Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Board Member Paranoia, Big Fat White Lies ...

 
... And Other Eye-Opening Remarks

Last Tuesday's Greece School Board meeting was notable for several interesting remarks. One board member in particular revealed a lot of her personal views on a variety of subjects. Here's a few things we learned by listening carefully:
  • The Greece Central School District hasn't been following the laws for many years concerning when they are supposed to hold their annual reorganizational meetings. HOW MUCH DO WE SPEND ON LAWYERS EACH YEAR?
  • BOE member O'Toole is tired of coming from out-of-town to make it to BOE meetings. Other BOE members chimed in about this, too. SOLUTION: DON'T SERVE ON THE BOE  ... especially if it's such an inconvenience! No one twisted your arm. They can meet without you, too ;)
  • BOE member O'Toole didn't want to discuss the reasons behind changing meeting dates because of "people with bad thoughts" who might be listening. DO THE VOICES IN HER HEAD WARN HER ABOUT THE PEOPLE WITH BAD THOUGHTS??
  • BOE member O'Toole expressed frustration over postings to BLOGs (she reads SCATS!!) and about receiving so many anonymous letters about schools-of-choice, transportation costs & related issues. SOLUTION: GROW A SPINE AND BRING EQUITY TO ALL GREECE CENTRAL SCHOOLS and/or GET OFF THE BOE!
  • GREAT BIG FAT WHITE LIE #1 was finally revealed: For years, people who favor schools-of-choice who don't want the rest of the people to experience K-5 schools claimed we would have to expend a boatload of money retrofitting bathrooms, chalkboard heights, etc. if we changed the elementary schools from K-2/3-5 to a K-5 design. It turns out GCSD never retrofitted them when they changed configurations to the current set-up! IT WAS ALL A GREAT BIG FAT LIE & IT WAS PERPETUATED BY DISTRICT OFFICE!
  • GREAT BIG FAT LIE #2 was also revealed: "I don't think we are at risk of exceeding capacity." (regarding changing the elementary school configuration back to K-5.) TRANSLATION: GREECE CENTRAL HAS BEAUCOUP SPACE, JUST AS SCATS HAS CONTENDED ALL ALONG!
  • When the BOE & DO don't want to do something (like mess with schools-of-choice, fix busing, get a handle on the daycare mess), they create a litany of hurdles, roadblocks, things to spend money on so they don't have to make tough decisions or do the right thing.
SCHOOL CHOICE HEARING
TUESDAY JUNE 7th
6:30PM
OLYMPIA HS AUDITORIUM
SIGN-UP TO SPEAK STARTING AT 6PM

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    How Often Does Your Kid's Teacher Go MIA?


    21,000 "Sick Days" 
    Included in 2011-12 Budget
       
    The approved budget for the 2011-12 school year includes $2,510,928 for substitute teacher costs, more than a 6% hike from last year despite a planned reduction to 1166 teachers. It represents an increase from the actual cost of $1,791,767 for sub teachers expended in the 2009-10 school year when some 1225 teachers were employed.

    According to the GUSTO contract, regular short term subs will be paid $94.70/day and career subs will receive $116.70/day for up to 16 consecutive days next school year. Longer assignments pay more on a rising scale based upon length of time. Since it's impossible to know how many subs will get the additional pay and how much longer those assignments might be, I've decided to use $120/day to demonstrate my point. That figure is a bit more than the more expensive career sub gets paid, but I'm going to generously assume that most teachers don't go out on sick leave for more than 3 weeks at a time, too.

    By dividing the $2,510,928 budgeted substitute teacher line item by the $120/day sub cost, we find that the Greece Central School District has provided for nearly 21,000 days of teacher absences during the next school year! That works out to be nearly 18 days of absence per teacher starting in September!

    The educational impact in the loss of continuity for the students must be tremendous! No wonder test scores are suffering, unexcused student absences have soared, drop out rates are climbing and graduation rates struggle to remain level! The students have learned that the teachers don't give-a-damn, so why should they?

    Since the GTA contract provides for 20 sick days without loss of pay for a unit member in their first year of employment, all of this begs the question: WITH NO GTA CONTRACT AGREEMENT IN SIGHT, DOES THIS CONSTITUTE A PLANNED WORK SLOWDOWN BY OUR DEDICATED TEACHING STAFF BUDGETED FOR BY THE BOE ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE THE ACTING & INTERIM SUPTS? It appears so.
         

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Oops!! She Did It Again!!

                 

    TIA GERSTNER ARRESTED FOR ANOTHER DWI CRASH

    Her Family Is Angry At Media:
    "you're destroying innocent people's lives by all the (expletive) we put on tv."


    Tia Gerstner is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, criminal impersonation and unlicensed operation while on probation for a fatal DWI crash in 2009. (WHEC-TV)

    SCATS ~~ Well, well, well! This criminal who got kid glove treatment via DA Mike Green in 2009 lived up to the expectations of many by doing it all over again! Thank God no one was killed or injured this time. Do society a favor: THROW THE BOOK AT HER!!

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Another School Choice Meeting ... More Elitism ...

       
    From YNN: Paul Hodges, a parent, says he has two students at Greece Odyssey Academy, a School Choice school. He believes the program should stay the way it is.

    "Sibling priority allows families to stay together and when families aren't able to stay together that becomes really a constraint upon the family," said Hodges. "I think the School of Choice program as is, should stay quite frankly."

    'WAITING FOR SUPERMAN' ~ "There is this unbelievable willingness to turn a blind eye to the injustices that are happening to kids every single day in our schools, in the name of harmony amongst adults." (Michell Rhee, Chancellor Wash. DC Schools)

    SCATS ~~ Last night, we heard a large group of highly paid public school administrators, all possessing advanced college degrees, work cooperatively to construct dozens upon dozens of hurdles, roadblocks & other obstacles in an orchestrated & concerted effort to PREVENT CHANGE in Greece schools! After 2 hours of time in the BOE meeting room, the ONLY "good news" was they had uncovered the lie we were told years ago about our elementary schools having been retrofitted (bathrooms, chalkboards heights, etc.) when the change was made to a K-2/3-5 grade structure.
         

    REMINDER ...


    PUBLIC HEARING on CODE of CONDUCT

    BOE STUDY SESSION on SCHOOLS of CHOICE

    Tonight at 6:30PM

    SCATS ~~ From the presentation that will be made about the Code of Conduct tonight, page 12 lists "Consistent Approach" to implementing this policy. Since when did the Greece Central School District ever do anything related to student expectations with consistency? We have 20 schools headed by 20 different "kings" who reign over their group of parents and students ... i.e. their kingdom. They have never in the past and will never in the future apply a 30 page policy with any sort of consistency!
       

    No More Getting Sent To The "Rubber Room?"


    New York Senate Reviewing Teacher Discipline

    By: YNN Staff

    A New York Senate hearing Monday revealed school districts are declining to act against some bad teachers because of the costly disciplinary process and many accused teachers quietly resign.

    Testimony by the state education department and school boards association said districts are declining to go after some teachers under the existing process.

    The official process is aimed at firing tenured teachers for incompetence and misconduct and could lead to revocation of their state teacher license.

    Unions agree teachers are settling cases privately, but say the concern is exaggerated.

    The school boards group said the number of bad teachers avoiding the disciplinary process isn't known, but appears substantial.
      

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    What Stakes Do Our Stakeholders Have?

       
    Greece Central School District residents just voted on another whopping big budget that will raise our taxes again. Many of the top paid players in determining the district's future do NOT reside in Greece. This means:

    • They do NOT/ can NOT support the budgets they help craft/impact.
    • They do NOT pay Greece property taxes.
    • Their children do NOT/can NOT attend Greece public schools.
    • They receive a paycheck from YOU, but are largely unaccountable to anyone.
    • They get to decide to RAISE YOUR TAXES.
    • They get to determine YOUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE EDUCATION.
    • Aside from their employment (which is virtually guaranteed), they have NO STAKE IN GREECE SCHOOLS.
    John O'Rourke ~ Interim Supt. of GCSD ~ $800/day
    Don Nadolinski ~ Acting Supt. of GCSD ~ $146,941
    Barbara Deane ~ Williams* ~ Supt. To Be of GCSD ~ $198,000
    Don Pallozzi ~ Pres. Greece Teacher's Assn. ~ $82,323
    Lou ("Mr. Budget") Alaimo ~ Supt. of Finance ~ $134,189
    Deb Hoeft ~ Asst. Supt. GCSD ~ $135,101

    *Contract stipulates she is to purchase a Greece home within 1 yr. of her employment, but it appears there is no way to force the issue if she doesn't comply.
       

    Greece Central Enrollment Falls Further

      
    SCHOOL CHOICE STUDY SESSION
    TUESDAY NIGHT 6:30PM

    "The choice options were started in the early 1990s as a way to cope with spiking enrollment and equalize class sizes across the district's 20 schools. But since that time, the district's enrollment has fallen from a peak of more than 14,000 students to its current enrollment of 11,800." (Today's D&C)


    • CAPACITY (late 90's) ~~17,000 STUDENTS/20 SCHOOLS
    • SOC's FORMED (early 90's) ~~ APPROX. 14,000 STUDENTS
    • CURRENT ENROLLMENT ~~ 11,800 STUDENTS/20 SCHOOLS*

    SCHOOLS OF CHOICE HAVE OUTLIVED
    THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THEY WERE CREATED.

    GCSD NEEDS TO CLOSE SEVERAL SCHOOLS
    TO BECOME FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE.

    NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO PAY MORE
    TO SUPPORT SERVICES THEY CAN NOT ACCESS.

    SCHOOLS-of-CHOICE PROVIDE
    NO EDUCATIONAL BENEFIT TO THE DISTRICT.

    * Students from Barnard were moved to newly constructed space for them at the Longridge School campus where they were consolidated into one school.

    LOU ALAIMO LEAVING GREECE CENTRAL!

       
    While researching an idea for a different BLOG topic, I uncovered a press release announcing that Lou Alaimo, Greece Central's Asst. Supt. of Finance & Support Services, has been appointed Assistant Supt. for Administration by the Brighton Board of Education. Alaimo will assume his duties on August 1, 2011.

    SCATS ~~ What a fine fix this leaves us in! Who will fudge our numbers to get us through a vote on huge capital improvement & busing proposal?
      

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Greece BOE Member Visits GTA Offices

      
    WAS HE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS?
    HAS AN AGREEMENT BEEN REACHED?
    HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST US?
    Anonymous said...

    Breaking news! One of Greece's very own board members, Dave Ferington was spotted leaving the GTA office shortly after 2 PM today. Perhaps some sort of deal was struck? Hang on to your wallets.
    5/20/2011 4:54 PM

    Anonymous said...

    I find it interesting one of the board members is visiting the union. Wonder who else will be dropping by, that is if the world doesn't end Saturday. Or perhaps the others are not aware of Mr. Ferington's activities. You can be sure of one thing, whatever is going on, it will cost us.   5/20/2011 5:05 PM
      

    Did Greece Run A Fair & Proper Election

      
    Dear SCATS,

    Did you notice the differences in how you vote for the candidates in a local town race...vs. the school board budget?

    1. School Board runs their own election - they just lease the machines from the Board of Elections to use

    2. The ballot you used to vote in the town govt election had numbers on the spine of the paper ballots (so you could tell how many people voted by the sign-in and compare against how many ballots you gave out to the public) based on the number that stays behind on the ballot book.

    3. The ballots used for the Greece budget vote had NO NUMBERS. How can they account for the number of ballots that actually got stuffed in the tally, vs. how many people actually voted?

    4. Ask if any of the people who were charged with the polling site operations ("poll workers") ever received training on the machines...

    5. How did the tapes and cartridges compare against the book and the ballots INSIDE of the machine? Did they match? My money says they did not.

    Just wanted to give you a heads up. Their use of the new machines (and I believe they were the ONLY ones NOT to use the lever machines) helped them to get their "win"...

    SCATS READER

    P.S. - FYI, the State Education Dept. sets all rules on the school board elections - not the Board of Elections. I can't believe the schools are allowed to conduct this vote with NO oversight whatsoever, not even using a method by which the number of voters can be checked against the number of signatures, against the number of ballots, against the machine totals, and then again against the number in the actual machine. Talk about the fox not only guarding the hen house, but holding a chicken barbecue on the same night!

      

    Regents Cut Costs, Dumb Down

       
    Faced with continued shortfalls in the Regents Examination Program, state education officials voted this week to  make a total of $8 million in cuts.

    • Eliminates January Regents Exams
    • Eliminates foreign-language (Italian, French & Spanish) Regents exams
    • Postpones the development of new English/language arts tests for grades 9 & 10
    Regents voted in June 2010 to cut costs by more than $6 million. They eliminated grades 5 & 8 social-studies exams; grade 8 second-language proficiency exams; component retesting in math and English/language arts; high school foreign-language exams in German, Hebrew and Latin; and Algebra 2/Trigonometry and Chemistry exams given in August. (D&C)
       

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    GCSD's Code of Conduct Swells To 30 Pages!!

     
    The Greece Central School District Board of Education will host a public hearing on proposed changes to the district’s Code of Conduct at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. Community members interested in speaking can sign up to do so that evening beginning at 6PM. You cannot call to pre-register. Here is a draft of the amended Code of Conduct. The sections that have been adjusted include: harassment, bullying, police and vehicle searches, and the use of technology. If changes to the Code of Conduct are approved, the Plain Language Summary would be modified accordingly.

    SCATS ~~ Who the heck do they expect to read this tome?
      

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Put A Fork In It, Frank!

      
    "I'm disappointed at the turnout, but pleased that people felt it was a reasonable budget ... But I think we worked hard to put a reasonable budget forward this year under very difficult circumstances and I'm very happy that it passed."~~ Frank Oberg, president of the Greece Central School District Board of Education.

    "It was a very tough budget because it had built-in cost increases that drove the budget upward and reductions in state aid that made it very difficult to put together. I think there is a balanced educational program with this budget." ~~ Frank Oberg, president of the GCSD BOE

    SCATS ~~ What a pompous ass! He really believes people felt it was "a reasonable budget"? They stayed home by the droves because last year Frankie showed 'em he could make 'em eat a 5% tax hike without a revote after 2 out of 3 voters screamed a resounding "NO!" Oberg wouldn't recognize "a balanced educational program" if one slapped him in the face! He's been a huge disappoint to anyone who voted him into office. On your way out of the district, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Mr. Chump Change.

    Is Greece Seeking A New Athletic Director?

     
    Anonymous said...
    Im not sure how to start a new thread, but I was told today that Greece is looking to hire a new AD??? Is there truth to this?? If so which AD is leaving?? Hopefully its Bev Ziegler after her mess with the Athena Varisty Boys SOccer team and not subitting proper paper-work on the transfer in from Aquinas. Anyone???
    5/17/2011 6:32 PM

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Budget Approved ...

      
    WHEC-TV Reports: The Greece Central School District budget passed with the vote split at:

    2932 YES

    2323 NO

    ONLY 5255 SHOWED UP!

    McCabe 3871
    Ferington 3678
    Quirk 3532

    WHERE ARE THE COUNTS FOR THE WRITE-INS?

    SCATS ~~ WHAT A PATHETIC TURNOUT! Despite that, the budget passed by just 600 votes.

    How Safe Is A Visit To The Greece Ridge Mall?

      
    Police Blotter Shows What We've Known All Along ... But What The "Powers That Be" Refuse To Openly Acknowledge

    May 15
    200 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.

    May 14
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.

    May 13
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.

    May 12
    200 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, grand larceny of an auto, valued at more than $100.

    May 11
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.

    May 10
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.

    May 9
    400 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.
    1 block of Maiden Lane, petit larceny.

    May 7
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.

    May 8
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, robbery.

    May 6
    200 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.
    600 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, petit larceny.

    May 5
    2800 block of W Ridge Road, petit larceny.
    1 block of New Prince Lane, petit larceny.
    1100 block of Maiden Lane, petit larceny.

    May 4
    200 block of Fielding Road, grand larceny of property valued at more than $1,000.
    100 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, grand larceny involving a credit card.
    300 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, robbery.

    May 3
    100 block of N Glen Drive, grand larceny of property valued at more than $1,000.
    400 block of Greece Ridge Center Drive, grand larceny.
    100 block of Crossroads Lane, identity theft.
    700 block of Maiden Lane, petit larceny.
       

    VOTE TODAY!!


    POLLS OPEN 6AM - 9 PM

    VOTE NO, VOTE OFTEN ;)


    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Doan Car Thefts Raise Questions ...

        
     Three arrested in connection with stolen cars from Doan Dodge in Greece (WHEC-TV)

    Three people have been arrested in connection with five car thefts from the Doan Dodge Dealership on West Ridge Road in Greece. It happened during the overnight hours between Saturday and Sunday.

    Greece Police say two of the three people charged were arrested during traffic stops.

    A police officer making a routine patrol of the dealership discovered the cars were missing early Sunday morning.

    So far, police have recovered three of the stolen vehicles. Police do not believe this was an inside job.

    Anonymous said...
    RE: 5 cars stolen from Doan; Does it seem odd that at 3am on a Sunday morning a police car can go up and down a car dealer's lot and spot the open spaces that had cars in them hours earlier?

    1. Does our PD routinely patrol all dealers car lots? How often, how thoroughly, what is the patrol "looking" for?

    2. Do the dealers provide a "parking lot map" showing where there should be no open spaces thus enabling missing cars to be noticed?

    3. Is this a service provided free for all dealerships?

    4. Is this really a private security issue that the dealerships should pay for?

    5. Why Doan, why this night, why this patrol car?

    Is this an inside job for insurance which is using a police report to validate? Was there a tip from a Doan employee to watch the lot? If so why didn't they catch 5 cars being removed? Do we think the crooks had 5 sets of keys or hot wired the cars? Or hauled them onto a car carrier. Is there a record of these cars being test driven without a salesman and thus enabling the driver to duplicate the keys before returning? (unlikely with "smart" keys).

    Was this just a lucky catch and our tax dollars aren't being used for hours and hours of free private security work for favored dealerships?   5/16/2011 10:58 AM
     
    SCATS ~~ While I'm glad the crooks have been caught, even more perturbing than the questions raised in the above comment is knowing that if it were your car or mine, LITTLE WOULD BE DONE TO RECOVER IT. And ... IF IT WERE RECOVERED, NEXT TO NOTHING IS DONE TO FIND THE THIEF. It goes down as an insurance loss, raising rates for all.
      

    By Request ...

      
    SCATS was asked to bring the following hearings to the attention of the community:

    1 ~~ GREECE TOWN BOARD MEETING ~~ May 17, 2011 ~~ 6PM

    PUBLIC CAN SPEAK DURING OPEN FORUM AT MEETING START.
    At 6:40 p.m. ~~ Public hearing to consider the request submitted by Bryant & Stratton College for a special use permit to operate an institution of higher education & technical/vocational school, to be known as Bryant & Stratton College, on property located at 846 Long Pond Rd.

    2 ~~ PLANNING BOARD ~~ MAY 18, 2011 ~~ GREECE TOWN HALL

    GENERAL INFORMATION ~~ WORK SESSION: 6:30 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
    MEETING: 7:00 P.M. ~~ PLACE: GREECE COMMUNITY CONFERENCE

    CONCEPT PLANS
    1. Applicant: 846 LPR, LLC
    Location: 846 Long Pond Road
    Request: Concept plan review for a proposed Business Center, to be known as Stoney Creek, with multiple buildings & uses: an institution of higher education & technical/vocational school (Bryant & Stratton College; 33,000± sq ft); a restaurant (7,000± sq ft); and two retail/office buildings (3,800± sq ft and 11,000± sq ft), with shared access, parking, & utilities on approx. 17.7 acres Zoning District: BR (Restricted Business)

    Mon. Co. Tax No.: 059.01-3-56.1
      

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR?

       
    << ==== NEW POLL

    Candidate Biographical Info
       

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Bud Phillips, Fire Commissioners Talk About Holiday Inn Fire

       
    Fire Chief Phillips is speaking exclusively with I-Team 10. He says there's no one out there who would like to see a conclusion reached in the 1978 Holiday Inn fire investigation more than him. “In my 40 years, it was the worst part of my career. It was the worst event of our career and I really don't need it coming up every now and then."



    I-Team 10 caught up with the chief of the Ridge Road Fire District Thursday night at the district commissioners meeting. In our exclusive interview, Phillips tells I-Team 10 he fully intends to share with police investigators everything he remembers about the case. "As the fire chief of the Ridge Road Fire District, I'm supportive of opening the investigation again. It's been opened a couple times. I support them looking at it again, and as I did in 1978, I, as well as the department, will fully cooperate with them ..." (read rest on website)

    “The commissioners are not privileged to the details of the police investigation, thus it is not appropriate for the commissioners to speak further about Chief Phillips or anyone of our firefighters and emergency personnel during this investigation." ~~ Greece Ridge Fire Commissioners

       

    BLOGGER OUTAGE UPDATE

       
    Blogspot has been in a "read only" mode for about a day now leaving everyone unable to access comments, etc. Comments and BLOGS posted after a certain hour on May 11th have been removed from ALL BLOGS while the site's techies fix their issues. Hopefully, things will be back to normal again very soon. Thanks for your patience.

    PLEASE NOTE ~~ SCATS' Facebook Friends were able to read my report about this problem and to continue posting on Facebook about all BLOG topics ... even when we were all unable to post to the BLOG. If you aren't already a Facebook Friend, please consider becoming one now :)
      

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    HOLD ONTO YOUR WALLET ALERT!

       
    At 2:05PM this afternoon, I had to stop at the traffic light in front of Athena School. To my amazement, a uniformed Greece Police Officer (I assure you he was NOT "Special Police") was doing duty as a Safety Crossing Guard. His cruiser sat on the corner of the lawn behind where he performed his duties.

    Assuming that cops on their regular shift don't get assigned to perform such tasks, it seems likely that this fellow is getting paid OVERTIME to cross 12-18 year old students at an intersection with crosswalks, traffic lights, etc.

    I'm ALL IN FAVOR OF SAFETY, but how the heck did this fellow get this plum of an assignment and at what cost? I'm pretty sure that most cops make a base salary that is far and above what a Town of Greece School Crossing Guard could ever hope to make.* Calculated at an hourly rate and multiplied by time-and-a-half, paying a cop to cross kids is an egregious waste of taxpayer funds!

    * Elaine Falkner featured in today's paper for her 21 years of service as a Greece School Crossing Guard made $9572 in 2010 for performing the duties of her job, according to SeeThroughNY.net. In comparison, one of the district's SRO's who is an officer with approx. the same number of years of experience earned about $86,000 in 2010. If Ms. Falkner made $20/hr. which is extremely doubtful, there is no way a Greece cop was performing this job for a similar cost!

    Vargas To Take Leave From GCSD To Lead RCSD

      
    The Rochester School Board announced Dr. Bolgen Vargas as Interim Superintendent on Wednesday.

    "It feels great to come back," he said. "I'm no stranger to this community."

    Vargas served on the school board for eight years, and was president for four. He pointed out that as board president, he supervised superintendents. He is currently a guidance counselor in the Greece School District. He recently received his doctorate in education and wrote his dissertation on improving graduation rates.

    Vargas said he will take a leave of absence from his job in Greece until a superintendent is selected in Rochester. It's not clear if he will apply for the permanent job. His compensation in Rochester has not been finalized.

    "My job will be to make sure we don't lose any ground when it comes to teaching and learning," Vargas said.

    Vargas will lead the district after Jean-Claude Brizard departs for Chicago at the end of the week. The board will begin searching for Brizard's replacement. (13WHAM)

    SCATS ~~ A question asked by a poster to this site: If he's qualified enough to be interim supt. in the city schools, why wasn't he good enough for Greece to promote? Did we get caught discriminating again?
     

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    "WE CONTEST THE CHARGE OF ELITISM ..."

           
    " ... Over half of the 6th grade are siblings (each year)." ~~ Sue Meier, Odyssey Principal, to BOE

    SCATS ~~ Thank you Ms. Meier for proving the point that Odyssey is in fact elitist!

    SCHOOLS of CHOICE
    and
    CODE of CONDUCT
    Study Session
    May 24th
       

    One Week To School Budget Vote Day ...

       
    Just Vote No* ...

    Vote Often** ...

    Do It For The Kids!***

    * This budget is an educational travesty!
    **The BOE doesn't care about following laws, rules or policies. Why should we?
    *** When they eliminate classes over extra-curriculars, maintain busing levels and keep unneeded buildings open to retain schools-of-choice for the minority, they've lost their focus!
        

    Monday, May 09, 2011

    Shocking Video Revisits Holiday Inn Fire


    UPDATED BY SCATS (6:20PM) ~~ WHEC-TV received a written statement from Greece Ridge Fire Chief Harold "Bud" Phillips that states: “I am aware this has been an ongoing investigation since 1978, and given the severity of the fire and loss of life, I would expect nothing less. I have been a firefighter in Greece for over 42 years, and the Chief of the Ridge Road Fire District for the last 10. As such, I am deeply committed to the safety of the residents of the Town of Greece. I cooperated with this investigation in 1978 and was interviewed by several detectives as they conducted over a month long investigation and I will continue to cooperate with any further investigation. Despite the insinuations made by the recent TV broadcast in Canada, I had no involvement with this fire and have nothing to hide.”
    WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR WHO
    A WELL KNOWN
    "PERSON OF INTEREST"
    TURNS OUT TO BE!

    STORY & VIDEO: LOST IN THE FLAMES

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

    PERSON OF INTEREST ON LEAVE?

    The Greece Post reported 3/1/11:

    Greece, N.Y. — Ridge Road Fire District Chief Bud Phillips was hospitalized last week. His condition at this time is unknown.

    The chief released a statement last week regarding his condition: “Last week I experienced an arterial blood clot. This clot has caused some temporary loss of sensitivity to my right side. For the next couple of weeks I will be undergoing extensive rehab at Strong. I am expected to make a full recovery. In my absence, Battalion Chief Michael Bloomer is designated Deputy Chief until my return and is authorized to act on my behalf until my return”.

    Check back with us to hear the latest on his condition, as we receive it.
        

    Greece Police Ticket 75 Late Night Drag-Racers

       
    WHEC-TV reports: "Police say at least 100 souped up cars showed up to the parking lot of the BJ's Wholesale Club, and that the group was drag racing on the public roads around BJ's.

    Two cars were towed away because the drivers had suspended licenses. Police wrote up 75 tickets for violations like tinted windows and illegal exhaust systems.

    Officials tell us this is an ongoing problem, but this group is constantly on the move in Monroe County, which makes it difficult for police to track them."

    SCATS ~~ SERIOUSLY!? Why is it that hard to track 100 cars that travel in a group?

    Northgate Neighbors Meeting May 11th

       
    7PM
    Aldersgate Methodist Church
    4115 Dewey Ave.

    Come hear Lou Alaimo tell you what a bargain the 2011-12 Greece Central School District is. Surprise him with questions about the Capital Improvement & Busing Proposal planned in the Fall.

    BE THERE!
      
       

    Sunday, May 08, 2011

    BOE Meeting Tuesday @6:30PM

     
    It is anticipated that the BOE will go into Exec. Session at 5:30PM to discuss the discipline of a student. (Rut-roh!)

    AGENDA ITEMS of NOTE
      

    Saturday, May 07, 2011

    60 Years of Teaching Math in the USA, 1950-2010

      
    1. Teaching Math In the 1950s
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

    2. Teaching Math In the 1960s
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

    3. Teaching Math In the 1970s
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit ?

    4. Teaching Math In the 1980s
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

    5. Teaching Math In the 1990s
    A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok.)

    6. Teaching Math In 2010
    Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?
         

    Friday, May 06, 2011

    Shouldn't ALL Greece Central Employees Be Expected To Exhibit These Traits?

       
    A small item in the newspaper grabbed my attention. It states that the AGCEP union ( Association of Greece Central Educational Professionals ) in the Greece Central School District is seeking nominations for an annual award they call "The Golden Heart and Hands Award." The item went on to list the traits the recipient of the award should exhibit. Union member/nominees should:

    •  maintain a positive attitude toward students and co-workers,
    • contribute as a team member,
    • motivate and inspire students and peers,
    • and contribute above and beyond expectations.
    It strikes me as absolutely pathetic that an award must be given to recognize as "special" any employee who possesses this combination of basic traits! Maybe this uncovers a problem that's endemic inside Greece Central that needs addressing ASAP. Let's look at these items individually.

    In reality, shouldn't ALL Greece Central employees, not just AGCEP members, be EXPECTED to maintain a positive attitude towards students? If you don't like kids, why should you be allowed to work in a school/among children?

    Shouldn't ALL Greece Central employees be EXPECTED to be a team player? If you can't work well with others towards the common goal of appropriately educating & supervising groups of students, then I suggest that you do not belong in a school!

    Expecting ALL Greece Central employees to motivate & inspire students (especially) and your peers is so basic, that if you do not do this, you should be FIRED ASAP, shouldn't you? If you don't do this, the students in your care can not perform to their ability!

    Last but not least, going above and beyond the call of duty should be a frequent behavior on the part of ALL Greece Central staff, not just an award winning member of one union, right? Making an effort to do your job well is what people in the real world must do to just keep their job, let alone get a raise ... or an award!

    But I digress ... the fact that too few Greece Central School District employees exhibit any combination of these four behaviors is what creates the continued negative headlines, the annual defeated budgets and ongoing poor performances on test scores, graduation rates, etc. Sadly, none of these four basic traits are listed in the contracts, so they are NOT common traits in our school employees, thus the special award. Expecting educators and other school employees who are protected by a union to perform is an oxymoron that hurts public education everywhere, not just in Greece.
      

    Thursday, May 05, 2011

    What To Do With The Extra $52,000?

        
    A few months ago, Greece School Board President, Frank Oberg, announced the Greece Central School District was so desperate to find and hire a new superintendent that the BOE raised the ceiling on the starting salary for that position to $250,000. More recently, the Greece BOE approved a budget for next year. Since a new superintendent hadn't been agreed upon at that time, we must assume that $250,000 was included in the 2011-12 budget to cover a $250,000 starting ~ salary just in case. Now that we know the new Supt. is starting for a mere $198,000, that leaves an extra $52,000 in the 2011-12 budget that can be used on something else.

    SCATS suggests that the Greece school board agree to expend that unused $52,000 for capital repairs needed at one or more named Greece schools ASAP. We can then reduce the amount needed to make repairs in the upcoming proposal this Fall by $52,000.
      

    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    The New Supt's Contract ~ What Little We're Told

        
    UPDATE @ 3:45PM : The D&C has posted a link to her contract!

    With NO DISCUSSION AT ALL, the BOE ratified the new Supt's contract with a vote of 8 to 0 (VanOrman absent) on Tuesday night. The contract has NOT been posted on the GCSD website as of this writing. We're in the dark about the full terms the BOE agreed to.

    WHAT ARE THE MEASURABLE EXPECTATIONS OF THIS WOMAN'S PERFORMANCE OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS? TWO YEARS? THREE YEARS? FOUR YEARS??

    D&C reports:

    "This is a wonderful opportunity to join a larger district and I am really looking forward to it." ~~ Babs, commenting that she is "undaunted by the difference in scale"

    • Deane-Williams will be paid $198,000 per year.
    • Benefits include 25 days of annual vacation & an annual $6,500 contribution to a tax-sheltered annuity.
    • She will pick up 30 % of the cost of her health care plan.
    • She also must purchase a home in Greece before June 30, 2012.

    SCATS ~~ She has to buy a home in Greece, but is she required to actually RESIDE in Greece? Are we providing her with a car? A cell phone? What other perks does she get?
      

    More Corruption In Greece?

      
    Anonymous said...

    SO, who's the Dirty Bird on the GCSD Board who is playing footsie with which dirtball ADA on Team Green to pressure the parents of a kid who got his face beat in last fall in a Spencerport parking lot by a GCSD Sub teacher and his son?

    Somebody's smearing stinkeypoo to protect the Sub's teaching license, and somebody on Team Green is playing ball.

    This isn't just another Team Green dirty deal like prosecuting Mr Scott and that U of R student, this is a special request coming from Greece. Who does the "teacher" know?

    Why does the ADA have an interest in protecting this person's license to teach? If you're nutty enough to help your kid beat the crap out of another kid because they are hitting the same girl you damn well ought not be teaching in school.   5/03/2011 11:42 PM

    SCATS ~~ Thanks to the efforts of another reader, here are some links to the related story as followed by WHEC-TV:

    Story1    Police Report    Story2
     

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    Top 10 Signs Babs Isn't What GCSD Needs

        
    10 ~ Two nationwide searches got us a Supt. from Mayberry ... er ... uhhh ... Lyndonville.

    9 ~ Two nationwide searches got us a Supt. in our own backyard ... er uhmmm ... Lyndonville.

    8 ~ Out of more than 50 applicants in those two searches, Babs was the "best" we could do.

    7 ~ After offering a salary up to $250,000, we're going to hire Lyndonville's boss for $198,000. What a bargain!! (see #6)

    6 ~ People in her own district questioned paying her $158,000 last Fall. (see link in #4 below)

    5 ~ She recently got a 5 yr. renewal on her contract in Lyndonville ... now decided to leave!

    4 ~ In an online forum started last year, her BOE appear to be her only supporters.

    3 ~ That same online forum has new comments expressing glee at how Greece is now stuck with her.

    2 ~ You could fit all of Lyndonville's 650 students inside of Longridge Elementary School ... with room to spare! What will she do with 20 schools to manage?

    1 ~ Greece already has the exact same problems Babs is leaving Lyndonville with: shrinking enrollment & higher taxes.

    SCATS ~~ I called on our BOE for a DO OVER of the supt's search in my BLOG of April 8th. Of course, they were desperate to get somebody ... anybody to be our Supt. and Babs offered herself up. So now I ask everyone to please remember to thank Frank Oberg (as he leaves his position on the BOE) for foisting this disaster-to-be upon the teachers, students and taxpayers of the Greece Central School District. Just when we thought things couldn't get much worse ... it does! Achramovitch is going to look very good in the not-so-distant future!
     
     

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    Bye Bye Bin Laden!


    Bin Laden Dead;
    US Has His Body
    "Mission Accomplished!"



    BOE Meeting/Budget Hearing Tues. @6:30PM

       
    AGENDA ITEMS
    • Approval of Superintendent Contract
    • 2011-2012 Budget Presentation
    • Public Hearing on 2011-012 Budget, Sign-up begins at 6:00 pm