February 10

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Mid-February postings

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002

Answers

A quick reminder: BOE meeting, Monday (tomorrow) at High School...7PM...The Nurse/condoms is on the agenda, plus oh so much more fun stuff. Tobe

-- tobe (willowx@ulster.net), February 10, 2002.

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IMPORTANT SOS MEETING IMPORTANT SOS MEETING FEBRUARY 16 10AM SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16

Pat Stroh has graciously offered her home for the next SOS meeting on Saturday, February 16, at 10am.

Pat Stroh 65 Piney Point (the first road west of the high school off Rt. 28-near the top of the hill on the left)

657-8171

Boiceville, NY

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002


I attended a SAVI workshop with Robin Sears on a superintendent conference day and, Rachel, that's exactly what was realized. The sterotypes and all of our very diverse communities. The group was large and we were asked how to define the 4 communities and the group hit it first time round. These sterotypes are deeply imbedded. they have some validity, but obviously need addressing and change is hard.

The "country mouse" going to the "city" is the Phoenicia experience. It has been talked about for years. When Jesse was in 6th grade, I and other parents went to Randy and asked for our kids to visit Middle School many times in year, to transition. We arranged them to have lunch up there and meet teachers, go to library another visit and walk the halls. The other elementary schools found this out and insisted their kids do they same. They did. Since then I haven't heard of this program continueing. I think the ball was dropped. Another example of the squeaky wheel, I guess.

Forest and Jesse had hard time transitioning. We homeschooled Forest 7-12, on to UCCC then Art Institute in Phili. He reached his goal. Jesse we were ready for. Supports, advocacy and staying on everyone's butts got Jess what he needed. I was very pleased when the Indie Works Program was a perfect fit...he's doing great! And then there's Jeffrey...that's a story for another time:)

There are many ways to reach a goal...the traditional path is not the only way. Neil may back me on this: School districts are a resouce...not necessarily "it". Parents don't think out of the box when it comes to school until their kid is not getting needs met, are being challenged enough or the kid is just miserable.

Definately a talk with Gail C. is in order first. I would be happy to participate. The transitioning issue was one of her selling points for making the middle school 6-8. Personally, I don't mind that idea (ahh, "r" word), but a word of caution. Be careful what you ask for.

-- melissa (mrebock@yahoo.commm), February 10, 2002.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002


I was on last weeks thread when I submitted. I figured out "copy" and "Paste" to put on current week...I'm so proud of myself!

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002

me, I'm a big fan of Neil Eisenberg's most recent post as the "official" response.I've spent some time on a letter but not too happy about it and refreshing to haer Neil's comments without the Doanhate overtones.Also Neil April 14 is good by me for the benefit. or anything that works for you.I'm thinking twice about the Boiceville Inn location, as much of our support ( and especially perhaps the financial type, will be from Woodstock. Comments please.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002

Well - I'm trying to come up with something for the "Public be heard" regarding Phoenicia....I wrote an e-mail earlier today to Tobe....here is the gist of it....I'm thinking of some combination of this and what I previously posted...

Also...the 14th is good for the band. I think having it at the Boiceville Inn is the best place for lots of reasons. A) We have a committment already for the room b) the fact that we need to draw support from that area....etc..

Anyway....heres another bit of my thoughts on the Phoenicia issue. Hopefully I can come up with a middle ground version thats still meaningful and gets the point across..

I want to make sure I direct my comments to negating Joes notion and not to negating Joe himself. I could point out that my son's project came in first place at yesterday's Science Olympiad at UCCC (he and his partner were the only Onteora first place winners) having already placed first two years in a row at the Junior High Science Fair during his JHS years. I believe no one ever did that before, and he was fresh out of Phoenicia at the time.

The fact that my daughter, upon entering Junior High also won a prize at the science fair (third place, but still a win!!) and she just completed her successful run in Cabaret over the weekend. The point being that these students who are the product of this questionable school have fared better than average in Onteora, and Phoenicia had a role, as did the people behind the scenes, ie Randy, Hal, and Mrs. Cavanaugh.

Yes, I am a proud parent, but I am also proud of the people and educators behind the scenes who helped make it happen. Pride in our school system is something that is sorely lacking from board members who constanly search for fault in order to place blame rather than to build team spirit and work to improve wherever and whenever necessary. This attitude is not the way to build better schools, but it is a sure way to alienate our own educators.

Or something like that.......

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002



I took many of your suggestions and lifted some of Neil's comments for my letter. Any further suggestions or criticisms??? I would like to submit this tomorrow.

In the last edition of this newspaper, Onteora School Board Trustee Joseph Doan wrote that he and Board President Marty Millman were criticized for releasing figures to the press that he claims exposed ?serious issues? with the failure rates of Phoenicia students in the middle school. But what Mr. Doan failed to mention, when he drew his conclusions, was that the same administrator who provided the data, showed standardized tests that proved the Phoenicia students were doing particularly well on state tests and in high school graduation rates. Mr. Doan?s many conclusions were simply unfounded. Unfortunately, Mr. Doan often misrepresents information to fit his own preconceived notions and most often to find fault with people and programs with no empirical evidence to back his conclusions. His hostility and arrogance are what have made this current board so ineffectual and dysfunctional.

Releasing figures to the press before the board and administration has had time to discuss and appropriately addressed them is simply unfair to the students, parents and taxpayers of this district. We are as concerned about every child's education as Mr. Doan, but rather than alienate those good people and quality educators in whose hands we place our children's day-to-day learning, we should be working together AS A TEAM to find out if there is indeed a problem, and then come up with positive solutions to avoid the same problems in the future. Let?s return our focus to education, try to work together, and stop the political grandstanding.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002


Anyone planning to make a joke about "sensitive eyes Doan"?? Is it a low blow to ask for his doctor's note? Perhaps read the on-line response by Onteora Observer...Some have suggested that people will pass out sunglasses...anyone know if that is a FACT? COME ON CAN'T WE HAVE A LITTLE FUN HERE? Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002

Tobe-

Be nice.......

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002


Let's make friends by spelling peoples' names properly: that name is Gayle Kavanagh.

They do have the sixth graders spend lunch and a few hours one day in the spring over at the Middle School, with 7th grade buddies to help them and let them sit in on a couple of classes. There is also an orientation day at the end of August, when the new 7th graders can pick up their schedules, have an older student guide them around so they can find their classes, try out their locks on their lockers, etc. Last summer having opened Alison's lock once, I made an ass of myself spending 20 mintues trying to open the locker next to hers with her combination. It was really quite funny.

While it would be really fun to biff Doan over the head with the flash business, it could turn too easily into a sideshow and cheap shot. I guess Onteora Observer is either not here, or not willing to blow their cover. That's OK, I won't tell you what pen names I use either. ;)

I'd suggest a concise, factual one paragraph letter quoting the Onteora Observer's remark about the TV studio to all the papers, and read out loud in public be heard, and move on. Let's have one person speak up and volunteer here to write it, read it, and send it (Woodstock Times deadline tomorrow afternoon). For credibility and corroboration, it should be someone who has seen Doan on TV in that context, which I haven't.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002


I'm nice, I'm nice (or at least my INTENT is to be nice...) Seriously...I won't go there, although I have seen Doan on TV, lights and all, and we all should recall the innumerable lights and flashes in the congressional hearings about Enron, when Doan says no public meetings tolerate them.

But, still, it would be neat to have someone read the observer's note. T.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002



With all the issue oriented cans of worms Joe Doan has opened and left open to rebuttal and the opportunity to make him look foolish, it seems like a cheap shot to belabor the obvious. If he is averse to flash photography, the state of the art of camera equipment is such that any camera sold for about $100 could take a decent picture of him for the purpose of a newspaper story without a flash. Its not like the lighting in the cafeteria is subdued or anything. Its a very unromantic setting.

That said, I think it should be dropped. Any casual observer (Onteora or otherwise) has already had a good laugh about his photo sensitive eyes, and sees it as yet another "Doanism".

I think we should stick to the issues, and have Beth Bliss ask him to hold perfectly still when she wants a shot. Or better yet, a nice series of blurred images wouldnt be that bad either...lol

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2002


Doan has his plaint fairly prominently labeled as "opinion" on the front page of the online Middletown Herald Record today, with no visible context or analysis of the issue having been printed there (at least, not in the online version) in recent weeks.

lin k

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002


Thanks Carole ...whew.. Here's a copy of the article by Joe Doan:

February 11, 2002

Phoenicia School problems have been ignored

By Joseph L. Doan In August, I stated my concern that the students at the Phoenicia School were not being properly prepared for the curriculum in the middle school. I based my concern on reliable information given to me by Phoenicia parents and retired teachers. I used this to initiate the discussion on standardizing the curriculum for all of the elementary schools in the Onteora district. I strongly believe that all of the students should enter the middle school on an equal footing. I also asked Hal Rowe to do a study on failures in the middle school and to break down the statistics by schools that the students attended. In November, I renewed my concerns and expanded the issue by adding BCL and family grouping to my statements as reasons for the high failure rate. Administrators immediately criticized my statements and said that they know of no such trend and that there was no data to back it up. Everything that I had said was not new and was common knowledge with many of the Phoenicia parents and many teachers. In December, four months after requesting it, the results of the survey were released. The results showed a 41.6 percent failure rate in 2001 and 43.5 percent in 2000 for middle-school students coming from the Phoenicia Elementary School. Instead of the administrators acknowledging that a very serious issue existed that required immediate action, the focus was diverted from the problem and directed at Marty Millman, the board president, and me, for exposing it. We were accused of releasing this information to the public and for undermining our district's broom theory, where problems in the past have been swept under the rug and kept out of the public realm. It's my opinion that most of the people involved were aware of the problem and very little was done. It is also unsettling to know that this district has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on computers and software and we do not have readily accessible records so a problem such as this can be discovered and addressed in a timely manner. The socioeconomic label that is used as a partial reason for the survey results is not a valid one. When Bob Maroney was the principal at Phoenicia, that school was always near the top in the district. The really sad part of this story is the fact that parents, businesspeople and regular citizens are afraid to come forward to express their concerns because of the fear of retribution against their children, their businesses and their own wellbeing. If you want to blame someone, blame the man at the top, our superintendent. He has been incapable of solving any major problems in the district in the past. He is a master in the art of diversion and continues to use his energies to bury problems instead of addressing them. Joseph L. Doan is vice president of the Onteora School Board.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002


Neil, they don't want the setting in H.S. Cafeteria "romantic"...we're talking teens and condoms! I'm checking in on teacher at Phoenicia gathering statistic information. I hope the end result wasn't just Veronica's letter to editor:( Too passive.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

I have a question - in regard to Joe doans letter where he states: In December, four months after requesting it, the results of the survey were released. The results showed a 41.6 percent failure rate in 2001 and 43.5 percent in 2000 for middle-school students coming from the Phoenicia Elementary School.

What kind of "failure rate" is he referring to? They failed 7th grade? Has anyone seen this report? Is he factually coorrect?

I'd love a little clarity going into the meeting tonight so we dont just rebutt without facts. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002



Same letter that appeared in the WT and UCT this past week to which my letter is in reply.

I believe that the "failure rate" referred to is at least one subject.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002


I'm greatly saddened by how ineffectual we seem to be in the face of Doan's manipulation and misrepresentation of the facts. Sad that there is no administrative response beyond the wimpy reply that Frank could muster and that will never grab any headline...doan's the master of this sleezy tactic... Sad that no one will use language strong enough and accurate enough to deflate his "opinions." Talk about intimidation... Sad. Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

Yes, the facts are that the % of student failures is one course or more..we do not know more details >Jim did you keep that UCT article /the original? would love to check in on that. .. Marino made the most cogent comments when he talked about the leap from an identified problem to Doan/Millman conclusion of blaming BCL,family grouping,R.Collins and The Man at the Top.WITH NO DATA FROM THE P> ELEM>SCHOOL. NONE.If it had been their intention to attack Gayle (thankyou Carol) and the M.S., they would be better off.There in nothing on the agenda to allow comments during PBH right?

they would have had as good an argument. It's so transparent.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002


Use public be heard to say whatever you want...since Millman allowed D Boyle his "attack time", I say all restrictions are off! Go, Maureen. T.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

I just emailed this to the Times Herald Record -- perhaps some of you would click on their "contact" page and write letters of your own. This does seems to be the only "educational" article they've archived in 2002, the rest of the Onteora articles seem to all be about sports.

Contact page at:

contact page

-------------------------------------------- Why have you just given Joe Doan a public soapbox to comment upon educational issues in the Onteora school district, without giving your readers any independent analysis or balance (at least not in the online issues of the paper, which is where I read it)?

Given that Doan's hatred of the Woodstock Times and Kingston Daily Freeman coverage of Onteora school board activities was a major factor in your paper's getting the designation as an official newspaper for the Onteora district, despite your lack of regular coverage of the district, I am surprised you would be so willing to compromise what should be objective and impartial coverage.

Trustee Doan's attempt at micromanaging Onteora matters at every level, has been met by protests from many administrators. His latest efforts to make sure Phoenicia School is run the way he wants it to be run have upset many Phoenicia students and parents, who feel that there are many factors to consider, and who reject Doan's views.

To give Mr. Doan's jihad such coverage without consulting the educational professionals of the Onteora district is both irresponsible and inappropriate.

Sincerely,

Carol Maltby

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002


More direct link to Times Herald Record news department

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

The Times Herald letter was in the editorial section under letters to the editor in the print edition, the same as it appeared in the Freeman today.

I am questioning wether or not my edited letter should be sent as no one has commented on it, positively or negatively. If we feel it is an appropriate response by our organization then I will send it otherwise I feel we should be constructing another public response. This something we must seize the opportunity to respond to and I am totally open to any suggestions.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002


Jim, I'd maybe drop the "political grandstanding" phrase, as well as the sentence about the arrogance and dysfunction, but otherwise it is good.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

Dosn't anyone want to say how much fun last night's meeting was? A hoot, or what? Nurse Betty never even spoke about the reason The Doan invited her...about the danger from STDs that condoms don't stop...the only one who mentioned that was the nurse from Phoenicia (!)

Yay team...it was a thing of beauty to watch the way Jane Van de Bogart demolished the nurse's stealth move and deception...Bravo. Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002


Yes, it was certainly entertaining. Jane V. was exceptional I thought. And Marino and Rachel set a nice tone too. I actually felt really bad for the nurse, since it's not her fault that she has a particular belief, and for all she knew, she was simply there to talk about condoms,and was an invited guest at that.

All of a sudden she finds herself on trial! She really gave a lame presentation, and shed no light on the subject whatsoever, having presented only ONE study from a WORKSHOP no less!! She also appeared to have not read it herself.

Kathy actually hit the nail on the head...pointing out that it was a non issue to begin with since they werent debating the Health Curriculum, only the distribution of condoms, which isn't ocurring in the first place....sooo

Anyway...I was a little nervous reading my "non agenda related" item until I heard the letter that Marty Millman read in the next agenda item (letters received), which was about the Phoenicia School issue. Nice try hiding it OFF the agenda like that to avoid others like me speaking out on the same subject. Good thing I'm a pushy guy, and read mine anyway.....

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002


Here's something that I'd like Meg, Tom and Marino (and maybe Maureen from her experience) to answer, for our future reference:

What is the ideal relationship between the documentary background material, and the actual oral presentation to the Board, as far as being the most useful to the board members? Tiernan's presentation just didn't make it. It is clear you would like some background material to study beforehand, so that you can ask useful questions during the face-to-face session. Should the presenter check with selected board members beforehand to find out what is the most important material the Board needs to know, and that which is most relevant to the educational issue in question? Is the ideal mix that of various in-depth documents to be read beforehand (and supplied at least a week in advance), with the oral presentation to recap,, consolidate information and provide an overview for both the board and the public, and tie the issue to Onteora's specific needs?

Did we actually have any formal reason raised for Tiernan's being there? Was that procedurally appropriate? Has the condom issue been formally raised? Should the Board have some guidelines for inviting speakers to present, if it hasn't any, or beef up what it has if its present guidelines are inadequate?

Best part of the night was seeing Marino put the thumbscrews on Patti McCallum about whether she was the person who recommended Tiernan to Doan, and Patti's trying to weasel out of answering.

For those of us who wanted to cross the reservoir before it closed at 10 or otherwise had early bed times, what was the decision on Doan and the flash?

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002


Ah yes, late night antics...Well as I feared (and maybe even predicted)when The Doan tried to slip in a "first reading" of a suggested policy on flas use he already had from Shaw it beacme clear they want to try and get rid of me as well. Surprise!! Marino blew the whistle on it and read the policy aloud. To laugh: They wanted to give the majority OR the "discretion of the chair" power at any given moment to decide who could or could not use "flash" or photography and and o audio or video recording devices. video or audio recordings.

Bad move and clearly not in their power to act this way. It's an authomatic losing proposition for Doina...why would he go for freedom of the press along with everything else? Thank you Joe, thank you!

The board also approved a wording that would allow us to move ahead with the softball field at a cost of "up to $35,000". JD tried to get it down to $25,000 saying the bleachers, etc. could be moved, so they were for the athletic dept., not the softball field...would we be buying these if we didn't have a new softball field???Hellooo. Chuck said let's keep it at $35,000 just in case we need to go "outside" for "drawings", since they were required by SED. Very quiet from The Doan...very quiet!

T.

This, for me (and all of us) is another blatant attempt to get things secret...the glare of the newspapers and the videos are beginning to become cumulative for this guy and his antics...shine MORE lights, not fewer.

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002


pardon my mistakes.

T.

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002


A nice meeting, indeed...but a colossal waste of time for the members of the board. That's for whom I felt sorry. The more the issue of long board meetings being taken up by such inane topics is brought up, the more apparent Mr.Doan's tactics will become transparent. In response to last night's speaker, why don't we encourage our friendly board members to pass a resolution which requires speakers on the agenda, from outside the employ of the district, to submit any any written or background material to the board 2 weeks in advance. That should at least help Mr. Doan in his pursuit of shorter meetings.

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002

Sorry for the grammer mistake...no WORD to help me with editing. Should be read, ...the more transparent Mr. Doan's tactics will become.

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002

Maybe Tom'll chip in on correct board procedure, but as Meg tells it to me...nursey and The Doan did everything wrong. Doan invited her as a single board member...should more properly be by board resolution as we did with Oren Lyons from Buffalo when we hoped he would come and help with "mascot" issues. Since they all have to take their time to deal with it...Rose has now done this twice, with Kevin Sweeney and the manufactured defibulator crisis, and with the driver's ed guy last night... Doan, as we recall, refused to even say who the nurse was when he first announced to the board that she was coming to speak on December 17th. Then, when Meg asked for credentials, she was stonewalled and never got anything beyond the nurse's dishonest resume. Tom, early on asked for an outline of what she would say, which never came. I believe Marino also asked for information from her and he has objected several time about board members acting on their own and invited people and being allowed to do it.

Almost alway the board is given the information the presenter will discuss well before any meeting takes place, so board members can be prepared. For example, Barbara Boyce always provides complete and thorough back-up information which is often either unread or ignored, or both, by the majority who persist in asking her for justification in public on every item she has already informed them about. No backup materials came from the nurse before last night at the last minute, and it wasn't even about the topic Doan said she would speak on...human papilloma virus (hpv)...and their dangers. Doan did raise the issue of condoms months ago, when he said he was bringing in the nurse to tell us about the STDs that condoms do not protect against. He said it with great urgency, like young women's lives were imminently in danger because he claimed, Robin's Sears health curriculum did not teach all the information...and about all the dangers. And Doan stated he would use the nurse's information to make a board policy banning any distribution on condoms in the school.

Pre-ordained, pre-decided, and...foiled again. Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002


Nurse Ratchett: Wow. That was what all the fuss was about? Talk about anti-climatic! That said, I'm feeling very good about the meeting. I would say that it was a win for the good guys (and girls). I'm surprised there wasn't more of a student turnout. By the way, Maureen asked me an interesting question at the meeting, and FYI, I've distributed two condoms while in school all year. So, if there was any confusion, there's no condom parade or anything going on at OCS.

The SAVI meeting on Monday was only an hour, and we had many guests (Dr. Rowe, and Principals Sella and Schnell included), so my addition to the agenda of writing a letter of response regarding UCT article, was only addressed during the last ten minutes. Everyone seemed pretty responsive, and I think it will be drafted by the end of the week (I'm hoping for it to be done by a Phoenicia graduate, and if not, someone who isn't me). Interesting note: Lizzy Morra, daughter of the author of the letter Marty M. read at PBH is in SAVI. If memory serves, she didn't have any comments or opposition to my suggestion.

And, as a side note, an item in the SAC agenda for Thursday is whether or not the SAC wants to endore BOE candidates. Personally, I'm not sure if that's the direction SAC should take, but I'll keep you all posted.

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2002


A funny story...my friend Nancy met Betty Bolsetzian (spell?), Ed's wife, in Phoenicia. Nancy asked how the board meeting went. she said "all they talked about was sex and condo's". I thought that was cute.

I stayed til 9:00. By the time Philip Weis spoke, I wondered why this was continuing. Is Doan a religious person? Is this his incentive? Neil and Kathy spoke well at PBH. Thank you! By the way, the letter Millman read from concerned parent from Phoenicia about family grouping: She lives in my hollow, hates Randy, and her 3 younger kids (she has 8) haven't attended Phoenicia Elem for years. In other words, the last time one of her kids experienced this model was approx. 5 years ago! That was when the model was tried in all grades, it is now most effective and only in primary grades. The complaints are based on ancienct history! Dahhh! Of course, most of Mr. Millmans complaints are based on ancient history.

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002


Two great and one interesting Onteora articles in today's Freeman. One puts Joe D. on the spot for his "plans," and the other slaps him for directing staff to do work for him without board approval..." - nuff said???I don't think so!...Yay team. Third article was about money for the cafeteria. Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002

So, interestingly I got a call on Monday afternoon from one of the Nurses who spoke at the meeting to see if Care Net was one of the "clinics" subpeoned by Elliot Spitzer's office for misrepresentation. This was in my role working for Assemblyman Cahill. I checked with the AG's office and was unable to find anything out in time for the meeting...so it was dropped. I got a call today which referred me to this article in today's Buffalo News, of all places. Care Net is mentioned. Just an FYI for you all. atholic, pro-life groups resist Spitzer's subpoenas By GENE WARNER News Staff Reporter 2/13/2002 The Crisis Pregnancy Center of Western New York, one of 24 such centers in the state being targeted by Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer, is striking back with a lawsuit seeking to quash the attorney general's subpoena. The lawsuit, the details of which are being announced at a news conference today, continues the recent trend of pro-life and Catholic organizations across the state mounting a spirited counterattack against Spitzer's office.
Anne F. and Brian W. Downey, local attorneys representing the Crisis Pregnancy Center on a pro bono basis, filed the lawsuit Monday in State Supreme Court.
"We're seeking to quash the subpoena and end this investigation," Anne Downey said. "The subpoena is broad, sweeping and illegal, a violation of our constitutional rights."
Among the groups lashing out publicly at Spitzer are the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, three national organizations representing more than 2,000 pregnancy resource centers, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and a seventh-grade Catholic school class in St. Peters, Mo.
State investigators and lawyers with Spitzer's office are trying to determine whether the 24 centers entice pregnant women into their facilities by deceptive means and whether they practice medicine without a license.
The subpoenas demand that the crisis pregnancy centers turn over 13 categories of documents, including the names and credentials of all volunteers, a detailed list of services available to clients and all their policy and training documents, according to the Downeys, members of the Virginia-based Christian Legal Society.
Spitzer spokesman Darren Dopp has said the attorney general is not trying to close any crisis pregnancy center or abridge anyone's free speech rights.
"We feel strongly, however, that when a woman wants pregnancy counseling, she deserves to know up front what services are provided and what services are not provided," Dopp has said.
The issuing of the subpoenas set off a firestorm of reaction within the pro-life community, including these recent developments:
Three national organizations - Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and Care Net - have called on Spitzer to withdraw his subpoenas, calling the investigation unfair and unfounded.
The president of the Catholic League questioned whether Spitzer is pro-Catholic or anti-Catholic, noting that the attorney general has defended the religious rights of other groups.
"Now his dealings with Catholics are on the line," William Donohue said. "We will soon know what makes him tick. If he treats crisis pregnancy centers the way he treats abortion clinics, Catholics will be grateful."
The outcry has gone national, including a letter-writing campaign defending crisis pregnancy centers, launched by a seventh-grade class in Missouri that also has begun a penny drive to raise money for a home for unmarried expectant mothers.
The 24 subpoenas, issued early last month, demanded that the information be filed by Feb. 1, but the deadline has since been extended to Friday.
e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002

Let's Try Again for a more readable version....sorry


Catholic, pro-life groups resist Spitzer's subpoenas


By GENE WARNER News Staff Reporter 2/13/2002


The Crisis Pregnancy Center of Western New York, one of 24 such centers in the state being targeted by Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer, is striking back with a lawsuit seeking to quash the attorney general's subpoena.


The lawsuit, the details of which are being announced at a news conference today, continues the recent trend of pro-life and Catholic organizations across the state mounting a spirited counterattack against Spitzer's office.


Anne F. and Brian W. Downey, local attorneys representing the Crisis Pregnancy Center on a pro bono basis, filed the lawsuit Monday in State Supreme Court.


"We're seeking to quash the subpoena and end this investigation," Anne Downey said. "The subpoena is broad, sweeping and illegal, a violation of our constitutional rights."


Among the groups lashing out publicly at Spitzer are the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, three national organizations representing more than 2,000 pregnancy resource centers, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and a seventh-grade Catholic school class in St. Peters, Mo.


State investigators and lawyers with Spitzer's office are trying to determine whether the 24 centers entice pregnant women into their facilities by deceptive means and whether they practice medicine without a license.


The subpoenas demand that the crisis pregnancy centers turn over 13 categories of documents, including the names and credentials of all volunteers, a detailed list of services available to clients and all their policy and training documents, according to the Downeys, members of the Virginia-based Christian Legal Society.


Spitzer spokesman Darren Dopp has said the attorney general is not trying to close any crisis pregnancy center or abridge anyone's free speech rights.


"We feel strongly, however, that when a woman wants pregnancy counseling, she deserves to know up front what services are provided and what services are not provided," Dopp has said.


The issuing of the subpoenas set off a firestorm of reaction within the pro-life community, including these recent developments:


Three national organizations - Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and Care Net - have called on Spitzer to withdraw his subpoenas, calling the investigation unfair and unfounded.


The president of the Catholic League questioned whether Spitzer is pro-Catholic or anti-Catholic, noting that the attorney general has defended the religious rights of other groups.


"Now his dealings with Catholics are on the line," William Donohue said. "We will soon know what makes him tick. If he treats crisis pregnancy centers the way he treats abortion clinics, Catholics will be grateful."


The outcry has gone national, including a letter-writing campaign defending crisis pregnancy centers, launched by a seventh-grade class in Missouri that also has begun a penny drive to raise money for a home for unmarried expectant mothers.


The 24 subpoenas, issued early last month, demanded that the information be filed by Feb. 1, but the deadline has since been extended to Friday.


e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002

By the way....I STRONGLY suggest we stay out of this one (The Care Net issue). Its way too hot an issue to bring up as potential fodder for a campaign rallying call.

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002

I agree with you on that issue, Neil. If it gets any local coverage, then fine, but let's not push it. We won that battle anyway. Let's not get greedy.

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002

I agree also...I'm much more interested in supporting some new thinking about the district as well as incremental steps in making things work better. Since the bolard should properly by dealing with policy and planning we should encourage efforts in that regard...

A platform committee anyone?

Doan is really on the line now for the softball field plans. Let's watch that play out some more.

Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002


anyone new getting invited to Sat's meeting? Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2002

Anyone friends with Dorothy Van De Bogart? I really liked her! Let's invite her.

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2002

Do you mean Jane Van de Bogart, or is there a Dorothy too?

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2002

Quite the Woodstock Times editorial page. We've been busy letter writers and that's good. Nice letter, Maureen.Fredy Blue Fox....ouch!

Tobe and Meg, how will you respond to the Doan letter? I think it should be done by others. WhaT do you make of it?

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2002


We have already been talking about an appropriate response. If there are others who wish to take it up, that's fine...if not, we'll consider an answer.

The list of Doan attacks could be laid out for all to see...It's in the Doan Deeds thread. I have once again exhaustively checked the record on the water testing...although Doan says he asked permission and no one objected, in reality, the weay it happed was as follows: Doan brought up four resolution late at night in old business. He wanted all four resolutions passed..The last two were his desire to do water testing and to take asphalt samples at phoenicia. The first two of his resolutions got a lot of discussion and were delayed, and the last two (Doan's water test and asphalt sampling) never came back on the table...there was NO resolution made, and NO board discussion and no approval ever given. To say that no one objected, and therefore he had permission to do whatever he wanted, once again misleads, since Marty stopped the conversation when he first brought it up...before anyone had a chance to comment. And since there was never a discussion of the items before the meeting adjourned, Doan lies when he implies he had board approval.

The point is simply that he acts as a rogue in disregard of state law and misleads and attacks when it suits him, with no regard for reality...

So, I'll begin working on a response that will be somewhat measured and makes the Big points...but I welcome, and need others to chip in if they have something to say. Thanks, Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2002


It may be of great benefit to get feedback from the bbs for such a response. Please do let us see what you are thinking so we can give input.

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2002

Oh for sure...I am intending to get the letter ready and hold it for a week or two, to see what else surfaces... Then be ready to send it when it can do the most good. Hard to avoid a personal Doan attacjk after he continues to mislead. Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2002

One thing is crystal clear. The Doan Campaign has begun. What he doesnt understand is that even if there were a shred of good intentions in any of the things he claims to have done, and lets even say there probably were, its the way he has gone about things that has totally alienated people along the way, not to mention leaving a trail of bloody bodies of the people he has dessimated in his crusade against the evil doers.

There is a difference between his claim of exposing wrongdoing and what he acually does, which is to target individuals and fabricate seemingly credible (to the uninformed) apparent misdeeds to justify his hatred, and cloaking the whole thing in the guise of righting the wrongs of the district. Reading his letter youd have to think, man what would we have done without this guy, right? Wrong! What could we have done had we not wasted the time and money on his fiascos, and what do we really have to show as a result of his claimed deeds? Hmmmmm. As for Freddie.....wow...lighten up dude. You can't fight hate with hate. We need to move away from that. My opinion.

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2002

The person I refer to spoke at last board meeting. Older woman with direct accurate approach connecting the "nurse" with CareNet. I thought her name was Dorothy...Rick also said Jane. Sorry. Anyway, she may be a great addition.

I'm hoping to come to meeting at Pat Stroh's. There is a memorial this weekend I'm attending...I'll do my best.

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2002


I agree with Neil that the Doan campaign has begun. It is vital that every one of us cut out the WT letter and post it near your computer. He has anounced his good deeds, now we have to take them apart piece by piece. We need to watch his tone and gather ideas for stratagy so we can best outfox him.

Jane Van DeBogart is a friend to many of us here on the board. She is a well respected activist in the county and recently moved to a new home last year just over the line from Woodstock into Saugerties. She has often been involved with us and helps out often when we ask. But she has a lot on her plate. A great woman and a great friend!

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2002


Jim and neil have it right...I lovbe the idea of keeping the Doan plan close at hand...My latest thinking is perhaps to fashion a response to talk about democracy and the Doan's attempts to actions to disregard proper procedures (sound too dry??) This kind of disregard for democratic procedures (and state law)has lead to improper behavior on the part of Doan and Millman, and the longer we let them get away with it, the more they pile on...for instance, although the Wood Times mentions the "flash" bulb issue, the true intent of the Doan offered policy is to bar video and audio recorders at their whim...heavy handed, anti-democratic and in keeping with Doan's agenda of secrecy Uber Alles. Tobe

PS Freddy Blue Fox is a wild cannon, cannot be controlled and is NOT on this bulletin board...there's a reason for that...although he can be helpful, he frequently lets his over-strong rhetoric get in the way. candidates probably will do well to distance themselves from his rantings.

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2002


A couple of things. The 14th of April - 1-5 is confirmed at the Boiceville Inn.

Second...I think Joe sees himself as more of a Special Prosecutor than a board member. I'd like to first define the role of a board member (for my own edification as well) and then see where Joe deviates from that.

He shouldnt feel that his job is to expose wrongdoings. That's his attorney mentality coming through.

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2002

High-Stakes Testing for Dentists?? What Dentists and Teachers Have in Common

by John S. Taylor

Last spring at the Project-Based Learning Conference: Kids Who Know and Do, keynote speaker Linda Darling-Hammond retold the following story by John S.Taylor, Superintendent of Schools in the Lancaster County School District in South Carolina. In a room full of 5,000 educators, you could have heard a pin drop. Of course, during the witty dialogue and the ironic parts, outbursts of laughter filled the room. But as soon as Darling-Hammond began speaking again, the audience fell silent.

My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups. He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth, so when I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great. "Did you hear about the new state program to measure the effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said. "No," he said. He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?"

"It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average, and Unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. It will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better," I said. "Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice in South Carolina."

"That's terrible" he said.

"What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?"

"Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry."

"Why not?" I said. "It makes perfect sense to me."

"Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele; so much depends on things we can't control?

"For example," he said, "I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper-middle-class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem and I don't get to do much preventative work.

"Also," he said, "many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from a young age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay.

"To top it all off," he added, "so many of my clients have well water which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?"

"It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. I couldn't believe my dentist would be so defensive. He does a great job.

"I am not!" he said. "My best patients are as good as anyone's, my work is as good as anyone's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most."

"Don't get touchy," I said.

"Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red, and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth. "Try furious. In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average or worse.

"My more educated patients who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating actually is a measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I'll be left with only the neediest patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse.

"On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?"

"I think you're overreacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse making, and stonewalling won't improve dental health.' I am quoting that from a leading member of the DOC," I noted.

"What's the DOC?" he said.

"It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved."

"Spare me," he said. "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully.

The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?"

"Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes."

"That's too complicated and time-consuming," I said. "Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottom line. It's an absolute measure."

"That's what I'm afraid my patients and prospective patients will think. This can't be happening," he said despairingly.

"Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some."

"How?" he said.

"If you're rated poorly, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly.

"You mean," he said, "they will send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? Big help."

"There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all."

"You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score on a test of children's progress without regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served, and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools."

I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. "I'm going to write my representatives and senator," he said. "I'll use the school analogy, surely they'll see my point." He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I see in the mirror so often lately.

John Taylor is Superintendent of Schools for the Lancaster County School District in South Carolina. He is a graduate of Davidson College with MEd and EdS degrees from University of South Carolina. He has served as a teacher or administrator in several of South Carolina's most economically challenged school districts, including Allendale, Clarendon, Colleton, and Dillon. He has also worked in Richland 2 and Rock Hill and served as an Education Consultant at the Department of Education.

2000-2002 The Learning Network Inc. All Rights Reserved.

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2002


Secretary of State Colin L. Powell strongly advocated condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS yesterday, setting himself apart from President Bush's views on sex education and angering some of the president's closest supporters on the political right.

"It is important that the whole international community come together, speak candidly about it, forget about taboos, forget about conservative ideas with respect to what you should tell young people about," Powell told an MTV music channel audience. "It's the lives of young people that are put at risk by unsafe sex. And, therefore, protect yourself."

Powell's remarks, aired last night on MTV and scheduled for rebroadcast around the globe, are consistent with U.S. support of international AIDS prevention programs. But they appeared to diverge from the message delivered by the president and other administration officials that abstinence from unmarried sex is the principal weapon against the spread of the deadly human immunodeficiency virus...[snip]

Details from the Washington Post article

-- Anonymous, February 15, 2002


I would like to congratulate Neil for throwing his hat into the ring. I have found a lot of good support in the community for his candidacy and look forward to his participation on this level.

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2002

Thanks to all who helped me make up my mind. I completed the on-line calendar. You can access it at http://www.thecodecrew.com/cgi- local/calendar/calendar.pl

Anyone can add an event. Jim and I can edit them or delete them if necessary as well. Hope this is helpful.
Neil

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2002

Awesome, Neil.

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2002

Thanks!

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2002

Also a huge thank you to Pat Stroh for her hospitality today. And soooo much good food!

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2002

Oh yeah. Pat Stroh should be joining us on the SOS bbs soon. I didn't ask for the group's permission, as is custom, because she is such a long time member of SOS who for a long time was without internet access.

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2002

Neil: I accidentally made a duplicate on calendar...can you fix? Of course, PTA is silly to have meetings on Mondays! Board Meetings, holidays etc.

Thank you Pat for your hospitality! It was a productive meeting.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


Go Colin Powell. My apologies for missing the meeting.It sounds like Neil has commited himself to the great race ? yes? and SOS has supported his candidacy? is that a yes? terrific if so. I'm concerned by many comments in the community re: Mr.Doan's heroic role in uncovering waste in school spending and being a necessary " barking dog" on the board...unpleasant but useful.In general I am afraid we are falling into a trap constantly reacting to Joe , his letters etc.Also, I know we all recognize the need to get away from the negativity, it proves more difficult than I like to admit. Joe's letters make me furious and I waste too much time fashioning responses in my head and on paper. Perhaps one good letter to the Ed. is better than three at this time of year. Gotta run I'll seen ya later.I hope we're still working to create documents thst debunk some of the greatest Doan myths.Mine is Eratt/Poley. What else?

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Yes, Maureen, I'm oficially "in the race" so to speak. SOS still has to interview all the cnadidates including myself to see who they will go with. OF course I am hoping to get your support, and honestly don't plan on running without it.

As far as Joe Doan's supporters go, they have to say something to justify their support and to avoid embarrassment. Thats as good a response as any I suppose. We'll just have to appeal to what I think is the majority of the voters who feel they ar sick of his antics.

Hopefully I can get up to speed on the issues fast enough. I'm working on it, and apprerciate all the help I can get.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Good meeting yesterday...Meg and i are indeed working on a response to the doan letter...We will be talking about how this unilateral action (although by itself with few consequences for the district)is part of a long string of bad board behaviors. We will definitively explain exactly how he snuck through (not one but two) items that he then acted on by his lonesome...We will lay out in some detail the kinds of actions the board has been plagued with since the beginning of Doan...More details will follow...if you have ANY significant events you think should be mentioned, let me know...perhaps we'll go for a full-blown "In my opinion" piece for the Woodstock Times and a shorter version for other local rags.

Maureen, I believe Poley Paving is just one such an item we need to mention...On the night that he slipped in the water testing, he also slipped in the asphalt testing, and without approval went and did it...this of course has had some serious consequences for the district....namley at least $15,000 litigation expenses with more to follow...By the way it appears that if there is no settlement and the litigation continues, we'll have to hire an "uninterested party" expert witness to answer Poley's lawyer's demands. Very expensive proposition...more testing/costly expert witness expenses....All of this because Doan acted on his own, with no board discussision of consequences or his action...

Tom, can you confirm that Poley actually gave us more total asphalt than the contract called for, spread over a wide area?

Is there any chance that Doan is right and Poley owes us $40,000 in "stolen" asphalt? Or is this more smoke and mirrors and unlikely to hold up under scrutiny??? Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


oh I forgot to mention the other ah-ha! lurking in my recent experience. Alot more people watch Channel 3 than I would have ever imagined.Three times your out---I got comments on the Marino Piece whose basic message was ...saw your lawyer friend yelling at Rose O. etc.etc. not good.The intrinsic understanding of recent board history many of us have is not generally available and must be respected as a factor.Tobe maybe you could help me understand the Channel 3 process w/out the politics..(which I've noticed). (Joelkovels letter last week was typically fantastic).How do you get material on..what's the deal? Nice calender Neil. You're in trouble now.By the way I have a couple of "so you wanna be a board member " type materials from history that I'd like to get to you..it helps clarify many of the processes currently being ignored that help boards become effectual.good rhetoric,too.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Someone on another board reports that Ari Fleischer made a really silly gaffe on CNN about the Powell condom remark, saying something like, "This administration has never taken a backseat on safe sex."

Rachel, can you tell us more about this new Diversity group that has formed at the high school?

Maureen said something to me at the last board meeting about being glad that I was being an ameliorating force on the board, after I'd suggesting axing some of the harsher language proposed for a letter. Lest it be said that it is because I am a horribly nice person (though I can be), or that I have religious vows against hurting people (though I do), I must let you know that it is simply for this reason: I want our side to win, now and in the future. We win by scoring more points, in the abstract arenas of the hearts and mind of Onteora voters, and that has to translate into quantifiable ballots.

I post on a wide range of bulletin boards, many of which are contentious battlegrounds requiring passionate advocacy. I post under my real name online in most of these places, with my phone and address easily traceable, but even in the places where I feel more secure only using a pseudonym, I make sure my credibility and accountability are a constant. Someone recently remarked on another board, "Carol is always right," and I was pleased to see that I had that reputation. I make a point never to say anything I can't back up, because I know there are plenty of people with long attention spans who will be sure to bring it up in the future if I miss-step. You wouldn't think it from seeing me sit all quiet and mousey in a face to face meeting, but I can be fiercely competitive online, and I do not like to lose. Ever.

So when I caution us about use of language, it is because I am so in awe of the power it has. Our choices of verbs, adverbs, nouns and adjectives have enormous weight and consequence. When in doubt, remember that objectivity counts, and scrutinize your writing for anything that generates more heat than light. None of us seem to be trained journalists, but we can all watch out for signs that we've stepped over the line -- outright insults, suggestions that we know what the opposition are thinking, loaded descriptions. We are capable of eviscerating their positions using polite, objective, and concise writing, so we don't need to get down to their level.

This board is safe space, and we can vent here or in email. But let's keep the venting here, and take the high ground in public.

Some useful references:

Worship this book and internalize it

SPIN Tool Kit

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

US Army Psychological Operations field manual

One thing that was said in Saturday's meeting that really hit was that while they may be good administrators, many of our principals and other administrators are not skilled communicators. I wonder if any of this problem about Rowe would have happened if he'd done the same things but were the kind of hands-on guy that showed up at every elementary school penny social and bingo game and schmoozed. Let's be thinking of this -- what sort of communication do we need to have with the administrators, what communicating with the parents and public could they do better? How can we help them do this, and are there things we need them to do for us? Lack of tenure may be a big issue in their sticking their necks out, but for some issues it may just be that they never thought to reach out to certain groups and establish a dialogue. Regardless of the outcome of this and other elections, there are a whole lot of groups in this district who could communicate better with each other than they do at present.



-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


Carol - Brilliant. We are fortunate to have the light you shine upon us with the heat to get us off our duffs.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

Aw, shucks. Thanks.

Let's also remember to watch what we say in front of the little kids. My Suki (fifth grade) asked me the other day if I thought Joe Doan was good looking, and if I would go out with him if "he was not such a scoundrel."

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


My kids constantly ask me if someone we see locally in public is good or bad (in relation to the BOE). I try to explain that we are all good but have different opinions.

Gotta go...Simpson's is on. Is that good??????????

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


Channel three works simply. if anyone (in the cablecast area---Woodstock-West Hurley, Glenford) has a tape to put on, they can bring it to the town offices. If it is less than 1 hour, it'll be available to be played several times in a week on a rotating "carousel". The whole board meetings, since they take so long, are shown once in their entirety, usually on a thursday.

As far as Marino..I think, if people watch the program where he takes apart Shaw, and pay attention to it, they get the point that Shaw is not doing such a great job for the district.

if they miss that, and focus on a single moment of dialogiue, then i don't know what we can do...perhaps I shoud stop playing any tapes?

I was planning on presenting the public be heard on Condom Night two, followed by the nurse and the questions...They are on separate tapes, each running about 35-40 minutes. I could choose not to show the nurse...just the public be heard, if we think that's better...I am getting shameless, and can use all the help possible making wise decisions. tobe

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


Simpson's is Good, had a school board joke, something about the fancy prep school having a periodic table of the elements with two hundred and sixty elements, whereas the Springfield one schools only had charts with 116 elements due to school board budget cuts, or something of the sort.

What's the story with those "Free Onteora" bumperstickers?

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002


- free (fre) not in bondage, noble, glad, illustrious...Tobe re: the tapes..sorry to seem critical about that..I am so often surprised by the feedback I hear out and about. I really just want to pass it on and consider it . I don't end up chasing down a tv to see these ..I only have my memory to go on. Marino can be pretty overwhelming and things don't always read on a tube the way they do in reality.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

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