We knew it was coming, but its still an outrage to see the perpetrators of one of the biggest swindles in San Luis Obispo County history released from prison so soon. Were talking about Joshua Yaguda and his mother, Karen Guth, who defrauded investors of millions of dollars through the now defunct Estate Financial.
Yaguda, who was sentenced to eight years in prison, was released after three years. Guth, who received a 12-year sentence, is expected to be out next year, after serving just four years behind bars.
The two had already served one year in County Jail at the time of sentencing, which knocked some time off their prison sentences. Participating in work and educational programs in prison makes inmates eligible for further reductions.
Even with that explanation, Californias convoluted sentencing rules make little sense to the general public and, especially in egregious cases like this one, leave the victims feeling cheated when criminals are released so early.
As we said at the time of sentencing, Yagudas and Guths prison terms were a small price to pay for defrauding innocent investors out of millions of dollars and, in many cases, robbing elderly people of their life savings. We still believe it and the criminal justice system gets hit with a brickbat for a case in which the punishment did not fit the crime.
Cal Poly students doing good
Cal Poly students are not only known for learning by doing but also for learning by doing good.
Each spring, a graduate-level project management class at Cal Poly works with local volunteers to complete a home renovation for a disabled person.
But this years class, led by professor Roya Javadpour, decided to test its resourcefulness and spread the relief by coordinating three separate projects: installing hardwood floors and a lift system for two brothers in Paso Robles; installing a similar lift system in a Grover Beach womans home for her adult son; and modifying a Paso Robles familys home so their quadriplegic son can access the backyard.
To the committed Professor Javadpour (who has led the PolyHouse project for 10 years), her big-thinking students, and generous others who volunteered time and materials, we toss a blueprint-for-good bouquet.
Education cuts shortchange kids
Never mind keeping up with the Joneses. Wed be happy if California could keep up with the state of Virginia, which ranked 25th in per-pupil spending in 2011. California, on the other hand, came in 35th, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It spent $9,139 per student, compared to Virginias $10,364.
Californias level of spending should improve as revenue from the passage of Proposition 30 flows to schools, but thats small comfort to students who already have been shortchanged by cuts to education. Were dinging California lawmakers with a behind-the-curve brickbat for being at the bottom of the list when it comes to supporting education.