And then there's East Bloomfield's gift to the gay porn world, the legendary Casey Donovan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_Donovan…
I also wonder how the RTA contract has been “notorious for it's (sic) power to obstruct change.” It seems to me that you apply the fallacy of logic that correlation implies causation. In fact, the RTA contract has not even been constant over the past decades. It is a "living contract" with built-in flexibility for schools to fit certain components to that building's needs or programs.
More importantly to me are the questions of why we do not replicate those components of successful programs or schools that have a track record. I can outline three such components that were implemented at All City High (ACH) that could be replicated at East, but have not been (why I do not know).
Flexible schedule: from 7 am to 7pm allow students to construct a schedule that works for them. More of them will attend.
Employ at least 10 Social Workers and 10 School Counselors to problem solve the root causes of student difficulties in and with schools by engaging with families.
Family of 5 mentoring: Each member of the East High Community could “adopt” 5 students and be a caring stable adult for those kids in their family. Note that at ACH we often had “families of 6, 7 or 8.”
None of these initiatives are outside of the contract or couldn’t be worked out in a memorandum of agreement (MOU) as was done in the case of ACH.
I'm not sure these individuals performed before leaving Rochester, but these names quickly came to my mind:
Peter Breck - Big Valley TV show
Foster Brooks - comedian
Louise Brooks - silent film star
Renee Flemming - does opera count as theater?
Robert Forester -Medium Cool (acad. award nomination for supporting actor)
John Lithgow - 2 x supporting actor nominee; 3rd Rock From the Sun
Hugh O'Brien - Wyatt Earp tv series
Wayne Barker, a Bloomfield High School graduate (1980 maybe?) was nominated for a TONY award for composing Peter & the Starcatcher.
Reg. Arts Council move to Ridge Road: This seems to go from bad to worse! Shall we drain EVERY art business out of the downtown? THINK...what art community do you serve living on Ridge Road far from music/art/writers? Does anyone actually believe that an art gallery in the Kodak building will entice visitors from....anywhere? ARTISTS; DO NOT PAY TO EXHIBIT IN THE SPACE UNLESS YOU'RE WILLING TO BUS IN YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO SEE THE SHOW!
We have all but lost any community support for visual art in this town. I see this as only another example of "why".
Can you elaborate on how RTA has obstructed change? What concessions do you envision?
The committees gave good ideas that made common sense. The district does have the resources and money to make many of the suggestions happen but they won't. Board members at the meeting made it clear that they have essentially directed the superintendent to implement other recommendations and central office has ignored those directives. The situation is ugly. It is obvious the new board chair wants action but boards normally govern and provide oversight. They do not direct operations or tell the CEO or in this case the superintendent what do do, but this situation is not normal.
Vargas comes across like a deer looking into the headlights and the board needs to either come right out and tell the public what they want him to do or they need to let him go. The disconnect is palpable and although the board members feel an allegiance to him because they hired him, the schools and the community can't be left in the dark any longer. The ships are sinking and someone needs to take control. In this case the seven board members, three of whom are city school parents seem much more in touch with reality than the superintendent.
As some of you have do doubt noticed, I have not been a fan of Lovely Warren, but I think that she is doing the right thing in this instance, given all the factors involved. Leonard Redon is not just a valued member of her administration, he is a highly regarded public servant who brings intelligence, fairness and hard work to his position as Deputy Mayor, a fact that is underscored by his continued appointment over two administrations. Deputy Mayors function largely in the background, steering the day-to-day operations forward, so perhaps his low profile is a real detriment to him at a time like this. Did he have a lapse of judgement if the charges bear out? Yes, he did. But he has no history of anything like this over many decades of a professional life. We should be patient and let this one work itself out a bit.
Why do we do we even need a deputy mayor? Don't forget about the expired inspection sticker. That's important too.
I speak as a person who was a target of a terribly mean-spirited diatribe of completely unfounded and hateful commentary on TOPIX some years ago. At the time, I was an organizing leader opposing a big-box development proposed within an area zoned exclusively for residential development and farming. Our community was divided in a very public debate. Many of the comments were horribly offensive and it is difficult to understand how any person can stoop to such a lowly level, even when protected by the cloak of anonymity. Although consideration of the sources made it easy to disregard such behavior, I do not feel that such commentary fostered anything constructive. To the contrary, it served to detract from a worthwhile debate as emotions heightened over irrelevant drivel.
Yet, as Mary Anna points out in "Our anonymous comments," there are many instances when individuals can and will contribute constructive opinion when they do not feel that their employment, friendships or other important standings may be threatened or even harmed because their identity is protected.
Thus, I prefer that an avenue for anonymous comment be kept alive, so long an investment in prepublication editorial review is possible. A 'managed' forum will foster spontaneous participation and will permit the airing of many opinions but also provides a mechanism to snuff out personal attacks and other worthless rude, crude or just plain inappropriate content that may detract from productive discussion.
Thank you for seeking input on this timely topic.
A large part of why I visit this site and read City Newspaper articles is to read the comments. I used to visit 13wham quite often, but once they removed the ability to comment, I stopped. The quality of discourse on the D & C website took a huge dive once they required facebook login. I believe that allowing anonymous comments lets readers share information and insight that they would not feel safe/comfortable sharing if they had to disclose their identifty. There is value in this information, and it's up to me as reader to sift through and make that determination. I frequent this site, I would visit much less frequently (if at all) if the ability to comment anonymously were taken away. Frankly, I'm more concerned about sweeping generalizations and name calling that some of your courageous (named!) readers employ...
What seems like a better idea? Investing in college edcuations for inmates who want them or a lifetime of food stamps, unemployment and other public assistance?
Ted is still there, Tom. He's representing a larger group of voters and constituents with wildly different views. So, he's doing his JOB. Undocumented workers and their families are a much bigger issue for the state and its agricultural backbone than people want to talk about. Their children get educated in the K-12 years, but there are barriers due to immigration status that prevents access to college loans and filling out FAFSA legally. But conservatives claim they want folks willing to work hard and fix their own problems... which is part of the DREAM act... go parse that one.
Mmm, mmm, mmm. When, if ever will the problems stop for The Mayor?
She has either got to step up to the plate and face the music of what has occurred in her administration so far, or continue to be viewed negatively by the citizenry of the Rochester area.
Great essay. The presentation (action plan) from the superintendent the other night was a sales pitch for what he said months ago. Do we really need to be shown in print that reading by third grade is important? Why in the world is no one stating the obvious? East is too big. Best practices on urban schools has confirmed this for years.
East is just the beginning and unless the district takes drastic action internally, more RCSD schools will end up in trouble for many more years because years of research tells us simply changing management doesn't work. It will take a whole new approach, a blank slate. It is pitiful that no one of influence is stepping up or stepping in.
The superintendent, school board, unions and others must give power back to those in the schools. It is the only internally solution offering any real hope.
Great analysis, Tim. Heartbreaking, but great.
My question is: with each of the options that NYSED has presented, does the RTA contract carryover? Throughout all the decades of reform churn, the RTA contract has been the constant. For all the rhetoric about the RTA supporting innovation, etc. the contract is notorious for it's power to obstruct change--it's very doubtful that outside partners (local or national) would willingly take it on without the power to make changes to it. As far as I can tell, only Commissioner Elliott has had the courage to talk about the need for concessions from the RTA.
I ignore comments by anonymous because they are the worda of cowards who have more to hide than they have comments to express.
I think at this point one does have to question Len Redon's judgment. Does he have a medical condition that impairs his ability to drive? Is his medical condition worsened with the consumption of alcohol? Do any of these circumstances impair Redon's ability to effectively do his job. All of these questions must now be asked.
Lovely had nothing to do with any of this leading up to Redon being stopped for DWI. Lovely has everything to do with evading the tough media questions and the refusal to accept Redon's offer to resign.
I would think Lovely would want to clear the tracks of the Redon scandal because there will probably be another scandal arriving shortly.
Lovely Warren bears no responsibility for her deputy mayor driving while intoxicated -- he had no history of DWI or, as far as we know, serious traffic violations, so it's not like this was a pattern of misconduct that she should have been aware of. There should be no criticism of her having him as her #2 person, assuming he is competent in his job, which I'm assuming he is. On the other hand, Mayor Warren does have great responsibility for how this situation is dealt with. So far, it would appear that she is not dealing with it in the best way. To immediately throw out diabetes as an excuse for the DWI, and to immediately reject his off to resign, is ill-advised. It's not that he for sure should be fired or resign, but taking some time to gather the facts and determine his fitness to continue in office would have been very appropriate.
Several young performers have been on national touring shows. Alizabeth York (Gananda) was in The Music Man; Colin Nims (Gananda) was in Oliver; Tim Mitchum (Rochester) was in Lion King; Clay Thompson (Gananda) was in several tours and is in Matilda on Broadway. There are many many others too!!
- John Barthelmes (who had the privledge of working with each of those amazing performers)
Despite its successes, the Rochester region still has its share of environmental problems.
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