Week of March 11

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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, March 11, 2001


Anyone know the Woodstock police names well enough to verify that they signed the petition? The typed list can be sent as a Word document.

No, no-one has had any contact with the FBI here, as far as I know.

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2001

One call made to the FBI told us it was not in their area of interest (this was about the nails in tires stuff) The petition the Woodfstock Cops may have signed may be about the mascot, not removing Hal R.

Dennis has all these, i believe...

A little philiosohy to help you though the day:

LESSON: To all the rocks in your life . . . A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. "Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children - anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff." "If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal." "Take care of the rocks first ~ the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

Tobe PS BOE meeting on Monday night 7PM West Hurely...importnat to get at the truth of why speding is out of control for the tranbsportation budget since the move topwards privitization...Remember, in the face of the expert who studied the system, Doan and the Board majority moved to give contracts to the local private operators...I hope jim has the figures for 1999-2000, so we can compare totals for that year with what's happened since...the question remains, what educational programs are the expenses coming from... Tobe

PS when they say it cost so little in 1973 to educate our kids, remind them that inflation alone (forgetting for the moment increased standards and "mandates") since then has made $1000 then the same as $3000 now...Not to mention that some years back Onteora used to get 80% of its transportation budget covered by the state. No more! That's one reason we have high per-pupil costs...2nd largest geographical district in the state.


-- Anonymous, March 11, 2001

Another little bit of histroy...for those who don't know about the mockerey perpertrated by Satnford at Notre dam a few years ago... Tobe STANFORD -- Stanford University President Gerhard Casper apologized yesterday to Notre Dame University for what he labeled the ``uncivil and improper'' conduct of Stanford's marching band toward Irish culture and the Catholic Church.

In a letter to the Rev. Edward A. Malloy, Notre Dame's president, Casper said Stanford students ``should know better than to insult others' religion and heritage.''

A copy of Casper's letter was released by Notre Dame officials in South Bend, Ind., along with a statement from the Notre Dame leader, accepting the apology.

Casper's expression of ``regret and embarrassment'' was the third apology from Stanford since the irreverent, satirical band was condemned for its actions at the October 4 football game with the Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium.

The traditionally rowdy musicians parodied, among other things, the 19th-century Irish potato famine -- which took more than 1 million lives -- and portrayed a Catholic cardinal as an anti-intellectual advocate of flat-Earth and other unscientific theories.

The band and Ted Leland, Stanford's athletic director, issued apologies. Leland further barred the band from performing at the next three Stanford-Notre Dame football contests, after consultations with Casper.

The pregame and halftime performances were booed by some of the 75,000 fans at the Notre Dame game, and provoked expression of outrage by a group of 30 Catholic school administrators in San Jose.

In his statement, Malloy said that as a university closely identified with Irish American Catholics, his campus community viewed the behavior of the Stanford band as ``not merely sophomoric and boorish, but personally offensive.''

``Such bigotry,'' he added, ``is absolutely unacceptable, especially from a student organization representing an institution that rightfully prides itself on diversity.''

The band's controversial performance and subsequent statements by band members ``indicate an ignorance of Irish history and indifference to human suffering in that country,'' he said.

The Stanford band has been banned from the South Bend campus since a 1991 performance there ``mocked members of the Catholic faith.'' At the time, the band's drum major donned a nun's habit and banged a drum with a cross.

Malloy praised Stanford decision's to prohibit the band from entering Stanford Stadium when Notre Dame's Fighting Irish play there again in October 1999.

The band issued a statement last week contending that a majority of people who saw the stadium show were ``entertained'' and that ``many Irish people and Catholics thought the show was funny.''

The Web page statement went on to say that the show, titled, ``These Irish, Why Must They Fight?'' was intended to ridicule the Notre Dame team's leprechaun mascot, ``Fighting Irish,'' but was not to be taken seriously.

Sound familiar????Maybe they were trying to honor the leprechaun.

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2001

Try to make sense of this and speak out tonight!!!

Here's the budget numbers from 1999-2000 compared to 2000-2001 and 2001-02.

1999-2000 Total district transportation costs - $2,392,732

2000-2001 Total district transportation costs - $2,488,182 (Amended budget to include the 8/00 BOE approved additional contract transportation)

2001-02 (proposed) Total district transportation costs - $2,625,931

This amounts to an additional cost of $95,450 form 1999-00 to 2000-01.

But the late runs for 2000-01 have been over budget. The 2000-01 budget allowed for $17,085 in late run costs. The estimated costs for late runs as reflected in the proposed 2001-02 budget is $110,000.

This reflects a cost overrun in 2000-01 for late runs of $92,915

In 2000-01 the budget addition for contract transportation and the late run addition is totalled at $188,365. $92,915, the late run costs, must come from somewhere else in the budget or contingnecy fund. From where?

The proposed 2001-02 budget is $2,625,931. Compared to the 1999-00 budget this represents an increase of $233,199 in 2 years when the district went from from less privatization to the present increased privatization.

The proposed 2001-02 budget is $2,625,931. Compared to the 2000-01 2 1/2% contingency budget, before the additional costs of BOE approved contract transportation of $2,464,901, the increase is $161,030.

-- Anonymous, March 12, 2001

More infor hot off the press: Civil Rights Commission Considers Condemning Sports Teams Named After American Indians Tuesday, March 13, 2001 By Catherine Donaldson-Evans

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will vote next month on a statement that would condemn sports teams or mascots named after American Indians as violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Steve Nesius/AP

If adopted and widely accepted, the statement could eventually lead to a cutoff in federal funding for schools that cling to traditions like the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux or the University of Illinois' mascot Chief Illiniwek.

Commissioner Elsie M. Meeks, who herself is Native American, brought up the issue last week. She said such images are offensive to Native Americans everywhere.

"Lots of Indian folks told me it's important to them," Meeks said in an interview. "One thing white folks say is, 'We're just trying to honor Indian people.' But stereotypes don't honor anybody. We think it treads upon civil rights."

The statement as originally proposed says the images and team names may violate Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Department of Education's implementation rules for that act, which prohibits discrimination in any program that receives federal financial assistance.

Meeks statement also says such "culturally insensitive displays" may also violate Title II of the act, which provides that all people are entitled to "full and equal enjoyment" in public places.

Two committees' eight members objected to the statement, saying there isn't enough evidence that Native Americans across the board believe the sports teams' names and mascots are a problem. The commission decided to give Meeks 20 days to gather more information before voting as early as April 13.

The commission does not have the authority to make or pass laws, but the resolutions it issues influence legislators dealing with civil rights.

Meeks admits the organization is venturing into uncharted legal territory.

"It's a really gray area," she said. "It has to be tested as a legal theory. But I think there's an ethical issue here."

Some involved in the debate think it's extreme to suggest that names and mascots such as the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians or the Florida State Seminoles could violate someone's civil rights.

"That seems to be a stretch," said Roger Clegg, general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative Washington think tank dealing with civil rights issues. "Those mascots were chosen not to ridicule or denigrate American Indians, but because of admiration for them and their martial virtues like bravery and fierceness."

Those who denounce the mascots say they're unacceptable because they rely on insulting race-based caricatures and stereotypes.

"We see images that often times confirm what I believe to be misinformed, outdated, really horrible stereotypes," said JoAnn Chase, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians.

Chase pointed to the image of the Cleveland Indians' mascot - Chief Wahoo, with a red face, a wide, silly grin and a feather - as a good example.

"It's affirming this stereotype we've worked so hard to overcome - this savage, warlike stereotype," she said. "It's a totally goofy-looking caricature that in no way represents all of native people."

Clegg questioned why athletic teams like the Boston Celtics, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Montreal Canadiennes, and the Minnesota Vikings don't seem to be offending the ethnic groups they're named after.

But Chase said none of those teams have mascots that could be considered racially insensitive.

"An African-American mascot with a spear and a shield and a bone in their nose would be understood as derogatory," she said. "We don't see African-Americans being used."

Clegg concedes that some American Indian symbols and names could indeed be construed as racially insulting. But he insists that to categorically condemn the use of all American Indian mascots is silly.

"The Civil Rights Commission apparently doesn't have enough to do," he said.

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2001

Where did the civil rights information come from?

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2001

I hate to be the wet towel. The article is deceptive. The article makes it sound as if the Commission has the ability to take action and force meaningful change. I wish this were true, however reality is not so kind. At best, the Commission is a feel good, do nothing, no authority, minor advisory "club" that amounts to less than a paper lion.

The reporter who wrote the article was mislead by a person (who I know) who wants to believe what we believe is also law, the facts however are much different. The situation at UND is dramatically less significant that at U of I and the DOJ/OCR determination was there was not a Title VI violation in large part because it is a college or university and they are dealing with adults who attend on a voluntary basis and they have other alternatives is they want to attend college. I do not see how a determination at UND can be reached that is even to the level of the U of I level.

This article is very unfortunate as it gives a false perception of pending resolution of all mascot matters, this is however something that does not exist and will not happen, what it will do is strengthen the resolve of administrators and boards fighting removal of mascots when the predicted results do not occur, and that is something we can not afford.


-- Anonymous, March 14, 2001

Charles, the figure of "almost a thousand" schools have retired their Indian mascots in recent years keeps cropping up. In contrast, do we have even a ballpark figure of how many battles anti-mascot forces have lost during that period?

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2001

I am not at my office, but from recollection, over half of the native based mascots have been previously addressed, and over a quarter have been addressed more than once which would put the number of "losses" at somewhere between 1,000 and 1,250.

Recent research has cast serious doubt on the accuracy of 1,000 of schools that changed from native based mascots. In a recent conversation with OCR they believe the number is less than 100, and probably less than 75. While everything is not said and done, when it is, I suspect the actual number will be between 250 and 500.


-- Anonymous, March 14, 2001

Just got the total list: 105 high schools and elementary schools have changed names, this does not include youth or other athletic leagues or teams that wanted to adopt native based mascots and were dissuaded otherwise, I am aware of over 30 in this category resolved in our favor.


-- Anonymous, March 14, 2001

It is unfortuneate to hear that the actual figure is more like one tenth of what had been floating around, but I appreciate having a more realistic idea. I hate having other things invalidated by bad data.

I spoke with Lucia today, she's taking a bus for the 12 hour ride to Ohio for the Ohio mascot conference and wanted to know if I was interested. I'd love to go, but I still can't do car rides of more than about an hour without my leg feeling discomfort, so I guess that's out of the question for me. Any of the rest of you thinking about it? Greyhound had a good deal on two tickets.

She was wondering if we had any useful ideas of how best to spend the money that COLOR had raised for the mascot renovations. It's about $1000 as I recall, but being steadily eaten up by bank charges. We talked about how it is not a great time to be bringing up mascot issues...

She told me that she had called the state troopers several times about her tire vandalism, but no-one ever called her back, despite her having her kid as witnesses and names to consider.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

Bullies are in power even outside Onteora! Tobe


ACLU blasts UI for e-mail on contacting athletes

Thursday, March 15, 2001

By The Associated Press

URBANA (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is asking University of Illinois Chancellor Michael Aiken to rescind a mass e-mail forbidding faculty, staff and students from talking to athletic recruits about the Chief Illiniwek mascot controversy.

Aiken immediately refused to rescind the March 2 message, which Harvey Grossman, the ACLU's legal director in Illinois, called an "extraordinarily broad prior restraint on protected speech and association."

"We do not believe that the NCAA rules require preclearance of all expression between all faculty, students and staff as your message implies," Grossman said in a letter to Aiken dated March 7.

Even if the Big Ten or NCAA has such rules, "the adoption of rules of a private organization or the delegation of rule-making to a private organization cannot excuse a rule's unconstitutionality," Grossman wrote.

The ACLU request is the latest chapter in a dispute between those who say the mascot - a student dressed in a colorful Indian costume who dances at sporting events - honors Native Americans and critics who call the mascot racist and demeaning.

For years, as other schools abandoned their Native American mascots, alumni, fans and others have weighed in with their opinions on whether the Chief, a 75-year-old tradition, should be retired.

On Tuesday, Gov. George Ryan reiterated his support for the Chief. "I've always supported the Chief," said Ryan. "I think it's done honorably. I think it's done professionally."

About 800 faculty members have signed a petition asking the school to drop the symbol. The board of trustees is studying the issue and has suggested it will seek a compromise that would both keep the Chief and put the controversy to rest.

Aiken sent his e-mail after a group of professors threatened to begin contacting prospective student athletes, educating them about the controversy surrounding the UI's American Indian mascot and symbol and the resulting racial climate on campus.

"The University faces potentially serious sanctions for violations of NCAA or Big Ten rules," Aiken wrote. "All members of the university community are expected to abide by those rules, and certainly any intentional violations will not be condoned."

Edwin C. Yohnka, communications director for ACLU of Illinois, said such a wide-ranging pronouncement infringes on free speech rights on campus.

"Our concern is that the boundaries are so broad," he said. "The wide dispersal of the e-mail seemed clearly designed to create a kind of chilling effect on what is obviously speech."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Aiken said, "The letter has been shared with our legal counsel and we disagree with Mr. Grossman's objections. The chancellor does not plan on rescinding his e-mail message."

Yohnka said the ACLU will take legal action on behalf of anybody in the UI community who is sanctioned for contacting potential recruits.

2000 Associated Press - All rights reserved.

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-- Anonymous, March 16, 2001

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