Febraury 23 -- 28 2001 SOS archives

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February 23-28 2001 SOS archives

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2002


Anyone willing to speak tonight? I spoke 2 meetings ago about impact on phoenicia school if modulars are removed. I can again...but different faces are needed. I certainly plan to write a letter to newspapers. I will be at BOE meeting around 6:30 to feel out what needs to be said. Lot's of onteora employees coming tonight. Redistricting without a solid plan is unnerving to employees...as it should be! Specifically at Phoenicia, the kindergarden inclusion program is a district success. It meets state mandates and the whole building is in sink with inclusion team. Many awards and onteora basking in limelight of inclusion success. A different building site would mean starting all over again and I project, not with the same success. Sorry Woodstockers, the staff at woodstock elementary is not inclusion friendly and W.Hurley is hesitant. Inclusion brings up fear. that's OK, natural responce to anything new and seemingly threatening. Raising awareness and acceptance takes time. Dumping kids at other schools does not promote inclusion. It creates a resistant unhappy situation that does not serve the little ones. Inclusion needs to be developed in each building reflecting their individual communities. See you all tonight...Melissa

-- melissa rebock (mrebock@yahoo.com), February 23, 2001.

I,m sympathetic to just the facts.I'm impressed with all the work you've done and offer thanks, really. In general I am convinced that people simply glaze over at too much information if there is no context to interpret it in.So, yes, pbh will provide us with an opportunity to share this information, but then it is attached to the politics of the people who are speaking and the people who are listening.You know Eric is at Model Congress ,but I know he will be interested to hear reponse to student ? for interviews.Bringing the # down to 3 was something he mentioned.See you all tonight.

-- mmillar (mmillar00@hotmail.com), February 23, 2001.

There is no other way to distribite the info without editorializing. I have tried and offered it for anyone else's perusal. Be my guest but for now it goes out as the facts. Maybe the press will pick up on it. What's more important to me is that we have this info as background material to disemminate information and counter misinformation. I know Curry plans to speak tonight, along with Melissa and I. It would be great if we got more faces but there will be plenty of people speaking out I'm sure.

As to the questions from Erik, Sharon and I have been working on that and have compiled a list which we will pare down and offer to the group in order to pare down further. Down to about 8-10 questions. This will happen by early next week. No one form SOS has responded to setting up a meeting either on Sunday the 4th or a weeknight with Cathy Hockman. Please let me know as we are running out of time.

-- Jim (me@onteora.gig), February 23, 2001.

Jim: sunday pm, 3/4 is ok for me. Most weeknights are also ok. I'm planning to stop sleeping so I can attend all these meetings and still get my work done.... Tonight: I'm planning to speak, and the point I'd like to make is this: One man on the BOE has created this crisis basically out of nothing! I believe there is a hidden agenda: to run the Onteora system for as little money as possible, no matter what. (Except that he miscalculated when it came to transportaion costs...or did he?) This is the taxpayer vs. student issue, and, while they think they're in the majority, they will walk all over any minority they can to get their way.

Surprise, you fools! When you add up all the minorities you're hurting, they're the majority!

ps Did anyone hear about bus companies contributing to CARE?

-- curry z. rinzler (crinzler@netstep.net), February 23, 2001.

Is that "Did the bus companies donate to CARE?" or "Did you hear the news-- the bus companies donated to CARE?" Your meaning was not entirely clear, Curry. If they did, is documentation available, or is it hearsay?

-- Carol (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), February 23, 2001.

Volume 1 Issue 2 of the CARE Newsletter "Smoke Signals" lists a donation of $50 from RJW Bus transit.

-- Jim (pumpkin@ulster.net), February 23, 2001.

Response to students "questions for candidates". Counting down the bullets on Erik's list, I liked questions: 1-how to ensure communications, 4 - students should know if candate supports student rep on board, 5) How to overcome student apathy, 9 - on quality of teachers - I wonder if board members have any say in hiring/firing practices in first place?, and 10 - what is your vision for Onteora? My own thoughts on #5 - How about creating a "School Within A School", which would provide alternative course substitutes and activities for disaffected students? We created one in my old High School and it was pretty cool. We came up with some alternative elective courses such as "Poetry of Rock", found teachers to teach them and students to take them. We also created our own room/lounge for meetings, support groups etc. Another idea i'm interested in is the "NO Bullying" policy that's being used in a Maine elementary school to much acclaim and success. Any takers on that for our elementary schools? There is a strong connection between bullying and oppression -racial, gender, class, etc, of any type. Another pet idea of mine is social skills training from elementary schools on up. The idea behind this is to help children learn from early on how to get along well with others, and establish meaningful connections with others. Not only valuable in itself, also addresses the issue of violence ie, Columbine - violent kids often feel on the social fringe and obviously lack empathy. I guess this could be put as a question to candidates alnog the lines of how to prevent school violence? Meaning not just on whether we have metal detectors or not, but what can schools do as educators to teach children the skills they need to function successfully both socially, emotionally, as well as academically. (And I'm NOT talking DARE here!) I guess the question I might put to candidates would be something along the lines of: Given the current stressors on American families, and the resulting lack of time and energy that many parents have for their children, some say that schools need to contribute to students social/emotional development in addition to academics. What do you think the schools' responsibilities should include in the future and how would you envision implementing these ideas? --Irene

-- Irene (ibrody@ulster.net), February 23, 2001.

I trust Joe Vanacore didn't exit the board meeting early? I believe I saw him come into at the Onteora/Rondout girls' basketball league game at about the third quarter around 9-ish.

-- Carol (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), February 23, 2001.

is it definite that michael goodman is sponsored by care?

-- susan buckler (sbuckler@ulster.net), February 24, 2001.

The meeting last night was very interesting, as usual. I attended with Phoenica colleagues. Tina is a parent from Phoenicia who spoke last night very passionately and eloquently concerning the Kindergarden busing threat. I would like to make Joe Doan accountable for his quotes in the Catskill Mtn. News and the Ulster Townsman. He made a statement that the papers misquoted him and Perry called these remarks rumors. It seems to me that two separate papers and two separate reporters would make it less likely that Doan was misunderstood. Isn't it curious that these two newspapers were elevated to official status after the previous two papers (woodstock times and kingston freeman)were dismissed for misquoting and misunderstanding. And as usual, Perry was inadequate. He actually mis-spoke and said the board needs to keep the public "misinformed". Did anyone else hear that?

Rose Ostrander did not have an extreme position last night. What if Kathy Hochman has an influence that makes the present issues (aside from the mascot issue) more middle road? Can the present issues and the mascot issue be separated? The mascot issue has good representation. Are there reasonable people in C.A.R.E. who agree on educational issues with S.O.S.? Before we turn away from Hochman and Goodman we need to be sure of their positions and agenda.

The gentleman who spoke, Skip Weidner (sp?), for the taxpayers pointing to 1974 is our real challenge. I am told he was a board member back in those days and is respected. Unfortunately, he's stuck in a mindset and time warp that is not representative of the present or future. He represents a huge voting block. How can we educate and get these folks to understand it's 2001 and "the times they are a- changin'" I was pleased with Kathy Hochman's comments of the changed laws and their impact on public schools concerning people with disabilites, but that was only one reason of many why Mr. Weidner's point of view is terribly obsolete. What about technology, expanded curriculums, regent's demands, etc?


-- melissa rebock (mrebock@yahoo.com), February 24, 2001.

did Hal speak at all at last night's meeting? I left before 8 pm and he was silent up to that point. He seemed so uninvolved.

-- susan buckler (sbuckler@ulster.net), February 24, 2001.

Last night's BOE meeting: •How refreshing to see JD behind the 8 ball, ho ho ha ha & he he

•Very clear that the Onteora community is against bussing kindergartenters and special eds, and also bringing sixth graders up to the middle school now

•I was fascinated, of course, by the architect/contruction manager presentation. Also, skeptical, but not from mistrust, but from lack of understanding on my part: it's a big job, with lots of depth. The financial presentation was really clear: I learned a lot. However, I found myself strangely in tune with Rose O. and Tom D., and others who I normally don't agree with, and it was, well, very interesting.

•I think that this is a bad year to pass a bond issue, as well thought out as it may be, as badly as we may need it. The reason is that the tax spike which is coming up in order to pass a decent budget and begin our recovery from this years debacle will be a hard enough sell, and I don't know how much more than this the voters will be able to handle. However, Meg reminded me after the meeting that the tax increase embodied in any bond issue won't begin for 1 or 2 years, so if enough voters understand this, maybe a bond issue can be passed.

•What's the squeeze on FP, Jim? What's that rig he was in?

•Susan, Hal did speak up later, he was ok, just didn't have much to say last night.

•Carol: did you see Jim's response to the bus company's contrubution to CARE? It's at the top of the messages....(???)

-- curry (crinzler@netstep.net), February 24, 2001.

Hi Susan: Greg Walters asked Hal to put together the worst scenario that could happen to students and buildings if bond issue is not passed. He wants the public to know what will happen... so public will be clear about impact. He agreed and said it would take a few days. Was there a meeting today? I thought there was one next week Saturday? Let me know please.


-- melissa rebock (mrebock@yahoo.com), February 24, 2001.

Yeah, Melissa, that was really interesting, one of the smartest questions that got asked last night. I thought Hal had a funny smile when he said he'd do it....

-- curry (crinzler@netstep.net), February 24, 2001.

Thanks Curry, I can't believe I missed it!

-- Carol (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), February 24, 2001. Please - Do not post any more questions unless you check with me first otherwise the formatting of the site gets very easily confused. I am removing candidate support and it's posts and placing them here- Thanks - Jim Kathy Hochman was very chummy with Rose Ostrander the pres of CARE (for those of you who don't know of her)last night at the CARE meeting. They were circulating a nominating petition for her. When it was passed to me I laughed and said to Kathy and Rose, "Are you kidding me. How could I sign this with all these CARE signatures on it?" Kathy looked somewhat disappointed.

I also talked to Fred Perry last night and invited him to the candidates interviews which I am now thinking should be the candidates taping for cable. I asked Fred if he was really running with his back problems and all. He said he was undecided but that the concerns about the safety and well being of his family came first. He claims to have had threats and he fears for the safety of his wife and kid. I got the distinct feeling that he may bow out and have a good excuse to do so.

If that happens then CARE would then have 2 fresh faces, Kathy Hochman and Mike Goodman sponsered by CARE, and that makes our job much more difficult. Any thoughts?

-- Jim (me@ulster.net), February 24, 2001.

-- Jim (me@ulster.et), February 25, 2001.

Along the lines of candidate support.......is anyone else having trouble with the close alliance between CARE and the other candidates or "undeclared" candidates? I'm not sure I can even entertain the idea of supporting someone who even remotely has ties to CARE. I find the group ignorant, offensive (just to mention a few) and completely out of step with my picture of education. Lets not forget the leadership in the group, the publications they put out, and the letters to the editors that come from CARE. Remember, when you swim in a sewer, it doesn't smell so bad after awhile. -- Betsy Wise (wised@ulster.net), February 24, 2001

-- Jim (me@ulster.set), February 25, 2001.

Help is no longer a thread either - Please do not use the question page unless you check with me first - It starts a new thread - Thanks okay.. somewhere i got lost..

when did michael goodman become a CARE candidate?

when was todays meeting cancelled (i went)

hopefullly i will do better job keeping the financial records........

one more thing..

morty: i am not filling these lists out till i have an idea of what to say to people.. people are leery about giving addresses or allegiances out to anyone.. i think i need to have a candidate as a lead in.. or else tell me what to say at this.. hmm is it juncture? valerie

-- valerie (vfanarjian@aol.om), February 24, 2001

-- Jim (me@ulster.net), February 25, 2001.

Valerie, I think the idea of the voter forms from Morty is to compile them on your own but discreetly. I find that it sometimes helps me remeber people if I am driving around and see a friend or acquantices home to jot down the info I know about them onto the form. Or use your address book to fill in the info. This info does not need to be filled out by the third party. My understanding is that it is to be used by us to compile a larger data base.

As to Mike Goodman, no we are not certain if CARE is endorsing him as of yet. We are just speculating this although he has let some people think he has their support.

-- Jim (me@ulster.boy), February 25, 2001.

Important!!! IMPORTANT!!! Important!!! I am considering changing the meeting agenda on Saturday to a regular meeting and to postpone the meeting of questions for the candidates by perhaps a week or two.

One reason for this is that I understand that yet another person has picked up a petition form. Another reason is that I have gotton some feedback from one favored candidate who wishes to not be on camera because the issues (capital bond) are changing quickly and she doesn't want to express views which may be viewed on cable as inappropriate at a later date.

What do we think?? I may want to push back to March 10 or 17th? This is something that Maureen M. suggested intitailly at the last SOS meeting. Any suggestions or opinions are welcome.

-- Jim (me@ulster.wet), February 25, 2001.

I am in favor of waiting as long as possible to interview candidates. When is the last date to file a petition to run?

-- Betsy Wise (wised@ulster.net), February 25, 2001.

I also am in favor of waiting to inetrview candidates and having a regular meeting next Saturday

-- susan buckler (sbuckler@ulster.net), February 25, 2001.

yes, let's postpone the candidates meeting...

-- curry (crinzler@netstep.net), February 25, 2001.

The last date to file is on April 16th and the elction is one month later. I feel we need to get on board ASAP but I don't want to jump the gun. I spoke to Morty today and he is in favor of a delay. That's five SOS members in favor of a 2 week delay. If I don't hear any objections by day's end then I will call the candidates and postpone the interview. We can decide on a later date after the next meeting. Today is Sunday Feb. 25th.

We will keep the next SOS scheduled for Saturday March 3rd at 10am at Judy's kitchen but there will be no candiate interviews if no one objects. This would be a perfect oppotunity to invite other interested parties to attend. Bring a friend. Thanks.

-- Jim (me@ulster.net), February 25, 2001.

I also agree to postpone candidates. I also noticed Rose Ostrander to be appropriate last night. I wonder if issues aside from the mascot and hanging Hal R. might have common ground with S.O.S. I can't believe that Phoenicia mascot supporters want our kids to be shipped out with no real plan and the modulars taken away without a plan! Do folks from other buildings give this impression? Anyway, C.A.R.E. is a group to be watched and carefully scrutinized, but let's not discount the less radical members that allign themselves with our views. This may be where Kathy Hochman is coming from. Jim: Are the modulars gone? Are we certain the dang things are leaving in June? That was not made clear at board meeting.

I'm enjoying this bbs. Thank you everyone! Melissa

-- melissa rebock (mrebock@yahoo.com), February 25, 2001.

I continue to like waiting to support candidacies other than Meg's.A 3/3 meeting with everybody bringing a new face would be terrific.Having had a few recent conversations about a possible FP exit, I have thought alot about the impact. Contrary to my remarks at the Judi's K mtg., I feel a cross endorsement of anyone complicates the politics.CARE has clearly comitted to the harassment /removal movement toward Hal, and this is unacceptable. Joe Doan as the titular head is unacceptable.FP and Hochman could take the seats if FP stays on.If FP does not run [ and perhaps even if he does. ] I believe our cause is aided by the confusion of many candidates. I'm beginning to think everyone should run.I'd like to hear some consideration of this. Meg has an infinitely higher name recognition than Rosato, Hochman , Goodman. Even the CARE voters will not recognize them.Is it possible to even consider endorsing ONLY Meg as SOS and letting the fates fight it out on the other candidate?Why alienate any of those potential Board members?Meg will win better alone.Just thinking out loud folks. Morty ,have you and Dennis got together on voter lists?Hi Betsy Wise , nice to see you here.

-- mmillar (mmillar00@hotmail.com), February 25, 2001.

The official situation with the modulars is just like it reads in the transcript paper I handed out on Friday. At present there is $31K in an escrow account but the board has not moved on anything to pay the landlord. Unofficially Hal Rowe tells me the landlord is so pissed off at them that he plans to remove them. But he is a businessman and may be persuaded to keep them there. But the boys, Fred and Greg, told me after the meeting that the plan is to look elsewhere for modulars because the landlord is to be untrusted because he deceived us in the past. Although I'm not sure what this has to do with anything other than Joe Doan says he did this and that he's not morally fit to do business with the district and that's enough for them. Joe Doan, the morality cop. The way I see it, the landlord rented us modulars, performed his part of the bargain and we haven't paid him. And he is being cast as a sleeze. They are currently talking to Joe Tomassian to get modulars for the district. What incenses me is that they do this all so discreetly without sharing any of this with Meg or Marino. It circumvents the democratic process of the board when deals are done behind closed doors.

Kathy Hockman as a CARE candidate is a situation we need to discuss at length as a group because there are many angles to this. Both pluses and minuses. It will be on the Saturday SOS agenda as I feel it will be helpful to hear as many points of view on this as possible. I am disapointed in the way she is positioning herself with them. I like Kathy and she would probably make a good board member. But I can't help but feel she is embarrassed at times with CARE. Does she really support their platform and agenda?? Or more importantly,Does she support what they do as opposed to what they say. They have such a fair amount of hate propelling them.

What was it at the board meeting on Friday that made people feel that Rose was being appropriate? Also, let's not forget that Friday was in the context of an informational meeting rather than a board meeting.

I would love to hear from the students on their position of the 6th graders being moved into a more defined middle school at this Monday nights BOE meeting.

-- Jim (letget@everyone to.run), February 25, 2001.

Along the lines of mailing lists.....I am half way thru the list of names and addresses from the "community petition". There were supposedly 709 names on the petition (calling for Hal's resignation) but there are many duplicates and "unreadables". This could be an important list because these are the people who are receiving inaccurate information from other sources. I should have the list completed by the next meeting with copies for anyone who wants one. You will probably find alot of people you know on the lists. Some addresses are incomplete and some names may be misspelled and it would be helpful to complete them. After speaking with a few that did sign, they either have other issues with the district, mascot supporters or they were told that it was a petition to lower taxes. As to their voter eligibility, I don't know. Their phone numbers are not listed on the petition. We can do what we want with it. I obtained the petition legally by requesting it from the district and paying the 25 cents/page. Any comments?

-- Betsy Wise (wised@ulster.net), February 26, 2001.

Betsy - That's great work. It will very helpful for the spreading of correct information and compiling voter lists. I am under the impression that Patti McCullum of the Weslyan Church has herself all worked up in a tizzy over Robin Seers and another Onteora group called SOS. It seems this is a group of teens who identify themselves by wearing red backpacks. They carry condoms to be distributed to asking-teens off school property. Safe sex and pregnancy issues abound. Should make tonights meeting all the more fun. I wonder where, or if, Kathy Hockman will position herself on this issue?

-- Jim (Doinggreatwork@onteora.sos), February 26, 2001.

It's official that we are pushing back the SOS interview of candidates for about two weeks. New people and issues are rapidly emmerging. We will plan to schedule another date at the next meeting. This SATURDAYS MEETING IS STILL ON - PLEASE BRING A FRIEND - WE WOULD LIKE TO EXPAND OUR ACTIVITIES TO MORE PEOPLE - THANKS The time and date are the same as we had previously scheduled - SOS MEETING THIS SATURDAY AY JUDY'S KITCHEN IN SHOKAN AT 10AM - Please bring an interested friend - Try the breakfast as the food is good too!

-- Jim (Keepupthedgoodwork@onteora.yea), February 26, 2001.

BOE MEETING TONIGHT 7PM Be sure to try and attend the BOE meeting tonight at 7pm in Phoenicia.

An important topic on the agenda is the motion to be made by Joe Doan to hire the Shaw lawfirm to investigate adverse affects of the State and Federal mandates in the Onteora district. Daon made this motion a few meetings ago and it was defeated because Perry was not there. Thjis will look into all mandates such as Special Ed, music... and possibly try to restrict them in the future. Please bring out all the interested parties.

-- Jim (jim@home.now), February 26, 2001.

Betsy, we'll look forward to finally getting an accurate and realistic number to refute the 700 signatures claimed on the "Dump Hal" petition. Thanks for doing that. CARE has tended to wave that mythical 700 around as if it were garlic warding off vampires. Or is it their "700 Club" to club us with?

-- Carol Maltby (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), February 26, 2001.

I think last night's meeting made it very clear where care stands. they want to emaciate special ed. In the middle of doans speaking rose yelled out "what about the average kid" i can not support anyone who is associated with care

-- morton schiff (morty@ulster.net), February 27, 2001.

I was unable to attend the meeting last night. Morty, or someone, can you further explain the special ed issue and Rose's comment? As a former special educator and current advocate committed to special education in ALL its formats (it is my life's work), i do still understand the frustration of someone without a child or relative or close freind with special education needs who is concerned that the "average" child's needs are not being met.

-- susan buckler (sbuckler@ulster.net), February 27, 2001.

One hallmark of what we've been hearing all along from Rose and those in CARE has been a conspicuous lack of empathy.

-- Carol (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), February 27, 2001.

The meeting last night was a good one for our side of the issues. I'll give a brief rundown of events as best as I recall. I will also start a seperate thread on the BOE meetings (minutes) where we can post the results of the meetings so we have an archive of them from our perspective. Please add to that but let's not start a ongoing discussion on that thread to keep it simply as a reference. The students were given the right to elect a non-voting student rep onto the board. Thanks to Erik and his fellow students for all their patience and persistance.

Doan was trying to get Randy Bullis, Shaw's accountant, hired as an internal claims auditor. Chuck Snyder asked that they wait as he had other recommendations for more qualified people. It was tabled I believe.

Our own SOS VP, Curry Rinzler, was appointed to the Facilities Committee. I thought Fred Perry was going into cardiac arrest when Milman appointed Curry.

Doan proposed a motion to again bring in the outside law firm of Shaw for the "evaluation of District Departments adversely affecting State mandates". I spoke about this at PBH (public be heard) and commented that, perhaps, the district should first evaluate the law firm of Shaw in other districts. Melissa spoke about the benefits of Special ed mandates to the community. Marino went ballisic about hiring Shaw again. This is when Rose Ostrander yelled out, "what about the average kids?" The motion was tabled after Doan suggested a spending cap for this endeavor of $20K (to gasps in the audience)and then backed down to $10K. Milman proposed he get an estimate for this investigation before voting.

The bids for the repairs and renovation of the administration office were suggested by Snyder to be rejected because of timeliness and the need for a public vote before the bids are accepted. We are expecting about $200K from insurance, we have earmarked $150K last year for this, and we will need about $50K to complete the project as the bids were about $400K.

Both Hal Rowe and Snyder made statements at the end of the evening that the district funds are getting low. They may have to cut programs for the district to run for the rest of the year under the austerity budget. Snyder very strongly suggested that the district restrict it's spending to make it through the year.

That was it. On another note, Francine Xavier, has asked to participate on the SOS bbs. She has been active and hasn't been able to make the meetings. I will admit her if there are no objections. Thanks.

-- Jim (Jim@home.now), February 27, 2001.

I'm a fan of Francine's and think she would be great to bring on here.Her Special Ed interests and info may be quite useful. She may correct me, but I believe she has expressed some concerns about the administrative status quo [Hal et al ] and it may be interesting.I think Meg gets better every meeting and I'm damn proud of her for going after these guys. Marino shoots himself in the foot when he loses his temper,[ as I ]otherwise aren't we glad he brought up Poley paving ? we might need to use that history the same way as the modular history to reveal the destruction wrought by pointless, expensive litigation.The more info we can reveal publically about this the better.It might be good to find out real costs to the district re: legal expertise[donaghue] and add-ons[shaw et al]. How does donaghue's contract work? Is he available by contract for any amount of legal services?How much does it cost the district when unhappy spec.ed parents sue for more services?I wish it were not so difficult to get this kind of info, one does often feel it unreasonably difficult to get the facts. Everybody has something to protect, even the good guys. looking forward to the next extravaganza...hey maybe we need an Ackerman SOS cartoon for ourselves for publicity. That might be fun. I believe with luck and persistance the tide may indeed be turned.

-- mmillar (mmillar00@hotmail.com), February 27, 2001.

I think JD's investigation of special ed would have been defeated if it had come to a vote last night. Only his faithful Fred would have voted with him. But I'm glad it didn't come to a vote. This way, JD can dig himself into a deeper hole.... The care crew certainly is a nasty bunch. How can Kathy Hochmann stomach them after what came down last night? Jim: is it time to turn her our way? It would be excellent if you could.....

Congrats to the students, and good luck in your upcoming elections!! I wonder if any "surprise" candidates might suddenly appear, backed by the forces of darkness?

I'm trying to figure out what kind of medication I'll need to get through facilities committee meetings. I'm glad Greg Walters is on: in a short discussion with JD after the meeting, he and I were in tune...I'm kind of nervous about this venture...

Met with Hal this am. He gave me some budget materials that I'll hand out at the meeting. It's clear that a vote on the capital project can't happen until at least November: so there will be a good separation between it and the budget vote, favorable to getting a good budget and a good bond issue paasssedd...

The long rang thinking I'm favoring: A "quick fix" bond issue to address the most pressing space/maintenance needs of the district, including, especially, those screwy modulars. Then, later, but asap: a new middle school (including the 6th and maybe even the 5th grade) *. What does everyone think of this?

-- curry (crinzler@netstep.net), February 27, 2001.

Melissa, you are right on target!

-- susan buckler (sbuckler@ulster.net), February 27, 2001.

Francine sounds great. Curry: I think your wonderful to be involved on committee. Go for it! The meeting great in the beginning...I enjoyed all the kids and their accomplishments. The middle school student council presented themselves very well. As did SAC. Congratulations to a deserving, dedicated group of great students.

The real turning point for me was Rose Ostrander's mean spirited comment bellowed through the room. You see, this is the nut. The prejudice based on fear that can be directed anywhere. Anyone different...like the disabled. Her point made about average kids is true. The top of the bell curve is the most neglected, least supported group of kids. That wasn't her intention, though. It's a sad day when special ed and gifted and talented are once again the fall guys. These groups are viewed as "extra" , "above and beyond" or "not my responsibility". These are the groups that make mediocrity tremble. And that's what JD is shooting for. Mediocrity (sp?).

I'm active calling everyone I know to clue them in on recent affairs. Barbara Boyce gives her budget presentation on March 5...she gets lots of support at these meetings. Lots of staff. A good time to get numbers and facts out. I'm working on SpecEd numbers.

For letters Woodstock Times deadline Monday 12:00 /fax 334-8202 to editor: Catskill Mtn. News " Monday 12:00 /fax 586-2366

Ulster Townsman " ? anyone know ?

Thanks all...I'm recuperating from stresses...those board meetings wear ya out!...Melissa

-- melissa rebock (mrebock@yahoo.com), February 27, 2001.

While I have not met Rose Ostrander in person, I've seen her public behavior often enough at this point. Regardless of her beliefs and feelings, stated or otherwise, there is this to consider as a consistent behavior: she simply does not seem to be able to keep herself from giving a running commentary or making exclamations. I don't know how much is deeply felt, or how much is signal rather than noise, but she doesn't seem to have what I'd consider to be appropriate self-control. I was at a penny social last year sitting near her table, and even there the 8 year old in the party had to keep asking her to shut up. That said, the attitude she expressed this time is not one we won't encounter elsewhere in the district. And it is one we need to speak to as well if we are to have any influence upon centrist voters.

-- Carol Maltby (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), February 27, 2001.

Gun scare at New Paltz high school Don't know if the board sets policy on handling such things, or the administration. How well thought out are Onteora's plans for such an emergency? One New Paltz parent predictably calls for metal detectors, and I can see this board saying the same.

-- Carol (carolmaltby@compuserve.com), February 28, 2001.

-- Anonymous, January 17, 2002

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