Thursday, August 19, 2010

The controversy continues

Well, sort of. The print edition of the Amherst Bulletin hit the ground this morning and like the good old days where you read the breaking news in the major dailies and then waited till the end of the week for Time and Newsweek to provide more in depth coverage, the editorial/commentary section this week is chock full of analysis of the raging controversies in town.

Mainly the Jones Library running battle between the Evaluation Subcommittee and the more normal members of the full board of Trustees.

Interestingly columnist Jim Oldham, an anti-devevelopment compatriot of cutthroat Carol Gray, takes Trustee Chris Hoffmann to task for daring to blow the whistle on Ms Gray's covert war against longtime Library Director Bonnie Isman.

Charging that he "chose attacks in the press and on blogs over debates in the boardroom as the way to express his position." Hmm...of course Mr. Oldham's attack on Chris Hoffmann occurs in his monthly Bulletin column otherwise known as "the press."

And Mr. Oldham is a co-founder of the new regional school discussion blog--an infomercial for the Regional High School--along with Shutesbury School Committee Chair Michael DeChiara, who wanted the DA to shut down public officials who blog namely Catherine Sanderson.

The above the fold front page lead story concerns cutthroat Carol as well--as she is now, mercifully, safely ensconced in Egypt ( for Amherst but maybe not Egypt) and wants to tenaciously hold on to her Jones Library Trustee position for the next year using video conferencing on the web via skype to attend meetings.

Which is fine of course for tuning in to keep in touch, but not so good for the back-and-forth required of public meetings.

The Bulletin must have felt a tad guilty for holding the presses last week so the Evaluation Subcommittee could pen their poor excuse for recent bad behavior, as the editorial basically says enough! They cite that the Eval committee has met an astounding 50 times over 115 hours since January.

Can't disagree with their conclusion: "It's time to bring the director's review process to a close." But now that Ms. Gray is gone, things will simmer down dramatically anyway--especially if somebody can hit the mute button when she visits via skype.


Anonymous said...

Oldham = piece of shit

Anonymous said...

Too funny! Also, I agree.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with one point made by Molly Turner in a letter in today's Amherst Bulletin--evaluation is a good thing, not something people should shy away from. I'm very glad Chris Hoffmann wrote a thorough evaluation of the Evaluation Committee's report and their twisted methods, and then shared it with the town. Thank you, Chris.

LarryK4 said...

And if Molly was sooooo concerned about the evaluations why did she not make sure they happened annually back when SHE was Trustee chair?

Anonymous said...

From Catherine Sanderson's blog:

Saw the article on folks leaving ARPS. Why hasn't Mark Jackson explained why his daughter is at Bement?

Here's a portion of an email sent out to ARHS families. Note that one of the most vocal supporters of the override has now pulled his remaining child. The younger one is at Bement, with Mark Jackson's kid.

Isn't it time these high profile Amherst leaders explain why the schools are good enough for your kids and mine, but not theirs?

Here' the email:

"The ARHS Parent Guardian Organization would like to publicly thank Adrienne Levine, the former Co-Chair of the Parent Center*, and Baer Tierkel, the former Editor of the ARHS Parent News, for their years of service to our school community. We wish them all the best as their families join new schools."

August 20, 2010 9:03 AM

To Anon 9:03 AM

Doesn't the "talk one way, send one's kid another" pattern of so many of Amherst's "elites" cause you to think that the political struggle is primarily about two things:

1) the resale value of Amherst's residential real estate;

2) the unfettered autonomy of Amherst's public school teachers (which appears to be the only condition in which we can be assured that they will be truly happy);

and that's it?

Anonymous said...

Vipers vipers everywhere, vipers vipers they don't care.

Anonymous said...

They are trying to crucify Gray just like they have been trying to crucify Sanderson and Rivkin, three true reformers. Next it will be Spence. Who, you ask? The partisans of "status quo". Wake up people! We have professors and attorneys and doctors on our committees, do you think they are not qualified to what important changes need to be made? All the talk in this week's Bulletin of "unity" and "working together" and "support" and "cooperation"... Unity for who? The partisans of the "status quo". People are voting with their feet, people, and it is because of the way the administrators are managing the schools. The administrators don't care why people are leaving in droves, they are only concerned with when their next pay raises is. They are playing Orwellian politics. The most vile of their games? Manipulating teenage students into writing positive articles about the schools, and doing interviews on their school news programs designed to cause Sanderson to contradict herself.

Had enough? Then go to

Anonymous said...

Nah, no one will ever crucify Spence. He's just a Sanderson/Rivkin clone. He has not interest in being on the SC..he's just a warm body to vote the way Sanderson and Rivkin tell him to vote. He's only there to act all bent out of shape when he's told to be all angry and mad about something. Don't believe me? Just watch him in the meetings. His eyes actually glaze over. He is soooooo bored and uninterested during the meetings. Its one of my favorite things to do as I watch SC watch Spence. his eyes do truly glaze over.

So no, no one will be crucifying Spence any time soon. Hell, I hope someone will wake him up during the meetings!!!

Anonymous said...

If Gray is such a true reformer, how come she cannot play by the rules? Apparently, the union thought she violated enough rules to send a letter to her. Were you there when Carol Gray suggested adjourning to another room where they could prop the door open to pretend that they weren't violating the open meeting laws?

By the way, crucifying is usually reserved for deities. Ain't no deities here.