Let the Games Begin!

December 24, 2009

As Mario of Nintendo fame would say,

“HERE WE GO!”

The Daily Gazette and The Albany Times Union Newspapers have filed a joint lawsuit against The Schenectady School District for withholding information regarding the investigation of former school facilities manager Steven Raucci and his alleged terrorist activities.  HT Daily Gazette.

When the school district released the report most of it was blacked out.  So now the papers are suing the district to get the full report.  Clearly the district and superintendent Eric Ely have something to hide.  They’re covering their own backsides and perhaps some others as well.

So now that the suit’s been filed, “Let the games begin!”

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Rear of City Hall of Schenectady, New York, Un...
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A new citizens group has formed in Schenectady to recruit new members to the school board.  (HT Daily Gazette)

And as anyone who follows this blog knows

THE SCHENECTADY SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS HELP!!!

So mega kudos to  Schenectady Citizens for Openness in Public Education

(aka SCOPE)

“One of the group’s founders, Marjorie Karowe, said the idea started from a letter to the editor she wrote, seeking a citizens’ coalition to improve the schools. She said the group, which has about 15 members currently, is looking for people who will bring transparency and integrity to the board to improve its “tarnished” reputation.

Karowe said among the issues are the arrest of former facilities director Steven Raucci in September. Raucci faces a 26-count indictment charging him with arson and terrorism for allegedly planting explosive devices at the homes of people he viewed as his enemies. Authorities say the acts were part of a pattern of intimidation. Allegations have been made that Raucci curried favor with school officials to consolidate his power in the district.

“We have to turn around what has been a downhill slide of the perception of the school board,” she said.”

You can tell she’s understating her case to be be diplomatic.  It’s more like a runaway train to perdition, but hey!  Whatever they can do to help is fine with me.

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Eliot Ness
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Things are piling up in the case of Steve Raucci and the Schenectady School District.  Now we know how much overtime he was getting.

HT Daily Gazette-and Carl Strock

Seems this guy was set for life.  He could claim all the overtime he wanted and not provide proof.  Since his position was supervisory he should have been on a salary not hourly.  And it’s one that requires a civil service test.  So to get around this they invented a working supervisor’s position just for Raucci.

Since pension is based on the last year worked the man is set for life even in prison.  Seems like quite the deal to me.  All for a man who’s accused of 26 acts of terrorism.

So who’s pulling Raucci’s strings?  Is it just the school board and Eric Ely the superintendent?  Or does it go farther than that?  This has mob and union markings all over it.

Who knows who got the proverbial “offer they couldn’t refuse?”  Unless someone goes into a witness protection program we may never know.

Where’s Elliot Ness when you need him!

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It’s true.  Sometimes I feel like I live in a third world country.  With the way Schenectady officials boldly display their corrupt practices for all to see.

So it doesn’t help that New York State goes right along.

This from The Albany Times Union.

Former city schools facilities director Steven Raucci will receive a state pension of $79,067 every year for the rest of his life for his work with the school district.

Raucci is in the Schenectady County jail awaiting trial on a 26-count indictment that alleges he placed explosive devices at homes and on cars, spray-painted homes and slashed tires in an attempt to harass and intimidate co-workers and others since at least 1993.

State law is clear that even those convicted of crimes are entitled to their share of the state retirement system, thanks to an amendment to New York’s constitution in 1940.

It must be nice.  Commit crimes for union officials.  Have your conduct covered up by the school board.  And  even if you’re caught you’re set for life with a cushy pension.

Meanwhile The Daily Gazette had a story that sounded like a plot from a grade B movie about the depression.  It was all about city workers sacrificing to help close the cities’ budget gap.

Harry Brand said that every city employee should check 10 parking meters before going home every night — although it’s unlikely the fines would make up for the $2.5 million that the mayor has proposed to collect in new taxes.

But with the idea that every penny helps, Vince Riggi also offered to give back the $300 promised to his wife Donna for showing up every day as a crossing guard. The incentive was added to get guards to come to work in foul weather, but Riggi said his wife would be willing to forgo it.

“My wife doesn’t need an incentive to go to work,” he said. “Add that into the budget; maybe it will help somebody.”

Pat Zollinger suggested that the council members begin with some personal sacrifice — giving up their health insurance.

The council agreed in 2007 to start paying 20 percent of its insurance cost, but only in exchange for a $4,000 raise. Zollinger told them that they should now give up the perk altogether.

“We just can’t afford it anymore,” she said.”

I’m not sure where the paper’s coming from.  Do they want us to feel guilty about complaining about hight taxes?  Or just to realize it’s not the regular city workers fault.

To me it all sounded like a B movie.

“Don’t worry Maw, we’ll make it.  Uncle Joe can sell his tractor and Aunt Millie can get a couple hens so she can sell their eggs.

Me an’ Sissy can sell papers.  Don’t worry Paw.  We’ll git by.”

Either way I’m living in the third world.

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I know it sounds crazy but at first I was going to go along with the school on this one. But then I got more details on the story and it is just crazy.

What are they thinking sending a six year old to reform school!  This is cruel and unusual punishment.  A judge needs to step in.

From Fox :

Six-year-old Zachary Christie was so excited to become a Cub Scout that he brought his camping utensil to school. The tool serves as a spoon, a fork and a knife, and Zachary wanted to use it at lunch.

What Zachary didn’t know was that the gizmo violated his school’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons. And now the Christina School District in Newark, Del., has suspended the first grader and ordered him to attend the district‘s reform school for 45 days.

With children younger and younger performing violent acts it’s understandable why the school has a zero tolerance policy. And even though it seems unfair, the rules are the rules.  So perhaps a suspension is enough, but REFORM SCHOOL!  That could traumatize the boy for life!

Where’s a good ambulance chasing lawyer when you need one?

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City of Schenectady, New York
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They must be smoking crack and I’m not talking about the Nobel prize,  I’ve already given my opinion on that.

This is about something going on in my city.  Now before you ask why should I care about what’s going on in New York’s Capital District hang in there.  Even if you can’t find Schenectady on your map let alone pronounce it this is is going to hit your funny bone.  (For the record it’s pronounced schuh-NECK-tah-dee)

There’s this ongoing investigation regarding a former Schenectady School District employee and if the school board knew how bad this guy was.  It all boils down to what did the school board know and when did they know it?

From the Albany Times Union . . .

“The school district commissioned the report to investigate what knowledge staff and administrators had about alleged misconduct by Raucci, a former employee who is facing criminal charges of arson and terrorism for allegedly placing explosive devices at the homes and on cars of his perceived enemies.

Prosecutors allege Raucci, a former state Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) union head and retired school manager, for decades used violence and vandalism against perceived foes who got in his way. Raucci, 61, faces a 26-count indictment, including terrorism, arson, conspiracy and weapons possession related to alleged incidents in Clifton Park, Glenville, Rotterdam, Colonie and Schodack dating back to 1993. The Niskayuna man has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but has been denied bail three times. The matter has spawned several lawsuits or people asking the court to take civil action against Raucci.”

So here they are waiting for a report about who knew what and when it comes out 90% of it is blacked out!

SAY WHAT?!

“SCHENECTADY – Dozens of pages are entirely blacked out in the school district report on an investigation into possible workplace misconduct by retired facilities director Steven Raucci.

The 192-page document, dated June 15 and released Thursday, dashes hopes of those who anticipated learning new information about Raucci’s interaction with senior administrators and staffers he supervised. In several instances, all but one word — “employee” — is blacked out on a page, with no context to give it meaning.”

Did they think they could get away with this?

They must be smoking crack!!!

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This Should Be a Boring Post

September 10, 2009

No, really.

This is supposed to be my mandatory new school year post.

I want to take a moment and remind everyone about all our nation’s schools. Since allot of kids start school this week, (Schenectady, where our two go, started on Tuesday) it’s a good time to think about all our hard working teachers and administrators and to say a prayer for all the school boards out there since they’re the ones who determine policy.

Also let’s remember everyone who works at all the Christian and private schools out there where allot of us send our kids to. And I can’t forget all the parents blessed enough to home school their children either.

Then I want to list all our local school board members like the ones at my old alma mater in Ballston Spa NY. (Go Scotties!)

So here they are. (And since a few of the kids in my Sunday School class go there this is a good idea anyway)

Please feel free in the comment section to list all the members of your local school board as well.

Ballston Spa Central Schools

http://www.bscsd.org/

Dr. Joseph P. Dragone Superintendent

Board Members

Kathy Jarvis, President,

Jeanne Obermayer Vice President,

Keith Stewart,

Nancy Fodera,

Daniel Cramer,

Kevin Schaefer,

Frank Townley.

“May all those responsible for our children’s education, fear God and seek His wisdom. May they realize it’s the people they serve (Not the other way around) and to put aside politics and self serving agendas. In Jesus Name AMEN!”

There! That’s how this post was supposed to look. Nice and boring. But no.

I don’t live in Ballston Spa anymore. I live in Schenectady.

Now please don’t get me wrong. My family is very blessed. We live in a nice house in a quiet neighborhood. Our kids are thriving in one of the cities magnet schools.

But there are issues. ISSUES!

They could make a reality series about The city of Schenectady NY. First there’s all the corruption in the police department. Then there’s the out of control drug and prostitution crime of the inner city. There’s the love/hate relationship between the city and The General Electric Corporation. And of course there’s taxes. (and MORE taxes)

If that’s not enough there’s all the scandals in the school board.

If someone were to look at my blog on a click and run they’d see me ranting on and on about my school board. So to then see a list of board members appear they might think I’ve got a vendetta against them. They might want to alert the city about a nutty blogger! 🙂

So let’s set the record straight. This is supposed to be a boring post about our school board members. So let’s start over . .

******************************************

Even though our heads are still spinning from Obama’s speech last night I want to take a moment and remind everyone about all our nation’s schools. Since allot of kids start school this week, (Our two started on Tuesday) it’s a good time to think about all our hard working teachers and administrators and to say a prayer for all the school boards out there since they’re the ones who determine policy.

Also let’s remember everyone who works at all the Christian and private schools out there where allot of us send our kids to. And I can’t forget all the parents blessed enough to home school their children either.

Please feel free in the comment section to list all the members of your local school board as well.

Schenectady City Schools

Superintendent Eric D. Ely

http://www.schenectady.k12.ny.us/BoardofEducation.htm

The Board of Education
2009 – 2010

Maxine Brisport
President
Diane Herrmann
Vice President
Linda Bellick
James Casino
Gary Farkas
Jeff Janiszewski
Lisa Russo

Central Park International Magnet School K-8
Tonya Federico, Principal
421 Elm Street, Schenectady, NY 12304

“May all those responsible for our children’s education, fear God and seek His wisdom. May they realize it’s the people they serve (Not the other way around) and to put aside politics and self serving agendas. In Jesus Name AMEN!”

Have a great school year everyone!

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