchange for its power.

Superintendents care about three things: their future, their salary, and their retirement. (San Diego Poway's Superintendent Collins’ was recently charged with three felonies and saved his $296,500 annual pension, by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. So, he is guilty of his crime, yet he gets $300k per year retirement!)

School Boards form alliances with district administrations since they are both "under fire" from the public. Administrators have both career and financial incentives to withhold crucial and damaging information from the board. While this practice is damaging to the schools, students, and parents the school leader survives to earn another day!

School districts need a competitive Board that will treat its administrators in an adversarial manner to get the results needed. Boards need to work for the students and parents and not for a positive relationship with the administration. Board members are uninformed on the legal process of running meetings and rely upon the administration to direct them.

In a comparative example, The City Attorney works for the people and advises the City Counsil, on the law. The City Council does not look to its Police Chief, Fire Chief or unions for guidance on meeting procedures, but this is the practice of school boards. The legal firm that represents the Board (and the people) also represents the administration. This is a serious conflict of interest. The teachers’ union has their own legal counsel.

If the schools are NOT open, then it is the obligation of the Board to inform the parents the reasons the school is not open. An independent legal counsel representing the Board would be mandating the administration to produce this information. (Shareholders sue the company)

The CDC states that if we follow the science, PPE, and social distancing, then schools are OK to open.

If you look closely, you will find that schools are not open which must mean that there is no PPE, HVAC, ingress and egress plans, safety procedures, etc.

If you look up and down the state (and down the street) the CDC measures are not in place, the schools are not open, and the public is ignorant of the FACTS why this is taking place.

The families who can afford to leave the public school have left and are leaving. The cost of the free public education became too expensive to tolerate. When the local parent financial and power base leaves the school, everyone loses.

The Prison Guards have power because if they don’t go to work, well you can figure that out.

The US Government sent a large amount of CARES money to all of the school districts. Where are those funds and the intended upgrades and PPE?


Regarding the City of Burlingame "Official Attorney."
If you review COB's P&L almost 80% of "Real Law" is done by outside Attorneys.
A very good idea.

BHS HVAC-System has Failed-Why the Lie?

The HVAC system at BHS has failed, yet this fact has been withheld from the public.

Why the lie?

The SMUHSD Board Meeting for Feb 25 shows the following.

A complete replacement of the HVAC system at Burlingame High School.

As reported last year, the HVAC system has not functioned and therefore BHS could not be opened during COVID.

Why did the Administration lead the public to believe that BHS COULD be re-opened when it knows this is not possible.

This is a major structural failure and a lie to the public.

Why has the public been allowed to believe that BHS could re-open when opening is not possible with a failed air system?

Why has the administration allowed "alternative" explanations to permeate the Burlingame Community rather than state the truth?

In April of 2020, the administration should have informed both the Board and the BHS Public, "We cannot open BHS, the HVAC system has failed and needs to be replaced."

If there is a claim that this is a funding issue, where is the $5 million CARES money sent to the SMUHSD?

M.1. Approval of Architectural Services Proposal with Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) for Architectural Services on the Burlingame High School HVAC Replacement

Recommended Motion:
It is recommended that the Board of Trustees approve the Architectural Services proposal with Quattrocchi Kwok Architects for the Burlingame High School HVAC Replacement Project.

Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is being asked to approve the proposal for architectural services with Quattrocchi Kwok Architects for the Burlingame High School HVAC Replacement Project which consists of the replacement of roofing and HVAC equipment at the main building at Burlingame High School.

Financial Impact:
The fee for Architectural Services is not to exceed $527,000.00. QKA’s proposal also includes a reimbursable allowance of $25,000.00. The total amount of their proposal is $552,000.00.


Burlingame school district board positions USED to be elected positions. That changed in the early 2000’s and now the public never even hears of one of the members stepping down, nor how one might go about applying for said position. Ridiculous in so many ways.

Bruce Dickinson

BSD Board of Trustees positions are elected. Two finished their terms, did not seek re-election, and were replaced by newly elected Board members in Nov 2020. Yes, it was on the ballot!


I might be wrong here but I think there were three candidates and three seats so they were not on the ballot since they had already won. That's my recollection. I may be wrong but that seems like what this says https://www.burlingamevoice.com/2020/08/changes-afoot-at-school-boards.html#comments

Bruce Dickinson

Mom, you are correct! Bruce Dickinson's memory is no longer what it used to be! One incumbent ran again, two for uncontested seats.

Barking Dog


Paloma Ave

Too much cowbell?


The BSD cut many positions and programs at the Elementary School and at BIS. Does anyone have the list of positions / programs that they eliminated?

They made these cuts to help recover from the $4M debt that they were heading into.


@KathyB -- This is from SMDJ of 3/15:
Burlingame Elementary School District officials approved a slate of spending cuts designed to stabilize an education budget teetering on the edge of unsustainability. The district Board of Trustees unanimously voted Tuesday, March 9, to approve cutting $1.3 million from the budget under an effort to save money while also preserving teaching positions. The measures are part of a larger reconfiguration strategy designed to ultimately bring into alignment a structural budget deficit worth as much as $3.4 million over the coming years. The approved cuts target 13 management, classified and certificated positions — most of which will be vacant at the end of the year. Officials also identified an additional $600,000 in previous discussions for consideration as well. The management savings come from the elimination of coordinators of student engagement and director of innovation positions. The classified savings come from eliminating a wellness coordinator, applications support specialist, accounting technician as well as a receptionist at the district office and administrative assistant of educational services. Meanwhile, the certificated reductions are program specialists, a speech and language professional, world language teacher and worker in the learning center. Officials had focused the cuts away from the classroom with hopes of protecting teaching positions, while Superintendent Christopher Mount-Benites sought greater spending efficiency. Trustee Kate Reed lauded the effort to close the budget gap without laying off working educators. “Given where we started with the budget conversation and the challenges we were facing — to be able to approve these things tonight with no layoffs is such great work by the staff and district,” she said. There is still work to be done though, as the balancing measures cut the budget hole to about $671,000 by the end of this fiscal quarter and the structural deficit is slated to continue growing. Officials are expected to draw down reserves to offset the spending outpacing revenue, and the savings fund could be diminished from the roughly $8 million held currently to $3.3 million by the 2023-24 fiscal year. Pandemic relief funds are expected to be offered to the district as well, because the district has invited students back to campus and met all the requisite criteria for financial aid, said Mount-Benites. “We will be eligible for all the funding we are entitled to because we’ve accomplished the objectives of reopening,” he said. Mount-Benites anticipated that the district could receive between $900,000 and $1.2 million in financial aid which must be spent by June 2022. The money is earmarked for select services designed to accelerate learning for students who may have lost rigorous instruction while taking online classes. The money can be spent on tutoring or other enrichment programs intended to get students back on track, said Mount-Benites. It can also be used to expand summer school programming. To help teachers build their skills and ramp up the intensity of curriculum, Mount-Benites said the district is also planning to offer summer sessions of professional development. The focus on accelerated learning and enrichment is part of a state initiative to discourage reliance on remedial classes for students whose learning stunted over the past year. Regarding the district’s finances, Mount-Benites appreciated the laudatory remarks from trustees who admired his ability to keep cuts from the classroom while noting more work must be done to assure the district’s financial viability. “It is hard and we don’t relish it but we have good financial standing for the next two years to address anything that comes our way,” he said.


@KathyB -- you can read the resolutions about the cuts on the meeting agenda but will have to wait to read the minutes until they are approved

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