There have been many comments on the Hesperia Star's Web site, hesperiastar.com, that question the validity of a recent poll - and subsequent news article - regarding how our readers feel the current school board is performing. Some comments suggest the poll could be rigged, not by the newspaper but by one or several passionate readers who know how to game the system by utilizing some clever, commonly-used computer techniques.

Since the poll results, a local computer expert called me and explained how a single computer user could easily cast numerous votes. Our in-house online news editor has suggested to our corporate office, which provides the technology for our Web site, that a registration system could help reduce online poll fraud.

The recent poll, which apparently showed several hundred people were in favor of the school board's performance, contrasted with a poll earlier in the year that had opposite results. Could one or both polls be inaccurate? Possibly, and that certainly is cause for concern.
With 2008 promising to be an interesting political year, it is imperative that the Hesperia have dependable online polling tools. At the Hesperia Star, our accuracy and balance -- even when it comes to non-scientific polls -- is our bread and butter.

Until the polling issue is resolved, readers are likely to see an increase in less important poll questions. Coke or Pepsi? Del Taco or Taco Bell? Jennifer Lopez or Beyonce Knowles?
Heck, maybe there's no such thing as a safe polling question.

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Last week I shared a gripe about the Victor Valley Union High School District after a 14-year-old knocked unconscious at one of the district's high schools. Well, while I have concerns, there are certainly many good teachers and employees in the district who are making a difference.

Last Wednesday, two Victor Valley High School employees and one from University Preparatory Academy were honored at a California League of High Schools Region 10 awards banquet at the Riverside Marriott in Riverside. Recognized for outstanding performance were Dorothy Felix and Yvette Toro from Victor Valley High and Matthew O'Rance from University Preparatory Academy.

Congratulations!