Member since Jan 3, 2008


Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.


  • No friends yet.
Become My Friend Find friends »

Links to Me

Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland Makes Right Choice to Appeal Measure Y Ruling

I wish attorney Marleen Lee Sachs would apply the same legal criticism and advocacy towards government accountability to her own client Berkeley Unified.
Sachs complains on her blog that OPD does not accurately report/ analyze crime stats. I think she is mistaken. But I do know for a fact there are huge discrepancies every year in data Berkeley Unified reports to the CDE versus the crime reports recorded by Berkeley police. Theft on campus is off the hook, and Principal Slemp refuses to take action.

What up with that Marleen, do school kids deserve to be safe?

Posted by laura menard on 10/09/2009 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Letters for April 8

This just in from small school guru Rick Ayers:

Dear parents of CAS alumni,

I’m writing to you with a particular request. You may have seen huge educational-political spat has broken out at Berkeley High because of charges raised by certain people in the science department (Amy Hansen; Evy Kavaler; Matt McHugh) that the small schools teach a watered down curriculum and inflate grades, particularly for students of color, without preparing students for college.

It is a wild bunch of charges with lots of claims that, upon investigation, have turned out to be not true. For example, they claim that students from small schools coming into Biotech have low skills but high GPA’s; and from the large school, they have low skills and low GPA’s. A review of each student’s grades in Biotech and their GPA’s showed this to be not true at all.

I don’t want to burden you with the details but if you are interested I can send you the original letter by Hansen, the East Bay Express Article & response letters, the Berkeley Planet article, responses from lots of small school teachers, the superintendent, and Pharaoh Noguera.

In order to try to recover some balance in the discussion, we have requested student letters and written a number of articles. The one I submitted was printed today in East Bay Express (see attached). What would be excellent now is if the express printed a number of LETTERS from PARENTS of alumni. Please consider writing a short, powerful piece about the way you saw CAS while there, how your student has done since then – in life decisions, in academics, etc. We can’t take all the credit (ha ha) but I am interested in effects you think the small school experience might have had.

Information on how to submit letters is in box below. If possible, submit a letter and also send a copy to me for my files.

Thank you for taking time for this!!


Rick Ayers & the CAS staff

Please send responses to me at rick-ayers@earthlink.net

Posted by laura menard on 04/09/2009 at 6:39 PM

Re: “The Curious Incident of the Bus in the Daytime

What troubles me is the intellectual dishonesty of some, these kids are 10 and 11 years old, they watch TV, movies, and play videos games all of which familiarize them with police protocols in responding to violent crime. Why didn't the school did not use this as a teachable moment? Bring officers to the school to educate the kids how police serve the needs of public safety. Instead they reinforce victim hood. Because it is easier in Berkeley to pander and avoid telling black parents that not everything is about their pain and fear of racism.

How many mob fights have occurred around BHS this past two weeks? How many reports of weapons in this incidents? How many juveniles have been arrested and immediately released never to pay for their crimes?

These are today's problems, far more relevant than pretending cops(black cops too) are racists.

Posted by laura menard on 03/21/2008 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Party 2 Nite. R U Going?


Good, you recognize your powerless to address systems failures, however the adults in this community are not powerless, and their excuses and abdication of responsibility enable crime and social disorder.

Prevention, intervention and enforcement policies work.
What doesn't work is believing if it doesn't affect you personally one can ignore youth crime.Attend any neighborhood group meeting these days, even in Berkeley, people are outraged at increasing crime and social aggression.

Last week at BHS safety meeting, principal Slemp response was "I will not allow anyone to say anything but positive things about BHS". Is Slemp a member of the Church of Scientology or some weird philosophy that cannot balance good and bad realistically?

Michelle Lawrence was also in denial, and I heard that PIO Coplan states there are no gangs in Berkeley schools. Tell that to the moms who teens have been killed or recruited into the WSB.

The chickens have come home to roost, and Berkeley should wake up to their enabling ways, maybe a 12 step program for co-dependency is in order.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by laura menard on 02/11/2008 at 11:47 AM

Re: “Party 2 Nite. R U Going?


How many students were robbed in the park during lunch this past week Feb 4-9?

Do you know what a "lick" party is?

The Galvin St party was such an event. Ratpack ( multiple offenders) robberies are common in the east bay for over three decades. In the past few years ratpack have evolved their methods to include the two-for one robberies common on Telegraph, the jumping out of cars, rob, bash and escape method around UCB and now the latest opportunist event the "lick" party. Where the ratpack shows up to a party univinited purposely to rob mulitple victims with ease. At the Galvin St party dozens of teens were robbed, about 7 made police reports.

The national increase in personal crime and decrease in house break-ins is a result of criminals exploiting their trade in an easier market. Why kick a door in, when a two- for- one attack on UC students carrying cell phones, Ipods, and laptops in so easy.

So Andrew, are the Cafe customers robbed of their laptops to blame for not realizing how easy it is to stick a pistol in someone face while they sip coffee and use their laptop?

What is really disturbing here is this trend of teens explaining that is their fault when victimized by crime, similar to domestic violence syndrome. It is one thing to be street smart and another to ignore how random and out of control street crime really is in the east bay.

Last night we had AK 47 gunfire out of passing cars on Sacramento St, are people paying attention?

Andrew, the grammar comments referred to deleted posts, which used the vile, vicious text messages which required deciphering to comprehend.

Also troubling is the formation of such strong opinions without the benefit of facts and an assessment of how communities can and do prevent youth violence. But as the alleged teacher "Free2B" tells us, just minimize it in your mind and it will all be OK.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by laura menard on 02/10/2008 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Yuppie Go Home

Gentrification of the hood?, how about "urban pioneers'" with enough sense and courage to bring decency back to neighborhood destroyed by violence and drugs. I just love it when those without the guts to endure life in a transitioning drug neighborhood call us "gentry". Ain't no gentry around here, just a bunch of working class and barely middle class residents down in my 'hood fighting for the right to have a safe neighborhood for their children. Seems to me there are two privileged classes, those at the top and those exploiting the bottom, I am referring to the drug dealers who couldn't be bothered actually working for a living.

Posted by laura menard on 01/26/2008 at 7:07 PM

Re: “Party 2 Nite. R U Going?

Police Log
Jennifer Shaw, Berkeley Voice, 1/11/2008

ROBBERY -- At around 7:40 p.m., two female teens approached an Oakland woman who was waiting at the bus stop at Shattuck Avenue and Russell Street. One of the girls put a black semi-automatic handgun against the victim’s neck, told her not to move, and demanded that she relinquish her purse, while her accomplice snatched the handbag, which contained a book titled "Making Peace in a Violent World." The pair rode away on nearby bicycles.

Michael is your alias Free2B?
and if this anonymous poster is actually a teacher, he/she was posting during the school day.

Posted by laura menard on 01/12/2008 at 9:37 PM

All Comments »

Readers' Favorites

Most Popular Stories

  • Davis Dysfunction Dooms Raiders Again

    Mark Davis’ head-scratching decision to move the team to Las Vegas has proven to be a major distraction for the team.
  • Highland Hospital Surveillance Stirs Concerns

    The county's main hospital in Oakland has a camera that reads license plates and shares that information with federal law enforcement, including ICE.
  • Why Oakland Should Cut Off ICE

    Federal immigration officials say they've been investigating "human trafficking" in the city. But in the past decade, they have not imprisoned anyone from Oakland for that crime.
  • The Wrong Path?

    Paideia helped turn Oakland Tech into the best public high school in the city. But some teachers and parents are worried about the future of the acclaimed humanities program.
  • The Saap Avenue Marries Lao Food and Cocktails

    The Chai Thai Noodles family expands with a hip restaurant on Piedmont Avenue.

© 2017 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation