All students CAN attend their neighborhood schools TODAY.
Nobody blames "parents". There ARE no more "parents", much less families. There are only households of children, fathered by various strangers who never had any intention of supporting them, cohabitating with a woman who collects government checks on their behalf (ostensibly). Nothing short of a moral revival is going to do a damn thing about that state of affairs.
But if liberals finally are waking up to the reality that the only cure for poverty is fathers who take responsibility for their children, hallelujah! (Now if they will just acknowledge the other critical requirements: robust free enterprise, and separation of school and state.)
Kathryn, you are absolutely right on every point you made. What are schools supposed to do? - wait around until parents do a better job? As Wayne's World would say, "As if." And it is a shame about the Rochester Children's Zone. What a missed opportunity. Manny was right.
I love it when, in the middle of a city schools discussion, someone ALWAYS says that the problem is parenting. Of course that's a problem. But unless you have a solution for that, the schools still need to deal with poorly parented students. That's where the discussion has to start.
I am continually sorry that Manny Rivera's Children's Zone never went anywhere. That would be where the magic would happen.
I find it very refreshing to hear an Obama supporter finally comment on these issues and that she herself is concerned. For too long I have wondered why the same people that protested Bush and his policies sit silently by as Obama carries on the Bush legacy and continues the endless wars, and the destruction of our civil liberties.
Mary Anna finds a bit of hope in this...
"And I found a bit of hope in his hint (and it wasn't much more than that) that his administration might reconsider its counterterrorism approach. He said he wants to be sure that "our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances."
Can you not see that this is the carrot the demagogue dangles before you and those others that drive his carriage? Oh wait you can't see it because you have once again put on your blinders for this guy.
I have long wondered why the former anti-war movement seems to have fizzled out now that we have a Democrat in the White House. He is worse than Bush on civil liberties, executive overreach, and warmongering (and Bush was really bad). Where is the outrage? Where are the protests?
On another note, this Obamacare that you all love is reportedly going to severely limit a woman's ability to get an abortion in 21 states as the insurance companies ( that you will be forced to purchase from) will not be covering abortions. Why are you silent about this? Is it because of the other carrots King Obama dangles in front of your carriage?
Maybe it is finally time to support third party candidates, and get our country back from Demagogues and Corporations!
I'm flattered that you've taken the time to read the WPA website. Perhaps you missed my blog about the several-thousand-dollar donation made on behalf of my organization to the RPO this past June, in the form of the newly-created AMY Award presented to Maestro Remmereit. I would say that constitutes a substantive 'investment,' wouldn't you? As do my visits to Rochester prior to the Music Director's termination and my promotion of the RPO amongst both my music colleagues and via the WPA.
And do we really want to go down the road of who has more 'right,' geographic or otherwise, to voice his/her opinion on the future course of any given orchestra? I note that according to your profile you currently live abroad--does that somehow diminish the value of/invalidate your opinion? I don't think it should, any more than where I currently reside or how long I have been following the RPO should.
The only way the RPO will actually 'learn from this whole debacle' is to not simply paper over mistakes and culpability for the sake of a feel-good 'coming together,' but to conduct a rigorous self-examination, something few institutions are capable of doing without outside 'help.'
I never bought into this "Duffy is our savior" nonsense because apparently I have more common sense than our media. Duffy was tapped to be Lieutenant Governor of NEW YORK. Not Cheerleader for Upstate/Western NY/Rochester. I don't know where people got that idea, but it amuses me every time I hear someone mention it. Politics is FIRST AND FOREMOST about SELF-interest. It has been since Plato wrote The Republic and will be until this planet spins off its axis and into the sun. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive and needs to go back to elementary school and watch cartoons all day. Duffy became Lieutenant Governor because it is considered a more prestigous post than mayor of a decaying mid-sized city. As Lieutenant Governor, his boss is the Governor. He is a surrogate for Cuomo's interests and agendas. He never has and never will have any independent influence of his own. Never has because Molly Clifford and Joe Morelle pushed him into being mayor by triangulating the vote to outflank the Republicans on the right and the liberals on the left. Never will because now he's Cuomo's boy. As for Cuomo, look up an article on him in New York Magazine from early-2011; the man is a dictatorial Machiavellian of the first order. He will never be President because he doesn't have the personality for it. He may be able to bully the state Senate, but can you imagine him pulling the same crap with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner? Or even Nancy Pelosi? They'd eat him for breakfast.
Why do Buffalo and Syracuse get more aid from the state than Rochester? Wasn't Duffy supposed to fix this inequity?
One name is striking in it's absence from this article...Robert Duffy,
Weren't we told by the local media that Duffy would be a powerful friend at court?
Weren't we told that Andrew's selection of him to be Jr. Ass't Gov. was a clear indication of the new importance that the new governor was placing on Upstate?
Weren't we told that the with Duffy in Albany the fiscal flood gates would open and Rochester would be inundated in a wave of pork?
Could it be that the media was mistaken? A mistake which the wall of silence surrounding Duffy now makes clear?
Could it be that picking Duffy was merely a cynical gesture to temporarily placate upstaters and to throw a sop to the GOP by putting a life-long Republican (and unconvincing convert to the Democratic Party) near the seat of power?
Could be be after all that those of us who joked that Duffy's job would be to pick up Andrew's dry cleaning and schlep his coffee were closer to the truth then we imagined?
Very well written article on a troubling issue. Cuomo usually gets so much love by the press, excluding Fox News of course, but he is angling for a run at the White House in 2016. He doesn't need upstate votes to do this, so we don't matter to him. It is no surprise he can't be bothered to give upstate cities anything more than a shoulder shrug. So much for the hope that Bob Duffy could have any influence.
Thank you for your support and, more, for your astute insight and further analysis. If the D&C can stop viewing the RPO as its "pinata dejour" we can move forward. The weekend concert was fabulous. Local boy, made good, Maestro Ward Stare and piano phenom Terrence Wilson were huge hits with the audience. That's ultimately what it's all about and all it should be about.
You are correct about the pro-Remmereit, or rather the anti-board bias of the D&C.
For example the fact that no rational person would contend that "to some extent the B(uffalo) P(hilharmonic) O(rchestra) is gaining enviable momentum at the expense of the embattled Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra" did not prevent the D&C from making such an asinine statement, as if the two orchestras were competing for the same patron base or the same dollars.
Although this rambling and obviously slapped together editorial correctly states that Owens and Rice, "made a strong case for dismissing Remmereit during a recent meeting with the Editorial Board", the paper still managed to do a quick 180 and somehow argue that, "But in so doing, it was never clearer that RPO management must make radical changes or further risk the prized community institution going the route of the Syracuse orchestra." The only way to reconcile these two statements is to assume that what they meant is that is the original selection of Remmereit was a mistake, a not-altogether incorrect assumption.
The D&C then goes on to contend that, "Rice and Owens must begin to immediately change this toxic environment" as if they and they alone are responsible for the current divisiveness. Kind of like telling the fire department that they’re somehow responsible for the activities of pyromaniacs.
And while the inclusion of board members with diverse backgrounds would probably be of long term value to the RPO, what in god’s name does this have to do with the current board’s termination of Remmereit? Is somebody at the D&C trying to imply that the Remmereit termination was driven by a lack of racial or ethnic sensitivity? Or that more blacks or more Hispanics or more Vietnamese board members would have somehow altered the decision on what was at the end of the day merely a glorified HR matter?
The illogic of the D&C's position reminds me of the line from Orwell's 1984 when Winston Smith contends that, "How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.", and receives the response, "Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. "
On a broader topic, the Sunday editorial in the D&C is disappointing and illogical. They round up the RPO deficit from an admittedly awful $746K ( nearly ALL in labor costs) to "close to a million" Nitpicking perhaps, but indicative of their bias and agenda. They suggest dropping the Board member financial minimums ($10K a year, actually Board contributions are much more) and letting in supposed new ideas from a more "diverse" Board, urging a free ride on expected annual support. Of course they do not suggest how to replace the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would disappear. How would that improve things? They mention that if these fresh new theoretical Board members can't financially support the orchestra they can get their friends to contribute. Simplistic and disingenuous. Anyone who has served on non-profit Boards knows that if you are asking friends to write big checks you first have to write your own. Tough world out there. Maestro Remmereit, by the way, was highly critical of the minimum expected RPO Board contribution: he said it was much too low!
A symphonic orchestra runs on money. in the same way a sports team runs on money. Get real. The only difference is that a very talented musician makes a tiny fraction of what a very talented athlete makes. But the principle is the same. Kind of shows where society's values are :(
The D&C gets very substantial advertising dollars from the RPO. I didn't see a community-spirited initiative from them to cut the impoverished orchestra some slack on this. As far as I know, the RPO got no support from the D&C. last year. Easy to talk the talk. If I am wrong on that I would be delighted to be corrected. Further:
I WILL MATCH THE "DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE," DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR, UP TO TEN-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR ANY CASH CONTRIBUTION THEY MAKE TO THE RPO (CHALLENGE GOOD FOR 60 DAYS) Talk is cheap!
The D&C holds up the very fine Buffalo symphony as a shining example on how to do it right, but they conveniently ignored the BFO's 2012 financial report, showing that they had a couple of VERY generous Board heavy hitters who made challenge grants that made a huge difference; much to the BFO's credit. Good for them! God bless them. Every major symphony, I say again, every major symphony has to have very substantial Board contributions to make it. Some call the whole classical music business "elitist," Be that as it may. The truth is it appeals to a relatively small market and is a lousy business model. But for those of us who love fine music, we are willing to dig deep to keep it alive. It can't just be all about "Beyonce"
Liane Curtis -
Ms. Buholtz states..
"Late in the afternoon of January 31, Justice Fisher questioned my subpoenas duces tecum and proposed affidavits,"
" On Feb. 4, Justice Fisher vehemently disapproved of my subpoenas duces tecum and ruled that I cannot use the documents that I had requested from the witnesses. "
" Also on Feb. 4, Justice Fisher denied my requests brought on in my pre-meeting suit and told me to proceed on a post-meeting basis."
Sounds more like a train wreck then a process likly to result in truth, justice and the American way.
Update: Attorney Eileen Buholtz provides these insights into her recent legal actions. Yes, the legal process is ongoing. http://rpocommunity.wordpress.com/2013/02/…
First of all, let's fix your selective memory, Ms. Curtis. You have two petitions. The one that has 1000+ signatures is to support Remmereit's programming and performances, something that has been publicly stated as NOT being the crux of the problem. The second petition, having 230 signers, is to fire Charles Owens. Both petitions seem to have a healthy dose of people who are not actual supporters of the RPO, but rather only of Remmereit (I can't see how to view all the signatures at once, so I can't get an exact number). And it is important to note that those who support Remmereit do not necessarily support firing Charles Owens! This is a line that you, Mr. Maurer, and your other colleagues continually blur.
Frankly, I must say that I am truly incredulous that you, Ms. Curtis, continue to project yourself as some champion of the RPO's cause. You continue to speculate about how this orchestra, which you have no investment in, is run. I am trying to understand how you, a person who had not been to Rochester, NY in more than 20 years before the last Viola Congress , continue to push your own agenda and somehow claim that it will benefit the orchestra. Many of your colleagues (who I may disagree with), at least are clear in their motivations, and they are people who have an actual investment in the orchestra.
You may champion women composers, and that's great, but stop pushing an agenda of division when what the orchestra needs the most is to find common ground, learn from this whole debacle, and move forward.
Liane Curtis - In a different venue you directed the following to Ms. Rice, "I feel it is fair to ask for an election for Board members that offers a choice and is conducted in accordance with democratic principles. Why are you opposed to that?". I in response posted a question, which was deleted before you could respond, asking what "democratic principles" you believe the RPO board violated under their bylaws. Luckily you now have a second opportunity to answer.
Mr. Hess, This petition http://tinyurl.com/petition-RPO , at Change.org, does not call for any "heads to roll." It calls for the reinstatement of Arild Remmereit. Apparently you have not read it, and thus you have disregarded its 1,200 signers!
As to your interpretation of Remmereit moving out of his office, he only moved his materials into that office on November 30, 2011. Being Music Director is not a 9 to 5 office job, and perhaps he decided that he could work better at home, as he had done previously. It does not say anything about him expecting to no longer work at the RPO, but perhaps it does register that the working climate created by the management was hostile, as he has stated.
Mr Maurer, you claim that you and other members of the RPO were denied a voice by the board's actions. Yet you as moderator of the so-called RPO Community Supporters site have openly admitted to deleting comments with which you disagree. In fact you did so to me this evening. Does this perchance seem a tad hypocritical?
You ask, "Should the input of over a thousand patrons and members be ignored, in addition to multiple musicians who feel Remmereit acted appropriately?" . Your question raises several questions in turn.
For example, what do you mean by, "Remmereit acted appropriately"? In what regard ? It's reported that the maestro cleaned out his office and cleared out of the RPO even before the board voted to truncate his contract in November, and that he subsequently refused to show up for meetings, rehearsals, planning sessions, etc. . Is this the "appropriate" behavior to which you refer?
In addition, what is this "input of over a thousand patrons and members" you are citing? If you're looking for the vox populi, we know of two Democrat & Chronicle polls which yielded the following results:
1) Should the RPO have fired music director Arild Remmereit? (2,504 votes)
a) Agree. He didn’t do the work, shouldn’t get paid - 55%
b) Unfair. He was forced out. - 26%
c) Too bad they couldn’t work something out. - 12%
d) Unsure - 6%
2) Should Rochester Philharmonic CEO Charles Owens be fired? (2,488 votes)
a) No, the RPO needs some stability now - 55%
b) Give him six more months to see if he can turn things around - 18%
c) Yes, it should have happened long ago - 15%
d) I’m tired of all the drama surrounding this orchestra - 10%
Were the views of your "over a thousand of patrons and members" obtained in a more scientific manner and with greater specificity as to what THEY believed?
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