Week of April 8, 2001

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Topics relative to the week of April 8, 2001.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001


Note new thread for the www.onteora.net site. Please direct any further discussion of that site to that thread (Jim, if you are starting an April 8 thread today, maybe you could cut and paste this there too?)

I can set up another bbs here on greenspun for the candidates to answer questions -- public, rather than private like this one -- if the candidates are willing to be responsive (and if a number of us are willing to take the responsibility to be moderators to remove crank messages).

Meg and Tom, are you interested? (Happy birthday, Tom!

Please everyone note this: While Ted (Edward Ripley-Duggan) and I have desks 12 feet apart, we have totally separate online lives, so please cc us separately if needed and don't assume that because we are here together 24/7 that everything gets passed on to the other, as it doesn't.

-- Carol (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), April 08, 2001.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

I haven't yet been able to contact Rob Ricken. I'll try again tomorrow, but if I cannot arrange a meeting with him in a timely fashion I am going to need to find another lawyer immediately who I can talk to about the legal implications of having www.onteora.net and what sort of boilerplate I need to put on the website, in order to discourage the Board of Litigation from slapping some sort of nuisance suit on me for stealing their alleged trademark. I've drafted some proposed wording ("This website is not affiliated with the OCSD etc"), but it MUST have a once-over from a lawyer before we put anything up on the web.

Since I haven't used a lawyer in 15 years, anyone have any recommendations for someone who is politically aware and generally savvy? I also very much need to talk to them about this problem with the Olive police, as well as my concerns about the possibility of potential anonymous lying phone calls to CSP as retribution.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

Sorry Carol but I'm not sure I understand what "...as my concerns about the possibility of potential anonymous lying phone calls to CSP as retribution" means.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

Meaning the Olive police officer who seems to be lying about what occurred when he took my complaint of tire vandalism in August (unless it is the police commissioner who is lying) came into my front entry-way, which is also my office and filled with all the reference books and objects that I use as a member of the Wiccan clergy. If there are mascot supporters willing to put nails in tires of STAND members, a false accusation phoned in anonymously that I am practicing Satanism or some such nonsense is not beyond the bounds of possibility. The lawsuit against Curry shows that they are willing to do as much as they can to distract and undermine us. I've been researching unsubstantiated child removals by Child Protective Services, have seen some figures ranging from 3-11%. I would like to make sure I don't add to those numbers.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

I have set up an SOS email address...sosocs@yahoo.com This is for convenience and I will add it to ads for next go around...just another way for people to respond, and no one has to use their personal email account for SOS business.

I trolled the Freeman Sunday mascot article online, and found a helper in the responses...someone wrote that the pro-mascot letters made her despair, and she turns out to be a Pine Hill resident with a grand-daughter in Onteora, who will work with us on election stuff..One by one..pull them in.


-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Finally contacted Ricken, I'll just do a personal "concerned citizen... this must be some misunderstanding..." letter, see what happens with that.

We should make sure that anything and everything going up on the website has the boilerplate small print: "This website is not affiliated with the Onteora Central School District." Ted mentions that this protects them too, from certain district members who would be inclined to raise a fuss about the district appearing to have a bias toward Meg and Tom.

Good trolling, Tobe!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

I'm excited about the possibility of an Onteora.net site...Since there has long been an Onetora.com site, with no known complaints, we should be fine...especially with the disclaimer...let 'em attack..freedom of speech... and by the way, wasn't it them that revoked the requirement to make anyone wanting to use the name Onteora ask them first! Duh! Tobe

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

just a quick note to say the almost final final version of the brochure that I just saw looks fabulous. You'll be very proud to hand it out to friends and strangers alike. Bravo to Ted, Jim, Betsy and all who made it happen so wonderfully. Tobe

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Freeman online on the proposed Bennett improvements

"Onteora school trustees have decided to limit a building proposition this June to improvements at Bennett Elementary School, fearing a voter backlash if more projects are added...." etc

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

When is our next meeting? It was suggested we have a midweek meeting to draw more people in. Where would it be? Remember, Jim is away for a week.

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

Good Question! I mentioned meetings to Curry last night but we had forgotten about the mid-week meeting. So what is the consensous? Meeting on this Saturday or Wednesday the 18th in the pm when I return?? Please let me know ASAP because I need to make arrangements either way.

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

Wed 4/18 is good for me. How about everybody? Maybe new people will show up at a different time.

I have the community center in Woodstock booked for 4/28 and 5/5, from about 10am-1pm.

The audio track of Tobe's tape is only partial, but very clear. We are proceeding.....

At the facilities committee meeting yesterday, JD would not let go of wanting to offer 10 modular classrooms (only) as an alternate proposition. That is, two different propositions for Bennett!! It took a call to John Donahue to shut him up, but he certainly hasn't dropped it.I think JD wants the Bennett proposition to fail so he can have redistricting, one of his pet issues, and he's sooooo persistant.

We asked Hank Woller and Lou Rodriguez to try to substitute less expensive building technique, metal prefab, to see if that would lower the price of the Bennett project (option 2!!!!).

There is another major -$2 mil-proposition for roofing and paving everywhere. And Greg Walters said he spoke to Gayle and Barbara about the needs of the middle/high school, and wants to have perhaps $1 mil for renovating the old district offices and maintainence area for their use......yet another proposition....

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

The ads for Tinker St. Cinema are on their way to the slide maker...we'll start showing them either thursday of friday of this week if all goes as anticipated..great help from Joan Schuman and Cindy Rocco (the ad lady) who really worked with unusal fast turnaround and gave us her best pricing to help out. Remember to cheer when you see them on the screen.

Now we need to raise some money to cover the costs...remember don't just lave it all tyo Betsy and Diane..ask your friends and relatives to chip in...it's painless.


-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

Suggestion: For those concerned about who is monitoring where they go on the internet, try using safeweb.com. This very fast service encrypts your input and stops others from knowing you've visited their site. Highly recommended.

I see on the CARE site they have now incorporated, and they call their election arm, a political action committee..of course they are supporting fred and chris...check them out just to be up to date... http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/careforocs/myhomepage/profile.html

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

The 18th is no good for a meeting..it's the board meeting night...any chance of doing it before the board meeting? Tues is ok for me. Tobe

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

tues, 4/17 is ok for me, how about everybody else, especially Jim? Where can it be?

Morty: Woodstock com cent 4/28, 10am-noon ok?

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

I cannot commit to a meeting before the 19th as I am waiting to hear about a job in NYC on the 18th.

I also suggest that we have the meeting on 4/28 or 5/5 in Woodstock as a public fundraiser/organizing meeting. We spoke of getting talent and Maureen was going to look into it. Anybody know anything about that??

I think that Morty's plan is going to have to be by the seat of our pants if we don't get a large turnout. I also have reservations about how many people we can get out for the trial run. I don't want to use our people-resources and then not have them return for the big day. Maybe we can do the trial run on a smaller scale with our own small group.

I will be away until Tuesday but I will try to get on the bbs. If not I will post the new week when I return.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Jim, if you'd like me to start a new weekly thread on Sunday I can do that for you, so that things stay current.

Freeman article April 11 on putting the remaining bus routes out to bid.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

"Distrust, animosity, self-importance and positioning for power became the ingredients for all board meetings, my main reason for seeking reelection to the Onteora School Board is to keep fighting for a decent, healthy Onteora - an Onteora once again run by thinking, unselfish and dedicated people, and not overrun by the power-mad."

The above was a quote from the Freeman on May 27, 1975. It was from Edna Hoyt, an Onteora School Board member for five years, who claimed the board has been changed in the past year. She was re-elected along with Don Larsen and Sam Mercer. The turnout was 80%! This was at the start of the proceedings which brought charges against then Superintendant Marlowe. Don Lawson was the board president to whom she was referring.

An interesting sidenote is that in 1974-75 the budget was $6.55 million with an unexpended fund balance of $327,000. In '73-74 it was $400,000! The state auditor had recommended that this figure be lowered. The average teacher salary in 1974 was $13,400 and Marlowe was paid $41,144. Back then they still had a problem with State Aid not known when the budget was drawn.

The following quote is from the May 20, 1976 Freeman:

"I am the only candidate running against an incumbent and ask your support in bringing a new complexion to the board. I plead to help restore a sense of cooperation, trust and common sense, and to set aside personality conflicts. I believe the board should establish and oversee the policies by which we want our children educated, and should leave administrative affairs to professional administrators and staff."

This was from Dexter Olen, a candidate for the board. This was in the midst of charges brought against Superintendent Marlowe while awaiting the outcome of a decision of the Commissioner of Education.

He further stated, "No matter which way the decision is rendered, the new board's primary task will be the selection of a new superintendent. We must have a board able to attract high quality applicants."

Olsen won the election beating John Mower only in Shandaken but that was enough to carry him.The budget was rejected for a second year in a row. But the board majoity (6-3)was changed with the election of Olsen, Charles 'Skip' Weidner (who now is in CARE!) and John Pratt.77% turnout! A big supporter of this slate was Walter Cowan of Shandaken. Other board members sympathetic to change were Edna Hoyt, Irene Motrie and Rosalie Schwartz (1975). Anti-Marlowe figures were Beverly Britting, Betty Kasper, John Mower and Otto Scheu.

John Mower was on the board and was noted for having physically barred Superintendent Marlowe from entering the building and preventing him from entering his own office. This was when charges were filed against Marlowe by the board. Marlowe was later exonorated by the NYSED commissioner.

This all sounds very familiar. Does anyone know any of the players from this drama?

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Sounds like we should just skip this Saturday, have our next meeting at Judy's on Sat 4/21, the usual time and place. I can use a week off from our meetings: to work on the video!!!

Jim: don't go back to work till after the election....we need you.....

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Dates to remember: IN all our activities, keep in mind there are three school board meetings before the election. April 18 (next Wednesday) April 25, and May 7...The elction (as we all know..is May 15.

On May 15 there is a school board meeting right after the election results come in to certify them, etc.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Possible ad copy...let me know...we need one or two new ones for Monday. Let me know what you think Tobe


District Climate: The actions and manner of the Board of Education affect the entire community. We stand for a positive change in the school climate.

We want to return respect and civility to the board. Excellence in student achievement requires smart, informed board leadership. We believe surprises are best kept for birthdays, not Board of Education meetings.

Support a Positive Onteora Climate Vote for Meg Carey & Tom Rosato Onteora Board of Education Election: Tuesday o May 15 2-9 PM

Help Us Win! Call: 657-2914 or 688-2214 email: sosocs@yahoo.com

Sponsored by S.O.S. Support Onteora Schools

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

I know it's not our "issue" in this campaign, but FYI Tobe Woodstock Times (Woodstock, NY) 04.12.01

Symbol arithmetic Will Onteora's school mascot cost $764,805

Rene Houtrides

If the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights votes on Friday to condemn the use of Native American mascots, the Onteora school district may find itself having to choose between its 'Indian' logo and $764,805 in federal funding.

The commission will decide its action following last week's statement by State Education Commissioner Richard Mills requesting - but not demanding - that schools stop using Native American mascots.

School board trustees Joe Doan, Joe Vanacore, and Greg Walters, each of whom support retaining the 'Indian' as school symbol, seem prepared to yield the mascot if it is ruled to be in violation of federal law or if it would impact federal funding to the district.

The Mills statement acknowledges that, "the use of Native American symbols is part of time-honored traditions in some of our communities," but concludes that their usemay create "a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community." He cites support for his conclusiofrom the Society of the Indian Psychologists of the Americas and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Nine months before Mills released his statement, the Onteora school district's attorney John Donoghue received a letter from the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The Attorney General's letter raised concerns regarding the use of stereotypical images to represent an entire cultural, ethnic, or religious group. The letter also made note of the fact that the Onteora district "receives federal funding for a variety of programs." The fact of federal funding is significant because it carries with it the requirement of compliance with federal non-discrimination laws, most notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI of that act prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity receiving federal funding. The attorney general suggested that the secular use of symbols that have religious import for Native Americans may be discriminatory and subject to Title VI sanctions. Withdrawal of federal funding is one of those possible sanctions.

According to the Onteora district's 1999-2000 audit report, its schools received $544,556 in federal education grants and another $220,249 of federal money for school food services. The two figures total $764,805. That is the amount that could be jeopardized if it is determined that the district is acting in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Doan, reached by phone, said that he would comply with the Civil Rights Commission if the money was at stake. "I think that would be obvious," said Doan. "If the federal government ruled it was a violation of civil rights and, as a result of the ruling, would withdraw federal funds, I would drop the mascot and move on. But I think it's going to be an advisory type statement."

Doan said the move would not affect his basic opinion on the issue. "There has been a long and painful educational process since January 24, 2000," said Doan. "A lot of the nformation indicates this is not an educational issue. Most Native Americans in this district support the name." Doan feels it is ultimately a question of "how local people feel about the issue." He was raised outside of the district and said, "I had no attachment to the name [Onteora Indians]." But, he added, "It's not as cut and dry as the anti-mascot people want you to think." He cites, as an example, a community in Michigan that, he says, abandoned use of a mascot and then reinstated it in response to requests from local Native Americans. "How much time should we be expected to devote to this issue?" asked Doan. "Just because our commissioner Mills came out with a letter. There are more important issues. We should go about our business and sit back and wait until something concrete happens, like funding impact."

Walters agreed that he would respond promptly to any forceful statement from the federal government. "If it were anything that would affect funding, I'd drop the mascot," says Walters. However, if the federal statement used language similar to that contained in the Mills letter, stating that it was merely an opinion, Walters said he would not change his pro-mascot vote. "The Mills letter didn't move me at all," says Walters, who feels Mills was merely reiterating past statements and that last week's letter, "just formalized his perspective." Walters would respond only if the federal letter declared the use of mascots illegal or indicated that use of mascots would affect funding. "In a public position I intend to follow the law," said Walters. Trustee Joe Vanacore is also prepared to follow federa demands if necessary. "I can tell you in a nutshell, when it becomes federal law, then, naturally, we'll take it down," says Vanacore of the Onteora mascot. "But I still feel 100 percent that we didn't hurt nobody. If they can prove to me that it hurt somebody I'd be the first to admit it and take it down. I feel everybody has a right to feel the way hey do. The people who feel the mascot is wrong, I have nothing against them. But I feel that for 48 years we'vehad hundreds of children playing under that mascot, and some of them call up and say they want us to keep it."

Local attorney Alan Sussman, who has a particular interest in civil rights law, also feels that the wording of the federal statement will be a crucial factor. "It's going to depend on the form the statement takes," said Sussman. A range of possibilities exists. A simple opinion format would have the least power. "If it just says it's a violation of civil rights but doesn't connect it to funding, then the remedy is not necessarily cutting off funds," said Sussman. "The remedy may be a change of name. There may be other methods of enforcement. However, an aggrieved party [e.g. the American Indian Movement] may sue for that [funding cutoff] as a remedy. The ball may be thrown into the courts. If the statement links noncompliance with the cutoff of funds, obviously school districts would change. So we don't know yet."

Sussman also notes that the commission on civil rights letter may have different import depending on whether it is linked to opinions from the U.S. Department of Education or the United States Department of Justice. A link with the former would be more likely to be associated with school funding cuts and would ordinarily specify a period of time during which districts would be expected to comply. A link with the United States Department of Justice would be more likely to leave the issue to the courts.

It is Sussman's understanding that the personnel configuration on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is a holdover from the Clinton presidency and might reflect that administration's views rather than those held by the current administration.

Numerous attempts were made by this newspaper to contact school board president Marty Millman and trustee Fred Perry, both pro-mascot. Neither returned phone calls.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Well, it just kind of tees me off when I read a front page story in the Woodstock Times this week on the Onteora Indian mascot as well as 2 letters to the editor on this issue as well.

I'm not sure we are getting the right idea here but we have about 4 weeks left until the School board election surfaces. Will someone PLEASE call the Shumways and Lucia and ask them to quiet down on this issue for 4 weeks. It must be done and we need someone who knows them to please do this now!! Did we not learn anything from last year's election?? How many times do we need to get kicked in the head before we get out of the way???

I am also just as ticked off that while all this brews and surfaces again, just in time to give away the election, NO ONE HAS WRITTEN even one letter to the editor. Perhaps we really are just a small minority who will lose this election because of a lack of interest and desire. I'm sorry to be ranting but I have been working my tail of for this election and all I ask is for a few supportive letters for our candidates in the paper. We need to get on this ASAP. Please call your friends and our supporters to gather support and write letters.

Sorry for the rant but the polite nods at meetings is obviously getting us nowhere fast.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

The next meeting of SOS will be on Saturday April 14 at Judy's Kitchen at 10am.


Please tell everyone as I will be out of town until Tuesday pm. If Carol could post the new week on the bbs I would appreciate it. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

I think it's too narrow and the uninformed will not get it. Dumb it down. Let me give it a try. Please feel free to edit if you like.


Meg Carey and Tom Rosato are dedicated to improving educational opportunities in the Onteora School District by working hard to make informed and responsible decisions for both the taxpayers and our children.

They wish to see the Onteora Board of Education meetings return to an atmosphere of respect and civility with no more back-room politics. They wish to see important decisions made after thoughtful discussion and input from members of the board, administration and public. A shared vision for Onteora based in education.

Vote for Meg Carey & Tom Rosato (Big and bold)

Onteora Board of Education Election: Tuesday o May 15 2-9 PM

Help Us Win! Call: 657-2914 or 688-2214 email: sosocs@yahoo.com Sponsored by S.O.S. Support Onteora Schools - www.onteora.net

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2001

Jim: think your ad attempt is perfect for a letter to the editor...the ads need more punch...I have another idea: Check this out:


"When school board members play 'stump the stars,' everyone looks bad. Ambushes and sniping are terrorist techniques, and surprises should be saved for birthdays." Dr. William J. Banach quoted in "On Board," published by the NY State School Boards Association.

Stop ambushes and surprises by the Onteora power block! Return respect and civility to the Board of Education. VOTE FOR MEG & TOM etc etc

we need some other learned opinions...help us here...Carol? Curry? Maureen? EVERYONE....???? Tobe

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001

Tobe - I still feel your ad has too much smugness and is too clever. I'm afraid that the many readers who aren't involved, which is ninety percent, simply won't get it. I say play it straight and simple and let the letters be more edgy and pointed. I don't want to alienate the moderates.

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001

Please do not forget to include the web address in the ad copy. Second-to-last line should read something like:

Call: 657-2914 or 688-2214 Web: onteroa.net Email: sosocs@yahoo.com

I am going to launch the site (hopefully over the weekend) based on the brochure that Ted sent to me. Other things will be added as they are sent to me and approved. I believe the only one with access to the sosocs@yahoo.com account, at present, is Tobe. I am going to request that he give me the password to this account. I will then create different folders for mail to be sorted into. This will help us to keep organized and make sure no correspondence goes overlooked. I will explain the folder scheme here, on the bulletin board, once it is created.

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001

Here's another one I'm considering..I need fedback folks...otherwise it's just me at Jim making these decisions...then it'll be too late to complain . FOCUS on EDUCATION In school we're taught the American Way is to play fair.

The Onteora Power Bloc plays by its own rules: 1. Restrict early "public be heard" at school board meetings to items on the agenda. 2. Use secrecy to keep vital items off the agenda, keeping the public and the rest of the board in the dark. 3. Use surprises and ambushes to bully through late-at-night motions the public has never seen. Result: Bad decisions based on a political agenda.

Return Civility & Respect to the Onteora Board Vote for Meg Carey & Tom Rosato Onteora Board of Education Election: Tuesday o May 15 2-9 PM

Help Us Win! Call: 657-2914 or 688-2214 www.onteora.net email: sosocs@yahoo.com Sponsored by S.O.S. Support Onteora Schools

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2001

Tobe: too many words for a small ad. Use key words instead, then if we have the $ for big ads later, we can flush them out with more facts....

PS How about the UScom on CivRits statement? Hooray!!!

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

I agree, too many words..how about the sentiment??...anyone have the key phrases worked out better than I have...which ad is best? I need to lock these in by Monday, since I have NO time on Tuesday to devote to this. Tobe

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

NOtice: Slidesa er up at the tinker St Cinema...go and cheer loiudly for the cadidates we love.

Here's another stab at ad copy..chime in please.

FOCUS on EDUCATION In school we're taught the American Way is to play fair.

The Onteora Power Bloc plays by its own rules.

Result: Bad decisions based on a political agenda.

Return Civility & Respect to the Onteora Board Vote for Meg Carey & Tom Rosato Onteora Board of Education Election: Tuesday o May 15 2-9 PM

Help Us Win! Call: 657-2914 or 688-2214 www.onteora.net email: sosocs@yahoo.com Sponsored by S.O.S. Support Onteora Schools

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

I'd prefer stripping out all between the "focus on education" and "return civility."

I'll write a letter to the Woodstock Times regarding the NYSSBA statements on to whom the board members are responsible -- not the taxpayers, but the student (though not so baldly).

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

Caroil: I was coming to the same conclusion...Intersting...simple and uncluttered.

our slides are up in the movie theatre they both got cheers when they were up... but the crowd was sparse. People were reading them, however. Tobe

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2001

Unless i hear s trong objection, I will run the follow ad in the two papers:

FOCUS ON EDUCATION o Return Civility & Respect to the Onteora Board of Education o

Vote for Meg & Tom, etc. (with web site address included!)


-- Anonymous, April 15, 2001

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