Tuesday, October 06, 2009



September 30, 2009

Richard Wagoner
Math Teacher
San Pedro High School

Dear Richard,

Recent events and misperceptions regarding our announcement of “Focus Schools” have caused me to clarify my position in promoting and providing an enhanced learning environment for a number of our schools. Let me assure you that in my public correspondence and media interviews regarding this subject I have always stated that the purpose of this process is about providing our schools with the appropriate support to develop and implement plans that meet the needs of our students. At no time did I disparage San Pedro High School or any other school listed as part of our “Focus Schools.”

Furthermore, I’d like to reiterate that being classified as a “Focus School” should not be viewed as a negative term. Instead, I want us to work together to identify strategies that can help our schools overcome the challenges that they are facing. It will take all of us working together to help our students reach their highest potential.

Understandably, concerns have risen in response to your school being named a “Focus School.” Let me be clear, your school’s presence on the list does not automatically mean that a charter school, a non-profit organization, a group of teachers or anyone else will take it over. Being on the list simply means you need to make progress and at a faster rate. I know that in working together we can make it happen and you have my commitment of support from my office and the Local District Superintendent’s office during this process.

I also want to be clear that I support your new principal, Ms. Jeanette Stevens, as she works to accelerate the improvements at the school. Furthermore, although the review process we have developed in response to the Public School Choice Board Resolution will start soon, nothing will happen this year.


Ramon C. Cortines

San Pedro Rotary Club Unveils John Olguin Citizen of the Century Monument

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 10:00 AM

(San Pedro, CA) The public is invited to join the San Pedro Rotary Club at the unveiling of the “Citizen of the Century” monument commemorating San Pedro resident Johh Olguin’s decades of service to the community of San Pedro and the City of Los Angeles.

Where: Point Fermin Park entrance – corner of Gaffey & Shepard Streets

When: Saturday, October 10th at 10:00 am

Speakers: Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn

San Pedro Rotary Club President Robert Wolfenden

Citizen of the Century Monument Chair Anthony Vulin

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn will be at the event to recognize Mr. Olguin on behalf of the City of Los Angeles for his contribution to the community. John Olguin truly embodies the Rotary Club’s motto, “Service Above Self.”

Mr. John Olguin served the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department for 50 years in the Aquatics division. His many accomplishments include: Co-founder of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the establishment of the Point Fermin Marine Life Refuge, and past president and charter member of the Cetacean Society.

He is considered the local “father of whale watching” and “Mr. San Pedro”. He was given a Lifetime Achievement award by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. For 55 years, he raised the funds and coordinated the Cabrillo Beach Fourth of July fireworks.

“It’s a great honor to be receiving this recognition from the San Pedro Rotary,” said Olguin. “The location of this monument means a lot to me. In the 1970s I saw that this piece of land was collecting trash and needed attention. I got people involved to landscape and beautify it.”

The Rotary worked with local government for many years to find the right location for the monument. The small triangular median, noted for its large anchor, at the corner of Gaffey and Shepard Streets was selected. Considering the breadth and depth of Olguin’s community contribution, it’s no surprise that he was instrumental in improving this very spot.

The San Pedro Rotary Club is a service organization. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio.