Measure W Gains Most Powerful Endorsement to Date: Dweezel the Dragon (Update)

I hope my friend Julie Cuetara forgives me for relaying this story. There are just moments in your life you do not forget. And one of the most vivid moments I remember in my over two years of coverage of Davis events was the night that they closed Valley Oak. Hundreds of students under the direction of Dweezel the Dragon marched from Valley Oak to the Community Chambers. Late into the night the meeting went and it became very clear that the verdict on Valley Oak was in and it would be closing. There in the back of the room was the image of Dweezel in tears. I will never forget that.
Dweezel is not one to give up easily however and she continued to fight for Valley Oak, through the charter process, through school board elections, until the very day they had to stop fighting when it became clear that it just was not going to happen.

I pass this on because there is no one more committed to Valley Oak than Julie Cuetara. She not only was Dweezel the Dragon, she was a member of Davis OPEN, a group organized to keep Valley Oak open.

This morning in the a letter to the Davis Enterprise, Dweezel (and Julie Cuetara) have endorsed Measure W.

She begins:

“Measure W is not about Valley Oak Elementary and Davis Joint Unified School District – It’s about California’s budget, California’s state of affairs, and securing, through hard times, our children’s future.”

She continues:

“Some people are saying $120 is a lot of money on top of what we currently spend in our classrooms. I’m saying $120 per year is not much to secure what we have – a good district, good programs, (more) stable home value, a wonderful place to raise children and to grow old.

Think about our schools losing nearly $3 million for even one year and how it would trickle down through our community. We could never get back what we would lose! And I can guarantee you, with the loss of teachers, programs and the trickle-down effects that would occur, this measure would come up again next year and we would pass it.”

And then finally, the message she closes with:

“I have been proud to be Dweezel, proud of supporting children and the Davis community for over 15 years. Through my endeavors, I’ve learned a lot about our district, its finances, policies, programs, schools and the people behind them. I have lost a lot due to decisions made and through all my sadness and upset with our district, I am proud to say, we do have a good district that deserves our support.”

Frankly, I cannot think of a more powerful spokesperson or a more powerful statement than that. Anyone who is still on the fence because of Valley Oak just remember, no one lived and breathed Valley Oak more than this individual. She sees the big picture here and knows what needs to be done.

UPDATE:

Julie Cuetara has sent the Vanguard the full version of the letter, the Davis Enterprise could not print the whole thing today. I think it is important that everyone here reads the entire letter because it addresses a key concern about Measure W and Valley Oak.

Click to enlarge.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 Comments

  1. barbara

    This letter, in its entirety, would have been far more persuasive to the undecideds than the emotional pleas that have been printed over the last few weeks on the Op-Ed page.

  2. barbara

    This letter, in its entirety, would have been far more persuasive to the undecideds than the emotional pleas that have been printed over the last few weeks on the Op-Ed page.

  3. barbara

    This letter, in its entirety, would have been far more persuasive to the undecideds than the emotional pleas that have been printed over the last few weeks on the Op-Ed page.

  4. barbara

    This letter, in its entirety, would have been far more persuasive to the undecideds than the emotional pleas that have been printed over the last few weeks on the Op-Ed page.

  5. JIM PROVENZA

    Getting Dweezel’s endorsement is like winning the State of Ohio! As Dweezel goes, so goes the election!

    I predict a narrow victory for Measure W. Please remember to vote for W!

    Jim Provenza

  6. JIM PROVENZA

    Getting Dweezel’s endorsement is like winning the State of Ohio! As Dweezel goes, so goes the election!

    I predict a narrow victory for Measure W. Please remember to vote for W!

    Jim Provenza

  7. JIM PROVENZA

    Getting Dweezel’s endorsement is like winning the State of Ohio! As Dweezel goes, so goes the election!

    I predict a narrow victory for Measure W. Please remember to vote for W!

    Jim Provenza

  8. JIM PROVENZA

    Getting Dweezel’s endorsement is like winning the State of Ohio! As Dweezel goes, so goes the election!

    I predict a narrow victory for Measure W. Please remember to vote for W!

    Jim Provenza

  9. Thomas Randall, Jr

    It’s very contradictory that Dweezel the Dragon isn’t blowing fire over the fact that Davis voters passed Measure K a Bond Measure in a Special Election held on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 to renovate Valley Oak School and that the School Board voted to shut Vally Oak School down recently and denied the petition for Valley Oak to become a Charter School at the waste of Taxpayers money and a disservice to the students that reside in that neighborhood.

    What a waste of money on a Special Election for this Measure that could have been placed on the ballot a few months earlier in the regular ly scheduled Primary Election of Tuesday, March 7, 2000 and the taxpayer paid money could have been saved but wasn’t.

    This is for many reasons to “Vote No on Measure W” tomorrow Tuesday, November 4th. For more information go to the following website at:

    http://www.yvm.net/vme/no-on-w

    Hopefully, Measure W will fall victim to some Dragon’s fire and go down in flames tomorrow!!!

    From me a Valley Oak student from 1975-76!!!

  10. Thomas Randall, Jr

    It’s very contradictory that Dweezel the Dragon isn’t blowing fire over the fact that Davis voters passed Measure K a Bond Measure in a Special Election held on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 to renovate Valley Oak School and that the School Board voted to shut Vally Oak School down recently and denied the petition for Valley Oak to become a Charter School at the waste of Taxpayers money and a disservice to the students that reside in that neighborhood.

    What a waste of money on a Special Election for this Measure that could have been placed on the ballot a few months earlier in the regular ly scheduled Primary Election of Tuesday, March 7, 2000 and the taxpayer paid money could have been saved but wasn’t.

    This is for many reasons to “Vote No on Measure W” tomorrow Tuesday, November 4th. For more information go to the following website at:

    http://www.yvm.net/vme/no-on-w

    Hopefully, Measure W will fall victim to some Dragon’s fire and go down in flames tomorrow!!!

    From me a Valley Oak student from 1975-76!!!

  11. Thomas Randall, Jr

    It’s very contradictory that Dweezel the Dragon isn’t blowing fire over the fact that Davis voters passed Measure K a Bond Measure in a Special Election held on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 to renovate Valley Oak School and that the School Board voted to shut Vally Oak School down recently and denied the petition for Valley Oak to become a Charter School at the waste of Taxpayers money and a disservice to the students that reside in that neighborhood.

    What a waste of money on a Special Election for this Measure that could have been placed on the ballot a few months earlier in the regular ly scheduled Primary Election of Tuesday, March 7, 2000 and the taxpayer paid money could have been saved but wasn’t.

    This is for many reasons to “Vote No on Measure W” tomorrow Tuesday, November 4th. For more information go to the following website at:

    http://www.yvm.net/vme/no-on-w

    Hopefully, Measure W will fall victim to some Dragon’s fire and go down in flames tomorrow!!!

    From me a Valley Oak student from 1975-76!!!

  12. Thomas Randall, Jr

    It’s very contradictory that Dweezel the Dragon isn’t blowing fire over the fact that Davis voters passed Measure K a Bond Measure in a Special Election held on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 to renovate Valley Oak School and that the School Board voted to shut Vally Oak School down recently and denied the petition for Valley Oak to become a Charter School at the waste of Taxpayers money and a disservice to the students that reside in that neighborhood.

    What a waste of money on a Special Election for this Measure that could have been placed on the ballot a few months earlier in the regular ly scheduled Primary Election of Tuesday, March 7, 2000 and the taxpayer paid money could have been saved but wasn’t.

    This is for many reasons to “Vote No on Measure W” tomorrow Tuesday, November 4th. For more information go to the following website at:

    http://www.yvm.net/vme/no-on-w

    Hopefully, Measure W will fall victim to some Dragon’s fire and go down in flames tomorrow!!!

    From me a Valley Oak student from 1975-76!!!

  13. Told You So

    Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!

  14. Told You So

    Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!

  15. Told You So

    Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!

  16. Told You So

    Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!

  17. David M. Greenwald

    What we paid for was for the cooking staff to learn how to prepare this particular food. This is no different than teacher’s having instructional time from time to time on a variety of new teaching methods. They get paid for that as well.

  18. David M. Greenwald

    What we paid for was for the cooking staff to learn how to prepare this particular food. This is no different than teacher’s having instructional time from time to time on a variety of new teaching methods. They get paid for that as well.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    What we paid for was for the cooking staff to learn how to prepare this particular food. This is no different than teacher’s having instructional time from time to time on a variety of new teaching methods. They get paid for that as well.

  20. David M. Greenwald

    What we paid for was for the cooking staff to learn how to prepare this particular food. This is no different than teacher’s having instructional time from time to time on a variety of new teaching methods. They get paid for that as well.

  21. David M. Greenwald

    In fact this is your exact words:

    “My salad question is indicative of wasted money. $70,000 was put towards a Crunch Lunch program, some of which was used to pay a Davis author to give cooking lessons to the cafeteria staff. In this day and age of tight budgets, we do not have the money to hire consultants to teach cafeteria workers what they already should know (not to mention the conflict of interest involved). More than likely this Davis author is now on the regular payroll to teach cooking lessons.”

    as posted on Friday. You were not right. We did not pay this individual to teach cafeteria workers, we do not have a consultant on the payroll. No, you were not right.

    You can make the judgment as to whether or not cafeteria workers ought to be able to know how to make every single type of food. I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption, certainly this is not a major expense. I guess I could find out the reimbursement rate for the workers, but this is getting absurd.

    You were not right, quit trying to act like you were.

  22. David M. Greenwald

    In fact this is your exact words:

    “My salad question is indicative of wasted money. $70,000 was put towards a Crunch Lunch program, some of which was used to pay a Davis author to give cooking lessons to the cafeteria staff. In this day and age of tight budgets, we do not have the money to hire consultants to teach cafeteria workers what they already should know (not to mention the conflict of interest involved). More than likely this Davis author is now on the regular payroll to teach cooking lessons.”

    as posted on Friday. You were not right. We did not pay this individual to teach cafeteria workers, we do not have a consultant on the payroll. No, you were not right.

    You can make the judgment as to whether or not cafeteria workers ought to be able to know how to make every single type of food. I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption, certainly this is not a major expense. I guess I could find out the reimbursement rate for the workers, but this is getting absurd.

    You were not right, quit trying to act like you were.

  23. David M. Greenwald

    In fact this is your exact words:

    “My salad question is indicative of wasted money. $70,000 was put towards a Crunch Lunch program, some of which was used to pay a Davis author to give cooking lessons to the cafeteria staff. In this day and age of tight budgets, we do not have the money to hire consultants to teach cafeteria workers what they already should know (not to mention the conflict of interest involved). More than likely this Davis author is now on the regular payroll to teach cooking lessons.”

    as posted on Friday. You were not right. We did not pay this individual to teach cafeteria workers, we do not have a consultant on the payroll. No, you were not right.

    You can make the judgment as to whether or not cafeteria workers ought to be able to know how to make every single type of food. I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption, certainly this is not a major expense. I guess I could find out the reimbursement rate for the workers, but this is getting absurd.

    You were not right, quit trying to act like you were.

  24. David M. Greenwald

    In fact this is your exact words:

    “My salad question is indicative of wasted money. $70,000 was put towards a Crunch Lunch program, some of which was used to pay a Davis author to give cooking lessons to the cafeteria staff. In this day and age of tight budgets, we do not have the money to hire consultants to teach cafeteria workers what they already should know (not to mention the conflict of interest involved). More than likely this Davis author is now on the regular payroll to teach cooking lessons.”

    as posted on Friday. You were not right. We did not pay this individual to teach cafeteria workers, we do not have a consultant on the payroll. No, you were not right.

    You can make the judgment as to whether or not cafeteria workers ought to be able to know how to make every single type of food. I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption, certainly this is not a major expense. I guess I could find out the reimbursement rate for the workers, but this is getting absurd.

    You were not right, quit trying to act like you were.

  25. Anonymous

    In my opinion this is a really ignorant statement:

    “cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook”

    Cafeteria in general are not hired because of their ability to cook. They generally serve pre-prepared meals. So there should be no such expectation.

    The district has two choice–hire cooks or train their existing staff. Guess which one is more expensive? Hiring cooks.

    Please actually think Ms. Crunch Lunch before you criticize, it’s becoming embarrassing.

  26. Anonymous

    In my opinion this is a really ignorant statement:

    “cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook”

    Cafeteria in general are not hired because of their ability to cook. They generally serve pre-prepared meals. So there should be no such expectation.

    The district has two choice–hire cooks or train their existing staff. Guess which one is more expensive? Hiring cooks.

    Please actually think Ms. Crunch Lunch before you criticize, it’s becoming embarrassing.

  27. Anonymous

    In my opinion this is a really ignorant statement:

    “cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook”

    Cafeteria in general are not hired because of their ability to cook. They generally serve pre-prepared meals. So there should be no such expectation.

    The district has two choice–hire cooks or train their existing staff. Guess which one is more expensive? Hiring cooks.

    Please actually think Ms. Crunch Lunch before you criticize, it’s becoming embarrassing.

  28. Anonymous

    In my opinion this is a really ignorant statement:

    “cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook”

    Cafeteria in general are not hired because of their ability to cook. They generally serve pre-prepared meals. So there should be no such expectation.

    The district has two choice–hire cooks or train their existing staff. Guess which one is more expensive? Hiring cooks.

    Please actually think Ms. Crunch Lunch before you criticize, it’s becoming embarrassing.

  29. Ill have thousand island, please

    If Ms. Crunch Lunch didn’t have salads to complain about, then she’d have to scrounge up something less entertainingly absurd to pin on the school district.

    And then who’d have the patience to stick around and read the more boring complaint?

    By the way, the salad is delicious.

  30. Ill have thousand island, ple

    If Ms. Crunch Lunch didn’t have salads to complain about, then she’d have to scrounge up something less entertainingly absurd to pin on the school district.

    And then who’d have the patience to stick around and read the more boring complaint?

    By the way, the salad is delicious.

  31. Ill have thousand island, ple

    If Ms. Crunch Lunch didn’t have salads to complain about, then she’d have to scrounge up something less entertainingly absurd to pin on the school district.

    And then who’d have the patience to stick around and read the more boring complaint?

    By the way, the salad is delicious.

  32. Ill have thousand island, ple

    If Ms. Crunch Lunch didn’t have salads to complain about, then she’d have to scrounge up something less entertainingly absurd to pin on the school district.

    And then who’d have the patience to stick around and read the more boring complaint?

    By the way, the salad is delicious.

  33. Joe

    “Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!”

    I’m trying to figure out the scandal, here. In catching up with this issue, I see that the district is required by law to offer a school lunch program. The school loses money on the program, currently, because it has to be run on the cheap, and not many other students/parents would go for the current program.

    Investing in a better quality menu might draw more students to puchase lunch. But that might have to come from other funds, and you yourself indicate that your priorities would place school food pretty low (there’s also a philosophical discussion on that, by the way. Many others would reasonably argue that good diet and nutrition should come before education).

    Measure Q offers a subsidy to purchase better quality food that might also draw in more money from increased sales. If all goes according to plan, then the increased sales help the lunch program to break even.

    Some additional training seems justified. I would want to know that food was not being wasted or made less appealing or edible because of lack of adequate training.

    As someone with a business background, I don’t see a problem, here, given that the school is legally obligated to provide a school lunch program.

    This is a 4 year program (because that is when Measure Q expires). That should be plenty of time to try things out and make improvements and see if it works or not.

    Do you prefer the district to take a loss on such a program? Especially during these fiscally challenging times?

    Where is the problem? What am I missing?

  34. Joe

    “Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!”

    I’m trying to figure out the scandal, here. In catching up with this issue, I see that the district is required by law to offer a school lunch program. The school loses money on the program, currently, because it has to be run on the cheap, and not many other students/parents would go for the current program.

    Investing in a better quality menu might draw more students to puchase lunch. But that might have to come from other funds, and you yourself indicate that your priorities would place school food pretty low (there’s also a philosophical discussion on that, by the way. Many others would reasonably argue that good diet and nutrition should come before education).

    Measure Q offers a subsidy to purchase better quality food that might also draw in more money from increased sales. If all goes according to plan, then the increased sales help the lunch program to break even.

    Some additional training seems justified. I would want to know that food was not being wasted or made less appealing or edible because of lack of adequate training.

    As someone with a business background, I don’t see a problem, here, given that the school is legally obligated to provide a school lunch program.

    This is a 4 year program (because that is when Measure Q expires). That should be plenty of time to try things out and make improvements and see if it works or not.

    Do you prefer the district to take a loss on such a program? Especially during these fiscally challenging times?

    Where is the problem? What am I missing?

  35. Joe

    “Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!”

    I’m trying to figure out the scandal, here. In catching up with this issue, I see that the district is required by law to offer a school lunch program. The school loses money on the program, currently, because it has to be run on the cheap, and not many other students/parents would go for the current program.

    Investing in a better quality menu might draw more students to puchase lunch. But that might have to come from other funds, and you yourself indicate that your priorities would place school food pretty low (there’s also a philosophical discussion on that, by the way. Many others would reasonably argue that good diet and nutrition should come before education).

    Measure Q offers a subsidy to purchase better quality food that might also draw in more money from increased sales. If all goes according to plan, then the increased sales help the lunch program to break even.

    Some additional training seems justified. I would want to know that food was not being wasted or made less appealing or edible because of lack of adequate training.

    As someone with a business background, I don’t see a problem, here, given that the school is legally obligated to provide a school lunch program.

    This is a 4 year program (because that is when Measure Q expires). That should be plenty of time to try things out and make improvements and see if it works or not.

    Do you prefer the district to take a loss on such a program? Especially during these fiscally challenging times?

    Where is the problem? What am I missing?

  36. Joe

    “Told you we paid to have cooking lessons taught by Davis author to cafeteria staff who should already know how to cook. “Salad-gate”! And now the Crunch Lunch program is part of the “core curricula and must be saved at all costs” when the next parcel tax is proposed – w more cooking lessons paid for at taxpayer’s expense!”

    I’m trying to figure out the scandal, here. In catching up with this issue, I see that the district is required by law to offer a school lunch program. The school loses money on the program, currently, because it has to be run on the cheap, and not many other students/parents would go for the current program.

    Investing in a better quality menu might draw more students to puchase lunch. But that might have to come from other funds, and you yourself indicate that your priorities would place school food pretty low (there’s also a philosophical discussion on that, by the way. Many others would reasonably argue that good diet and nutrition should come before education).

    Measure Q offers a subsidy to purchase better quality food that might also draw in more money from increased sales. If all goes according to plan, then the increased sales help the lunch program to break even.

    Some additional training seems justified. I would want to know that food was not being wasted or made less appealing or edible because of lack of adequate training.

    As someone with a business background, I don’t see a problem, here, given that the school is legally obligated to provide a school lunch program.

    This is a 4 year program (because that is when Measure Q expires). That should be plenty of time to try things out and make improvements and see if it works or not.

    Do you prefer the district to take a loss on such a program? Especially during these fiscally challenging times?

    Where is the problem? What am I missing?

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