The Buffalo News and racism – violation of America’s Civil Rights?
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To: Dawn Bracely
From: Carl Paladino
Cc: Rod Watson and other incorrigible reporters and editors of the Buffalo News
Date: May 9, 2013
Re: Buffalo’s dysfunctional newspaper
Dawn, I’m asking one more time that you and your editors give the community a break and find another vocation that might be more rewarding. Maybe you and Rod Watson can search for that perfect place that will satisfy your joint obsession with racism. The newspaper business is a dead-end street for those of you schooled in the Stan Lipsey school of slime journalism. You are pathetic. You’ll never get it.
Your latest editorial wants to cast me and my ability to influence and change the status quo in the context of your limited personal perspective and lack of objectivity which has grown from your insecurities and personal demons. You’re out of touch with our schools and our community. I ran an issues-based campaign. Did you notice that the incumbents could not identify any material issues and were clueless and unembarrassed that they lead a terribly dysfunctional school system?
You are still trying to generate respect for education leadership who have failed in their responsibilities, accept no accountability and suffer the delusion that they are making a difference.
Time goes by, children are left behind, and all you and your editors care about is your own self-absorbed job preservation and personal peeves. You thought you could preserve the status quo with racial shots at me. You thought you had influence. Even after the results are in, you still can’t see that the people of Buffalo want change. The ignominious Ruth Kapsiak’s election was bought by Phil Rumore. Conflict? You ignore reality.
You missed the real story of the election by not extending thanks to the thousands of people in the Park District who came out to say enough is enough with this amateur hour of less-than-capable opportunists destroying our education system which is the root cause of the decline of the City. It’s time to fix the problem.
Your lack of objectivity and professionalism surface when you get upset that I push back. You arrogantly pontificate that you will show me the way and dictate my behavior, which you have chosen to characterize as abrasive and dismissive– the lone, loud uncontrolled voice. I am not alone Dawn. Never have been. I will never be politically correct and I assure you that we will drive the incompetents and incompetence out of the system.
Watch carefully what a spotlight, transparency, unpredictability and peeling back the layers of decadence will do. I am not the judge. I will drag them before the people who will judge them and then deal with them. Rumore told you that it’s about having a majority. It has nothing to do with having a majority. It’s about truth.
Your myopic thinking has failed you and your miserable editors in the past and will continue to do so because you habitually rely on your self-absorbed theory that you are the true conscience of the community. Guess what? You’re not.
You’re a bunch of insular losers just like the losers we have running our schools and the people of the community know and talk about it incessantly. You live in your alternative world disregarding the signals and signs from the community that they have no respect for you, like the message that the people of the Park district just sent you.
Leaders lead from the front, not from grouping with insecure and immature politicos, opportunists and press “political correctness” junkies who try to define those who challenge the status quo and wrap them up in a nice box with a bow on it.
It is that which denies you any opportunity to enjoy the success of meeting a challenge in life.
The Buffalo News and racism – violation of America’s Civil Rights?
From: Carl Paladino
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 11:56 AM
To: Dawn Bracely (Dbracely@buffnews.com)
Cc: Warren Colville (email@example.com); Stan Lipsey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: FW: The Buffalo News and racism
Dawn, your editorial Sunday was pathetic. It illustrates exactly why the editorial comment of the News is meaningless in our community and why, on the watch of your editorial board, editors and publisher, our community has failed so badly.
You and Stan Lipsey need to deal with your God complexes. Power intoxicates and must be used judiciously. You made the issue personal and played the race card to patronize your ego and the uninformed, who don’t even read the News. Your desire to contribute to the “cause” overshadows your objectivity, a baseline requirement for a journalist.
Those who know me in this community know better of me and that’s all I need to sleep well. You, on the other hand wear the race issue on your sleeve and have your demons to deal with. You are out of touch. You feel an obligation to put every subject through your personal litmus test. At our interview you expected me to apologize to you for having resent off-color e-mails that were all about time and place, who and what. It’s not about you Dawn. I won’t apologize to you or anyone for a state of mind that I never had.
You chose to disregard all of my history of advocating for the children to make a personal statement so you could feel better about yourself. Your version of journalism simply says “its ok to throw 30,000 kids under the bus if I can play the race card on Carl Paladino.” Touché.
Unfortunately you and your paper are the real racists for patronizing for too long an element of self-absorbed and self-dealing, incompetent minority leaders who have been allowed to deny generations of minority children their right to an education.
You should find another career Dawn. You certainly are not a journalist.
Paladino needs to find partners in effort to turn around Buffalo’s failing schools
on May 8, 2013 – 11:21 PM
As ugly and divisive as it was, the Buffalo School Board elections were only prelude. What follows may make the campaign seem mild by comparison, but it could also point the way toward improved performance by both the district and its students. That critical work has to happen.
The work has begun many times before, of course, but it has never come close to delivering the sound, basic education to which all New York students are entitled. Will this time be different? Without a doubt, it will be that. Different how, is the question.
As expected, the election has put Buffalo developer Carl P. Paladino on the School Board. Paladino won South Buffalo’s Park District with 79 percent of the vote. His arrival on the School Board is going to make a difference in both the noise level and the district’s tolerance of mediocrity. He will be abrasive and dismissive of those who don’t see things his way. Some of that will be helpful in a district that has been unable to change its trajectory.
But Paladino likely won’t get far if he is the lone, loud, uncontrolled voice. He is but one of nine members and while he will be able to command attention, he needs to form partnerships with other like-minded members to be effective. Little in his public life suggests that skill to be among his strengths, but that will be the requirement if he is to translate his obvious passion for fixing Buffalo schools into better-educated students graduating in ever-increasing numbers.
He certainly has some good ideas. He wants to give teachers a raise and a new contract – their current one expired nine years ago – in exchange for a longer school day and a longer school year. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has also pledged money to districts that increase classroom time for students. Partners, at last.
Paladino has also drawn a bead on the district’s central office, which has been much criticized in the past, and has little good to say about the district’s new superintendent, Pamela C. Brown. It is the board’s job to evaluate the superintendent’s performance, of course, and we are in favor of board members setting high expectations of the district’s chief executive.
Nor do we have any issue with a review of central office performance, though the board needs to avoid micromanaging that has plagued the district in the past.
At least two other board members may be obvious partners in seeking to improve the district. Newly elected member James M. Sampson also brings a reformer’s approach to the job. The new West District representative is board president of Buffalo ReformED, an education reform group, and chairman of the Erie County control board. If Paladino can channel some of his passion through Sampson’s cooler chalice, they might form a potent team.
In addition, the re-election of Jason McCarthy in the North District bodes well, although both of his opponents – Susan Gillick and Wendy Mistretta – could also have been effective board members. But McCarthy has a record of public-interest accomplishment and has shown himself to be devoted to improving the district.
Less certain is the approach that will be taken by newcomer Theresa Harris-Tigg, who soundly defeated incumbent Rosalyn Taylor, a write-in candidate. Taylor had been endorsed by both the Buffalo Teachers Federation and New York State United Teachers, so the public can expect something different in the East District.
It is important now for like-minded board members to form alliances to push for the changes that can make a difference here. They should look to other urban districts that have improved student performances for clues on how to proceed. Columbus, Ohio, and Charlotte, N.C., are good places to start.
Lines are about to be drawn more sharply now than they have ever been. Anyone troubled over whose side to take can apply this test: Who is acting on behalf of the students?
Now let’s see if Paladino can deliver
By Rod Watson | News Urban Affairs Editor
on May 8, 2013 – 11:37 PM, updated May 9, 2013 at 1:22 AM
Yes, the sky is falling – and that could, possibly, maybe be good. After a campaign in which his most vociferous critics stooped to tactics even he wouldn’t adopt, Carl Paladino is riding a bandwagon to the Buffalo Board of Education alongside at least three other new and incumbent reformers.
To listen to his critics, that will be ruinous.
But after the most disgusting local campaign in recent memory, Paladino now has more credibility than the teacher unions suspected of trying to anonymously smear him and any other candidate not professing fealty to the status quo. He also brings racial baggage not easy to ignore in a largely African-American and Hispanic district. Yet those are the very students victimized by district unions that never met a change they liked.
If Paladino is smarter than he publicly lets on, he’ll drop his “sisterhood” attacks on black female board members and a black superintendent who hasn’t even been here a year and focus on the targets the entire community can rally around: union contracts and state laws that make change virtually impossible.
The 2010 gubernatorial nominee is perfect for that task if he can focus half his ire, clout and money on the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the other half on Albany, which he beat in 2006 in ridding the Niagara Thruway of tolls.
One of the best things he could do for students, for instance, is target the Triborough Amendment that lets unions put a stranglehold on the district. That ridiculous law lets the terms of expired contracts – including the “step” pay increases that Buffalo teachers enjoy – remain in effect into perpetuity, removing any incentive for teachers to bargain unless a district is rich enough to buy contract changes.
While teachers feel no pain, students suffer under outdated provisions in their and other union contracts that outrage parents, including terms that:
• Prevent the district from saving millions on transportation, as suburban schools do, by staggering bus runs because Buffalo teachers can veto any change in school starting times.
• Prevent Buffalo’s athletes from benefiting from the best coaching around because teachers have the right of first refusal for any coaching job – even if a Bob Lanier or a former Buffalo Bills player wanted to step in.
• Make it cost-prohibitive to turn schools into after-hours community centers because engineers have to be paid extra to open the buildings, and principals and teachers have to be paid to be there if there’s any kind of academic offering.
Such provisions tie the district’s hands, which is one reason parents have taken on the unions and murmured about a district control board.
Regardless of how he feels about students of color – and his language and the racist emails he forwarded make that an open question – a Paladino war on the unions and Albany could make those kids collateral beneficiaries. He might even find an ally in Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has also pushed reform.
There’s no doubt Paladino will wreck the district’s china shop. The only question is whether it will be creative destruction, or destruction that forces the board into factions that stymie one another and get nothing done. Students can only hope he’s smart enough to come up with the right answer.