Urgent: week of February 4

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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, February 03, 2001


My take on the modulars is that since the board majority has studiously refused to accept any terms from the owners, and has paid no rent (although they've put less than asked [$31,000 for one year instead of the asked for $41,000] in a lawyer's "escrow" account), the district is in effect squatting in the buildings. Remember this is four modulars...CARE and the majority claim we aren't getting value for them, but we've used them for seven (?) years, and that's what a lease is about...you use them and then when the term is up, you say, bye bye...same as with the musical instruments we are leasing this year (I also think this is not allowed under an austerity budget, even though the lawyers said it's ok to lease as long as we don't buy...that's not how i read the law on what's allowable under an austerity budget...but who wants to deprive the kids of their instruments???) At the end of the lease term, we would have received value for the time used, but own nothing.


Look for a big loss to be reported in the bussing saga on Monday night...unless the meeting is snowed out. Nice article in the Freeman about Mike Grehl's getting the drivers and kids together for a confab. Good PR for the district's bus effort.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2001


School board: 'Warrior' issue is closed By Clarke Morrison, STAFF WRITER Posted: Feb 02 at 01:30 AM

ASHEVILLE - Despite some pleas to do otherwise, members of the Buncombe County Board of Education made it clear Thursday night they don't plan to revisit the issue of American Indian imagery at Erwin High School.

The "Warriors" mascot will stay.

"It's a closed matter," board Chairman Wendell Begley said. "We've done all we can do and it's behind us.

"It's been a very divisive issue. Hopefully some healing has taken place."

But Monroe Gilmour of the Mascot Education & Action Group urged the board to take another look at the matter.

"I know you say this is a closed issue," he said. "I hope that doesn't mean you have closed minds or closed hearts."

The board learned recently that it had fulfilled its obligations stemming from the 1999 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that ended a civil rights investigation into whether there was a "racially hostile environment" at Erwin.

The department said in a Jan. 19 letter it agreed the board had removed from the school religious symbols identified as offensive or disrespectful to American Indians.

Based on a report by Joyce Dugan, former chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, the school removed the "war paint" from the image of an Indian on a mural, better organized a display case containing Indian artifacts, and removed a bust depicting an American Indian, Superintendent Cliff Dodson said.

The school system was obligated to take the steps by a March 1999 settlement with the Justice Department in which the board agreed to eliminate any reference to "Squaw" as the mascot for the girls sports teams at Erwin.

The school was allowed to continue using "Warrior" for the mascot of the boys teams.

The mascot controversy divided the Erwin community. Some said it was degrading to use an ethnic group for a mascot, while others said the practice only shows heritage and pride.

Many school districts across the country have eliminated Indian mascots in recent years.

Bruce Two Eagles of the Buncombe County Intertribal Association told the board Thursday that he's been in touch with leaders of Indian civil rights groups that believe an economic boycott of Buncombe County should take place over the matter.

But Isaac Welch, a local American Indian, said he supports the board's stance on the mascot issue.

"You should not lower your standards to appease a few," he said. "My children have been treated with utmost respect. We will stand with you."

Speaking during the meeting's public comment period, Gilmour posed several questions to the board:

Why is the board not giving serious consideration to a resolution passed last year by the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs calling for the elimination of Indian mascots at all public schools in North Carolina by June 30, 2003?

Why did the board ignore state Superintendent Mike Ward's Feb. 9, 1998, recommendation that the Warrior andSquaw mascots be eliminated?

Why has the board not given a "professional, educational and curriculum-based rationale" for continuing the Indian sports mascot when American Indian psychological and educational organizations have pointed to the negative impact of such mascots on Indian performance and called for their elimination?

Why did the board not take into account more seriously the 90-3 vote by the Erwin High faculty to eliminate the mascots?

How can the board push a character education program in schools while "demonstrating just the opposite toward American Indians by allowing the disrespect which accompanies a sport mascot?"

How can the board promote an anti-bullying program when its decision to retain the mascot "encapsulates all the characteristics of bullying a minority?"

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2001

Just saw the Ulster townsman, which has the letter from Rose O. in response to my letter in response to her letter...well, you get it.. anyway, it differs from the Wood Times version in that it says I am DEAD (her caps) wrong..should i take that as a threat? Anyone who hasn't seen the letter should... I'll be silent in public on the mascot until after the election I think!)but her pointed use of caps got me thinking again. T.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2001

The modular/Erat litigation/redistricting drama needs to be clearly understood and spelled out for people. Was Onteora paying some wildly high price fot it's modulars, or were these payments typical?Is Doan's personal opinion concerning modular prices,redistricting,etc. enough to convince people of the value of his position or can we ask our BOE to think independently and use non-political sources of info to make district size decisions?What will this redistricting look like?It must be understood that the need to consider these issues was precipitated by a BOE that did not consider the consequences of playing hard ball with the Jersey boys.Same with the transportation debacle...after years of Doan hammering at the district re:trans. privatization, he gets the opportunity to dismember the dept.,does so, and we are looking at the expensive and desructive results of a decision made on Mr. Doan's personal opinion. There was virtually no discussion by majority BOE the night the trans. vote was taken.I think hitting hard on a BOE that "votes with Joe D. "[ with out thinking ]is an important tactic.It's also important not to make the mistake of being against Joe's ideas just because they're Joe's. He's no dummy as he has proven time and again. Just a smart bully and Fred's a close second.Helping people to understand fund balance issues, accounting practices etc.,will help head off some of that mess. And what about the D'Riccio scandal. We all know how excited the masses get about stories of sexualinappropriateness.It's about time to get some of the facts about this available to the public since the D.'s are so hot to.It's all about policy. Something happens you don't like? TaLK ABOUT POLICY. That's what BOE DOES for god's sake. Can we talk about that?Enough already.mm

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2001


here's a link to webutuck...guess what their mascot is...I've found the local "watchdog" group (pretty right wing stuff) and have innocently asked about their fund balance etc. T.

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2001

Here's some numbers Jim is looking for.. I think they may be generally interesting. Election 2000 Prop 1 Budget Yes No Shandaken 352 523 olive/Mtown 504 641 4156 total voters Wdstk 763 454 Hurley 438 481 Pr op 2 Vehicles S 333 522 O 482 626 4046 voters W 700 480 H 416 487 PROP.3 cOMPUTERS s 407 451 4102 votes o 597 538 W 818 388 H 490 420 pROP4 EQUIPMENT s 341 504 4011 O 506 623 W 708 469 H 413 447

PROP5 AT LARGE VOTING S 337 464 O 556 428 3750 W 734 369 H 462 400

BOUNDY 251 S pERRY 615 322 O 847 4177 869 W 377 323 H 569 TOTAL 1769 TOTAL 2408

WALTERS 623 ROSATO 250 836 326 4164 397 842 539 351 TOTAL 2395 tOTAL 1769

mILLMAN 684 MILLAR 224 855 318 4233 417 842 571 322 TOTAL 2527 TOTAL 1706 INTERESTING in the 98/99 election total voters=1793 in 97/98 2600 last budget defeat 96/97 with 2399

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2001

Today's Freeman editorial for your perusal...they have taken letters and editorials off-line...guess it was too easy to fire back an answer, so i had to type this in...whew! pardon any typos.

Honoring Without Demeaning

The recommendation to name two new dormitories at SUNY-New Paltz after American Indians who once lived in the area brings to mind in some areas comparisons to the on-going controversy over the Onteora Indian school "mascot."

We'd suggest the differences far outweigh any similarities.

In New Paltz, it is proposed to name the two dorms after the Esopus and Lenape Indian tribes who once resided in that area of Ulster County. The names for the dorms were gleaned from a list of almost 400 suggestions submitted by students, faculty, alumni and the public.

As such, these long gone Indians will join the 17th-century founders of New Paltz, along with leading college educators, who have been honored by having college dorms named after them.

"This is our heritage and our fit into the area's history," said Mary Kastner, chairwoman of the college's image committee, of the decision to recommend Indian names for the new buildings.

In Onteora, an entirely different image is being projected, beginning with the insulting, demeaning use of the word "mascot" to describe the warrior like figure proponents advance as a symbol of their Indian heritage. That some american Indians themselves take strong exception to the stereotypical depiction of their ancestors should have been sufficient reason for change.

There are other distinctions. Whereas, "Onteora" is the figment of a 19th century white author's imagination, the recognition of Lenape and Esopus tribes as indigenous people to the New Paltz area is documented in history and archeology.

Residents of the Onteora School District have been bitterly divided on the fate of their "mascot," an all consuming controversy which has endured far too long.

To the contrary, American Indians are being recognized and honored with a degree of respect in New Paltz that some factions in Onteora might do well to emulate.

Nice editorial, but these still use mascot names like Indians, etc all over their sports pages...Hypocrisy in action.

Oh, I forgot, JD's New Jersey company name is American Eagle Environmental Corp. Very patriotic, no?

If accurate, Michael Goodman's acceptance of an endorsement by CARE belies his ability to "mediate" and remain "neutral"/...also it seems to make life easier...now there are only 4 candidates, and not 5 to split the vote...


-- Anonymous, February 07, 2001

OTHER NEWSFLASH-For what it's worth, I understand that Blake Killen, editor of the Townsman, had his car vandalized at the last CARE meeting.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2001

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