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Monday, May 30, 2011

Phelan Fights For What?

I "asked" for Councilman Phelan's help into looking into the ethics of Scrooge's 5% pay raise. It seemed only natural to try and en list him. I mean the school department is 50% of the city budget, he recently called for an ethics probe of the city comptroller, and hey he asked TERRY YOUNG, the council's executive to write me a letter expressing his gratitude for the work the WATCH has done.

Funny, the things you find out when you ask questions. Remember this whole thing started with a question about ethics. Then I hear this story about a fire in Phelan's office building and then the securing a historical building to turn it into a new office building and a convenience store. So much for the historical INTEGRITY of our economic. development plans. You can never have too many convenience stores, I mean that's why they call them convenient.

I first saw this posting in that great blog "Heart of Lynn" and "borrowed" it for one of my other blogs, "The Highlands Watch" then I thought to myself, "Hey, it was Fredrick Douglass I repeatedly referenced in the beginning of my struggles with the school department to insure the civil rights of my son.

Lynn should be proud of our history and heritage and celebrate the lessons learned long ago. Therefore I thought it was appropriate to mention it here.


Event: Mass Humanities, celebrating abolition history

Save the date, for a reading (possibly at spectacular High Rock)

Kids should be using this building or at least somebody paying taxes.

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Why is this building empty? This used to be a library in front of Dreiwcz.

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What a waste!

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What a waste!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marshall Student To Be Opening Act

Highlands Coaltion Member's Daughter, Asiah Wotring To Sing At .....

World Folk Festival

Saturday, June 11 12:00p to 8:00p
at Heritage State Park, Lynn, MA
Lynn’s Third World Folk Festival will be on Saturday, June 11th from 12 to 8pm at Lynn Heritage State Park on the Lynnway. Includes ethnic food.
Berklee College students - music from Greece, Turkey, India and the Middle East. Ayumi Ueda’s Women of the World. Roberto Rios flamenco.
Crystal Panjammers Steel Band, Coco Torres Cuban son, Julio Bare, Khmer Cultural dancers, Ralph Mancini songs of Italy, Henri Orel & friends songs from Haiti and music from the Civil Rights movement.

Secrets Revealed?

Have I said before I am not a lawyer? After the decision was made and Madame Mayor broke the news of what "business" was discussed in the private "executive session" at Thurs. night's LSC.

Someone told me that notes were supposed to be taken and that we are entitled to see them. This way we can see the thinking that went into granting SCROOGE a 5% pay RAISE. Hopefully some people other than me will be interested enough to make some calls. A little birdie told me that some people are getting a little annoyed with me.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Things Just Get Stranger

Sureley it's just a coincidence. The President of The Teacher's Union gets a one year leave of absence on  the same day the school department's business manager getsa 5% pay raise to a $121,000 a year for three years. I don't think they actually mention whether or not it was paid or unpaid.

They did say there was a long history of doing this, so I would guess it is paid. Then that raises the question, "Who pays, the union or the school department". Hmm seems to me, if the union members are then they are not getting their money's worth since they haven't had a raise in three or so years. If it is the school department, bravo to them, their investment is paying off, "Scrooge" got a nice increase.

Something else happened at the last meeting that kind of raised my suspicions. During a little break I was chasing down the prize winning poets or the nationally recognized marching Dogs, looking for a story and the teacher's union asked if I was going to put a positive story in now. Whoa! I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PRO STUDENT AND PRO TEACHER, WHY WOULD HE MAKE A COMMENT LIKE THAT?

Well he did just get a one year's "leave of absence".

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Deputy, Pay Raise For Business Manager But No Librarians And Teachers With No Contract For Three Years

I went t o a LSC meeting last night but before the last gavel came everybody went into one of those Top secret" executive sessions  and the mayor, GQ, "GG"Capano, and John Ford came out of what must have been a sewing circle because somebody's pocket's got lined.

Kevin "Scrooge" McHugh got a 5% raise at a time when we have NO LIBRARIANS, overcrowded classrooms, not enough reading teachers, and I think our teachers have been without a contract for three years. We have 2 Level 4 schools, 3 more supposedly will join them and all but three of our 26 schools failed to make AYP. Please tell me how this raise was justified?

Oh I know, he saved us all that money from cutting out the librarians and not increasing teacher's salaries. Plus he must have helped Dr. Latham find extra money in the budget so we can have another $140,000 employee that PARENTS have to make an appointment to see. Lynn, Lynn, City Of Friends!

Councilman Phelan, I saved a seat for you last night but yo never showed up. I was expecting you. I figured you would be outraged at this display of fiscal irresponsibility. You called for an Ethics investigation for an amount half of Scrooge's PAY RAISE. I've told you CITY COUNCIL needs to watch where the money's going.

Pickering Poetry Prima Donnas!

As promised I am posting the two Cole brothers poems which were winners in the "Most Humorous" in the Science category in a Boston College Program. The boys are 6th grade poets from Pickering.


Here I am on Flax Pond, my favorite place to be.
My name is Olly the Ice Molecule and I'm feeling crazy.

The hockey players are here today skating so close by.
The guys are rough and tough. They shoot, they block they fly.

Winter is ending now. The temperature has increased.
My particles are sliding apart. I will soon be deceased.

Olly iis not ice anymore. What will he be now?
The happy little molecule is pond water-wow.

All of my ice buddies have joined me in the pond.
Our particles are totally loosened and they won't bond.

SPLASH! Some kids just jumped into the "drink".
Swimmers and boaters are here. We won't let them sink.

It's such a hot summer. We might all evaporate.
Weee, I'm being lifted up. This feels so great.

My particles are expanding, as I fly into the air.
Where am I going now? Will my Flax Pond Buddies be there?

                                                                   Matthew Cole


Of all the places in the world, how did Iend up here?
A tiny ice molecule, frozen with fear.

I'm stuck on the snowboard of a crazy, daring boy.
Here he goes again trying a double twist with joy!

Ahhh, help me, I'm falling - thud! Oh no.
My particles feel tightly packed as I land in the snow.

The sun s beating down on me. The snowbank's shrinking fast.
I'm feling warmer and warmer. How long will I last?

My molecules are loosening and I'm in a liquid state.
Oh my gosh I'm part of a puddle. What will be my fate?

Wow, I'm feeling so light headed, floating in the atmosphere.
Evaporated into water vapor, what will happen here?

My tiny mind wonders. But I don't know.
They say that the weatherman has predicted snow!

                                                    Christopher Cole

Phelan calls for Ethics probe

Phelan calls for Ethics probe n city comptroler. Why doesn't he do the same fo the LSC members who voted for Kevin's pay raise?

Twin Towers Of Power Provide Perfect Poetry Presentation

There is SO much JUICY stuff to talk about from last night's meeting I am salivating all over my keyboard. "Calm down Stan, you can't spend all day typing". But I want to start with a story that is VERY DEAR to my heart, POETRY.

Two twin brothers, CHRIS AND MATT COLE, from PICKERING won a poetry contest in the"humorous" category held at Boston College.My son alo goes to Pickering and is in the same grade, sixth as these boys, SIXTH.

They wowed the crowd with their polished recitations of their prize-winning entries. I have copies and will get them up later today as promised but iN the interest of time I can't do it now cause I got to go DO LIBRARY STUFF but they will be up later today!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teachers, Did You Get A Raise?

This is going to be a quick note, I have to get to bed but this can't wait. A lot of stuff went down at tonight's meeting but this is too big to wait.

AFTER dismissing the audience because they were going into executive session over a contrqct and that NOTHING would be missed by the (public) crowd. THEN they went into executive ession ad cme back with NEWS.

THE NEWS - business manager Kevin McHugh was given a NEW 3 year contract with a RAISE to $121,000  year. A vote was taken when they came back into open session, Voting yes to the contract and the RAISE was the mayor, GQ, John Ford, and "Gotta Go" Capano. Voting NO was Donna Coppola, Maria Carrasco, and Rick Starbard.

LSC in executive session 5/26/11 @5:09 pm before the posted meeting, unannounced.

Sent from my iPhone

Now You See It, Now You Don't!

You know me, I have some questions, always. How come no personnel moves posted for the LSC meeting tonight. Of all the meetings I have been I don't ever remember "NO PERSONNEL MOVES". Somebody is always sick or having a child or something. A lot of times people get fired, leave because they moved or got a better job. They even post new hires.

Hey they just hired a new PARENT LIAISON ( and it wasn't me). Why aren't they posting that (not that it wasn't me, it was that La Vida lady)? Are they trying to hide something? Stay tuned.

Oprah's Gone, How About Looking To The Watch?

With Oprah leaving the airwaves there is going to be a void. One idea is that LYNN SCHOOL WATCH could fill the void, kinda.

I may not be pretty to look at but I do have a little accent left if you can distinguish it from my slurred speech and there is MAKEUP. Maybe I don't have a big production studio or a large staff. But there is LYNNCAM.
I don't know detail but someone out there does.

I am a creative person,. I'm not much into details

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tackling The Hill

It just really seems ironic that Dan Cahill who pent two terms on the LSC would schedule a fundraiser on the same night as a school committee meeting. Come to think of it I've been going to all but one meeting since last spring and I don't ever remember seeing him at one. That doesn't mean he didn't come, I don't see so well (remember I had cataract surgery in September) and I got lots of other problems. Half the city budget goes to the schools. Where do you think he should be,tomorrow night?

This was taken from his campaign website:

As a two-term member of the Lynn School Committee, I am proud of the many accomplishments our school system has achieved within the past four years. As a Councilor-At-Large, I continued my commitment to academic excellence by advocating for the allocation of more city resources to help support our most vital service.

Does that sound a little hypocritical?

What about this, taken again from his website?

As your Councilor At-Large, I will continue to work hard to ensure our schools continue receiving necessary additional funding as we tackle tough issues facing our district. We must continue to provide a safe and sound facility at Classical High School. We must continue to build new secondary and elementary schools to replace inadequate buildings that date back well over 100 years. We must provide sufficient funding to retain our hard working faculty, staff, and administrators who tirelessly provide the highest quality of education in the area

Again, where should he be tomorrow night?

FW: typo!

Clay asked that I increase the size of the text of his email for easier reading on my post of his response. I said that I didn't know how so he asked if he could retype the e mail for me and then I could repost it I said I would do that but I warned him I would let my readers know what I'm doing.

Subject: typo!
Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 14:26:51 -0400

Sorry to bother you, just noticed a typo.  I just changed "friends or all ages" to "friends of all ages"

Walsh defends 2008 arrest allegations

by Clay Walsh on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 11:42am
Dear Lynn residents,
It has come to my attention that a blogger in the city has reposted the Sun Chronicle police release regarding my arrest in 2008.  While I am not sure of the bloggers intentions, the people of Lynn deserve a response from me.
I was arrested for a crime I did not commit.  The arrest in 2008 is a part of my past and I have always spoken openly about it, including during an interview done with the Lynn Item in 2010 when I ran for State Rep.  However, I don't make it a point to bring up to everyone I meet, as I was innocent.  The fact is that I was not convicted of this crime and I have never been convicted of any crime. 
In 2008 I was arrested for a horrible crime called child enticement.  It did not reflect my actions or intentions and was thrown out of court in February of 2010.  The online article fails to mention that the individual in the case had a MySpace page which stated she was 18 years of age along with photos of her drinking tequila.  While a couple of instant message conversations did take place, it was nothing more to me than sexual banter. 
I did not know this online individual, and I never agreed to meet in person.  After my arrest, police seized every computer in my home and a judge confined me to house arrest as a bail condition.  While it was alleged that I "lured" the individual from their home the chats presented as evidence showed that I never arranged a meeting.  It was also brought to the court's attention that I never left my house or attempted to meet the online individual. 
The fact that I was put on house arrest does not mean that I was convicted or guilty.  While I do not agree with it, judges have the option to place individuals on home confinement as a condition of bail.  Ironically, the judge never ordered a dangerousness hearing, which is usually the place those decisions are made.
In regards to other rumors, I do have a facebook account and I have friends of all ages there.  I use my facebook to build my campaign and communicate with friends.  As I am single, I believe that I have the right to date or chat with females who are adults.  Any speculation otherwise is plain witch hunting.
At the end of the day, this online article from the Sun Chronicle is nothing more than allegations.  Its use to smear my name without having my side of the story is disappointing.  I appreciate anyone who shares this story so that my name is cleared.  Those close to me who witnessed my fight through the court process consider me a stronger and individual, who is very capable of fighting for Lynn's future.
Robert Clay Walsh

Student's Smear Old Music

I was putting away library books this morning, end of the year you know. I got interrupted from my mundane routine by music and giggles coming down the hall. Now, some people may call me an inquisitive person so naturally I went down the hall to investigate.

Standing in front of the class were three high school students from GOVERNORS ACADEMY talking about the various genres of music and their origins. After a guest lecture by these students, they led the students in a little musical number where the third graders accompanied the GOVERNOR"S students with a bevy of percussion instruments.

It was "Not Cool" that these kids made fun of music I grew up with. I can't wait until their kids laugh at their music.

FW: Walsh Press Release

I received the following e mail. I thank Clay for responding and as promised I am posting it.


Subject: Walsh Press Release
Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 11:25:09 -0400

Dear Lynn School Watch readers,

I was arrested for a crime I did not commit.  The arrest in 2008 is a part of my past and I have always spoken openly about it, including during an interview done with the Lynn Item in 2010 when I ran for State Rep.  However, I don't make it a point to bring up to everyone I meet, as I was innocent.  The fact is that I was not convicted of this crime and I have never been convicted of any crime. 

In 2008 I was arrested for a horrible crime called child enticement.  It did not reflect my actions or intentions and was thrown out of court in February of 2010.  The online article fails to mention that the individual in the case had a MySpace page which stated she was 18 years of age along with photos of her drinking tequila.  While a couple of instant message conversations did take place, it was nothing more to me than sexual banter. 

I did not know this online individual, and I never agreed to meet in person.  After my arrest, police seized every computer in my home and a judge confined me to house arrest as a bail condition.  While it was alleged that I "lured" the individual from their home the chats presented as evidence showed that I never arranged a meeting.  It was also brought to the court's attention that I never left my house or attempted to meet the online individual. 

The fact that I was put on house arrest does not mean that I was convicted or guilty.  While I do not agree with it, judges have the option to place individuals on home confinement as a condition of bail.  Ironically, the judge never ordered a dangerousness hearing, which is usually the place those decisions are made.

In regards to other rumors, I do have a facebook account and I have friends or all ages there.  I use my facebook to build my campaign and communicate with friends.  As I am single, I believe that I have the right to date or chat with females who are adults.  Any speculation otherwise is plain witch hunting.

At the end of the day, this online article from the Sun Chronicle is nothing more than allegations.  Its use to smear my name without having my side of the story is disappointing.  I appreciate anyone who shares this story so that my name is cleared.  Those close to me who witnessed my fight through the court process consider me a stronger and individual, who is very capable of fighting for Lynn's future.

Robert Clay Walsh

Strange Departure

Looking over the agenda for Thurs. night's upcoming meeting I discovered something interesting. You all know I don' have an advanced degree or much of that other fancy book learning so I am counting on you teachers and maybe some of you administrators to explain something to me.

How after less than a year in the position can the President of your union take a year off? Maybe there are legitimate reasons, but is he going to remain president? How can he adequately represent you if he is not on the job? Where will he be? Is this tantamount to union busting? Help me please

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Google Digs The Dirt

The WATCH may have been too easily swayed by a FREE meal. Perhaps I misjudged the consistency of the dirt. Thanks  to Google my perception has been re-muddied. I should have went with my first impression when he forgot my name.

Police: Man sought teen for sex

Robert C. Walsh III of Lynn during his arraignment in Attleboro District Court Friday. (Staff photo by Mike George)

NO- Police say a bartender from Lynn tried to meet a 13-year-old local girl for sex after writing explicit messages to her over the Internet for several weeks.

Robert C. Walsh III, 31, a bartender at Maddie's Sail Loft in Marblehead, allegedly tried to lure the girl out of her home to engage in sex with her before the girl told her mother, who then went to police, authorities said Friday.

After sending the girl an instant message on June 2, "there were several inappropriate conversations that took place over the next three or four days," Detective Todd Bramwell said during a bail hearing in Attleboro District Court.

Walsh asked the girl for sex and "tried to lure her from her home and tried to meet her in different locations," Bramwell said.

After the mother reported the incidents to police, investigators took over the Internet communication from the girl's computer before obtaining an arrest warrant for Walsh and a search warrant for his home.
Robert C Walsh III of Lynn, is arraigned in Attleboro District Court Friday for child enticement. Walsh, right, faces the judge. Left is his attorney Paul Whelan. (Staff photo by Mike George)
Walsh, who has a criminal record but without sex crimes, pleaded innocent to enticement of a child under 16, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

He was ordered held in jail until Monday, when he was expected to be released on $10,000 cash bail on home confinement with a series of conditions and monitoring with an electronic bracelet.

Judge Robert E. Baylor agreed to release on bail but not before court officials in Lynn can hook up Walsh with the electronic device.

Upon his release, Walsh will be prohibited from using a computer or the Internet. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim or children younger than 17. He cannot drink alcoholic beverages and must undergo random alcohol tests and random visits from probation officials.

Bramwell, who was the lead investigator on the case, said that when police went to Walsh's home in Lynn, his parents told police he was not home.

Police seized the computers in the home, then found a wire leading from a first-floor window to a garage. Following the wire, they found Walsh in one of two offices in the rear of the garage. But the defendant's mother, Carolyn Walsh, who was in court with other family members, said that was untrue.

"I never told them he was not home. I told them where he worked. I didn't know if he was home or not. They are lying," she said.

Carolyn Walsh said the arraignment was the first she heard of the allegations against her son.

"He's my son. I love him and I don't know anything more, other than what I heard and you heard," she told a Sun Chronicle reporter.

Bramwell alleged that Walsh sent the girl an e-mail photo of himself, and that the girl spoke on the telephone with a man who said he was "Clay." Walsh's middle name is Clay.

The girl did not agree to meet with Walsh, and she did the right thing by telling her mother, Bramwell said.

"Parents should know there are dangers out there and they should be aware of what their children are doing on the Internet," Bramwell said.

The computers seized by police will be examined by experts with the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council computer crimes unit.

Assisting Bramwell in the investigation were detectives Sgt. Thomas Peterson and Stephen Desfosses. They were assisted by members of the Metropolitan Enforcement Council computer crimes unit and the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.


Mark Your Calenders!

In order to maintain some semblance of journalism, I am reporting of a relevant event occurring, The Committee to Re-elect Maria Carrasco is holding a fundraiser:
Wednesday, May 25 · 5:30pm - 7:30pm

103 Federal St. (Hibernian Hall) Lynn

Monday, May 23, 2011

What Are We Supposed To Do About Our Trespasses?

The letter from a parent published in the ITEM calling for more openness in our schools raises a couple of very good points. On one level, it's a no brainier. The land, even the building occupies that space in the universe twenty four hours a day. Why shouldn't we have access to it more than just the hours of the school day. Let's get our money's worth out of our tax dollars.

The actions of the principal as they were recounted reflect a rigid interpretation of the rules, policy, or laws that pertain to the legal definition of "trespassing" without regard to who was the violator. "If you shoot first, you won't have to be bothered with asking questions later."

I am sure it was just a coincidence that this principal just happens to be married to the LPS's attorney. We just ALL need to remember who we are here for.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FW: Heart of Lynn

Thank You HEART OF LYNN! I even have to thank the ITEM for printing this letter.  Although a special measure of thanks goes to the parent who brought up these concerns. We here at the WATCH are with

Message body

Heart of Lynn

Concept: Let kids play in schoolyard

Posted: 21 May 2011 10:19 AM PDT

In a letter to the Editor to the Daily Item, dated May 20, 2011, a concerned parent writes 'Let kids play in the schoolyard'.

Why are some school yards not open-space, open to the public after hours?  Why do most schools have no grass fields, trees and benches?  

It's Your Party But These Are Our Schools

I got another invite. It is to attend a fundraiser to Re-elect Dan Cahill, Councilor-At-Large. This time the invitation came in the form of an e-blast from Facebook, not the letter with accompanying comp tickets I got from Councilor-At-Large Candidate CLAY WALSH.

I don't think I will be going though and it's not just because my fragile ego was bruised. Okay, maybe a little. The real reason is that Dan Cahill should be joining me in the audience at Thursday night's long awaited  LSC meeting. Perhaps he could even ask for details on how the school department plans to spend money for next year's budget during open-mike. As a city councilman he should be concerned since half Lynn's city budget goes to the schools.

What's more important, an evening of appetizers and long-winded conversation or learning what "GQ" is wearing as he champions the fight for more administrators? Priorities people!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Coming To A School Near You

I talked with a parent today who was expressing her frustration that because of where she lives that her child was going to have to go to Marshall next year. She was really infuriated that she was probably going to have to pay to have her child go to St. Pius and at the same time continue to pay the taxes that supported Marshall. What she doesn't realize is that we have gotten so good at being bad is that shortly Marshall is supposed to be hopping the "Level 4" money train and things will be all different soon that is until the money runs out. We need to make systemic changes that are sustainable over the long term. Marshall is in the pipeline for a new school in the future from MSBA. All aboard!

It's All In How You Look At It

My son got two hits and scored two runs last night in his Little League game. I'm sure you're thinking, "That's nice, but what does that have to do with schools? I think you're just trying to plug  your son."

You are partially right and completely wrong. I am proud of my son's accomplishments like most parents but more and more the burden for our children's development has fallen upon our schools. The better coordination we have between what may be considered non-school related extracurricular activities and our schools only makes for a better well rounded child. I would venture a guess that the better rounded a student is the better their test scores. I am getting precariously close to sounding like a "math" person. Someone, please rescue me from the dark side.

Another interesting thing was how one of the coaches was lamenting the fact that it was the first night game in Lynn (I expect for the season) and that there was no media coverage (he didn't know who I was and what I do). What this coach is pointing out is that we are living in a society that concentrates too much on our opportunities for failure and does not place enough value on what we have accomplished. Of course, then we can debate the definition of just what an "accomplishment" is, but that's another slippery slope.

Take My Job, Please!

It's budget time. Looks like we are finally going to have a LSC meeting this Thursday. It's about time because it is time. We need to be tossing out ideas and setting priorities. You know I am going to call for the restoration of the REAL librarians.

The kids have been great but I am a writer and a reader, I don't do well with shelves. I look forward to the day we put reading back in learning and pay due reverence to our libraries establishing them as our shrines to education.

Besides if I wasn't spending time volunteering, I would have more time to understand how adding another $140,000 a year deputy would help in reducing class sizes or in adding some reading teachers. I would also have more time to perhaps better understand why I didn't even get ACKNOWLEDGED in my one man campaign to get the PARENT LIAISON job.

OOPS! Another Scoop?

Last night students from all over the city met last night with Councilmen Creighton, Collucci, and Crowley to discuss their role in their vision for the future at North Shore Community College's STUDENT LEADERSHIP AMBASSADOR PROGRAM. The program is sponsored through Diana Kerry and the Public Policy Institute. I am sure when the ITEM covers the story they will give you ample details. I only know that four students got to address the councilmen and one of them was my daughter, Asiah.

Friday, May 20, 2011


FEED ME! I am HUNGRY for stories! I've got business cards and a T shirt due any day. The WATCH is SERIOUS.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Civic's Lessons Writ Large

I learned about the importance of voting and my civic responsibilities in SCHOOL back in WV. Restoring voting back at the Ford School is the right thing for a number of reasons.Today along with some other citizens from the Highlands neighborhood filed complaints with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. I will leave it to the ITEM to flesh out the details and the city's attorneys to respond to our complaint but I GOT THE SCOOP. 

What Was In Our Wallet?

We are about to go through the budget process for next year. There will be meetings, discussions and even media coverage about plans, hopes and dreams about where we want education to go next year, This all fine and appropriate.

Upon closer examination a budget is not really much more than a wish list, more akin to sitting on Santa's lap and reciting our desires than what actually appears under the tree on Christmas morning. Now is last year's Christmas's morning for last year's budget. Let's see what we got.

After all Uncle Sam gave us 4.5 million or so dollars to buy some new educational toys and Uncle Deval chipped in another 4 million. All of this was AFTER we gave our wish list to the LSC. Let's see what we got. How can we know what we want or need if we don't know what we got?

Not only would I like to see next year's budget on-line but I would also like to see last year's balance sheet on-line as well. How can this present any problems? SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Better Place To Learn To Vote?

Lynn group fights for Ford School polling

This story interests me for a couple of reasons. How can there be security concerns only at Ford School? I mean they allow voting at English, Shoemaker, and Sisson. If safety is a concern why are we putting those students at risk? Are they saying that poor, minority kids need more stringent protection?Voting occuring in a school is an important lesson in civics. Streams of citizens passing by provide for an education in democracy that textbooks can't provide.

The second reason this story interests me is the ADA angle. It infuriates me that a perversion of the regulations was used to gerrymander this district. Plus, city government is trying to put a price-tag on our civil liberties. I think MCAS still covers history, maybe some people ought to study up on it before they pass judgement.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ford Makes The Papers

**************I think these posts were lost when Blogger went down on 5?13********************
It was GREAT to see so many kids yesterday interested in working on the school newspaper yesterday after school. Getting 25 to 30 3rd and 4th graders to spend an hour after school, especially after MCAS was invigorating. Learning the power of the written word is an important lesson.

They voted on a name, "The Ford Falcon". Working on this publication is sure to take their education to new heights.

More Monkey Business

**************I think these posts were lost when Blogger went down on 5?13********************
Spring is in the air but flowers aren't the only thing you are smelling. Last Thursday's LSC meeting was cancelled to to a sudden scheduling conflict for John Ford. I reported this days ago and no one has gotten back with me to dispute the truth of the statement. So that must have been true. I don't understand the need to cancel a meeting jut cause one member is absent. Does anybody remember last winter? We missed a lot of meetings and it made it hard for me to come up with stories.

It turns out that on the agenda for that meeting was approval for a medical leave of absence for the teacher's aide who was ARRESTED for drug's. Maybe a medical leave was appropriate for someone battling an addiction but usually an "intervention" involves family members and medical personnel and not the POLICE. When cops get involved they have another name for it, it's called an ARREST.

Looks like friends and family tried to intervene by helping getting him the job working with our kids. I suddenly have developed a keen interest in history. I wonder about prior records and documentation of an medically approved rehabilitation plan or if it was just a "seat of your pants" self regulation.

Well, like I said it's spring, time to go to the zoo to see some caged monkeys. I'm tired of seeing them run wild and doing their business.

Keeping Secrets

**************I think these posts were lost when Blogger went down on 5?13********************
I am just a little curious. Why was the position closed for the teacher's aide that was ARRESTED? Was it closed or they have just not found a replacement? Oh, I forgot it's a personnel matter no one can discuss it.

Funny though when me and a parent had a meeting with Drs. Latham and Wary, Lydia Muggeo and Sue Howell, they had planned on using that same aide position to support another student in another classroom only to discover he was no longer there. No one can accuse Dr. Latham of  secret plans.

I guess they hadn't read the police blotter.

Planting, Political......It All Starts With P

**************I think these posts were lost when Blogger went down on 5?13********************

Who is responsible for planting narcotic weeds in Ford's International garden? As Secretary of the Highlands Coalition (one of my growing collection of hats) I am deeply troubled by the renegade placement of rogue vegetation in our backyard. We are doing positive things for the neighborhood, the Ford School, and our kids. So it just cuts against the grain to try and place a bad seed in the mix.

One of the accomplishments of our group that gets touted at almost every HICO meeting is our part in closing down a local drug house and now we have had to deal with a plant from the administration bearing spoiled fruit. Just at a time when everything was put in a Rowe (darn those typos).

Can The Cameras Catch The Money?

Cameras in Lynn schools aim to protect students, staff

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Officer Ferrari for all the hard work and having the (tele)vision to establish security and safety in our schools. Questions about civil liberties are the price we pay for living in the modern world.

My biggest question/concern is if maybe Officer Ferrari could put up a few more cameras up. In fact, I would suggest he place them down at 90 Commercial St. (Administration building) so we could maybe see where that 8 million dollars in grant money received after last year's budget was passed was spent. Since I am not alleging any wrong doing, it won't be necessary to have it piped directly into the police station. May I suggest a "live" stream to the Internet so all of the "Watch's" readers can do their own snooping.

No wrong doing, nothing to hide. That was a declarative statement, not a question. We never had a test like the MCAS back in the old days in WV, but I know the difference.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lack Of PAC

Went to the PAC meeting tonight with my BFF and joined up with three other parents and the new PARENT LIAISON, our meeting room was occupied but it seems like we didn't have enough people anyway. We could not even find the CHAIRMAN DAVE ELLIS.

My BFF made phone calls that went unanswered and because of David's dependability we were asking around if anybody had a police scanner to check on recent car accidents. Finally Melissa gets a call from David's house. He had been on the the side of the building with Lydia Muggeo and a few other people who were wondering where we were.

The confusion did not stop there or maybe I should say began there. It seems that some at the SPED department said they forgot to make the reminder calls that go out to the parents of SPED students. It wasn't like this was n important meeting  anything, only NOMINATIONS were going to be held. I am sure LPS sincerely WANTS the parents to be involved. Look they left the PARENT LIAISON position VACANT for TWO years until they could find the right person for the job.

Anyway my BFF wants the new PARENT LIAISON to have the responsibility for making these reminder calls. That way we would know who to hold responsible. I added that she  could do them in two languages. After all that was a skill that she possesses that made it unnecessary to even give me the courtesy of a "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" letter. STOP IT, I AM NOT BITTER.

Tonight's PAC Forcast

I have a hard time keeping all of these meetings straight with all of these cancellations. SO I asked my BFF who is big into PAC if there was a meeting tonight. She said she thought so but as of yesterday morning she hadn't got a reminder phone call put out by the SCHOOL DEPARTMENT. Hmmm!

Well if my son's baseball game gets rained out I am going to be begging her for a ride to 10 Church St. at around 7 pm tonight. I guess since I wasn't good enough to be considered for the PARENT LIAISON position, I better be just a parent.


Breed students working on Holocaust memorial project

Our students are so great! It's only by recognizing past mistakes, we can avoid repeating them. LEARNING is about making mistakes and then always trying not repeating them. Such a project as BREED has undertaken shows both a desire to learn and social responsibility. Good for them, good for us.

Lynn Classical scholarship fundraiser Saturday

Lynn Classical scholarship fundraiser Saturday

I'm always up for eating. The ITEM article tells the truth, the cost of a college education is hard to digest. So here is a way to help avoid stomach problems, a little proactive eating. You may not be able to avoid all of the ills of paying for higher education, but maybe ome people will get a few less ulcers.

Lynn Students Take The Lead

Lynn teens add voice to community discussion - The Boston Globe

This a very positive story about the potential of our students. Kudos to Diana Kerry and North Shore Community College for initiating this program. I believe the WATCH broke this story MONTHS ago. I admit the GLOBE developed this story a lot better and I got earlier because I had a "mole" in the program, MY DAUGHTER.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Same Old Songs

Has any one else out there noticed the similarities between the Lynn School Department and the Eagle's Joe Walsh's (probably not a relation to Clay) lyrical efforts? There is his solo effort, "Life's Been Good". This could be an anthem for those six-figure administrators down at Commercial St.

Then I believe he had on the Eagles song, "Pretty Maids All In A Rowe" (darn those typos) from the "Hotel California" album. Music is important in education.

"You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" Let's hear those triple guitars!

"MUD" Wrestling The Issues (sorry, that is a catchy title)

An interesting thing happened last Wed. night at Clay Walsh's fund raiser, aside from his getting my name wrong (I could retaliate by turning "Clay" into "Mud" -Am I that mean?- but not only did I get a "FREE" invitation, but also he made some key school issues talking points in his campaign platform and for that I won't sick the dogs on him. And let me tell you I made a pretty good friend with Rich Colucci's dog when he gave me a ride home from the mayor's state of the city address. His dog gave up his seat for me. How many of you would do the same?

I am not writing this post to dig up any "DIRT" on anybody (sorry Clay I couldn't resist), I want to give Clay props for recognizing education's importance and recognizing CITY Council's responsibility in seeing that CITY COUNCIL has a part in carrying out any educational plans. After all as I have repeated over and over, half of the city's budget gets shipped down to Commercial St. It blows my mind that the Councillors are content to trust the mayor as chairperson of the LSC with such a huge blank check. All they have to do is ask and I'll save them a seat in the audience at the next LSC meeting.

For all of you fellow parents out there, please call your Councilmen and ask, "Why aren't you all up in the LSC's Kool-Aid?". Our kid's education is all our business.

My Summer Reading List

I've decided to forgo my usual list of Plato, Aristotle. Machiavelli and other classic writers (those guys write some real page turners, I can't wait for the movie version of those texts to come out on DVD) so that I can devote my time boning up on next year's SCHOOL BUDGET. Maybe I can discover how that 8 million dollars was spent in grants we got from RACE TO THE TOP and whatever that Governor Patrick sent our way. I am not speculating any of it was misappropriated, I just don't want to have to read between the lines.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hearing All That Is Said

It's no wonder I hear things. Have you seen the size of my ears? In my younger days when I worked at a behavioral treatment facility back in WV, I could hear a kid whisper a curse word across a noisy classroom. Those big things are not just good for holding my hat up.

Hearing is not just about listening to sounds though, it's also about perceiving what's being said or trying to be communicated. Words come with their own baggage and how they are delivered can be a message all its own. Everything maters.

What Will I Do With Time On My Hands?

Summer breezes make me feel fine. With the school year winding down, my services won't be needed as much in the library(To be honest I haven't spent as much time there lately, court, sickness, and all.).  With my volunteer obligations waning, I will be able to devote more time to poetry and OTHER THINGS.

There is a little thing called the SCHOOL BUDGET and upcoming ELECTIONS that the WATCH might be interested in. It takes time to concentrate on issues and line items. I'd kind of like to spend a little time studying fashion. My cane is so last year as an acceptable accessory. Any suggestions on any fashion icons I can look up to?

Who Is It All For?

Yesterday when I was walking on the sidewalk in front of my house, a young boy ran up to me to say "Hi!". He enthusiastically told me that he was the one that came up with the name for the school paper and that he couldn't wait until next Wednesday for our next meeting. That's what we need, excitement in education. When you can instill a love of learning with the students, you don't need the millions of dollars in grant monies we received AFTER the budget was approved last year or any new administrators who's salaries will be covered with mystery funds. You don't even have to dress nice.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Have They Seen The Light?

Lynn Showing its Colors, again

May 10, 2011
By Journal Staff
In the entire state of Massachusetts there are 1700 public school buildings. A recent study conducted by the state of all those buildings found 23 in the dead on arrival category.
Two of those are located in the area – that is – in Lynn and in, of all places, Marblehead.
Here, the Thurgood Marshall Middle School, built in 1923, serves almost 900 students. It is the rough equivalent of a slum in need of heating and electricity and science labs. It has no science labs and has no public address system.
Obviously, this school is an embarrassment to the city of Lynn and a cruel disappointment to every kid that is forced to be in that building everyday.
Why, we would ask, have no efforts been made to approach the General Electric Company to provide two or three science labs for this school?
Why have local businessmen who care not been approached about donating a public address system and why haven’t local tradesmen been asked for their efforts to correct whatever is wrong with the heating system and electricity?
Why no outreach? Why only excuses, excuses, excuses?
In Marblehead, those people ought to know better. They are so rich but so cheap.
Here, in Lynn the city should hang its head in shame for doing so little to make life better in that school.
How is it that everyone around here in a position of responsibility, paid so well, pensioned so nicely and taken care of in every way, is able to throw his hands into the air and say nothing can be done?
It is sad but it is more pathetic and helpless than sad.
Can you imagine having your kid in such a school?

Turning A Negative Into A Positive Back Into A Negative

Schools group pleased with Classical upgrades

I hate to put a less than positive spin on this story, I mean everybody knows how supportive I am of the current administration. But I couldn't let this story pass without making a couple of observations. It seems to me the gist of this story is that we re getting good at failing and failing is what we need to get better. THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU HARRINGTON AND CONNERY!

"We can do better if you hold our feet to the fire"

It shouldn't have to come to this. In order to change the perception of our image, we should be filling the media with positive stories without a negative backdrop. Don't blame the Item, they are out to sell papers. They got a hard enough time with snotty, upstart bloggers vying for their share of the media market. NO, blame the LPS. It is their responsibility to spread the good news. They probably should have placed a PARENT with a SPECIAL NEEDS child in the PARENT LIAISON position who could have written those stories and at the same time gotten a troublesome BLOG off the market. Oh well!

Computers For A Cause!

I am passing on an e mail I got from the Treasure of the Highlands Coalition. Seems like a good deal but I am no tax lawyer, I'm not any type of lawyer but I play one in Divorce Court! Here goes:
Select LanguageAfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatv

I'm Back!

Whew! I'm back after Blogger went down since yesterday evening. My poet's imagination combined with a little garden variety paranoia led to a gushing of conspiracy theories, overloading my poor, little damaged brain. Well I'm back now, not to be silenced by those a little uncomfortable with my perceptions. The reason for the discomfort astounds me, I'm just an undereducated poet who writes with a pen and walks with a cane.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

And Your Name Is....?

Are my party crashing days over? I got respect. I got invitations to Clay Walsh's fundraiser tonight. I guess he is interested in what goes on in our schools. Clay is running for councilor-at-large and since half the city's budget is taken up by their contribution for the school's budget so it is both wise and prudent.

I just hope he is better with the city's budget than he is with names. Oh well, he can call me Sally if he works on improving education in our city. A few current councilmen, the mayor,  and other dignitaries shook my hand and complimented me on my NUMBERS. Everybody knows the WATCH.

Maybe now, I'll start getting invites, Shucks, the pizza tastes better if you're supposed to be there. I had to leave before they finished announcing all the politicians and dignitaries. I'm sure I was mentioned, it just might have been under an assumed name, Really it's alright not getting my name correct, it will be easier for me when I have to go into the "witness protection" program for sarcastic bloggers.

Looking For Juliet

Lynn Classical teachers to hit the dance floor

On a night after ROMEO gets the boot from "Dancing with the Stars" Lynn Classical teacher Estelle Dill struts her stuff to benefit Classical's Koolie High Swag Team (gotta love that name). It's great to see teachers trying to keep in step with their students. All of the details about this innovative fundraiser are in the article so I encourage everyone to show their support and see the show!

Volume II

I am excited. Today we are having our initial meeting of the year of the newspaper club at Ford. I helped start it last year and we even got some real newspaper coverage thanks to the Item. Everybody loves to see their name in print except for sometimes when I'm writing about them. This experience helps teach kids to appreciate the power of the pen and how to focus their ideas early. Besides it gives me an excuse to see other parts of the school and not be surrounded by books.

Confidential, Public?

These are ironic times. With only one student in all of the middle and high schools being found to be in possession of drugs after a surprise sweep there was never much talk about classes but when the teacher's aide in the behavior class at Ford was ARRESTED on his lunch break, there was talk of a couple of different letters of the alphabet.

Now after looking at my morning dose of Facebook I see where the CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY who was shut down or silenced when she tried to come before the LSC by "Gotta Go" Capano for trying to discuss personnel matters is contemplating a run for school committee herself. Bravo! It does my poet's heart good to imagine the possibility of seeing some poetic justice being brought to bear.

Remember "Gotta Go" Capano tried to use the personnel blanket to explain the keeping of secrets about our school system exposing our kids to alleged drug users.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Take Your Cues From "GQ"

Don't you think it's kind of ironic that "GQ" Spirito lamented the difficulties of teaching kids of parents with drug problems and now he takes a position protecting the secrecy around the employment of a paraprofessional "charged" (excuse the pun) with the education of those kids. Hey "GQ", what goes with  prison stripes? Would you recommend going with a monogrammed orange jumpsuit? Your fashion advice is sorely needed. We have to be concerned how LPS is represented.

Connect The Dots, All In A Rowe

Darn, there goes another typo. Really I was talking about linear progression. Since this operation is run on a second-hand shoestring, I have to make do without a copy editor.

So many questions, I wonder who's got answers? First off, who was rumored to be in line for the controversial position of a new Deputy Superintendent's position?  No doubt, a mother can't be responsible for the actions of her adult son. BUT I wonder when her son's addiction problems started? Did who he was related to have any bearing on his hiring? What do you think? The fact that he was hired calls into question the wisdom and competence of those doing the hiring.

He has not been working at Ford very long. He was placed there as part of the cavalry to restore some semblance of order when "Coach K" was fired by the administration. This story was well documented by some of my previous blog entries.

If he was battling a drug addiction, not only why was he hired but was this position the "right fit" for him? Working in a "behavior class" is very stressful. Heck with him, what about the kids? They would not be in that class if they did not have difficulties of their own, but they have a RIGHT to a public education. The only "class" they need to be concerned with is where they get their education, not learning the different "classes" of narcotics.

Not Our Concern? Are You Serious? Drugs In Our Schools?

Okay, the Item wins on this story sort of. This "teacher's aide" was right next to me in the library. This incident happened why I was off doing court stuff. I had heard a lot of things but I was waiting for a few things to develop before I went with. I was playing "journalistic chicken" and I lost, so I am forced to turn a poet's eye on a already reported story. Reported but not developed but not developed.

Don't you wonder how Patti "Gotta Go" Capano and "GQ" Spirito are throwing the "personnel matter" blanket over this incident to smother it? I mean someone working for the school department taking drugs drugs while they're are working is everybody's concern. What do you say parents?

Lynn teacher's aide arrested on drug charges

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Who's Responsible For Our Schools?

School Committee members aren't the only people you should scrutinize before you cast your ballots for the candidates who will fight for the best education possible for our kids. Since around half the city budget goes for education, our city councilmen have a direct influence on Lynn's educational dollar.

When you factor in the added cost for policing vandalism, drugs, gangs, and other related malfeasance that result from the failures of our educational system, that percentage grows. Behavior has to be learned. It is up to us to decide what is taught.

If we hope to teach our kids that they are responsible for their actions then we must show them that we are responsible for ours. We must hold the value of education high and hold all of our elected officials to that value.

Everyone and everything matters. That is why we need not give the candidates for city council a "homework pass" when it comes to our children's education. We need to check their answers for Lynn's education. We can't afford anymore remedial learning.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What About STARs in Our Galaxy?

Program offers chance to become a STAR

I was at the LSC meeting when a presentation was given for this program, I believe a day or two around the time it was offered to Swampscott. The LSC were polite to the officer but I don't know of any action that was taken. Maybe there was something at Classical. If so why aren't our kids getting the publicity, if not then why didn't we jump at the chance for this program.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Eating The Evidence

It was "teacher appreciation week" this week at Ford. Seeing as the library is right next to the teacher's lounge I got to sample a few of the more edible tokens of appreciation. I'm getting good at showing up at parties and places I don't really belong!

Rats, Monkeys, And Business As Usual

Now some people think I tend to be a little less than objective. I've heard that I favor certain LSC members. I don't know whatever filled your head with such delusions. Take LSC ember Donna Coppola for example, now Ive known Donna for over 12 years. We even worked together, but during the "Great Rat Controversy" we were on different sides of the "fence". I strongly contended that gardens do not attract rats.

That was however when it was a "six foot" fence. Now after somewhat clandestine meetings between Buildings and Grounds subcommittee chairman JOHN FORD. LPD Officer Ferrari,and some school administration officials that a "four foot" would be sufficient if no better.

Because when the "agreement" for fence was publically reached it was to be six feet but when FORD and his posse met, they unilaterally decided the shorter fence would be sufficient. In fact it would be better due to camera angles and fields covered. The addition of 4 cameras gave even better coverage.

Do these changes actually provide for better solutions. Probably, but that's not the point. MAYOR KENNEDY, JOHN FORD, AND THE REST OF THE LYNN SCHOOL COMMITTEE gave their word on a garden "retrofit" to appease the abutters led by MRS. PULEO.

A six ft. fence is not going to keep the  rats out any better than a four ft. fence. You won't find many vermin trying to scale the fence. They will just go under it. The added four cameras will make it easier to identify the guilty rats but it is the "monkey business" of not honoring publicly negotiated agreements that makes me wonder if a violation of some law has occurred. Was a "crime" committed? The police WERE involved. I forgot, they don't like getting into CIVIL matters. Don't I know it, remember four wives?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Politics And Poetry

It amazes me how many new friends I have been getting. "Lynn, Lynn, City Of Friends". I know they all share my literary passions. I mean last Sunday Councilman Rich Collucci's dog gave up his seat in the truck so that Rich could give me a ride home. Councillor-At-Large candidate Clay Walsh has sent me two comp tickets for his fundraiser at May 11 from 6 -8 pm at the Turbine Wine Bar. Seems there is a sudden interest in  poetry. Tis the season.

For Whom The Bell Tolls


I have to give it to the ITEM they are keeping time with education in Lynn. Learning is not all about reciting numbers and preparing for the MCAS. Recognizing all of the hard work accomplished makes for a better student all around!

Lynn students provide symphony of sound

Ford's Garden of Verse

To prove to all of you Stanley HATERS out there that I am a legitimate if poor poet, I invite you to tour the "International Garden" at Ford School. Among the vegetables you will find a plaque with one of my original if not classic poems painted on. If you need help finding it, DAVID GASS is there a lot talking about obesity, voting, and other such social issues. Anny other Highland's Coalition member there can fill you in. In the interest of full disclosure, I must inform you that I am Secretary of HICO. I really don't know why I am, I guess I just have "nice" legs.

Thank You Lynn School Committee!

I have a medical appointment in Boston late this afternoon and I just found out that tonight's scheduled meeting of the LSC had been cancelled yesterday. Phew! I don't remember telling anyone that I had this appointment coming up but you know those school people are smart people, doctors and lawyers and such. I wondered why the agenda hadn't been posted like it's supposed to in order to comply with the "Open Meeting" law. Our school people are not ever law breakers!

I feel special even if I am not very pretty. To think all the important educational business came to a halt just because I couldn't go to the meeting. I hear JOHN FORD couldn't have made the meeting either, but they wouldn't have cancelled the meeting for him because even with his absence they would have had a quorum. Business could have went on as usual. Maybe not. Judging from the way the voting went last week, maybe his vote was needed for MONKEY BUSINESS. Still, I would rather think it was cancelled for me. CAN'T A POET GET A LITTLE RESPECT?

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Do Their Share!

The Lynn Public School Band will be having a car wash to raise funds. Saturday, May 7th from 9 am until 2 pm at 581 Boston Street, LPS Band students will be putting some elbow grease in action! They'll be music in the air and soap bubbles on your car!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No Altered States

Ab avid "Watch" follower asked for and got from Dr. Latham a transcript of a State Of The Schools speech given at a school committee meeting earlier this year. I was at that meeting and the information was given in he superintendent's report. I remember it was a long meeting and attorney Mihos almost falling asleep.

The written transcript was not readily available then. When a concerned citizen asked Dr. Latham after last Sunday's State Of The City address why Mayor Kennedy did not mention more about the schools. A valid question. To her credit Dr. Latham then provided this person with a written transcript of her earlier remarks. That person then forwarded it to me and several other people. I have not had time yet to pour through the speech. I will.

It has been my contention and I have made it known during "open mike" at the LSC meeting that all such documents and communications should be put on-line. That way, pesky bloggers like the one "GQ" Spirito and Madame Mayor refereed to can't accuse them of hiding anything.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Went To PAC And Stayed For The Show

Thank You Lynn Public Schools, I can't make this stuff up. Don't you think it's funny in a sad sort of way, that why a presentation was put on by CSA, whose services are only available to people on mass health, we had around $400,00 in annual salary sitting at the head table where Queen Cathie was holding court. I'm not including the PARENT LIAISON making who know's what for how long.

Don't forget the PARENT LIAISON sat with the SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS. What was her JOB TITLE again?

Where Was That Marriage Made Again?

My Internet was down this morning, this paranoid poet was having delusions of persecution emanating from all of these conspiracy theories bouncing around in this battered brain I got. Strangers are suddenly friendly to me and then there are those "old friends" that have suddenly turned a cold shoulder. Being a poet is a risky business.

I was late for the start of the PAC meeting because my BFF and I stopped by The Old Tyme Restaurant for Pickering PTO's fundraiser. I gotta support my peeps. Well we waited almost an hour for our food so we ended up getting it to go so we wouldn't miss any more of the meeting. I forgot my red power notebook on the table but the waitress ran it out to our car before we left. It pays to tip well.

When we get there, none other than DR LATHAM was there. With someone of that stature there it was almost like the "royal wedding". As it turns out Dr. Latham was there to bestow the title of "Parent Liaison" on Francis Martinez, formerly of "La Vida".

As it turns out Ms. Martinez has NO children in Special Needs and somebody help me out here, "What is her educational background? I missed that part of the meeting. Did they say why she left "La Vida"? I was at a recent school committee meeting where her former group put on a crackerjack presentation. I thought the school department gave them a 100K for there program. Did all the Spanish population suddenly move out of Lynn and no longer need whatever services "La Vida" provides?

Somebody out there must know how this woman was so much more qualified than me that I didn't even deserve acknowledgement of my interest. I am sure these mystery qualifications must exist because everybody knows how fair and above board the school department has been run.

I was a little bit concerned last night at the PAC though when Ms. Martinez sat  a table with Her Highness Dr. Latham and her court, aristocrats Jessica and Lydia and did not mingle with us other commoners, otherwise known as PARENTS. What's her job title again?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Maybe We Should Do Lunch!

‘Let’s all work together,’ says Kennedy in Lynn address

It just proves you never know when you're going to learn something. Here I was sitting in the front row yesterday, all dressed in black and the mayor starts off her speech pointing in my direction. I didn't suppose she was directing those remarks at me. I do have brain damage and it makes me walk a little funny, talk a little funny, and even lead to a mistaken arrest once for public intoxication. The damage has caused me some intellectual deficits and that is why I am not as smart as the mayor. The damage does not however cause me to suffer from delusions of grandeur so I did not think the mayor was talking to me.

So I was shocked after the speech when the mayor came up to shake my hand and told me she hoped that I did not take offense at her singling me out. I didn't, in fact I am kind of honored. I'm just surprised she thinks of me as her enemy. I mean I shaved and got a hair cut, the greatest degree of respect this poor humble poet can show (I learned all of this from my fashion idol "GQ" Spirito).

Standing by my seat I learned something else. In her speech the mayor talked about the delay in building a new middle school to replace Marshall was due to the fact that Lynn had closed three schools, Ford Annex, Fallon, and Facteau- Leary, all of whom had previously receive MSBA funds. I overheard Dr. Latham tell someone our most honorable mayor was wrong, that only Fallon had received MSBA monies and that the real problem was about the money pit that has become the NEW CLASSICAL HIGH SCHOOL.

Do you think somebody could get them to exchange phone numbers?

Arresting Development

Safety first! How often have we heard that wise advice. At yesterday's gala, the mayor announced that 10 new police officers would be hired. Security conscious "GQ" Spirito will be happy to learn 4 of them will be assined to some of the schools. With a little scheduling magic they will cover all the high and middle schools. With Officer Ferrari stationed in the "bunker at Facteau-Leary our children's safety is assured. Looks good. Fashion diva, "GQ" is always interested in looks.

What doesn't look so good is the effect this may have on the school's wallet. Where is the money coming froom to pay these valiant officers? Is he school footing the bill for their wages? Or is the city payig the freight? I mean, after all the school department did use some of their ARRA grant money to update the city's computer system. Anyway getting these officers is a good thing, from wherever they came. I just hope we learn how we can now afford them. Out in the open and above board.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ball's In My Court

Boy I am filled with anticipation and awe. Tomorrow night PAC meeting there is supposed to be the debut of the newly hired PARENT LIAISON. This person is so qualified that not only did I not get an interview for the job, my interest in the position wasn't even ACKNOWLEDGED.

I can't wait to meet this person because those people down at the school department are educated people and have a crack lawyer in attorney Mihos, who wouldn't have let them put themselves in a position where they would open themselves up to a DISCRIMINATION lawsuit. Can you spell ADA?

It's Dangerous Out There!

Haven't these people heard that poets are an endangered species? First it was Vinnie "GQ" Spirito of LSC taking pot shots at me at Thursday night's LSC meeting and then today at the mayor's "State of the City" she starts the speech by opening up on me and our FRIENDLY disagreements.

Now I remind you mayor is a smart lady, smarter than me, but I can't say she is a better dresser than "GQ" Spirito. He is one sharp dressed man.The point of her verbal lance was how open she was to jousting over issues.

So after listening to her informative monologue, she opened up the forum for questions. Knowing that I am no match for her wits, I was still a little curious about something. Earlier in her speech she had touted the facts that both the city's and school department's budget had been put on line AFTER the budgets had been passed making commenting on it practically irrelevant at least going forward. So after she bragged about putting up the city's budget on-line this year in time to allow or public comment.

Being an inquisitive person I asked why since the school department accounts for about half of the city's budget perhaps maybe we should have the school department's budget on-line before passage. Right after some initial stumbling, the mayor kind of thought it was a good idea but then started laying out these complications like the "school committee would have to approve it and agreeing it was a good idea put the responsibility on THEM.Spoken like a true politician. I TOLD YOU SHE WAS A SMART LADY.

Mayor's Talk For Hunger!

Why would the "Watch" be interested to go and see Mayor Kennedy's "State Of The City" address today? Well I guess since half the city's budget goes to the school department and the mayor chairs the school committee so it just makes sense that I'm there. I know that somebody might ask me about my poetry.

I'm curious to see if the mayor is able to make any decision. Oh wait she won't have to here, it's just a speech. Oh well, there is supposed to be food there. I am hungry for answers but I guess I'll settle for appetizers.

Good Eats For A Good Cause

Too many obligations, too little time. Tomorrow is a fundraiser for my son's school's (Pickering) PTO at the Old Tyme Italian Restaurant. I got a PAC meeting I should go to but I'll tell you why in another post.

The event runs from 4 pm to 8 pm. Pick up some pasta for me.