Dec 15 2017

OPINION: Allowing a Bullying Entity on City Property Clashes With Policy Against Bullying

The Piedmont Civic Association was sent a copy of a letter from Piedmont United addressed to Kevin Jackson, Planning Director, regarding the Piedmont Center for the Arts’ Conditional Use Permit application to sublease space to house the Piedmont Post’s business offices.  The letter makes direct personal attacks, which were deleted to conform to our Editorial Policy. Interested readers wanting to read the entire letter may obtain a copy through the Piedmont City Clerk by calling 510/420-3040. 

Dear Mr. Jackson,

It’s pretty incredible that the City of Piedmont would entertain the Piedmont Post’s move to City property, directly across the street from the school that has been lambasted on a weekly basis and who’s female students have been insulted behind the scenes. There is a complete loss of credibility both personally and professionally with so many people in the community, that it makes no sense for the City of Piedmont to now reward the Post with a move to their property.

Paper Has Lost Credibility

Over the last two years, we have seen first hand how the Post and it’s editorial page are used to satisfy an agenda against the School District and used in bullying members of our community. Specifically, recent actions against the PHS Athletic Director and the support for the former mayor through specifically chosen articles to help paint him in the most positive light possible.  These actions have led to such a complete loss of credibility, that even advertisers have lost faith to such a degree, the paper has complained that loss of revenue now threatens the financial viability of the paper.

Significantly Violated City Decree Against Bullying

On November 21, 2016, every member of the Piedmont City Council and School Board signed a decree against bullying in our community, which is posted on the Piedmont Civic web site here.

“To be clear, we will stand firmly united to promote acceptance and kindness, and we will stand up to bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and violence. We will stand in support of our diverse community, honoring and protecting every resident regardless of race, creed, color, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, orientation, or identity. We will strongly uphold our established policies prohibiting discrimination, hate-motivated incidents and hate crimes, hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying, and other disruptive or violent behaviors in our schools and our city.”

At the time City of Piedmont leaders were denouncing harassing and intimidating behavior, the Post was 3 months into an all-out 11 month bullying campaign against the PHS Athletic Director.  The paper went on a rampage, publishing negative and misleading articles about the Athletic Director in virtually every issue of the paper from July of 2016 to June 2017. Drug into articles were Mr. Acuna’s finance and personal custody filings about his children. Employees of the Post even called Mr Acuna’s prior employers as fake reference checkers, in a desperate attempt to dig up dirt in any way possible.

After 11 months of personal attacks, the Athletic Director Mr. Acuna decided to not continue working in our community.  The environment created within our community, emboldened several people to do the unthinkable; Mr. Acuna’s daughter was verbally attacked by a woman in Mulberrys’ and at her Winter Ball a horrific scene unfolded as a Piedmont dad verbally attacked her in front of the PHS tennis coach. It also emboldened a woman to threaten Mr Acuna on school property during school hours at Witter Field. The Post’s articles caused such strife in Mr. Acuna’s home, that his engagement broke off and he moved back to Arizona with his daughter.  This is a disgusting stain on our town, thanks to the Piedmont Post.

On May 23, 2017 Mr. Prosterman sent an email to the Piedmont School District describing various things said behind the scenes about people, students and employees of our School District.

PUSD School Board Very Vocal About Post Untruths

The Piedmont School District School Board has been very vocal in their displeasure with the Post’s unfair coverage of the School District and painting District decisions in the most negative way possible.  Please take a look below at two very thoughtful letters that call out the Post that have been posted to the Piedmont Civic Association website.  A poll of School Board Members would undoubtedly reflect concern if the Post was allowed to move so close to the school.

“The Post has been publicly critiqued by Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) School Board members for its biased reporting on school bond measures and stories maligning PUSD staff and hires.”  

Being an Upstander:

The Piedmont Post’s Misrepresentations and Bullying Continue –

The Piedmont Post is a Purveyor of Fake News

What do B Durham and Seamus Murphy have in common?  They are names of fake reporters on Page 2 of the Piedmont Post Directory routinely used to publish negative articles under “pen names.”  These profiles are used to initiate especially nasty negative articles.  Using fake reporters is the definition of “Fake News” and to have a purveyor of Fake News directly across the street from the High School would be a very bad decision by City leadership.

Keeping the Post Away From Students, Especially Females.

Transgressions of the Piedmont Post have not been a good example of a properly run publication in our community, and considering one of the main reasons for the Post’s application for a conditional use permit is “convenience for students to file sports stories,” we feel it would be setting a bad example to let the Post move so close to the school it continuously destroys in its editorial pages.

“City staff explicitly recommended “newspaper” as an acceptable use in its report to Council at the time. In The Post’s application for a Conditional Use Permit, it addresses this intent requirement with the following response: “It will be very convenient for students and residents to file sports stories, notice cultural events, to pick up copies of the weekly newspaper, and provide photographs, etc.”

We also believe the Post is just fine where it is currently located, at the farthest point possible away from students.  A very brave former employee came forth with stories of hateful staff “locker room talk” towards members of our community including Piedmont High School female students and athletes. This excerpt from an email Scott Prosterman, Former Piedmont Post employee, was sent [The email was not published on this website.] to the Piedmont Civic Association on February 4, 2016 and paints a very chilling picture of work behavior.


Unhealthy Work environment / Threatens employees

The City cannot afford to have management practices based on threats to employees with bodily injury on City property.

This is a description of what it’s like to be an employee at the Piedmont Post, which was submitted by H. Scott Prosterman, Former Sports Writer for the Piedmont Post.  This is part of his email to former fellow employee Paisley Strellis:

“I enjoyed having you as a colleague during my brief tenure w/ the Piedmont Post., and I’d be happy to stay in touch. I started out enjoying the work too, but soon perceived that I was bombarded with mixed messages, confusing instructions, juvenile ridicule, brutal condescension and as you phrased it, “set up for arguments you JUST CAN’T WIN.” What an experience.”

This is Mr. Prosterman’s description of threatening physical violence when he was an employee at the Piedmont Post:

“[There was a] threat of physical violence in our exit meeting, “DON’T YOU MISCHARACTERIZE ANYTHING I SAY, OR I’LL PICK YOUR ASS UP AND THROW YOU OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW WITH NO PAY.”


by Piedmont United

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of Piedmont United and H. Scott Prosterman.

One Response to “OPINION: Allowing a Bullying Entity on City Property Clashes With Policy Against Bullying”

  1. how do i join Piedmont United? have lived here 37 yrs & we NEED this voice

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