Sunday, October 31, 2010

Forbes Magazine Says Rochester Is 4th Most Affordable City

  
Forbes compared  housing costs to incomes and looked at the cost of everyday living, with things like groceries, health care, and transportation.

SCATS ~~ Too bad they neglected to look at taxes!!!!!

Budget Hearings Planned This Week

   
The Greece Central School District Bored With Education group is holding a Pre-Budget Hearing on Tuesday Nov. 2nd at 6:30PM in the BOE meeting room on Apollo's 3rd floor. Come hear Frank Oberg explain how he plans to spend your 'chump change' next year!

The Town of Greece is planning a Budget Hearing Thursday Nov. 4th at at 6PM at the Greece Town Hall. It will include annual estimates and assessment rolls for the special districts of the town, along with the adoption of the 2011 fee schedule. Come see how fast the closed, clubby & corrupt politicians feign democracy in a meeting that will happen at the speed of light!
 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Brizard Gets New 3 Yr. Contract ...

   
... AND A $12,000 Raise To $235,000

SCATS ~~ Translated, that's just 'chump change' to Frank Oberg who is positioning the Greece Central School District to hire the area's most highly paid superintendent without any goals for either the school board OR the new district leader!

"Chump Change" Remark Haunts Oberg

  
$50,000 is not 'chump change'

Is anyone in the Greece Central School District upset by a comment made by the school board president regarding the new superintendent's possible pay in the Oct. 24 story "$250K for superintendent?"? Since when is a $50,000 increase in salary "chump change"?

How many teachers, aides, and support staff would like to make that kind of "chump change"? Must be that anyone in the district making that or less is just a chump.

—BILL HEINRICH (Letter To Editor)

SCATS ~~ Yes, I'm upset!! $50,000, or even $30,000, isn't "chump change" in MY household! Must be nice to live on your cushy retirement, Mr. Oberg!    
  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rahn Files Notice Of Claim Against Town of Greece, Supervisor & Loszynski

  
Merritt Rahn intends to sue for damages, alleging defamation, selective enforcement, and violations of due process and civil rights in connection with the July release of the Loszynski report which documented the Greece Police Dept's troubles.

The notice claims that Rahn has suffered “trauma, nervousness, anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, loss of reputation, deprivation of liberty, loss of earnings, loss of business opportunities, and attorney’s fees” since release of the report.

STORY

Rahn vs Greece Claim
  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Achramovitch's Past Questioned ...

   
Steve's next gig said...
Hey-Greece people- we hear it was a "voluntary retirement". But really there are juicy details? Can you share?   10/27/2010 8:04 PM

Buffalo Steve said...
Can you guys take Stevie A back? What's the real story on his "retirement"?    10/27/2010 8:09 PM

SCATS ~~ 1 - The BOE allowed him to "retire" when in reality they did not give him a pay raise during his evaluation (June 2009, I believe) and refused to renew his contract (fired!). 2 - Steve only ever made two appropriate decisions during his tenure in Greece. Our BOE reversed BOTH of them, thereby neutering him as any sort of effective leader. 3 - Steve showed he has problems telling the truth, even when caught red-handed in a "story." 4 - Our district's performance fell to the bottom third in results for our county (approx. 19 suburban school districts) during his time in Greece. 5 - Greece never should have hired him (my opinion) had we taken the time to find out what he really did in his previous district, Ken-Ton. He's another Bill Clinton of sorts ;) I'm sure you can read and find all kinds of info on here about him.

Greece Teacher & Son Arrested For Beating Spencerport Teen

  
WHEC-TV reports: A father and son duo are accused of beating up a classmate of the son after a bitter fight over a girl on Facebook. The father is a teacher in Greece.

News 10NBC contacted the Greece Central School District to alert them about the story.

FINALLY, COMMON SENSE PREVAILS!!


VICTOR SOCCER DAD
NOT GUILTY!

Brighton Town Justice John Falk quoted from New York Penal Law Section § 35.15 regarding Justification; use of physical force in defense of a person. 1. A person may...use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by such other person.

"If the absolute same conditions presented themselves again, I would do the same thing. I felt I did the right thing under those conditions." ~~ Kevin Merriman, aquitted

STORY

SCATS ~~ This had to be the MOST inane court case I've heard of in the years I've run this BLOG. Thank God the Brighton judge used his head. Justice prevailed because this silly incident didn't happen in Greece. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feds Send "Dear Colleague" Letter To Schools, Colleges

 
U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issues a "Dear Colleague" letter to thousands of schools, colleges and universities to remind educators that some student misconduct that falls under a school’s anti-bullying policy also may trigger responsibilities under one or more of the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by OCR. (STORY)

The 10 page letter

SCATS ~~ Sadly, this letter fails to address the pervasive bullying of certain school district superintendents and BOE members committed by sports booster and school-of-choice parent groups.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Waste $$ On A Website That's Not Kept Current?

  
This pet peeve of mine concerns both the Town of Greece and the Greece Central School District websites. Why waste taxpayer money developing and maintaining these sites if you aren't going to keep them updated in a timely fashion?

Case in point: GCSD's website still doesn't have the video of the Oct. 12th BOE meeting available for viewing. That's two weeks ago, folks! Is it really that hard or time-consuming to keep these uploaded on a regular schedule?

The Town of Greece website keeps Auberger's doings at the Senior Center updated, but the Police Department's Weekly Blotter is often several weeks behind. As I recall, Chief Todd announced this feature as part of his efforts to communicate with the community a few months ago. If you can't keep it current, get rid of it!

Political Eloquence ...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Frank Oberg: $30,000 Extra for Supt. Salary Is "Chump Change"

  
The D&C appears to report (you can't really tell because once again, their figures* don't add up):  The Board of Education of the Greece Central School District is worried they can't "lure" a new superintendent "chump" with a salary range of $190,000 to $220,000 when they have set NO GOALS for the district, NO MEASURES for the new "chump" to aspire to and have NO PATH PLANNED to lead GCSD out of the bottom of the county rankings!

"If you don't pay competitively, you won't get the kind of people you need. Fortunately, in a school district there's only one person we have to pay that kind of salary to. And whether you pay $200,000 or $250,000, the difference is really chump change when you look at it against our $200 million budget." ~~ Frank Oberg, President of the Greece Board of Education Chumps

SCATS ~~ Gimme a break, Frank! You compare running GCSD to running a company on this item but then FAIL to run the district in the lean and mean fashion most companies MUST operate in to compete in this economy! You've FAILED to close schools despite DECLINING ENROLLMENT! You've FAILED to reorganize the way we provide education by eliminating school choice, you've FAILED to stop wasting $$ busing kids all over town and you've FAILED to create standards for the BOE, the Supt. and administration to get this train wreck of a school district back on track!

* The headline: "Greece schools plan to pay next superintendent $250,000" vs.
"That's $30,000 per year more than the district's Board of Education offered in salary for the job during an unsuccessful leadership search earlier this year." vs.
"Oberg said the Greece school board boosted the potential pay scale after hearing that possibly qualified candidates weren't lured by the $230,000 top-end offer from the superintendent search earlier this year."
 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Special BOE Meeting Tuesday, Apollo Cafeteria, 7:15PM

  
It is anticipated that the BOE will go into Exec. Session at 6:15PM to discuss collective bargaining, employment history of partricular person(s) & pending litigation.

AGENDA ITEMS
Bids

  • When Will Apollo Repairs Be Completed?
  • When can District Office staff move back to the third floor and out of Kodak Park?
  • Wasn't the lease agreement with Kodak supposed to be for JUST the Summer?
  • Why the delay?
  • How much extra is this costing us?

Northgate Neighbors: Meet the Candidates Night

  
Wednesday October 27 @7PM
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
4115 Dewey Ave.
 
NGN  invited all candidates running for NY State Senate and Assembly & Monroe County Court Judge and Family Court Judge. There will be time for Q&A after presentations and face to face greeting after.

Cookies and cold drinks will be served.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Greece Man Charged With Threatening To Kill Cheney, Bush

  
The Secret Service detained Ian Rotunno on Oct. 7 and this week charged him with threats against  former President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Court papers say the psychiatrist who interviewed Rotunno at the St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell said Rotunno would likely follow up on his threats if released.

READ the story

READ Secret Service Affadavit

SCATS ~~ Do all the world's whackjobs come from Greece??

Bear Spotted In Sawyer Park Thursday

   
YNN reports that  the Greece Central School District alerted parents of Athena students.

WHEC-TV reports that Greece Police received several phone calls around 2PM Thursday by people reporting they saw a bear, but GPD couldn't confirm a bear was actually there.

SCATS ~~ Town of Greece officials claim the bear is elderly and looking for a new 3rd floor apartment home in the area.
  

Home Explosion Investigation Double-Speak

  
It's been a full week since the home of Wayne & Pat Lewis at 219 Everclay Dr. exploded then burned to the ground, injuring both and destroying everything they owned. As usual, we've been given no official word on the cause of this tragic disaster. Like so many other headline stories in Greece, I doubt we ever will.

Why the skepticism, you ask? The answer is contained within the Oct. 20th D&C story about the fundraiser to help this unfortunate couple (planned for Saturday during the library's annual Arts Festival, an event which Pat Lewis arranges each Fall).   

Near the end, the article mentions that Pat Lewis was able to give "marching orders every time I go up to see her" (related to the Arts Festival) to Greece Library Director Bernadette Foster during her visits to see the patient. But earlier in the article, the claim is made by Sam DeRosa, Monroe County fire coordinator, that "doctors haven't given investigators permission to interview Pat Lewis about what happened." To me, that sounds like an over-used excuse, at this point in time, not to mention how it belies the remark made by Ms. Foster.

The message to all is that the patient is well enough to worry about and express concerns to her boss/visitor over the duties she is missing out on at work, but she remains too injured to respond to the question investigators want to ask the most: "What happened?" Double-speak, I say! Perhaps the investigators intend to cover up for the fact that they don't know the cause and don't want to tell us that they may never know.

If that isn't bad enough, I can't help but wonder why the reporter who wrote this piece didn't ask anyone on the record about these conflicting messages ... which takes me back to my original statement about how this is like so many other headline stories that come out of Greece.

We'll probably never hear the end result of the investigation, especially if the cause remains a mystery. The "powers that be" are too afraid of alarming the community with the knowledge that this sort of incident could happen to any one of us! And the media are too inept to ask the obvious questions that would shed light on the truth. Double-speak is the answer that soothes the worries of the populace, especially in an election year, especially in a closed, clubby and corrupt town like Greece, NY.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Email Reveals GTA Contract Disaster & BOE's Role

  
SCATS:
I can not believe the BOE voted 7 to 1 to turn the contract down after it was signed by Steve A. on June 30th. Interesting points to consider:
  • Did Steve A. sign it and run to get back at the BOE for not giving him a new contract?
  • The new contract had a more expensive health care program for the teachers. Now Greece Central has to pay the higher benefit.
  • Did the BOE know what was in the contract and authorize Steve A. to sign it hoping the GTA would turn it down and thus make the teachers look bad?
There will not be a signed new GTA contract for years to come. I bet the teachers are so angry, mad (expletive deleted) at everyone, GTA leadership, administrators and Greece BOE.

Now why should the teachers sign? They have a better health, all but the top level teachers get a raise every year, they have tenure and all due process protection.

I understand that 100% of Athena HS teachers voted no and it only passed by 47 votes with over 1000 teachers voting. It passed by the GTA Ex. Board, failed at the representative assembly and the GTA leadership decided to take it to the full membership vote. This makes the teachers look like the good guys and the BOE foolish. It does not make them look like they are holding the line on cost.

Only in Greece.

SCATS ~~ I'm certainly not surprised to hear that Steve Achramovitch made this his parting shot from the Greece Central School District. SCATS reported for months that the GTA contract had been settled ... long before the BOE took action on it officially.  

Who can blame Achramovitch for his anger after the way the BOE treated him (neutered him!) during the hockey coach & West Ridge kindergarten debacles? I don't. Too bad the Greece school board lacks the spine to own a mess of their own making! (Special thanks to Julia VanOrman & Roger Boily.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Greece BOE Has NOT Yet Begun To Search Again

  
SCATS apologizes for misleading the community into thinking the Greece Central School District Board of Education had renewed its efforts in September to find a new superintendent. Tonight, Ch. 8 news reported that the search will resume next week, just in time for Halloween.

Addressing the failed first attempt to find the right person from some 20 interested candidates, Greece BOE President Frank Oberg said: "You don't hire somebody because they are a warm body. You hire them because they're the right person for the job. We put a lot of effort into it. We interviewed a number of people and there wasn't a good fit."

SCATS ~~ Coincidentally (once again), SCATS wrote about the school board's ridiculous delay in renewing the search earlier today! We're sure (cough, cough) our BLOG on the topic had nothing to do with this story appearing on the news tonight ;)
   

Closed, Clubby & Corrupt Plan Budget Hearing

  
The Greece Post reports: "A public hearing on Nov. 4 will be held to address the preliminary budget for the town of Greece, fiscal year 2011.

The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. at the Greece Town Hall, located on 1 Vince Tofany Blvd, and will include annual estimates and assessment rolls for the special districts of the town, along with the adoption of the 2011 fee schedule."

SCATS ~~ I wonder how short this meeting will be? Perhaps a new record for Auberger's cronies ;)

ALL POINTS BULLETIN: BOE Member Runs Away From Home!

 
According to an eyewitness report, a certain Greece Board of Education member was spotted leaving their home around 9:30AM this morning donning a large backpack, toting a big wheeled suitcase behind and clutching a large bag of Cheerios while hauling tail down their street.

Suspicion is strong that this duly elected and sworn-in representative of the Greece school community is running away from home and the duties of the office they were supposed to tend to. If seen, contact Greece BOE President Frank Oberg immediately. Only he might be able to corral and lure said board member back into captivity.
  

No News Is BAD News

  
The Board of Education of the Greece Central School District has been especially mum since Frank Oberg became their President in July. There's a palpable and misguided effort under his leadership for the school board to keep their collective heads buried in the sand. It works something like this: "If I/we don't speak to an issue in public, then it won't exist as an issue in the community." Like sweeping dirt under the carpet, it doesn't work. Sooner or later, they will run out of space to hide the accumulated dirt gathered in their closed door sessions, causing it to ooze out in all directions as the community becomes aware there is much trouble brewing under that obviously filthy taxpayer funded rug. 

Currently, at least two major issues have been stuffed under the BOE's carpet: the search for a new superintendent and the status of the GTA contract.

The community has been left totally in the dark about the long delayed GTA contract that was agreed to by the union, only to be rejected by the BOE. The biggest question looming over the school board at this point is: Why reject an agreement that YOU and school district attorneys negotiated for more than 4 years only to reject it AFTER the fact? Obviously, someone dropped the ball here. The community deserves to know who it was, what went wrong and what they are doing to fix it!

On the issue of the superintendent search, the school board decided to abandon their search for a new leader over the summer recess from school, an idea that I think was ill-conceived. It seems to me that June-Sept. would be the time of year when those who are out of a job would be looking for a position. Whatever reason for this inane decision to take a break from the search, they supposedly renewed their efforts in Sept. Unlike the first time around though, there has been no fanfare in the way of requests for community input, media involvement, or shared brochures on qualifications sought. Instead, there has been an empty vacuum expelling loads of hot air in the board room, as they try their best to reveal nothing about the BOE's status on resolving the problem of having no superintendent to lead Greece Central out of the educational doldrums of being near the bottom of the barrel in various academic arenas around Monroe County.

Ignorance may be bliss, but no news is very bad news in the Greece Central School District. It's just a matter of time before the dirt starts creeping out from under their backroom carpet. What excuses will we be given when that inevitably happens? It's only a matter of time. Tick ... tick ... tick ...
  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NY State Seizes Crescent Beach Hotel ...

   
Owners "satisfied their outstanding warrants" this afternoon, by paying some $48,000 in delinquent sales & corporate taxes. (WHEC-TV)

Library Arts Festival/10th Anniversary Celebration Will Fundraise For Wayne & Pat Lewis

  
The Greece Public Library will hold its 10th Birthday Party this Saturday, October 23rd from 11-2PM featuring their annual Arts Festival.

As part of this 10th Birthday celebration, fundraising efforts will begin for employee Patricia Lewis and her husband Wayne who lost their home in an explosion on Friday October 15, 2010. Pat Lewis has been a longtime library employee.

Those wishing to make the gift of a donation please make checks payable to Pat and Wayne Lewis and send C/O Bernadette Foster at the Greece Public Library, Two Vince Tofany Boulevard, Greece, NY 14612.

SCATS ~~ I don't usually support fundraisers, but this is an exceptional case made for Wayne and Pat Lewis, who are two exceptional people!
   

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Follow-Up On Athena Forfeits 5

   
My BLOG on Oct. 1st gave us the official word about Athena HS forfeiting 5 boys soccer games, due to a screw-up by the district's Athletic Director. Here's what the outcome of the situation appears to be following the handling of things officially by the Greece Central School District:

Anonymous said...
The School Board knew about the situation, the president's child plays on the team, she did NOTHING. The parent tried to involve Frank, he started strong but in the end, did nothing. Parents wanted a meeting, Ziegler stood off to the side as if she wasnt a part of it. When she was questioned by a team parent, she blatently lied..saying she contacted the AD over at Hilton to see what the procedure was. She claims 5 games into the season, she started to wonder what she needed to do. Her arrogant behavior was unforgettable to say the least. Dick Snyder stood before the room trying to earn creditablity back to no avail. What a flake he is with that colored hair. I was told that the Principal of Arcadia demanded that McKinney come there , she didnt want to deal with Ziegler! Now I know why! Not once has Bev shown up at a game ...she claims she has sat on the players side of the field, now isnt that odd? Why wouldnt she want to meet team parents and mingle in the Athena crowds? An AD w/o a personality isnt good for school politics to say the least. Bev you are the weakest link and I hope you are demoted to the classroom soon!   10/17/2010 9:32 AM


SCATS ~~ So the Greece School Board FAILED to hold the Athletic Director accountable. I'm not surprised at all! They can't even follow their OWN rules!
 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lighted Athletic Fields In The News

  
Greece Sports Boosters Remain Mum ...
At Least In Public

Over the weeks since school opened. I've heard several news stories about how "special" night football games under the lights can be. The first was a BLOG by 13WHAM's Evan White.  

These stories are also usually accompanied by those who bemoan school districts like Greece that have no lights yet, while pushing for lights in districts like Fairport that seem interested despite the cost and the neighbor's protests. Oddly, the Greece Central School District wasn't mentioned for its lack of lighted fields and none of our usually very verbal sports boosters were quoted.

This week, the D&C ran an article titled: "Athletic field lights illuminate concerns" in which Greece was merely mentioned for lacking lights. Again, no one went on record to support getting lighted athletic fields, as they did the last time we had an interim superintendent in place.

Have Greece's booster clubs given up? I highly doubt it. I'm betting they are still working overtime on it, but away from where the community can see what we'll be made to tolerate once they are able to finally sell our school board on a plan. Until then, stay tuned. We'll continue watching and listening ;)

 

A Lesson In How NOT To Fundraise By Olympia Boosters

Late yesterday afternoon, I pulled into Olympia High School after seeing the sign on Maiden Ln. advertising their Sticky Lips BBQ dinner fundraiser for the girl's soccer team. I had to drive all the way up to the building to catch sight of the huge BBQ grill next to the driveway. In the pouring rain, it was attended by a lone man with a canopy over his head to keep him dry. 

I lowered my window and asked him if I could buy a meal. He pointed to the parking lot and said I needed to park the car over there. Then he pointed to the door by the auditorium and said I had to go in over there to pay and get served.

I was very surprised by this news. Why? Because I've been to similar fundraisers held at the other high schools before, some even in the rain. None required the customer to get soaked to the bone to spend their money! The other schools all had parents in rain slickers taking orders and money as the customers drove through and received their dinners. 

I wonder if Olympia's fundraiser was as successful as it might have been? I also wonder if Olympia's parent volunteers for this event feel they are some sort of primadonnas who can't go the extra mile for a cause they supposedly believe in ... ? I know they didn't get my money. How many others left without buying a dinner because they just couldn't get past the amount of effort needed to part with their money? I'm betting it was more than a few.
 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Schamerhorn's Demotion Gets Argued In Court

"Nowhere in the (police) contract is he allowed to modify the punishment." ~~ Binghamton attorney Paul Sweeney contracted by the Town of Greece


Attorney Peter Nelson, representing Schamerhorn and the police union, argued that the arbitrator had the authority to change the penalty if he found it "arbitrary and capricious." (D&C)

Greece police officer Thomas Schamerhorn was demoted from sergeant to officer for botching the investigation into Greece Police Sgt. Nick Joseph's accident on 390 in June 2008.


SCATS ~~ WHY is the Town of Greece wasting $$ using a lawyer from Binghamton to argue this case??? Is DiRaddo incompetent?? Is there no one in all of Monroe County available??

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Intermunicipal Agreement For School Resource Officers

  
WITNESS

Whereas, the District is in need of school resource officers to be present during school hours on days school is in session through the end of the 2010-2011 school year; and

Whereas, the District and Town are authorized to enter into this inter-municipal and cooperative agreement pursuant to Article 5 of the General Municipal Law for the purposes of carrying out their mutual and respective functions, powers and duties with respect to this matter; and

Whereas, the District and the Town have reached an agreement as to the terms and conditions of such cooperation. The parties desire to memorialize their understanding, expectations and representations as to the furnishing of school resource officers; and

NOW THEREFORE in consideration of the premises the conveyance herein set forth the school district and Town agree as follows:

1. The Town will provide to the District school resource officers in a number sufficient to cover the appropriate secondary schools located within the Town of Greece and within the Greece Central School District.

2. The District will reimburse the Town the cost to the Town for providing such resource officers to the District. This reimbursement includes the hourly rate of the officers plus the Town’s share of FICA and Medicare for the officer. The Town is responsible for employer contribution to the New York State & Local Employees Retirement System, uniform costs, workman compensation, New York State Disability, union negotiated benefits and any other costs incurred by the Town including benefits paid by the Town pursuant to General Municipal Law §207-c.

3. The District is not responsible for the payment to the resource officer of any workers compensation, benefits negotiated or otherwise with respect to the providing of the school resource officers to the Town. The Resource officer is an employee of the Town, not the District

4. The Town assumes all responsibility for the acts of the school resource officers made and performed in the course of their assignment to the Greece Central School District.

5. In consideration of the above, the District shall pay the Town based on an hourly rate per resource officer. At present, the hourly rate is $62.44. The hourly rate will be increased in accordance with COLA adjustments if the Town and the Uniformed Patrolmen’s Association, during the term of this agreement, ratify a contract.

6. The Town will invoice the District monthly beginning in October and concluding in July.

7. The above notwithstanding, the total amount paid by the District shall not exceed the sum of $125,000.00 for the 2010-2011 school year. Witness whereof the parties of here have caused their agreement to be signed by their respective duly authorized officers and the day of the year first written above.

SCATS ~~ Let's see ... $125,000 divided by 4 secondary schools = $31,250/high school. At approx. $100/hr (incl. FICA & medicare) that allows for just 312.5 hrs. per school for the entire school year. So these officers will be in the buildings for a very few short hours each week. Will someone please remind me about WHY this idea is deemed critical and worth doing??
  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greece School Board Fails To Ratify GTA Contract

  
Greece Central School District Opening Enrollment Fell By Another 300 In September 2010

SCATS ~~ IT'S TIME TO CLOSE SEVERAL SCHOOLS!
  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Greece Central: "Looking to enhance or add IB programs ..."

   
D&C article discusses local districts participating in IB programs, including the Greece Central School District.

"The biggest criticism of the program is its cost, with schools having to pay an annual fee between $7,000 and $10,000. That's on top of an initial application fee of about $19,000 and the costs to train teachers, which can involve travel to a training site."

SCATS ~~ And in Greece, there's that pesky extra $$$$ for busing them, too!  Nothing but the best for the students attending Odyssey Academy!
   

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Greece School Board Can't Afford To Ignore Policy 6431

  
Will The Greece Central School District's Board of Education Do The Right Thing Before Approving The New GTA Contract Tuesday Night?

The District shall prepare an estimated cost for each portion of any new employment contract or addendum to the extent feasible. The estimated costs will include the anticipated amount needed for each year of the new contract or addendum. This cost estimate shall be attached to all new contracts or addendums and shall be available to the public. It will be the responsibility of the Superintendent and the Human Resources Department to have these figures available, if possible, ten days prior to any Board discussion of contracts and/or addendums.

The Board will discuss and report the projected costs of such contracts in open session and the projected costs will be recorded in the official meeting minutes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

GTA Contract Approval On Agenda For Tuesday

   
BOE Meeting Tuesday Oct. 12 @6:30PM 

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

Supt's Reports
EXCEL Project Update
Report of Official School Opening Enrollment
Summer School Results
Initial Report on the Energy Conservation Program

Old Business
School calendar revision

Financial Oversight
GTA Contract (W/A)
Professional Service Contracts (W/A)
Monroe County Water Authority Easement/Hydrant Maintenance Agreement

SCATS ~~ Will the Athena soccer parents & students show up to get answers and satisfaction? I'm guessing no, but I hope they prove me wrong.
  
 

Robach vs Wilt

  
Can the Incumbent Retain His Seat?

Joe Robach (incumbent) 

Party lines: Republican, Independence, Conservative.
Birth date: Feb. 22, 1958.
Residence: Greece.
Education: Bachelor's degree, political science and English; master's, public administration, State University College at Brockport.
Work: Former contract administrator, Monroe County Department of Social Services; former coordinator, Monroe County Stop DWI.
Political career: State Senate 2002-present; state Assembly, 1991-2002.


Robin Wilt (challenger) 








Party lines: Democratic, Working Families.
Birth date: April 12, 1969.
Residence: Brighton.
Education: Bachelor's degree, government, Dartmouth College.
Work: Associate broker, Nothnagle Realtors, Brighton; licensed real estate broker and owner, Transcontinental Properties, LLC.
Political career: Leader, Town of Brighton Democratic Committee; co-founder, Progressive Democrats for America's Genesee Valley Chapter; member, Rochester Chapter of Women for Obama.

Biographical information: Democrat & Chronicle

Friday, October 08, 2010

Greece PD Sgt. Quits During Internal Probe

  
Sgt. Corey McNeil, an 8 year Greece Police Dept. veteran, resigned following a week long internal investigation into the possible misuse of Greece Police Department gas cards.

"We believe it's probably less than three fuels that we can prove as of right now. Again, the investigation is still wide open and we're going to look at all the possibilities, but we do have about $100 worth of fuel that we're concerned about. Which again, I take very serious, especially where the Greece Police Department has come from. One hundred dollars may or may not be a lot of money people, but it's the character issue that we want to address." ~~ Chief Todd Baxter (YNN News)

SCATS ~~ Another scandal in GPD? I'm not surprised. Anyone who thinks GPD was thoroughly cleansed hasn't paid close attention.

Neusatz Murder Recounted

 
Brother Responds To Own Home/Crime Scene As Part Of EMS Crew

“We saw my brother standing there looking pretty bad. Then we found my mom lying in the other room.” ~~ Mark Neusatz (brother to Kurt)

“Something in his mental makeup went haywire. I don’t know how to describe it. I don’t know what came over him. We never saw any type of violent behavior from him before. He was always very docile. For him to act out like that — I don’t know what happened.” ~~ Bob Neusatz (father of Kurt, Monica's husband)
 
Greece Post ~~ Greece Police had not issued a statement about the cause of death as of press time Thursday.

UPDATED by SCATS on 10/08/10  @7:30PM ~~ Kurt Neusatz indicted on second degree murder in the stabbing death of his mother, Monica Neusatz. (WHEC-TV)
  

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Local Supt. Blasts Tenure

   
"If I could get rid of tenure for 24 hours, I'd have a bus waiting at school tomorrow morning. That bus would take away all of the teachers I can't let go because of tenure. I'd do it in a heartbeat." (Quoted from Evan Dawson's BLOG on 13WHAM)

SCATS ~~ And I'll bet he didn't mean a short bus when he said that !

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Proof the US Has Fallen Behind In Science, Technology, Engineering & Math??


Raw Video: Presidential Seal Falls During Speech

Appeal Sought In Town Board Prayer Case

  
The Greece Post reports: Non profit church-state group Americans United for Separation of Church and State are appealing a decision reached by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Siragusa in August, which declared the opening prayer at Greece town board meetings to be constitutional.

The judge sided with the Town of Greece after two Greece residents, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, argued that explicit christian prayer before each meeting violated the first amendment.

Ayesha Khan, Legal director at Americans United, said the initial ruling was inaccurate.

"We think the trial court made a mistake," said Khan. Appealing the decision, she said, is a chance to get three judges to focus on the precise legal issue.

"We have strong evidence in the first amendment estblishment clause," said Kahn.

Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defense Fund, which represened the town, said he is very confident going forward.

"We thought the judge did a very thorough job. There is absolutely no evidence that the town was discriminatory against anyone," said Oster. "We don't have to rewrite our history because of a special interest group."

Both Oster and Kahn said they expect official oral arguments to be presented in the case by mid 2011.

Anonymous said...

So the town of Greece has no lawyers of its own but pays the lawyers of the Alliance Defense Fund to represent us?

They are not working for free. So a conservative christian organization that has its goal to promote christianity in the government specifically invocations at public meetings is on our contract payroll.

Alliance_Defense_Fund       10/06/2010 10:05 AM

SCATS ~~ You expect DiRaddo to work??? Besides, this is ALL Auberger's "cause."
  

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Taped Call Ties Arena & Montrois To Attack Against Spahn In Chad Rahn Misconduct Case

 
13WHAM reports: Prosecutors say following his arrest for illegal drug activity, Frank Arena wanted to get even with the anonymous tipster who called 911. They allege Arena called a friend, Chad Rahn, who used his credentials as an Irondequoit Police officer to find out the tipster was Christopher Spahn.

Arena and Matthew Montrois are accused of breaking into the Spahn’s home in Greece, assaulting and robbing him. “Mr. Spahn’s version of events is quite bizarre,” said attorney Kevin Kuhn who represents Montrois. “His credibility will be attacked vigorously at the trial.”

But prosecutors say other evidence ties both men to the alleged crimes. It appears both men took part in a phone call after the alleged crimes, a call made by the victim and secretly recorded by police.

“It’s our allegation there are incriminating statements in that phone call,” says Monroe County Assistant District Attorney David Dys. Its alleged Arena agreed to return items stolen in the robbery.

Montrois and Arena are expected to go to trial January 10th.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Property Tax Cap Article Catches Reader's Attention

  
From SCATS' Email: I think an interesting thread would be to gauge public reaction to NYSUT union boss Dick Ianuzzii,s outburst in the Dand C yesterday.  Seems that Dick is vehemently opposed to a property tax cap because "it would let the taxpayers shirk their obligation to provide a quality education in NYS public schools".  Funny thing is that Dick is also vehemently opposed to any meaningful performance metrics for his union teachers. Thanks

What's In the New GTA Contract?


How Much Will It Cost Us?

Where is the communication from the Greece Central School District to the community about the content of this new agreement with the Greece teacher's union?

Did the Greece school board have a cost analysis done BEFORE reaching this agreement like they did with the Teamster's contract? If so, what were the specifics of those costs?

Were major items of concern addressed (i.e. Release Time - Article XIX, Sick Time - Article XX, Personal Days - Article XX)? These items date back to 2006 negotiations when Mr. Hubbard served on the BOE and sat in on negotiations ... I have the proof ;) 

What efforts were made to ensure the concerns about employee contracts uncovered in the Comptroller's Audit (i.e. - item should have a benefit to the district) were addressed this time around?

What money is in the contingency budget to cover the increased costs of this new agreement?
 

Flasher Strikes At Greece Ridge Mall

  
Public lewdness: A man wearing no clothing below the waist called a victim over to his vehicle in the parking lot of the Mall at Greece Ridge on Sept. 25. The victim fled. The man is described as being white, in his mid-40s and driving a silver SUV.

SCATS ~~ I'm mystified about why this incident received no attention at the time it happened.  Compare it to when the other incidents in the area happened in early Sept. when school started - they were widely reported. It looks like Greece Police are back to putting a lid on what gets talked about in the community. Their own website's Police Reports section is out-of-date with the most recent report from the week of  09-13-2010 thru 09-19-2010.
  

Sunday, October 03, 2010

GCSD & Tetra-Tech To Try Mediation

  
The Greece Central School District and Tetra-Tech Architects & Engineers (formerly Thomas Associates) have agreed to try to resolve their differences through non-binding mediation. GCSD sued Tetra-Tech for construction issues that led to the emergency closures and repairs at 13 schools in 2008. (D&C)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Why Is This Meeting "Secret?"

  
Oct 05, 2010 - Board of Education, Special Meeting, 6:30PM, Apollo MS, 3rd Floor, E40

The Board will meet in Exec. Session at 6:30PM to discuss Board Development for the purpose of working on & developing Board processes.

SCATS ~~ So without any fanfare,  they've moved back to their digs on Apollo's 3rd floor to have a secret meeting about a topic that has no legal, negotiation or personnel implications. I guess we better watch this closely to see what they're going to foist upon the unsuspecting populace next.
 

Ride To Parking Lot Precedes "Walk To School"


Ridiculous!
The Greece Post reports: On Wednesday, Oct. 6, over 75 students from West Ridge Elementary School will pay tribute to international walk to school day by traveling to school together on foot and bicycle.

All students and parents will be participating in a school-wide walk to school event to celebrate the 13th annual International Walk to School Day, an event that has grown into a month-long celebration including students and their teachers worldwide.

Students and parents will be meeting in the parking lot of Ashley Furniture (1960 Ridge Rd. W., Rochester, NY) at 7:45 a.m. and walking to West Ridge Elementary (200 Alcott Road).

SCATS ~~ So let me get this straight ... school-of-choice students, who are usually bussed all over town, are going to get driven to Ashley's Furniture so they can celebrate "walk to school day?" Is it just me, or does driving to meet-up in a parking lot detract from the purpose of walking to school? Why don't they do this everyday and save us some of the extra money we're wasting by busing kids to schools-of-choice?

Friday, October 01, 2010

It's Official - Athena Forfeits Five!

  
Athena soccer forfeits five

The Athena boys soccer team has forfeited five of its matches for using an ineligible player who transferred this fall to Greece, his home school district, from Aquinas. Section V needed to approve the transfer before the student played, first-year Athena athletic director Bev Ziegler said.

She declined to provide the player's name. The Trojans were 3-1-1 in those matches. Instead of being 5-2-1, they now are 2-6.

— Jeff DiVeronica (D&C)

SCATS ~~ As usual, no accountability on the part of the Greece Central School District's screw-up.

Odyssey Open House: Herd Them In, Herd Them Out ...

If you believe that parents are respected by teachers in the Greece Central School District, you might change your mind after reading these posted "tips" to Odyssey teachers for getting parents out of the room and even out of the building on the night of Parent/Teacher Open House. I wonder if the 8PM end time is in the contract? My suggestion: don't waste your time on this orchestrated union version of Show 'n Tell. Make an appointment for conferences with several individual teachers instead (humanities, math, science, foreign language). I know they won't like this suggestion, but it's your kid!

*Highly Recommend
1.Parent Teacher Sign Up Sheet - sends the message you are not doing this now
2.Warm-Up - What should I know about your child? How can I contact you?
3.Activity – Have parents do a 5 minute independent lesson (matching vocab, T/F, draw, math problem, listening, physical activity, etc.)
4.Ticket Out The Door – 3 things I learned about this course; 2 questions I have ; 1 thing I can do to help support my child at home

*Strongly Suggest:
1.Samples of student work – video, audio, projects, writing samples
2.Student text/reading material
3.Important dates – exams, projects, etc
4.Curriculum map

Try to…
1. Position yourself in the back of the room where the parents have to walk through activities to get to you.
2. Develop a line that you can say to excuse yourself when parents say more than hello.
“I’d love to talk with you further. Feel free to email me, call and or sign-up for a conference.”
“I’ll let you go see some of your child’s teachers before it gets too late.”
“I’d love to talk with you further, but I have a long line of parents who would like to say hello. Please sign-up for a conference.”

There will be someone at the front desk if you need assistance for anything. An announcement will be made at 8:00 PM telling parents that Open House is over.

Will they have security escort them out of the building, too?