LCUSD Candidates Tackle Issues Head-On at Forum

During a two-hour forum Tuesday night, four candidates earnestly stated their cases to be chosen for one of two open seats on the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board in the Nov. 3 election, answering questions on weighty and wide-ranging topics in rapid-fire succession.
In an event presented via Zoom and co-hosted by the League of Women Voters Pasadena Area and La Cañada Council PTA, the candidates fielded questions ranging from what makes them the best candidate to how they would speed the reopening of schools to improving the online learning platform in use because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They also tackled queries on the implementation of any diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, potential changes in curriculum, methods to enhance the school district, ways to improve the LCUSD board, how to serve the students’ social and emotional needs, district policies the candidates may have disagreed with in the past, and many others.
About 226 viewers tuned in to watch the La Cañada School Board Candidate Forum in real time, as candidates were given two minutes to present an opening statement and one minute to respond to each question thereafter. No candidates were allowed to preview the questions, compiled in advance by the LWVPA. Due to the high volume of prepared questions, very few spontaneous questions by viewers were presented.

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Where Candidates Stand on DEI

As the local school board election on Nov. 3 approaches, readers have reached out to the Outlook Valley Sun as they try to understand the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion within the La Cañada Unified School District and each candidate’s stance on the issue. We asked the candidates to respond in about 350 words to the questions “How do you agree or disagree with the recent findings and recommendations from the DEI consultant hired by the district?” and “Do you have alternative solutions to any of her recommendations, and what are they?”
Here are their statements on the matter. Continue reading “Where Candidates Stand on DEI”

Letters to the Editor

LCUSD Leaders ‘Clarify the Record’

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion in our community about the school district’s work on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion. We are grateful for the level of interest and appreciate all those who have offered their perspectives.
In addition to the many strong opinions expressed, however, there have also been many facts asserted or implied that we believe are at odds with reality in a way that might create confusion or even needless anxiety. We write today to help clarify the record, so that thoughtful and productive debate and community input can continue on solid, factual footing.
It is not accurate that the district is acting impulsively or superficially. Our current work on this topic has been underway since before the 2019-20 school year, and has involved public goal setting, workshops, surveys, focus groups and trainings. It is also far from done. The district will next create a committee that is broadly representative of the community to help identify top priorities for next steps. The board voted unanimously to incorporate this work into this school year’s superintendent’s goals to ensure that it continues with the highest degree of accountability and excellence.
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Candidates Seek Your Vote

In the Nov. 3 election, La Cañada Flintridge voters will choose from among four candidates running for two open seats on the La Cañada Unified school board. The seats are being vacated by Ellen Multari, who announced her resignation in May after moving out of the school district, and Brent Kuszyk, who will not seek re-election. The candidates who have filed to run are (in alphabetical order): Caroline Anderson, Jeremiah Arnold, Josh Epstein and Belinda Randolph.

 

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LCF Lighting Designer Wins Ovation Award

Photo courtesy Josh Epstein
Josh Epstein and his wife, Beth Johnson, celebrate his Ovation Award shortly after he was recognized for Lighting Design during Monday’s ceremony at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.

How about an Ovation for La Cañada Flintridge’s Josh Epstein?
The lighting designer was honored by his peers with his first Ovation Award on Monday for his work on the comedic play “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” which ran last spring at the Geffen Playhouse.
The Ovation Awards, held this week at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, are peer-judged theater awards, created to celebrate excellence in theatrical performance, production and design in the Greater Los Angeles area.
“It’s an amazing event,” Epstein said Tuesday by phone. “Los Angeles is not known as a theater town, but there’s a lot of theater going on across the city. One thing L.A. has in spades is the talent. There are so many amazing actors and dancers and choreographers and musicians.”
And lighting designers. Continue reading “LCF Lighting Designer Wins Ovation Award”

Measure LCF Passes With 71% Approval

With overwhelming support, Measure LCF passed Tuesday. According to preliminary figures, the $149 million general obligation bond garnered approval from 71.33% of voters; it needed at least 55% to pass.
“We’re honestly blown away by the support,” said Josh Epstein, co-chair of the Yes on LCF campaign, adding that turnout in La Cañada Flintridge eclipsed totals reported elsewhere in L.A. County. Continue reading “Measure LCF Passes With 71% Approval”

Measure LCF Could Deliver $149 Million to LCUSD

Supporters of the La Cañada Unified School District have been busy the past few weeks, making calls and knocking on doors in an attempt to drum up votes for Measure LCF, the proposed $149 million general obligation bond on the Nov. 7 ballot.
On Election Day, La Cañada Flintridge voters will choose three LCUSD Governing Board members and decide whether to approve the bond, which would fund improvements to the district’s four campuses. Each of the five board candidates supports the measure, as did 65% of prospective voters who responded to a survey conducted earlier this year. It needs 55% voter approval to pass. Continue reading “Measure LCF Could Deliver $149 Million to LCUSD”