Urgent: Week of January 1, 2001

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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, January 01, 2001


Response to Urgent: Week of January 1, 2000

Tobe, what's the word from Meg on the district's new business administrator, Chuck Snyder? Do we know his position on the mascot yet (hey, he's not due to start working formally til the 8th, but we can get cozy...). Does he have potential as an ally? Should we send him some orientation material on the issue, with an eye to pointing out the fiscal ramifications of the mascot issue?

Charles, just for your background on this, Snyder got a BA and MA in psychology, which led to clinical psychology jobs that required more administrative skills, which suggests he's not just a number wonk. Though Meg moved to support a request by Hal Rowe to hire departing administrator Dennis Geisler to give transition help, no one on the Board would second it. I don't know where he stands on the issue, but yanking out the welcome mat like this right at the start does not make him likely to feel warm fuzzy thoughts toward the board.

Jim brought up this point when I saw him New Year's Eve: with Bush's choice for new head of the education dept, are we just pissing into the wind to think that we should even try to work through the US Dept of Education, or any other federal body? If it looks hopeless, do we concentrate our efforts on the state, via either the AG or Education (hah!) department?

Charles, how do you see the changing political climate affecting our best use of our energies?

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2001

Response to Urgent: Week of January 1, 2000

I do not see the change in administrations as effecting us. The main reason is our compliant was filed with both DOJ and OCR (Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education).

While Ashcroft is being beaten up in the media over his pro-life stance, I have known him for decades and think highly of him and his ethics. I have never known him to be fake, a liar or go back on his word (the makings of a lousy politician). As Missouri governor he is the only governor to ever help the few tribes existing in the state (in this regard the late Governor Carnehan was anti native and a real disappointment). Ashcroft has supported native issues and has done much in this regard, as I recall he is part Cherokee.

When Ashcroft was governor he raised the issue of the name Chiefs (Kansas City team, I do not remember if they are football or baseball as I follow neither, I leave that to my kids), but it fell on deaf ears, given his past statements and actions regarding native based mascots I expect him to support our position which is good for us as the AG is more important than Dept of Ed in our matters.

If anything is posted on the BS and I do not respond please send me an e-mail as it seems I do not always get copes (I receive mine via e- mail).


-- Anonymous, January 02, 2001

Response to Urgent: Week of January 1, 2000

For whatever it matters, in this point of the game, the Onteora basketball chearleaders have resumed using the Indian name in their cheers. Although I didn't get to hear every cheer closely, the one's I did hear were of the type of which were proud pontifications of the dearly beloved Indians. "We are the Indians and we're number one..." that kind of thing.

Where is the January 8th meeting to be held? Thanks.

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2001

Response to Urgent: Week of January 1, 2000

Monday meeting at Woodstock...bring your friends and come early. Today reports are coming our way about Joe Doan and Marty Millman verbally intimidating Kathy Aley, internal auditor and long time school employee (about 27 years)for the mistake in issuing a double check to the former school architect. (The check's already been returned.) Word has it JD threatened to have her fired...the teachers' union and non teaching staff union heard about how badly she is being treated and reportedly they had a joint meeting and will be out in force to support her at the meeting...They will be there at 5:45 (Woodstock school) before she is supposed to be called into an executive session scheduled for 6PM...Should be very interesting and enlightening. The whole affair smacks of a great mistake on JD and MM's part...Ms. Aley is an Onteora graduate, "salt of the earth" local who is a mascot supporter, who perhaps now has "seen the light" about the JD & MM vendeta. Seems like the word about this is spreading like wildfire in the school community and beyond (fire depts., etc.)...anyone heard anything from anyone out there?


-- Anonymous, January 05, 2001

Response to Urgent: Week of January 1, 2000

Any one know Sherrit Chase..found this searchingon Shokan and Hate in Google:it's from a congressional hearing on bio-regions held in 1997. Maybe he can shed some light on local "groups." Tobe Next, I'd like to welcome Mr. Chase, from Shokan, New York. Mr. Chase.

STATEMENT OF SHERRET S. CHASE, SHOKAN, NEW YORKCAROL LAGRASSE, PRESIDENT, PROPERTY RIGHTS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA, INC. Mr. CHASE. My full statement is 8 minutes. If I have as much time, I would have my whole statement out to you and some of these—several of these might be available, that I would otherwise cut out. Do I have 8 minutes?

Ms. CHENOWETH. We must hold you to five.

Mr. CHASE. All right.

Ms. CHENOWETH. Thank you.

Mr. CHASE. I'm starting now. Chairman Young of Alaska and Committee members, welcome to the Catskill region of New York state. Thank you for providing this forum for presentation of the merits of Biosphere Reserve designation of the Catskill Region, and thank you for the inflow of U.S. taxpayer dollars this hearing brings to our depressed economy. My name is Sherret Spaulding Chase. My home is here in the Catskills.


I support biosphere reserve designation of the Catskill Region. We of the Catskills are fortunate in having highly competent resident representation in Congress; namely, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Representative Maurice Hinchey, and Sherwood Boehlert. Your staff is misinformed. There are no significant Federal holdings in the Catskills. The stated objectives of your bill, the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act, are to preserve the sovereignty of the United States over lands owned by the United States, and to preserve state sovereignty and private property rights in adjacent non-Federal lands.

Again, your staff is misinformed. There are no significant Federal holdings in the Catskills. We have no Federal grazing lands, no Federal timber lands, no Federal mining lands, no national parks. Further, we are a home-rule region. We do not look kindly on Federal takings or interference. For local matters, we prefer to work through our own private and public organizations. In working with several organizations for Biosphere Reserve designation for the Catskill Region, I, myself, had three major thoughts in mind:

First, I am a botanist. Designation would facilitate obtaining funds for scientific studies of the Catskills; second, designation would help encourage a more successful, financially sound tourism industry. Biosphere Reserve designation would provide a superb advertising tool; and third, it would personally please me to have the world recognize that the Catskill Region is, indeed, a special place of man and nature. Biosphere Reserve designation is merely honorary, a little like being named man of the year by the Rotary Club.

Being named man or woman of the year is often helpful. It is an endorsement. Being named a world biosphere area is also an endorsement. It would be helpful for those of us who live and work in the Catskills. The Nobel Prize Committee does not ask permission of Congress to award a Nobel Prize to a U.S. citizen, thank God; nor should Congress muck around with biosphere reserve designations. Catskill people, no matter what our origins, tend to be suspicious, one of another, and skeptical of the motives even of our own elected officials. Each valley and town here has its own special history and loyalties.


Catskill people are suspicious of outsiders, even those from just across the river to our east and to our north, from Albany and the Adirondacks. We have reason. We are particularly skeptical of the motives of powerful and power-hungry outsiders who come here with their own agendas. First, way back, there were the grantees, Dutch and then English, with their vast non-resident ownerships of land with resultant harsh tenancy farming. This led eventually to the rent wars.

More recently, before Pearl Harbor, there were hate groups of paramilitary structure exercising themselves here in the Catskills, nasty bush bullies. Some of the leaders of these groups received their funding and encouragement from local fascists, others from European fascists, including the Nazi government itself. After the war, during the depth of the cold war, power-seeking individuals from the west, with their agendas, such as Senator McCarthy and Robert Welch, the organizer of the John Birch Society, again pandered—with some initial success—to local ethnic hatreds and to the paranoias of the gullible.

Two years ago in Kingston, a public biosphere reserve hearing sponsored by the kindly Republican Ulster County Legislator, Vincent Dunn of Kerhonkson, was most effectively disrupted by a large, thuggish group from the Adirondacks who claimed connections with the Utah militias. I am ashamed that two of our most powerful local elected officials, State Senator Charles Cook and Ulster County Majority Leader Philip Sinagra, did not bring their wisdom and political skills to the discussion of the merits of biosphere reserve designation of the Catskill Region.

Ms. CHENOWETH. Mr. Chase, we're going to have to ask you to submit the balance of your testimony for the record.

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2001

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