August 1 : LUSENET : Diversity coalitions : One Thread

August first, maybe run this one for half the month given that many people will be on vacation.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001


Meeting tonight AUg 1st at high School. be aware that Doan et al are now trying to get the bennett bond election overturned by the Commissioner(!)

Tobe PS 7PM (after a 6PM exec session)

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

meeting tonight was actually boring...Marino and Meg both alluded to the latest petition, trying to get the commissioner to overturn the Bennett Bond vote, will be on the August 20th agenda. Marino said he called William Maliha, MD (657-7261)and invited him to come to the meeting, but he didn't (couldn't come)...So he was invited to the august 20th meeting...Marino is pushing for a public discussion of this matter...

there will be articles about this in Wood Times and Freeman...

It occured to me that perhaps some Bennett community folks might want to call Dr. Maliha and express their feelings to him about his actions...I have been told that he is a talker, and in fact it's hard to get him to stop...But maybe (just maybe) it'd be helpful to let him know that there are lots of upset people out there...

Bennett people...what do you think??? Any value in this idea?


-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

Sorry, who's Maliha?

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

Board fights Effort to Toss Bond Vote by Wm. Kemble 8/2/01

"BOICEVILLE - School district officials are seeking to have the state Education Department throw out a request to set aside a June 20 vote supporting bond propositions to provide $6.82 million for construction of additional rooms at Bennett Elementary School and roof work at Onteora High School. Information about the case filed by Dr. William Maliha of Bristol Hill Road, Glenford, was reviewed during a Board of Education meeting Wednesday, when Trustee Marino D'Orazio asked officials to have an open discussion to provide the public with information about how lawyers are handling the case.

"I'd like some information about ... the briefs and everything else, because (the petition) is pretty complicated," said D'Orazio, who is an attorney.

Residents gave 1,189-621 approval to the high school roof project, and 890-776 approval for four new classrooms in the elementary building, where seven rooms were closed earlier this year after mold caused health concerns.

In the papers filed by the district, attorney David Shaw wrote the request to set aside the vote should not be considered because it is "woefully inadequate" in supporting claims that district administrators sought to influence people to vote favorably on the proposition. He added that the request from Maliha was filed three days after the 30-day limit had expired for state action related to an election.

Shaw said school Superintendent Hal Rowe received "a copy of the petition ... from board Vice President Joseph Doan, who claimed to have received it on July 23."

Papers filed by Maliha also request the election be overturned based on activities at the Bennett Elementary School, where he contends that a sticker stating "Onteora Bond Referendum June 20, 2-9 p.m. vote" and a pin stating "Vote to Bond with Bennett" were intended to persuade voters to favor the propositions.

"Efforts were made to collect the pins and avoid any further distribution," Shaw wrote. "The message on the sticker and pins were neutral in nature, to encourage voting. They did not exhort a 'yes' vote from the public."

Shaw also wrote that distribution of a newsletter discussing the project was consistent with past mailings of informational literature and was not "selective or targeted communications to the public from which one could infer an intent to disenfranchise certain voters." Freeman link

I've submitted a letter to the online version, will follow it up with a formal letter to the editor.

Lev, Jim says you and Mary are in Olivebridge. Introduce yourself to me at soccer practice next Tuesday if you are there. I'm the tall grey-haired woman with glasses, have the green folding chair with the footrest, usually have my nose in a book.

-- Anonymous, August 02, 2001

I haven't followed through on my Lev invitation but will try to get to it this week.

-- Anonymous, August 02, 2001

There's a new paper in town! Editor of Woodstock Times put it out. His kids go to Phoenicia School. Check it out...Phoenicia Times on stands now and free. Finally, another voice!

-- Anonymous, August 03, 2001

How's the petition signature-gathering going?

I need as many signatures as possible and it is quickly getting closer to the deadline. Please try to fill even one page (24) and it will help considerably. Melissa has suggested that she has 54 signaturs already and that is simply fantastic! I desperately need as many as we can gather. Please help out as this may be a significant way to show the board that we are now not a just small, vocal minority but a viable voice which needs to be recognized. I strongly feel this may be the turning point in getting a board which listens and considers the important issues before it rather than just knee-jerk voting with Doan. Please help us in this endeavor. Thanks....

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2001

Jim is right, guys. At the Shandaken Democratic Caucus the republicans thought they would be endorsed with their twenty some odd past years that would have been true and stepping into the voting booth was no contest. This time they were defeated with over a hundred votes due to the AMAZING turnout! The feeling in the room was wonderful...there's a great picture in Phoenicia Times of three republicans together...they were so unhappy, they look like the Saprano's. Please get signatures for petition!

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2001

Board meeting on Monday the 20th, 7PM, high school cafeteria. Agenda not online as of Saturday.

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2001

Granted, I haven't been to many Board meetings recently. But has Joe Doan always made as many feeble attempts at humor as he did this week? Does that show us anything about his lack of ease?

Jim, Liz and I walked in just as you were up at the mic finishing a shouting match with Joe. What was THAT about?

Really good turnout by our side this week, I think it is important to keep it up (even though I haven't been able to get to many myself). Thanks to all for the time they are giving up to be watchdogs.

Couple of items in the Freeman this week.

"Onteora phone tape will be reviewed" Kemble August 22

BOICEVILLE - Onteora school district officials plan to review a taped telephone conversation between Trustee Joseph Doan and an attorney for the state School Boards Association to determine whether portions of the tape can be withheld from the public. District resident Tobe Carey asked for the tape last month after Doan played a 30-second segment of his conversation with attorney Kimberly Fanniff, who was said to be providing information that would back up Doan's argument that the district had violated state regulations in dealing with modular units at two elementary schools.

In an Aug. 16 opinion written by Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, district officials were told "that portion of the tape representing the entirety of the conversation ... must be disclosed."

Onteora Superintendent Hal Rowe was asked Tuesday whether Freeman's opinion would be followed.

"The tape was to be turned over to (school district attorney) David Shaw, who would listen to it," Rowe said.

Information was not immediately available on the status of the legal review. And Doan, who has said there were about 10 minutes of conversation on the tape, was not available for comment Tuesday. He previously has said he would not discuss the matter further.

Freeman disagreed with Doan's suggestion that opinions expressed on the tape were exempt because of the relationship between the School Boards Association and the school district.

"That would not have been so in this instance because the School Boards Association is not an agency," he said.

According to court decisions, records obtained or kept by individual board members are covered under the state's Freedom of Information Law. Freeman noted the conversation took place because of Doan's position as a school board member.

"Based on my understanding of the School Boards Association's functions, Ms. Fanniff would not have been offering guidance to Mr. Doan if he had not contacted her in his capacity as a member of the board," Freeman said. "In short, the portion of the tape recording containing the conversation ... clearly in my opinion involved Mr. Doan acting in his role as a member of the board."

A tape made by Onteora school board President Martin Millman also was requested, but he has said telephone conversations made when calling board members about an impending meeting were erased by a family member.

And the Freeman August 21

"School panel keeps its head" Kemble

BOICEVILLE - Onteora Board of Education Trustee Joseph Doan Monday survived heated criticism over his opposition to Bennett Elementary School renovations and was reappointed as chairman of the committee charged with overseeing the $5.72 million project. His appointment followed the submission of a 368-signature petition from residents asking for the appointment of someone who has supported efforts to replace six classrooms that were abandoned in March due to mold problems.

"Mr. Doan actively campaigned against the Bennett school bond proposition," resident Lev Flournoy said. "In light of the voters' support for the ... proposition, we feel it is inappropriate for Mr. Doan to continue to serve as chairman of the Facilities Committee."

District resident James Sofranko said Doan has supported a request for the state Education Department to overturn the proposition results. He said material used in the case should have been obtained through the state Freedom of Information Law, according to the district's policy, instead of being provided by a board member.

"It outrages me that Mr. Doan is usurping the proper process," Sofranko said. "It puts the district in a potential liability and sneers at the proper way of conducting business in a professional manner."

The Facilities Committee, which officials said was formed in February 2000, has continued to exist despite being scheduled to expire after four months.

Doan, who previously acknowledged placing lawn signs around the district to encourage voters to oppose the proposition, said his current philosophy is to make sure the project is done properly.

"As chairman of this Facilities Committee, I have acted with dedication," he said. "I've put my time in, I've worked hard, and I've done it in an honest and professional way ... and I want to make sure that whatever we do is in the best interest of this district.

"The fact that I do not agree with some people in the district ... is in my eyes no reason why I should be taken off the committee as the chairman," Doan said.

And a piece on the mascot controversy being "out of the spotlight," thus shining the light back on it. We've been discussing it in STAND, will probably make a short positive response to the Freeman saying we'll be happy to carry on an educational dialogue on the mascot when the Onteora community is ready, with a more expanded and pointed response to Rowe and state officials that we can't do so while Millman and the others are expressing open defiance. Tobe has pointed out that Tanaz Eshaghian and Taima Smith's film on "The search for the Onteora Indians" will be one of the short documentaries opening at the Woodstock Film Festival Sept 20-23, so the issue will soon be reopened whether we bring it up or not. Indian controversy out of spotlight in Onteora

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Doan's our very own "Nutty Buddy!"

Looks like I'm actually going to get this tape in my hot little hands, unless Rose-Mary Woods gets in the way, like she seemsed to have done in Millman's house.

I've asked for the physical tape that was re-recorded, if and when Marty ever officially responds to the FOIL request...Right now he's in violation of the law for not responding to the request.

I told records officer Snyder that i wanted the tape, whether or not media reports are tue that it has been recorded over...modern technology can work wonders, you know. :-) Tobe

Jim was great at pushing Doan's thin skinned buttons..Now to get maureen back to get marty flying off the handle...and let's keep at Doan...He lied again when he said he has done nothing since the bond vote to stop the project...Marino nailed him on that but Jim might want to repeat it, to get another rise from Doan..he he he.

Anyone keeping track of the Doan's not too long till election time...I would be happy (VEY HAPPY) to edit together a short video of all the lies, if they can be identified as to which meeting they took place in.

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

hi gang, hello from the shadows. god bless the wild effort. the gun is being held to joe's foot. mm

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

I wasn't prepared for Doan to react so strongly to some "positive" criticism. I guess the 1 hour exec shouting match session had him fired up for me0. But he was really annoyed and the fact that no one mentioned the petition on their side clearly indicated that they were in alliance on the vote beforehand.

But this was a win/win situation for us. If Doan was not appointed it would have indicated a split in their voting block and been great. But since that didn't happen, it got press and made them look foolish as well as pissing off 368 people. More votes for the future and maybe they have a friend or two to persuade. I've got a copy of the petition with the names and addresses for future mailings. Doan just lost Olive in my opinion.

Lev Flounoy has been helpful in our efforts and should be joining this bbs soon. I just sent the address to him today.

Perhaps an SOS meeting is in the near future as people have indicated an early interest. After the school starts up we can meet.

Thanks to all for the petition support. It made a relative point.

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Mondays meeting was entertaining as usual. My frustration was concerning the appointment of Joanne Lane to a multi hat position...this was a no brainer. She is qualified, willing (I don't think there are to many folks willing to take on all the duties involved) and this position meets mandates. The majorities ignorance and obvious attempt to down size special ed is going to kick them in the ass. Parents are not going to sit by and let them dismantle programs and compromise their kids...simply because they do not value special ed children and want to make them the "bad guys". this is a reacurring situation. Blame special ed for sucking away all the money when in reality the federal and state funding streams reimburse large percentage. They view it all...grant money & funding onteora tax dollars. Barbara Boyce tried to explain this to Rose 3 times monday night. She just doesn't get it. It's fine to ask questions, but Rose doesn't listen to the answer! Thank goodness Joanne was approved. I had my hand on the phone to call State Ed. Barbara Boyce gave me the number he he he.

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

Bravo to Jim for the petition effort and to Lev for carrying water. Seems like stand-up guy! Welcome aboard the bbs.

I agree that it was a win-win...I guessed that Doan would win the political battle, but everytime we stand up to him it eats away at his dwindling power base.

Did anyone else notice the electioneering on taxes...Poor Woodstock suffering at the hands of everyon else. Does Doan not realize that if Woodstock pays less in taxes, other parts of the district will pay more (not that I wish high taxes on Woodstock...share the pain?) Then the move by Doan with Walter's quick agreement to set up a committee to study taxes is right in line with what I believe to be their election strategy..."Doan saves us money..." Let's do our homework and explode that myth early on. If he's planning to run with Woodstock as his base, he's in for a rude awakening... SOS meeting? I'm up for it... Tobe

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

FYI At a meeting of the facilities committee 8/15 it was decided by consensus to place the swing space modulars in the front of Bennett. Our architects and construction managers as well as our administrators feel that this is the best location. This location allows for line of sight supervision from the school building itself, the most direct access to the school nurse and other services and the most direct access to water and sewer connections. Parking and bus turn around problems were discussed. The solution proposed is to widen and clear access at the end of the site and provide a temporary bus loop with parking in the center. At the completion of the project this area will be restored back to green space.

However, Mr. Doan has another "Idea". Even though Mr. Doan seemed to agree with this approach to the swing space location, Mr. Doan supports the idea of placing the modulars in the clearing I mentioned above (Temp parking and Bus loop) and then using these modulars (Thorough a lease purchase agreement) for district offices. This approach would require a renovation of the open class room space modulars into offices. It would require new electric, lighting, HVAC etc. This approach does not address the supervision and access needs of our children and staff and it leaves us stuck with yet more modulars and eventually places our administrators "In the Woods" and we loose the green space next to Bennett as well. Our architects are currently working on the plan, which places the swing space in front of Bennett. However it has come to my attention (8/22) that Our Facilities committee chairman (Mr. Doan) has, out side and away from the facilities committee, renewed his attempt to advance his plan.

Our architects and construction managers are concerned that the direction that they were given on 8/15 will change. They are concerned that if they move ahead and changes are made or the discussion is reopened that they will loose considerable time, their efforts will have been wasted, not to mention the dollars spent. Even if Joe doesn't get his way this is a prime example of how our Facilities chairman can delay the project. The very project he has opposed in the past. I will attempt to calm the waters and convince the architects and construction managers to move ahead. The reality is that Joe has no power to block or delay the project if move ahead as a team, in spite of Joes delaying tactics. The full board has provided direction for our professionals and they must be allowed to proceed with confidence. Tom

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

Thank goodness Tom is on the committee and on the case (Curry, too.) What can we do to stop this out of control meglomaniac?

I predict he will continue to lie about his moves to stop the Bennett plans, and his plans to derail the project. It was great the way Marino called him on it in public.

No wonder the architects and construction managers are nervous. They must already know what a destructive force Doan is.


-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

Let's hope more and more people realize Mr. Doan's destructive force and wake up. If anything is to be learned from this majority's pay attention. I'm experiencing people doing just that. Folk's also hate it. They can't stand board meetings and choose not to go. Yes please, SOS meeting.

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Hopefully the meetings will generate more interest once school is back in session. I intend to push Marty and Doan on the FOIL requests for their tapes...on lying to the public and on breaking open meetings laws.

I think Jim was terrific to make the point about Doan's slipping his pals materials that mere mortals have to get through FOIL requests. I hope someone else will continue this thread in public. The public pressure is critical... I love it when Doan turns red under the slightest criticism. Keep it up.

Only nine months to election...start making plans and keeping lists of their (Doan and Ostrander) bad votes and bad behavior.

I can see the ads now..."The Doan Deal" "The Doan Treatment"... "The Ostrander Outrage"...etc. etc. Tobe

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

But Doan's Pills (showing them all tightlipped) would be too cruel.

FOIA, not foil, Tobe.

Freedom of Information Act (?)

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

I believe it is FOIL Freedom of Information Law...

Anyway, I'll keep asking for marty's tape even if it's been recorded over...also geeting tired of waiting for Doan's tape, so will have to speak about that also...

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Since Rose rsigned as CARE President, has anyone any idea what they are up to? The last time I saw their site it hadn't been changed since June.

Are they dead in the water? Tobe

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Barbara Clare had a letter to editor in Ulster Townsman...didn't see it in Woodstock Times...asking for people to join their group and run for offices. It certainly was a "rally around their 'cause" letter. They have been busy. Yes, once school starts I hope everyone will pay attention again.

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2001

It's a candy! No, it's a breath mint!

FOIL the NY law, FOIA the federal version.

a link

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2001

Considering the following letter to the editor..Poets beware! Comments welcome. Oh! The Board….

Being inspired by the Woodstock Poetry Festival, we invite all Onteora School District residents past and present to send us poems on the theme, Oh The Board, or… Oh! The Board,…or Ode to The Board, or …any theme appropriate to the Onteora Board of Education. Any form is acceptable, rhyming or not…short or long… I'll start it off with a little ditty, and we'll publish the submissions in a suitable forma

Oh! The Board

Back when innocence was still possible I came to meetings hoping the best.

I found deceit and Doan, maligning and Millman Bad board behavior running wild. Board Majority acting like royalty Dismissing the residents as so much nuisance Attempting to keep secrets in style.

Excess executive sessions, Misleading statements Attempts to discredit Doan's Memogate, Millman's finger-wagging lies, Perry's sit-down comedy, and Walters' follow-the worst leader.

Trying and trying to bully before the public wises up.

Oh, The Board! What a web revealed in the press Even more on video Most of all in person Hour after weary hour.

Now joined at the hip by Ostrander's outrageous appointment, Back room maneuvers Displayed in contempt of Open Meetings Laws, Shoved in our faces over loud protests.

Millman's and Doan's secret audio-tapes Meant to deceive. Hidden from the public record. Millman's tape disappearing like Nixon's 18 minutes. Doan's concealed with flimsy excuses.

Complaints spawned by Doan Slipping district materials to petitioner lackeys With plans to stop up the Bennett works Even after voters have spoken.

The majority lower staff morale Elevated after so many long years of struggle. Paranoia rampant at meetings and in hurried cabals

Reason will prevail at the polls So we can proudly sing, Oh, The Board! What good works they do.

Send your poetry submissions to: Oh ! The Board Poetry Tobe Carey PO Box 194 Glenford, NY 12433 email to:

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2001

While a fun idea, I think it would not be a good tactic.

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2001

The Runaway School Bus, part 2

May, 2002: Crash! Those bad guys are out of here Ho, ho, ha, ha, & he, he.........

-- Anonymous, August 28, 2001

I think Greenspun was down for some scheduled maintenance, that was the buzz on one of the other boards.

At the last meeting, that elderly fellow up in the front with the railroad cap who spoke at public-be-heard -- did anyone catch what he was saying that sounded like "calling them sons of bitches and whoremongers"? Anyone know what that was all about?

-- Anonymous, August 30, 2001

The man is Ed Balzatian (sp??) and he is very hard to understand these days...sorry I diodn't even get what he said, and I do tend to tume him out a lot. I could check the video tape when i have time...Carol, I'll be away fro a few days, but if you remind me ....

Safe Labor Day to all...

Next BOE meeting is Sept 10th.

Since I got no response to my call for poetry (except from poet lauret C. Rinzler...AKA the Bus Man) I wonder if it's worthwhile sending it as a letter to the editor. Tobe

-- Anonymous, August 30, 2001

Please check out the very good articles on FOIL requests in this week's Woodstock Times...and please send follow up letters expressing outrage that the board majority is getting away with illegal activities...You can emphasize that this is not Meg's opinion, but that of Robert Freeman from the Committee on Open Government. Please urge ALL the candidates to write about this again...we need their voices to be heard...pressure kept on Doan, Millman and Ostrander...she is filling a seat made possible by an illegitimate board process... Thanks for the support.. Tobe

PS I have the famous Doan/Faniff tape and will listen to it as I drive to Ohio and back...a full report to follow after the weekend. Marty Millman remains in violation of the FOIL laws since he has not responded to the request for his tape (except to talk to the press.) Can you spell Nixon?


-- Anonymous, August 30, 2001

Just a quick rundown on what occurred last night at the board meeting. The agenda called for a vote on the payments to Beth Lipton and Monica Gaebel. Ms. Gaebel's husband spoke passionately about the vendetta by Milman against his wife. DOan spoke and smeared Hal Rowe, Randy Collins and Beth Lipton accusing them of collusion, favoritism and cronyism while mentioning the inappropriatness of their business dealings due to the personal relationship between Mr. Collins and Ms. Lipton. The board finally voted to pay these individuals.

Mr. Doan made a late night appeal to appoint Erne Levins, who is near 100 years old as interim principal of the Phoenicia School. He intended to have the board appoint her and therefore usurp the shared decision making process in place in the district. Hal made it clear that the district has this policy and Meg made it clear of the history in the district of shared decision making. Tom tried to incvoke Robert's Rules in claiming a 2/3 majority needed to change policy. Greg Walters stated the the policy in the district was to use Robert's only as a guideline. Tom threw the rulebook over his head and suggested we need no rules. Mr. Doan empahtically claimed that we don't need (or use) Robert's rules. It was near chaos until Milman asked Hal if his recommendation was needed for any district appointment and Hal concurred.Doan refused to tke his proposition off the table and Marino made a motion to table Doan's proposition. It passed and the night was over.

People should get the word out to all the PTA and parents that Doan is looking to usurp the shared decisiopn making process. This was clearly evident in that Walter's had requested the info on it before the meeting. What amazes me is that for all the extra meetings, grief and shouting...the majority still doesn't get their way. This must be due to the constant vigilance of the minority board members and the watchdogs in the audience. We must get more new faces there and pull back some of the old one's. Hopefully audience participation will improve now that school is starting.

-- Anonymous, August 30, 2001

Jim...when you said "it passed" you meant the motion to table? I hope you didn't mean Levins was passed. I volunteered to be on interviewing committee at Phoenicia School (friday morn) for a principal. the second guy who said yes to position had something personal come up that made him decline. The only consoling fact is that Phoenicia staff collaborate well and can figure out building assignments and responsibilities on their own. I let ya know how it goes.

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2001

Where does the majority of the power on the shared decision making teams lie? If they are more in line with our views than the board majority, can or should they be brought into the loop more? Are there areas where they can over-ride the board?

Nasty lame cartoon regarding the Onteora Indian on the back page of the new freebie paper, the Phoenicia Times. Shows a hypersensitive Indian, and other affronted symbols (note: all private or commercial, not public schools) of teams like the Canucks and Celtics. Anyone knows the editor, better take him aside and have a word about this slap in the face. Photo inside of Tanaz and Taima, mentioning the film, which will open at the Woodstock Film Festival in a few weeks.

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2001

The motion passed to table Doan's motion to hire Erne. So Erne was NOT hired by the board.

The shared decision making teams have no official power except to recommend positions to the super. They interview applicants and arrive at a consensus for recommendation.

Great article in the WT regarding the freedom of info decision by Robert Freeman on the appointment of Rose. Meg looked great both figuratively and realistically in the accompanying photo. Doan sounded terribly defensive responding something to the effect as to why are you doing an article on this instead of high taxes? He sounded guilty as charged and Milman is out to lunch just about all the time anyway. Rose was inarticulate (surprise, surprise) and sounded foolish.

Keep up the pressure. How about some good letters?

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2001

thank you jim...we had the interview for principal friday morning. She was great! I hope all goes well and she's approved and hired. I have a good friend, Pam Free, who was a board trustee for five years many years ago. she works at phoenicia, is disgusted with present board majority and would be a good ally. I would like to have her access this bbs and join our sos group. I am asking permission to welcome her aboard.

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2001

Bring Pam Free on in. We welcome all! Thanks for the support.

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2001

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