Newspaper Archive of
Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
July 21, 1994     Beverly Hills Weekly
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July 21, 1994

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PAGE 26 1 BEVERLY Nicnols Continued from Page 1 we'd come to an agreement much sooner. So there was a surprise dement there." But both teachers union leaders and board members suggest that perhaps the biggest stumbling block in the co.act talks -- and the possible source for b:eased fron -- was the confrontaUonal negotiation method itself. "The method of negotiations we used lent itself to tensions," says NichoLs, who teaches French and English as a Se Language at Beverly Hills Igh School, So dissatisfied were the two sides that the board and the teachers have agreed to switch to a collaborative bargaining form of negotia- tion, which have been successfully used in other school districts in keeping tensions and confrontations to a minimum. The former method, say board members and teachers, tend to pit both sides against each other in a highly charged competitive environment that can leave each side frustrat- ed and angry. It all made for an unlikely environment to find Betty Nichols, a career teacher at Beverty Hills who found herself thrust into the spotlight. "1 became president (of the teachers' union) because there was nobody else who was going to do It," says Nichols, "and I don't have a particular agenda." At least one board member believes it may have been a blessing for Nichols to have been head of the teachers' union at the critical time of the recent negotia0ons. "Betty is very cool-headed and reaso able," says Board member Phil Pla. "It's conceivae that (the negotons) could have been even more frustraling and (acnrnonious) e Betty hadnl been /dved. "She's very diplomat-like and she may not be as confrontational as much as some think she should be, but she should be credited with keeping things from crystallizing past the boil- ing po" No one, however, can speak any better of Nichols than her former students who describe her as the "consummate dedicated teacher." Giles Farley, now a junior at UCLA who studied Latin under Nichols, recalls her unusu- al dedication to her Latin students in the days after the 13-day teachers ske in 1989. "Those of us who were up for (college Advanced Racement) in Latin missed all those days of important class time," Farley recalls, "and it could have meant not getting (advanced placement). "Mm. Nichols knew how important this was arl had us over to her house several week- ends helping us study so that we could catch up on what we'd lost (during the strike). "I'II always remember that. Opening up your house to high school students to study is ng beyo the cl of duty." Nichols says it is no less than what she would expect a good teacher to do for her own youngsters, who undoubtedly have given her a SUPERVISOR EDMUND D. EDELMAN INVITES YOU TO A FREE COUNTYWIDE HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE ROUNDUP "\\;, VACANT IOT 9332 OVg GNT[R DRIVE, JRftXtY HILLS (Enter ro.ndu I m C [enter Dr.} I =oT,u... I hdy 21-27, lJ4 HILLS NEWS unique insight into today's teanagers -- not to mention opening up the wodd of  to her. "1 took it up IDecause n'p/ok:lest daughter took It up whan she wes a Girl Scout," she says, "ad ffan the whole family started sJd- ing," Nicho  goes up to Mammoth evej l|me she has a throe-day weekend or during Christmas and the Easter holidays, but she has retired the vanity license plate that former students remember on her car -- "WE5SKI." Council Cont/nued from page 1 Cable in recent months on two fronts: Officials have fled a complaint with the Federal Com- municalJons Commission seeking a $?_02 per month rollback in basic cable rates and have threatened to assess $250 per day in liquidat- ed damages for alleged customer service vio- lations. Acknowledging failures in the past to promptly answer phone calls and respond to service requests, Century V'e President of Operal Margaret Betlville ,s the compa- ny has instited a series of changes to improve its customer service. "We're in the midst of a revolution in terms Center Connued from page 1 student "interns" under the  of The Maple Center's professional staff. All counsel- ing sessions are video taped for later review by the interns. "They're terrified (of the cameras) when they start out, but they soon find it i," said Laniado, who stressed lhat the vidoo tap- ingis dono with the fua consent of all parties involved in the counseling sessions, n'hey can map their improvement. It's a great sense of feedback." A number of the center's programs also are conducted by trained volunteers. A limited number of reduced-fee counseli sessions are conducted by members of The Maple Cen- ter's professional staff under a newly-inVo- duced Clinical Associates program. Fees at The Maple Center are on a sliding scale, based on ability to pay, but no one is ever tumed away for kck of funds. "We have some people paying $1 a ses- sion,"  noted. "There's a myth that eveyor who ,,es in Bevedy His is rk:h, which we know is not true._We see everyone that works in Beverly Hills, as well. These peo- ple live an over the place, but they come here tOO. '= The Map Center offers eraj dozerts of programs for children and adults. There are alcohol and substance abuse programs; bereavement groups; counseling for kxreJu- ais,  and families; parering classes; cr's support; set,or peer support groups; and academ:. "When you think about it, counseling is oan-- dealh of a spouse, a divorce. It doesnl mea that you're crazy," Laniado saicL "It means that you're smart enou to ask for supporL find it anti go on wi your life." The one-on-o academic tuomg pro- gram is just one of The Maple Cents nny says, "and I now (BETESCS) -- that say= stands) Not that It would be anyway. "She could be in the schod distdd," Deborah Mehrez. "In e 1 "dedication' there should be Nid'K." of customer care,'= she about these changes- ate our desire to reSOlVe -- adopted a get for the increase in st:)efxJ year. Total city inctudod, will be -- confirmed with bility of leasing a city 200 biocks of N. C_,Nmn a new department stom --gave ment of a Sunday aiong  Drive. open Aug. 7. nization to help alcoho The 50 or so each week are from high schod Tutodrj may not seem responsibility m first do their schod work, to go down," Laniado The Ma gram is a-v-=ek dLc.=sk)n kndorgarten develop About 900 kxml progr.wn each year. "It'S for preventative . "it increases their se esteem...We think problems Over lhe years, aays an prUe  the spec ny. x,'xr that wake of the Jar 17 children at Horace death of a popular t Itis The tom -- many . be of the credit, said. raise the operation in active role in center, she notod- "There are other The Maple community "The Maple We're there