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The Meeting Last Night

First, I want to apologize for the truncated live blog last night. The battery ran out on my phone.

Secondly, I’m angry with the atmosphere at the meeting last night.

Depending on what source you read, there were between 350 and 450 members of the public last night. That’s protesters, counter-protesters, audience members, press and other hangers-on. There were 100 policemen.

As if that isn’t bad enough, the police that were deployed in the meeting room were dressed in tactical gear. That means helmets and all. This led to the most ridiculous and offensive moment of the evening: officers in riot gear forcibly ejecting Lupe Castillo. Lupe is nearly seventy and her ongoing medical problems mean that she walks with two canes (when she can walk at all). To quote Miguel Ortega: ¡Que verguenza!

I know that a few of my conservative readers are thinking “Yeah, so what?” Well, think about if this was, say, a city council meeting and the local Tea Party was treated the same way.

One local journalist I talked to supposed that higher security was called for because of what happened in January. If I saw measures like that taken at a congressional town hall, it would be hard to imagine the press standing for it for even a moment. I wouldn’t expect any less.

This nature of the police presence was requested by John Pedicone, according to a source I talked to close to the board. Yep, Pedicone requested this show of force and all the while made claims of wanting more community dialogue.

So, when we have these community fora on the issue with a larger crowds and venues, does he up the security a notch? Maybe the Arizona National Guard? It’s too bad the 82nd Airborne isn’t available, right John?

6 Comments

  1. Jodi wrote:

    It would have helped if audience members with attitude wouldn’t have stood up and spoken when they weren’t called upon or tried to read irrelevant diatribes because they couldn’t be rational about the issue at hand.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink
  2. Bob wrote:

    “Well, think about if this was, say, a city council meeting and the local Tea Party was treated the same way.”

    Sure. And then think about the reaction of the liberals and local media if some Tea Party members did to a city council meeting what the UNIDOS kids did to the last school board meeting.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 2:31 am | Permalink
  3. Luke K wrote:

    Regardless of what you think about the Ethnic Studies program, it’s clear the appointment of John Pedicone was a serious mistake, and it’s critical to TUSD’s recovery that he resign.

    It’s time to start having that conversation. As the district’s chief administrator, he’s supposed to be above the fray. Instead, he wrote an op-ed that trashed his own students.

    And now this.

    He needs to go. Next year vote however you like on Stegeman & Co. But Pedicone must go now. It didn’t work out.

    Pedicone must resign. Period.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink
  4. TexAZ wrote:

    Yep. Pedicone is in over his head. Too used to slavish admiration and compliance in little Flowing Wells. Whatever else it may be, TUSD is not the equivalent of a small town, and Boss Hogg leadership doesn’t apply.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink
  5. Gentle John wrote:

    Remember how the Southern Arizona Leadership Council tried to change the City Charter back in 2001? And they tried to bundle nonpartisan elections with that? Then they tried to make Rick Myers the City Manager. Then the Rainbow Bridge. Then Mike Hein. Then the RTA. Then beg the city not to fire Hein. Then Paton’s nonpartisan elections law. Then a lawsuit to defend it. Then another charter change attempt. Then Pedicone.

    The result?

    Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure.

    SALC = failure. Or do you need more proof?

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  6. tucsonteresa wrote:

    Here’s my take. I watch KOLD and they showed Lupita getting tossed out. This is a woman who had a hard time getting up the stairs to a stage in Modern Languages to be part of a panal discussion with Freedom Rider, Dr. Bernard Lafayette. The other shot on KOLD was of Dr. Rachel Rubio-Goldsmith, another woman who walks with a cane. The combined brain power of of TPD and TUSD couldn’t hold a candle to either of these two women…. and yet they are the “poster kids” for chaos at the meeting.

    My other question is why, why WHY are these meetings NOT held in a larger meeting hall?

    Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink