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    The Mushroom Treatment (a continuing series): Drawing the Line @ LBUSD

    (Sept. 6, 2003) -- LB writer Bry Myown is relentless when provoked...and a pain the ass when she knows she's right.

    What provoked her this time is what has provoked her in the past when she's been right: LB officialdom's penchant to apply what we call the "mushroom treatment": keeping the public in the dark and fed manure.

    The latest steer droppings appeared in a LB School Board item agendized as something about aligning school board district lines. That opacity forced the public to get hold of an explanatory memo (legally a public record but not posted for the public on LBUSD's web site).

    That memo (a masterpiece which we post for the record, click here) portrayed the item as a near routine realignment of district lines between districts 3 and 4 [currently represented by Suja Lowenthal and John Meyer] to reflect some new schools being built but not yet completed.

    Ms. Myown realized the reasons given publicly were, politely, a crock. Adjusting school board members' district lines for schools not even built yet? And then there's a pesky section of the LB City Charter that says district lines are to be adjusted (and are in fact adjusted) based on census population updates...not for new schools.

    So...why was this done?

    This is a fair question...and we won't be put off by LBUSD staff scurrying to remove the item from the Board's Sept. 16 agenda.

    The reason they're doing that is because Ms. Myown went public with her arcane but accurate details on the internet (independent of Ms. Myown's insights prompted us to phone the Asst. Superintendent (the memo's author) to ask some questions. She answered what she knew and referred us to Superintendent Steinhauser for what she didn't. Fair enough.

    That was shortly before the Sept. 2 School Board meeting where we had hoped to hear something meaningful about these issues, but didn't.

    Fine. Superintendent Steinhauser can expect a freedom of information (public records) request from first thing Monday morning seeking materials the public has a right to know about the origin of this agenda item that, thanks to Ms. Myown, has been shown to be basically bogus.

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