A law suit has been filed in NYS Supreme Court challenging the red light cameras all over Rochester as unconstitutional based on violating the 5th Amendment right to due process.
People should not have to give up their civil liberties to live, work, play or just drive in the city. I am the Plaintiff in the court case. Read more and follow the case through court at:
These people must be out of their minds.
PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE ARTICLE ABOVE. IT IS MOST INTERESTING, IF NOT AMAZING, FOR SEVERAL REASONS:
1) Some of the comments in the article MAY be indicative of the very first time that any semblance of a small fissure of public disagreement has occurred between Dr.'s Vargas and Urbanski --- who have pretty much, walked in lock-step (at least publicly) concerning all major education issues --- since the time that Vargas was first hand-picked to so-called "lead." In fact, development and implementation of All City High was obviously an almost exclusive, joint-venture between leaders of the Rochester Teachers Association and Rochester City School District's top Administration.
2) Surely it is not news that the 7 people who were elected to lead the RCSD are totally out of touch. Instead of them issuing policy directives, and insisting that the highly-paid Superintendent adheres to their directives --- they are continuing their long-standing abdication of responsibility, and literally begging the highly-paid Superintendent to keep them informed of what he's doing. So, we have the 7 people who are elected to lead the school district NOT holding the highly-paid Superintendent accountable for his actions, and you have us (voters and taxpayers) NOT holding the 7 people who are elected to lead accountable for their in-actions. So, NO ONE IS HOLDING ANYONE ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING. WE LITERALLY HAVE THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND, AND WE WONDER WHY CHANGE AND IMPROVEMENT NEVER OCCURS? A couple of clear, outstanding examples of the phenomenon referenced above are as follows:
a) "Some board members say the superintendent's decision caught them off guard." WHAT???!!!
b) "Something is very inconsistent about all of this," says school board member Van White. "All along we've been asking for data on All City High, and just two weeks ago we were told everything is fine there." WHAT???!!! Well, now that Board members know (based on the latter quote) that the highly-paid Superintendent has essentially been lying to them --- what do they intend to do about it? And, if Board members follow their long-standing, normal pattern of not doing anything about it, what do we (voters and taxpayers) plan to do about the fact that they are not going to do anything about it? Will we all just continue the long-standing pattern of no one holding anyone accountable for anything? When will heads roll?
3) There are some statements in the article that are disingenuous (to say the least), and designed to bamboozle and hoodwink the public into believing that some type of magical transformation has occurred. The following is a classic example: "But school officials say that All City High was always intended as an immediate option for students floundering or at risk of dropping out of the five schools that are being closed. The school has fulfilled that mission, officials say,..." WHAT???!!! Are we to believe that there are no longer any students who are "floundering or at risk of dropping out?"
4) The article also contains some brand new language, which the writer seems to be attempting to palm off as part of the norm. It is not. For example, we have heard, and read general rhetoric concerning the idea and possibility of future, "teacher-led-schools," but there hasn't been any mention of parents being a part of leadership until now. Thus, based on the following quotes, apparently someone has had an epiphany, and realized that, with regard to leadership, it's critically important to include parents: "Urbanski says he supports more innovative schools, such as parent-and teacher-led community schools. But he says that Vargas wants to convert the failing schools to parent-and teacher-led charter conversion" schools." I repeat, the term "PARENTS" in the latter quotes is BRAND NEW LANGUAGE. Yet, (based on past rhetoric), it is my unequivocal view that parents need to be very cautious, and even suspect. That is, we have heard TALK in the past about "shared leadership and decision-making," but for the most part, it has boiled down to nothing more or less than just TALK. Additionally, in my humble, but firm view, it is important for us to reject the idea, and past practice of hand-picked parents being assigned as our so-called "leaders" (such as, for example, many of those who are part of the so-called District Parent Council) who are clearly disconnected from the vast majority of RCSD parents and guardians. Instead, we must insist on a completely democratic process that provides equitable opportunities for involvement and engagement of ALL RCSD PARENTS AND GUARDIANS. According to information in the article, there is already a serious, potential, fundamental problem with Vargas's idea of "parent- and teacher-led charter conversion" schools," i.e., "A majority of the teachers [BUT NOT THE PARENTS] in the school would have to agree to the conversion..."
Indeed, parents and guardians, especially those whose children are struggling the most, should be skeptical of any type of charter school arrangement --- because one thing is crystal clear: Charter schools definitely "siphon off the better performing students from the host school system, leaving the district with mainly low-performing, disruptive students — those requiring more and costly special services."
It is important to give credit where credit is due. If he is really serious, Urbanski is correct about one thing: “The goal should be to fix the broken system, not opt out of it."
Here's a solid article that points out some of the flaws of "reformers" like you Mrs. Remis, and your local education cronies ( Gantt, Warren, Williams, etc). Charter's are a corporate hustle and don't deal with the real issue that is holding back many RCSD students, overwhelming concentrated POVERTY. You can call out teacher accountability and unions and support charter schools until you're blue in the face, but more and more people are realizing the dishonesty and lack of evidence to support this new con game. How is your child's unionized, non-charter, affluent, suburban school performing?
There has been some national coverage of this finding. I saw that some scholars pointed out this was perhaps indirectly associated with a more aggressive police presence in minority inner city neighborhoods (which has been significant in reducing black-on-black violence).
I still have not seen the obvious explanation. Some African Americans are smoking marijuana much more openly than any other group I am aware of. My overwhelming exposure to marijuana in the city (via smell) has been from young African Americans smoking in public.
Leave it to the ACLU to push their innuendo.
Parents should be cautious of the charter conversion option. Converted charters are not 'real' charters: they have the same contracts and work rules as the district schools. Charters in name only.
Any chance you'd be interested in interviewing past and current residents at MCH to get THEIR take on how awesome it was and is?
In the end it's a personal choice. The outcomes that you experience in life will depend on the choices that you make, not your neighborhood or any other factor. Yes some neighborhoods require (and have) better police coverage than others, so if you choose to sell or use illicit drugs then your chances of getting caught may vary as compared to someone else's. Stay away from drugs and you won't need to worry, or roll the dice and get caught-up in use and/or sales, it's your choice. Marijuana leads to harder drugs and is associated with turf- and debt-related violence. The "everybody's doing it - it's unfair that I'm being singled out" excuse common from those charged with what they view to be low-level activity isn't persuasive. Put the focus on yourself. If you're arrested for marijuana possession, chances are you were involved with open-air drug sales. Police have limited resources to conduct undercover buys therefore street corner dealers are often charged only with possession. Make healthy choices and develop a habit of following the rules, or choose to roll the dice but don't cry "unfair" when your questionable decision making leads to a conviction record.
Truth girl, if you spend more than a few seconds on our site you'll see that we do, in fact, welcome opposing viewpoints. What we do not allow, however, are insults or personal attacks. That will not change.
not sure how disadvantaged people can create real paying jobs for people that can buy homes......what a dumb concept, give money to people that most likely do not have the skills, education or experience but are disadvantaged, that will pay off big....
going downtown for office locations does not make a lot of sense, first the traffic sucks, there is no parking or you have to pay for it, no one really stays downtown after 5pm because of the potential crime and then walking to your car alone in the dark...not exactly fun for the females......
very poor decisions, the sagamore went over real well......with tax abatements for years and prices of $500k...now the damn things are worth $100k to $200k less than they were....these people that develop and the city think this is NYC....not sure who really wants to live downtown, not the people who pay $500k, they will live in Pittsford, brighton where they have access to all the amenities......
again we have a city mayor that is a lawyer/politician and not a business person...while I understand they are trying but it will work against them once again...it so easy and fun to spend other peoples money, we need to tie their pay to the results of these projects and then see if they are willing to take these risks....right now if they fail, they do not care the tax payers always fit the bill.....tie to their jobs and pay and they will really do their due diligence....
most excellent business people do not want to run for public office because they can have better lives without the incredible BS that they have to deal with at the bureaucratic places that are a nightmare and you cannot fire any of them......plus they crawl up your arse for any tiny problem you had in your past and make it seem like you are a freaking felon, so there you go, you get squeaky clean candidates that suck at what they do, because they have never really done anything in their lives, can you say Obama.....
another waste of tax payer dollars to a city/county where taxes are one of the highest in the nation and where we have not added any really good jobs....also our population for the entire western NY area keeps decreasing.....this stuff makes no sense.......again we have stupid politicians agreeing to things they do not understand with developers who have little risk because of grants from government.......we will go broke again.....
I didn't know this publication censors and removed comments. There was nothing that was unrtue or profane in my comment it was factual and my opinion. It may not be popular iwth a liberal publication but id guess I didnt realise that opposing thoughts would be deleted. Not cool!
Here is a link to the planning of the fair at Northampton by the County (http://www.13wham.com/media/lib/16/e/7/5/e75feac2-3982-493b-ace4-406b72cc230f/agricultural_festival_rfp.pdf). In it, it describes changes to the park, as well as planned uses, which includes rides (which Leg. Colby said WOULD NOT BE AT THE FAIR), alcohol, and the proposed location of the festival site would encompass the area of Northampton Park adjacent to the western boundary of Springdale Farm, in the vicinity of Hubbell Road (both sides). Infrastructure improvements including water lines, electricity, pedestrian walkways, vehicular access roadways and parking. The contractor will also be EXPECTED to construct, at the contractor’s expense, any new facilities associated with hosting such a festival. The County ANTICIPATES that this would initially include three permanent pole barn type structures, each with a footprint measuring 30’ x 60’, two of which would be open, including electrical service and water hook-up, (suitable for livestock and/or poultry holding/exhibition) and one of which would be enclosed, including heat, electric and water service (suitable for interior agriculture related displays), as well as a fenced open-air riding ring with seating. In addition to the agricultural festival, the contractor will be permitted to use the "festival site" for a mutually agreed upon number of dates, not exceeding 10 per year.
With these changes, the park's rural nature will be permanently altered and will impact the many users of the park.
The article points out that non-discrimination laws are very important to ensure that LGBT individuals have the same access to jobs. But let's face : even if non-discrimination laws exist, if they are not vigorously enforced, these laws make no difference whatsoever. It is still a very real, and not surprising, fact that many straight males, even liberal ones, are uncomfortable reporting to a gay supervisor, regardless of whether that gay boss is open or not. Straight men feel emasculated in the workforce in such a situation and since so much of the corporate power structure is still based on adolescent male playground politics, highly competent gay males suffer. But our society suffers as well and so do those businesses who end up with less competent supervisors to run the show.
Howard Eagle & Ronald Hall Will Officially Launch Campaign To Challenge Democratic Party's, Hand-Picked Candidates For School Board
WHAT: Press Conference
WHEN: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 ... 4:00 PM ... 4:00 PM
WHERE: In Front of All City High School (180 Ridgeway Avenue)
WHY: To officially launch their campaign to unseat incumbents, and help end the status-quo.
Ronald Hall was quoted as having said: "We sincerely hope that Rochester City School District parents, grandparents, guardians, and the general, tax-paying, public is ready to join us in declaring, and proving that enough is enough."
Howard Eagle said: "We have out-worked (in the streets), and out-organized the Democratic-Party-Machine, and defeated it in the past. Indeed, we did so in 2011. It is our plan and intentions to do the job twice as well in 2013."
I felt the need to reply to the accusation that Tim Macaluso is somehow unfair or judgmental in his education reporting. I want to add that I have never defended anyone like this but I have been involved with Rochester education for many years and have read lots and lots of “stuff” over the years.
Rochester is a volatile place for public education and covering it has to be almost impossible to do professionally because so many people have their own interest. A writer is almost certainly going to piss someone off if they try to walk down the middle especially when extremes seem to be so popular.
Those who claim to be grassroots activists along with conservative, wealthy, business elites come out every few years but in the end they all get the same results-none. Along the way someone has to report this and they have to do it without taking sides. Given the twenty or more years of stagnation, writing about schools here has to become both frustrating and uneventful. It would be easy to raise alarm and take sides but I have not seen Tim do this.
He gives me what I want when read about schools-the facts. I am not concerned about the anger or hugs. I want to know where things stand and what steps are being done to improve things. It is unfortunate that so many people in Rochester throw stones at others thinking that this will help the kids and their families.
It is kind of like the guy who drives by kids waiting for a bus in the pouring rain. He curses the bus company for not having built a shelter but as he drives away he fails to give them the huge umbrella sitting in his front seat. He sees it but does not want to turn his car around. We gotta stop taking the easy way out.
John Bliss, 25 year city homeowner, RCSD parent, RCSD substitute teacher and former charter school founder.
Mary Anna Towler, in reference to Tim Macaluso being in your opinion "without question the most thoughtful, experienced, and knowledgeable writer covering education in the Greater Rochester area" is very disconcerting and in my opinion doesn't say much for the quality of reporters that the Rochester area has to offer. As Howard Eagle noted, "The guy is obviously having problems writing clear, objective reports about the campaign, and campaigners. His steep slant is undoubtedly tilted in the direction of school board incumbents, and the Vargas Administration." As a concerned parent and community member, we need unbiased information so we are able to formulate our own opinions and make the best decisions for our children based on what is actually being conveyed by the candidates themselves and not Tim Macaluso's interpretation or opinion of what transpired.
The BLIND continues to lead the BLIND............end of story!
We appreciate the comments by Mr. Eagle and others; the crisis of public education in Rochester is one of the most serious problems - and the unwillingness to deal with it properly is one of the region's most serious failures. That said, we have no intention taking Tim Macaluso off of the education beat. He is without question the most thoughtful, experienced, and knowledgeable writer covering education in the Greater Rochester area. And, in fact, he has written several times about the problems in Superintendent Vargas's extended-day plan.
With all due respect, some of us are beginning to hope that Ms. Mary Anna Towler, and the crew over at City Newspaper will seriously consider pulling Mr. Tim Macaluso off of the education beat, especially during the current, 2013 school board election campaign. The guy is obviously having problems writing clear, objective reports about the campaign, and campaigners. His steep slant is undoubtedly tilted in the direction of school board incumbents, and the Vargas Administration. This is evidenced by two recent reports, which he wrote following a May 28th school board candidates "forum to meet the non-incumbent candidates vying for a seat on the Rochester school board." The first report, in which Mr. Macaluso discussed candidates ignoring an imagined, so-called "iceberg," was written the day after the forum (see the link below --- after clicking on the link --- be sure to scroll to the bottom of the article and read comments from people who were present at the forum).
In his second article ("Questions linger about RCSD's plan for longer days"), which was written two days after the forum took place, again Mr. Macaluso imagined that "there was confusion about the concept at a recent public forum to meet the non-incumbent candidates vying for a seat on the Rochester school board." Other than his (Mr. Macaluso's), there was absolutely NO "confusion" regarding the issue. The majority of candidates who addressed it said very clearly that we are skeptical (to say the least) of Vargas's so-called "cornerstone [improvement] strategy [relative to] longer school days." Indeed, Ron Hall and I made it crystal clear that we are very, very skeptical, and we urged parents and community members to also be very skeptical. The reason being that simply extending the school day by an hour or two, will not automatically translate into improved academic achievement, especially when considering that many of the students who are in need of more "instructional time," are the very ones who are chronically absent under current schedules. Since district officials are not able to significantly improve attendance for thousands of students who are currently, chronically absent, what in the world would make them, or anyone believe that they will be able to successfully, automatically get the same students to come to school earlier, and/or stay later, unless of course there will be something fundamentally different about the so-called "extended day?" Therein lies the problem and issue: Vargas, nor anyone in his Administration, or the Board of Education have provided a clear, specific, comprehensive explanation as to how the so-called "extended day" will be any different than the current school day.
Thus, it is a gross understatement that Vargas "may want to devote more time to the what and how longer school days" will be any different than current arrangements. Many of us strongly suspect that he hasn't "devoted more time" to explaining specifics because he doesn't know. All he really seems to know for sure is that people are handing out money to implement the latest education fad (longer school days).
So again, we urge parents, and community members in general, to be very skeptical, and to insist upon specific details. Other wise, it is quite likely, and even probable that, in a year or two (when the longer-school-days-grant-money dries up (as it always does) --- we will be off and running (chasing the next education-improvement-fad) --- while the fundamental issues and conditions underlying the very old, pervasive, urban education crisis, never get addressed, and long-promised change and improvement never occurs. We refer to the latter phenomenon as bamboozling, posturing, and hoodwinking --- literally at the costs of young lives.
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