Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Slatic to Fresno Unified Staffer: Is the Air Cooler in NW Fresno?
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 2 years ago on
November 19, 2021

Share

Fresno Unified Trustee Terry Slatic’s distinctive (some might call it obnoxious) style of eliciting information was on full display at Wednesday’s School Board meeting.

Check out my other School Zone columns at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

Karin Temple, the district’s chief operations officer, had wrapped up a presentation about which projects the $325 million Measure M bond issue will fund, and which projects (including a two-story cafeteria at Fresno High) it can’t afford because of rising labor and construction material costs, among other factors.

Slatic then launched into the following interrogation:

Slatic: “Ms. Temple, my question to you is specifically targeted at our seven major high schools. ‘K. So when all the stuff that’s been done and that is scheduled to be done, is done, which of those seven high schools will have a gymnasium that does not have air conditioning?”

Temple: “My guess is, you’re referring to the Bullard North Gym which has what we call make-up air, which is a form of evaporative — ”

Slatic: “I understand what’s called air conditioning. So my question is, my specific question is not for expansion, it is a specific question. So when all of the stuff that is scheduled to be done is done, as well as the stuff that’s already been done is done, which gymnasiums on the seven major high schools will not have what the reasonable man — me — will call air conditioning?”

Temple: “Bullard.”

Slatic: ” ‘K. So as far as you are aware in the years you’ve been doing this, is there by any chance north of Ashlan and west of (Highway) 41 a magical air curtain that keeps northwest Fresno cooler than the rest of Fresno? Did I miss that memo?”

Temple: “No, you didn’t miss that — ”

Slatic: “OK, so there isn’t.”


Also in School Zone: 

  • Fresno trustee is named a Fresno State Health and Human Services Hero.
  • Fresno State wins recognition on many fronts.
  • Fresno Pacific’s president is retiring.

 

Upgrading Facilities Standards

Temple kept trying to explain that the Bullard North Gym was modernized about a decade ago before air conditioning became the standard for the district’s school gyms, which put other gyms ahead of it on the project cycle list. She said she believed there would be enough funds in the deferred maintenance budget to cover the costs of the gym’s AC project, although she didn’t yet have information about potential costs.

Although there was no actual vote by the board to fund the gym AC project, chief of staff David Chavez said the project would get done and the superintendent was committed to getting it done “based on the direction of the majority of the board.”

Trustee Keshia Thomas, who seconded a motion by Trustee Claudia Cazares to add the gym AC project to the district’s list in the spirit of equity, chastised Temple for a lack of foresight and obliquely referred to Slatic’s prior Q&A when she said to Temple: “This is one of those things where we lean on you to tell us what’s needed because we have always been about equity across the board, and that’s the bottom line. So this is one of those things where I feel like … people trying to blindside us with B.S., and you should have told us that this was an inequity because we would all have been on board.”

But Trustee Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas cautioned the board against adding the project to a funding list before knowing its cost and also what other projects might have to be bumped to pay for it. She noted that while equity is a good goal, the district does not have enough resources to ensure that each high school campus is exactly equal.

“A lot of us don’t have a second gym, and not all of us are going to get a theater, not all of us are going to get a stadium,” said Jonasson Rosas, who represents the Roosevelt High area.

Although there was no actual vote by the board to fund the gym AC project, chief of staff David Chavez said the project would get done and the superintendent was committed to getting it done “based on the direction of the majority of the board.”

Trustee Is A Health Hero

Trustee Veva Islas has been at the forefront on the School Board in advocating for healthy meals and snacks to be served at Fresno Unified schools. Chocolate milk? Gone. Fruit juice? Better for kids to eat whole fruit instead.

So it should come as no surprise that Islas, who also is founder and director of Cultiva La Salud (formerly Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program) should be named a Health and Human Services Hero by Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services.

Islas was one of 10 individuals recognized for making a difference in the community.

“A hero is often described as someone who is lauded for their courage, achievements or noble qualities,” said Dr. Denise Seabert, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “Although our 2021 heroes certainly deserve that praise, most of them will tell you that they are just simply doing what they love to do. Each of these individuals serve their profession, community, and our University in significant and meaningful ways — and we are so pleased to now honor them as outstanding alumni.”

Here’s why Islas was nominated: “Growing up with immigrant parents, Islas saw firsthand how health inequities impact underserved communities. As founder of Cultiva La Salud, she works to ensure other immigrant families have proper health care access. Her advocacy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a testament to that.”

Speaking of Awards …

Fresno State almost can’t crank out the news releases fast enough to keep up with its various accolades.

This week the university reported that it had placed among the top five best universities for social mobility for the fifth year in a row.

Fresno State ranked No. 5 out of 1,549 schools in the 2021 Social Mobility Index developed by CollegeNET. Last year, the university ranked No. 3.

The Social Mobility Index measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students at lower tuition, so they can graduate and get good-paying jobs.

Researchers Rake in Cash

Earlier this month the university announced it had set a record for research grants for the third year in a row. Fresno State received 356 grants or contracts for a total of $48.2 million during the 2020-21 academic year, a 3% increase from the year before.

That puts Fresno State among the top four California State University campuses for grants received this past year.

The grants included:

  • $420,000 from the National Institutes of Health to chemistry professor Dr. Morgan Hawker, in the College of Science and Mathematics, who will lead research on “Controlling Naturally Derived Polymer Enzymatic Degradation: A Plasma-enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition Approach.”
  • $1.2 million from the National Institutes of Health to biology professor Dr. Karine Gousset, in the College of Science and Mathematics, to further support the fight against three major health problems plaguing society: persistent viral infections, neurological diseases, and cancer.
  • $1.25 million from the National Science Foundation to Drs. Lalita Oka, Kimberly Stillmaker, and Arezoo Sadrinezhad in the Civil and Geomatics Engineering Department, Lyles College of Engineering, to increase the representation of women faculty members — especially underrepresented minority women — in the field of engineering.

Fresno Pacific President Retiring

Fresno Pacific University recently announced that President Dr. Joseph Jones will retire after nearly five years helming the private Christian university in southeast Fresno.

“On behalf of the FPU Board of Trustees I want to thank Joe and Yvette for their faithful service to the university and to the communities the university serves. We wish them all the best in their future journey and pray for God’s blessing on them,” Board of Trustees Chair Joshua Wilson said in a statement.

Fresno Pacific President Joseph Jones
President Dr. Joseph Jones will retire after nearly five years helming the private Christian university in southeast Fresno. (Fresno Pacific)

DON'T MISS

Fresno’s Baklava House Entices Foodies With Its Delicious Flavors

DON'T MISS

A Far-Right German EU Lawmaker’s Aide Is Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for China

DON'T MISS

Wall Street Rallies and Adds to Its Hot Start to the Week

DON'T MISS

The Icon Returns: Discover the All-New 2024 Land Cruiser

DON'T MISS

Newsom Criticizes Local Response to Homelessness. He Should Look in the Mirror.

DON'T MISS

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

DON'T MISS

LeBron James Rants at NBA’s Replay Center for Calls, Lakers Lose on Buzzer-Beater

DON'T MISS

Winn Sharp Again, Conforto Homers as Giants Clip Mets

DON'T MISS

CA Lawmakers Reject Bill Cracking Down on Utilities Spending Customers’ Money

DON'T MISS

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

UP NEXT

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

UP NEXT

Fresno Unified Says It Has No Superintendent Succession Plan Despite HR Leader’s Claim

UP NEXT

Trustees to Vote on New Fresno High Gym, Bullard Security Fence. Who Were the Low Bidders?

UP NEXT

Columbia Cancels In-Person Classes as Demonstrations Sprout on US Campuses to Protest Israel War

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have to Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

UP NEXT

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

UP NEXT

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

UP NEXT

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

UP NEXT

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

The Icon Returns: Discover the All-New 2024 Land Cruiser

52 mins ago

Newsom Criticizes Local Response to Homelessness. He Should Look in the Mirror.

1 hour ago

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

2 hours ago

LeBron James Rants at NBA’s Replay Center for Calls, Lakers Lose on Buzzer-Beater

2 hours ago

Winn Sharp Again, Conforto Homers as Giants Clip Mets

2 hours ago

CA Lawmakers Reject Bill Cracking Down on Utilities Spending Customers’ Money

2 hours ago

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

2 hours ago

49ers GM Hopes to Get Brandon Aiyuk Contract Extension Done Sooner Rather Than Later

5 hours ago

Judge Rejects Changing the Name of California’s Trans Youth Ballot Measure

6 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

18 hours ago

Fresno’s Baklava House Entices Foodies With Its Delicious Flavors

Arut Mkhitaryan, owner of the bakery/restaurant Baklava House, has a customer-first attitude. “When people are happy, we are happy,...

18 mins ago

18 mins ago

Fresno’s Baklava House Entices Foodies With Its Delicious Flavors

25 mins ago

A Far-Right German EU Lawmaker’s Aide Is Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for China

28 mins ago

Wall Street Rallies and Adds to Its Hot Start to the Week

52 mins ago

The Icon Returns: Discover the All-New 2024 Land Cruiser

1 hour ago

Newsom Criticizes Local Response to Homelessness. He Should Look in the Mirror.

2 hours ago

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

2 hours ago

LeBron James Rants at NBA’s Replay Center for Calls, Lakers Lose on Buzzer-Beater

2 hours ago

Winn Sharp Again, Conforto Homers as Giants Clip Mets

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend