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Press releases, letters to editor, events, ads, etc. Show us a copy for review, cut and paste anything that has made it online.

-- Anonymous, March 08, 2000

Answers

Our letters from Jane, Jim and me got in the Po'k Journal today with the banner, "Indian mascot finds few supporters." Eight letters, only one pro-mascot, one mixed in the "drop the incorrect aspects of the mascot"mode. Let me see if the happy-face Indian that letter suggests to me works in ascii:

>>>>>>[]:)

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2000


I faxed the following to Cynthia Werthamer of the K. Freeman today...let's wait and see if she picks up the idea:

Fax to Cynthia Werthamer From Tobe Carey

3/16/00

Hi Cynthia:

I had an idea that I'd like to suggest for another angle on the Onteora "Indian" mascot issue. It's the ethical dimension.

The local clergy have almost all been made aware of the issue, and some may have already brought it before their congregations. I have spoken to the Methodist Minister in Woodstock, Bob Granger (679-6800), the Minister at the Lutheran Church in Woodstock, Rev. Sonja Tillberg (679-2336), the Minister at the Woodstock Reformed Church, Rev. Kathleen Edwards (679-6610), and the Rabbi at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler (246-1671), who all expressed to me complete support for retiring the mascot.

In addition I have spoken with Don Moore from the Living Word Chapel (331-8773), and Tom Miller from the St. Gregory's Church in Woodstock (679-8800) and Reverend Ralph Merante from United Methodist Church in Glenford, Shokan and W. Hurley (657-8565.) They all have been sent packets of information like I sent to you....and most are aware that the national Methodist Church has a strong declaration condemning the use of "Indian" sports team mascots

I know that the Social Action Committee of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation has had at least one meeting to discuss this, and that the racial justice study group of the Unitarian Universalist congregation (Jean Boyce, 246-5235 )will address this.

I know the Catholic Church in West Hurley has also received info (Fr.George Humel) as has the Methodist Church in Phoenicia (Pastor Love 688-5670). Lastly, the Methodist Minister in Shady, Reverend Schaef (home number: 246-0181) also is very aware of the issue, and reportedly has some strong feelings on the subject.

Is this of interest? It seems to me there might be a great story here.

Along with the Methodist apology and declarations, the Pope has in the past also issued an apology to Native Americans that might also make good background to this kind of story. If I can add more info, let me know. I can send the Methodist statement if you want, and can get the Pope's message, although that one doesn't directly address the nickname/mascot issue.

Thanks for considering this. It is almost Easter timeisn't it? Tobe

-- Anonymous, March 16, 2000


My letter sent to the Woodstock Times this week:

Onteora Trustee Joseph Doan's remark in his letter last week about "people who grew up in other communities and have no attachment to this identity" attempts to frame the Onteora mascot issue as a divisive "old-timers vs newcomers" conflict. Does stirring up those feelings help to heal the animosity in this community, or to prolong it?

Yes, many of us did not grow up in the Onteora district, though we may have grown up in similar rural towns elsewhere. We had a chance to go out and see a bit of the world, and of all the places we could have chosen to put down our roots and raise our families, this is the area we chose above all others. We have made a commitment to these mountains, rivers and fields, and have made our commitments to the community in so many ways. Do you doubt that commitment just because our family names are not on local road signs? Do we need to add a "Pledge of Allegiance to Onteora" to the morning classroom schedule?

Many of those involved in the issue have not understood this lack of attachment to a high school identity of which Doan speaks, and may not realize that many people manage to get through high school and beyond without sharing the passionate interest that many have in the local high school athletic culture. It's not any issue of one perspective being better than another, they are just different. While my high school team was the Mounties 30 years ago, I just don't think of myself as a Bulldog or a Mountie. Never did, never will. No one can take your past away from you, no-one can erase your memories.

The Indian was intended as a honor a half century ago, in a time when June Cleaver vacuumed the floor wearing a dress and pearls while waiting for Ward to get home from the office, girls were forbidden to wear pants to school, racial segregation was legally permissible, and the Dodgers were still the Brooklyn Dodgers. Times have changed. Our kids are being educated to be citizens in a twenty-first century world that none of could have dreamed of when we were growing up. Their success on the athletic field will not depend on what rallying cries the cheerleaders use, but on their skill, talent, and hard work -- as it always has. They can do it without using an entire race of people as a magical good-luck charm.

There has been a tug-of-war over who gets to have more Native American credibility in this issue, but in many ways that is a totally false argument. We are not counting scalps to see who has the bigger pile and thus wins. I'm not Native American, and it's not a Greek coffee-shop owner owner or a "Paddy" up on that gymnasium wall that is stereotyping my ethnic heritage. My high school memories aren't anchored to Onteora's past.But as a parent of children who will be going to Onteora High School I want them to have an education that is free of any distorted stereotypes of any sort, because those untruthful images are as harmful to my kids as they are to a child of Native American heritage. Had Mr. Doan or any others favoring the Indian mascot come to the film forum in Woodstock on Sunday, they would have seen some thought-provoking videos on how Indian stereotypes encourage children to see Native Americans as always being the "other," and how this offends so many Native Americans. If you want to honor them, honor those feelings that are so prevalent in the Native American community.

From what we hear the students at the high school are interested in moving on at this point, and would like to look into the future while being informed about the past. Let's help support them in making the transition as smooth a one as possible.

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000


Here's the letter I sent out to the Freeman and Woodstock Times.

Onteora Board of Education member Joe Doan has recently made public comments as to the "lightening strike to remove Onteora's nickname" and "By not allowing the children and community to share in the decision-making process we are inviting a backlash ". This misconstrues the events as evidenced in the videotape archives of the board meetings. And, in turn, this misinformation leads people to wrongfully presume that it was the majority members of the board who hastened the vote on this issue. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

On January 10, a small group of Onteora parents came before the board and politely voiced their opinion that the Onteora Indian mascot depicted a negative racial stereotype. It was board President Martin Milman who proposed having a public-be-heard at the next meeting, on January 24, after which a discussion and a vote by the board on this issue would take place. Again, this was at Milman's urging. Reports of the upcoming meeting and mascot issue were published in several local newspapers. Opposition to the mascot change was able to gather 450 signatures on petitions during these two weeks. At the January 24th meeting, 54 people, on both sides of the issue, spoke for more than 2 hours in front of an audience of over 200 people. Remember that only a dozen or so people usually attend these board meetings. After careful consideration as to the educational aspects of this issue, the board voted 4-3 to change the Indian mascot at Onteora. Mr. Milman, Mr. Doan and Mr. Vanacore voted in the minority. It is interesting to note that all during the proceedings, and the 30-minute board discussion before the vote, none of them requested any more input from the community or a postponement of the vote.

But it was Mr. Milman, who after voting in the minority perpetuated the issue by allowing it to dominate every board meeting since. He even distributed petitions in the community denouncing the decision of his own board. His poor leadership and lack of support for the board's decision has clearly divided and hurt our community. The March 6th issue of 'On Board', a newsletter published by the NYS School Boards Association, recommends in an article about school board behavior that school board member's "do our homework" and be prepared on issues prior to board meetings. The newsletters suggested that board's "Be courageous" and stick by their principles, making decisions that are best for the students. And most importantly "Support the school system and the board decisionseven when they are on the losing side".

There is no need to pursue this issue any further. Let's be more concerned that only 34% of the Onteora 96-97 graduates went on to a 4-year college and 35% went straight to employment. This is worse than any other comparable high school in our area. Let's get back on the education track and encourage the board to move forward with the important board business at hand. Instead of "compromise" after the fact, as Mr. Doan suggests, let us support "leadership" for education, not compromise. I urge people to support the majority board members, Maureen Millar and Tom Rosato, in the upcoming elections and pass the much-needed school budget. Let's not be held hostage to further politicization of our children's education and future.

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000


Seems i was misinformed about the good old boys being on Channel 3 woodstock toniught...they will appear on Sunday after Easter...so plenty of time to get your questions ready.

here are some I pass along as a staring point. Candidate Questions:

Why do you support and publicly distribute the infamous "outsiders and itinerants" petition calling for the return of the "Indian" mascot?

Since you have declared yourselves in favor of removing the policy barring the use of a race of people as Onteora's symbol, logo or mascot, tell us what race of people you would like to see used as the mascot? And why did you chose this race over any others?

Please share with us your favorite stereotypes and images of Indians as Onteora's logo?

I see you have used a Native dancer on your campaign literature Mr. Millman, Mr. Perry and Mr. Walters, what nation is the dancer from? Are you members of that Nation? And who gave you permission to use the ceremonial/religious image for partisan literature?

In the last election, Mr. Walters stated he was against the budget that passed. Is he also opposed to this year's budget? If so, what specific changes would he suggest?

Mr. Millman says he wants an additional 2% taken from the proposed budget for this yearwhat specific reductions, over which the district has control, would he suggest?

Mr. Perry has criticized the Special Education budgetwhat cuts does he propose?

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2000



Here's the jobs left to do: letter to the editor..short..possitive and overwhelming numbers...two issues of W Times and Townsman left...deadlines 4PM on Monday for each...Times by email is fine (news@woodstocktimes.com)...Townsman drop box in Eckerts Woodstock store.

Road signs...will visit (Jim and I) printer today to order 50-70 to be placed as soon as we have them...Who wants to help put them up???... NO telephone/utility poles, please...and permission needed from any private land-owners...public spaces where CARE has theirs are fine...Our's will NOT be as large or obnoxious like those are.

Call in show sunday 6:30PM Sam mercer's Channel 3 show...need good probling Educational issue questions. especially for Fred perry and Greg Walters who basically know nothing about these issues.

Meet the Candidates night Monday at high school 7PM...questions....

Phone calling...calls need to be made May9th with a follow-up on May 15th...the most important thing we can do...sample calling script follows...

Who needs lists to call????

Calling script:

HITHIS IS.I'M A PARENT OF A CHILD IN THE ..SCHOOL.

I'M CALLING TO Remind You TO VOTE IN THE MAY 16TH ONTEORA SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION. PLEASE SUPPORT DONNA BOUNDY, MAUREEN MILLAR AND TOM ROSATO. I BELIEVE THEY ARE THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR THE BOARD. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS VERY IMPORTANT ELECTION.

This is the short version...perfect length to get in quickly and for leaving on message machines...

Background and additional info if needed or appropriate: THEY ARE CANDIDATES WHO ARE COMMITTED TO PROVIDING OUR STUDENTS WITH A QUALITY EDUCATION, IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF TOLERANCE AND DIVERSITY.

Also ask for their help: "Please help by calling your friends who will support these candidates and remind them to vote on May 16th, from 2-9PM at their local elementary schools. If you are unsure of which school you should be voting in, call 657-6383. Thank you for your support."

Bye for now

Tobe

PS this is the home stretch..hang in there, we're gathering momentum...

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2000


I'm a bit surprised that we haven't gotten more press from this issue. I called in the story to the AP and the NY Times but haven't heard back from them. Anybody have media contacts to play this up more nationally??

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2000

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