Urgent: week of September 24

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Messages which absolutely need to be seen today due to time constraints or breaking news. Remember to check the"new answers" link for the most active topics. This topic will run for a week, and then we will start a new dated "urgent" file.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2000


Charles, if you are looking for any other trivializing mascots for that list, these are from my 2/7/00 letter to the Board (also public presentation):

"The Onteora Indian has been referred to numerous times as a "mascot." Certain proponents of the Onteora Indian mascot have stated that it has "dignity." Here are some current high school and college mascots: Banana Slugs, Hippos, Bunnies, Purple Cows, River Rats, Artichokes, Thunder Chickens. Is this the elevated status and dignity an ethnic group deserves and has earned -- to be right up there with the guy wearing a chicken costume?"

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2000

The updated mascot memo is located at http://ishgooda.nativeweb.org/racial/nyulster2.htm it is missing the two photographs, if anyone wants a copy with the two photgraphs let me know and I will e-mail you a copy.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2000

"As Fred Bergsten said: 'I don't really care who does our studies as long as I do the press releases, because the press release is crucial.' Remember that, by writing the press release, you often are writing the journalist's story for him." -- Nancy Truett, A Checklist for Public Policy Institutes, 1990.

(Found on a page about the suspected head of the New World Order)

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2000

Hope we can get the complete text of Charles' fabulous issues and law published locally...I offered a few gramatical corrections,(who, me??) and found a very few incomplete sentences...but let's help get this in the hands of anyone who will read it...of course it should be a major part of our report...Should we hold it until then? It's already online and theoretically available to the wide world! T.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2000

Please feel free to offer corrections, additions, etc... this is a "living document" has gone through multiple versions at this date, started off as a three or so page document, and is now 20 pages, and will no doubt grow over time. The format was lost with the most recent net posting and will need some additional work before it is final.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2000

What is the intended purpose of the document so beautifully laid out by Charles? If it is the brief to be filed with the State and Federal agencies, I see no reason to publicly display the document until necessary. The opposition seems to enjoy the element of surprise and I see no reason to disply this document unless there is a specific purpose. I'm just thinking in terms of tactics here. I do feel the document is well thought out and I think we all would be proud to stand behind it. But please suggest a reason to publicize it.

On another note, the issue of discrimination is clearly laid out inn the document for Natives and people of color. What about the issue of people like myself and others (BOE members) who may have been discriminated against because of their beliefs in this issue? Didn't Donna not get a job with the district largely because of her position on this subject? Is this a reasonable course to pursue?

The other potential course of action may be what I'll call Tobe's last stand. The discrimination of other races and genders who are not "honored" by the OCS distict. What about other proud races who aren't recognized??

Just my 2 cents. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

In addition to the historic, cultural references of Natives in early romantic Western literature, films and television, I think it might be worth comparing the steroeotypes of Afro-Americans as presented in minstral shows. This was a form of vaudeville theatre often seen in TV, film and radio as late as the 1950's. I recall seeing one in my early childhood. They weren't meant to be racist either and generally accepted and enjoyed by the majority during those times. But look at the recent flap when actor Ted Danson tried wearing blackface several years ago at an awards ceremony. No one would raise such a fuss if a white person did this in Native headress and such. Especially at a football game.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

Tonight at the 7pm meeting of the OCS BOE at Phoenicia School former Board member Tom Rosato will speak in his report as chairman of the Buildings Committee as well as a private citizen at the public be heard portion of the meeting. Let's remember that Tom stood steadfast in his support for the removal of the Indian mascot while on the previous board. He was defeated in the last elections largely due to this issue. He now urgently needs your support.

Tom plans to make public statements regarding his adamant disapproval of the board's recent actions in many matters including the mascot issue. In addition, he plans to publicly resign from the Facilities Committee in protest of the Board's actions. This was a very difficult decision for Tom as he genuinely wanted to help the district out with his expertise in this field. But he feels that if people align him with the current board and their policies, this is not acceptable. His action will definitely draw a line in the sand and distinctly distance himself to any political relationship with Mr. Doan and his team.

Hopefully this will act as a springboard to help generate community awareness to the recent shameless activities of the board. Tom hopes to be able to generate enough press and public activity from his resignation that it will help band to together forces to oppose the "action" team in the next election. Please show your support for Tom at the Onteora BOE meeting tonight. He was there for us when we needed so please, let's be there for him.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2000

I wrote the following letter to AAG Tanya Washington on Tuesday morning, 9/26, in response to the Onteora Board meeting last night:

Dear Ms. Washington,

I am a bit perplexed as to the current involvement of the NYS AG office in the recent controversies at the Onteora Central School district. Last we spoke you were actively involved in bringing members of the community together to find a reasonable compromise solution for all parties involved in the Indian mascot issue. In fact, as you may recall, I helped in setting up a meeting for you with the STAND and COLOR organizations. I found it very interesting, at the time, that the parties involved were eventually able to accommodate their points of view in order to help reach a compromise solution within the structure and guidance provided by the NYS AG office.

But since the September 11 board meeting when the board disregarded your diligent attempts for a compromise, we unfortunately have heard nothing from you or your office. And it was only until last night when board member Fred Perry spoke of a more recent conversation with NYS AG office, in which Mr. Celli told Mr. Perry that the business of the NYS AG office at Onteora was completed and no further involvement would be necessary at Onteora. "Our business there is done" was Mr. Perry's interpretation of that conversation.

I am deeply concerned if this is true. We in the community felt that a unbiased method of compromise was a reasonable method for the reconciliation of this controversy. The non-partisan guidance and authority of the NYS AG office helped assure all members of the community that their concerns could at least be addressed in a non-hostile atmosphere. Your involvement gave the minority voices on both sides a chance to be heard and, more importantly, a chance to listen.

If what Mr. Perry reports is true, that the NYS AG office has withdrawn from active participation in finding a compromise solution, then it is a sad time for this community indeed. At the Onteora Board of Education meeting last night, the board was clueless in trying to find a method of compromise. Mr. Walters, by his own admission, didn't know where to begin with forming a committee for compromise. And Mr. Doan felt a compromise committee would be a waste of time and that the board itself could find a proper Native American curriculum only to be reminded by Superintendent Dr. Rowe that this was really an educators job.

After last night's meeting, board member Meg Carey and her husband, STAND member Tobe Carey, discovered that their car had been vandalized with a nail flattening the tire. This act follows a series of dangerous acts that have been repeatedly targeted towards STAND and COLOR members in recent months.The investigating NYS Police officer, in the parking lot of the school where the board meeting was held, observed that the tire had hammer marks on it suggesting it was obviously intentional.

Will it take a tragic accident for a proper response by our law enforcement agencies? Will our children be put at life-threatening risk riding in our cars simply because of our beliefs and public opinions? Must the national press be brought in to help prod the NYS AG office and legal agencies into some kind of response?

We need your help now and we believe you were sincere in offering it to us. But the recent comments, attributed to Mr. Celli by Mr. Perry, have left us confused and troubled. Please respond and let us know the current position of the NYS AG office in regards to this inflammatory issue tearing at the heart of our community. The current atmosphere by the board is just not conducive to a compromised settlement of this issue.

Thank you for you time and consideration.

Jim Sofranko

Tanya Washington responded with:

Based on information provided to me concerning the statements attributed to our office at the meeting . . . those statements were wholly inaccurate, and I am disturbed to hear of the misrepresentation. As to how we intend to proceed, I cannot comment. Anyone who has suffered vandalism or harassment that they believe is done in retaliation against them in relation to this matter or any other civil rights issue should file an official report to local law enforcement, and also file a civil rights complaint with our office . . .it is the policy of our office not to individually investigate each and every civil rights complaint, but it always helps to have a record of all such activity. If you need complaint forms, call (212) 416-8250, and forms will be forwarded to you.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000

Excellent letter, Jim. And a very interesting response from Tanya...

Speaking of Perri the Squirrel, Donna -- are things still on for October 2nd at the Olive Court?

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000


From: "Tanya Washington" To: Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 5:05 PM


thanks for keeping us in the loop. If people inform you of harassment or other such behavior that they believe to be directly related to their position concerning the Indian mascot, or other potential civil rights issues, please encourage them to call our office for a complaint form so that their concerns can formally be on file. I keep track of such complaints when I make my recommendations on particular matters.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000

Dennis has a copy of my Olive police report and the write-up I did on my incident. Have these been submitted with a claim form? Do I need a proper claim form to fill out for Tanya, then?

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000

Yes you need a special form that Tanya has, do you want me to contact her and have her send them to you?

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000

Let's be sure everyone concerned has filled out such forms with the NYS AG office. This was the first I've heard of this,

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000

perhaps we can get twenty forms sent and made availabl;e locally. I'll call down today and ask them to be sent to me. tobe

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2000

One thing you might want to think about when I get the onteora.net address going, is that the other side may want to register our personal names as domain names out of spite. Frankly, I don't think they are smart enough to think of doing so, but just as a precaution I've registered carolmaltby.com and the .org and .net versions with www.register.com/. Of course, if we are really feeling flush we can register our own names and www.joedoan.com and www.roseostrander.com as well, and turn them into Indian mascot information sites... [wicked grin]

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2000

I would encourage our foes to register our names, but I would not want any of us to register names like joedoan.com as there is a Federal law that makes such acts actionable.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2000

I should add if we registered a name such as joedoan.com it is actionable if we do it with certain specified prohibited goals in mind. However if we did that and made it a site about Joe Doan, and the mascot issue I can not see how there would be a violation, in fact it would be as funny as... you get the drift.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2000

Bad Carol! [slaps hand] Do not do illegal things. I wonder if a blank page entitled "The Wit and Wisdom of Joe Doan" would be illegal? Probably so. But think how splendidly we could model behavior for certain people. "Oh, I'm sorry, what I have up is offensive to some people? I shall take it down immediatly, no need for a lawsuit."

In the middle of the night when a mouse was chewing on the inside of my bedroom wall, I got to thinking about the "scalping" verb used in the sports write-up. Lurid thoughts of blowing the sentence up to about 3 feet long, bringing in a roadkill (or a london broil covered with fake fur?) and scalping it for the Board so that they know what scalping is, that it is not just some sports writer's verb. Stop me before I think more, I beg you.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

I guess there really is some purpose for fried brain cells....

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

Good morning nail biters!

1. By now you know the news is out about nails/screws in tires..I think we need to run with it,and, with our report sheets in hand from the State police, hold a press conference on the night of the next school board meeting/just before the board meets...say a 6:30PM at the West Hurley School, where, I believe the meeting will be...what say?? The board members will be busy in their executive session trying to roast hal rowe, and we can be outside the school having fun!

2. The idea for a national or regional conference on anti-mascot issues has surfaced again, and we need to decide if we want to do this, and if so, if there is interest out there, and if there is (long sentence...) we need to get started organizing immediately. Comments please.

3. To go along with the press conference thing, do we want to make and pass out buttons that perhaps have two nails or two screws or a nail and screw together as a "V" sign with something like, "NO HATE in our community"...etc.?? Lucia says they have a button making machine.

4. It has been suggested we consider bringing the tires info etc. to the County district attorney... Questions: what would be gained by this? How would we do it? What would we ask him to do? When best to do it? before or after any press conference?

5. We have ad space available every week in the Woodstock Times, and it has been suggested we use it to ask questions about $$ and the BOE...for instance, three questions every week, like: Where is the money coming from to pay for the new lawyers? Where would the money come from to outfit buses with surveillance cameras? How much extra money is being spent on "late runs" and special trips now that we have fewer Disrict bus drives on the job?

I believe we should only ask questions for which we have the answers, or for which no one has the answers...Let's not waste the opportunity to stir up public interest and spread knowledege about wild spending by the new board majority.


PS there is press interest in local/national hate groups that may be operating...any and all hard facts or strong anecdotes should be gathered and we can get them to the right person.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

1/I like the idea of the press conference. When is the next meeting?

2/ A conference is an attractive idea, but I don't know that we really have the resources to pull it together, not and deal with our own fight as well.I certainly can't get involved on that level.

3/I'm not too enthusiastic about the buttons, sets us apart as targets more. "Oh, you're one of THEM."

4/County DA -- Charles, any input on the value of this? We just don't know the system.

5/Ad space -- yeah, we should go for it. That would be a good place to ask questions about the Indian mascot T-shirts too.

I'd like to have Curry talk with Sgt.Comerford again, find out if there is a detective handling this (if so, we should all have contact info, phone as well as email if available), see if there is any chance of getting the charges bumped up to "attempted murder," given that Tobe and Meg's was a very clear-cut incident that can't be written off. I mentioned in my report there was an un-named person who hadn't filed a police report when she had flats after being jeered at by Onteora employees, and I'm annoyed that no-one even bothered to ask me who it was to question them, since that could be our only solid lead.

Since the news is out, should we think of reward posters for information leading to conviction? If so, shall we offer up to $500? Sgt. Comerford would have to give us information as to what number and name to put down to contact on a poster, I'd be willing to make one up.

If we are to have COLOR in here, I'll need advance warning just to set things up.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

Making an attempted murder charge is very difficult, I doubt nails and crews in tires will meet the test. What would be needed would be the nail to puncture the tire, an accident happen, and someone injured to the point of almost death.

Can we collect all the good information about Dr. Rowe and Oneora (prior to this board) ?

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

1 Press conference: yes! for as much milage as we can get. I'll call Sgt Comerford to ask about the reward: I think it's a good idea

2 Diversity conference: yes! this is the kind of thing I like to work on, and I know others who havn't yet participated who will help bigtime on this one..

3 Buttons: not into it..

4 County DA: ...???

5 Ad space: the WT is giving us free ad space? this is a first! no wonder the rat pack dissed them. etc: Yeah, let's consolidate back to one bb. Joe McCarthy Doan! this is so real that we can soar with it... Curry

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

1. Sounds like we're all up for the press conference, except we haven't heard from Lucia. I'll call her today.

2. When is the next Board meeting?

3. When is the next STAND meeting?

4. I have a call into Ricken re any guidance he might give us in approaching DA office, if that's even appropriate, etc.

5. Onaje's next court date is Wed, Oct 4, Olive. As always, I would appreciate any support just because I find it scary to face all those guys alone with Onaje. But I understand how busy everyone is, so also will understand either way...

6. I'm for one web site at this point too. Doesn't seem like any COLOR folks are using the other one-- yet anyway.

7. The last couple days I've started to wonder if Doan isn't just a troubled man who hasn't grieved, but maybe he actually is affiliated with some extremist right wing group. Just wondering. Wish we could find out. I've always wanted to go "undercover" into the right, too bad I'm already known. Do we know anyone who could contact group like N.A. (get my drift?) and try to join with any local folks....????

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2000

Next board meeting is Monday 16th of October at West Hurley.

Any one think there are district or legal issues with calling a press conference at 6PM that night in front of the school...on the steps right next to the engraved-in-cement Indian head in Plains headress?

The next STAND meeting...working meeting... is Thursday, October 5th at my house in Glenford..check your tires and come on down.

Today I was told that the ESL (read: immigrant) students are experiencing lots of difficulties in classes and in the lunch rooms...harrassment seems the order of ther day...don't know of any formal complaints...my guess is the parents of these kids don't even know they can complain, and wouldn't know how to do it. and would probably be fearful of making any complaints. Is this another nail in the coffin of a racially hostile climate isue?

Deborah Osherow should have a report on existing or non existing racial harassment forms and procedures that might/might not be in place by mid week.

Seems to me we could be advocates for these kids if reports turn out to be true.

Homecoming Game at onteora is October 14th...football, cheers/jeers..signs??

Has anyone from CARE (!) invited the folks from Big Indian Trading Post to be our mascot for the day?


-- Anonymous, September 29, 2000

I spoke to Zone Sgt. Cervini today - Sgt.Comerford was on leave. He was surprised that he hadn't heard anything about our tire incidents, not a good sign. He seemed sincere and helpful, said offering a reward sounded like a good idea but he wanted to talk to his captain about it and get back to me in a few days. The captain sounds like the next guy to talk to.....

I really do like the idea of a reward, as big as we can make it!, and the news hook for our press conference...

If we had our own intelligence sources, I bet we could find out a lot....Sam Spade, where are you when we need you?

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2000

It is a good idea to make the reward as large as possible, but not too large and the requirements strict enough that it is not likely anyone will be able to collect the reward. In Civil Rights matters rewards are mostly PR, being able to say something to get a point across and insinuate much without saying much, and money is used as the attention anchor.

Reward of ____________ is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction for the person or persons responsible for the most recent four acts of vandalism on the vehicles of persons opposed to the offensive use of native based mascots.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2000

Just spoke to a woman who has had two nails and one screw removed from her tires...all in the tread...(an oldsmobile) in the past few months...she is an attendee at board meetings, but has NOT ever spoken...her husband pointed out the article, and she called the school who called me...Friends in high places :)...anyway, she said she wasn't ready to report it to the State Police as I suggested, since she couldn't recall exactly when it happened, and since she hadn't thought about school-related incidents, she didn't recall exactly when she noticed losing air, etc etc..But now she's aware and this may trigger others to come forth..guess she should have followed Donna's gut feeling to make it public long ago.

{S this Monday night is the election of the County democratic Chair,,,John Parete...i ureg averyone who knows anyone who's eligible to vote in this party election to call them and spill the beans on Parete as one of the prime pro-mascot forces...It's been reconfirmed today that he was indeed one of their main supporters...Boiceville Inn guy...former wrestling coach...

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2000

I like Charles' wording of the reward notice. And Curry's idea of making that the news hook for our press conference. What should we have there that day to "hold up"? The four police reports, copies for the press to have?? I guess we should start working on a press release that we would read to them. We should invite Lisa Phillips too from local NPR, as well as Rene and Kemble. Also, Ed Sanders should be notified so as not to "dis" the Journal. And of course the two "official" district newspapers, UCT and Times-Herald-Record.

As to where and when...I like the idea of doing it right before the Board meeting, but WILL we be criticized for using school property for it? I don't know the answer. Is it "improper?" We should stay above reproach (though J.M.Doan will always find something, I know.) For the same reason, I don't think we should ever "jeer" at football games or whatever. We can't look like the spoil-sports, but the earnest good guys (that we are!) I do think one of us should attend the game, though, to scope out what Indian things they're doing.

The other negative about doing it the night of Board meeting, is will it miss out on a next day news story because Kemble only writes one thing, say, about the Board meeting itself? Would we have more attention of our own on a different day? But what day would have any significance, besides a Board meeting day? And where?

Interesting about the woman who called Tobe with screws and nails in tires. Maybe her car is similar to one of ours and was mistaken for ours? Odd, since she doesn't speak. Is she sympathetic to us and someone knew that?

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2000

Jim and others: The cat is out of the bag...and we are targets...Meg and I have already witnessed another incident..at our house..this morning Meg found our hand-made (children-made) signs at the top of our driveway missing. Then they were found in the woods, broken and tossed aside. We phoned it to the State Police, and now have yet another incident on the blotter.

Sympathetic Trooper, and we reminded him of the other incidents...he of course said maybe we need to have undercover cars in the lot, so I told him the history of that plus the drive-bys they already do...he sounded determined to see that they catch these thugs.

To my mind, we are not creating ourselves as martyrs, but it is importnat to point oput that we will not be buillied by these creeps. If you don't think you are already, and continue to be targeted, then you are dreaming. Anyone who has spoken out is a traget, and I believe more, not fewer incidents will come out as the publicity builds.

I too and concerned about where the press conference should be held, and the timing. Certainly it's better to time it at 2PM or so, so the local tv (RNN) maybe NYC TV , Albany, etc. can get it on the 6PM news...also gives another day's play beyond the board meeting.

The purpose in my mind, whether or not there is a reward to offer (I hope we can get this together)is to make the widests possible public aware that we believe there is an organized thug-led attack meant to intimidate people who dare to speak out at public meetings. This is a serious matter, not to be swept under the rug. The more people willing and able to join together at such a press conference with us, the better. Jim and Tom have had cars "keyed", others have had intimidating phone calls, and of course the tire brigade continues its work.

This approach will appeal to all who value their free speech (dearly held value) and those who abhor voiolence in the public arena, and those who don't want to be allied with hate groups or perceived "Southern-style" justice.

Should we paint targets on our chests...no! But let's get national coverage from this...and at the same time be sure we have adequate police protection at the eventy...whenever we hold it...

At the same time, we need to narrrow in on the "rumors" of operating hate groups in the area. Folks have told me about friends of theirs being asked to join local Klan or other groups...we need to verify this, get first hand repoorts and let Charles and appropriate local authorities know what's going on. The trooper who was here today (lives in Boiceville with two pre-schoolers)was asked if he knew of any organized hate groups operating..he said he didn't and he would expect if there was some intelligence about these activities that they would know...hmmm..

Let's put our so-called brains together and figure out a foolproof place and time for this press conference...should be timed for a slow news day (watch out for the debates, olympics, baseball playoffs/world-series, etc.)Should we have a "lawyer" as mouthpiece reading the press release at the conference? And what should be revelealed in the press release, to tempt them without making the story easy to report without showing up...lights/camera/action.


-- Anonymous, September 30, 2000

Also, I have a gut feeling that whoever is targeting these tires must know me or my family. There has got to be a reason that I have not had any tires tampered with. I am going to speak to a sheriff friend of mine that knows a lot of the same people I do and even though he may be on the other side of the issue, I know he will be honest and deplore any acts of violence. I'll keep you posted.


-- Anonymous, September 30, 2000

Does everyone have forms to complete concerning vandalism? Keeping logs? Nothing can be done by the AG or FBI without police reports. Someone should serve as the collector of all police reports, I would like to know when there are several at that point we can bring in the FBI and NY AG regarding hate crimes. This will however be futile if reports and logs are not kept, as well as evidence preserved.

Giving information to the S.P.L.C. is good, I would wait.

The idea of the providing the press with information concerning the reward can be handled without a press conference. At this point it may be a good idea to get this issue into the public arena the reward will provide the necessary attention.

I will not tell you there is no risks involved when dealing with people who hate, there is a difference between being justifiably cautious and being paranoid, we would be well served to remember to not be paranoid.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2000

I have just received AG complainty forms...20 and will distribute themto those who need them...you know who you are!

We need a little guidance on the best way to complete the form, since it asks for the folowing: Person Filing Cpmplaint (easy0 Person/Entity you are complaining about: Nature of the Complaint (employment) (housing) (place of public accomodation) (education) (credit) (other)____ sounds like other to me. Explain: has several lines (about 150 to write in specifics...)

On the back it has: You were discriminated against because of your: Race___ Sex____ Religion____ Natural Origin____ Color____ Age____ Marital Status____Other_____ Again, I guess we want other

Are you aware of other persons who might have been subjected to the alleged discriminatory coduct...If yes provide names, etc.

I suppose we list each other

Have you sought or received assistance from NY State Division of Human Rights or any other Agency? If so provide name, etc..... State Police Any others???? Carol don't you have Olive also? anyone else. This stuff needs to be done this week, I believe...

Are you represented by a private attorney? If yes, provide details.....

Is court action pending? NOT yet!!!

We can also attach photocopies of the reports...

perhaps we need to have a "complainant get together" so we can organize and help each other get this done this week...any time tomorrow evening? won't take long...helooooooo is anyone around??? Tobe

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2000

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