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November 15, 1999
The student responses to the question regarding L.A. schools Supt. Ruben Zacarias (Voices, Nov. 6) were very impressive. Considering the issue involved, their comments remained thoughtful, focused and objective in tone. This level of expression reflects the quality of teaching to which these students are being exposed. Now that Zacarias is stepping down, let us move toward rehabilitating this district, with a fair amount of attention given to attracting and maintaining good teachers.
January 22, 2010 | By Jason Song
A former Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent pleaded no contest Thursday to unlawfully displaying a badge while allegedly trying to pull a woman over in Pomona. Ruben Zacarias, 81, waved a school district police badge at a woman driving on the 57 Freeway last July and said he was a cop, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Zacarias, who was superintendent for 2 1/2 years before being bought out of his contract by the school board in late 1999, was fined $250 and must pay a $100 restitution fee. Superior Court Judge David Brougham also ordered that the badge -- which was seized by the California Highway Patrol -- be returned to the school district, according to Deputy Dist.
May 3, 1998
I respect and admire Ruben Zacarias ("Can This Man Save Our Schools?" by Amy Pyle, March 8). However, despite his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, he cannot eliminate gang violence, poverty, drugs, one-parent families and hopelessness in the community. Education is a two-way street: The teachers can teach, but it is the students' responsibility to learn, and education starts at home. The best Zacarias can do is to provide opportunities for self-achievers to blossom. Henry Sakaida dybsca@email.
April 21, 2006 | Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
Terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui does not suffer from schizophrenia or paranoia but does have deep personality flaws that explain his bizarre behavior since his arrest several weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, a psychiatrist testifying for the prosecution told a jury Thursday. Dr. Raymond F. Patterson also suggested that Moussaoui was justified in being angry with his lawyers because they did not want him to testify in his own defense.
September 20, 1998
Re "L.A. Schools Officials Get 6% Raise," Sept. 9. No raise for [Supt. Ruben] Zacarias until he improves the one item he conveniently overlooked in his report on the goals of the superintendent--the standards of the teachers. He talks about improving the test results, pass rate, literacy, English, placement and more. But what about the teachers? They are the most important element of the education system. I have been waiting for months for the Los Angeles Unified School District to test our teachers, after the Massachusetts tests revealed that some 60% of the teachers could not pass a basic college entrance exam, or worse yet, a second exam at high school level.
August 22, 1999
Re "Fight Shapes Up as Zacarias Vows to Keep Job," Aug. 17: Cheers for Harold Williams, urging that the apparent "ugly confrontation . . . developing around [LAUSD Supt. Ruben Zacarias'] future . . . needs to be stopped." What is (really) going on when individuals, however well-intentioned, generate behind-the-scenes forces that are demonstrably diverting the school board and superintendent "from concentrating their attention on the education of our children and on the superintendent's accountability for improving student achievement"?
November 8, 1999
Re "Board Buys Out Zacarias; Interim Chief Is Cortines," Nov. 5: After 26 years as a teacher/counselor with the Los Angeles Unified School District, I now know that you spell "dignity" with a $. Silly me. HELEN ARAGON San Fernando Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars! More money than I have earned in 18 years of teaching your children at the top of the wage scale, including every summer school and intersession they would give me as well as an extra period a day. For the first time in five years I'm on vacation.
November 13, 1997
Re "Flying on Automatic," editorial, Nov. 9: How in the world can LAUSD Supt. Ruben Zacarias justify giving himself a $10,000 pay raise after four months in office? The $178,000 or so that he already receives for not having done anything isn't enough? I have been a teacher with LAUSD for 14 years. Each year I have had to subsidize my classroom materials to the tune of approximately $3,000. This year, after eight years of pay cuts, we have received a "raise": I've just gotten an $80 increase in my paycheck today.
October 31, 1999 | AL MARTINEZ
It's not the way I'd want to go. I wouldn't want to be pulled from one side and then the other, torn apart by forces that seemed beyond my control. I wouldn't want to be in the position of not knowing whether I wanted to save my job or preserve my self-respect. I wouldn't want an elected board trying to throw me out as crowds hollered to keep me in. I wouldn't want to be all at once a scapegoat and a hero.
April 6, 2006 | Andrew Cohen, ANDREW COHEN is CBS News' chief legal analyst.
IT ONLY GETS WORSE from here for jurors in Zacarias Moussaoui's case, who earlier this week voted unanimously to continue his capital sentencing trial by linking him beyond a reasonable doubt to the 9/11 hijacking plot. Now those same folks, who already have given so much of their time and energy, will hear and see and feel the brunt of the emotional force left in the wake of those terror attacks.
April 5, 2006 | Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
When the Zacarias Moussaoui trial resumes Thursday, gone will be the images of a shadowy world of Muslim extremists, of an FBI and CIA unable to track their movements, of a conspiracy in which Moussaoui's role on Sept. 11 is still unclear. Now that a jury has found Moussaoui eligible for the death penalty, the trial comes down to a single question: Does he live or die? Federal prosecutors, wanting Moussaoui dead, intend next to turn Courtroom 700 over to the horror of that day 4 1/2 years ago.
April 3, 2006 | Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
On the 12th day of the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, at about 9:45 in the morning, one of the most puzzling riddles of the Sept. 11 conspiracy seemed at last to be laid to rest. It was then that a top Al Qaeda figure being held in a secret location overseas testified that the 20th hijacker, the man who never made it to the airplanes, was a young Saudi man named Mohammad al-Qahtani, who as it turns out was about as hapless a terrorist as Moussaoui.
March 23, 2006 | Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
A week after their case nearly imploded amid allegations of witness tampering, federal prosecutors began introducing aviation testimony Wednesday in Zacarias Moussaoui's sentencing trial, hoping to prove that had he cooperated, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks could have been prevented. Their first witness was Robert Cammaroto, chief of the Federal Aviation Administration's commercial airports policy division at the time of the attacks.
March 21, 2006 | Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
The FBI agent who arrested Zacarias Moussaoui weeks before Sept. 11 told a federal jury Monday that his own superiors were guilty of "criminal negligence and obstruction" for blocking his attempts to learn whether the terrorist was part of a larger cell about to hijack planes in the United States. During intense cross-examination, Special Agent Harry Samit -- a witness for the prosecution -- accused his bosses of acting only to protect their positions within the FBI.
March 16, 2006 | Richard A. Serrano and Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writers
All week long, government lawyer Carla J. Martin badgered them. She sent them 100-plus-page court transcripts. She harried them with e-mails criticizing prosecutors and fretting about the government's image. She called them at home. By Friday, Lynne A. Osmus had had enough.
April 21, 2005 | Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
Zacarias Moussaoui intends to plead guilty to all federal charges against him in the Sept. 11 plot, government officials said Wednesday, which would make him the first person convicted in the U.S. for the terrorist attacks and leave him eligible for the death penalty. Government officials and other sources cautioned that the 36-year-old Moussaoui had tried to plead guilty before, only to change his mind.
April 20, 2004 | Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
The hearings last week on the Sept. 11 attacks produced a stream of revelations about the terrorist strikes and the government's failure to prevent them. But in addition to revealing details the public had not heard, the commission debunked others retold so many times they were widely assumed to be true. Intelligence intercepts that foretold of the attacks with warnings such as "tomorrow is zero hour."
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