Piece of Mind: A winning week in La Cañada

Some well-deserved rejoicing is going on in town this week among supporters of our outstanding public school system, who put together a successful campaign to pass Measure LC. It was well-executed and brought about a result that will, I believe, benefit the community as a whole.

It’s estimated the new, seven-year, $450 parcel tax, replacing the $150 tax that sunsets in June, could bring in up to $18 million to bolster the district’s coffers. That’s a lot of money and might raise eyebrows among those who are worried about the possibility dollars won’t be spent wisely. But they should consider this: We have a tightly run school district headed by a well-respected superintendent. Our school board is comprised of people who carefully consider expenditures. They all know they have been elected to handle some very serious business and are unlikely to waste any of the precious education dollars that flow into the district, regardless of the source.

We did not publicly endorse the parcel tax because it has been our policy in recent years not to make election endorsements. We believe a better role for us at this small city newspaper is to provide you with all the details in any campaign and let you decide for yourself how to vote. In fact, I took some heat from our contributing columnist Joe Puglia when I wouldn’t print a piece he submitted last week in support of the parcel tax. Not only does he write for a paper that doesn’t do endorsements, he’s married to a member of the school board! A little too close for journalistic comfort, from my point of view. But we smoothed things out, he wrote a quick substitute column and seems to still be speaking to me.

Anyway, the resounding approval of Measure LC shows just how vested La Cañadans continue to be in their public schools and the children they educate. I don’t see a downside to that.

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Many La Cañadans this week also cheered on one of our residents, Chris Buck, who won an Academy Award for his directing work on Disney’s animated film, “Frozen.” He was wished luck in Facebook postings by local supporters prior to his win and congratulated there afterward.

In his brief but poignant comments upon collecting the Oscar, Buck gave credit to his late son, Ryder, who died tragically last October while he was on foot on a local freeway after his car became disabled. It was sweet to hear Chris Buck thank his “guardian angel,” Ryder. Even though I do not personally know the Bucks, we have told their story in our pages, including an article on the search Chris’ wife, Shelley, has made for their son’s missing CIF ring, a piece of jewelry he drew strength from when he was being treated for testicular cancer.

The morning after Chris Buck received his honors, I noticed the story that still appears on our paper’s website about Ryder Buck’s missing ring had received about 8,000 hits Sunday night. And the trend continued into the week. No doubt there were television viewers who had done an Internet search of Ryder’s name after his father mentioned it before the worldwide audience and were led to our website. Other media outlets on Monday also carried the story of Ryder Buck. Now people across the globe know more about the well-liked and talented young man.

Whether or not you are friends with the Buck family, you might want to consider honoring the memory of their son too: La Cañada High School has established a memorial scholarship in his honor. Donations can be mailed to the LCHS Choral Parents Assn., P.O. Box 433, La Cañada, CA 91012.

La Cañada residents support their schools and each other — not that you need a reminder that this is a great place to live, but there you have it.

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CAROL CORMACI is the managing editor. Email her at carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

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