Noceda is out, and let’s review that blog policy

After looking at the “About The HayWord” page, it appears that it’s time to revisit all of that info. Still lists Kim Santos as editor (she’s now at the Valley Times/Tri-Valley Herald), Jason Sweeney covers San Leandro and Kris Noceda left us last week. To those not in the Twitterverse — that’s where news breaks these days — Kris left the Review to join an online news group.

nocedaYeah, we’re already missing him — not just because he’s a good reporter and a positive newsroom presence, but also because now we have to cover his beats until a new reporter is hired. In a nutshell, that means I’ll pick up Castro Valley, Fairview, Cherryland, Cal State and Chabot College stories; Jason Sweeney is going to tackle unincorporated crime items, San Lorenzo and Ashland.

Now then, please read this official policy. We’re going to start enforcing it. I honestly don’t have much time to play comment police, so if you post something unacceptable, I will have to put you in the spam queue. Then, when I have a chance, I’ll look at the spam queue and see if there’s anything there to post. That means you will not have the instant gratification of seeing your comment go live when you hit the post button, and I can’t guarantee what kind of lag time there will be. Here’s that policy:

Blog policy: While The HayWord welcomes lively discussion and tough criticism, personal attacks on writers or other readers are not allowed. Spam, obscene language, personal attacks or abusive hate speech are not allowed. You may not pose as another person when posting. Violators are subject to a ban. We recommend that posters to The HayWord use their full names when posting, to keep this forum reliable and encourage constructive discussion.

Eric Kurhi

  • Thank you for the clarification. I think that eliminating disclosing personal information and attacks on one’s personal character do not make for good commentary. It is perfectly appropriate to comment on an opinion or to voice concerns regarding the actions or words of an elected public official. It is when bloggers stoop to questioning the mental state of a person or their financial or residential status that it goes beyond reason. I try very hard to make sure that my commentary contains researched information, or makes corrections of what I consider to be unsubstantiated claims. When I believe that a blogger has crossed the line, I will not hesitate to “call” them on their inappropriate comments.

  • qodrn

    Please tell Mr.Noceda we will miss him. Thanks to him for all of his work.

    I will try to be good, at least until you hire another reporter.


  • obama.newage

    Hi all again I see that Mr. John Kyle could not keep up with Ms. Kathi Booth. I think being nasty with people with different opinion is no match when we have a smart woman like Ms. Kathi Booth. I think is true that we write in nick names cause there is weird people that will stalk you and harass you just cause you think different. I just know that will happen again and maybe now we all be more behaved by Mr. Eric. I was so upset on how this blog in the past let Mr. John Kyle tell me he wish I will meet my maker soon and how not so smart I am in a very nasty way just cause I had a different opinion and I am old. Good job Ms. Kathi Booth telling the blog people to keep check on this blog I hope you keep writing you are very smart.

  • Thank you Obama,newage. I try very hard to be straight forward in my writing and I speak both from the heart and with a good deal of history when it comes to HUSD and simple minded people. As long as I am able to think and speak and write I will defend the privacy of others; I will give honest and researched information; I will attempt to keep my criticism on a level that does not denegrate anyone.

  • If you have time please read my commentary/entry on the article regarding those who are running for the Board of Education. It gives you some facts that will perhaps stimulate your thinking and questioning of the leadership of HUSD, the superintendent in particular.

  • I am truly surprised that no one has responded to my entry regarding the compensation that the HUSD board is receiving. I would have thought that perhaps learning that they are being over paid by some 300+ dollars per month would have raised a few eyebrows. Even John Kyle seemed to ignore the information. While the total cost for this year and possible last was not enormous in the big picture of the HUSD budget crisis, it would seem to me that every little bit that could go towards our students would somehow count.

  • John W. Kyle

    Ms. Booth,

    The Board of YTustees recently (June ?)) voted a $100 reduxtion ib their stipend whuch cuts their hourly rate to someything less than the prevailing regulation dealing with minimum hourly rates.

  • Mr. Kyle, State Education code 35120 states that districts with less than 25,000 but more than 10,000 students will pay thier BOE members a maximum of $420.00 per month. Never in the history of school boards was compensation ever based upon minimum hourly wage. While it was “noble” of the current board to vote to take $100.00 less they still are being over paid $230.00 per month according to state ed code. Please if you do not believe me then by all means look the code up on line to verify my statement. I have spent 25+years researching education codes to ensure that HUSD follows the law. There have been many instances that I have found and once brought them to the attention of the district and the public, HUSD has had to rectify their actions. I speak with authority and history. READ THE EDUCATION CODE AND THEN TELL ME WHERE IT STATES THAT ANY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO MINIMUM WAGE. THIS IS A COMPENSTATION FOR TIME AND DEDICATION IT IS NOT A “JOB” PER SE. While I must agree that it is a pittance compared to the amount of time a “dedicated” person may spend on district business, the idea is that they are NOT GOVERENED BY MINIMUM WAGE CODES.

  • School Board compensation is simply a token monetary recognition of time and committment. Currently HUSD is well below the 25,000 limit and I suggest that not only Mr. Kyle read Ed. Code 35120 but that the current board and Ms. Duran read the code. It is clear, even to an average reader. As of August 2010, the district has expended 11,300.00 to board members that could have been spent on programs that have been cut or eliminated. While it is an infantesimal amount it is still money that was directed to a “fund” that is not entitled to receiving the money.

  • observer

    And that’s where it should have started. There should always, in my opinion, be administrative cuts LONG before there are cuts that directly affect the education of the children. After all, the classroom is the bottom line (without them there is no need for all the administration) and should be the last place where cuts are felt. Everyone in the administration should take a hefty pay cut and all frills should be cut to the bone. And if the current board members are being paid a stipend that is more than allowable by the code based on the number of children enrolled then that cut should be a no brainer and effective immediately. Thanks to Kathi for bringing that to the attention of all.

    And while I’m at it, thanks to Mr. Kurhi for mediating the personal attacks that keep so many people from posting their thoughts related to subjects posted … just to avoid Mr. Kyle and his attacks.

  • Lucy’s Mom

    Ms. Booth, you are a blessing! Please keep us informed. How true is that in addition to the stipend, board members have full health benefits? If so, how much money costs the district to pay for it? And, from what funds do they take this money to pay for such benefits?
    Mr. Kurhi, keep an eye on the bullies, or is it just one?
    Thank you,

  • John W. Kyle

    On the subject of the recompense for Trustees…… do theyt also have ab expense account that we moght ask them to forgo?Heck, when I was working mileage on persoanl carf was based on portal to portal coverage.

    I suppose it unfair to aske them to forget mileage when on HUSD Business, such as might be interpreted when they are compelled to attend Graduat=ions, and other school events. We could carry that a few steps further and eliminate meals that professional;ly carried in yo facilitate lengthy meetings etc….. Let ’em bring a bag lunch or dinner?

  • Yes the Board members also have the option of medical benefits. In most cases, I think, if there is already a plan in place for the family through full time work of one or both spouses, they opt to not take the benefit plan. If it is a case of no medical insurance for the board member or their family then I believe that they would, and should, accept the benefit. Let’s be clear, the “job” of a truly dedicated board member requires them to put huge amounts of hours in district business and in answering/helping students and families that call for assistance. I just find it difficult to watch board meetings and listen to certain members talk about taking a 10% cut, $75.00 under their current stipend, as a show of good faith. The fact that board members don’t have enough interest to learn about being a board member just fries me. If you are truly interested in representing students, employees and families then I believe it is incumbent upon you to become educated, read the education codes and make sure that your administrative staff are doing what is right and just for HUSD.

  • John W. Kyle

    Ns. NBooth:

    May I ask you to explore your copy of the ed code and advise the following:

    If the law requires parents to provide a child with an education…. it implies the existence of a law which invokes penalty for failure for not assuring a child’s presence in the classroom.

    The question has been bothersome since I have asked for clarifaction of the fact that in year 2007-2008
    the loss of ada money was reputed to refelct a 92.5 % daily attendence ‘acheivement’.

    I see something troubling in that. Don’t you? Please check it out…. and since you apparently have a copy available to you , are you able to advise current cost of the publication on a single issue basis? Is your copy up to date and how does one obtain updates without buying a whole new issue?

  • Mr. Kyle, state law provides for board members to submit expenses for district business as long as they have receipts to substantiate their claims. It is then up to the district financial office to determine if such expenses are to be repaid. I am not suggesting that they bring bag lunches, while that may not be a bad idea given the state of HUSD finances. What I am saying is they are entitled to $420.00 maximum per month accordidng to state law. If you and others think that this is not nearly enough, then I suggest that you attempt to get a proposition on the ballot that would provide BOE members with more compensation for their duties. To suggest that perhaps I am being, in my words, “silly or nit-picking” is a stretch. I believe that I agreed that what the law mandates is tooooooo little, but until such time as it is changed, it is incumbent upon HUSD leadership and the BOE to follow the law.

  • Mr. Kyle, the Education Codes may be read on line. Yes I agree that HUSD should do much more to combat truancy, however HUSD has or had what is called the School Attendance and Review Board, SARB, to deal with truancy. At one time it was a very strong and powerful board, I have no idea if it even exists or is being used to its fullest during recent years. For your informaton, there have been numerous instances when students, for whatever reason, have been absent for extended periods,and the district administration has simply “disenrolled” them. I represented a family that had medical problems, the district assigned a home teacher that was not reporting his visits or the students progress, therefore the student was considered a habitual truant. The parent was not equipped to understand district communications, tried her level best to see to it that her child was educated and received ABSOLUTELY no support from HUSD. The district is broken and has been for many years!! I could cite numerous instances of misuse of funds, that were documented, numerous instances of administrative misconduct, that were documented and for a while the conduct of HUSD business was set on the right path. The problem now is that parents and community members that attempt to be “watch dogs” are treated in such a disgusting and dreadful manner that they simply give up; often for the sake of their children escaping retalliation. Someday I will enumerate just a few of the times that HUSD has been “caught in the act”.

  • No I have never been an employee of HUSD or any other school district. I have been an advocate for children and families with special needs for over 25 years, working mostly in Hayward. I have been a “board/district watch dog” since the late 1970s. In those early years there were a group of people who were determined to make the district do what was right and follow the law, for the benefit of ALL students in the district.

    For many years we spent one to two days a week at the district offices going over each and every bill warrant (expenses that they pay out) to see just where the money was going. During that time we exposed questionable spending on travel and conferences by the district administration; questionable purchases and then use of vehicles purchased by the district; inequities regarding students from low income families; exclusionary practices for cheerleadeing and other “extra curricular” activities. All of which were changed or corrected.

    During that time, while the Board of Education and administration was not happy with our constant “calling them on the carpet”, we were treated in a respectful manner. No attempt were made to shut us down. There were board members who took the administration to task and NEVER were there attempts to change the way meetings were conducted or to essentially shut up and outspoken board member.

    People from the community were allowed to make corrections to the minutes, board members were allowed to make corrections to the minutes, and those corrections were duly recorded and appeared in the minutes that were published. NO ATTEMPTS TO KEEP THE MINUTES FROM ACCURATELY REPRESENTING WHAT WAS SAID EVER HAPPENED.

    Until Dale Vigil, the superintendent and their staff, sat to the side of the Board of Education. At no time was there an attempt to place the superintendent in the middle of the Board of Education. The line between Board and District was well drawn and there was mutual respect for each of their positions.

    The decorum of meetings was not always calm and polite, but disagreement and raised voices, were not ridiculed in public.

    I have seen HUSD go through many valleys and peaks, however never have I seen such open ugliness, on a regular basis, directed at colleagues or for that matter at the general public.

    Lately the term “Power corrupts” is being shown on a regular basis by the superintendent’s conduct as well as certain board members. How sad, that personal differences and one upping someonee with whom you do not agree has become the norm among our Board of Education and the HUSD administration.

  • Lucy’s Mom

    Wow! My girl is still young, I was not around then. Hopefully with 3 new members on the board, we could experience what you relate above. Oh, how I long for transparency, and plain all nice decorum!

  • qodrn

    I think that the Hayward district has so many problems that the pay of the board members is way down on the list. If that was all that was wrong, wouldn’t it be great?