Andy Monroe's Personal Blog

Chile's ex-president visits Oakland high school


The 20 pupils at Oakland International Substantial Institution were a little bit awestruck and intimidated until their guest speaker, previous Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, started talking about her existence.

Like a lot of in the students at the institution, she experienced been a refugee. Her father was tortured and died a political prisoner. Forced into exile, she landed in a brand new place unable to speak a word from the neighborhood language.

She not merely survived, but thrived - turning into a doctor and ultimately the leader of the region.

"I know how you really feel," she told the students. "If you function challenging, you may fulfill your dreams."

The new immigrant students, a lot of struggling with English and academics, smiled, telling her they experienced college plans and career goals - even though they only had a couple of a long time of education under their belt.

"She has such a compelling life story that kids from plenty of countries could find anything in it that touched them," mentioned school Principal Carmelita Reyes. "Her story resonated with them on many levels."

The Oakland classes serves 270 pupils, all current immigrants from 30 countries. The 20 pupils who met with Bachelet included college students from 15 nations around the world and integrated eight refugees.

Back in his property land of Guatemala, Nestor Ortiz-Roman, 19, experienced made it to sixth grade.

"My father wouldn't let me finish school," he told the former head of state.

He arrived in California, alone, about 3 several years ago and hopes to attend San Francisco State University within the fall.

"We have many points in frequent," he told Bachelet.

At times, emotion filled Bachelet's face as the college students recited a little bit about their individual lives and asked her questions.

On her initial international journey given that her presidential term ended last month, Bachelet was within the Bay Location this week giving talks, and holding meetings with neighborhood seismologists and medical researchers, stated Professor Harley Shaiken, head with the UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies, which sponsored the trip.

Bachelet, the very first female president of Chile, left office in April using a popularity rating of 85 percent - her region still reeling from the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit the nation Feb. 27. Chilean law prohibits consecutive terms. She is eligible to run once more in 2014.

Bachelet appeared to relish the time spent with the pupils, signing autographs on their cell phones and posing for pictures.

PC Pro School asked her advice or opinions over a wide range of topics - from how you can understand English to tips on how to end war, terrorism and turmoil in their dwelling countries of Iraq, Thailand or Liberia.

"Unfortunately, I do not contain the answer for each one of you," she explained. "Otherwise, I would have the Nobel Peace Prize. The only factor I can tell you is in no way give up."

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CHESTERFIELD: Three-alarm fire damages new school


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CHESTERFIELD — The skeleton from the elementary district’s new $37 million institution caught fire Tuesday, drawing many fire companies towards the three-alarm blaze.

 The extent in the harm was not clear yesterday, and officials were unsure of how the fire might impact the school’s scheduled opening this fall.

 The blaze began at about 10:30 a.m. though a worker about the roof was welding a gable, according to Superintendent Ellen McHenry. She claimed the workers very first tried to put the flames out having a fire extinguisher, but soon had to call 911.

 Ms. McHenry mentioned she was named from a meeting and headed more than towards new classes website.

 ”By then, they had quite a few fire businesses around the scene,” she said. “It was a really fantastic response from our own community in Chesterfield along with the surrounding communities.”
 She claimed the fire was confined with a 30- to 40-foot region on one section from the roof. Hill International Construction Management, which is managing the new school’s construction, is from the practice of assessing how much injury the fire did and “how that could impact our routine,” Ms. McHenry explained.

 ”There was some water injury and smoke ruin towards the insulation, but, fortunately, the fire was contained to a pretty small spot whenever you look on the size from the entire roof,” she explained.

 Fire organizations from all through the location responded to the blaze. One particular responding firefighter, who asked not to become named because he was not authorized to speak towards the media, mentioned the fire companies “did rip up a substantial portion on the roof” because the fire was contained to its inner layers.

 An additional firefighter was injured on the scene following he cut his hand, the superintendent mentioned. He was taken to Capital Well being Regional Medical Center in Trenton where a hospital source explained he was treated and released.

 The district already has overcome delays to have the university prepared for subsequent fall. Heavy rainfall and some other problems in 2009 pushed the construction schedule back 66 workdays, but the district worked with its vendors to limit the delay to 20 days.

 The district broke ground within the new classes on Saddle Way in Old York Village in January 2009. The classes is planned to serve up to 900 students and to get available for the community year-round for athletics, meetings and community events.

 Voters approved the $37 million institution, 669-594, in December 2007.

 ”Obviously, we’ll function together with the university to assist them nonetheless we can,” Mayor Brian Kelly mentioned Wednesday, “but they’re going to must assess the injury and how that should impact the construction timetable.”


Suspect in school hostage taking fit to stand trial


Court - A man accused of holding a university secretary hostage at knifepoint even though the junior increased went into lockdown two months ago has been observed fit to stand trial.

But lawyer Rebecca Snukal, who pleaded not guilty on behalf of Matthew Adeniran on Wednesday, explained he nevertheless may very well be deemed not criminally accountable for that incident at A.E. Cross Junior High University on March 4.

Adeniran underwent a 60-day assessment period.

Snukal, quoting from a report by Dr. Kenneth Hashman, a forensic psychiatrist, said Adeniran features a "severe psychiatric mental disturbance."

She stated outside court she intends to call Hashman being a important witness at her client's trial on June 7, which will establish his psychological state at the time on the incident.

Adeniran, 25, is charged with forcible confinement, assault using a weapon, uttering threats, criminal harassment and possession of a weapon.

No one was injured in the incident, which lasted a lot more than two hours ahead of he surrendered.

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School officials silent on why they didn't notify police


Coquitlam classes officials remained mum Wednesday about their handling of child-abuse complaints last fall against a substitute teacher, which they investigated but did not survey to law enforcement.

District communications manager Cheryl Quinton explained senior managers ended up out with the office attending a workshop and unavailable to respond to questions, such as why they didn't go to court arrest and why Aleksandr Plehanov was authorized to continue teaching till new allegations surfaced in March.

The RCMP have confirmed that their investigation of Plehanov, who was charged in March with sex crimes in opposition to three youngsters, has been broadened to include things like the October allegations. Cpl. Bert Paquet, the court arrest spokesman, wouldn't give details of those allegations but stated they had been similar to people obtained by police March 10 from dad and mom concerned about their daughter's report of inappropriate touching by a teacher.

That complaint prompted a criminal arrest investigation and led to charges of sexual interference, sexual exploitation and sexual assault in opposition to Plehanov, 35, of Burnaby and involving 3 girls aged seven and eight.

While Coquitlam officials did not contact law enforcement in October, they disciplined Plehanov and reported his misconduct towards the B.C. College of Teachers. In the statement Tuesday, the district explained it "acted on all information received and took action immediately, as prescribed by policy along with the law."

Even though provincial law needs any individual who suspects little one abuse to statement all those concerns to authorities, the University of Teachers explained it will not routinely speak to court arrest when it receives discipline reports about baby abuse from college districts. "We assume that the districts do what's needed of them and that their processes are sound and that their actions are responsible ones," communications officer Mykle Ludvigsen explained.

"The process only operates effectively when all the players fulfil the roles which can be assigned to them."

Paquet stated law enforcement were unaware of Plehanov until they acquired the March 10 call from mom and dad. Inside hours, criminal court had located two other girls who had also documented inappropriate touching by a teacher to their mom and dad.

They promptly notified the institution district and Plehanov was suspended, Paquet proclaimed Monday.

Asked why Plehanov was authorized to continue to be from the classroom despite the October allegations, Paquet replied: "I cannot speak towards university district's decision. What I can tell you is that we initiated our investigation right away following becoming informed of the allegations on March 10."

By the time Plehanov was arrested on March 18, the Coquitlam RCMP were definitely conscious on the October 2009 allegations. "These allegations are component of our ongoing study," he additional.

Heidi Gable, president on the Coquitlam district parent advisory council, said she didn't have ample particulars concerning the case to comment on the district's actions but suggested parents will desire to know what happened and whether or not changes are necessary to restore trust. "How are you going to assure me that my children are safe?" was the question she mentioned is going to be on a lot of parents' minds.

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