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Saturday, December 31, 2011


You know something I'venot heard in a while? That is anything about the plans to consolidate COMMERCIAL STREET and the SPED offices over at BROADWAY. They were all supposed to head on over to the BENNETT STREET property.

That way they could keep an eye on each other and maybe DR. LATHAM wouldn't be so free with that CIRCUIT BREAKER money. I guess if everyone was at BENNETT STREET like our MOST HONORABLE MAYOR talked about, maybe there wouldn't be office space for a new DEPUTY.

You know what there would be though? CLASSROOMS, a whole mess of them at COMMERCIAL STREET. Overcrowding problem solved or at least substantially relieved. I don;t understand, didn't we already PAY for some study. I mean if it is a manpower problem, I'm sure I could talk a few parents into loading the U-hauls. Heck, some might even drive.


RICK I know the position
of vice-chair has no power,

Your afraid from contraversy
you would have to cower.

So the job you do not want,
but a voting block you would make

would be vital to the cause of
the schools the parents we must retake.

So the gauntlet I must now
desperately throw down.

In order to make changes to
the way education is run in this town.


I was unaware
votes were taken
for vice-chair.

If that is the case
then bad mistakes
we can begin to erase.

DONNA is my friend
but politically she
won't be able to win..

PATTI  we must beat
in order for RICK
to take her seat.

So this we may see,
we must count on votes


I don't believe this position was ever discussed at an LSC meeting. I have to say this is probably a good way to spend some of that "CIRCUIT BREAKER BONANZA". It is a recognition that many of our SPED kids live in a home where ENGLISH is not the first language spoken.


Has anyone but me and well maybe my BFF noticed I've been getting over 6000 hits a month? And tell me if I'm wrong, our MOST HONORABLE MAYOR won many how many votes in her election? I think it was "7".

What were the vote totals for the LSC members and the city council members?


Darn that Cleo is smart. Honest, I'm, not saying that just cause she quoted me in her own blog. Do you really think I am that VAIN? .....Moving right along, with thoughtful prose she has observed the DISCONNECT between LPS and the parents of the students they are supposed to serve.

Me, I don't have to write any of that thoughtful stuff, I write poetry. Besides I can't compete with all the pretty colors and fancy charts and stuff she has on her blog.


Ijust saw this post  on FB and I think it is information every WATCH reader needs to have. The more people who "watch" whats going on, the less they'll be abled to get away with.

Lynn School Committee meetings will be broadcast LIVE on Channel 16 Comcast and Channel 37 Verizon on the second and last Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM. Meetings are held at LVTI.

If you miss it, you can see next day -
Rebroadcast: 2PM and 8PM the very next day of the original live broadcast


It is for programs like this we need to cultivate the resources of our youth. Our children need a place to grow, a place where the many different flowers that are our children can blossom. We want, no we NEED LVTI to be our garden. DR. LATHAM, give us a place to plant the seeds so we can have a bountiful harvest.


City council, crime round out top 10 for Lynn in 2011

Well it looks like LPS did make the ITEM'S top ten list, sort of even if indirectly. I mean, all the talk about Lynn being a "HAVEN CITY" in story number 7  kind of touches on the strains LPS are facing. We do learn that PATTI CAPANO feels that opening up a new school is not the best answer right now for our overcrowding...


she voted for adding a new DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT who comes with a CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY. Total cost for the package is in the neighborhood of $200,000.

PATTI said in the debate sponsored by the ELCA that all of our schools are "NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS". I think she was talking about geography and not philosophy. Anyway with house numbers like 200K, I want to live in HER neighborhood.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:00pm at Lynn Museum


I don't know everything, I'm not good at laws and policies and such. As you know, I;m not on LPS'S e mail chain. Maybe I'm wrong but I thought ONLY LYNN KIDS got to go to KIPP.

Doesn't seem FAIR that LYNN residents are paying for a PEABODY kid to go to that school. I could be wrong, I haven't seen any official records. Don't worry, it was a lottery pick.


Latham did cry.
"Can't you see,
We need a new

Money for that
but not for
the kids, classrooms
to have more.

Her contract must
be opened this spring
to give her walking papers
to ease the sting.

Our kids come first,
a lesson we must teach
before a fair education
for our students can reach.


I LOVE THE NEW DECORATING over at the SPED building. A big "X" is painted all over the building. That way DR.LATHAM doesn't need to use a GPS to find money to pay for a new DEPUTY. She doesn't even need a treasure map to play those CIRCUIT BREAKERS like a slot machine. I seriously think they ought to consider COMMERCIAL STREET as a possible location for one of those new casinos.


I guess DR. LATHAM "Found The Money" to hire a new DEPUTY and some other CENTRAL OFFICE personnel but when it comes to our kids, the dollars disappeared. Maybe I just don't have the same priorities.

What can you do? DR. LATHAM does have a lot of experience in education and they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. The only answer is to change DOGS. The time is right with her contract coming up fir renewal. We must open it up soon.

Let's stop for a minute to look at a couple things. I have not been subtle in expressing my opinion. This past election was the first one I really got involved in. Oh I've held a few signs, but DONNA has been a longtime friend. This was the first time ever that I've got involved in a city election.

I will get better though I didn't do too bad. For the LSC, 3 of the 4 I backed got in. It would have been 4 of 5, but I let my BFF convince me to push a bullet. I think I did say some good things about CHARLIE GALLO. For the CITY COUNCIL, I got 1 out of 2. If the Red Sox could get a clean-up hitter to bat that well, we'd have another World Series here.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that the people who are supposed to be making this decision know that a bitter and poor, disabled poet will be looking over your shoulder.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Fallon School opening pushed to fall in Lynn

Us poets, we are so easily confused. I mean I don't understand how we don't have the money now to open up a new school now but we can find a million dollars to create NEW positions including about $200,000 for a Deputy/Confidential Secretary dynamic duo.

Kind of ironic all of this spending occurs on a night when a presentation on the new INNOVATION SCHOOL was postponed and sent back to a committee of three for further review. Even funnier is the fact that one of the three reviewing it is our current Deputy Superintendent DR. WARY because not opening a new school frees up money to hire another DEPUTY. Do you see where I am going here?

It seems like the current administration's solution to overcrowding in the classroom is to also have overcrowding in the administration offices.


We all will suffer
the reduction in expectation.
This year they'll
be no school of innovation.

The power of poetry
I will unleash
so our "Super's" irresponsible
spending will cease.

We are told we
we need a new deputy
but our kids are crowded
in a room in reality.

Where are the cries of
"We'll find the money" now.
Creating new positions on the
back of the SPED cash cow.
No money for school but money for a new Deputy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


2011's Top 5 stories

Can you believe it? Not one story about LYNN PUBLIC SCHOOLS among their top five. LPS accounts for about 50% of the city of LYNN'S budget. There was plenty to write about and our kids are our future and what's more important than our future.

They could have featured the big controversy last year when LPS tried to add a DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT in the middle of the year when we had so many other pressing concerns, much like they are trying this year. Well they didn't actually pick up on it until they read my blog.

Then there is the positive stuff, like the FORD SCHOOL garden being featured on CBS news. I don't even think they covered it. I know everyone heard first about it from the WATCH cause I was in the garden when they came. My balcony does overlook the vegetables.

I guess I should feel honored that ITEM counts on me to cover the LPS beat. You know what that means - a recipe for more poetry. That's your inside dish.

Monday, December 26, 2011


I'd like to take a break a moment for a PSA. We here at the WATCH would like you to support the following project,

You may ask what does this have to do with EDUCATION and our SCHOOLS? Well let me tell you. it's history, fairly recent history.

More than that though, I just didn't read sappy poetry books in college. You see my philosophy professor he said the KHMER ROUGE was really a perversion of a discussion in PLATO"S "REPUBLIC". That SOCRATES could be such a troublemaker. That's why he got a HEMLOCK MILKSHAKE.


WE'LL FIND THE MONEY. That has been LATHAM'S battle cry as she looks for buried treasure between the lines of the LPS budget as she tries to come up with dollars to pay the six figured salary of still more layers of administration in a top heavy CENTRAL OFFICE. It almost happened once. If you remember, DR. WARY got saddled with a box of chocolates  instead of nuggets.


Over the course of the year, I was taught the difference between a one on one and a classroom aide. That difference is just what DR. LATHAM says it is. Never mind what's written in the IEP, what matters is what we can get by with.

I got to sit in a meeting with CATHE'S CLAN, DR. LATHAM, DR. WARY, LYDIA MUGGEO, and SUE HOWELL and listen to LYDIA deny ever offering a one on one for a kid and then having to wipe away the over spray from the egg on the face of LYDIA as a recorded voice mail was played. After that we all walked away and no definitions were redefined that day.


No doubt, she's playing her song again? I'm talking about the DEPUTY melody malady. Hum along if you know it. You know it's the one where Cathe cries about needing to work on her friend's figures, all six of them. Meanwhile our libraries remain mostly closed and our classrooms are crowded.

Before we look to blame LATHAM about this we should remember it all started with ERIC CLAPTON!

Why you ask? Some of you won't be old enough to remember , "I SHOT THE SHERIFF.....BUT I DID NOT SHOOT THE DEP-PU-TY."


It was up for discussion again but it seemed to get buried again in some ad-hoc committee for further review (the committee is composed of Dr. Wary, Brandt Duncan, and somebody else I don't remember, remember the BRAIN DAMAGE thing I have).

Of course I'm talking about the proposed  INNOVATION SCHOOL. It was on the LSC agenda for a presentation but I guess DR. LATHAM found something to cause her to throw the challenge flag to force some officials to take the matter under review. Is she hoping, like at an NFL game the decision will be reversed after further review.

It was supposed to be a STEM-based elementary school (that's what STARBARD had been yapping about) that would have helped with all of this overcrowding.

If that proposal sounds a lot like FORD SCHOOL, that's because DR. LATHAM had a major hand in killing an INNOVATION SCHOOL there a couple of years ago too. I guess this delay is just her wanting to be sure of her design before reinventing the wheel. I think with LATHAM:S contract coming up, it's time to change tires.


It's the end of the year, time to start reflecting  on what WATCH readers have learned/been following the past year. I'll do this in a series of posts instead of one big one because that's just how I am.

We learned there are around 26 people working for LPS making over $100 K annually, most of them your kid's teacher has to make an appointment to see. Their wallets join our classrooms in being overcrowded.

After three or four years, our teachers finally get a raise with the passage of a NEW contract, voted on by a small percentage of the members. Their negotiating team wasn't quite as successful as KEVIN MCHUGH. Not only was their raise smaller, I think less than 3%, but it was spread out over three years, not the immediate 7% KEVIN got. Then again he is only one person struggling to get by on over $100K and he has to come up with a budget, once a year and how often do teachers have to write lesson plans?

Plus teachers only have to deal with sometimes unruly kids and angry parents while KEVIN is forced to deal with a bitter poet.

Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Twas the end of Christmas night
and the state of LPS was in such a fright

A new job posting was crafted with care
in hopes that a CERTAIN  Deputy Superintendent would soon be there.

We've spent money that used to be SPED'S,
promises must be kept or we'll be in the red.

Classrooms are crowded and buildings are old,
the shop is back before the machines were sold.

A Confidential Secretary did return,
civil rights their lawyer did learn.

Over the schools a poet will watch,
so everyone knows when decisions they botch.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Give me a break. From what I heard during the superintendent's evaluation, it was if the NEW LYNN COALITION surprised her with an ambush attack in a commando raid when plans were announced to try and utilize the facilities at LVTI as a community center. It was about as covert an operation as a boy scout convention.

Aside from the postings on my blog about it, I believe the ITEM ran a big story on the NOV.2 meeting at the LYNN HOUSING AUTHORITY about it. Does no one at COMMERCIAL STREET read the ITEM as well as my blog?

Be that as it may. Now that you know, what's you gonna do? You talked about working with the UNITED WAY at your evaluation. Well in my blog posting,
"LET'S GET "UNITED" ON THE "WAY" TO LVTI", JEFF HAYWARD of the UNITED WAY clicked LIKE on my FB posting. I;m not sure but I think he knows somebody in that organization.
Okay, DR. LATHAM time to step up and work with the community. If you want I'll save you a seat next to me at the next meeting. That is if I can get away from work. That was never a problem when I volunteered for you. I miss you CATHE. Do you miss me?


WE'LL FIND THE MONEY. Wow, what a statement, spoken with such confidence. That was the reply DONNA COPPOLA said that DR. LATHAM always gives when she wants to add a new position and is asked how we are going to pay for it.

I heard that answer myself first last year when DR. LATHAM tried unsuccessfully to add a new DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT in the middle of last year. Then last night when I was watching a rebroadcast of DR. LATHAM'S evaluation on LYNNCAM last night with my wife #4 (Doreen), she seized on that statement, WE'LL FIND THE MONEY, and wanted to have T-shirts printed up. There was talk of even embossing coffee mugs. My wife can be a troublemaker. That's probably why I've been married to her longer than any of my other wives.

Okay, let's take that statement at face value, WE'LL FIND THE MONEY not the one about the length of my marriages. I got just one question "Where?" and "How?". So that's two questions. I've told you I'm no good at math.

Let's take the first one, "Where?".Our budget is so tight that we have to have crowded classrooms, schools with no librarians or even a middle school without a library (Pickering to be exact, I heard once somewhere that's some violation of some state law. I don't know, if it is one, I;m sure it's not our first.), school buildings in physical disrepair, and I'm going to add this for my PAC buddies - no (scientifically based) reading program. When I was going over the budget line-by-line last year, I didn't see a line entitled "CATHE'S MAD MONEY HERE". As you probably already know, I don't see so well though.

So we'll move on to "HOW?". I mean if there is extra money in the budget by what kind of transaction is it moved from one place to another. Evidently it  needs no other authorization than the good doctor's JOHN HANCOCK. No long trench coats or Fedoras required.


IS MY HEARING GOING THAT BAD? I swore I heard DR. LATHAM say that she was unaware of any discontent among  teachers, or parents. HELLO! Has anyone over at COMMERCIAL STREET read my blog? I got over 70,000 hits. Oh I forgot,no one over there READS my blog. Although DR. WARY did approach me once and ask that I not harp on a certain somebody's son who was arrested for drugs on his lunch break because she heard about it from a FRIEND who reads my blog. Really, I wonder what kind of friend can she be if she reads my blog?

Then there was the time I hand delivered a letter to DR. LATHAM, DR. WARY, LYDIA MUGGEO, and SUE HOWELL that my BFF wrote for a parent who accompanied me when both of us delivered them the same letter. Within an hour and a half, the parent and I had a meeting with all four in DR. LATHAM'S office. To the good DOCTOR'S credit that was a FAST response. JUDY how quick does she get back to you? It's just not fair. I'm saying that and I'm who benefits from possibly some SPECIAL TREATMENT.

And I have to thank DR. LATHAM for all of my BLOG BENEIES. I would never have thought of it if she hadn't cried in a meeting with me over my son about how defenseless she was and that I was able to initiate a letter writing campaign. She sure is smart. I guess that's why she gets the BIG BUCKS, ALL $184,000 of them. Me, I never worked that year or at least not for a paying job. I was a volunteer librarian. I used to check out books, now I'm the one getting checked out.

Friday, December 23, 2011


I've been a BAD, BAD boy. I tried to slip past the fact I missed the DR.LATHAM'S evaluation by (double-) blindly borrowing someone else's assessment of a crucial report. I was perhaps a little lazy or perhaps I just didn't want to not have something up right away.

But if I was so good at making good decisions, I wouldn't be on my fourth wife. What can you truly expect from me: I HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE.

Well I have watched the LSC meeting where the superintendent's evaluation was discussed now, thanks to the fine work at LYNNCAM. (To be honest, the show would have been more watchable if we had a little theme music and some dancing bears.)

A lot of interesting things struck me when I watched that show in fact my eyes are swelling up right now from all of the blows. First and foremost, was the GREAT UMBRAGE   the superintendent took(don't you just love those words? As a poet I imagine a picture of shrubbery being stolen) at the fact that her knowledge of the laws pertaining to education could be questioned, After all she had what 10 years experience as a SUPPORT SPECIALIST,a DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT, and SUPERINTENDENT.

I can't argue there, she does have that experience.


I just have two words to comment on this and they are COMPLIANCE OFFICER. LPS is now paying somebody $90+ thousand dollars a year why? I would feel pretty safe in guessing it was because somebody was not following the law.

Now if we take DR.LATHAM at her word that she KNOWS the law and violations are so bad that we add such a position after the school year starts that would mean she knowingly and repeatedly violated the law to the extent she needed someone to look over her shoulder. That would seriously compromise her integrity.

On the other hand if she really didn't know the laws that well and had so many accidental violations that she needed someone to hold her hand, well that would bring in to question her honesty and competency. Either way, it doesn't paint a pretty picture, at least not a portrait I want to keep hanging in the halls of LPS.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Come on, we really need a debate on the value of the $200,ooo gift that certain members of the LSC is allowing our superintendent to give to a nondoctoral person who potentially has NO experience as a school principal. I know FLUFF is made in Lynn and you spread it on bread but I didn't know it was made from newsprint and tired old papers!


You know I've been looking over some of these laws and I started reflecting on IDEA the big piece of legislation that seems to me to be the cornerstone of SPED. It has been used to MANDATE a fair and appropriate education for every student.

Because of deficits in some of our educational programming we end up sending a small portion of our student population out of district to get them what they need, educationally. What isn't small is the cost, somewhere around ten percent of the LPS budget goes to pay for these placements.

Some people feel that is not fair to the 99% of the students that make up the rest. Let's see, isn't that the ratio that started OCCUPY WALL STREET.

Before my PAC friends boil me in oil (and my BFF will light the first match) let me remind everyone that by having these out of district placements, we are placing, sometimes severe, social restrictions on our kids. No man is an island and when these kids graduate from school they are going to have to live in the real world. It is doing a serious disservice to them not to allow them the opportunity to develop the social bonds everyone needs to grow and mature.

We are the fifth largest public school district. It just boggles my mind that we have to export our kids to a smaller district just to get the needed services. People should be coming to us. Rumour has it some of these placements are politically motivated. I don't know, I'm just a poor, disabled poet. I don't have the answers but then again I'm not being evaluated on them either. The sad thing is our superintendent isn't either.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Somebody please tell me how the Superintendent's evaluation went tonight. I think I know since she played such a key role in it but you knowe how objective I try to be so I don't want to make any judgements until I hear all the facts. I wouldn't want anyone to think I've got any preconceived notions.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Tomorrow night's the big night but I'll bet even RICK STARBARD won't even be tailgating in the parking lot of LVTI, state champions in two sports. The SUPERINTENDENT is going to get graded tomorrow. After a two year fight RICK finally got everyone to bring this marking period to an end.

There won't be any late inning rallies or two minute drills, see the end result is a forgone conclusion. DR. LATHAM gets to reminisce about what it was like being a teacher and giving grades only this time she gets to help give herself the grade.

Unfortunately I probably won't be in attendance. It's not that I'm not a big fan of the game, I am. All of these errors and miscues give me plenty to write about.

No, I have to go do parent stuff. Between that and working again, I'm in danger of being responsible. If I'm not careful I'll lose my POET status. Oh well, I always have my disability to FALL back on.


I hate it when someone calls me lazy and they are right. Someone of my many readers tried to school me on just what went down during last year's DEPUTY DEBACLE. I knew, check my old posts. I tried to slide by with an abbreviated version. I tried to get by with only talking about the series of events that happened once the position had already been approved and the whole drama about the job posting and the more stringent revised requirements.

I got a job now and I kinda hoped nobody would notice my laxness. But Noooooo! Some smart person with nothing better to do than pick on a poor disabled poet just had to point out my lack of thoroughness on this. OKAY, here goes. Originally when the DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT'S position came up, it came out of Personnel subcommittee  because of a 2-1 vote. DONNA COPPOLA voted against it while PATTI CAPANO and MARIA CARRASCO voted for it. Then when it went up to the full LSC, the position was approved 5 to 2 with RICK STARBARD joining DONNA COPPOLA  in opposition.

The MAYOR suggested that because of the time lapsed since the last DEPUTY that maybe the posting, it might be PRUDENT  to tweak the posting before posting. So they did that. I am thankful for the delay.

Immediately I started blogging vicously about the wisdom of that vote. I gave MARIA a hard time for voting for the position. Go back and check my posts. I got grief from a lot of my HIGHLAND COALITION friends. Still, I felt a wrong vote, was a wrong vote.

Scuttlebutt was MARIA decided that she made a mistake. I don't know, maybe she found religion. RICK and DONNA were kneeling at the alter of the fiscal conservatism and I guess MARIA got the Ghost. It really doesn't matter why she converted cause the conversion itself led to last year's showdown in the den of the Tigers where Judy layed her gavel to calm the savage beasts tabling the matter.

Curious though I was at the meeting and I don't remember hearing a motion to bring the matter off the table. But I'm getting older and I don't hear as well as I used to, anyway the DEPUTY position rose like a Phoenix off the table and the MAYOR sided with CAPANO, SPIRITO, and FORD. to okay spending probably almost $200,000 with CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY that will go along with the new job. The fact that the job requirements were stripped down enough so that certain friends in the CENTRAL OFFICE now qualify, that's the icing on the cake or in this case TIGER TREATS.

Monday, December 19, 2011



Working on the Laws, By-Laws that is. No one from the SCHOOL DEPT.was at last night's PAC meeting. We could have used the PARENT LIASON because there were people there who spoke only SPANISH.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


You know I was reading Cleo's blog and I thought I would steal something from it as I often do. You see she is so thoughtful and intelligent and the format has such pretty colors too.

Maybe I am not smart enough to figure out all of this number stuff. Data makes me delirious. But I was noticing that Facteau-Leary is a LEVEL 1 school. What's up with that?

Maybe they have a different way of calculating the numbers for a BEHAVIORAL school. I kind of doubt it but what do I know? I just walk around all day with visions of sugar plums (Deputy Superintendent jobs) dancing in my head. I'm just a poor disabled poet.

I go to almost all the meetings and I never hear anyone bragging about how successful Facteau-Leary is, in fact more often than not, it doesn't even get recognition as a high school. I believe it doesn't have a principal but they are called a DIRECTOR instead. LVTI's principal is called that instead. RICK STARBARD once took the time to explain it to me, I said okay but it seemed to TECHNICAL for me to understand.

Later I witnessed a discussion at an LSC meeting about changing LVTI's leader's moniker so it would be more user friendly. However Facteau-Leary wasn't even mentioned. It's like that school is the redheaded step-child LPS keeps in the basement with all of the other throw-away kids.

Positive attention changes lives positively.





I know we just had an election. CHARLIE GALLO hasn't even sat down at the table yet. Old GQ has a little more than a two weeks to cement his fashion legacy. What better time to talk about the next election than now.

Let's look at some potential candidates. First, there is me. Okay get serious. I have a hard enough time walking, how could I run? Besides who would tell you the truth about what;s going on? I'd have to swear an oath of secrecy to the Gods of confidentiality and back in WV they wash your mouth out with soap if you swear, homemade lye soap.

Of course my BFF has to be thinking about it.She even said so when she asking to refrain from teasing her about her drinking problem. She's too young to remember how all the cult members at Jonestown blindly drank cyanide laced grape KOOL-AID to commit mass suicide. She needs a little more education to deprogram from the brainwashing but I have confidence in her intelligence and passion for a fair education for everyone.

My next choice has never expressed an interest in running, not to me anyway. I run into her at different meetings and such but we never broke bread or had long philosophical conversations at Dunkin Donuts. BUT....I do read her blog and yes I steal, I mean BORROW, from it on occasion. I'm talking about none other than CLEO. She's young, intelligent, objective, articulate, and I could go on and on. Face it us poets LOVE words. We may have to DRAFT her but we got time.

Does it surprise you that the two proposed potential candidates I've put forth are women? I mean I have been married four times. I admit, I have a problem.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I would like to take this opportunity to humbly thank TIME magazine for naming me MAN OF THE YEAR and recognizing LYNN SCHOOL WATCH for spearheading a movement to bring about change in the way that LPS does business. Okay maybe they didn't ACTUALLY mention me SPECIFICALLY but they probably couldn't be sure they spell my name correctly.

Luckily this year they didn't pick some super smart person who would make me feel intellectually embarrassed. Instead they picked an "everyman" to inspire everyone to speak up when they come across something that the see as unjust like hiring a new DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT and other Central office personnel coating hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, I didn't win the award. Remember I'm a poet. I think metaphorically, not literally.


I have to give DR. LATHAM a little credit here at least something of the sort. One of the positions she is adding from the proposed windfall from the revised SPED budget is another ESL teacher at FORD SCHOOL. Since enrollment is at or near a 20 year high and somewhere around 40 different languages or dialects of such are spoken. It must make for interesting conservation around the lunch table.

Oh, I forgot, my kids told me they ate lunch in their classroom. Think if we put stalls in the classroom we could convert the old bathrooms into new SPED classrooms. By state law they can only have 12 kids anyway. You would not need the expense of making up hall passes because there would never be a reason to leave the room unless it was time to go home. That would free up even more money to hire more administrators.


Me and LPS, we got a lot in YOU common. All of this web stuff sure is confusing. I mean they must have gotten confused, what other explanation is there for the fact that they were able to get that new plum DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT'S job posted the day after they got approval to post it but yet can't the BIG reminder of their TIGER PAW AFTER DARK failure off their website.


It is intentional. You know, they are all smarter than me. I mean I just got a 4 year degree from a back wood college in WV and some of them there people have lots of letters after their name. It does provide a big neon like reminder that people don't have any interest in opening up LVTI.


That is the people who can afford to pay $100 for a three day  cooking class or hair braiding or some other nonsensical educational opportunity. I shouldn't say nonsensical cause I love to eat and anyone who's daughter has ethnic hair would surely appreciate the braiding experience (I know I had to tell my daughter "That's what hats are for". The real problem was the $100.


Us poor parents have NORTHFACE jackets and name brand sneakers to buy, we can't afford that kind of discretionary spending.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I recently went to the big meeting the UNITED WAY had at CENTERBOARD, previously known as SPIN at the previous EASTERN BANK and I heard of a whole new way that the UNITED WAY is going to do business, "COMMUNITY BY COMMUNITY". I like the sound of that. I believe JEFF HAYWARD sparked a lot of interest and excitement that night.

DR. LATHAM and RICK STARBARD were there from LPS. Of course I was there but I don't represent LPS, in fact as I have previously stated I can't even e mail them a laundry list which is a shame because there is plenty of dirty laundry at Commercial Street.

It has been suggested that the expansion of activities available at LVTI would dovetail nicely into the UNITED WAY'S new philosophy. I doubt MR. HAYWARD reads my blog and I know no one at LPS does, but LVTI would be a GREAT place to kick-off this new campaign.


This being Christmas time I just love to talk about INGALLS. It is such a festive name. Imagine if KRIS KRINGLE had a twin brother by another mother, he could be called KRIS INGALLS. Maybe no one else is amused by that but us poets, we like sounds of the season for any reason.

Whoa! I better get off that musical kaleidoscope and talk about what I wanted to talk about. Back their in the land of THE GARDEN it seems like your going to harvest a bumper crop of kindergarten kids. From what I'm hearing from the LSC meeting, you will be getting a new kindergarten teacher and aide.

That's good news but at the same time it is a little alarming. No I am not going to verbally hammer anyone here. A reduction in class size is always a good thing


it does concern me about possible future trends. Oh well, for now the only thing we can do is be happy for the kids.


You know I went to that OCCUPY LVTI meeting (sorry if that title is too confrontational, it rhymes and well, I'm a poet) straight from work but I have to admit it wasn't just because I have a selfless love of community and the brotherhood of man. I  thought from an earlier e mail I had gotten LYNNCAM was going to be there and well since I started working I've been shaving regularly and even been wearing better clothes.

I was ready for my close-up. It was time to try my poetry on or in a different medium. Sounds like dabbling in a visual art. The success of this blog has either gone to my head or there is some secret groundswell of desire for more iambic pentameter.

Well it looks like I won't have to worry about hordes of groupies throwing their pocket protectors me. No cameras were there, just egg nog. By the way where is LYNNCAM by the way? The last LSC meeting was not televised and let's face it these are tumultuous times.


There was the SUPERINTENDENT'S million dollar spending spree financed on the backs of the SPED department.


Poor young and follically challenged CHARLIE GALLO would have been able to video record it to study just how we do business at the LSC or maybe I should say give the business at LPS.


There is that SMALL matter of the SUPERINTENDENT'S contract coming up. Some might like to keep a LOW profile.


It was GQ's last regular LSC meeting. It should have been documented and put in some kind of fashion time capsule. MAKE IT WORK, PEOPLE.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Just came from a NEW LYNN COALITION, I think it was their education sub-committee, meeting tonight. I've missed a few of the OCCUPY LVTI (that's not an official name but I like it cause it is not only current but it rhymes) meetings. I'VE HAD TO MISS A FEW MEETINGS BECAUSE OF THIS WORK THING  I'VE GOT GOING ON.Funny the  poorer I was, the smarter I became. That's poetry.

There sixteen or so people jammed into a room excited about the prospects of moving forward with this community project. Joining LYNN SCHOOL WATCH around the table were LORETTA CUFFE O'DONNEL, STEVE and LESLIE GREENBERG, LSC Member MARIA CARRASCO (celebrating her 29th birthday) and city councilman-elect HONG NET. Thank you MARIA for sharing your edible arrangement.

We are all about maximum utilization of our schools and LYNN TECH is a JEWEL. In case anybody forgets, they just won two state titles. They are getting national recognition for their FALLEN HERO PROJECT (international if you count the half dozen or so in South Korea who accidentally click on my blog) has been receiving. We just want to share in some of that glory. We've already spent the money, let's get our money's worth.

LPS tried unsuccessfully to expand utilization of LVTI recently and may point to that failure as a good reason for their resistance toward this movement. AND LET'S BE REAL IT WAS A FLOP. A lot of money spent in advertising and setting it up for a DISAPPOINTING turnout.


Poor planning - The whole program was just thrown together to I think to make some attempt to head off this movement. It's all a matter of control. If their expensive classes would have succeeded they would have had control of a sweet little moneymaking operation operation and if it failed as it did, they would have justification for not wasting their time any efforts at expanded usage by the community.


Instead of referring to LVTI's recent flop at their foray into extracurricular classes, I would point you in the direction of FORD SCHOOL. A couple of nights a week they have a couple hundred or so adults using that school. I mean I admit I'm partial to FORD but c'mon, the facilities at LVTI are much more conducive to a variety of expanded uses.


Let's get on board and work it out. Remember you LSC members who signed the pledge at the big NOV 2 meeting? I do and I will be pointing it out. At last Thurs. LSC meeting, about a million dollars was spent to create new administration jobs, don't you think you could throw us poor people a proverbial bone by working with us for the whole education of our community?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Tonight my son got to join me in The at the Ford School. This is a great program that I will be blogging much more about in the coming weeks. We even been losned a video camera to start a video diary where we can chronicle the vital role food and family play in the growth of a family.

This reminds me of a literature class I took in college, Bildonsroman (I can't spell in German either), anyway it stands for "novels of development".


A meal is so much more than the food on the plate, but it's a good place to start.

NYTimes: Profits and Questions at Online Charter Schools

A look at the largest online school company's operations raises serious questions about whether its schools — and full-time online schools in general — are a good deal for children or taxpayers.

As with all charter schools, the question is not one of philosophy but funding!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I'm really getting tired of listening to RICK STABARD yap about evaluating DR. LATHAM. He's been doing it for two years. I guess everybody else is too because they're finally going to do it.


It wasn't before an elaborate dance with Father Time to avoid stepping on Baby New Year. See the whole charade was to give GQ his parting slap on the back to the SUPERINTENDENT. Fellow LSC member Patti Capano was trying to let him phone it in without even showing up for special LSC meeting to get it done now so CHARLIE GALLO won't have to do it. Honestly not only would it not be fair to ask him to grade MADAM  SUPER right off the bat, he doesn't dress as nice as GQ (GQ is a fashion GOD) and I believe he has much less hair.


Same old, same old, sixty percent of LPS new teachers are not certified for their positions. That is 3 of the 5 new hires. So I guess the fact that there was a 4 to 3 vote to strip the proposed Deputy Superintendent position of the more stringent credentials should have came as NO SURPRISE.

I mean our standards should start at the top. By settling for less from our leaders, we can expect less from our teachers.


We don't pay our teachers six figures and give them a CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY at $50,000 per year. Heck we don't even give our teachers the 7% PAY RAISE we gave our BUSINESS MANAGER KEVIN MCHUGH (I think we got the business).

Sunday, December 11, 2011


CLASSICAL HIGH student ALLISON KURPIEL was a finalist in 11th Annual MIAA Student Sportsmanship essay on "How Can Student-Athletes Make A Difference in the Community". Great Job.

I was looking forward to hearing her read it, they have let others read. But, for whatever reason, it was not to be. To further insult this fine young girl, she was told her award would be IN THE MAIL.

I think this girl is owed something, some measure of respect. Her moment in the spotlight. I think our MOST HONORABLE MAYOR, along with DR. LATHAM ought to go down the halls of CLASSICAL, go into her class and hand deliver a proclamation of recognition. JUST SAYING.


Thank you, Barry McCaul. He followed through on providing me some information on LVTI's involvement in The Fallen Hero Project that LVTI Principal Diane Paradis promised me last October or whenever it was that night it was when LVTI's Open House corresponded with a LSC meeting night. She never lived up to her promise but oh well, I guess she was just too busy winning STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS.

This is a GREAT thing the kids at LVTI are involved in, restoring a 1968 Mustang for the family of a Swampscott native, who has some connections with LVTI and was killed by an IED in Afghanistan. When finished and I think it will be soon, the car will be presented to the family of Maj. Jeff Calero.

I could give you details but that has already been done in the ITEM, the TIGER EXPRESS, and some regional magazine. For more in-depth information I direct you to the website and for now I just want to add my thanks for and pay my respects to all the people involved.


I've been busy with all this money stuff I never got to follow up on pictures on the night of the meeting. If you scroll back you'll see everybody at the LSC meeting was treated to a festive rendition of Holiday classics.

Fine Arts Director Joesph Picano rightly praised DR. LATHAM for being instrumental (did you like that pun?) in conducting a campaign to insure presence of this program. When you think about it, it only seems natural she would be a big proponent of music. After all, a lot of smart people have pointed out the strong correlation between math and music.


Last Thursday's LSC meeting was a long one for a lot of different reasons. A lot of the kids from three of the four high schools, yes we have four, remember Facteau-Leary. Still we had the chance to recognize yet another group of young men that accomplished something LPS needs to acknowledge a little more publicly.

Hey unless I'm mistaken LYNN ENGLISH'S football team went to the STATE PLAYOFFS. Yeah they didn't win the SUPER BOWL but they still had an outstanding season. How many of you played on a better team? Until we start showing are kids we are proud of them they are going to keep doing things to embarrass us. Everybody wants attention, what we give it for plays a big part in the kind of behavior we can expect. So I hope you all will join me in saying, "CONGRATULATIONS BULLDOGS!".


It's going to be hard but since it's Sunday I'm going to write positive stuff today. But there is just so much dirt out there I don't know if I can help myself.

Okay, let's start with TECH. If you can't tell I am a little partial to TECH. It's a great school that could be poised to be on the cutting edge of modern education, COULD BE,

After a glorious football season culminating in a SUPER BOWL victory, at last Thursday's LSC meeting the autographed game ball was presented to the principal, DIANE PARADIS. The way she clutched it I thought she was going to pose for Heisman photos. GREAT JOB EVERYBODY!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I am so glad Cleo is out there, asking good, thoughtful questions. I don't think I could do it. Besides it frees me up to be irreverent and irresponsible and able to ask the questions everybody wants the answers to but most of the administrators don't want anyone to have the answers to. Have I said she's better looking than me to?

STEM-based K-3 school with proposed partnerships with MIT, GE, and GORDON COLLEGE. Sounds interesting but I don't know how innovative this new innovation school will be. You see, we kind of already have it.


It's better than that. It's a K-5 school and has all those partnerships but has ones in addition with NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, HILLEL ACADEMY and probably some others I'm missing. Oh yeah it would have participated in a partnership with TUFTS UNIVERSITY if DR. LATHAM hadn't quashed that study.  

It has a fully staffed library now and doesn't depend on some disabled poet to check out books. It has a garden which is maintained by an active group of neighbors called the HIGHLANDS COALITION, together they have produced award winning vegetables. That same garden has even been the subject of a network news story. I am sure I have neglected to mention a few accolades.

Where is this school and I wish my kids went there? Wait a minute, they did. I'm talking about the FORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

It's already crowded, almost 600 kids ....


had we not lost the annex a couple of years ago, the K-8 model could have probably significantly eased the current crowding problems at MARSHALL and BREED. I saw figures that could have made the proposal pretty much revenue neutral but the political will was not there. Oh our HONORABLE MAYOR payed lip service to studying the proposal more, but like a cheap wireless carrier, the service was dropped.

Now we are trying to reinvent the wheel and claim we got a new tire.


This little tidbit from Thurs. night's LSC meeting should really perk the interest of my BFF. She's passionate about the McKinney-Vento Act (I'm sure I spelled that wrong but I don't care) and how it applies to our homeless kids.

Let me see if I can summarize it for you but you'll have to excuse me I'm not real big on book learnin. I think it states - if a family becomes homeless and is put up in a shelter or MOTEL out of the school district then the child would have the option of attending school in that district or his old district. If the child wants to go to school in the new district the cost is on them.


If the child wants to stay in their old school district (where their friends are) the both the new and the old district share the transportation expense. LPS is crying because this is an UNFUNDED MANDATE, there are no CIRCUIT BREAKERS, like in my recent post. LPS is currently shelling out about $190,000 a year in transportation costs. A lot of money to be sure.

Citing an argument put forth by our own Honorable Mayor, from what DR. LATHAM was saying that the State DOE now agrees with her. Cathe couldn't wipe the smile off her face. She claimed that was illegal and they can't do it. Well I seem to remember that happening a lot in the last presidential administration so I wouldn't be making expensive dinner reservations yet. Instead we get all these new administrative positions and the support staff that goes along with them. MERRY CHRISTMAS


This an IMPORTANT story, no doubt. I was going to write about it HONEST INJUN but really people when we have such fiscal shenanigans going on, I just think well it just doesn't rise to the level of most importance. That is unless you don't want people to see "WHAT'S GOIN ON, WHAT'S GOIN ON" (pardon me while I break into a little MARVIN GAYE).
It is serious that these kids are being sent out unattended, but whose fault is it. You can't pin this one on the parents.
Important debate but relevance people when we are talking about a million or so dollars in new and questionable expenditures. COM'ON ITEM, UNLIKE ME U GUYS GET PAID FOR THIS STUFF.


The school not the language. Although come to think of it I don't understand the way some people speak it, you know lawyers, school administrators, and such. Maybe our mamas should let our babies grow up to be cowboys. Sorry that last reference not only dated me but also placed me back in the hicks.

Anyway, I digress.

Back to school stuff. At Thursday's LSC meeting during open mike a mother came forward to speak. I don't remember her name, you know I'm not good with that stuff. I'll tell you what though, she had NICE hair.

Now normally you are only allowed to speak for three minutes and on that night they had asked that it be limited to two minutes because the subcommittees ran long. But now here comes this well dressed mother who was very articulate and well spoken. She rambled on for ten minutes, actually repeating parts of her argument. I think she repeated things because she was expecting some answers, I guess she didn't know these people never say squat. It's just not in the policy.

Her complaint was that her son had been UNFAIRLY suspended from ENGLISH for stealing a cell phone without any EVIDENCE. By her account there was never any proof just FEELINGS. What would you expect a mother to say. Especially when you consider her husband is in LAW ENFORCEMENT in Chelsea.


Maybe this lady is on to something here. If they are so sure this kid stole this phone did they call the LYNN POLICE? Was their some kind of formal investigation? Now this mother owned up to the fact that her son had some problems and had at times been justifiably reprimanded. She was only asking that LPS meet her half way in devising some plan to control her son's behavior. No she was begging.

She didn't think just discarding him like an old textbook was the way to go. This mother probably never heard DR. LATHAM give lip service to the mandates coming down from high up where the school system is going to or is supposed to be held accountable for more of the family dynamics. The good doctor has referenced that coming mandate several times at LSC meetings.

Anyway after this mother spoke and in the break before the actual start of the LSC meeting, I ran up to her and introduced myself. I had came straight to the LSC meeting from work so I didn't have any of my business "WATCH" cards (once again having a job gets in the way) so I just asked her to GOOGLE me. I did whip out my I-phone and give her my BFF's number (she knows all those rules and has OCR and DOE on speed dial) and invited her to the PAC meetings
We'll see what happens.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Given the high traffic this site is getting at the moment this is the perfect time for a pause, a commercial break about our kids and the wonderful things they are doing for our community. When Barry McCaul told me about this I asked him if he could send me the info in an e mail so I could cut and paste it into my blog (it sure beats typing, he did so here it is).

As per our conversation last night.
The Lynn Tech Class of 2013 is currently working on our 3rd annual
Toys for Tots toy drive. Anyone wishing to donate a new, unwrapped, non-violent toy can
e-mail Barry McCaul at or Omy Feliz at
You can also call 781-838-0921 leave a message and we will get back to you.
We are proud to announce that we are being joined again this year by the students and faculty
of the Shoemaker Elementary school.
We collect toys year round. This seasons drive ends on December 16th .
Last year we raised over 300 toys, this year we are going for 500.
Thank you to all who have donated.
Happy Holidays,
Lynn Tech Class of 2013


Jingle bell, jingle bell,
the law suit's not going well.
So we give Holly her job back
and she'll lessen the attack.

Revised to level two after a scare
worried that a four would soon be there.
to make sure no more violations will be found.

The justification for reinstating HOLLY'S CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY position was the windfall created by that circuit breaker scheme. I'm glad for HOLLY,,,,, I mean she's responsible for this blog getting a lot of hits. She has lots of friends.


One of the many shady things that were shoved through at last night's LSC meeting since it was the last scheduled meeting for GQ (loved that red kerchief in his lapel). I mean CHARLIE GALLO is a wild card. No one knows for sure just how he'll vote. I mean, he's a lawyer for goodness sakes.

Let me take you back a moment if you will to this spring when DR. LATHAM tried add a new Deputy Superintendent position. The position got approved 5-2 but MADAM MAYOR with all her political savvy had the job posting sent back to the personnel subcommittee for updating. Well the subcommittee tweaked it a little raising the standards making a doctorate level of education REQUIRED and experience as a principal REQUIRED.

This should have meant we would get a more qualified applicant. Better is good right. Because PATTI CAPANO, VINNIE SPIRITO, and JOHN FORD thought BETTER WAS TOO GOOD they voted against the revised posting put forth by DONNA COPPOLA, MARIA CARRASCO, and RICK STARBARD. Our most HONORABLE MAYOR refused to take a stand, tabled the position thus siding with COPPOLA, CARRASCO, and STARBARD without doing so publicly. She got to side against the Superintendent without getting any blame.

Politics and rumours go together like peanut butter and Fluff (this is Lynn). There was a rumour out there that everything was lined up (you know, in a ROW) for a certain person to get the job. But when they raised the level of standards that person couldn't measure up. So in order for that person to get that job, our kids have to settle for less. We all lose.

So in GQ's final meeting the posting was brought up again and the MAYOR voted along with FORD, SPIRITO, and CAPANO to strip the requirements and settle for less. We'll see who gets the position now.

Now MADAM MAYOR felt the time was right to voice her vote now. I mean she has got some new blood on the council and maybe she can have her way a little more with the new boy's network. That MAYOR is one smart lady.  Now if she can make the superintendent a fan of hers by granting a wish, now well the superintendent is in a position to influence a lot of people. Influence equals votes and there is a lot of talk out there about a number of people out there jockeying for a run for mayor. Re-election is not guaranteed. And friends help friends, even new friends.


Tis the season to get religion, maybe that's why Cathe decided to rob PETER to pay PAUL. With all of the holiday lights it's appropriate to talk about CIRCUIT BREAKERS. Well these CIRCUIT BREAKERS have nothing to do with electricity they will still put a charge in you and when you look at how they are trying to abuse LPS hopefully it will jolt the community enough to raise a firestorm.

See CIRCUIT BREAKERS in this definition are FUNDING RATIOS the state uses to reimburse school districts for their out of district placements when the district like ours can't satisfy the needs of the SPED student's IEP. Currently the STATE pays 40% of the cost for these students and LPS pays 60%. So that's what we have budgeted. That's how we started the year.


All of a sudden, the STATE is going to increase the CIRCUIT BREAKER to a 65% reimbursement level and rumors of it increasing even further to 72%. Long story short this year alone DR LATHAM is looking to put $800,000 in her CHRISTMAS STOCKING. Not being a greedy person, she decides to share the wealth and put on about ten new positions, most with a COMMERCIAL STREET address at salaries with six figures to the left of the decimal point. Math majors love them some BIG numbers.


The more kids we have out of district the BIGGER reimbursement check we get. Rather than trying to develop the programs we need to take care of our own, we can just send them off to some other school district and yeah sure even with this improved funding stream it is still expensive but if we try to do what we got to do to educate our own kids in house we don't get NO HELP from UNCLE DEVAL.
So the more kids we send out, the more we get back. SWEEEEET

Now DR. LATHAM feels that the new positions are fiscally sustainable long term because she has gotten assurances that these new reimbursement rates are going to remain high. I thought UNCLE DEVAL couldn't run for another term and how long does it take to go from kindergarten to twelfth grade. That means at best we are looking at a very short term solution to a long term problem.

Does anybody else think we should invest this WINDFALL more directly into things that will benefit our kids instead of causing more crowding COMMERCIAL STREET. I'll break this stuff down in further posts but for now I just want to get the conversation started. There has been too much whispering in back rooms.


I have to go but I will explain more tonight from last  nights strange escapades.


I would have liked to have written about this last night but I went home and passed out from all the smoke I inhaled from the back rooms of the LSC. Now I have to go to WORK so I'll have to wait until tonight to expand. I hate my job, it;s inconvenient.

I can't wait to tell you about the shell game they are playing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Monday night my son had to tag along with me to the PAC meeting because my wife had to go to see a friend in the hospital. We were at a point in the meeting where parent's bring their concerns to the group, you know usually about how they feel the SPED department has done them personally wrong.

So my son speaks up and talks about how PICKERING is in such state of disrepair that the kids don't feel good about going there. Everybody laughed.

What was really funny was that a KID had the courage to speak up about one of the real problems at LPS and nobody can claim that it was about this group or that group not getting services or resources. It was about a schoolwide problem.

After everybody quit laughing and assured him they weren't laughing at him, RICK STARBARD spoke up and said he had just taken a tour with MR. MURPHY and MR. RITTERHOUSE  and they made a list of problems he is going to take to MIKE DONOVAN at ISD.

I am so proud.


Funny about all of this, let's go back in time. I believe that DR. LATHAM walked away from an opportunity to have the first INNOVATION SCHOOL in the state at the FORD SCHOOL two or three years ago.
 That distinction went to REVERE'S Barbara Kelley's school. Coincidently MS. KELLEY used to work at FORD before the ANNEX was closed down for BUDGETARY REASONS.


Looking at the agenda for tomorrow night's LSC meeting, I couldn't help but notice that the DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT'S position looks like it made its way on DR. LATHAM'S Christmas list. Has she and LPS been naughty or nice?


We have a SPED DEPARTMENT that is at best UNSTABLE. First the department was in danger of being taken over by the state but then after some manipulation of the data, we suddenly jump from Level 4 to Level 2. Now "manipulation" doesn't necessarily mean anything sneaky, I mean how many times have you heard your GPS say "recalculating" just because you didn't follow its directions?


Let's talk about their new COMPLIANCE OFFICER. What does that mean? I hear from my sources that there may have been as many as 800 SPED violations. Seems like a lot to me but we did suddenly... get a COMPLIANCE OFFICER as an early present under the LPS tree. That can't be good.

It looks like we will be adding a few other positions as well but it's gonna cost us a LOT of money and I don't think it will help reduce class size. Most of these positions will have very little contact with kids unless they make an appointment.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


That's right GIRLS RULE!  At least at LPS, they do. I could talk about DR. LATHAM or DR. WARY but that would be too easy. You have to remember DR. LATHAM is one smart cookie. No it's not snack time yet.

From what I hear (and this working stuff is cutting down on my listening time) since my BFF has been VOLUNTEERING to go with parents to their IEP's LPS has hired some legal attack dog (another female)  at who knows how many hundred an HOUR to what? Are the taxpayers footing the bill for LPS denying services that our kids are entitled to, nay that we are mandated to provide?

Now I know my bestest buddy can sometimes froth at the mouth but that only happens when the Kool-Aid she's been drinking has a head on it. The fact is why are we paying for some lawyer's schooling when we should be paying for our kids'?



P.O. Box 3240, Beverly, MA 01915 1-877-221-6264

November 20, 2011

On behalf of the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater North Shore (NAMI GNS) requests your participation in a focus group session to be held on Monday, December 12, 2011, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, at Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development, 10 Church St., Lynn. Pizza and soda will be served and all participants receive a gift of appreciation.

About the Tower Foundation:

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation was formed December 31, 1990. Initially the Trustees chose this Foundation's primary focus to support scientific research into the causes, cures, treatments, and prevention of severe mental illnesses, primarily the schizophrenias and the depressions, especially as they relate to younger persons.

The Foundation’s four key areas of interest are mental health, substance abuse, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities. The Foundation’s highest priority is ensuring children, adolescents and young adults facing these obstacles achieve their full potential.

The Foundation has recently expanded its funding reach to several of the communities where Trustees reside.  Foundation support is given to non-profit organizations in Erie and Niagara Counties in Western New York and in Barnstable, Dukes, Essex and Nantucket Counties in Eastern Massachusetts. With current assets of over 72 million dollars, the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation distributes over 2.5 million dollars annually and anticipates this figure will increase in the years to come.

About the Foundation’s Grants:

The Tower Foundation has adopted strategic grant-making, the focused attempt to accomplish specific outcomes, as the primary means of making grants. The Foundation has four primary funding categories: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Learning Disabilities and Intellectual Disabilities.  Another category, Organizational Capacity Building, provides support to eligible organizations that offer programs and services in our primary funding categories. Learn more at

About the Focus Groups:

Drawing on the Results-Based Accountability approach developed by Mark Friedman, the Foundation board and staff have established a set of community goals related to mental health and children, youth, and young adults (to age 26). At this time, the Foundation is asking local community experts to review these goals and to help us identify indicators to track progress on them. The Foundation is also seeking suggestions about possible strategies to address mental health issues in our community.

Focus groups will be run by a facilitator trained in Results-Based Accountability. Participants will be given an opportunity to share their thoughts on five results statements developed by the Tower Foundation including:

1.      Children with mental illness are identified early and treated.

2.       Youth and young adults with mental illness are self-accepting and able to manage their conditions.

3.      Families understand mental health conditions and are committed to helping members to live happy and productive lives.

4.      Communities are inclusive, responsive, and equipped with adequate supports for youth and families.

5.      Stigma related to mental illness is eliminated.

Following this discussion, participants will be asked a series of questions and will participate in a facilitator-led discussion to help identify possible strategies that may include program models and educational and community-based approaches. The Tower Foundation board and staff will consider these strategies for possible future funding opportunities.

The Tower Foundation needs your feedback!

Please help us to better understand mental health-related concerns in our community and shape future funding decision-making through your participation.

Limited seats available.

Two groups will be held simultaneously: Youth (to age 26) and Parents

Registration is required - call or email if you would like to participate.

Lisa Rose: 781-710-5923 or

Please be sure that you will keep this commitment as we have a specific number of seats available and we intend to fill them all. More importantly, your knowledge, experience and input are invaluable.

Thank you in advance for your participation.



P.O. Box 3240, Beverly, MA 01915 1-877-221-6264

Youth and Young Adults up to age 26 with mental health related concerns

Are invited to The Tower Foundation Focus Group

Monday, December 12, 2011 • 6:30pm (sharp!) – 9:00 pm

Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development, 10 Church St., Lynn

Pizza and soda will be served and you will receive a gift for your participation.

About the Tower Foundation:

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation was formed December 31, 1990. Initially the Trustees chose this Foundation's primary focus to support scientific research into the causes, cures, treatments, and prevention of severe mental illnesses, primarily the schizophrenias and the depressions, especially as they relate to younger persons.

The Foundation’s four key areas of interest are mental health, substance abuse, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities. The Foundation’s highest priority is ensuring children, adolescents and young adults facing these obstacles achieve their full potential.

Learn more at

About the Focus Groups:

The Foundation board and staff have established a set of community goals related to mental health and children, youth, and young adults (to age 26) and are asking local community experts to review these goals and to help identify indicators to track progress on them. The Foundation is also seeking suggestions about possible strategies to address mental health issues in our community.

You will be asked to share your thoughts on mental health conditions and supports, and eliminating stigma related to mental illness.  Identifying future strategies will also be discussed.

The Tower Foundation needs your feedback!

Please help us to better understand mental health-related concerns in our community and shape future funding decision-making through your participation.

Limited seats available.

Call or email if you would like to participate.

Lisa Rose: 781-710-5923 or

Please be sure that you will keep this commitment as we have a specific number of seats available and we intend to fill them all. More importantly, your knowledge, experience and input are invaluable.

Two groups will be held simultaneously: Youth to age 26, and Family Members (parents or siblings).

Sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater North Shore (NAMIGNS)

Thank you in advance for your participation.