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September 5, 2001     Beverly Hills Weekly
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September 5, 2001
 

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afit P, for: Lo. 1-be Beverly Hills Weekly Celebrates Its Centennial Issue With A Look Back At Some Of Our Most Controversial Covers By Amanda Michne and Avital Binsht0ck Almost two years ago, a few young writers crammed our readers to tell us what the Weekly has brought to into a tiny office on South Beverly Drive and decided the community. We also looked at some of our most it was time to offer the residents of Beverly Hills a dif- interesting and provocative cover stories from the ferent perspective on news and events in their city. past 100 issues that have helped spark community One hundred weeks later, the Beverly Hills Weekly is debate and fulfill our mission to provide in.depth, celebrating its 100th Issue. Thanks to your support, unapologetic coverage of the city, the school district we've grown from 12 pages to 28 and more than dou- and the residents of Beverly Hills. bled our staff. In this special issue, we asked some of Issue 1 Issue 12 c ) ," file: 4 Strong Campaigns. 3 Seats Up For Grabs In November. Which Candidate Will Be The Odd One Out? What the Weekly reported: With an election approaching on November 2, 1999, the Weekly reported that the four can- didates vying for three seats on the Beverly Hills Board of FAucatnin were running virtually neck and neck, with no strong favorites and no long shots. Two years before, some people considered the school board a "dysfunctional family," since it had endured months of scandal and controversy including the exodus of school principals at Hawthorne and Beverly Vista. squabbles about the $77 million construction bond that was quickly drying up and a portable air quality fia.~o that made the television news The Weekly questioned whether these problems would spark an "anti incumbent" move merit and help the two non-incumbents, Willie Brien and Alissa Roston, But since there were only four candidates for three seats, one of the incumbents up for re-election was guarameed to win. Both incumbents had taken some heat in the community, the Weekly reported Maa~ had not explained why she voted against the termination of Superintendent Pellicone, who had been accused of spending district funds on cocktails and dinners. Maas was also named in an allegation of permit abuse by her fellow board member Gerald Lunn. What happened since? Willie Brien and Alissa Roston were elected to the school beard. Virginia Maas held onto her seat, beating the other incumbent by 22 votes. It's hard to believe bot the next school board race is just around the comer. Look for complete coverage of this November's election in upcoming issues of the Weekly. December 23-29, 1999 Pellicone's Last Stand Former BHUSD Superintendent Robert Pellicone Ran Up Unauthorized Credit Card Bills, Demoralized Teaching Staff And Antagonized Parents. Now lie's Suing The District For Reinstatement. What the Weekly reported: After the acrimonious departure of long-time administrator and superintendent Sol Levine in 1997, the school was left to embark on the project of hiring a new superintendent with lit- tle guidance. The eventual winner, Robert Pellicone, had not even made the "'sborl list" of top candidates compiled by the search firm hired by the Board. Nevertheless, Pellicone eraerg~ as the frontrunner Four of the five board members flew to New York to interview cofiea~es in his district. Reviews were mixed, but, perhaps reasoning that any bold leader would elicit strong reactions, the Beverly Hills school board hired him anyway. Pelficone made waves almost from the start. His abrupt style irritated teachers and pafel~ts, the Weekly reported, and several district administrators, inchiding principals at Hawthortl and Beverly Vista coincidentelly opted to accept new job offers at other schools. Even the then-teacher's union president criticized Pellicone publicly at a board meeting, ad Bul the straw that broke the camel's back came when the board discovered Pellicone h charged over $5,000 of unaudionzed purchases on a dismct een phone and credit card inclt ~ ing cocktails and dinners at the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Peninsula. How could die ts~ justify these expenditures in a casfi-strapped district where renovation and medernizati~ plans were constantly being put on hold? In a painfully public showing of disunity, the voted 3-2 to suspend Pellicone and later to terminate him. Current board member VirgitU~ 14 Bevedy Hills Weekly