OUSD goes to Washington

Sure the North County Times doesn’t exist anymore. And yes the new U-T regime has drastically cut the news staff that covers North County. 

But the paper that once won a Pulitzer for exposing Congressman Cunningham’s corruption still has some journalism juice left.

Aaron Burgin is part of the U-T’s Watchdog team. He exposed the fact that the OUSD (Oceanside Unified School District) spent $130,000 in Title Funds that were earmarked for low-income students to send 61 administrators and teachers to a four-day conference at a Washington D.C. resort.

OUSD superintendent Larry Perondi told me that yes, they could have spent it on materials or equipment for students, but that he instead chose to spend the money on this four-day retreat to make sure the district had “highly informed teachers.”

It’s good to know Libby and Mission Elementary have all the computers they need.

The district was given the grant at the beginning of the year, and Perondi had until July 1 to spend it. The kicker is that Perondi says that if he made the early reservations in February, he would save the district a whole lot of money.

Perondi was not sure how much that amount was. But it doesn’t matter. That’s still $130,000 in learning resources we could have had for our students that has been frittered away on a four-day resort/conference.

It is obvious that the five members of the OUSD school board signed off on this.

Good work Mr. Burgin. I can only hope you and the rest of the U-T’s Watchdog team will still be around to do your quality investigative work.

It’s a small world

Angela Webster has been teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) at MiraCosta since 1987. She is fluent in Spanish, but admits she is not conversant with the Vietnamese monks she teaches. Her pupils also include Chinese, Taiwanese, Iranian and Ethiopian students, all who are attracted to MiraCosta’s famed ESL department.

Webster says she uses visuals, repetition, role-playing and videos to teach her students at her eight-week courses.

She gets her students to help with two different beach cleanups each year. One is in September and the other is right after July 4 at the Harbor beaches.

“One of our students was told it was free parking where he parked, but he was given wrong information,” says Webster. “He got a $58 parking ticket. I feel terrible. Here he was doing something good for the community. His daughter paid the ticket but we are appealing it. Oceanside is famous for giving parking tickets.”

Beach shorts

Oceanside continues to evolve as a craft beer mecca. Oceanside Ale Works, our first in-town brewery, is planning to open a beer tasting room at 507 N. Coast Highway. The seven-year old brewery will still maintain its brewery and tasting room at an industrial park off of Oceanside Boulevard. This new tasting room to be called Surfside Taproom will only serve OAW product (just as Stone Brewery’s satellite tasting room on Tremont Street only serves Stone product).

The OAW adjunct is planned for 507 N. Coast Highway where Ocean Breeze Flowers has been based for six years. The only problem is that Ocean Breeze says it still has five years left on its lease. This could get interesting.

Across the street from Ocean Breeze is Jitters Coffee, which many locals know serves up great breakfasts on weekends and fresh java all week long. Local singer/songwriter Jason Mraz, who has lived in east Oceanside for years, has become a regular at Jitters. His presence has apparently attracted other big names passing through Oceanside, including actor Neil Patrick Harris and singer Colbie Caillat.

Word has it that the building that housed the old Vaughan’s Market on Coast Highway (across the street from Anita’s) has been purchased by Las Vegas developers who will convert it to a restaurant.

And while there is no activity at the old Mira Mar restaurant building (where Highway 76 dumps into Coast Highway), the adjacent lot on the corner of Neptune and Coast Highway will soon be auctioned off to the highest bidder by the city of Oceanside which owns that parcel. Look for commercial or mixed use.

 

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