Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 16, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

Updated below 7:50 a.m.

C’mon, you didn’t really think I was going to let this one go, did you?   Don Roberts writes on Alameda Daily News:

In yesterday’s edition of the Alameda Journal, Eve Pearlman incorrectly wrote in her front page column, that the position of School Boardmember “pays nothing”. In fact, each Board Member is entitled to a maximum payment of $300 per month for attending 2 meetings, or is entitled to a payment of $150 per month for attending only one meeting. Eve Pearlman could have obtained that information with a simple phone call to the School District prior to publishing her false column. Pretty dweeby, Eve.

I was disappointed that this wasn’t closed with a signature “tch tch tch” from Don R., but I guess he decided that the “dweeby” was condescending enough.   Here’s the ironic thing about Don R.’s finger wagging at Eve Pearlman telling her that she could have obtained the information about the School Board members’ stipends with “a simple phone call.”   Had Don R. made that same “simple phone call” or perhaps combed the depths of his memory he would have recalled that the School Board had voted a few months ago during the height of the budget talks to suspend receiving both their stipends and health benefits (for those that choose to opt for the health benefits).   In fact, according to Board Member Mike McMahon, as of July 1 the Board stopped receiving the stipend and for those that have the health benefits also stopped receiving those benefits.

So when Eve P. wrote in her column:

So let us have respect for these five individuals, all of whom are vying for a position that comes with a huge workload, bucket loads of responsibility and yet pays nothing.

As of July 1, this position became a non paying one and so Eve P. was right in describing the role of a School Board member as one that comes with huge responsibility for no compensation at all.   Had Eve P. written this column on June 30, perhaps Don R. could take the satisfaction of calling her wrong, but unfortunately no satisfaction can be derived from this incident of “who’s dweeby now?”   Of course, Don R. could have just typed into google the following search term: alameda AND school board AND stipend and he would have turned up this Alameda Sun article which describes what happened with the stipends:

…Cut items that were left off the comeback list include the board’s stipends (about $100 per month each)…

Superintendent Ardella Daily answered [Janet] Gibson’s charge, saying that “the language in Measure H does not support administrative salaries,” and she took that to mean no board stipends, in keeping with the spirit of the measure in saving programs first. Gibson argued that it is important for board members to be trained, and that being a board member can add up, cost-wise. “Some people don’t need the stipends; some people do. I think it should be up to the individual,” she said. “”It’s not very effective to make such a small token sacrifice.”

Other board members sided with Dailey’s interpretation…[Bill]Schaff said he sees his role as a volunteer community-service position. “Even if [the stipend] seems like a small amount, it makes a very strong statement that we’re putting the district first,” he said before calling for a vote…

Even more puzzling than Don R,’s failure to take his own advice was the headline which calls her column a “false column.”  I’m not really sure what a “false column” is, but I assume it’s not a good thing.


Good thing I screen capped the post from yesterday because it has since been removed and Don R. and with him as always is ADN has retracted his statements, blaming it on the school district giving him the wrong information.   Of course, in true Don R. fashion even his retraction and correction contains errors, incorrectly spelling Eve Pearlman’s last name (Pearl like the jewel not Perl like the programming language) and incorrectly identifying Andy Currid as a School Boardmember.


  1. Pretty dweeby Don Roberts!

    Comment by Jeff R. Thomason — October 16, 2008 @ 7:47 am

  2. Pretty typical Don Roberts!

    Comment by notadave — October 16, 2008 @ 8:07 am

  3. “…he would have recalled that the School Board had voted a few months ago during the height of the budget talks to suspend receiving both their stipends and health benefits,…”

    Merriam-Webster (definition of suspend)

    2 a: to cause to stop temporarily b: to set aside or make temporarily inoperative

    What can be suspended can be resurrected. Given the tenuousness of Superintendent Ardella Daily’s interpretation of the overall application of Measure H, her answer to Gibson’s charge about Measure H language, may be moot at best.

    Perhaps Pearlman and Roberts are both right (and wrong) it’s just that their timing is off.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 16, 2008 @ 8:28 am

  4. “…and incorrectly identifying Andy Currid as a School Boardmember.”

    Since the topic is “corrections,” he did not identify Andy Currid as a school board member. It reads:

    “Following are e-mails received from Andy Currid and a member of the Alameda School Board:”

    I’m happy to see he published both of these comments.

    Comment by AD — October 16, 2008 @ 10:06 am

  5. AD — It appears that Don has now corrected his correction. If you look at Lauren’s screenshot above, you’ll see that the post originally identified Andy Currid as a school board member. (We should be so lucky.)

    Comment by June Cleaver — October 16, 2008 @ 10:15 am

  6. ?? The screenshot only has his original posting. That sentence is not on there.

    By the way, I find the word “dweeb” kind of cute (as a word, not as a descriptor). There aren’t that many words starting with a “dw” and the few I can think of imply something small (dwarf, dwindle, dwelling). Can anyone think of more? It’s a good combination to test sound symbolism on.

    Comment by AD — October 16, 2008 @ 10:29 am

  7. Look at the second screenshot at the bottom of Lauren’s entry. it says, “Following are emails received from two members of the Alameda School Board:” It then proceeds to quote Andy’s email.

    Comment by June Cleaver — October 16, 2008 @ 10:36 am

  8. It’s the end of the world as we know it … but I feel fine 🙂

    Comment by Jeff R. Thomason — October 16, 2008 @ 10:43 am

  9. 7. Indeed. How dweeby of me!

    Comment by AD — October 16, 2008 @ 10:56 am

  10. #6
    I can’t think of any.

    Comment by D Eisenhower — October 16, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  11. Maybe Roberts deserves payback for being not a mere dweeb, but such an obnoxious dweeb. Instant karma.

    Also consider “nothing” as a general figure of speech as to say, it doesn’t pay diddly, or squat.

    It would make sense for Roberts to go head to head with Lauren of JKW over their blogging because the make critical comments on his “coverage” of local events. He has attacked John as the chair of Transportation Commission, but I don’t recall Roberts acknowledging any of his electronic competition in any capacity. Eve on the other hand has offended by appearing in the dreaded Journal but I don’t get where the guy gets off calling her a dweeb repeatedly. I don’t recall him using that kind of pejorative on any other persons in any of our local media, though he has always crowed loudly about apparent mistakes by others.

    Comment by Mark Irons — October 16, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  12. #10
    Neither can I.

    Comment by Duane Eddy — October 16, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  13. Hello Alameda!

    Comment by Dweezil Zappa — October 16, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

  14. #6 Don’t dwell on it too long, or you will begin to dwardle. By the way, how old are you? Are you young enough to be a dween?

    Comment by notadave — October 16, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

  15. Is it dweeby of me to think that Roberts should actually a) admit his mistake; and b) graciously apologize?

    Maybe just naive. Or old-fashioned…

    Sign me,
    Not a dween

    Comment by Wants a Better Solution — October 16, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

  16. WOW – You really got’m good Lauren. Thanks for the day off.

    I agreed with Janet Gibson – giving up the stipend should have been an individual choice.

    I don’t think Janet needs the money, and I think she may have donated it to the district, at least board members could have taken the charitable contribution IRS write-off.

    I think her argument was a good one for protecting the stipend – not all of our citizens are so well off that they can afford sitters while attending meetings, and all the other school functions most board members attend. Our BOE members volunteer so much time beyond the meetings, I can’t thank them enough for their contributions. New candidates will also have a lot more to learn, and also may have to give up work hours to actually read the full packet material. (Like I wish CC could do!).

    Just the active school participation on the part of parents is very time consuming. It is not unlikely that it would be valuable for some future BOE members to be able to hire a sitter while attending meetings to give a spouse or partner a break, if not a single parent.

    The BOE is not supposed to be an exclusive club. I consider the rejection of the stipend by the ‘greater wealth club’ as a method to narrow the field of potential participants on the board to be as bad a decision as the decision to not fund the position of public information officer.

    Hopefully the next school tax will mandate that the PIO position must be filled at all times, and that the position is somehow provided a ‘protected’ neutral status. The public needs to know they are getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when we are getting information regarding what we pay for schools and the City included.

    Comment by David Kirwin — October 16, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  17. Thank you, Duane, Dwight, Dweezil and notadwave for the effort. Considering the dearth of this particular sound combination, I’d like to propose a new member for the dw family: “dwile.” It means “dwell a while,” which is what I did on the task. I had to quit because my dwits were dwindelling, and I was beginning to dwardle as NAD hadwarned me, not being a dween anymore and all.
    –‘Dwil next time 😉

    Comment by AD — October 16, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

  18. Alameda needs answers. WHO IS THE REAL DON ROBERTS?

    And why does he merit our attention?

    Comment by Edmundo Delmundo — October 16, 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  19. Isn’t “dweeby” a bit dorky?

    Comment by DL Morrison — October 16, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  20. all your dweebs belong to us.

    Comment by So — October 16, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

  21. He’s a neo maxi zoom dweeby 🙂

    Comment by Jeff R. Thomason — October 16, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

  22. #16:

    “I consider the rejection of the stipend by the ‘greater wealth club’ as a method to narrow the field of potential participants on the board…”

    You’re joking, right?

    Because the board made that decision in the midst of a budget crisis last spring — a budget crisis that had a lot of people in this community screaming for the district to cut administrative costs.

    One might even say the board members did the right thing, given the circumstances.

    Comment by Wants a Better Solution — October 16, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

  23. I think Don is sitting in his living room right now, gazing at a picture of Lauren, and humming to himself, Dweam a little Dweam of me…

    Comment by Susan — October 16, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

  24. $150 per month. LOL … you guys crack me up 🙂

    Comment by Jeff R. Thomason — October 16, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

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