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Acalanes district “sues” residents, warning court may decide against them without their being heard

The Acalanes Union High School District has published the following legal notice in the Contra Costa Times, warning residents that the Contra Costa County Superior Court could take action that would adversely affect them, unless they respond by Aug. 18 to a complaint seeking to validate the issuance of $15 million in current interest bonds that will exceed the tax rate of $35.58 promised in the 2008 Measure E ballot language:

“NOTICE! YOU HAVE BEEN SUED. THE COURT MAY DECIDE AGAINST YOU WITHOUT YOUR BEING HEARD UNLESS YOU RESPOND BY AUGUST 18, 2014. READ INFORMATION BELOW.

AVISO! USTED HA SIDO DEMANDADO. EL TRIBUNAL PUEDE DECIDER CONTRA USTED SIN AUDIENCIA A MENOS QUE USTED REPONDA ANTES DEL 18 DE AGOSTO DE 2014. POR FAVOR LEA LA INFORMACION QUE SIGUE.

SUMMONS

NOTICE TO DEFENDANTS:

ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE MATTER OF THE ISSUANCE BY ACALANES UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE ELECTION OF 2008 GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS AS AUTHORIZED BY THE NOVEMBER 4, 2008 PROPOSITION 39 BOND MEASURE ELECTION APPROVING THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH BONDS IN BALLOT MEASURE E, THE ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION OF ISSUANCE OF GOVERNMENT CODE BONDS, THE SALE OF SUCH BONDS, AND PROCEEDINGS AND MATTERS RELATED TO THE ABOVE

YOU ARE BEING SUED BY PLAINTIFF:

ACALANES UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

TO ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE MATTER, PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that you may contest the legality or validity of the matter by appearing and filing a written answer to the Complaint not later than August 18, 2014.

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 861.1, any person who contests the legality or validity of the matter will not be subject to punitive action, such as wage garnishment or seizure of real or personal property.

YOU MAY SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY IN ANY MATTER CONNECTED WITH THE COMPLAINT OR THIS SUMMONS. SUCH ATTORNEY SHOULD BE CONSULTED PROMPTLY SO THAT YOUR PLEADING MAY BE FILED OR ENTERED WITHIN THE TIME REQUIRED BY THIS SUMMONS.

The Acalanes Union High School District has brought this action for the purpose of obtaining a judgment validating documents and processes relating to the issuance of bonds of the District (“District Bonds”) in an aggregate principal amount not-to-exceed $15,000,000 at a projected ad valorem tax rate of not more than $30.00 per $100,000 in assessed value which is projected to result in an ad valorem tax rate in excess of the initial projected tax rate for the issuance as originally projected in estimates included in Ballot Measure E, the November 2008 Proposition 39 Bond Measure Election approving the issuance of such bonds; the adoption of a Resolution Of Issuance Of Government Code Bonds; the execution of a Continuing Disclosure Certificate; and, the sale of such Bonds.

The purpose of the District Bonds is to raise money for the Acalanes Union High School District to fund projects to achieve energy-savings, for new and upgraded instructional facilities, and for needed repairs to school facilities, in addition to the other needs of the District as approved by the electorate voting on Measure E (which includes, to establish a ten-year technology fund, upgrade instructional classroom technology, replace worn, aging roofs, convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space, upgrade electrical and energy management systems to improve efficiency and repair, construct, equip or upgrade school facilities), and, to pay all necessary legal, financial and contingent costs in connection with the issuance of the District Bonds.

CASE NO.: C14-01298

THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE COURT IS:

Contra Costa County Superior Court 725 Court Street Martinez, CA 94553

THE NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY IS: Sean B. Absher Jeremiah I. Nelson Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth 44 Montgomery Street, Suite 4200 San Francisco, CA 94104 Telephone: (415) 283-2240 Facsimile: (415) 283-2255

DATE: July 14 , 2014 Clerk, by D. WAGNER, Deputy [Insert Name of Deputy Clerk]
CCT# 5241182 July 18, 24, 31, 2014″
Appeared in: Bay Area News Group on Friday, 07/18/2014

Here are links to the documents the district filed in court.

Complaint seeking court validation to issue $15 million in bonds that will exceed tax rate promised in ballot language:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceUmI4cmJqbHlKT1k/edit?usp=sharing

Exhibit A (July 2008 Board Resolution Authorizing $93 million construction bond measure election):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceMTUyT0VEZEtpZGc/edit?usp=sharing

Exhibit B (December 2008 Board Resolution certifying results of Nov. 8, 2008 Measure E bond election):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceNGJJdHozZDNGSGs/edit?usp=sharing

Exhibit C (June 2014 Board Resolution authorizing issuance of $15 million in current interest bonds and seeking court validation for the issuance):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceM3lOOEZ2RlRRSkE/edit?usp=sharing

Here is my most recent story about the validation issue, which includes some video clips from the June meeting where the board voted 4-1 to issue the bonds and seek court validation for their decision, since it will require property owners to pay more than the tax rate their were promised in the ballot language: http://www.contracostatimes.com/News/ci_26162494/Acalanes-district-seeks-to-validate-bond-issuance-exceeding-promised-tax-rate

I have received phone calls and emails from several area residents who are concerned about this issue and have indicated they may look into filing an answer to the court complaint. However, they are also concerned about the possible filing fee and are unsure how to go about filing an answer. Some believe this case could set a precedent for other districts that may also exceed tax rates promised in their ballot language.

Do you think district residents should contest the bond issuance?

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Under: Acalanes school district, Education | 2 Comments »

Congrats to Campolindo HS on its National Academic Decathlon championship title!

Campolindo HS Academic Decathlon team named National Champion for medium-sized schools 2nd year in a row!

Campolindo HS Academic Decathlon team named National Champion for medium-sized schools 2nd year in a row!

Congratulations to the Campolindo High School’s Academic Decathlon team, which has been named a National Champion for the second year in a row for medium-sized schools!

Campolindo placed 10th overall at the 2014 State Competition in Sacramento last March, competing against much larger schools several times its size. The overall winner went to the national competition, while the winners in the small and medium-sized categories competed online for their national titles, along with the second-highest scoring large schools.

Here is more about the accomplishment as described in a news release from the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

“Medium schools in this completion are high schools whose student population is between 650 and 1,300. Campolindo (California) was followed by New Jersey, 2nd place and Wisconsin, third place.

‘When I found out we won Nationals for the 2nd year in a row, I was incredibly excited,’ says Campolindo’s Academic Decathlon coach Paul Verbanszky. ‘The team has worked very hard to accomplish this. An opportunity like this does not come often in a lifetime. These are some of the finest students I have ever worked with in my 13 years of education!’”

Here is a link to final medium-school team and individual results: http://www.usad.org/USAD/media/Nationals2014/MediumSchoolOnlineNationalResults.pdf

Campolindo students were top-scorers in these categories as well. The students and team will be awarded trophies and medals, as well as scholarship money. Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, presented the team with Congressional Recognition last week.

“I am really proud of how far our school’s Academic Decathlon has come in the three years I have been in it, and how successful it has become,” said Campolindo Academic Decathlon member Christoph Steefel, in a news release.

Teammate Graham Wade said, “I did not believe it at first, but I was really excited and happy that all of our hard work had paid off.”

Verbanszky teaches AP psychology and government/economics. He has been Campolindo’s Academic Decathlon coach since 2005.

The Academic Decathlon team is an after-school club with funding from donations and other fundraising.

“I am very proud of my students,” Verbansky said. “And, our team gives a big thank you to the Contra Costa County Office of Education for all of their support and hard work with Academic Decathlon, so that the students can have such a positive experience.”

The East Bay Regional Academic Decathlon is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education with the assistance of community volunteers. It provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of 10 academic tests and demonstrations.

The curriculum includes art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science, essay, interview, speech (prepared and impromptu), and a Super Quiz™. About 170 high school students from 10 schools participated in the regional event.

The theme for this year’s Academic Decathlon was World War I. The Super Quiz™ focused on the subject areas the participating students had been studying, such as science, art, economics and literature.

The Academic Decathlon was created by Dr. Robert Peterson, a former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County, who believed that everyone’s learning potential can be maximized through competitive challenges. The contest that has since become recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States, according to a news release. The U.S. Academic Decathlon was founded in 1981.”

Do you think more schools should send teams to the Academic Decathlon?

Posted on Monday, May 19th, 2014
Under: Acalanes school district, Contra Costa County Office of Education, Education, Moraga | 1 Comment »

Report of gun at Acalanes HS unfounded

In response to rumors Tuesday that a student brought an unloaded gun to Acalanes High in Lafayette, police and school administrators conducted a search of the campus, Principal Aida Glimme said, in a Wednesday message to the community.

“Yesterday, Tuesday 9/27, Acalanes administration received a report of a possible weapon on campus,” Glimmer wrote. “In partnership with the Lafayette Police Department, a thorough search and investigation were conducted. A weapon was not found on campus.

The school’s safety procedures were followed and students were secure and safe on campus. We appreciate the partnership and aid of the Lafayette PD. We continue to encourage our students to keep the Acalanes staff informed of any safety risks to our students.”

Based on the school’s reported suspensions and expulsions for 2010-11, weapons were not an issue on campus last year: http://bit.ly/qEbYZx.

However, the school logged 67 suspensions, including 44 related to violence or drugs. This far exceeded the number of suspensions on all other district campuses. However, Las Lomas High was the only district school to expel a student last year (for sale of controlled substances, alcohol, or intoxicants).

Are you satisfied with the school’s policies and procedures related to student safety?

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Under: Acalanes school district, Education, Lafayette | No Comments »

Memorial/donation details regarding Las Lomas students who died in rafting accident

 

Acalanes school district Superintendent John Stockton has issued the following news release regarding memorial services and donations following the deaths of Las Lomas students Matt Miller and Gavin Powell:

“Friday, February 25, 2011

The entire Acalanes Union High School District community is mourning the loss of Matthew Miller and Gavin Powell, two Las Lomas juniors. Our heartfelt condolences go out to their families.

Below is information on services and charitable donations for both:

MATTHEW MILLER
Memorial Service
Sunday, February 27 at 3:00 p.m.
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
399 Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek

Donations may given to Amigos De Las Americas

http://www.eastbayamigos.org

1-800-231-7796 x142
Amigos De Las Americas
Development Dept.
5618 Star Lane
Houston, TX 77057

GAVIN POWELL
Memorial Service
Saturday, February 26 at 2:00 p.m.
Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church
55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek

Donations may be given to the Powell Memorial Fund
Checks can be made out to the “Powell Memorial Fund” (There is a drop box in the main office at Las Lomas High School). Please include on the check the account # 05970-70974. Please contact Ms. Steele, Las Lomas Associate Principal or Bank of America for electronic transfer or PayPal information.”

Posted on Friday, February 25th, 2011
Under: Acalanes school district, Education | No Comments »