Week of February 25, 2001

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Diversity coalitions : One Thread

Issues current with the week of February 25, 2001 should be posted here.

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001


Along the lines of candidate support.......is anyone else having trouble with the close alliance between CARE and the other candidates or "undeclared" candidates? I'm not sure I can even entertain the idea of supporting someone who even remotely has ties to CARE. I find the group ignorant, offensive (just to mention a few) and completely out of step with my picture of education. Lets not forget the leadership in the group, the publications they put out, and the letters to the editors that come from CARE. Remember, when you swim in a sewer, it doesn't smell so bad after awhile.

-- Betsy Wise (wised@ulster.net), February 24, 2001

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001


I think the idea of the voter forms from Morty is to compile them on your own but discreetly. I find that it sometimes helps me remeber people if I am driving around and see a friend or acquantices home to jot down the info I know about them onto the form. Or use your address book to fill in the info. This info does not need to be filled out by the third party. My understanding is that it is to be used by us to compile a larger data base.

As to Mike Goodman, no we are not certain if CARE is endorsing him as of yet. We are just speculating this although he has let some people think he has their support.

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

I am in favor of waiting as long as possible to interview candidates. When is the last date to file a petition to run?

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

I also am in favor of waiting to inetrview candidates and having a regular meeting next Saturday

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

yes, let's postpone the candidates meeting...

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

The last date to file is on April 16th and the elction is one month later.

I feel we need to get on board ASAP but I don't want to jump the gun. I spoke to Morty today and he is in favor of a delay. That's five SOS members in favor of a 2 week delay. If I don't hear any objections by day's end then I will call the candidates and postpone the interview. We can decide on a later date after the next meeting. Today is Sunday Feb. 25th.

We will keep the next SOS scheduled for Saturday March 3rd at 10am at Judy's kitchen but there will be no candiate interviews if no one objects. This would be a perfect oppotunity to invite other interested parties to attend. Bring a friend. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

I also agree to postpone candidates. I also noticed Rose Ostrander to be appropriate last night. I wonder if issues aside from the mascot and hanging Hal R. might have common ground with S.O.S. I can't believe that Phoenicia mascot supporters want our kids to be shipped out with no real plan and the modulars taken away without a plan! Do folks from other buildings give this impression? Anyway, C.A.R.E. is a group to be watched and carefully scrutinized, but let's not discount the less radical members that allign themselves with our views. This may be where Kathy Hochman is coming from.

Jim: Are the modulars gone? Are we certain the dang things are leaving in June? That was not made clear at board meeting.

I'm enjoying this bbs. Thank you everyone! Melissa

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

I continue to like waiting to support candidacies other than Meg's.A 3/3 meeting with everybody bringing a new face would be terrific.Having had a few recent conversations about a possible FP exit, I have thought alot about the impact. Contrary to my remarks at the Judi's K mtg., I feel a cross endorsement of anyone complicates the politics.CARE has clearly comitted to the harassment /removal movement toward Hal, and this is unacceptable. Joe Doan as the titular head is unacceptable.FP and Hochman could take the seats if FP stays on.If FP does not run [ and perhaps even if he does. ] I believe our cause is aided by the confusion of many candidates. I'm beginning to think everyone should run.I'd like to hear some consideration of this. Meg has an infinitely higher name recognition than Rosato, Hochman , Goodman. Even the CARE voters will not recognize them.Is it possible to even consider endorsing ONLY Meg as SOS and letting the fates fight it out on the other candidate?Why alienate any of those potential Board members?Meg will win better alone.Just thinking out loud folks. Morty ,have you and Dennis got together on voter lists?Hi Betsy Wise , nice to see you here.

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

The official situation with the modulars is just like it reads in the transcript paper I handed out on Friday. At present there is $31K in an escrow account but the board has not moved on anything to pay the landlord.

Unofficially Hal Rowe tells me the landlord is so pissed off at them that he plans to remove them. But he is a businessman and may be persuaded to keep them there. But the boys, Fred and Greg, told me after the meeting that the plan is to look elsewhere for modulars because the landlord is to be untrusted because he deceived us in the past. Although I'm not sure what this has to do with anything other than Joe Doan says he did this and that he's not morally fit to do business with the district and that's enough for them. Joe Doan, the morality cop. The way I see it, the landlord rented us modulars, performed his part of the bargain and we haven't paid him. And he is being cast as a sleeze. They are currently talking to Joe Tomassian to get modulars for the district. What incenses me is that they do this all so discreetly without sharing any of this with Meg or Marino. It circumvents the democratic process of the board when deals are done behind closed doors.

Kathy Hockman as a CARE candidate is a situation we need to discuss at length as a group because there are many angles to this. Both pluses and minuses. It will be on the Saturday SOS agenda as I feel it will be helpful to hear as many points of view on this as possible. I am disapointed in the way she is positioning herself with them. I like Kathy and she would probably make a good board member. But I can't help but feel she is embarrassed at times with CARE. Does she really support their platform and agenda?? Or more importantly,Does she support what they do as opposed to what they say. They have such a fair amount of hate propelling them.

What was it at the board meeting on Friday that made people feel that Rose was being appropriate? Also, let's not forget that Friday was in the context of an informational meeting rather than a board meeting.

I would love to hear from the students on their position of the 6th graders being moved into a more defined middle school at this Monday nights BOE meeting.

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2001

Along the lines of mailing lists.....I am half way thru the list of names and addresses from the "community petition". There were supposedly 709 names on the petition (calling for Hal's resignation) but there are many duplicates and "unreadables". This could be an important list because these are the people who are receiving inaccurate information from other sources. I should have the list completed by the next meeting with copies for anyone who wants one. You will probably find alot of people you know on the lists. Some addresses are incomplete and some names may be misspelled and it would be helpful to complete them. After speaking with a few that did sign, they either have other issues with the district, mascot supporters or they were told that it was a petition to lower taxes. As to their voter eligibility, I don't know. Their phone numbers are not listed on the petition. We can do what we want with it. I obtained the petition legally by requesting it from the district and paying the 25 cents/page. Any comments?

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2001

Betsy - That's great work. It will very helpful for the spreading of correct information and compiling voter lists.

I am under the impression that Patti McCullum of the Weslyan Church has herself all worked up in a tizzy over Robin Seers and another Onteora group called SOS. It seems this is a group of teens who identify themselves by wearing red backpacks. They carry condoms to be distributed to asking-teens off school property. Safe sex and pregnancy issues abound. Should make tonights meeting all the more fun. I wonder where, or if, Kathy Hockman will position herself on this issue?

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2001

It's official that we are pushing back the SOS interview of candidates for about two weeks. New people and issues are rapidly emmerging. We will plan to schedule another date at the next meeting. This SATURDAYS MEETING IS STILL ON - PLEASE BRING A FRIEND - WE WOULD LIKE TO EXPAND OUR ACTIVITIES TO MORE PEOPLE - THANKS The time and date are the same as we had previously scheduled - SOS MEETING THIS SATURDAY AY JUDY'S KITCHEN IN SHOKAN AT 10AM - Please bring an interested friend - Try the breakfast as the food is good too!

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2001


Be sure to try and attend the BOE meeting tonight at 7pm in Phoenicia.

An important topic on the agenda is the motion to be made by Joe Doan to hire the Shaw lawfirm to investigate adverse affects of the State and Federal mandates in the Onteora district. Daon made this motion a few meetings ago and it was defeated because Perry was not there. Thjis will look into all mandates such as Special Ed, music... and possibly try to restrict them in the future. Please bring out all the interested parties.

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2001

Betsy, we'll look forward to finally getting an accurate and realistic number to refute the 700 signatures claimed on the "Dump Hal" petition. Thanks for doing that. CARE has tended to wave that mythical 700 around as if it were garlic warding off vampires. Or is it their "700 Club" to club us with?

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2001

I think last night's meeting made it very clear where care stands. they want to emaciate special ed. In the middle of doans speaking rose yelled out "what about the average kid"

i can not support anyone who is associated with care

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

I was unable to attend the meeting last night. Morty, or someone, can you further explain the special ed issue and Rose's comment? As a former special educator and current advocate committed to special education in ALL its formats (it is my life's work), i do still understand the frustration of someone without a child or relative or close freind with special education needs who is concerned that the "average" child's needs are not being met.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

One hallmark of what we've been hearing all along from Rose and those in CARE has been a conspicuous lack of empathy.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

The meeting last night was a good one for our side of the issues. I'll give a brief rundown of events as best as I recall. I will also start a seperate thread on the BOE meetings (minutes) where we can post the results of the meetings so we have an archive of them from our perspective. Please add to that but let's not start a ongoing discussion on that thread to keep it simply as a reference.

The students were given the right to elect a non-voting student rep onto the board. Thanks to Erik and his fellow students for all their patience and persistance.

Doan was trying to get Randy Bullis, Shaw's accountant, hired as an internal claims auditor. Chuck Snyder asked that they wait as he had other recommendations for more qualified people. It was tabled I believe.

Our own SOS VP, Curry Rinzler, was appointed to the Facilities Committee. I thought Fred Perry was going into cardiac arrest when Milman appointed Curry.

Doan proposed a motion to again bring in the outside law firm of Shaw for the "evaluation of District Departments adversely affecting State mandates". I spoke about this at PBH (public be heard) and commented that, perhaps, the district should first evaluate the law firm of Shaw in other districts. Melissa spoke about the benefits of Special ed mandates to the community. Marino went ballisic about hiring Shaw again. This is when Rose Ostrander yelled out, "what about the average kids?" The motion was tabled after Doan suggested a spending cap for this endeavor of $20K (to gasps in the audience)and then backed down to $10K. Milman proposed he get an estimate for this investigation before voting.

The bids for the repairs and renovation of the administration office were suggested by Snyder to be rejected because of timeliness and the need for a public vote before the bids are accepted. We are expecting about $200K from insurance, we have earmarked $150K last year for this, and we will need about $50K to complete the project as the bids were about $400K.

Both Hal Rowe and Snyder made statements at the end of the evening that the district funds are getting low. They may have to cut programs for the district to run for the rest of the year under the austerity budget. Snyder very strongly suggested that the district restrict it's spending to make it through the year.

That was it. On another note, Francine Xavier, has asked to participate on the SOS bbs. She has been active and hasn't been able to make the meetings. I will admit her if there are no objections. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

I'm a fan of Francine's and think she would be great to bring on here.Her Special Ed interests and info may be quite useful. She may correct me, but I believe she has expressed some concerns about the administrative status quo [Hal et al ] and it may be interesting.I think Meg gets better every meeting and I'm damn proud of her for going after these guys. Marino shoots himself in the foot when he loses his temper,[ as I ]otherwise aren't we glad he brought up Poley paving ? we might need to use that history the same way as the modular history to reveal the destruction wrought by pointless, expensive litigation.The more info we can reveal publically about this the better.It might be good to find out real costs to the district re: legal expertise[donaghue] and add-ons[shaw et al]. How does donaghue's contract work? Is he available by contract for any amount of legal services?How much does it cost the district when unhappy spec.ed parents sue for more services?I wish it were not so difficult to get this kind of info, one does often feel it unreasonably difficult to get the facts. Everybody has something to protect, even the good guys. looking forward to the next extravaganza...hey maybe we need an Ackerman SOS cartoon for ourselves for publicity. That might be fun. I believe with luck and persistance the tide may indeed be turned.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

I think JD's investigation of special ed would have been defeated if it had come to a vote last night. Only his faithful Fred would have voted with him. But I'm glad it didn't come to a vote. This way, JD can dig himself into a deeper hole....

The care crew certainly is a nasty bunch. How can Kathy Hochmann stomach them after what came down last night? Jim: is it time to turn her our way? It would be excellent if you could.....

Congrats to the students, and good luck in your upcoming elections!! I wonder if any "surprise" candidates might suddenly appear, backed by the forces of darkness?

I'm trying to figure out what kind of medication I'll need to get through facilities committee meetings. I'm glad Greg Walters is on: in a short discussion with JD after the meeting, he and I were in tune...I'm kind of nervous about this venture...

Met with Hal this am. He gave me some budget materials that I'll hand out at the meeting. It's clear that a vote on the capital project can't happen until at least November: so there will be a good separation between it and the budget vote, favorable to getting a good budget and a good bond issue paasssedd...

The long rang thinking I'm favoring: A "quick fix" bond issue to address the most pressing space/maintenance needs of the district, including, especially, those screwy modulars. Then, later, but asap: a new middle school (including the 6th and maybe even the 5th grade)*. What does everyone think of this?

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001


you are right on target!

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

Francine sounds great. Curry: I think your wonderful to be involved on committee. Go for it!

The meeting great in the beginning...I enjoyed all the kids and their accomplishments. The middle school student council presented themselves very well. As did SAC. Congratulations to a deserving, dedicated group of great students.

The real turning point for me was Rose Ostrander's mean spirited comment bellowed through the room. You see, this is the nut. The prejudice based on fear that can be directed anywhere. Anyone different...like the disabled. Her point made about average kids is true. The top of the bell curve is the most neglected, least supported group of kids. That wasn't her intention, though. It's a sad day when special ed and gifted and talented are once again the fall guys. These groups are viewed as "extra" , "above and beyond" or "not my responsibility". These are the groups that make mediocrity tremble. And that's what JD is shooting for. Mediocrity (sp?).

I'm active calling everyone I know to clue them in on recent affairs. Barbara Boyce gives her budget presentation on March 5...she gets lots of support at these meetings. Lots of staff. A good time to get numbers and facts out. I'm working on SpecEd numbers.

For letters Woodstock Times deadline Monday 12:00 /fax 334-8202 to editor: Catskill Mtn. News " Monday 12:00 /fax 586-2366

Ulster Townsman " ? anyone know ?

Thanks all...I'm recuperating from stresses...those board meetings wear ya out!...Melissa

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

While I have not met Rose Ostrander in person, I've seen her public behavior often enough at this point. Regardless of her beliefs and feelings, stated or otherwise, there is this to consider as a consistent behavior: she simply does not seem to be able to keep herself from giving a running commentary or making exclamations. I don't know how much is deeply felt, or how much is signal rather than noise, but she doesn't seem to have what I'd consider to be appropriate self-control. I was at a penny social last year sitting near her table, and even there the 8 year old in the party had to keep asking her to shut up.

That said, the attitude she expressed this time is not one we won't encounter elsewhere in the district. And it is one we need to speak to as well if we are to have any influence upon centrist voters.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

Gun scare at New Paltz high school

Don't know if the board sets policy on handling such things, or the administration. How well thought out are Onteora's plans for such an emergency? One New Paltz parent predictably calls for metal detectors, and I can see this board saying the same.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2001


I received the following message from Tobe Carey this afternoon.

Subject: alert special meeting at W Hurley 7PM tonight

High Alert...special meeting tonight at 7PM WEst hurley school. Spread the word!

Called by Marino...Board pres is denying the representation of the board by the attorney in a "service of complaint" made on the board by a citizen of the community. What this means is D' Erricos have filed a complaint and Marty is denying representation by Donoghue before the Commissioner. Of course they're going after Marino....

Be there to watch and see...

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2001

Online account of the Thursday special meeting at Daily Freeman online

Eyewitness accounts and further explanations welcome. I find this latest twist bewildering, given how many times the D'Erricos have spoken about their daughter's alleged assault at board meetings. The child has certainly not had any privacy concerning it from her parents.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

Thanks, Carol, for the link....

After all the crap that's come down, ain't it wonderful to still be amazed at how vile and stupid they can be!!!!

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

Again, the majority of Onteora Board of Education finds itself steeped in controversy. Here's some clarifications, which along with the above link to the Freeman article, may help in presenting a better picture of this issue.

A family in the community, the D'Errico's, have repeatedly come before the board and publicly stated that their daughter was sexually assaulted on a school bus. Apparently the D'Errico's were not satisfied with the response they received from the administration. But they have persisted with this ineffective method for resolution for over a year and a half.

Several meetings ago this matter was discussed in executive session and publicly referred to by trustee Marino D'Orazio. Mr. D'Orazio never mentioned the child's name in public according to a videotape of the meeting. Now Mr. D'Orazio finds himself the target of a petition filed before the State Comissioner of Education claiming that Mr. D'Orazio violated the Student Privacy Act.

Mr. D'Orazio contacted the school board attorney to get legal counsel. But the counsel later told Mr. D'Orazio that board president Martin Milman had told the him to "cease and desist" in representing Mr. D'Orazio. When questioned by the district lawyer for Mr. Milman's reasoning, the lawyer was told by Mr. Milman to speak to Mr. Doan for details.

Mr. D'Orazio then called a special meeting of the board of education to discuss the issue and get a vote on the decision by Mr. Milman. The issue of the petition needed a legal response within 72 hours, so a timely meeting was necessary. The only members of the board to show up at this meeting was Mr. D'Orazio and Ms. Carey.

This is a highly political situation. The D'Errico family are big supporters of CARE and campaigned vigorously for the majority's election last year. Now this same majority is in the position of settling with the D'Errico's out of court. And they have been the one's not to show up at the special meeting and to deny D'Orazio the legal representation he is entitled to have as a board member.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

anyone think it would be helpful if a couple of us went to the next care mtg? I think it is March 9

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

Keep checking the Freeman link throughout the day, the webmaster is allowing some fairly pointed letters to be printed on the website in response this time. The webmaster does not always allow letters on controversial subjects to appear, as I have found from experience, or they may drag their heels. Make sure any letters you submit on sensitive issues are factually accurate and objective. The webmaster seems to prefer at least first names rather than anonymous, but viewing the source code currently in use (it could change, using MSIE click "view" and "source" to see the html coding) any postings that do not submit an email address will not have the source revealed unless it is typed in. I've almost never had responses from other readers emailed to me after putting in my email when writing about the mascot issue, so I don't think there is that much danger of getting poison pen emails in return. They seem to prefer not having website links submitted in these online responses, either.

As far as I know, letters submitted online to the Freeman are not automatically considered for the hard-copy version, you would need to submit a letter separately to the editor.

Search function on the Freeman site is not currently working.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

"an appeal to the commissioner must be initiated within 30 days of the decision or action complained of"

according to the Freeman this morning, the date of that meeting was Jan 18

does anyone have a date of the petition to the commissioner? I'll call Marino this morning to alert him

was terrific to see us all there last night.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

The appeal to the commissioner was made late according to the transcripts. Althought I don't have the full petition I do have the affadavit filed by D'Errico. It states that the incident occerred on Jan. 18. Later in the document, in explaining his tardiness, D'Errico claims that he first wrote to the commisssioners office on Jan. 20, received the reply from the NYSED on February 12 with info on how to find the website with the forms needed to file an appeal. D'Ericco couldn't find the forms online so he got someone from the office to mail them to him. He then called the NYSED and spoke to a a Ms. Ryan on Feb. 22 and 26th to assist hiom in filling out the forms. So the forms may have indeed been filed late.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

I spoke to Marino this morning. He knows that the petition was submitted beyond 30 days but said that in cases like this involving board members and parents, the commissioner will often excuse the 30 day requirement. He is very grateful for our interest and support

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

Hey Susan: I am interested in going to a CARE meeting with you. Kathy Hochman has been encouraging me to check out a meeting. Also, we might get some perspective or sense of what the h--l is going on!! The extremist in CARE are going crazy! We'll talk on phone Susan and discuss it please.

My kids have strep...guess what, me too. I won't be at meeting tomorrow. Please keep me posted. I'm writing letter to editor about "average kid" and mediocrity. I'll post it when done for input. I hope to read it at March 5 public be heard.


-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001

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