SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: September 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Getting Goosed at MS 72 in Queens

This comes to us from  the same source at MS 72 that fed us info for our May post about MS 72,
"Animal House Comes to PS 72 in Queens".

This is one wacky House, er, we mean, school. Where is Mandy Pepperidge and Babs Jansen when you need them?

When last The Crack Team checked, Geese are a nuisance that leave doody on golf courses and baseball fields across the Northeast. The destroy greens and tee boxes and worse, if you hit a goose according to USGA Rules of Golf, Rule 27-4...
"if a ball hits a goose in the head the ball can not be cleaned and there will be a one stroke penalty."
Worse, Rule 27-5 states....
"if a ball lands in goose doody, a drop from the point of impact must be from whilst standing on top of the pile, and will be assessed a 2 stroke penalty."
A better idea would have been to have Bluto, Otter, Flounder, D-Day, and Boone and the whole gang from Delta House come over and and give the staff of MS 72 PD.

Instead all they got was Neidermyer and Marmalard. So sad.

More On MS 72 Queens.

Ah, yes, those wonderful staff development days are just around the corner. Which, of course, leads me to  reflect on staff development days in past years.

Ah, MS 72.  Last year, when principal Omotayo Cineus came back to school fresh from an Alpha Kappa Alpha convention (along with half a dozen of her fellow colleagues, er, Kappas), and sought to motivate and encourage us with all of the wisdom she acquired at said convention.

What a meeting that was. 

The meeting began with a series of inside jokes shared among the Kappas, who were all seated at two tables right up front – the equivalent of front and center floor seats at a One Direction concert (though not as cute), while the rest of us tried not to roll our eyes so hard they got stuck that way.  

She began with a motivational speech – you know, where teacher are compared to super heroes, magicians, or saviors. Except, in this case we were compared to …..




Yup. However many days at an AKA conference, and the best she could come up with was… GEESE.

It began with an analysis of goose behavior. See, apparently, geese work as a “team” – they HONK. See, they fly in formation and “honk” to encourage the lead goose to stay strong,  keep flying, and don’t give up.  And when the lead goose, in spite of encouraging honks from his/her co-geese, just can’t keep it up, there is another goose ready to take the lead, encouraged by more honking from his/her co-geese.

Now, for the “real world” connection.

Ms. Cineus said that as teachers and colleagues, we are like the geese.  We have to take the lead, and do that through “high quality honking”.  And that we must always ask ourselves, “When I honk, is my honking of high quality? Am I really honking in a positive way, or is my honking less than what it should be?”  She elaborated, saying that if morale in the building is low, it is because we (teachers) are NOT participating in “high quality honking” and are instead “failing to support” our colleagues, who are leading the flock and need “encouraging honking” from us to keep moving forward. She told us that we need to “BE THE GOOSE AND HONK!!!!”

So, along with all the paperwork, violent and disrespectful students, and lack of administrative support in this building, we also have to make sure that we participate only in “HIGH QUALITY HONKING”. Because as teachers, that’s what we do.  We must channel the goose, become one with the goose, and BE  THE GOOSE!!!

Funny,  as a Long Islander, I’ve seen MANY flocks of geese.   I always thought that geese pretty much simply honk, shit, and make more geese. 

Seems like at MS 72, we have two out of three.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Live on the Radio this Tuesday

I'm back!

Yes, it has been a while, but this Tuesday, September 29, 6:30 AM I am back on the Bob Marrone Morning Show in 1230 WFAS-AM.

The signal reaches into Rockland County, up to Mt Kisco, through the Bronx, and the northern shore of Nassau County. 

If you are unable to listen over the air there are options. 

You can listen online, simply going to or on your device through the app for either iPhone or Android, or online or through the app from iHeart radio.

We'll catch up on the latest with me as well as touch on the upcoming union elections too, as well as other hot button education matters, like opting out, the power grab of education in Albany, etc....

Don't forget to listen in and call in as well at phone# 914-693-5700 at 6:30 AM

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The UFT Solidarity Clown Car Wreck

So many times the following has happened to me. I am driving into the work in the morning and as I
get off the ramp from the Cross County Parkway onto the southbound Thruway in Yonkers traffic is backed up to either Yonkers Raceway or the Cross County Center.

I turn on Sirius traffic and here that there is an accident somewhere along the northbound Deegan and that traffic is backed up to Yankee Stadium or the Triboro Bridge. Worse, the cause for the southbound traffic is none other than Rubberneckers. People love just love to see a car wreck.

So of course there was that natural voyeuristic tendency to stop, look, and share the clown car wreck emanating from UFT when this email was passed to someone...(Click to enlarge)

The email claimed that the presumptive UFT president was no longer running under the more banner. OK, what to do?

That's where watching the clown car wreck comes in. Everyone wanted to check it out. Hey why not? Come on, anyone would have. Wasn't everyone's favorite scene in The Addams Family was when Gomez crashed his trains head on? Didn't we all get psyched when an episode came on in which we knew Gomez was going to crash his trains?

The email also had a link with a message that more or less had a paragraph added to it every 45 minutes. As if someone was bating (No typo). Kind of reminded The Crack Team of a Batman episode with Frank Gorshin as The Riddler.

Dear Union Brothers and Sisters,  

Our school system is under attack and our union has been compromised. I, XXXXXXX XXXXX, am just a father and educator from Staten Island. I did not know this attack existed because I too wore blinders and had my head in the sand. Now that I now, from being thrown in the fire, I cannot turn my back to it. We cannot ignore it.  

Through my own trials and tribulations and seeing and hearing about many others, I decided something had to be done. For a long time I felt that I could fix things situation by situation by being on the phone with members and exposing their attackers online. The influx was too great. We created groups for people who wanted to help and needed help. One of those groups is UFT Solidarity.  

Although many members told us that our methods helped them, creating blogs and Facebook pages was no real solution to the bigger overarching issues. We have great obstacles and the UFT leadership is one of them. We had to, and have to, change the UFT.  

The only group that opposed the UFT leadership was the Movement of Rank and file Educators (MORE) and they fell very short in representing members. That’s where we came in… UFT Solidarity. A real trade union party about real worker issues.  

To win positions where we can properly support members, we need to “step down” on all those who oppose us.

One, Solidarity was not formed in response to how they fell short of helping teachers but rather many, many issues. As for winning positions, just ain't going to happen

But early Tuesday morning I got several text messages with people commenting on the same source of a posting on the hijacked ATR Alliance Facebook page.

We found a mole in our UFT Solidarity group. History shows we don't do well with moles and we take care of them. Through some creative means we tricked these moles from MORE UFT group into thinking I was stepping down as the UFT Presidential candidate. We sent a fake email to the mole and then had a program track the email. The data shows that the email was bounced around over 358 times today alone! Imagine if that group spent that much energy and time into actually defending members, going after abusive admin, supporting ATRs and the non tenured termination epidemic? Maybe they would actually get votes and their members wouldn't call us for support. 358 responses talking about me stepping down in one day? Nice try, but I'm not going anywhere. This time next year, our team is going to run time UFT the right way and the membership will be better off.

Some takeaways from this rant.  History? Can one year constitute a history? And how are moles taken care of? This sounds as if the author (**wink wink** **nod nod**) has watched one too many James Bond movies or seen too many Batman TV shows. We here at SBSB believe it is the latter.

So it would be safe to assume that the minions you sycophantically are part of UFT Solidarity are like the minions of Penguin when taking care of a mole? Wearing bowler hats, black turtle necks, with silly little names embroidered on the front? Of course, the dude who dresses as Captain Picard doesn't have to get all silly like that.

But, what is disturbing is that the emails were tracked. Now don't worry. That someone felt that their time was best served by tracking if the emails were opened or not? There are programs to see if one read or opened an email, but to know what was written in the body of the email. No. Can't happen. We here can attest to that in some of the email responses what was written was so funny it would make Rodney Dangerfield appear boring.

 But the 358 responses? Sure, probably that many, but that's how many hit on the link, you know, to see the clown car wreck. Just put the StatCounter code on your website or blog and you are good to go.

Sure, why not look? It 99% known it was a spoof. 

And if there were people that were had for a brief moment or two, so what? Big deal. UFT Solidarity keeps being had by itself day in and day out. But keep it coming, everyone enjoys a good joke. 

But what is disturbing is the fact that emails were traced, followed, etc... Think about it. Are members, and there are dissenters, of UFT Solidarity having their email monitored? And if not what is to stop it in the future? Has anyone who has contradicted UFT Solidarity publicly ever been "talked to"?

Better yet, this question should be answered. If anyone dares to speak out, truly speak out, what is the chances that that person can have happen to them what has happened to others who dare not toe the official party line with UFT Solidarity? Can their lives be upended as well?

Was this Nixonian dirty trick approved by the UFT Solidarity social media committee or the UFT Solidarity social media committee? Or was this authorized by a committee of one?

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

MORE Caucus Bronx Back to School Party

If you teach in the Bronx or upper Manhattan, or just anywhere in the city, comes to the......


Yes, it is true. Celebrate going back to work in style. Come and meet MORE, check it out, meet new friends, and learn a thing or two on how to make yourself part of the bigger plan. 

For those who are unaware, MORE and another caucus, New Action, have joined forces to run a slate to oust the current union leadership. Only by working together can we make a difference.

The Back to School party will be held at the Mott Haven Bar and Grill at 1 Bruckner Blvd in the Bronx, right at the foot of the Third Ave Bridge. 

Getting there is easy. The Bx15 stops just a block away and the 3rd Ave-138st on the 6 train is a short walk. Or if you are driving just get off the Deegan at Willis Ave. 

This will be a great meeting where the most important person coming is you.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

UFT Solidarity Seems Unable to Get a Story Straight

What a week it has been. The decision to run a joint slate between MORE and New Action has surely caused an impact from celebrations throughout the galaxy to those who remain in denial.

For those still in denial we here at SBSB recommend that the 5 stages of grief be looked into. Anger will come next, and then bargaining (Some say bargaining has been non-stop) and then depression and then acceptance.

The Crack Team came into some interesting writing from UFT Solidarity over the weekend that are curious. The Crack Team's  journalism intern Zippy the Brain Damaged Chimp© was given the task of responding to the writings. As per the somewhat usual method, the responses will be within the body of the email in red. 

As we speak, there is a meeting taking place in NYC now Ooooh. Ominous words. Must be a conspiracy brewing. Another UFT group GUESS WHO???  is nominating their own UFT presidential candidate to run against me Yes, it is always about you, you, you, you, you!! and UFT Solidarity the Shlimazel Caucus. And of course bringing up the rear those who are not allowed to be named nor shown on campaign posters. In fact why are they mentioned?. This despite many repeated attempts by us to work together When these attempts are made practically every day when do they stop being attempts and being annoyances and/or OCD?  to overthrow A vote it not an overthrow Mike Mulgrew and friends Aren't Mulgrew and Friends on Nick Jr?. As they have stated, this group is not interested in winning top positions, but rather a few high school seats in the UFT Executive Board Not a few, but all. Same with middle school exec board. Those are quite winnable. MORE won a plurality of HS exec board seats in 2013 Seats we offered for them to have We did not know that here at SBSB how can that offer be refused? By the way, thank you, thank you!. We even offered top slate positions Except the presidency. Why is that? Would not someone who felt secure and grounded with themselves not be worried in a free and fair process of selecting the president. However, ego EGO? Mr Pot meet Mr Kettle. When one has already decreed that one has already one and is going to Staples (Tsk, tsk) to check out office furniture, has priced sashes, has practiced speeches dressed as UFT president in the mirror, been unable to accept criticism, and has probably inquired on how to get a replica Oval Office desk how is it ego on the part of MORE? Wouldn't it just be darn good smarts and good taste? Dang, again with the PROJECTING! got in the way and now the membership's nose is being cut to spite it's face No, someone is just upset about not getting their way. A sad day for UFT members everywhere No. What can we do, but continue to push forward Go for it. If we have to, we will beat all of them Beat? Why is this taken so personal? and bring hope and representation It would have had more (pardon the pun) resonance if UFT Solidarity was bringing balance back to the Force back to the UFT. We have no other choice Who cares. The students, staff and parents depend on this Yes, but not on UFT Solidarity the Shlimazel Caucus . The school system here in NYC depends on us winning ROTFLOAO!.

And then from the ICE List Serv....

Dear UFT brothers and sisters,  

 We had been informed of this coalition for some time now . We didn't say or do anything to stop it, because we want it to happen Yeah sure. Heck, if you remember I have been pushing for a New Action MORE for years There is a difference and besides no one at MORE was angling for a seat on exec board.

This is better for the membership Yeah it is, much, much, much, much better, and bad for Unity. As is the number of Unity members cutting ties and joining us 100 is a big number? Oh, what about the Captain Picard guy?

We, UFT Solidarity, will continue to push forward And go around in circles. We will continue to represent and support. How your groups respond to our upcoming initiatives and actions is up to you This statement is confusing. No one really cares. How all our campaigns run will depend on all of us. 

 Enjoy your weekend and good luck tomorrow. Blah, blah, blah, blah

No one here  or anywhere can keep up with all the spin.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

MORE and New Action Working Together

If you haven't yet heard, a big announcement came forth over the land of NYC today. MORE and New Action are joining forces and running a joint slate in the 2016 UFT elections(Click 
on more link to find out more details).

The Crack Team wholeheartedly endorses this conjoining if two UFT powerhouse caucuses and believes that a major dent will be dealt in the upcoming election.

What we like most about this agreement is that this is not predicated in anyone personality, that there will be no domination of a caucus by another, that decisions will be made jointly and for the betterment of all involved.

What pleases us most here at SBSB is the way that this union came together. Everything was on the table, adults meeting as adults, no childish games, no begging, and more important, no desperation.

But enough of what we feel, more importantly, what does teacher community have to say about this famed union?

Let's see....

 Sadly, there are just some that are not happy about this melding of the minds and have thrown a tantrum. 

Maybe the baby needs to put a fork in it already and accept reality. This is a good deal for teachers. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fools Are Not Dangerous, Just Sad

If you consistently read this blog you know I have been forthcoming in addressing the charges that were brought against me in my 3020a. I might not have addressed the charges as expeditiously as some have wished, but there are other things to write about and besides, it takes a lot out of me emotionally to write about the charges.

When I have written about the charges and the hearing (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here here, and here) I have always been candid and forthcoming. I have not hid from anything and have taken responsibility for my actions.

Sadly, there are others who have thrust themselves upon a mountain top and look down from their noses on the same people in the same situations and anoint themselves the arbiter of sharing one's 3020-a and stories.

I do I jump for anyone.

Too think intimidation after what I had been through is going to work is quite illogical.

No one has the right to play God, to play Judge, or just to decide what morals or rules someone else must follow. We have enough of that in this country with the Republican Party.

I am far, far from perfect and there are plenty of things I wish I had done differently during that 2012-13 school year. But I do know the truth. I do know what happened. What gives someone the right to take out of context my 3020a through speculation and supposition what I did when in fact that person requests, yet demands of every living being on planet Earth must believe that person's story without question?

One thing I do pride myself on is my moral compass. It might be a bit askew at times, I might come off too cocky at times, too temperamental, too opinionated, but I do whatever I can to live by that compass.

I hate to bring up another Rush reference, but from the song "Faithless"on 2007's "Snakes and Arrows" CD the first paragraph drives home a point.
I've got my own moral compass to steer by 
A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky 
And all the preaching voices - Empty vessels ring so loud 
As they move among the crowd 
Fools and thieves are well disguised..... 
I take pride in whenever I was taken into a colleague's confidence whatever I was told stayed with me. I would not, even if that teacher pissed me off or threw me under the bus, violated that confidence. Nor, would I do something to embarrass that teacher.

In the time I spent in the Rubber Room the last two years I heard the usual stories, (Like in Shawshank Redepmtion...("Everyone's innocent in here") but it was not my place to judge. My place only was to support in any way I can. I did not push an agenda on anyone. I gave them their options and they decided what is best for them.

I would never try to get back or hurt a colleague by using their family against them or using unfounded third party rumors. No matter what, that person was my colleague. That person, if worse came to worse, would be ignored. Only those that have serious self-esteem issues, those that have to make themselves bigger than they are commit such acts.
 I am proud that I have not once used, nor will I ever, on these pages comments of my principal's family. Even the families of others I find despicable will never be used on these pages.

Fighting dirty is not being a man and not being an adult and in no way gives one any cred in "sticking up for what is right." It just makes one look like a petty little 7 year old on the playground during recess that runs home to mommy's teat when the going gets rough.

If anyone wants to know anything about what happened in my 3020s or my charges my email account is right in there on the right. Email and ask me. Or email and I'll give you my number or we can meet. I have no problem discussing anything. But no one has the right to shame me or to demand me into sharing when or how I want to share.
I've got my own spirit level for balance
To tell if my choice is leaning up or down
And all the shouting voices
Try to throw me off my course
Some by sermon, some by force
Fools and thieves are dangerous
Trying to prove Freud wrong is an uphill battle. Freud was right.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Could Donald Trump Be UFT President?

Did I have a dream or did the dream have me?--Peart, Neil (2003)

I awoke in a cold sweat this first morning of Rosh Hashanah. I had dreamt that Donald Trump not only had decided to give up his quest to be President of the United States and run instead for UFT president, but thankfully had lost resoundingly.

As I lie in groggy in bed praying to YHWH that it was nothing but a dream I thought to myself, "What qualifications does The Trumpster have to be UFT president, let alone run in the election?"

Before heading off to Shul I met with The Crack Team for our annual Rosh Hashanah breakfast over bagels and lox and we put our collective minds together. We could not think of one qualification that Trump had to be UFT president.

Thankfully The Crack Team intern Zippy the Brain Damaged Chimp was able to list several dis-qualifications that would enable Trump to at the very least run and which would be his downfall in losing.

Zippy has given us permission to list his ideas on this blog but since we had no bananas to give him, we promised Zippy full copyright rights over his list.

Zippy The Brain Damaged Chimp's List of Donald Trump's "Dis-Qualifications" to Run and then Lose in the UFT Election©

1. Trump is a narcissist.

2. Trump can only attack others instead of debating the facts.

3. Trump embellishes his accomplishments.

4. Trump belittles everyone who contradicts him.

5. Trump sues anyone and everyone who peels back the veneer of what he himself has built up in his mind.

6. Trump makes empty promises.

7. Trump exaggerates his support.

8. Trump is a cult of personality.

9. Trump has pissed off the very people that he should be cooperating with.

10. Trump is a bully.

11. Trump's favorite Beatles song, "I, Me, Mine."

12. Trump is a fraud.

13. Trump sinks to the level of the lowest common denominator.

14. Trump lies.

15. Trump can't take responsibility for his screw ups.

16. Trump bogarts other people's stuff.

17. Trump believes he is an agent of change.

18. Trump has tantrums when he doesn't get his way.

The Crack Team, on behalf of Zippy, ask that if you do use any of this list that you please attribute it to Zippy and not The Crack Team. This will help us in the future on paying Zippy and it will also boost his confidence.

On behalf of Zippy, thank you.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Principal Namita Dwarka F***s Up Again!

I have this little OCD habit which I believe I have mentioned in the past. If I awaken in the middle of the night I reach for my phone and check the news. I did this morning at 5 AM and boy did I get a surprise.

No, not that Namita Dwarka, principal of William Cullen Bryant High School is in the news again, but that this time as reported by the New York Post, she apparently was covering up sexual malfeasance. Apparently her AP, Pelagia Papoutsis, was involved in sexual tryst with a female student.

As the Post reported that the DOE is;
"...investigating allegations that a female assistant principal slept with a girl student while the principal kept it quiet."

"...the former math teacher and Bryant HS alumna was promoted to assistant principal last school year, and considered a powerful member of Principal Namita Dwarka’s inner circle. But she is now under a cloud for allegedly engaging in a romantic relationship with one of her former students."


Has Chaz the Blogger asked today;
"Here we go again....You just need just to look at the many issues associated with the Principal.  Here, Here, Here, and Here."
Who do we have to thank for this getting in the Post? None other that Bryant High School phys ed. teacher Peter Maliarakis (Check out his Facebook pages here and here.) who has blown the whistle ever since he was reassigned in June for alleging;
"....filthy conditions in the basement area adjacent to a bathroom that caused such a stench “students put shirts over their noses,”
For this he was hit up with 12 charges of incompetence and insubordination.

Two takeaways here.

One, Peter is a whistle blower for the noblest of reasons. This is not about him, his quest for revenge, it is about the students. Peter has a young child and one on the way. Putting his neck out there like this in his situation shows that he is not doing this to advance anything other than what is right for the students. What is right for the school. And what is right for the community. Doing what he has done and being in the situation he is in surely is not easy. I too have blown the whistle and like Peter my reasons were for the safety of the students.

The other takeaway is how does Dwarka keep her job (Seriously, we know how she keep her job, she is a administrator with the DOE)? Face it, she is a fuck up. If any teacher covered up sexual malfeasence he or she would be arrested immediately, suspended without pay, and have an expedited 3020-a hearing. If Dwarka even gets removed and Rubberized it will be at least 4 years before some resolution happens.

Same with her AP. In fact I was chatting with Peter on FB today and jokingly told him that Papoutsis will probably be promoted to a nice cushy position when this is all said and done. Same to with Dwarka.

But the worse part is this crap was happening when Bloomberg, Klein, and Walcott were in charge and where is the outrage that will follow this week when Farina and de Blasio are castigated by the press (Farina should be crucified by the press and then resign!).

Apparently the DOE seems not to care about the students and the community and only wishes to keep itself in power just like some two bit Central American military junta.

Individuals and the communities need to keep up the pressure, not just with the DOE but with he media as well.

And what of the false idols claiming their writing of  letters and emails to the principals and superintendents shall worry them and/or keep them on their toes?  The false idols are nothing more than just paper clowns (THIS IS OPINION! DEAL WITH IT!).

Friday, September 11, 2015

Welcome to White Plains!

We are going to go off the beaten track here today and instead talk about one of New York State's most underrated vacation spots, White Plains, NY (Disclaimer: This is not a paid blog post).

Why White Plains? Why not? White Plains central located in, and is the county seat of, Westchester County. White Plains is 10 square miles and has a population of 57,866, but a daytime population of 250,000. For those history buffs, White Plains was where the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time in New York State. The Battle of White Plains in the Revolutionary War was also fought here along the banks of the Bronx River near the Metro-North train station in the area known as Battle Hill.

But you ask, "How can I get to White Plains?"

White Plains is served directly by the Bronx River Parkway and Interstate 287 better known at the Cross Westchester Expressway. The BRP let's you off in downtown while 287 loops around downtown but you will be close enough.

If you don't have a car you can take Metro-North to the fabulous and modern White Plains station. There you will find plenty of taxi's and right across the street is the White Plains transcenter where one can catch the Bee-Line buses for trips through White Plains. There fare is only $2.75 and you can pay in cash or Metro-Card!

If you don't want to take the train you can fly into Westchester County Airport which is just a few miles north of the city. There is no scheduled direct flights from the three major NYC airports, but if you are self-important enough you can get a private plane from Teterboro to fly you there.

"Where can I stay?"

White Plains has many hotels to stay at. The Crowne Plaza where I stayed on my wedding night. Residence Inn, the new and exciting Cambria Suites, and of course the Ritz Carlton. All these hotels are within walking distance of downtown.

But what if you are on a budget? Or not really important enough to stay at these hotels? Then the Central Motel Court on Central Ave right near the Greenburgh border is the place for you. Not only do they have day rates, but rates by the hour. Don't worry, the Bee Line 20 bus stops right in front and will get you into downtown in 5 minutes.

"Where can I dine?"

White Plains has become a restaurant haven, especially along Mamaroneck Ave. Too numerous to list here but just follow this link. But most of these restaurants only take the really important. For those less important we recommend the snack bar at Target, Five Guys, Kennedy Fried Chicken on Post Rd, and my favorite place, Tu Pais Deli on the corner of Fisher Ave and Bank St. I worked there in the late 80's under former ownership and it was a different name. Tell them The Crack Team sent you and get a cup of joe on the house!

"Where Can I Shop?"

White Plains is a shopping haven. There is The Westchester Mall which is for the really truly self important, the Galleria, Mamaroneck Ave, The City Center, and of course Wal-Mart,where we know we can't go. Also don't forget The Source. And lest we forget, Bloomingdale's. Bloomies just doesn't allow anyone to shop there, I should know. I worked there 30 years ago.

"Where can I be entertained?"

There is the Westchester County Center, home of the NBA D-League Westchester Knicks, and the movies at the City Center. And many of the restaurants and pubs along Mamaroneck Ave have live music.

"What touristy things are there to do?"

The Jacob Purdy House, Elijah Miller House, White Plains Armory, Percy Grainger Home and Studio, and the the Bar Building are some of the fun things you can do. Make sure you have your cameras ready!!

"What happens if suddenly I go mental and start believing I am the Second Coming, or that I am the Queen of England, or Mussolini, just plain paranoid, or just off my meds?"

You are in luck! New York Hospital, Westchester Division runs one of the leading mental health care hospitals in the country in White Plains. Offered up is in patient and out patient facilities and a place where the psychiatrists work with you to find the right meds for you. All insurance is taken!

Enjoy your stay in White Plains!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

UFT Solidarity Threatens to Sue Me!

I really wish I can make this shit up. Sadly, it's all too real.

This past Sunday night, September 6, my phone rings. Who can it be as I walk to the phone. Lo and behold I am getting a phone call from UFT Solidarity. To what honor, I wonder, am I worthy of such a call?

I allow the the call to go to VM for I know that I really don't like the way I sound on recording (Amongst other reasons). Let me hear what the VM says and will make any decisions from there.

I don't get a VM, but I do get a text from UFT Solidarity which reads;
"Hey what's up? Just called you. Seems like you want to tall and get shit off your chest. Call me if you do."
An intriguing possibility. Yes, I wished to sit down and talk but one of us would have to be at the sit down wearing nothing but a Speedo and be subject to a cavity search.

I go on with my evening, go on with my Labor Day and then last night, out of the blue I get another unsolicited text which reads;
"Sucks that it has come to this, but I am suing you (Emphasis mine). I warned you many times."
Dang, just like Alex Forrest UFT Solidarity goes 180 degrees in the other direction.

I was laughing so hard I responded;
"Good luck! I have no idea what you'll get from me but I wish you all the luck in the world and Godspeed."
And this response;
"There are several remedies the judge can order. I guess like everything else time will tell."

Wow! I did not know that UFT Solidarity is an Asia fan.

To top it off a member of MORE got a phone call from UFT Solidarity last night and was told that MORE was going to be sued due to the fact that I was acting in the capacity of MORE.

If I was a follower of UFT Solidarity I would step back and take a good hard look at what I am getting into. There is something seriously askew here and must wonder if the path that I had chosen is the right path.

I doubt these are the values of UFT Solidarity followers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Drunk With Power

I like videos in which a leader shows how crazed he is either wanting power or in power. They so


Like this guy from Bananas

Or remember this skit from Monty Python

Or Torquemada. Let's face it, you couldn't talk him out of anything!

Or even Louis XVI

Even Mr Burns

Heddy, oops, I meant, Hedley Lamar

And let's not forget Wesley Crusher (Come one, admit it. We have all wanted to do that to Wesley!)

They all take the power they have or think they have too seriously.

If anyone thinks of anyone else or thinks I am leaving anything off this list please do not hesitate to let me know post haste.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Ratt at PS 154 Part Deux (当心唐人街!)

I have got less than 48 hours of having my health benefits. We went to Westchester Social Services on
Friday and were approved for only $115 a month in Food Stamps and are waiting to find out about Medicaid.

My son got approved for free lunch and I have my Unemployment appeal hearing on Wednesday. In the last week or so I have sent out about 10 resumes to charter school and private employers. Nothing yet. Putting in an application with a tutoring service tomorrow. I spoke with director, she is keen on hiring me but we'll see.

On Wednesday I wrote about The Ratt at PS 154 who decided to make up such a vicious story that not only was I charged but the charge was substantiated.

What about the two other charges The Ratt came up with?

You will laugh.

As previously mentioned I had The Ratt's class usually the last period of the day at 1:50.

One day, and this happened often with The Ratt, she brought her class early to my classroom. The teacher of the class before me would pick up her class either at 1:50 on the dot and with The Ratt's class waiting for 5 minutes already I had to deal with a class that was already fidgety.

On this day, the teacher was classy enough to pick up her class several minutes early, about 1:47 PM. I had three minutes.

Unfortunately, The Ratt brought her class early and just as the other class had finished filing out, The Ratt started to walk away from the class.

Dang, I thought to myself, I needed that three minutes (FYI, DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx never had any grace time between periods. Not even a minute. I always wondered why.) to run down to teacher's lounge and get some peanuts. I had plenty of time.

I needed those peanuts. I had not eaten since breakfast that day and it was late. I could feel (Can't explain, but if you are diabetic you can tell) blood sugar getting low. I needed the peanuts and The Ratt brought her class early!

I asked The Ratt if she can just stay with the class for no more than two minutes, that I will be back by 1:50.

"Nooooo," The Ratt squealed, "I won't have a full prep."

I explained that I am diabetic and that I need to get something into my system. The Ratt did not care.

I turned to a 5th grade teacher bathrooming his class, "Can you watch The Ratt's class for me so I can get peanuts. I am diabetic and I asked her and she said she would not."

At this point The Ratt let out a loud, whiny, "WHY ARE YOU TELLING HIM MY BUSINESS?" shrill in front of the 5th grade class and her class. And I was the one crapped on. The Ratt claimed I did not talk to her in a professional manner.

If I didn't why was there no supporting anecdotal from the 5th grade teacher? Why did DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx take her word for it? And yes, I got a letter in the file.

Here is a another one involving The Ratt.

A week or so after this incident I had to get keys from her for extended day. I spent 15 minutes looking all over the school for The Ratt. Announcements were made and there was no response.

I finally located her in the computer room. All I said when I saw her was, "Oh there you are, I have been looking all over for you."

In her whiny shrilly voice I got it again, '"WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME SO UNPROFESSIONALLY? STOP!!!"

Yep, I got a letter in the file as well. In fact she said this in a room full of student whilst sitting between two teachers. Where was anecdotals from students and the two teachers? Again, I got written up for this. Only her word was good enough.

What comes around goes around. The Ratt fell out of favor so quickly. Just was removed from the colon of DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx.

But The Ratt is teaching in best community possible. The Ratt can be celebrated in 2020. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015


The following comes as no surprise to us here at SBSB. The rumors were flying for over a year, but we have confirmed that UFT Solidarity met with AFT president Rand Weingarten early in 2014 seeking employment in the UFT, ostensibly becoming a member of the Unity Caucus. The same caucus that has brought us Mike Mulgrew.

For some time, and we knew here at SBSB, UFT Solidarity met with Randi in Manhattan but were never given a reason why. Rumors abounded. The biggest rumor was that UFT Solidarity was asked to start a stalking horse caucus as a way to siphon off votes from MORE which would entail a a splitting of the opposition vote giving Unity yet another victory.

Lately The Crack Team had heard some rumors that the above was untrue, that the meeting was initiated by UFT Solidarity. The Crack Team was sent out into the field to find out more (Pardon the pun).

Bur suddenly yesterday in the comments section of this blog post, "UFT Solidarity Fanboi Love Letter," a comment was made;
"You miss the point. Unity is laughing at the Portelos spectacle - they know he is nuts but are happy to be using him to divide the opposition. They even brag privately how Solidarity is doing their work for them - and they also spill the beans that Portelos was asking Unity for a job and when he didn't get it he figured he could win favor by creating a caucus that could prevent MORE from winning executive board seats. Is that what the meeting with Randi was about? Play the tape."
 Yes, interesting, but even more interesting was trying to curry favor with Unity by splitting the vote and this must explain the near schoolgirl crush that UFT Solidarity laid on New Action.

UFT Solidarity replied to this comment that left many scratching their heads;
Randi asked me "Are you interested in building a bridge back to the UFT? " I told her the UFT won't take me in, like you said above, so "I'm building my own bridge." At that point I sent her the link for Solidarity.

Her response was actually "Wait, let me try one more thing and have a convo with Mike."

Randi sought out UFT Solidarity without clearing this with Mulgrew? Seems strange.
Stranger is why would Randi seek out UFT Solidarity and not anyone from MORE (Not that they would have gone to the meeting) like anyone of at least 50 people I can think of.

Also interesting is that since this meeting occurred in early in 2014 how could Randi have seen the Solidarity website if the website came online in April of this year (According to and the Solidarity Facebook page came online in September 2014.

Norm brought up a fine point as well in the comments section of "UFT Solildarity Says It Won't Help All Teachers....And Other Funny Stuff;"
"Remember how you asked me why you couldn't run in their slate in addition to the more slate in 2013 and I told you you had to choose? So there you were ready to run on a slate with mulgrew at the head of the ticket just 2 years ago. You were hoping you could grab one of those unity new action exec be seats even if it meant selling out to mulgrew. But neither unity or new action wanted you for the exec bd and I pushed for you for the more exec bd slate. And you got on the ballot without bringing in any signatures on the petition"
So is it not natural to question the motives behind UFT Solidarity? Is this so called caucus for the teachers and by the teachers, or is it someone's way to get back at all those who have scorned UFT Solidarity. It is starting to look like the latter, as if a boyfriend had been dumped by a girl and this is just nothing more than a tantrum? 

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few at UFT Solidarity or is it about one person in the ultimate con job leading people off the cliff?

The followers of UFT Solidarity need to snap out of it and really start asking questions.

Friday, September 4, 2015

UFT Solildarity Says It Won't Help All Teachers....And Other Funny Stuff

Last night when I wrote of the constant barrage of UFT Solidarity's fanboi love letters to MORE there had been one comment that was  deleted but luckily it was already saved in the SBSB archives;

"Hey Zucker, since you can't stop thinking about us, here is another photograph for you. This was the updated one. (See link just below) (As promised, artistic intern Zippy the Brain Damaged Chimp has made the poster more pleasing to the eye. See above)

I mean what I said though. I wouldn't want you teaching my kids. Part of my campaign will be to make sure I'm not running a platform that states "Protect everyone." There are people who shouldn't be teaching.

The fact that you spend so much time researching, trolling and writing, while you're unemployed adds to to the sadness. That's what it is...pathetic sadness. Loneliness...a void that can't be filled by a hundred anti-Solidarity posts.

No secret. Read what we write...We are doing things. Take notes."

So there we have it, it is official. UFT Solidarity will pick and choose which teachers to help, protect, and to ensure their due process. One can not but be saddened and see the correlation between UFT Solidarity and Animal Farm.

But as for reading what UFT Solidarity writes, let's have a looksee in the comments section of a blog post written by Norm Scott just several days ago.

From this comment at 11:59 AM;

....the reality is you are cynical man who is actually a detriment to the movement.

Norm a detriment? Wow! I just can't say enough about Norm and what he means to me and to others. Norm got me through my 3020-a, without him I don't know what would have happened.  My wife is so enamored by Norm she wanted to adopt him. 

I have disagreed with Norm many a time. We had a big brouhaha over a year ago. But Norm is wise. Norm has been fighting for over 40 years. He knows when to use the hammer and when to use the chisel. 

Do you know that since we have been turning up the heat on Aimee Horowitz, that they took away all her Staten Island schools? Do you know that we have initiated investigations on her and her principals?

This is known as a fact? This can be proved that UFT Solidarity alone initiated this? Or can it just be a coincidence? Or that she had schools taken away due to having to focus all her attention on the Reform schools? 

You speak a big game on your blog Norm and when you are surrounded by your people, 

Never noticed that. I have noticed this from UFT Solidarity. Like one big group of people with Freudian shortcomings

Michele Hen stated that her proposal for MORE to send members to 3020- termination hears was turned down. Is this true?

Yeah, this is the poster child for the voice of reason.

At 4:04 PM it was so said;
Norm, you and Peter Zucker are going to love Solidarity's "Rally of One" initiative then. We'll be sending as little as one person to leaflet outside a troubled school. We'll send you pictures to post.

So what? One is what UFT Solidarity can muster up having only 70-75 some odd members.

At 5:14 it was blabbed; have the audacity to spend time writing a blog how 8 Solidarity members rallied against abusive Aimee Horowitz. This after we rallied outside Richmond Hill, William Bryant and Tweed in just the last several months. You have some nerve. 

And what were the numbers? 8? 12? Those numbers are not a rally. It's just a bunch of people walking around with signs.  

So there you have it. UFT Solidarity the Schlimazel Caucus.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

UFT Solidarity Fanboi Love Letter

I, along with a few others, were on the receiving end of a love letter sent by UFT Solidarity last
month. I had just woken up and was in the bathroom as I was reading it. I laughed so hard I fell off the bowl and almost cracked my head open.

So without further ado, the love letter written in full with commentary (In red).

Look, you guys poke fun Yeah, its so easy that I occasionally contact MORE to work together, Occasionally? It's bordering on some type of Fatal Attraction contact but the truth is MORE has fallen short in supporting the individual members. And how has the UFT Solidarity method risen above that? Have any of the 70 odd members of UFT Solidarity who have been discontinued, shat upon, etc... succeeded? Is the support that UFT Solidarity supposedly accorded its members genuine, specific to the member, or just a way for someone to make up for some major Freudian shortcoming? OOOH. We send emails to principals. We've all see how well that has worked. We try to come in and do that work, try is the key word just as we thought you can do the work we don't concentrate on. If you're going to continue mocking us for trying then we will just have to say no to MORE, move forward and up our social justice game. Social justice at UFT Solidarity? It's about chasing a windmills for the benefit of just the one.

Then we won't need to reach out to work as a coalition. Really? Awww, that sucks. Maybe UFT Solidarity should share with its 70 odd members the truth at what really transpired at that ICE meeting in June. 

If I may, a sidebar of what was posted on the super duper secret UFT Solidarity lackey site; It's free to join! Prizes are given away every day to the most sycophantic comment.
"The meeting started out tense, because of miscommunication on all sides. There was a lot of confusion as to which group was really represented at the restaurant. Was it ICE or MORE? At the beginning of the meeting several members from the other caucus expressed their distrust of UFT Solidarity and the intentions of Solidarity as a caucus. As the meeting went on and members of all sides were able to voice their personal concerns and feel that they were heard and their voice mattered the tension started to dissipate. As the walls of distrust came down, all caucuses involved were able to move the matter of creating a slate forward in a productive manner. There is still much work to be done, but the meeting was a great first step in the right direction."

There was no confusion, ICE is ICE, MORE is MORE. Walls of distrust never dissipated, in fact if anything they grew. There was no great step. It was dead in the water. Wake up, get over yourselves and enter reality.
The ridiculous conversations that took place below remind me why I created a different group. Yeah yeah, someone is OCD enough to save every little thing. Yeah, there was a internal donnybrook but what group never has one? MORE is like a Jewish family at times and when emotions get high they kvetch and opine loudly but when the dust settles all goes back to normal. I guess this is because MORE is not a top down organization relying on ONE to guide it and make its decisions.

Accept it already. Work with us or don't,Does this mean MORE is either against you and with you? Didn't work for W, why should it work for UFT Solidarity? but using Zucker to take jabs is a poor play.  Hey, that's me! Nobody is using me. Nobody is instructing me. I have stated again, and again, and again why I have taken the path I chose. Please stop and for once listen. 

Zucker remove your ridiculous posts and move forward. Remove? How so. Remove them from where? Is this a request or a demand? I'm telling you this will not go well. Like how? How won't it go well? Like that law suit? I've added your email and number to spam blocker weeks ago so I don't know if I could even see a response. As Herman Munster used to say, "Darn, Darn, Darn!"

 In Yiddish there are two words, schlemiel and schlimazel. The schlemiel is one who spills the soup. The schlimazel is the one who the soup spills on.

UFT Solidarity is the Schlimazel Caucus.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Ratt at PS 154 in the Bronx

It has been quite week for me.

On Saturday I got the notice for my NYS Unemployment appeal hearing (September 9, 9:45 AM 250 Schermerhorn St in Brooklyn). I attempted to have the NYU Law School Unemployment Action Center represent me (Can't school just started). I spent all day yesterday sending resumes to charters (YUCK!). I have a week left on my health benefits and Welfare Fund. Turned in the application for my son to have free or reduced lunch. And tomorrow, going into White Plains to Westchester County Social Services to apply for food stamps and Medicaid.

It's tough. My wife is on disability due to severe back issues (She will eventually need a fusion from L3 up to thoracic area of spine) and I am going to have to stop looking at charters for a job and start just accepting anything. I do have some income. I am tutoring at a chain tutoring center but the hours are shaky and the pay is not that much. But I shall prevail.

In my rejection of Unemployment benefits the NYS Dept. of Labor said that I...
"...should have known that my actions could've have led to a suspension."
Of course, they don't know the entire story.

When I picked up my file the other day to see what the DOE had written in their response to as why I should not get UI, one thing stuck out at me among many;
"...he failed to be at his assigned post..."
Wow. Yeah, that is what I one of the charges were and it was sustained;
"Respondent neglected his professional duties in that he failed to be at his assigned post in May 16, 2013."
Who made this allegation about me? Another teacher. A Ratt. Of course if I too had lived in the colon of DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D. of PS 154 in the Bronx I would have been, at the most, taken aside and talked it out.

The story of this Ratt and how this Ratt came about to stabbing yours truly in the back (Several times that year) is somewhat long, but for brevity I shall hit on the high points.

In 2011-12 school year I was SAVE room teacher. The Ratt always would come and tell me how much The Ratt would love to have my job. So when preference sheets came around, guess what? Nice, huh? I have never ever put down for a position on the preference sheet for myself what another colleague wanted or had. Especially if that colleague had done a lot for me in the past.

When school started in September of 2012 I realized that The Ratt is plutonium and to stay far away from The Ratt. I decided that there was to be no communication between The Ratt and myself except for professional matters.

On May 16, a Thursday, The Ratt (Who at this time was no longer the SAVE room teacher but replaced a spec. ed teacher that had been targeted by DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D. of PS 154 in the Bronx) was informed, as was I, that I would be covering The Ratt's class the last period of the day at 1:50 PM until 2:35 PM.

The class before had been picked up at 1:49 PM and I got things ready and then waited in the doorway for the arrival of The Ratt's special ed 3/4 class. When the clock hit 1:50 the class had yet to arrive.

The clock soon hit 1:55 PM. No class. 2 PM. No class. I peered down the hall way looking at The Ratt's classroom. The door was closed and the lights were off. I has assumed that the class was late coming from a mass prep in the auditorium (This would happen when teachers had PD).

At about 2:08 or so I felt the urge, a bad urge, to relieve myself (Metformin tends to do this). As I was taking care of business, over the PA it was announced for me to call the main office. I ended what I was doing and ran down there.

The school secretary, who is a wonderful person, told me that The Ratt called whining that I had never shown up to The Ratt's class for the coverage. I was puzzled. All cluster positions at PS 154 that year the classes CAME to the teachers, not the other way around. The Ratt was well aware of this being that I had her class two other days of the week.

I finally show up at 2:10 or so and the hell and whining I got from The Ratt was too much. Knowing how far inside the colon of DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D. of PS 154 in the Bronx The Ratt was ensconced I decided to err o the side of caution.

I apologized profusely. I told The Ratt that I would make up the 15 minutes on my lunch time or a prep. The whining was incessant, "I lost my prep time." I really tried to make good. But to no avail.

This charge was sustained based on the secretary's testimony. The Ratt had never shown.

A month later on National Write-Up Day (I received about 5 letters to the file on one day) I found out that The Ratt did what The Ratt did. Ratted me out.

This is ironic considering all that I had done for The Ratt in the past:

Gave The Ratt rides home into Manhattan.

Under a previous administration I listened and supported The Ratt has The Ratt was whining and crying was going on that that administration was targeting and harassing The Ratt.

In 2010 when our school got a grant through Play Study Win to have Metro Soccer come into the school and start a soccer team for the 4th and 5th graders to celebrate the 2010 World Cup (The kids practiced for a month to play in a tournament as Costa Rica to play in an all day tournament at Floyd Bennett Field) we (Myself and the phys ed teacher) allowed The Ratt to particpate.

We also put up with The Ratt fawning all over the representative from Metro Soccer for 6 weeks.

The Ratt was invited to come to MLS offices with us.

The Ratt was involved in a traffic accident in which The Ratt was injured. The Ratt was in need of an attorney I gave The Ratt the number of our personal attorney and The Ratt was on the phone for an hour with him and never retained him. Nor was The Ratt charged for the consultation ($500).

When the entire school, save for a select few, would endlessly badmouth The Ratt, I stuck up for The Ratt.

And how am I repaid? By The Ratt finding the most little petty POS thing The Ratt can think of and being nothing more than a Ratt.

Hey but I am in good company. That special ed teacher The Ratt took over for? The Ratt was planted into his room by DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D. of PS 154 in the Bronx into that class about two months before he got 3020-a charges. The Ratt was supposed to "help out" but it was really The Ratt reporting back from what The Crack Team was told.

But Karma came. The 2013-14 school year DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D. of PS 154 turned on The Ratt. The Ratt was cast out of the colon of DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D. of PS 154 into the cold cruel world. The whining and crying were back. The Ratt left PS 154 after that year and now The Ratt is an activist for teachers rights. BARF!

Karma can be a game changer.