Chino Champion from Chino, California on June 14, 1991 · Page 22
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Chino Champion from Chino, California · Page 22

Chino, California
Issue Date:
Friday, June 14, 1991
Page 22
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Fn.,J-M4, lt Jpbeat graduation note most adults. v t- k - m m s.-,wm -m NEVER RATTLES J Jttf rftSZ&A S, ME IT JUST lWtt: Niy- J AAEAMS HE'S ft JT W( Thr Cass of l991-leaves high school-with the lowest record for drug use in the past 25 years. i This was the message of a federal agent who spoke this week to the Chino Rotary Club. It should add luster to graduation celebrations across the nation. He also said that last year's class had the lowest incidence of use in the past 20 years. This is encouraging for students who have successfully passed through their worst period of drug enticement. It is encouraging for parents who kept their fingers crossed that their teenagers would get through this age clean. It is encouragement for the school and law enforcement people, who worked so hard on drug education programs. - And it is certainly encouraging for a society which has seen part of an entire generation, now between 19 and 35, lost to the terrible scourge of drugs from which the victims may never recover. The message of Phil Hartman of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency was not all full of cheer. He said that this nation's drug problem will not be solved during the lifetime of He said alcohol abuse is a serious problem with young people, even if drugs are lessening. He said that 80 of burglary and robbery today is drug associated. He said that three out of four people using crack cocaine for four times will never shake the habit. " . He referred to the crack babies of such users who will forever be a burden to society. He said the recovery rate among cocaine users is only 5. He said that young people are hard to convince about the long term affects of drugs and marijuana. He said that the attitudes of children are molded by the constant barrage of television commercials which tell them that legitimate drugs can solve their problems, and this translates into all drugs. - The DEA agent's advice to parents: Talk to your children about drugs early, often and honestly. He repeated the admonition printed here earlier from the U.S. Attorney General: The police won't solve the drug problem. It's up to family and community. My Corner The Thursday night bash El High school experience ByAlMcCombs, By Charles Ferrell Managing Editor School board meetings are becoming high drama, drawing record crowds The June 6 Chino board session turned out to be a "Bash the Board" night, with parents, staff members and students parading to the microphone to dig the board. Maybe it was end of school year tensions and frustrations, or maybe the anniversary of D-Day had something to do with it. D in this case stood for Demand. They objected to the firing a favored teacher, poor communication, secret meetings, failing to listen, traffic problems . and sundry misdemeanors. . "Are you deaf?" one parent asked the board. "I expect you to listen and respond to the people who put you there," scolded another. Groans, jeers and applause for well-directed jibes reflected the audience participation. It was my first board meeting in quite awhile, but it brought back old memories. You see, 20 years ago I was on thet other side of the table, target of an even more hostile audience. But back to last week's board meeting. The air conditioning labored against the rising heat, much of it generated by badge-wearing parents and staff from Walnut school demanding reinstatement for teacher Bill Meador. One speaker went so far as to poll the board like a jury. :;. ; More than 150 people filled the room Gegal capacity 127) and spilled into the lobby. Some who had indicated they wanted to speak had to be paged because they couldn't get in. Factions vying for seats included the .Walnut group, south Ontario parents seeking new schools, and Don Lugo students and their camera-bearing parents involved in award presentations. , Few in the audience knew it, but one board member was trying to last long enough to cast a key vote on a South Ontario land purchase. Fate was against him. When the financing consultant failed to show up on time, Gary Bor-cherding gave in to the pain of a kidney stone and collapsed in the back room. Paramedics were called, and they sent him off to Chino Community Hospital. He returned home later that night to wait for things to pass. In addition, the audience learned that Superintendent Steve Goldstone had lost his father, Harry Goldstone, that week. He sat unruffled through the criticism. i There were pleasant moments, such as when students from the three high schools presented board members with year books, hot off the press. Veteran nurse Elma Baughman presented the Southern California School Nurses award to teacher union president Bob Massey. Don Lugo principal Pat Mark, soon to leave, introduced achievers, ranging from drummers to poets, for awards and congratulations from board president Dona Silva. Later parents, teachers and students from Don Lugo requested (demanded?) that they be included in making the selection of Dr. Mark's successor. After the invective was exhausted during the public opinion portion of the agenda, the board moved on to building sites and budget. The audience sat in a daze while the tardy financial consultant explained the district's building financing plight because of the adverse court ruling against Chino's builder's tax (an illegal fee which must be refunded, the court said.) Finally board member Harold Nelms suggested that everybody be brought up to date in layman's language so the audience could understand what was going on. As the clock ticked toward 11 p.m. the board tackled another series of budget cuts. School health clerks protested their job cuts, telling the board that student health would suffer because there are already too few school nurses. The appeal was successful enough to have this item set aside for further study along with five others out of 29 on the $2.3 million hatchet list The six will be reconsidered at a budget session Monday. At that time the board must find an additional $336,000 to trim. The meeting wound down at 11:45, after the board formally expelled eight more students, declining as usual to explain specifically why or from what school. Emotional, power-packed meetings are nothing new for the school board. Twenty years ago last month I was one of two board members who had their offices set on fire during an explosive hearing. The Champion office was gutted. It's one thing to get a crowd whipped up in support of a cause. It's another to lose control of it. The only threats made on D day were to get board members at the ballot box. But things still got pretty nasty, which seemed to me to harden the board members in their positions. In the wonderful movie "Pump Up The Volume," about life in high school, the lead character, played by Christian Slater, gives the best definition of the high school experience I've ever heard. He explains that the point of being a teenager is being able to survive as a teenager. It's not the greatest age to be, so you have to make the best of it and just get through somehow. You live under the thumb of your parents, if you are lucky enough to have parents, and you live under the thumb of your teachers, administrators and guidance counselors. The job of a teenager is simply getting through it, says Christian Slater's character. The rest of your life has to be better. I don't regret my high school experience but I don't savor one minute, either. I accomplished what I had to accomplish I survived it. Hundreds of high school seniors here in Chino and millions nationwide are winding up their own high school experiences this week. Many will look back fondly, many won't, and many others like me will treat the experience with indifference. I'm glad I went to high school and to college, but I'm even more glad that part of my life is far behind me. If I could give a word or two of advice to today's graduates, it is that if you play your cards right and never stop trying to educate yourselves, and keep moving ahead with your lives, you will be able to look back on those years and proudly say you never had more fun than after you graduated. PUBLIC FORUM Dan Quayle It is hoped we don't have to find out, but Dan Quayle may well perform better than the media thinks. In any case it is not Quayle's blame that he is vice president. That fault is with George Bush who picked Dan Quayle or with the people who voted for George Bush. If there is an error in judgement please, make it clear who made that error. D.W. Dorward, Chino I don't remember a lot about my high school graduation ceremony. There were 182 students in my Calexico High School graduating class of 1967, and 24 years later, I keep contact with only one, and not all that well. Our commencement ceremony was held in the local movie theatre, which later became a porno movie house. Because of limited seating, each graduate was granted only three passes. My mom and dad took up two of them. My out-of-town brother and sister flipped a coin. My brother waited at home while my sister joined my parents at the ceremony. It cost $8 to rent our cap and gown, and we were sternly warned by our guidance counselor that we better return them in good shape. We didn't actually receive our diplomas at the ceremony we were handed the covers only. Immediately following we turned in our caps and gowns in exchange for the actual diploma. The ceremony was pretty uneventful. I can only guess nothing much happened because I cannot recall anything that was said. I don't remember who was valedictorian, who gave the commencement address or what anybody said who spoke that night Two inebriated co-eds I suppose the speakers told us how we had accomplished something special, that we were now about to move ahead, change the world, etc., but none of it sank in. I do remember the two girls sitting next to me, incredibly drunk, They threatened to trip me as I made my way across the stage to pick up my empty diploma cover. After the ceremony my family took me across the border to a popular Chinese restaurant in Mexicali. Later there was a graduation ball at the local hotel, followed by an all-night party at the swimming pool. There are no cherished moments from that night, except that this was the last time my mom, dad, brother, sister and I were all together. Much better later It's 25 years since I graduated. Each subsequent year has been filled with more accomplishment, more fun, more memorable experiences that the sum total of the four years I spent in high school. ROLLTOP ROUNDUP Take a look at Sonoma ment On the plaza is the 1908 Sonoma city hall which was built the same on all sides for the benefit of the many merchants who surround the plaza. It now serves as an annex to a newer city hall. Lachryma Montis is a beautiful Victorian style home nestled up against a mountain, with a spring that is the "tear of the mountain." Bob Russo was our enthusiastic state parks guide at the Vallejo home. He told how the old New England home had been taken apart, shipped around the Horn and reconstructed by Vallejo shortly after California became a state. The house has been furnished to reflect its mid- 19th century heritage, and it is a delightful place to visit in its country setting. Grapes aren't the only fame shared by Napa and Sonoma. Two colorful authors with California connections have state parks named for them in the two counties. In Napa, it is the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park on Mount St Helena, where the Scot-born author spent his honeymoon at an abandoned mine site, and from here made the Silverado Trail famous. Jack London was an 18-year-old sailor when Stephenson died in the South Pacific Their paths never crossed while they were alive, but London and his wife Charmian visited Stephenson's home in Somoa while on a trans-Pacific sail. Jack London was a product of Oakland. He was sailor, hobo and journalist, a man who loved the out of doors and played with socialist philosophy. He made his final home at Glen Ellen north of Sonoma. Here he and Charmian built their dream Wolf House, and saw it burn to nothing but stone walls just before they were to occupy it. But they still had the House of Happy Walls, today a museum in the Jack London State Park. Jack London wrote 20 novels, among them Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf, and over 200 short stories. He and the more contemporary Louis L'Amour had much in common during their youth of roughing it Jack lived hard and, unlike L'Amour, died young, leaving behind a colorful legacy, much of it contained in the House of Happy Walls. Here we learned much also from state ranger Greg Hayes, who hasn't tired of talking about Jack London in the past 14 years. It was 145 years ago today that the Bear Flag was raised over the plaza at the Pueblo of Sonoma, north of San Francisco Bay. The 30 to 40 Americans who participated in the bloodless and unresisted takeover arrested General Mariano Vallejo, the Californian commander of the Mexican troops, and sent him to Sutters Fort in Sacramento. The revolt had the blessing of Capt. John C. Fremont, who was moving around California under secret orders which allowed him to encourage revolt against Mexico by the growing number of Americans in the territory. The Republic of California lasted less than a month. On July 9 the American flag was hoisted over Sonoma Plaza. General Vallejo returned to his beautiful Sonoma home a month later. This hospitable and able coman-danU was also flexible. He became a delegate to the constitutional convention for statehood, served in the first California state legislature and was mayor of Sonoma for two terms. He was a most unusual gentleman, who' spent his dying days trying to prove title to his land grants, which were taken from him by the Americans. , Around the state, Napa is usually considered to be the wine bowl. But Sonoma County not only has 32,000 acres of vineyards and 75 wine tasting rooms, but the father of the California premium wine industry is located just outside the town of Sonoma, which Mariano Vallejo had founded. In 1857, two decades after Sonoma was established, Count Agoston Haraszthy planted European grape stock and established the Buena Vista vineyards. Earlier this month members of the California Press Association visited the winery to hear its story and enjoy an outdoor lunch where products of the winery could be sampled. This was the final stop of an historic tour of the Sonoma "pueblo," which included the plaza, General Vallejo's barracks, Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma (abandoned by the Catholic Church and restored by the state), and the charming Vallejo home, Lachryma Montis (Tear of the Mountain). Any trip to the wine country should include Sonoma Valley, particularly for its place in our state history. The state has set up exhibits at both the barracks and the mission, which are across the street from the Bear Flag monu

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