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In last week’s letter to the editor I noticed another reference to Route 66 and again there is a misstatement of fact on where this historical route ends on the West Coast. I do agree with the letter that efforts in traffic “quieting” or street “beautification” has caused the opposite effect of increasing congestion in some areas (downtown for sure), and would hate to see another major resident route have a more restricted flow. But that is a discussion for another day.

Under U.S. Highway guidelines – highways start and stop at the intersection of another highway. The official ending of Route 66 in Santa Monica would have you traveling west on Santa Monica Blvd., turning left on to Lincoln Blvd. and then stopping at Olympic Blvd. (reference http://www.historic66.com/) Sorry PRC, the pier is not on this route.

Another fact that seems to always be in the local news is the number of residents in this former sleepy “little” beach town. The number of 84,000 is used per the 2000 U.S. Census, but per more recent counts the number is up to 96,500 in 2004 with an early 2006 estimate of 103,255. With more construction on the way, expect the number of residents and cars to increase. (Reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Monica,_California/)

To paraphrase the end of the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, This is Santa Monica (the west), sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

David Newberg

Santa Monica

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To the Communities of Santa Monica and Malibu:

In this open letter, the Board of Education wishes to communicate the positive actions we are taking to ensure a smooth transition into the next school year and address concerns raised by some community members about the recent turnover in several key positions in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. We want to assure our community that teachers and school administrators, classified staff, central office staff and the Board remain dedicated to the ongoing and smooth operation of our schools and to high quality instruction for all students. Our summer school intervention program, which benefited from research-based improvement of instruction and staff development last year, will be even better this year thanks to feedback from students, parents and faculty. Teachers will receive the staff development they want and need over the summer in preparation for the new school year. Most faculty openings for next year are filled, and we remain dedicated to filling the few remaining openings with only the best candidates.

Similarly, we are committed to filling key principal positions at Santa Monica High School, John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School with the highest caliber of educators. We will not hastily fill these vacancies for the sake of filling them. Meanwhile, we are extremely fortunate to have Ilene Straus, who has years of experience leading Lincoln and Samohi, and several other excellent former Principals in our central office to facilitate and assist with these transitions. We also have experienced House Principals at Samohi and Assistant Principals in our middle schools and highly competent Assistant Superintendents and administrative personnel who will bring continuity to these schools and ensure stability throughout the entire district.

The Board has evaluated excellent, experienced and highly qualified candidates for Superintendent, and we are in the final stages of the interview process. We expect to make a decision in the next few weeks. We are unanimous that we will only hire an outstanding individual with demonstrated experience in reducing the achievement gap and raising achievement for all students, and who possesses the many qualities and attributes that the community, through its extensive input process, expects from our next Superintendent.

The Board acknowledges and shares our community’s concerns during this time of change. However, we assure the community that neither we nor the employees of our district will compromise on the community’s expectations for excellence in instruction and education and for integrity in district operations. Moreover, with both urgency and care, we will search to fill all our leadership positions with the highest quality individuals who will best serve the needs of our students. The Board confidently expects and anticipates a smooth, successful and seamless academic year for 2006/07.

Signed,

Julia Brownley, President

Kathy Wisnicki, Vice President

Emily Bloomfield

Oscar de la Torre

José Escarce

Maria Leon-Vazquez

Shane McLoud

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Dear Editor:

The FDA, with the approval of the Bush administration and the tuna companies, supports a ruling that preempts the states from informing consumers about the mercury in canned tuna. They base their evidence on an old study of laboratory rats which they say showed the level of mercury poisoning to be insufficient to require any warnings.

A more recent study on children, which was endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, found dangerous levels for pregnant women. Also, the Los Angeles Times on June 12, ’06, had an article entitled “A New Tuna Warning for Pregnant Women.” This warning was issued by Consumers Reports Magazine, which took a much more cautious approach than that recommended by the U.S. government and the tuna industry. It stated that pregnant women should not eat ANY canned tuna.

Surely pregnant women should be informed of the danger and allowed to decide for themselves. Instead we have a government and tuna companies playing Russian roulette with the health of consumers, particularly with children.

Could it be our government is more concerned about the profits of the tuna industry than our children?

Sincerely,

Esther Jaffe Kaplinsky

in Uncategorized
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