Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Alpine School District Update

1. Alpine School District Health Fairs are scheduled as follows:
November 12, 2009 from 2-6 P.M. at Lindon Elementary
November 19, 2009 from 2-6 P.M. at American Fork Junior High
November 24, 2009 from 2-6 P.M. at the District Office Board Room
Immunizations will be provided at all three. The cost for the flu shot is $23.00, and the cost for pneumonia is $45.00. It is not clear at this time if the H1N1 shot will be available.

2. As you are well aware, there have been several recent confirmed cases of H1N1 within our district boundaries. This includes many of our employees and students. A reminder to all employees that if you are sick, you should stay home. We are also asking parents to keep their students home if they are sick. In doing so, there has been some feedback from parents who feel pressure from their students who are being “punished” for staying home. Please work with students who have had to remain home because of illness. This week is the end of the term for many of you, which means it is a busy time. Remember that if a student has been excused by a parent because of illness, they are allowed to make up the work they missed. Thank you for working together as we are entering into what will surely be a long flu season.

3. There have been several schools that have experienced a “break in” over the last few weeks. There has been some vandalism, as well as equipment and some cash stolen. We ask that employees be extra vigilant in taking ownership of the security of our buildings. Remember to keep things of value locked in a secure location. Make sure doors are secure and locked behind you as you come and go from your schools. You should also keep an eye on things, especially if you are in your buildings after regular school hours.

4. October 19-23 is officially “Bus Safety Week.” This is a great time to thank our 300 bus drivers. We have 260 buses running about 1,100 routes. They make 8,000 stops per day and transport more than 37,000 students district wide. We appreciate all they do in keeping our students safe each day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Upcoming Legislative meetings

Here are some dates and times you'll want to be aware of.

October 22 (this Thursday--you can register on site)
Utah PTA Advocacy Conference
Utah State Capitol
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

October 30
Critical Issues Conference ($40 register online or on site)
Utah Cultural Celebration Center
7:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

November 2
Region 9 Legislative Involvement Conference (all PTA members invited to attend--free of charge)
Alpine School District Board Room
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

February 11
Utah PTA Day at the Legislature (advance registration required--check the Utah PTA Web site for more info)
Utah State Capitol
Time TBA

Hope to see you at one or more of these great events!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10/13 School Board Meeting Highlights

The Board of Education met in a study session prior to the regular board meeting Tuesday evening at the district office. The purpose of the study session was to debrief from the recent School Community Council/PTA meetings.

The regular board meeting began with several recognitions:
  1. Greg Sheide - Recently selected from nearly 500 peers to be this year's "4A Coach of the Year for Distinguished Service."
  2. Congratulations to the State Championship girl's tennis team from Orem High School.
  • Lynsi Pearson - 2009 Tennis Team Coach of the Year
  • Team Members - Ellery Young, Whitnie Pearson, Kelsie Craig, Callie Craig, Sydney Madsen, Jessie Dyer, and Kristee Rowley

There were three action items for the evening:
  1. Requests for Out-of-state Travel
  2. The Assurances portion of the Consolidated Utah Student Achievement Plan (CUSAP)
  3. Change in location for the October 27 and November 10 Board Meetings to accommodate the dedication of two new schools
  • The location for the October 27 meeting will now be at North Point Elementary School instead of Shelley Elementary.
  • The location for the November 10 meeting will now be at Westlake High School instead of Orchard Elementary.
  • The school dedications will take place right before each of these meetings.

There were two discussion items for the evening:
  1. Schools closed to out-of area attendance for the 2010-2011 school year.
  2. Proposed Board Meeting schedule for 2010.

The next Board Meeting will be on October 27 at North Point Elementary. The dedication of this new school will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Board Meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


If you are interested in signing this petition, please let me know.

Utahns for Ethical Government (UEG)

Why Sign the UEG Ballot Initiative?

1. The UEG ballot initiative will place Utah among the ethical leaders of the 50 states instead of at the back of the pack.

    • Utah is one of only 10 states without an Independent Ethics Commission.
    • Utah is one of only six states that do not set limits on campaign contributions.
    • Utah has been given grades of F and D- on its disclosure reporting requirements by two separate independent organizations.

2. Signing the UEG ballot initiative will show the Utah Legislature that voters care about legislators’ integrity and ethical behavior.

    • The Legislature has taken only small steps to reform itself.
    • The Legislature needs to be accountable to the people, not to special interests.
    • Legislators work for us, not the other way around.

3. The UEG ballot initiative will give voice to the people, whose voice is being drowned out by special interest money.

    • The fundamental right of one-person-one-vote is significantly diminished and access is limited when one person’s vote competes with so much corporate money and with unlimited contributions from a few wealthy individuals and groups.

4. The UEG ballot initiative will help legislators.

    • UEG ethical standards make it easier for honest people to remain honest.
    • UEG ethical standards clarify what is not acceptable and will protect legislators from lobbyist and special interest pressures.
    • The Commission will develop a mandatory ethics training program for the Legislature and legislative staff.
    • If a legislator is in doubt about an action, the legislator can seek an opinion from the Commission to determine whether the contemplated action would be ethical.

5. The UEG ballot initiative will prohibit legislators from accepting gifts (for example, meals, athletic tickets, entertainment, and travel) from lobbyists.

    • Legislators are already paid per diems ($54 for food and $120 for lodging), so their living costs during the session are covered.
    • Accepting gifts creates the perception, if not the reality, that special interest groups are buying access and votes.

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Did You Know?

Did you know that under current law:

  • Legislators can be lobbyists while serving in office. They also can lobby for themselves or a business (if it is not primarily a lobbying organization) as soon as they leave office.

What’s the matter with this?

1) Utahns do not know whom their legislator is representing while in office--the public or their lobbying organization?

2) We do not know whether the serving legislator is tempted to vote a certain way while in office in hopes of securing a job or a lobbying contract after the session ends.

No man can serve two masters with equal faith. The master should be the people of Utah, not the lobbying organization.

  • Legislators can accept appointments to corporate boards when the corporation may have matters to come before the Legislature and when the principal qualification to serve is the legislator’s status as a legislator.

  • Legislators can sponsor bills that give a specific financial benefit to themselves or their business interests without sufficient disclosure of their conflicts of interest.

  • Legislators are not prevented from using their official positions to threaten judges and agency heads and to get employees of the executive branch fired for not ruling a certain way.

  • Legislators can spend campaign funds on non-campaign personal expenses.

  • Legislators can contribute to each other’s campaigns with money that was given to them for expected use in their own campaign. They can acquire a war chest and give money to other legislators or legislative candidates to curry favor with them and influence legislative leadership decisions.

  • Legislators can accept unlimited donations to their campaigns from individuals, corporations, and other special interest groups.

This citizen-led initiative will improve the ethical landscape,

assuring that legislators do not profit or appear to profit

from their positions of trust.

Follow us at and on twitter and the UEG facebook page.

Supplementary Information for Signature Gatherers

1. The UEG initiative is nonpartisan.

    • It is supported by Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and other voters.
    • Its supporters include a number of former legislators and community leaders, both Republicans and Democrats.

2. The UEG initiative preserves the constitutional authority of the legislature to discipline its own members but provides a measure of independence from legislative politics.

    • The Independent Ethics Commission will be an arm of the legislative branch of state government selected by legislative leadership.
    • The five Commissioners will be selected at random from a pool of 20 qualified citizens, all of whom must be unanimously agreed to by the Republican and Democratic leadership of the House and Senate. The Commissioners must agree to operate in a non-partisan fashion.
    • The Commission will review complaints of ethical misconduct submitted by any three persons, and decide whether to dismiss the complaint or to hold hearings and make recommendations to the Legislature with respect to the discipline of a member.
    • The Senate or House decides whether to accept or reject the recommendations of the Commission but must do so in a public vote.

3. The Office of the Independent Ethics Commission will be a small office.

    • The office will have a paid Executive Director and small staff.
    • The staff will have the expertise and technology to conduct investigations and gather evidence for the Commission.
    • The Commissioners will not be salaried but will be paid a per diem to cover their expenses for actual days worked.

4. Our initiative is a separate initiative from the Fair Boundaries (redistricting) initiative to establish an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for federal and state legislative districts after the 2010 census.

    • The initiatives are congruent because both are interested in improving public trust in their government and reducing partisanship in decisions that should be nonpartisan, but they focus on different problems and have different sponsors.

5. Our initiative is not part of the work of the Governor’s Commission on Strengthening Democracy, which is focusing on election law reform, campaign financing, and lobbying and which will make recommendations to Governor Herbert in November.

    • The original charge to the Commission to study ethics and redistricting issues was withdrawn by Governor Huntsman under pressure from legislative leaders, which gave increased importance to the work of Utahns for Ethical Government and Fair Boundaries.

More detailed information is found in the Executive Summary and Frequently Asked Questions sections of the UEG website at The complete initiative can be downloaded from the website, along with favorable editorials that have been published since the initiative was launched on August 12th.