Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WR Kindergarten Update

From the Facebook "Save West Ridge Kindergarten" page:

"We have 50 registered kdg. for next year. That is 2 classes. We need 24 more students for a 3rd class. We do have a waiting list started for the 3rd class. The PR committee is up & running. Pennies 4 Eric has had a strong response & the Greece Post will be at school to interview students. Info coming out for Strong Walk & Cancer Walk. Great way to promote WR. Last ad going our this week in an insert in the Greece Post. Check out the Save West Ridge page to view it & all the other ones that have been out. Keep promoting West Ridge! Thanks for all your support & help."

SCATS ~~ Isn't it sad that these misguided school-of-choice parents will put so much time, energy & resources into saving a private school kindergarten atmosphere, but have NOTHING TO SAY about GCSD's tanking graduation rates, discipline problems, budget dilemmas and a host of other issues that impact all Greece students negatively?

Editorial Calls On Lawmakers To Buck Unions

   
D&C Editorial: "Lawmakers know full well that they torpedoed the state's chances to get up to $700 million in federal aid by failing to pass reforms that would strengthen the state's application."

SCATS ~~ Are you listening Joe Robach??
   

"No concessions" ~ NYSUT Pres. Richard Iannuzzi

  
He characterizes the suggestion that teachers voluntarily forego raises as "Grandstanding."

Teachers are learning Economic Reality 101

SCATS ~~ An interesting read for anyone who wants a clear-cut view of how the teacher's union responds to economic times that foist real world troubles like layoffs in their direction.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paterson Delaying Aid Payment To Schools

   
Gov. Paterson announced he will withhold NY's $2.1 billion payment to schools until June 1, which was the original deadline for the payment. ~~ STORY

NYSSBA Alert Sent In Response ~~

Subject: CALL TO ACTION


                               Early April Fool’s Joke or Just Foolishness?

Finding himself at odds with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and less relevant to the state budget negotiations than his own lieutenant governor, Governor Paterson today announced that he will withhold $2.1 billion in school aid payments due to be sent tomorrow. It is glaringly coincidental that the governor and legislature have been at odds over whether the state should decrease school aid cuts by borrowing a virtually identical amount to balance the state budget. Mired in scandal and precluded from speaking with his own staff as investigations continue, the governor timed his announcement after the legislature had left Albany for the Passover and Easter recess; a time when his nemesis, Speaker Silver, is precluded by his faith from attending to non-religious matters.

Whether attempting to reassert his participation in the budget negotiations, make a point about the need to permanently trim costs or a sincere effort to avoid fiscal consequences for the state, the governor gave school districts no prior warning whatever that the usual March 31st state aid payment would not come until June and then only if he deemed the state sufficiently flush to send it out. In the accompanying statement, Paterson made no mention of the impact on school districts and particularly low wealth districts that are largely reliant on state aid to function. These districts will be forced to engage in a form of short term borrowing, seeking Revenue Anticipation Notes or RANS, to tide them over. To do so, they will pay interest on funds they would otherwise receive free and clear. Simply put, like his plan to remove School Resource Officers, tax school district payrolls to pay for the MTA, force schools to pay for cost increases to pre-school special education and others, the governor once again intends to shift state costs to local property taxpayers.

Unlike when he attempted to withhold over $700 million in aid payments in December, Paterson did not claim that the state did not have the funds on hand to make the current school aid payments. In fact he said that “Deferring payments does nothing more than delay an inevitable day of financial reckoning.” He also failed to indicate a withholding of any other areas of state funding, adding to speculation that the move was more politically motivated than financially necessary. The governor has sparred with legislative leaders in opposition to his own appointed lieutenant governor’s plan to borrow funds, as well as over the size of education aid cuts needed to balance the budget.

As a result of today’s action, the Big 5 cities would lose the following amounts respectively:
Buffalo is $26M
Rochester is $24 M
Syracuse is $14 M
Yonkers is $23 M
New York City is $924M

NYSSBA, joined by other education advocacy organizations, continues its lawsuit challenging the governor’s authority to unilaterally withhold statutorily required aid payments. This suit was successful in the state relinquishing the December aid payments, allowing districts to recover $750 million in revenue. At nearly three times the amount of that December withholding, the stakes are much higher for schools this time. The state’s poorest districts will be hurt the worst, because unlike the last attempt to hold onto school revenue, Governor Paterson is attempting to withhold the entire aid payment this time and not a percentage measured according to wealth.

Whether or not the move is legitimate from a legal standpoint, there is little question about its practical impact on schools. Schools must operate on an assured and consistent revenue stream. Educational programs and services cannot fluctuate according to political whim. Children require certainty and the process of education is cumulative, not intermittent. Withholding the entirety of a state aid payment that is higher than most states spend in their entire school year is a devastating and myopic approach to a systemic problem. As always, NYSSBA will be at the forefront of an effort to release these funds and remove our students from the middle of a dangerous game of politics, where fiscal mismanagement of precious resources becomes a weapon.

SCATS ~~ As pointed out to me in an email, NY's "leaders simply refuse to act in a sensible manner. They will continue to court the public employee unions so they can reap the campaign cash cow yet are quite willing to stick it to the local taxpayer. Indeed, the local taxpayer will cough up the dough for interest, etc on whatever we borrow to get the district schools though the end of the year."

NY Takes Second To Last Place In Race To The Top

  
Will try to improve its application for $3.4 billion in federal grant money before June 1 deadline

STORY

Monday, March 29, 2010

Request To Disqualify Parrinello Denied


  • Jury Selection Begins
  • Prosecution Plans To Call Auberger To Testify
  • Evidence related to Pignato's psychological test to be allowed
  • Judge denies all other motions made by the prosecution unless "the defense opens the door"
“I think the judge, if you read between the lines, was a little put out at the timing of the motion. I can tell you that it caused us a lot of unnecessary expense. It diverted our attention from preparing the case.” ~~ John Parrinello, atty. for Rahn
 
“I made the motion because I wanted this trial tried right and tried fair -- tried so that everyone's rights were protected. The judge obviously felt differently so we're ready to go to trial.”  ~~ Prosecutor Sandra Doorley
 
WHEC-TV
  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

TRUE SCHOLAR/ATHLETES: RIT TIGERS


RIT Men's Hockey Team Earns Trip To Frozen Four

RIT has only been competing in Division I for 5 years

Not one of their players has an athletic scholarship

STORY

SCATS ~~ First Cornell and now RIT. I'm impressed! Could this become a new trend of having TRUE scholar/athletes?
  

Loszynski's Tab: $719,000 & Still Climbing!

  
According to Deputy Town Supervisor Jeff McCann:
  • A full report on Loszynski's work for the town will be made public after the criminal case against former Chief Merritt Rahn is resolved.
  • Loszynski's team helped compile much of the evidence that could be used in Rahn's upcoming trial
  • Loszynski's team conducted wide-ranging background checks on all potential hires for the department.
"How can anyone put a price on the integrity of a police department? If you don't have credibility with your members and the community, you don't have a police department." ~~ Joseph Loszynski

STORY

SCATS ~~ How can anyone put a pricetag on covering the Supervisor's and his pals' backsides? If you don't do your homework thoroughly, the closed, clubby & corrupt administration might not weather Rahn's trial in the court of public opinion ;)

Rahn's Trial: "An Expose of Auberger's Administration"

  
  • Atty. John Parrinello claims leadership for the Town of Greece will be central in Rahn's trial.
  • Says Rahn is a scapegoat for ineffective town leadership.
  • New allegations against Rahn include "assisting in covering up a potential homicide."

STORY

New Charges Against Rahn
   

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Greece Chamber Mugs ~~ "Made in China"

  
I spent a few minutes awaiting my appt. in the waiting room of a Greece office yesterday afternoon. The sec'y told me to help myself to some coffee and pastry sitting on a cart in the hallway. I decided to get a cup of java. The selection of clean coffee mugs represented a variety collected from local businesses, sports teams and the like, all turned upside-down on a paper placemat. Several dark blue mugs were inscribed with the Greece Chamber of Commerce moniker. I noticed that all of them were clearly stamped with "MADE in CHINA" on the bottom.

It caused me to wonder why doesn't the Greece Chamber support a local business by buying the mugs here. I looked up their Mission Statement to see if I had misunderstood their purpose. I don't think I have.

What do you think?

Greece Chamber of Commerce -- Mission Statement
To Enhance the Business and Economic Vitality of the Greece Community

Portions Of Rahn Trial To Be Filmed

  
D&C, WOKR-TV Get OK From Justice Affronti To Film Opening & Closing Arguments;
Live Blogging OK'd Too;
Monday Start Could Be Delayed If Parrinello Is Disqualified

We Still Don't Have A Winner ...

  
This is continued from the BLOG Titled: "Who Said There Is No Free Lunch?"

Anonymous said...

OK, the BIG SUPERCLUE

If we don't get a winner this time the free frys will have to be withdrawn from the prize package.

What financial genius currently employed by what District spends taxpayer dollars placing the District's legal advertising in 2 newspapers just to insure one of those papers won't reopen its blog?

After all, the District doesn't want its business becoming public, does it?

Nobody needs to know how the CIP was skimmed to fund keeping sexual harassment of an employee under wraps.   3/27/2010 2:45 AM
 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Greece Schools Responds To FOIL Request After 10 MONTHS!


Their own documents PROVE they withheld the info since August!

Worse yet, the BOE Prez. is a LAWYER!


In May of 2009, former BOE member Charlie Hubbard requested information related to GCSD's attorney's opinion regarding GTA's "Release Time." (Documented here)

Although GCSD had the response from the attorney dated August 25, 2009, they did NOT provide it to Mr. Hubbard until March 2010! So much for "Open Govt" in GCSD.

WHY THE FOOT-DRAGGING??
GCSD Seems To Be Emulating Town Hall: Closed, Clubby & Corrupt!




   (Click image to enlarge)


Rob-U-Trad Testimony Bombshell ...

   
Michael Garland quoted James Smith as saying going public with an investigation “would be the downfall of the Republican Party and we have Brayton Connard to thank for that. It would spread like a cancer, it would affect judges, officials, and party headquarters.” (D&C)


SCATS ~~ Nope, nothing corrupt here! (wink, wink)
 

Greece Cops Taser Fleeing Passenger On Maiden Ln

  
GPD Assist RPD After Woman Drives Away From Police In City

STORY

Who Said There Is No Free Lunch?

  
Anonymous said...

The little secret the public isn't supposed to know about that State Aid money is that it drifts in over a period of 10 years or so, and somehow never gets used to retire CIP bonds in School Districts.

Taxpayers get hoodwinked to borrow a Million, and District taxpayers get shafted to pay back a Million + interest over 20 or 30 years. The State Aid money comes to the District and hides so it can be used for other purposes.

Hey, guess who pays State Taxes? Get the feeling you pay at least TWICE? You're right if you do.

I'm offering a PRIZE

Free lunch at MickeyDs to anybody who can find a GCSD Bond that was retired early using State Aid.

I know it ain't much, but I pay taxes in Greece and its all I can afford.    3/25/2010 1:09 AM

SCATS ~~ Sadly, this rings true! Anyone?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DA Wants Parrinello Disqualified As Rahn's Atty

 
The D&C is reporting that First Asst. DA Sandra Doorley contends that Parrinello may have to be called as a witness during Rahn's trial which is scheduled to begin Monday.

“They’ve done this in a very, very unprofessional way regarding the timing (of the request). The conclusion is this: Doorley is simply afraid to try the case against Merritt.” ~~ John Parrinello, Rahn's atty.

“I do not want an appealable issue. I don’t want to try the case again.” ~~ Sandra Doorley, First Asst. DA
  

GTA, Are You Listening?

  
WHEC-TV reports that: "Three Assembly Democrats are calling on teachers statewide to skip their pay raises this year to prevent school staff layoffs.

The lawmakers say the move will save the state more than $1 billion. School districts across New York are planning on cutting teaching jobs in anticipation of a reduction in state aid."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OMG! A Head-Banger Moment!

 
The BOE  DESPERATELY Needs A Parliamentarian!

Some BOE members believe (erroneously!) that once they vote and adopt a resolution that they can never change that thing in the future!

KUDOS TO FRANK OBERG! ~~ He recognized that if it was "inappropriate" for the BOE to vote to close WR kindergarten enrollment tonight to save money on hiring more teachers ("because it is the administration's job"), then it was equally inappropriate to tell the Supt. to re-open enrollment at WR back in February!
   
It is quite clear that our BOE circus posse majority believes that the special interests must be protected from logic and the budget ax ... no matter the cost!

PREPARE FOR A 7.7% INCREASE ON THE TAX LEVY (6.8% tax rate increase) ... and for a budget that is defeated at the polls!
     

An Idea Whose Time Has Come ...


Yes, we CAN !!
  • REDUCE the budget
  • RAISE academic outcomes
  • KEEP schools-of-choice

In June of 2009, I wrote a BLOG titled: " The "Secret" To Odyssey's Success Is Out!"
I attempted to make the point that if we model the other high schools after Odyssey then we could expect academic improvement by having a streamlined program that focuses more on academics and less on the extras. Well, I want to revisit that idea now. Why? Because the school-of-choice advocates don't want to lose any of their transportation or kindergarten or anything else, but the budget is still out of control. I think my plan will both reduce the budget AND raise academics across the district. Of course, it will also go a long ways towards making schools-of-choice a lot less "special" too ;)  Here's the highlights of that BLOG revisited :)

I think I've finally hit upon the "secret" to Odyssey's success! On another thread someone pointed out Odyssey has so many "disadvantages" by not offering a full selection of courses. Someone responded that the cited "disadvantages" were actually an advantage because it let's everyone focus on less. I think that is a very astute observation! It's easier to be successful when you have fewer directions to tend to. Fewer sports programs, fewer extra-curriculars, fewer foreign languages and fewer electives helps keep Odyssey students, teachers and administration focused on ONE GOAL ~~ EDUCATION! And the best part of all is that it should cost FEWER DOLLARS because it requires FEWER RESOURCES :) Think about it! We could cut the budget by at least one-third, maybe half and get ALL FOUR HIGH SCHOOLS ONTO NEWSWEEK'S LIST!
   

Monday, March 22, 2010

How Much Do We Pay To Bus Kids?

   
How Much Do We Get Reimbursed?

Anonymous said...
Are there any numbers out there on bussing costs? I've heard we get reimbursed 85 cents on the dollar...anyone else have any numbers?    3/22/2010 2:58 PM
  

Northgate Neighbors Meet Wed. @ 7PM

  
Meeting to be held in Aldersgate Church on Dewey Ave.

Speakers include:

Todd Baxter ~~ new police chief (I was told he will be there, but I have been unable to confirm it .)

Leo Carroll ~~ assessments

Paul Chatfield ~~ Dewey Ave Business Roundatble

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BOE Plans Study Session Tuesday

  
It is anticipated that the BOE will go into an Exec. Session at 5:45PM to discuss pending litigation & collective bargaining. (Do they ever NOT have an Executive Session?)

Approval of AGCEP MOA
Budget Discussion

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  
SCATS ~~ I'm amazed at all we can afford to do! In these tough economic times, the district spent money to open vacated town-owned office space and offer this free service to the community:

Family Support Center Offers Free Parent WorkshopThe Greece Central School District Family Support Center is offering a free resume development workshop from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23. Participants will learn how to develop a successful resume and are encouraged to bring their current resumes and job descriptions. The Family Support Center is located at 500 Maiden Lane. Please call 966-4471 to register.

If someone actually has a job they want to change, the 4:30PM start time is likely IMPOSSIBLE for them to make.
  

A Laughable Headline ...

 
Prosecutors will try to keep politics out of Robutrad trial (D&C)
   

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"For the kids?" Or "For the adults?"

  
Is this how PTA's should spend their $$?

The ad below was printed in this week's Greece Post
and was over 1/4 of the page in size.


SCATS ~~ How nice that the West Ridge PTA can afford to blow big bucks on such a frivolous purchase in these hard economic times. This is just one more sign that schools-of-choice operate as private schools within GCSD.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Baxter To Ramp Up Dewey-Stone Patrols

  
Two Week Trial Will Double Officers On Duty After 2PM

"We're going to have Code Enforcement on speed-dial." ~~ Chief Baxter, pledging crackdown using "broken windows" theory of policing



STORY

SCATS ~~ HOORAY FOR TODD BAXTER!!! I wish him the best of luck and sincerely hope he expands this attitude to other areas of Greece, as well. I wonder who will respond to those code enforcement calls? Will he be asked to leave his name, address and phone number so someone can get back to him, like they do to the rest of us? Of course, that return call rarely comes ... If Uncle Auggie and his knights of the long table don't get onboard, this inititiative will certainly fail in the long run.

Promises, Promises ... Stonewall, Stonewall ...


Info Request Regarding Teacher Release Time Ignored By Supt. & BOE President
After Promise Made To Provide It 10 Months Ago!

Back on May 8th of 2009, Charlie Hubbard wrote the following email to Supt. Steve Achramovitch with copies also sent to Pat Tydings & Julia VanOrman:

Subject: Fw: Release time
Steve;

last year there was doubt as to whether 'release time' in our contracts was covered by the Taylor law (Tribough)

At that time there it was determined a 'written legal opinion' would be needed. Since that time we have different attorneys on board which leads me to ask -

do we have now or have we asked for a 'written legal opinion' to clarify this item.

Thanks; Chas

On 1/2/2010, Charlie emailed Pat Tydings the following message:

Subject: Fw: Release time
I have decide to try again to get an answer to the same question - note the date of this email and would like to 'still' know the answer. I received no response from you, a note from the then board pres. that rambled on about everything 'but' this subject. I received no response from the super except when I ran into him on 5-19-09 (budget vote) he told me he should have my requested info soon. As of today - nothing.

I now have a second question - gasa contract - how many members received 'meeting expectations' exceeding expectations' 'did not meet expectations' - please give me a breakdown of these numbers for 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Thank you and happy new year.

Chas

On 1/4/2010, Tydings wrote back:

Dear Charlie:

I have reviewed your e-mail with Steve and it is my understanding that he will be getting back to you regarding your "release time" question.

In regard to your second question regarding the GASA evaluation data, I consider this to be a FOIL request, and as such, I have referred it to Lynne, our Records Access Officer, and I am sure she will respond to your request in a timely manner.

Happy New Year to you also!

 Patrick E. Tydings

On 1/14/2010, the FOIL request was fulfilled. On 3/10/10, Charlie wrote to Pat Tydings, yet again, with a copy sent to the Supt. :

Subject: release time of GTA leadership

As per my letter in Jan. you assured me Steve would be getting back to me.

That did not happen AGAIN - disappointed AGAIN.

I certainly hope other residents are not treated in this manner.

Chas;

PS; If the info is not in writing forget it - as you know a verbal opinion from an attorney is ##

SCATS ~~ This is Sunshine Week, but apparently the lights are out in GCSD. It's so sad to see that our Supt. is caught in yet another lie, this time with help from the BOE Pres. who has done nothing to get the question answered. He hasn't responded to Charlie's last email either! Are these the role models we want in our school district? I think not!
 
  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Retirement of Accused Sex Offender Approved

 
Board members Roger Boily, Sean McCabe, Gale O’Toole, Jeff Smith & Patrick Tydings approved the retirement of West Ridge teacher Barry Morris. Julia VanOrman abstained and refused to comment. Morris had been charged in July 2009 with first-degree criminal sex act & endangering the welfare of a child. Asst. DA Sara VanStrydonck said the case was supposed to go to trial March 22, but has been adjourned without a new date. STORY

SCATS ~~ Sounds like Barry Morris is the latest to get a sweet deal from the Monroe County DA's office - retire and we won't prosecute? It's very interesting that Julia VanOrman abstained and refused to say why since Policy 1513 states: "All Board members must vote on all motions and resolutions submitted for action except in situations where a member has disqualified himself/herself because of a potential or real conflict of interest."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GPD Arrests NYC Felon

13WHAM News reports that Greece Police arrested 23 yr. old Griffin Kinard at a home on White Swan Dr. He was wanted for assaulting a police officer. WHEC News reports the arrest came as part of an outstanding warrant initiative launched by Greece PD.

Who Is Running For BOE?

  
Edward Gartz Has Decided Against Running

Parent Beth Race Is Circulating Petitions

Former BOE Member Bill Russell Seems To Be Testing The Waters Again ...

What About The Incumbents?
  

Better Late Than Never ...

  
Being ever on top of the news as it breaks, the D&C is reporting that Greece police are investigating two armed robberies that happened Sunday night. The first occured on Beaumont Rd. near Stone Rd. and the second happened on Susan Ln. outside an apt. complex near Mt. Read Blvd.
  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Craigslist Post Claims 6 Yr. Old Suspended

  
6 yr old gets suspended for crying at GREECE school- (Greece)
I have a friend whose daughter is 6 years old...and has been suspended by the Greece school for crying at school 4 times in the last month...They do not want the child in school if she is going to cry and disrupt the class...

The mother took the child to be evaluated last week...the doctor said she does not have a behavior problem, nor is she not smart enough to be in the class...just sensative and the school should be more sensative to her.....The school just suspended her again Today....She is in the first grade, never had a problem before and has been going to the same school since pre school....

I think the schoool is looking for Robot kids and nothing out of the norm...easy paycheck....NO COMPASSION ....totally breaking her spirit...Need I go on.

Oh and the best part...thanks to facebook...I have found out that there are 2 other children being treated the same....So it is just the policy of the school to toss out any of the children that may challenge any of the skills that they should have to have the job as a teacher in the first place...

Any thoughts
Any suggestions

I hate Greece, they are dirty.....the cops are dirty.....the school is dirty...I makes me sick to pay the taxes I do to live in this crap town...

Follow-up posting: Identifies the school as Autumn Ln.


SCATS ~~ Is our district this heartless? Do we have a Zero Tolerance Policy on crying in school?
  

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dog 'n Pony ... Parents 'n Pawns

           
Recapping the Preliminary Budget Hearing
  • Nine people addressed the BOE (my count - the BOE Prez. claimed 10).
  • Several students expressed concerns that high school seniors would only be allowed to take English, Social Studies & PE classes as a maximum number of classes for their senior year. Apparently, that is not the intention of either the BOE or the Supt.
  • Several employees addressed the BOE on issues ranging from demanding an apology from "the Supt. and several BOE members who took license in attacking teachers" at last week's meeting to the issue of eliminating an athletic director and reorganizing how the PE co-ordinator's duties are fulfilled.

Recapping the Budget Discussion - Highlights

Kudos to Frank Oberg who said he doesn't support a 7.6% tax increase and suggested the district consider higher class sizes and using $2 million from the unappropriated fund balance to reduce the levy. He then stated: "I will make no apology for what I just said!"

Dave Ferington asked where the study on signature school transportation is that the Supt. promised to give to the BOE last week. The Supt. says he and his cabinet will meet with consultant next Monday and the BOE should get the report by a week from Friday.
WHY THE DELAY AGAIN? WHY IS THIS STONEWALLING OK WITH THE BOE??

Boily wants the BOE's $114,000 budget cut in half. The Supt. will look into what travel, etc. the BOE might be able to do without. The Supt. will also look into cutting professional development expenses. O'Toole mentioned that "Greece has the fewest days of students attending classes in all of Monroe County due to the multitude of professional days."

Quote of the night: "I'm not willing to cut any more ...  I don't know what tax rate is OK with voters." ~~ Roger Boily

SCATS ~~ Well Roger, does that mean you'd be willing to cut more if you knew what tax rate voters would approve? Or are you just blowing more hot air out your piehole in an effort to appease your family & friends in the union?
  

NY Sex Offender Relocation Notification System Available

 
New service will send alert when a moderate or high-risk sex offender moves into a community of interest. Sign-ups available online for email, text, fax or phone notification.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Preliminary Budget Hearing 6:30PM Tues

  
It is anticipated that the BOE will go into an Exec. Session at 6:00PM to discuss the employment history of particular person(s), pending litigation & collective bargaining.

Preliminary Public Budget Hearing @6:30PM

Budget Discussion following the hearing

THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO WHINE TO THE BOE!
DON"T LOSE OUT!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Closed, Clubby & Corrupt Meet Tues.

   
6PM Tuesday March 16th

Once again, the "Tentative Agenda" fails to mention that cops approved for hiring at last month's meeting will be sworn-in at this meeting.

These "Tentative Agendas" are a joke for all that they fail to include!
   

Editorials Slam GCSD

  
Communities in dysfunction

I graduated from Charlotte High School in 1962. The school and community were outstanding. I was proud of my city education. I went to college and became a teacher of history for 33 years in Greece. Now, I am embarrassed to say where I went to school and taught. Both districts and their administration are clueless about what is going on in their communities and schools. When was the last time an administrator taught longer than five years or came within five feet of a student? They still have not solved the Halloween murder of the East High football player.

Rochester's chief of police keeps getting these lucrative offers to other cities, but solve crime here first. The superintendent of city schools needs to listen to kids as he is waiting for an offer for new opportunities.

Let's form a diverse group of adults who know how to work with kids and listen to them.

Herb Swingle, Perinton ( D&C )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taxpayers deserve info on investment

School budgets need disclosure; the present info supplied to the owners of our school districts prior to voting is insufficient. Voters should be told about reserve funds — a three-year summary of the activity and balance of each fund. It is, after all, the owners' money. Disclose enrollment, the anticipated change at elementary, middle, and high school level.

If an increase in spending is being proposed, the owners should know what is driving that increase — in most cases this would be district- and board-approved employee contracts.

Too little info has been supplied. Most info is in the form of blaming others like state aid. I can only hope school boards have this type of info prior to their approval. My concern is they do not.

The tax rate is of course important, but how we got there is just as important, and those responsible need to be held accountable. The owners (taxpayers) deserve to know.

CHARLIE HUBBARD, GREECE ( D&C )
 

While GCSD Graduation Rates Tank ...

    
GASA Performance Skyrockets!

2007 ~~ ALL GASA Administrators were Meeting or Exceeding standards.

2008 ~~ 12 Exceeding Standards
               41 Meeting Standards
                2 Not Meeting Standards

2009 ~~ 21 Exceeding Standards
               35 Meeting Standards
                 3 Not Meeting Standards

SCATS ~~ How can this be?
    

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Loszynski: Contractor or Town Employee?

 
Anonymous said...

More on JL and who he really is. Employee or independent contractor.

Article on "misclassification of contractors"
http://www.ebglaw.com/showarticle.aspx?Show=11200

There is a 20 question test to see if someone should be considered an employee versus an independent contractor. One part is "does the person only work for the one company? (town?)

Another question is does the contractor use the offices and supplies of the company/town or have his own office?

If the person has been an employee of the town for 6 months when he leaves he will get unemployment benefits. Not so for the independent contractor.

Does the town set his work day and give him standards to follow and give him a schedule of work? Then he is an employee.

Anyway this has gone on long enough. We deserve answers. Is he here forever? If he is an independent contractor and uses part of the town hall for his business he should be paying rent for the space as well as money to the town for using the office staff and machines copying, telephones etc. And can other independent contractors rent town hall space? I think not.

If he is an independent contractor why are we paying his living expenses? The hotel. If we are, those expenses should be added to his 1099 as income and he should pay tax on that.   3/12/2010 10:59 PM

SCATS ~~ INTERESTING STUFF! As I recall, Loszynski was named "Director of Public Safety" when Auberger hired him. To that end, he is a TOWN EMPLOYEE! More evidence to that effect is that fact that he is now doing background checks on newly hired cops, work that is way beyond the "investigation" he was supposedly hired to conduct.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's In/Out* Of The School Budget

IN                                                                  OUT

7.6% Tax Rate Increase                  No Tax Hike

Schools-of-Choice**                         Pre-K Bussing

West Ridge Kindergarten**            Reduction of 60 FTEs    

Teachers' Salaries/Benefits**         School Resource Off

Most Sports, Music, Drama**       MS/Elem Summer School

Signature Schools**                        Smaller Class Sizes

Secondary Options                          $110,000 In Stipends

Geese Wranglers                           Assets Program

$230,000 New Supt. Salary**         Technology Acquisitions

76% Graduation Rate               Equipment (ex. for safety)

8% Drop-Out Rate

* Based on most recent info available

** No demonstrated benefit to student success
  

Calming Nerves Or Confusing His Message?

   
I'm sure Chief Baxter hoped to calm an uneasy community with this quote: "This crime could have happened anywhere, in Brighton or Pittsford. This was specific and targeted and had nothing to do with the town of Greece ... The community is our eyes and ears out there."  ~~ Chief Todd Baxter (D&C)

It misses the mark for me. In fact, it sounds completely contradictory. Does the Chief understand that what is scaring people is the fact that it "COULD HAVE HAPPENED ANYWHERE?"

Worse yet, the resident quoted below has taken the "you'll be fine if you keep your head in the sand" approach, despite Baxter's repeated emphasis on how the community can help his men solve or prevent crime.

"I don't think it's random, it was specific, and if you're minding your own business, doing what you're supposed to do, you should be fine." ~~ Dewey area resident Camille Julian (13WHAM)

How Safe Do YOU Feel?
  

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WHY IS LOSZYNSKI STILL HERE?

  
I saw him enteringTown Hall this afternoon. 

Why is he still holding Auberger's hand?

How much have we spent now?

When will this "investigation" end?

Will the taxpayer's ever get their questions answered?
 

Todd Baxter ...

  
"This is untolerable ... It's been a terrible 3 weeks for this community." Chief Todd Baxter at 11AM press conference related to the triple homicide investigation
     

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

GREECE PD ON THE SCENE AT A TRIPLE HOMICIDE

  
Greece PD finds three men dead at Holyoke Apts.

STORY

Be sure to watch the video on that link! It's much more informative than other media sources at this point in time.

 
  

Graduation Rate Data Released By Regents

  
Look up your child's high school

SCATS ~~ Why is Olympia high school's drop-out rate of 13% considered to be satisfactory?
  

54% Embarassed To Call Themselves NY'ers

   
70% Think NY is more dysfunctional than ever before

16% think NY is on the right track

55% Want Paterson to finish his term

STORY

SCATS ~~ Hmmm ... this rather reminds me of Greece!

Rocked by scandals? Check!
Embarrassed to be in the headlines? Check!
Dysfunctional government in control? Check!
Keep SAME politicians running the show? Check!
 

Monday, March 08, 2010

BOE Meeting Tuesday @6:30PM

 
It is anticipated that the BOE will go into an Exec. Session  @5:30PM to discuss collective bargaining & the employment history of particular person(s).

Board Committee Reports
Finance Committee
Transportation Committee
Audit Committee
Assets Initiative Committee
MCSBA Committees

Supt's Reports
Supt's Budget Presentation
Approval of Resolution Annual Meeting
EXCEL Project Update

New Business
Review Board Operating Procedures

Policy
Second Read Policy 2120 Use of Parliamentary Procedure
Second Read Policy 5663 Food Safety in the Schools
 

He Said, They Said ...

  
PTA's Role In Greece Schools Debated

To: 9:33 AM ...
Parents were more involved with their child's education (12+ yrs. ago, pre-Walts). Parents would demand quality instruction and teachers in the buildings. PTA's were very active in Greece. PTA leaders would speak at BOE meetings and building's had active units.

Doug Skeet   3/06/2010 5:12 PM

SCATS said...
To Doug ~~ ... I think you made some great points ... though I disagree about PTA's involvement aside from fundraising and doing GTA's bidding for them.   3/06/2010 5:55 PM

SCATS ...
I am sorry you have the attitude you do about the PTA's. That maybe the way they are now but the PTA's in the 70's/ early 80's were very active and productive for education. They would hire educational speakers for the buildings and district wide meetings. In the buildings they would volunteer to supervise in the cafe, run the copy machine, room mothers, chaperone fieldtrips, activity nights, chaperone the four day Washington trip.

Did they fund raise? Yes! I NEVER allow students to go door to door to raise funds for the adults. Never. Adults had to raise money themselves. My eight graders, on a volunteer basis, could raise money by magazines sales for their own account for the Washington trip. That was it.

Doug   3/07/2010 6:30 PM

Doug at 6:30
Even during the 90's we also did all those wonderful things through the PTA at the elementary schools except for the trip. Besides that we also raised at least 25 grand gross per year to assist the school building in their budget. We would "donate" the money to the school through the laundry system of a board meeting. Of course the donation would be accepted. That was how we handled the little glitch that the PTA national frowned on such fundraising by the units. They knew it was going on and said if we spent the money on our own we could lose our affiliation with national and thus lose our insurance and tax exempt status. So it was funneled into the school's bank account. Then the "school" would buy the computer equipment, pay for visiting artists, use the money for field trips, library books, signs in front of the schools etc. It was an unspoken status symbol among the elementary PTA's who could raise the most money. We would have strategy sessions at the PTA council meetings to see how we could keep doing the fund raising and still retain our tax free status. "Make sure you have that annual meeting and send in your charities report to the state".

And the children went from door to door and still do. ( The gross take must be more now). Of course there is a disclaimer in all the promotion literature that "we do not condone door to door sales by the students".

Present day...Elementary PTA's are still doing fundraising big time. Middle schools still do not do so many fundraisers through the PTA. The fund raisers for the trips are handled by the teachers and the students receive directly the profits from their own sales. The big money funds there and at the high schools are raised by the music and sports boosters' "not for profit" organizations.

At that secondary level the PTA's are just representatives for the parents and a liaison for the administration and district with the parents. (maybe that's what they should be everywhere?)

So please do not warmly look askance at Scats' view of the PTA in Greece. They are pawns for the system and love every minute of it.  3/08/2010 7:06 AM

Anonymous said...
The pta has been taken over (some time ago) by the school of choice parents.

The comment in the paper by the pta president (school of choice parent) speaks loud and clear - suck it up community and pay more.

It is everyone elses problem just leave MY kids school alone.    3/08/2010 7:10 AM

The comments above were edited to stay on the topic of PTA and sometimes clarified (in italics) by BLOG administration.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Tuesday BOE Meeting To Focus on Budget

 
BOE must cut $14 million to keep tax increase at 7%

"Unfortunately, I don't see that there's a whole lot else they can do. They're confronted with what's simply a lack of funds. Until we find a better way of funding education, either the students will lose out or taxes will go up." ~~ Gary Elling, co-president PTA Council


SCATS ~~ Gee Gary. How about we try focusing on the basics required for EDUCATING the kids without all of the fluff like schools-of-choice? Oh yeah, I almost forgot! YOUR kids won the lottery ;)
 TO THE BOE:
Instead of making cuts and then letting the angry mobs storm Resident's Forum and twist your arm until you restore their program, why aren't you engaging the community by asking "WHERE SHOULD WE BE MAKING THESE REDUCTIONS?"
  
WHEC-TV reports that NY State may eliminate 13 of 17 Regents Exams to save $$ 

 

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Another Alarming Police Report ...

  
From this week's print edition of the Greece Post:

Arrests: John Ariano, 53, of 49 Ridgewood Rd. Greece, was charged Feb 27 with reckless endangerment & prohibited use of a weapon. During a fight outside of TC Hooligan's at the mall, Ariano allegedly fired a single round in the air near a crowd from a .45 caliber handgun.
 

A note from Eddie Gartz ...

 
Eddie Gartz said...
Thank you for all the comments, it’s interesting to find out what people think. To those of you who want a board member that has perfect sentence structure, correct grammar, and uses proper syntax when writing you should vote for someone else. I’m not your guy, that’s for sure. To get out another fault I have been know to be a bit of a pain to those that do not produce results. In regards to the issues mentioned on other blogs you must ask yourself. What are the issues in Greece? High taxes, discipline in the schools? Could I be wrong at wanting to focus on those issues? Are the many guards we now have and the Police that are at the schools each day an overkill or might they be needed to keep order. In regards to the piano, I have a problem with the process and the fact that such a request for this type of expenditure would have been given any consideration. True the piano was purchased under a different superintendent but many who were in the chain of events are still in place. So I’ll ask you to think about this. Why would someone request an extravagance like this in a town that has so many that can’t afford to have taxes raised and more to the point needs them reduced. Why don’t people get it? Why do people allow any request that is not a necessity to get past the first request stage without a huge rolling on the floor laugh when you say, you want what? Would you buy a BMW when a Ford would serve very well if you couldn’t really afford the Ford. In regards to my SNAP logo on my notes. I did this to give those that don’t know me a route to find out more about me. I am very proud of the method of teaching I and Mr.and Mrs. Sayers developed 10 years ago in Chicago. We worked very hard to get it off the ground. Also there is no way SNAP would benefit from me being on the Board. SNAP donates it does not manage and therefore would not be a candidate for one of my suggestions on the list as seen on this blog. To those that don’t know me you should know that I don’t think on the same lines as many, that is true. I am a bit of an outside of the box thinker. However, I have managed multimillion dollar business with great success and I may be able to find creative ways to get cost down and not hurt education at all. So in closing I ask you to ask yourself if you are please with how things are going in the district and is there a need to have fresh thinking on the Board. If you love it then why on earth would you need any change. In that case, vote for the incumbents. There were more questions to answer and my phone number is in the book, call me, I’ll be glad to talk with you. Thanks, Eddie


To the Blog owner. I did not know about this Blog. Thank you ....you are providing a great sevice. You are getting people to think and talk about the issues.   3/06/2010 5:00 PM
  

What Do We Expect From A New Supt?

 
Does anyone know? I was shocked to learn that GCSD is advertising to fill this position, BUT the specific goals, expectations, improvements & timelines required of the candidate haven't been drawn up yet! How can we attract the "right candidate" if we don't know what we're looking for?
  

Friday, March 05, 2010

As Suggested By A BLOG Reader ...


Mea Culpa!
An Official "Do Over" Has Begun!
<< ==== NEW POLL
  

Thursday, March 04, 2010

"Filling Playgrounds, Not Prisons"

When did the Greece Police Athletic League adopt that slogan? After Rahn's, Pignato's and Joseph's departure?

Their list of Corporate Officers & Board of Directors reads like a directory of Greece's well-connected politicians, police officers, firemen, school board members and Chamber of Commerce types. Heck, even Bill Russell made it to the "big leagues" now ;)


"News" That Was Buried ...

  
WHEC-TV reports: "A 39-year-old Greece man has been charged with second-degree attempted arson after a fire broke out at Romig’s Bar and Tavern on Bennington Drive in the city. It happened on February 1 around 1:15 a.m.

Investigators say Richard Vanorden deliberately tried to start a fire in the tavern. It was discovered quickly and extinguished by employees at the tavern. No one was injured.

Vanorden will be arraigned Thursday morning."

SCATS ~~ Now I'm starting to wonder if most of the Dewey Ave. area crimes are committed by Greece residents ... hmm ...
    

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Police Apprehend Dollar General Burglar

  
MPNNews reports: "Greece, N.Y. — On Tuesday evening after 10 p.m., Greece police officers responded to the Dollar General Store at 2873 Dewey Avenue for a reported burglary in progress.

A New York State trooper, who happened to be in the area, arrived at the store and confirmed that it had been burglarized.

Shortly thereafter, Officer Brandon White observed a male, fitting the description of the burglary suspect, walking on Stone Road. The male was found in possession of stolen property from the store.

Charles A. Parrish, Jr., 43, of 46 Arlidge Drive, Greece, was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and was arraigned by Greece Town Justice Gino Nitti. He was remanded to Monroe County Jail and is expected to appear in court Friday."

SCATS ~~ I wonder if we could possibly apprehend the people who hold up the other places on Dewey every week, too. The Kwik-Fill situation has become ridiculous!
  

Country Village Restaurant Closes Suddenly

  
13WHAM reports that:

"Greece NY -- If you wanted a good hearty breakfast and were in the Greece area, customers say Country Village was the place to go. But after more than 20 years in business, the restaurant abruptly locked its doors Tuesday.

Mark IV, which owns the County Village Plaza, says the restaurant's owners were struggling to pay their rent.

The company says it tried to work with the owners for more than a year but was forced to serve an eviction notice because they owed more than $40,000 in back rent.

Customers and even some employees were shocked when the doors were locked just after breakfast Tuesday.

Waitress Kelly Zona cried. She told us "We were like a family... You get close to the people that work here."

We tried unsuccessfully to call the owner of the restaurant. Mark IV says it hopes to get another restaurant to lease that popular location."

Greece BOE Candidate Emerges


Few attend forum related to Supt. search (STORY)
"I think people feel that they won't be listened to." ~~ Edward Gartz, BOE candidate

(click image to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Editorial: School Budgets Need Disclosure

  
The present info supplied to the owners of our school districts prior to voting is insufficient.

Voters should be told about reserve funds - a 3 years summary of the activity and balance of each fund (it is after all the owners money)

Enrollment, the anticipated change at elementary, middle, and high school level.

If an increase in spending is being proposed the owners should know what is driving that increase - in most cases this would be district and board approved employee contracts.

Too little info has been supplied. Most info is in the form of blaming others like state-aid est.

I can only hope school boards have this type of info prior to 'their' approval. My concern is they do not.

The tax rate is of course important but how we got there is just as important and those responsible need to be held accountable.

The owners (taxpayers) deserve to know.

Charlie Hubbard 775-6015
  

Monday, March 01, 2010

Auberger Orchestrates Baxter's Introduction

  
The Town of Greece website announces Chief Baxter's schedule for Community Outreach Meetings 

“These Community Outreach meetings will provide residents with an opportunity to get to know Chief Baxter and hear about his vision for the future of the department. It also is a great opportunity for Chief Baxter to meet with and hear from residents.” ~~ Supervisor Auberger

“Part of my vision for the department includes developing stronger ties with residents and allowing them to get to know their Greece Police Department. I am looking forward to meeting and talking with residents. Developing these relationships will be a key component to our future success.” ~~ Chief Baxter

Wed, March 10 at 7 pm
Barnard Fire Dept – 3084 Dewey Av
Mon, March 15th at 7 pm
Ridge Rd Fire Dept – 1299 Long Pond Rd
Mon, March 22nd at 7 pm
North Greece Fire Dept – 1766 North Greece Rd
Tues, March 23rd at 7 pm
Greece Arcadia HS Cafeteria – 120 Island Cottage Rd
   
SCATS ~~ Will Auberger behave like a mother hen attending all of these meetings, standing at the Chief's elbow, overseeing all that happens, overhearing all that's said?

Pignato Gets Plea Deal

 
Admits Guilt & Avoids Another Trial
Sentenced to two years in County Jail, to be served concurrently

“The complainant in this matter had a chance to testify in the first trial. It was only after extensively speaking with her in these past few months did we feel we were capable and willing to extend this offer." ~~ ADA William Gargan

WHEC-TV

SCATS ~~ Just a few days ago, a trial date was set  when the two sides couldn't reach a deal. Gargan's quote from today sounds like maybe the victim was "worked over" (i.e. "extensively speaking with her") until she agreed. I wonder how much of this "deal" came because of political pressure to get it out of the news ... And no extra jail time? Why not? Serving concurrent sentences looks like a peach of a deal for Pignato. What did the victim get out of this??