Journal News - "common sense" prevails at Ward Acres

Read the Journal News editorial (12/26/08) "common sense" prevails at Ward Acres. Click on the link:

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New Dog Walking Rules at Ward Acres

So, what are the new rules?

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From the Superintendent

With the echoes of the historic Presidential election still reverberating in the ears of not only every American, but also those of friends and foes throughout the world, it is clear that Mr. Obamas presidency will significantly change and impact our lives.
As the economy continues to sink to even further depths, the status of our schools and our entire educational system must be preserved.  Short sighted decisions to save a few precious dollars cannot be acceptable, if we see increased class sizes as a result.  Budget cuts and tax caps which will reduce and even eliminate programs in the arts, career education, athletics and elective courses cannot be a solution if as a result we are mortgaging our childrens future.  Shortening the school day or the school year, employee furloughs, charging fees for student participation in cherished activities or worthwhile projects limit the educational opportunities for all children.

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Associated Press Revisits "Girl, Interrupted" Controversy

The Associated Press today published a new article on the recent controversy over the decision by school officials in New Rochelle to tear pages out of Susanna Kaysen's best-selling memoir "Girl, Interrupted", first reported on this site. The book was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie and Whoopi Goldberg.

AP: NY district reviews policy after books censored

The article notes that my son was the person who originally complained about the torn out pages - first to his teacher, then to his parents. Not surprisingly, although not a single person defending the district failed to denounce the censorship of the book none of them credited him for having the courage to speak out in the first place. For a group of people who are supposedly so concerned about "censorship" and "love" the First Amendment the omission is glaring.

Among the students who noticed the excised pages was the son of Robert Cox, who writes the blog, "New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound."

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City Relents on Dog Fees, Ward Acres Case Settled

Dog owners and the city of New Rochelle have settled the lawsuit over the Ward Acres dog walking ordinance. After a year and a half of litigation which went up to the Appellate Division in Brooklyn and back, the city has agreed to eliminate the fees and special licensing required to walk a dog on a leash in Ward Acres' parkland.

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Westchester County Reports First Official Flu Case for 2008-2009 Season

The Westchester County Department of Health has identified the first laboratory-confirmed case of flu in Westchester. The flu sufferer was a 36-year-old man who was treated at an area hospital on December 10 and
released that day. Prior to coming to the hospital, he had endured four days of fever, body aches, headaches, a sore throat, vomiting and respiratory difficulty – all typical flu symptoms.

Dr. Joshua Lipsman, Westchester County Health Commissioner, urges residents to get the flu shot to protect themselves. The flu vaccine is recommended for all residents over age 50, pregnant women ages 18 and older, people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, children ages six months and up to age 19; those who are 18 years of age and older with chronic heart or lung conditions, diabetes, or compromised immune systems; and caregivers (including healthcare workers) of high-risk patients.

Each year in the U.S., more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die from the flu.

Westchester County Department of Health has distributed free flu doses at Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle. The county also vaccinated residents at county clinics throughout Westchester.

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School Board Suspends Jefferson Employee Without Pay over Racist Remarks

When are "isolated incidents" no longer "isolated" but rather suggest an emerging pattern of problems?

At the board meeting on December 16th, the school board went in to executive session and came back to announce a resolution that a "civil service" employee would be suspended for 30 days without pay.

Talk of the Sound has learned that the person suspended is an an employee at Jefferson School. The person was accused of having made racist remarks, sources say. These same sources told TOS that the suspended employee has a history of similar racist behavior. Word is that the school board was not eager to take significant disciplinary action in the case; anyone who was present at the board meeting could see that board member Martin Sanchez played some sort of role in the board action taken last week. While seated with the board he could be seen nodding as Cindy Babcock-Deutsch read the resolution, as if to say he was satisfied with the action taken by the board to suspend the employee.

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The Whistleblower’s Dilemma: Hero or Snitch? Answer: Ask the Victims

LOUISE CHU from the Associated Press writes about Mark Felt (a.k.a. Deep Throat) a former number two man at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) turned secret informant in a case that toppled President Nixon Administration in the 1970s has passed away at the age of 95. She reports about Felt:

Critics, including those who went to prison for the Watergate scandal, called him a traitor for betraying the commander in chief. Supporters hailed him as a hero for blowing the whistle on a corrupt administration trying to cover up attempts to sabotage opponents.

Felt grappled with his place in history, arguing with his children over whether to reveal his identity or to take his secret to the grave, O'Connor said. He agonized about what revealing his identity would do to his reputation. Would he be seen as a turncoat or a man of honor?

"People will debate for a long time whether I did the right thing by helping Woodward," Felt wrote in his 2006 memoir, "A G-Man's Life: The FBI, `Deep Throat' and the Struggle for Honor in Washington." "The bottom line is that we did get the whole truth out, and isn't that what the FBI is supposed to do?"

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