from August 17, 2006)
Tonight, I attended my first School Board meeting, at Onteora
High School. It was described as a Workshop/Meeting on the subject
of the Large Parcel issue. I’m an educator, and one of
the many residents of Olive who are not just concerned about
our personal real-property taxes, but that the School Board
return to its purview: overseeing our children’s education.
I’ve followed the LPL issue with care over the past couple
of years. And I recently wrote to the Onteora Board, asking
members to let the LPL issue drop so they can return to the
rightful business of school boards—education, not politics.
I was shocked tonight at the attitude and lack of professionalism
of the Board’s new president, Marino D’Orazio. Granted,
he and the Board were in the hot seat, since many people from
Olive came to the local meeting to listen and be heard. But
here are just a few examples of the problems I witnessed with
— He seemed unable to decide whether to let the public
speak or not during what was billed as a two-hour public discussion
period. One minute, he was calling an end to all comments; in
the next breath he was placating: “You will all have an
opportunity to be heard.” After one speaker’s remarks
apparently made him uncomfortable, he suddenly established a
two-minute limit as the next person approached the microphone.
He needn’t have worried. Henrietta Wise’s impassioned,
articulate call to the Board to free itself of politics and
return to making education its priority took less than a minute
— His attitude was extraordinarily patronizing to speakers,
except those whose opinions he favored. The sneering was evident
in tone of voice, choice of words, and shaming tactics. And
he failed to observe the rules of order he expected others to
adhere to. One participant from Olive in particular, Byron Utley,
was repeatedly interrupted by Mr. D’Orazio. Mr. Utley
made the “mistake” of addressing some of his comments
toward those seated in the room, rather than keep his back to
them the entire time. After he sat down, Mr. D’Orazio
made a speech about how speakers were expected to address the
Board and not the “audience.”
“Audience?” We are taxpayers, homeowners and parents
who came to participate in the type of dialogue and exploration
the term “workshop” implies—not to be talked
down to like a bunch of unruly children. Actually, children
would not have accepted his treatment so gracefully. One woman
remarked after the meeting: “If he were a school principal,
he’d have had a riot on his hands.”
— He cut in half the time allotted for the public Workshop
phase. The meeting started at 7 p.m. and, per the agenda distributed
to all, was to go to Executive Session at about 9 p.m. The president
cut off public discussion at 8 o’clock. During the Public
Be Heard period, I had two brief, on-point questions I wanted
to ask the Board. When I stood up to be recognized at about
7:55, Mr. D’Orazio waved me down energetically, as if
to signal me to wait till the current question had been fully
explored. I sat. As soon as that discussion finished, I stood
again, as did two other people. But Mr. D’Orazio immediately
called for a recess to Executive Session, despite protests from
many in the large crowd that others wished to speak.
At the “audience’s” urging, I went to the
microphone anyway to address the members of the Board. While
most of them packed up to leave, I asked:
1 If, as suggested tonight by Bob Cross [Supervisor of Shandaken]
and John Hurld [of Hurley], Onteora were to create an independent
means of implementing school taxes, separate from ORPS, what
would be the effect on taxes, and who would make the decisions
about them for the towns of the Onteora District?
2) If, as mentioned during the meeting, 30 out of 32 school
districts facing the LPL issue chose to simply let it die a
natural death, why did Onteora think it needed to jump into
the fray, when Olive already had announced definite plans for
As I began to speak into the mike, Mr. D’Orazio himself
turned off the PA system on me, with a triumphant grin in my
direction. I continued anyway. To their credit, at least a couple
of Board members, Cindy O’Conner and Mary Jane Bernholtz,
stayed for the extra minute to listen, though at that point
the meeting had disintegrated too far for a response.
The coup de grace of Mr. D’Orazio’s impropriety
came after the meeting when, as he passed me on his way to executive
session, he patted my arm firmly and very familiarly several
times, beamed into my face from a distance of about two inches
and said, “Good luck!” Was this an attempt at physical
intimidation? Sexism? A complete unawareness of appropriate
boundaries with a stranger? Or some combination of all three?
If Marino D’Orazio so freely exhibits this sort of behavior
with adults, he may need a bit of good luck himself to retain
this office of high public trust for our children. As above,
so below. We need to ask ourselves, as one united Onteora community:
is this the behavior we want modeled for our students by the
person at the top of their education chain?
Oil, Oil, Everywhere But Not A Drop For You or Me...
As we see prices at the pump rising faster than our real wages
we wonder when this is going to stop. The price of oil on Wall
Street keeps climbing faster than the price of gold or platinum
ever grew in human history. There is no other commodity within
the global economy that has a central command on the market
place and its future development.
There isn’t a single other commodity within the global
economy that impacts on the sale, distribution of all products
within the “free market.” Wars are being fought
for the control and distribution, refining of oil into fuel
oil and gasoline. Without either the entire global village either
lives or dies. The new imperialism is based on unilateralist-bilateralism,
where the cost of human life is less than the precious black
gold coming out of the ground. Ruthlessness is the order of
the day and this is passed off as neo-compassion where dying
now is better than dying of thirst or in bio-terrorist pandemic
of the future. Just like when the Europeans sold infested small
pox blankets to the Native American people in order to rid the
disease from among the white settlers communities. Such are
the past practices that have given way to germ warfare and nuclear
pointed shells spreading radiation sickness among the people
of Iraq. The resistance to occupation will soon die literally
when millions of Iraqis pass away from the radiation sickness
slowly eating away at their bodies.
Oil, Oil everywhere is the new mantra of the swinging rich and
beautiful as they pleasure themselves while watching death and
destruction on Fox and CNN.
Why are the mass media folk ignoring the real issues within
America? Oil, Oil, everywhere but not a single drop for you
or me the low income working people, the elderly, or anyone
else living within the modern poverty income guidelines? Does
ignorance on the top equal the poverty on the bottom? Can justice
be served by uplifting the great mass of the global working
class out of the slime and stench of poverty induced by global
capitalism. Is the ghost of Karl Marx still spooking the spoken
word of the capitalist manifesto of free trade, outsourcing,
resources for the few, government for the corporation by the
corporations without God, honor or human centered values. Has
America finally voided itself all over the planet spreading
not democracy but indifference, intolerance, justification of
killing all of our children and ignoring the reality of the
“Get up stand up stand up for your rights, Get up stand
up stand up for your rights. Don’t Give Up The Fight!
Get up stand up stand up for your rights
Get up and stand up now
that you have seen the light
Don’t Give Up the Fight!
Bob Nasta Marley
2/6/1945- May 11, 1981
Last week, as I read Glenn Anderson's letter to you regarding
a gentlemen he gave a gift too, in exchange for a check to the
St. John's Food Pantry, (which never materialized), I thought
of all the things I've heard promised but in reality turned
out to be promises broken.
We can look around the world today and see many parallel scenarios.
We can begin with the U.S. Federal government representatives
who promise to abide by the laws of the federal Constitution,
but cleverly avoid keeping their sworn promises to their constituents.
Or we can compare it to international peacekeeping treaties
we see being signed and agreed upon, without any intent of them
actually being honored. Daily we see our President call for"
peace" and yet he wages war and supports non peaceful mythology.
We see Israel and Lebanon agree to observe peaceful borders,
yet they quickly violate these agreements.
Let's look at our very own attorney general of the United States,
who pledges full cooperation to the federal investigations committee
and is sworn to protect and support the highest court in our
nation, and yet he too avoids questioning and offers vague answers
to continue his protectionist patronizing allegiance to the
president. Daily we hear outcries of high gasoline
prices and costs of living, but fail to see even a glint of
hope for utilizing alternative energy or encouragement to further
develop these goals.
The people need a strong lobby to increase the minimum wage
so it provides for an equitable livable standard. All the corporate
lobbyists seem to be protected, but what about the workers?
Look at the folks who are told that there is state health insurance
for their children, yet they can't qualify because they have
incomes above the stated allowable amounts that can be earned?
What about the folks who have to sell their homes to pay taxes
and cover catastrophic illness costs, or medical bills or medicines?
We are told that costs will come down, but do they? You can
be sure that these lobbyists are looking only in one direction
and that is the one that will maintain the perks and special
Again, a self serving attitude. Great role models, as we saw
with your friend, Mr. Anderson.
People lie and our government lies!
Do we ever see footage of the injured soldiers returning home
from the war in Iraq? No, because their injuries are shattering
and their wounds irreparable. We are not shown these photos
or told of the U2
poisoning they carry. Now, they can transport this contamination
back to the USA and endanger their families, communities and
their heirs, since the genetic maladaptive mutations have been
documented in these soldiers and their new offspring but quietly
hushed by our government. And for all their labors and putting
themselves on the front lines, they are facing reduced medical
care and benefits via the military.
So wherever we look, we see lies in the world politic, in our
very own government, in our military, in our towns and small
True colors come thru and we are left with struggle.
We need to be mindful of these acts as we approach our next
elections. Demand the truth and demand action. React to your
disappointments, don't settle. Let's all work together and these
changes CAN be accomplished.
Personally, I have been involved with the St.John's Food Pantry
for over 14 years and want to thank you for all your past support.
As for your friend, I'd like him to know that there are many
dedicated and honorable people who share in this ministry with
donations of time, food and self. The check would have been
a great help to us, but we will manage, as in the past, on the
selfless giving of our parishioners and many in the community
who freely donate items because they are good people and are
just there to help, just because they want to! The only gift
they get is the giving!)
I must comment on a few letters in the August 3rd edition of
the Press and I will include the current conflict between Israel
and Lebanon [more like Israel and everyone else].
David Turan feels that the American Oil companies should not
catch up to the rest of the world's [oil] corporations re: profits
or a return on investment. In 1983 gasoline in Sicily was over
$3.00 per gallon [using the metric/standard, lira/dollar conversion].
My source? Myself, as a Naval Reservist assigned to Sigonela
Nav Air Base. $5.00 per gallon in Britain has 20 yrs longevity.
At present Norway, an oil producer enjoys a $6.00 plus per gallon.
Perhaps Mr. Turan would like the American stock market to drop
back to 800-900 from today's high of 11,000-12,000 with little
or no inflation while interest rates would return to 21%. His
pay/pension/benefits would fall commensurately with less surplus
[a good indicator as to how well one is doing. What do I have
left for toys?].
Mr. Turan, do you know there are more Democrat millionaires
in Congress with investments in Exxon Mobil, Occidental, BP
which purchased AMOCO; Chevron, and Royal Dutch Shell [which
annually eludes the US tax man]? [Wall St. Journal]. To be sure
Bush and Cheney hold the same certificates but Al Gore inherited
far more interest in the oil companies [most in Occidental]
from his father, Sen Albert Gore, Sr. [AP, 1990]. You can all
stop "trashing" on a personal basis as if the targets
are all unworthy of life on the planet. It's counter productive.
H. Clark Bell would sacrifice an unborn life to possibly save
an old life after research. Rejoice Mr. Bell. President "Shrub"
just vetoed one bill in six years and that ends your friendship?
Ask some 80 yr. old if it's ok to abort a fetus just to experiment
with stem cells on his behalf. What has happened to our moral
Jack Smith, when not organizing protest trips leads the charge
for undocumented "visitors" at New Paltz under the
guise of "immigration". We know what the definition
of immigration is [Noah Webster] but we as a nation of laws
have statutes to control the movement of folks into this country.
A few days ago some operating figures from Parkland hospital
[in Texas] for just their maternity care is astounding [NBC].
And this is being repeated all over the US with schools, public
services and social services. Does anyone remember "immigrants
rights" organizations from 1850 to 1990? All who welcome
the undocumented to come uninvited should be embracing George
W. rather than "trashing" him with names and "hate"
letters. Attack his policies, not personally. I have trouble
with the inconsistent mind set.
Jill Paperno, the writer with wrong or no sources is at it again
with her quotes from the "Source" of Great Britain
along with some self loathing professor [Finkelstein] with figures
related to Palestinian [read terrorist] prisoners held by the
Israelis. I did a search and find the Source: is a blogger owned
and operated by the Guardian. I traced back to March of 2006
and find no June 24, 2006 reference to the story she quotes
of Israeli commandos entering Gaza and taking 2 Palestinians
hostage "because they are members of Hamas. Sounds good
to me but hat fact does not mean the story was not published.
[I wear bi-focals]. Her complaint includes the fact that no
US publications ran the report. Neither did Der Speigel or the
Shanghai Express. The Olive Press failed miserably.
Check out Reuter's and their "doctored" photo of Lebanon
being attacked by Israeli Fighter Jets and Missiles [exposed
by "little Green Footballs", an American Blogger].
The photo editor was fired after doing a masterful job [with
Adobe?] of photo "enhancement. Dropped flares were "morphed"
into missiles using the "overlay" feature which was
so obvious [ABC, 08-06[.
I would say that an event such as Ms. Paperno describes is "old
hat". Palestinians strap on a bomb, go over to Israel and
blow up a school bus, a preschool, a pizza joint or a wedding.
The next day or two we are treated to the destruction of the
terrorist's family home by my favorite toy, the noble bull dozer.
The family response is a sick, "I can't wait until my 12
yr. old son celebrates his 18th birthday. But arresting a terrorist
and spiriting him back to Israel is "fair dinkum"
as the British say. You understand British "speak"
Ms. Paperno since you quote an obscure publication like "Observer".
However, Ms. Paperno does quote correctly the Guardian editorial,
"Storm over Gaza, '29 June, 2006'" in which the Islamic
group, Hamas killed 2 Israeli soldiers and took another hostage.
She is correct in her comment that this incident sparked the
current conflict with Gaza but not a word of the 8 Israeli soldiers
killed in northern Israel with the kidnapping of two more. Touche
Ms. Paperno. You omitted the "biggie"; the current
war between Israel and Lebanon. You and others might say Israel
and Hezbollah but where are Hezbollah's uniforms? Where is Hezbollah's
flag? Who do they represent and who is paying for the war materiel?
It's as if a North Dakota "paint ball" Militia has
attacked Canada with Florida and Texas financing it. So Canada
bombs North Dakota and the governor is outraged He/she claims
that the Militia guys are residents and members of the state
Legislature. Indeed, the Militia Commander is the Speaker of
We are all in agreement that there has been too many deaths
and too much destruction for the last month [6 weeks at publication].
But, and here is the "but". Who and what is Hezbollah?
Some say it's a political entity functioning as "Republicans"
or "Democrats". That's fine except that the Hezbollah
tail is wagging the Lebanese dog and the Lebanese citizens love
them and what they are doing.
If a legitimate government allows a Militia or Vigilantes to
do what that government should be doing the Nation attacked
has every right to return fire in whatever form. This is why
the impotent United Nations is doing nothing but lament, wring
their hands and attend meaningless meetings. No traction.
On Sunday, August 6, 2006 it was reported that the Lebanese
Army has joined Hezbollah in a common effort to eradicate Israel
[ABC, NBC, CBS].
Ms. Paperno is correct in what the Dalai Lama espouses. I admire
the leader of "peace and understanding" who fled from
Tibet to India when set upon by the Chinese, but where do the
Jews go? The much admired Dalai Lama, never-the-less "bailed"
and left his people to their own devices.
It is not hard to determine where I stand in this situation.
I, and all decent folks"have a dog in this fight"
based on the history of the Israelites, their nomadic existence
and the holocaust that many are denying ever happened. We understand
that our sight fails and our eyes go blind. But what of the
"blindness of the mind?" What of the "righteous"
Germans, Poles, French and Dutch who hid Jews from the Nazis?
General Pace made it clear in the Senate committee hearing last
week when he stated that, "when Muslim, Arab mothers love
their children more than they hate the Jews we will see peace.
I would add that when the Sunnis and Shiites stop killing each
other [as in Baptists vs Methodists] the world will be a better
If we can bring ourselves to tolerate terrorism for the sake
of inflicting physical and emotional harm then we have become
them. When we reduce human life, including our own to a negative
value there is little or no hope of redemption. Remember, Israel
must defeat every force that attacks them every time. They only
have to lose once and it's over for another 2-3000 years;....
maybe. We have many in this great nation that would dance and
celebrate the demise of Israel much as our Muslim "friends"
in Dearborn, Union and other [US] towns did on 9-11 [NBC, ABC,
CBS, PBS]. Any questions?
Glenn T. Anderson
This Sunday, the website http://www.openvotingfoundation.org/,
working in tandem with Bev Harris of http://www.blackboxvoting.org/,
issued a report, written by computer scientist Professor Richard
Lee, PHD, wherein he recommends a prompt re-examination and
possible revocation of certification for the Diebold touchscreen
Mr. Lee, who was assigned to a 3 year investigation on voting
machine fraud concluded that the Diebold certification process
was basically a fraud.
Open Voting Foundation president, Alan Dechert said: "
Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular
paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections
in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip
of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely
different manner compared to the tested and certified version."
In July, Robert F. Kennedy's law firm filed a suit against the
major manufacturers of these voting machines, alleging that
Diebold and other electronic voting machine (EVM) companies
fraudulently represented to state election boards and the federal
government that their products were “unhackable.”.
This unbelievably important story failed to make the "news".
I still advocate voting, under any and all circumstances, since
we will have exit polls and hopefully we will be able to prove
that our votes went to the proper candidates, however, voter
beware. This democracy that we pretend to still live in, is
Wars and other Federal acts are already effecting many of us,
but I can assure you, we will all be effected within the near