Friday, September 30, 2011

Greece Police Search For Teen Jumper

Greece Post reports:  Greece Police and fire crews are on Elmgrove Road at the canal searching for a male who was seen diving in from the bridge.

Witnesses reported seeing someone jump in but not get out. People at the scene describe the person as a white male between the ages of 17 and 19, weighing approximately 160 pounds with brown hair.

Police need your help. If you have any information about this incident, please call 911.

UPDATE ~~ The search was called off but police are still seeking any info anyone might have.

To What Extent Can We Afford To Fund Sports?

At Tuesday's Greece school board meeting, the district's finance folks told us (again) that Greece Central has a backlog of $120 million in capital repair projects. Some $20-25 million was identified as "needed repairs/updates" to the district's sports facilities. This includes items like artificial turf, one (or more?)  lighted fields, outdoor bathroom facilities, yada, yada, yada ... the wish list for this is quite lengthy. Also discussed (again) at this meeting was Greece Central's dismal test scores!

In Thursday's Greece Post (9/29/11), the editorial shown below (pg. 10A) suggests that privately funded groups work together to fund & build a shared sports stadium capable of seating 5000 people within the Town of Greece. The author is Jason Benham, head football coach for Gates-Chili HS. He mistakenly suggests that "extracurricular activities are what set schools apart and attract new families and growth to their district." Anyone who has ever gone house-hunting knows that next to the location of the home, the ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE of the school district is what attracts those new families, not the presence of a stadium! 

Benham goes on to describe his pipe dream (and the surrounding neighbors' nightmare)  of a Fall weekend : "Friday night football game, Saturday afternoon game and youth football all day Sunday; mix a few soccer games inbetween." This sounds like a stadium operating 24/7 with the accompanying lights, litter, loitering, traffic, noise and other issues such a facility brings!

Recently, we heard from the folks that live along Long Pond Road's neighborhoods that they didn't want to "see it, hear it or smell it" regarding the building of a Bryant & Stratton school in that area. One person complained that they might have to view "people eating their lunch on the lawn." Given that, who in their right mind would want to live within 3 miles of a stadium like the one suggested in this editorial?

With the current economic problems felt by all, the embarrassingly low test scores produced by Greece Central's wonderful teachers and the rejection of further large-scale development projects by neighbors along busy streets in the town, I suggest that Coach Benham use his influence, if not his $88,000+ salary, to promote something MORE palatable to the masses right now. Perhaps his notion that we really only need two high schools in Greece, instead of four, would be a great place for him to start. Doing that might even help get our enormous school budget under control at the same time ;)

(Click to view larger)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Site-Based Mgmt: Has It Negatively Influenced School Performance?

At tonight's school board study session, more discussion ensued surrounding the pitiful performance by Greece Central students on the NY State ELA & Math tests when compared to the other 18 suburban districts. Again, students classified as Special Ed, from low-income homes or possessing certain racial/ethnic make-ups were discussed in relation to the overall poor outcomes.

Thankfully, the Supt. began asking lots of good questions about other factors that are sure to be equally as important. It turns out that Greece district schools DO NOT ALL OFFER EQUAL AMOUNTS OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME FROM SUBJECT-TO-SUBJECT! In fact, they aren't all offering equal amounts of total instructional time during the school day, period.

How can we expect poorer students at non-choice schools to perform as well as the few who attend Pine Brook (for example), when the other elements aren't even?

Maybe Babs will discover that Odyssey isn't so unique after all!

Climbing Out Of The Educational Abyss ...

According to the Education Nation Summit, 
out of 34 countries, The United States is:

14th in Reading
17th in Science
25th in Math

Nearly 1/4 of 8th graders can't read at grade level.

With nearly 15% living in poverty,
there is a call to
for poor education results.

Monday, September 26, 2011

NY State To Seek NCLB Waiver

Albany —  State Education officials said they may ask the federal government for permission to opt out of the No Child Left Behind law.

President Obama said Friday that some states will be able to seek waivers from parts of the law, which requires students in elementary and middle schools to take frequent proficiency tests.

Some critics have complained that the emphasis on testing has compromised the overall quality of education.

Newsday reports that state Education Commissioner John King said New York will be among the states that will consider asking for a waiver.

Kings said the state needs a better accountability system that supports schools.

He said the issue will be taken up at the next Board of Regents meeting, in October.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Former Greece Administrator Passes

George A. Vito (1930 - 2011)

Kendall: September 22, 2011. George is predeceased by his wife Sarah Vito & sister Mary Palumbo. He is survived by his loving companion Pat Howell; children, Dr. George Vito, Dr. Richard Vito and John Vito; grandson Gavin Vito; brothers, John (Angela) Vito, Frank (Eileen) Vito; brother-in-law Peter Palumbo; several nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Changes Are In The Wind ...

School Choice Timeline Adjusted for 2012-13 Applicants

The application process for Secondary Option, Signature Schools, and Schools of Choice programs has been adjusted due to the Board study process outlined on August 23. The Board established a goal of reviewing options that would enable Greece schools to be more representative of district demographics. The lottery process may change. A new version of the School Attendance Advisory Report will be submitted to the Board in early December in conjunction with a study of potential school reorganization. Any changes to existing programs or the lottery process will be discussed and decisions will be made to allow for an adjusted timeline that meets student and family needs.

BOE Study Session Tuesday @ 6:30PM

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

Discussion of EXCEL II Project
Review Report on Tax Rate Analysis of EXCEL II Project
Data Book Presentation

SCATS ~~ While you are adjusting the lottery process, how about making it an open, public process so the suspicions of impropriety are eliminated?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Which Greece Politician Is Connected To Maggie's Latest Scandal?

From WHEC-TV: "The final state audit says Monroe County wasted millions of taxpayer dollars when it created something called an LDC -- a local development corporation. They named it Upstate Telecommunications Corporation ... "

Upstate Telecom's Board of Directors:
Name                      Term Ending
Charles H. Stuart – President February 29, 2012
Raymond S. DiRaddo  --   March 7, 2014
Aaron J. Sperano   ---   September 19, 2013
Anthony Feroce (Co. Exec. Rep.) Ex-Officio

Ownership: Upstate Telecommunications. This business is located in Rochester, New York. Burglar Alarm Systems Wholesale

Address: 462 Melwood Dr
City: Rochester
County: Monroe
Zip Code: 14626-4512
State: New York
Phone: 585-452-1000
Fax: 585-647-0983
Contact: William Reilich
Position: Owner
Employees: 1 to 36

SCATS ~~ Why is Greece's Town Attorney involved in this? Maybe our closed, clubby, corrupted group finally tainted Maggie's dealings too ;)

When Test Scores Plummet, Reduce Instruction Time!

At the recent Parkland/Brookside PTA meeting, the shared VP and the former reading specialist who is now "interning" with the principal at Parkland announced that there is much empathy for the high percentage of under-privileged children in the two schools (59% at PL and 66% at BS*) whose parents can't transport their kids to/ from extra-curricular activities before & after school. 

To rectify this egregious situation, the two schools will begin incorporating "enrichment sessions" into the school day once/week. They aim to involve all students and staff in the building to stop and drop whatever they are doing to participate in an activity together (ie: a soccer game). That will allow these under-privileged children to feel that they are part of a "club" so they can go home and say to their family: "I joined soccer club today!"

This new standard is in addition to providing more time for kids to "think about" what they just learned (reduced instructional time again) ... an effort to teach them to find a deeper understanding and comprehension of the lesson. (Someday they may comprehend how GCSD screwed them out of an education, but I digress ... )

These plans are outrageous enough given the poor showing these schools had on recent NY State required ELA & math tests. It's even more outrageous when one considers that Pre-K/2 schools like Parkland do NOT offer extra-curricular activities anyway! Whatever happened to DEAR (drop everything and read) time? Obviously, these two schools value extra-curriculars over academics, or they would be spending as much time as possible "on task."


* info & figures provided to SCATS

Greece No Longer America's "Safest " Community

WHEC-TV reports: A home break-in on Monday on North Drive in Greece has one resident alerting the community about the safety of their neighborhood.

Greece police say that an unknown suspect on North Drive broke into the home through a side door, stealing jewelry from the unoccupied home just after 3 p.m. And while a detective will continue to investigate the case, and a crime prevention specialist will follow-up with the homeowner, Josef Jongen, a neighbor, says that the residents are gravely concerned.

He's put up a sign in his front yard, alerting his neighbors of what's happened to increase their awareness. It reads "Note: Another neighborhood daytime break- in. Locked and alarmed home, Monday 9/19, approximately 3 p.m."

"Before, this was a very safe, middle-class neighborhood," said Jongen, who has lived on North Drive for more than 30 years. He says he can recall four to six break-ins in the last year in a three-to-four street area.

"I'm tired, I'm tired of people beign afraid," he says, describing the neighborhood as a close community, whose residents are now anxious and nervous about their safety.

With the latest incident, Jongen was notified as the emergency contact on the victim's security system.

He's concerned that the suspects are local. His neighbor, Jongen said, had left her home at 3 p.m., and Jongen got the call from the security team around 3:20 p.m., he says.

"it just frustrates me to have these things happen," Jongen says. "It's a neighborhood issue, not just a street issue."

SCATS ~~ Reality hurts ... I'm told we fell to 20th "safest" last year and we're headed much lower again this year.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Auberger Shuts-Down Critics

For the second month/Greece Town Board meeting in a row, Supervisor Auberger tries to silence those who criticize him.

We're In The $$!!

  • Greece Central's Board of Education learns the district underspent EXCEL project work by up to $1.5 million.
  • Approved change orders provide credits of $12,326.91 & $56,800.
  • NY's Atty General announces settlement with Michael's Store will net GCSD gift cards for art supplies.
SCATS ~~ WOWIE!! With all of this "extra" money & "free" stuff falling into the school district's lap, Mz. Julia might think GCSD can afford to keep ALL SCHOOLS OPEN ... one more year ... nevermind the fact we don't really need 20 schools capable of serving 17,000 students for under 12,000 students ;)

Tia Gerstner Finally Gets Jail Time

Yet Another Plea Deal
Gets Her ONLY
2 1/3 to 7 Yrs. In State Prison

"I had every indication she could get her life together. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement." ~~ Asst. District Attorney Perry Duckles, who prosecuted both cases

Gerstner "made two terrible judgment calls," but has accepted responsibility for her actions. "It's something she'll pay dearly for now." ~~ Joseph Damelio, Gerstner's lawyer

SCATS ~~ So in Monroe County, if you are a pretty, young, female and from a privileged background, you can get drunk & stoned, kill your best friend in a DWI, then drive without a license while drunk on probation, steal another friend's vehicle and damage an unoccupied parked car of an innocent person and still get a tidy little plea deal from the DA!! MUST BE NICE!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Closed, Clubby & Corrupt To Meet

Greece Town Board
Meets Tuesday @6PM
Greece Town Hall
Preliminary Agenda
22. Authorization to approve a donation of dog food for one year from Pet Saver, 1596 W. Ridge Road, for the Greece Police Department K9 Program.

SCATS ~~ I'd like to approve/receive a year's supply of catnip, too ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Is That Greece Bus Half Empty, Or Half Full?

It's been reported by the Supt. that on opening day in the Greece Central School District approximately 11,880 students attended. It was also reported that Greece Central buses transported 11,030 students that day.

  11,880 Total Students
- 11,030 Bus Riders
=     850 Students Walking in GCSD (7%)

On Friday Sept. 9th - the second day of school - I witnessed a number of buses (approx. 12-15) exiting Athena while I was stuck at the traffic light. Only a couple of those buses appeared to be carrying sufficient students to fill half or more of the seats. Several large buses held less than a handful of students and a couple held 3 or less. I saw two small buses leave, one with 2 students, the other appeared to have just 1! Please note that the buses exiting Athena were a mere fraction of the HUGE SWARM that had gathered at Athena at release time!

Later this same afternoon, I passed by Parkland School where significantly fewer buses (10-12 total) had gathered at release time, to transport their +/- 280 kids home, since there would be no walkers, as per policy.

Question 1 - With 20 schools in the district, why are so few total students walking to school?

Question 2 - Why is it that (adjusting for total student population differences between the two buildings) a school with a waiting list (Athena) needs so many more buses proportionately than a school that has none (Parkland) given that under current district policy ALL Parkland students would get to ride to ride the bus, but many attending Athena should be walking to school?

Question 3 - How many total buses does Greece Central employ?

Question 4 - What is the bus/student ratio?

Question 5 - How does this ratio compare to other similarly-sized districts?

It appears to this observer that:
1 - too few Greece students are required to walk to school
2 - an oversubscribed school (one with a waiting list) requires a much greater number of buses proprtionately to transport their students than a school that has no waiting list but is required to bus ALL students! (This is really a "no-brainer" observation, but some of you need it spelled out still.)


You know it.
I know it.
What are we going to do about it?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

While GCSD Nickel & Dimes You To Death ...

The Greece School Board
Approved Spending
$89,444.41 On Stipends
$20,530 On Coaching Fees
At the August BOE Meeting.

They Will Do It Again
At Nearly Every Regular BOE Meeting
Over The Next Year.

So far, they've expended:
$105,869.41 on Stipends
$225,530 on Coaching Fees
For the 2011-12 School Year.

That's in addition to teacher's regular salaries.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pinebrook Named National Blue Ribbon School

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students. The program is part of a larger Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds.

2011 Blue Ribbon Schools

 “We set high expectations. It’s not enough for them to just be meeting standards. We push them further to exceed standards.” ~~ Beth Boily, Principal
SCATS ~~ If everything is copacetic, then why is it that only Greece's schools-of-choice win awards for academic performance?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dear Babs: GCSD's Whistleblower Policy Isn't Working

Dear Babs,

SCATS is receiving emails & comments from district employees who are complaining about unfair treatment, possible sexual and other harassment as well as other on the job offenses related to custodial positions at Athena. Names have been named, but I'm withholding them here to give you the chance to scrutinize the situation for yourself. Please don't rely on others to look into this for you. It's doubtful they can be trusted.

Among the accusations are these claims:
  1. Promotions seem to be given to any one who has family or ties to GSCD no matter how long you've been in the District. Examples: A lot of sub-custodians have been in the District for many years and have not seen either a raise, or a promotion and make just $7.95/hr. Also, a known past sub Custodian was hired full time and has Family who Works for GSCD. This person is a known "pot" smoker. How did he pass the drug test?
  2. Harassment by Athena HS Asst. 'B shift" Custodian was covered up by "A shift" School Custodian. Examples: The "B shift ' person (name withheld by SCATS) degrades fellow workers and even told one cleaner he wants to " BANG HIS WIFE". After this was reported, he still has his job. Is it because his dad is a GCSD employee? He even has called other employees "fags" and etc.
One line from an email seems to sum it up well: "Unfair practice seems to be the normal here and is not fair to others trying there best at the jobs and getting no wheres and if you are at Athena your getting mocked or harassed."

Please do what you can to look into these claims, Babs. I have no reason to doubt their authenticity.


Monday, September 12, 2011

BOE Monthly Meeting Tuesday @6:30PM

It is anticipated that the BOE will go into an Exec.Session at 5:30PMo discuss the employment history of particular person(s) & pending litigation.


SCHOOL OPENING REPORT (Enrollment @11,880)

BUDGET STATUS REPORT (This beast is huge!)

Northgate Neighbors Meeting Wednesday @7PM

John Plummer, Chairman of the Greece Tree Council will talk about trees, shrubs and what the Town of Greece is doing to protect the parks and public areas of Greece.

Aldersgate United Methodist Church,
4115 Dewey Avenue
7pm Wednesday

DEC Studying Dry Cleaners, Gas Station Sites on 104

Decades Old Environmental Threats May Require Clean-Up

SCATS ~~ I want to personally thank ALL local politicians, past & present, who permitted this contamination to continue unchecked for so long.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Legal Counsel Explains Case Against Town of Greece

Indy TV episode #29
Lawsuit Against Town of Greece, NY
Over Sectarian Prayer

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11, 2001 ...


Appeals Court To Hear Greece Town Prayer Case

The D&C reports: The U.S. Court of Appeals will hear arguments on Monday in a case filed by Greece residents objecting to sectarian prayers at Greece Town Board meetings.

Represented by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Greece residents Linda Stephens and Susan Galloway sued the town and Town Supervisor John Auberger in 2009 over a long-standing policy of opening Town Board meetings with a prayer.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian organization, has represented the town pro bono.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Siragusa ruled in favor of the town and dismissed the suit in August 2010.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Old Flip-Flops Never Go Out Of Style ...

THEN ... MPNnow (Mar.31, 2011)

"Supervisor's Actions Shouldn't Be Defended"

"The letter in the March 24 edition of the Greece Post (“Remember Auberger’s positives, as well”) regarding Greece Supervisor John Auberger is laughable at best.

The writer mentions the fact that Mr. Auberger is a member of St. Lawrence Church. As a Catholic, I can tell you that “Thou shall not commit adultery” is one of the 10 Commandments which John Auberger has clearly violated.

Let’s also not forget this is not the first scandal that has occurred under Mr. Auberger’s watch. In addition to the Greece Police Department scandal, there was also the tax assessor scandal. His arrogance and refusal to take responsibility for his actions is why he continues to set a poor example of a leader. He continues to blame other people for his actions.

Shame on the Town Board members for not standing up to Mr. Auberger and demanding his resignation. Since each one of you are up for re-election this year, it will make for a very interesting one once this so-called White Water Auberger investigation is completed."



NOW ... Greece Post 9/8/11  pg. 10a

"Conlon Would Benefit 3rd Ward, Entire Town"

(click image to enlarge)


12:15 p.m. Friday, September 9, 2011

Plumbing problems at Lakeshore Elementary School have prompted school officials to evacuate the building. Lakeshore students and staff will be transported by bus to English Village Elementary School where they will finish the school day. All Lakeshore students will be bused home from English Village according to their normal dismissal schedule. Parents will receive phone notification of the evacuation.

GCSD Security Team Trains For Gangs, Rx Drug Abuse Etc.

The Greece Central School District's 35 member security team held its annual in-service training Wed. Sept. 7th @ Apollo MS. Among the topics covered were: emergency procedures, gang intelligence, graffiti identification, penal law, courtroom procedure & traffic control. (STORY)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Will Taxpayers Foot Bill For NGFD's Goodwill?

Anonymous said...

This week's nomination for best under the rug stuffing should go to North Greece Fire Department! Hey Mr & Mrs Taxpayer are you aware North Greece Union Firemen and volunteers are riding around the Southern part of the State in equipment you paid for burning fuel you'll pay for so they can pump water out of flooded cellars?

How much will this little gesture of goodwill cost you?

Union Firemen are being PAID to pump cellars outside NG Fire District, YOU pay them.

NG equipment is being worn out, YO pay to replace it.

Neither expense will be paid from 2% money.

Want to bet NG Fire Tax goes up come January?

Do you remember voting for North Greece to become a Statewide agency? Do you remember even being asked?

What next from the Union boys in the 7 million dollar firehouse?   9/08/2011 11:11 PM

First Day of School ...


Wednesday, September 07, 2011


School District Doctor Says
Perfect Attendance Policies/Awards
Send The Wrong Message


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Getting Serious About Improving GCSD's Performance

To pull up test scores & improve graduation rates, students must BE IN CLASS! To accomplish this we must:

REDUCE TRUANCY ~ Get them into school!
LENGTHEN TIME IN CLASS ~ Longer day/longer year




Monday, September 05, 2011

Tornado Crosses NY State Thruway Yesterday

Tornado is @ about 6 minutes into this ...

C4N U R35D 7H15 ?

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C34R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15. C4N U R35D 7H15 ? ;)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Former BOE Member Hopeful


Recently I had the pleasure of meeting our new Superintendent. As I walked into the office, a place I had been many times in the past, I felt something there that I hadn’t felt since Dr. Kehoe occupied that space. There was a distinct aura present that came in the form of a positive energy source, not present there during the Achramovitch era when the space was a vacuum, devoid of substance.

After an hour and a half discussion with her, I came away with a positive impression of our new Superintendent and the fact that last year’s school board finally got it right after ten plus years of failure. I found her approachable, charismatic, someone with a strong desire to succeed and someone with self-confidence in her ability to lead. She has no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead. Her approach to successful change is a simple, common-sense concept. It’s called team work with every member of her team from teachers, building principals and administrative staff performing up to her expectations. Most impressive was her understanding of the problems plaguing this district and a plan to deal with them, plans that will become apparent given the time to implement them. Foremost in my mind is that Barbara Deane-Williams is a “got-it-together” individual, the real deal.

What she needs and wants from the community is patience, input and support. Given this, she has a formula for success that will enhance the education of our students.

Joe Moscato

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Meg's Troubles Continue ...

Website created to promote Keller-Cogan's "accomplishments" in Clarkstown as her contract nears its end. No mention is made of her time spent in Greece Central.

Swept Under The Rug ...

Posted To SCATS' Facebook Page Friday Night: "So I guess a dead man was found in the backseat of a Mercury Mountaineer in Toys R Us Parking lot (Greece) earlier today. Ridgeway Tow removed the car.. How come this was not on the news?????"


Buried on the MPNNews Website: A Greece resident reported that he was nearly robbed at gunpoint while mowing his lawn.

On Aug. 31, a Mt. Ridge Circle resident was on a riding lawnmower in his front yard.

An unknown black male reportedly put a long gun to his back and demanded money.

The resident told police that he pushed the gun away which caused one round to be discharged in the air.

According the police, the resident then punched the suspect in the face and the suspect left in a green car, thought to be a Toyota or Nissan.


Posted To SCATS Today:

Anonymous said...

I got stopped last night around 8:00 on Mill rd by what I thought was a DWI check point becasue they had about 6 GPD officers stopping every single car. They asked where i was coming from and where i was going. they had a side street closed off (I think it was Cedar Mill). The officer told me they a trying to break up a house party planned and advertised on Facebook. The party was supposed to take place at a forclosed on empty house and they were expecting between 300 and 500 people!! Their was at least 12 officers stopping cars and blocking the streets leading to house. 9/03/2011 11:38 AM