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Carla Santorno on the inside track, Occupy Tacoma, Rosellini passes away and the truth about I-1125

A look back at the last week in Tacoma and Pierce County

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Bold Decision by the Tacoma School Board

On Thursday night the Tacoma School Board decided to move ahead with a plan to appoint Deputy Superintendent Carla Santorno to two back-to-back temporary superintendent posts. As The News Tribune reported today, Santorno will first fill the role of superintendent-elect (interim), beginning in January, then after six months move to the post of interim superintendent. School Board President Kurt Miller tells The News Tribune that this decision allows the Tacoma School Board a chance to evaluate Santorno over a 12-month period. The News Tribune also says the decision could put Santorno in position to become Tacoma's next permanent school superintendent.

I'm finding this decision very hard to swallow. Why Santorno has earned this opportunity as opposed to any other candidate is not completely clear, nor is the justification for the board's apparent "hired until proven incompetent" stance regarding her candidacy. I understand that nation-wide searches take time, money and energy, but hiring from the inside of a struggling (if not failing) institution doesn't seem like a logical way to bring about drastic innovation and change ... at least not without considering other candidates.

The most troubling aspect of the board's decision is specifically the approval of the second term. This decision was approved by a vote of 4-1, but two out of the four ‘yes' votes will be off the board long before Santorno's second term begins - and wont be around to be held accountable for their votes.

Occupy Tacoma Planning Saturday March

The organizers of Occupy Tacoma are planning a march from Hilltop to downtown Tacoma this Saturday. The organization's website,, explains its mission: "In solidarity with #OccupyWallStreet and countless other @Occupy movements across the world, Occupy Tacoma is part of a peaceful, nonviolent movement fighting corporate abuse of American democracy."

Saturday's march is assembling at People's Park (900 South Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma) at 1 p.m. and will conclude at Tollefson Plaza.

Former Governor and Tacoma Native Passes Away

Earlier this week Tacoma lost a political pioneer and a legend in former two-term Governor Al Rosellini, who passed away at age 101. Rosellini, a graduate of Stadium High School, was elected Washington's Governor in 1956 and 1960. Throughout the week local media has published a variety of features about Rosellini's career and passing, highlighted by The News Tribune's re-posting of a Peter Callaghan feature originally published in 1997 that highlights Rosellini's career and impact.

The Truth About I-1125

Finally, I want to give some shine to a great op-ed by Tacoma activists Andrew Austin and Justin Leighton in the latest issue of the Tacoma Weekly. Austin and Leighton shed light on I-1125 and call the proposition out for what they believe it is, "an irresponsible initiative designed to halt major transportation projects across the state." Ballots will be mailed a week from today and, although the buzz may not be as loud as other years, there is a ton at stake.

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