Thursday, March 7, 2013

Board Members Turnbull, Lane, Butts Support Piedmont

Click to watch video of football board meeting
Board meeting summary:  Glen Miller gave a good presentation about adding football to ORHS.  It wouldn't cost the district a penny, and it's as safe as can be, to hear him tell it.  Athletic director Corey Parker was generally supportive but skeptical.  Krista tried to get it approved, but the board just approved a survey and vowed to revisit the question shortly.  Sue Caswell did a kick-ass job with the audit.  The controversial topics of tuition students and redividing the elementary schools were rescheduled for a special meeting March 13, the day after election day.  Krista said the old board would sit for that meeting. 

Dean Rubine and Steven Hershowitz, Kings Bay Boys Club, c 1969

Carl's Facebook Friends

Do facebook friendships count as endorsements?   Among candidate Carl Piedmont's facebook friends are three current Oyster River school board members.  That's 10% of his 30 facebook friends:

To my knowledge none of the other existing board members have expressed a preference in the upcoming school board race.   Presumably Tom Newkirk supports himself.   And remember people, you get to vote for two out of the three candidates.

Tom's website went away so I made him one.  Since Carl's is mentioned  a couple of times below, I'll point out here Kenny's is

Megan's email

I suppose you can't put that much weight into facebook friendships.  I once friended someone because otherwise they'd stalk me in person. Something more substantial is needed.   For example, this letter showed up in my inbox.  (Thanks people, and keep 'em coming.)
From: Megan Turnbull <email address omitted>
Date: Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Subject: Please support Carl Piedmont and his family in light of recent, personal attack in Fosters
Hello Friends and Community Members,
You may already know that Carl Piedmont is running for the Oyster River School Board. Like me, Carl is also a parishioner at the St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Durham.
On March 2, 2013, Fosters published a letter by Dr. Robert Barth of Lee which suggested that Carl, if elected, may try to impose extreme Christian fundamentalism in our school curricula. The letter also suggests that Carl should reveal his personal religious beliefs in order to dispel Barth's concerns. This letter makes multiple false statements and assumptions based upon the fact that Carl's oldest son attends a Christian college. The implications seem to be fear mongering and are as as relevant as suggesting that because my father attended Fordham University (a Jesuit institution), I, too, may try to impose creationism and prayer into the Oyster River curricula. Moreover, the letter's statements fail to acknowledge that the Board does not determine curricula and individual member's power rests with a quorum of the Board voting in a scheduled meeting.
Yesterday, Carl issued a letter to Fosters responding to Barth. Both letters are attached below and may also be found on Carl's web site:
Besides appearing in Fosters, the Barth letter is being shared widely in an apparent attempt to thwart Carl from being elected. As someone who has suffered personally from both slanderous and libelous attacks, I encourage you to support the Piedmont family. Many of us know Carl's youngest two children, Samantha and Al, as well as his wife Amy. Such letters hurt families and loved ones, never mind the broader ramifications this particular letter has on personal freedom of religion. Also, please reflect on the divisiveness such letters can cause in our community.
Please consider doing the following:
  • Sending a short letter to the editor in Fosters expressing your disdain for what was stated in the Barth letter. This may be done via e-mail at:
  • Forwarding this e-mail to friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners to help put an end to such personal attacks in our community
  • E-mailing Carl through his web site to lend your support and encouragement to him and his family
  • Liking Carl Piedmont on his 'Carl Piedmont for School Board' Facebook page
If you are still undecided about the election, I also ask that you consider voting for Carl on Tuesday, March 12. I believe Carl would represent the best interests of children and bring in a fresh perspective. When Carl approached me about running, I was surprised anyone would be up for the task considering the nastiness one must endure. Nevertheless, Carl has the perfect demeanor and personality for the job; he has demonstrated this already by handling the recent situation in a calm and rational manner. To learn more about Carl, visit:
Lastly, without Carl in office, the School Board will be comprised primarily of Board members without children in our District. And I, Megan Turnbull, will be the sole Board member who is neither a doctor or spouse of a doctor.
Diversity of thought, broad community representation, and respect for our differences are all critical to ensure School Board efficacy.
Thank you and I hope you and your families have a great week back from the break.

Well, I don't think there's any doubt that's an endorsement.  And you see where I got the idea to look at Carl's facebook page.

I personally think Megan's characterization of Bob's letter as "fear mongering" is way off base.  As for demeanor, I thought Carl, Megan, and Tom B. have seriously overreacted, replying defensively to perfectly legitimate questions about the candidates beliefs about teaching creationism, etc. in school. Sometimes I think some of the outrage is less than sincere, but who knows?  Bob apologized, something Megan fails to mention.

As someone who shared Bob's letter, I certainly didn't do it to "thwart" Carl.  I honestly don't know which candidates were helped or hurt by posting the letters. I did it because I like it when people read my blog.  I did it because it said on OyC'mon that Carl asked me to post his reply (even though I've never found an email) and it made sense to print Bob's letter for context.  It was already in the newspaper, for pete's sake, which presumably has a bit more of a reach than ORCSDcleanslate.  ORCSDcleanslate was the first and maybe the only place you could read Bob's reply to Carl's reply.  Megan, you have my permission to forward it around.

You know, if you're going to be indignant because "the Barth letter is being shared widely in an apparent attempt to thwart Carl from being elected" the previous sentence of your endorsement of Carl probably shouldn't be "Both letters are attached below."

As for the board not determining curricula, it doesn't until it does.  There're plenty of examples in this country of school boards requiring schools "teach the controversy" or whatever the latest plan is to get hoo-ha taught in biology class.  Something similar went on in the NH State House last session as the Tea Party folks ran amok.  So of course it's a legitimate question whether a candidate is OK with this sort of thing. It's a legitimate question for Megan, whether or not her father went to Fordham (which anyway is a great school, and not a hotbed of the latest in Intelligent Design hooey).

The fact that a board member would need a majority of the board to do this sort of thing is not a reason not to ask the question.  It's a reason to ask the question of all board members and all candidates.  Are we going to stop asking our congressmen their views too?

All Megan could muster about Kenny is we don't need another doctor.   Yes, all that experience treating students and their families, learning about the problems of the community one patient at a time -- what good is that?  And after thirteen years at Oyster River schools his daughter just graduated, so Kenny has no skin in the game, right?   And the fact that he's been to more school board meetings than half the serving board while Carl just went to his first regular board meeting tonight -- never mind.

It occurs to me the seemingly-irrational doctor thing may be about football.  With all those doctors and doctor spouses on the board, football might be a harder sell.  Megan herself appeared to be waffling at the meeting between Krista's motion for full approval and the more modest motion that passed.  It was pretty obviously too soon to approve, but maybe Megan and Krista were thinking it has a better chance now than after the election.

I'm not sure what slanderous and libelous attacks Megan is referring to.  I've pretty much laid off her because I like her and she hasn't been running for anything since I've started paying attention.  But she's stepped into the fray now, so it's probably worth reminding everyone that she was the third amigo with Brackett and Kach.   To avoid libel, I'll just reprint a page from the court documents.

Now that I reread this, I see Megan did not always hold the view that "an individual member's power rests with a quorum of the Board voting in a scheduled meeting."

It's late and I still haven't gotten to the questions for the candidates.  Good night.


  1. "And I, Megan Turnbull, will be the sole Board member who is neither a doctor or spouse of a doctor." Wow. Poor baby.

    By the way. Tom Newkirk is a PhD, Dean, just like you and me. And Tom's wife Beth isn't an MD, last I heard. So is Megan just against school board with members that have advanced degrees or who are married to people with advanced degrees? I don't get this. I don't think you need an advanced degree to be on the school board, but I certainly don't think it would hurt. And in Tom's case, he's an internationally recognized literacy expert. We're lucky we have such a qualified person to serve.

    PS Dean, call your mother, her birthday is on the 13th! And it's not "stalking" if you are married.

    1. Ha. Depends on who's doing the stalking. And "call your mother" belongs on the Yiddish post, along with "put my picture by the phone" and "it's a pleasure to watch you eat."

  2. Love how you two flirt "virtually." There must be a Yiddish phrase for "call your mother". I will call mine and ask...

    I was very disappointed in the meeting last night. I can't believe that the important topics at hand were postponed for 2 hours of discussion about ADDING a new athletic program!!!! And now this is being fast-tracked because there is some kind of arbitrary time pressure to approve of football this year. Why this year? We have so many other big items to work out, and, now this fast-tracking will take important time and resources away from things like the elementary school equalization and tuitioning students which has some real time pressures attached.

  3. Dean - I don't think it was that the question was answered but it was HOW it was stated. Take a look at this comment on the Oy'Vey blog. I can appreciate the debate here going back and forth but the true meaning of the discussion isn't the questions asked. It's the manner in which they were presented in Foster's. Also, I find your "stalking" and digging up Facebook profiles, etc...a bit unprofessional but this is a blog so it is what it is. I would encourage you to at least remove the pictures of families and kids from the Facebook profile. That is taking it too far.

    "I agree that the question of curriculum is one of merit to any candidate for school board. Had the question been raised in a polite manner, I suspect all would have been fine.

    However, I believe Mr. Barth brought scrutiny to his concerns when he stated that while he would "he defend without reservation any individual’s right to believe whatever he/she chooses" he need not "respect or tolerate those beliefs". Religious tolerance is not religious indifference. Tolerance means to value the right of another person to hold beliefs that you may feel are wrong.

    In addition, I believe Mr. Barth brought further scrutiny by his suspicion that Mr. Piedmont's prime motive to run would be to “incorporate their ideation into the curriculum” and that was “a scary thought”. This is contrary to the notion that no nefarious intentions were involved.

    I believe Mr. Piedmont did simply and concisely respond to Mr. Barth’s questions and suspicions. The fact that he found Mr. Barth’s letter as a misrepresentation of his character and a personal attack on his family should come of no surprise. I remember some who found Mr. Kach’s tweets regarding the First Lady to be “personally” offended. Offense is taken personally, whether intended or not. In addition, we seem to be a community that is easily offended.

    I was relieved to read both Mr. Piedmont's response and Mr. Barth's follow up apology to those who took offense. I found both to be respectful and of class. Despite Mr. Piedmont’s response, some folk’s “lawyerly side” still question his intentions. I find all three candidates worthy and commend them for their willingness and commitment to our community."

    1. Dean, I agree with Seth’s comment on pictures of the kids. Yes, people did post the pictures themselves for the entire cyber world to see, but I still don’t think you should do it. Exception being if a candidate, for any position, chooses to make that part of the campaign material.

    2. Done. Thanks for setting me straight.

      I should have written Seth and Stephanie in the photo.

  4. Seth, I actually went to Carl's facebook page to like it so I could get updates. I was surprised and reported what I found. As you can see from my photo, this is Carl's PUBLIC profile. Those little facebook profile pictures everyone has are generally available for anyone on the Internet to see. I can't imagine there's any expectation of privacy about them. If you don't want everyone to see a picture of you with your kids, don't make it your facebook profile photo, or restrict who can see your profile photo. I see nothing wrong with a taking a screen shot of a candidate's public facebook page, especially one that the public is being invited to visit.

    Bob Barth honestly stated the reason why he got concerned: Mr. Piedmont's son's college. He honestly stated what that concern was: that someone might run with the intent to alter the curriculum to suit their faith. I don't see that he accused anyone of anything -- he wanted reassurance that this was not that case. He didn't intend to offend, but when he saw he had he apologized. While I probably would have phrased things differently, I don't see much wrong with how Bob behaved.

    Bob didn't really need any justification to bring up the issue. He could have skipped all the TIU and just asked the question of all the candidates. But I for one appreciate Bob pointing it out, because it helps me vote. It helps everyone vote. We really have very little information about Carl Piedmont to go on, so I don't fault Bob in exploring what little is there.

    1. Dean - fair enough on the Facebook thing. As for the Barth/Piedmont letters, I think everyone has heard enough. The issue is over I feel. Thanks for all the work on this blog.

  5. @Julie, I agree! The elementary school issue is very important. I think this was "fast-tracked" because it was Krista's last meeting, and she really wanted to push it through. She said her kids love football, so she wants them to have it.

    Well, I love my kids' brains (such as they are!), so NOT SO FAST. Their spinal cords are also important to me. When the promoters of this idea were asked by Chairwoman Barth if they had talked to Dr. Paul Butler, who is now nationally famous for his views about head injuries and football, their answer was a fairly brief "no." They don't really want to explore the safety issue, which I think is the #1 issue. I hope that the board invites Dr. Butler, and other medical professionals, to talk to us about the risks our kids will face from football and any other sport that risk concussions before we go any further with this.

    I'm starting to think we need MORE doctors on the school board, not fewer!

    1. Does the board really need to hear this doctor speak? If so, then lets get some captains of industry to come in and tell us about their life stories and how the lessons they learned playing football as kids were instrumental to their life successes, too. Because it seems like we're cherry-picking here to simply support pre-existing viewpoints, and that's not fair to anyone, especially the kids.

      I don't think we need more data like this, but if we do, lets make sure we explore this holistically. Regardless, let's do it fast. It's not fair for the board to use extended filibustering to kill this for the kids.

    2. Well who do want to speak about the safety issue, the Psychic Friends Network?

      We already heard from the people who love to play football and the people who love to watch football. I believe them! If you want to talk about the impact of football on your life prospects, let's get a complete picture of that. That would include what happens to the full range of ex-football players, not just your cherry-picked "captains of industry."

      Dr. Butler played football, he loves football, so he can speak with a certain credibility on this. If you want to know about safety, let's talk to medical experts who can fully address the safety issue.

    3. Heh… Ruth, I was indeed cherry-picking. That was the point of my example (sorry if it wasn't clear). I'm just wondering if we're asking these people to speak so that we can learn from them, or if we're asking them to speak to support our pre-existing viewpoints. The safety issue that's being shoved in here feels 100% like the latter, that's all.

      I don't disagree with you (in fact, I think we're probably pretty close to the same page ;), safety's important. My kid plays football, lacrosse, and hockey. I get the safety issue and it's something we discuss at home all the time. But safety in school sports always has and always will be addressed, and whether or not we have football. This thread is evidence of that.

      And I'm pretty sure you know that, because you're clearly a smart person.

      So... that means this is about something else for you, and near as I can tell that's likely one of two things. Since I'm not one to beat around the bush, I'll just ask:

      Is it that you don't like football and don't want it in our school? If so, that makes perfect sense.

      Or is it that you'd prefer to see Kenneth Rotner elected over Carl Piedmont and football is a key issue separating them? That's OK, too.

      Or is it something else I haven't predicted because I don't know you well-enough to do that?

    4. Just briefly Dave,

      1. We have more important issues than football, and given the safety and cost concerns, I think we should put our efforts elsewhere. But if people want it, they need to show it's safe and not a legal liability first. I am only one person with one vote.
      2. I like to watch football, I even flew to Oxford for an Ole Miss game, but when I look at what happens to football players, I feel pretty bad about it, especially with the news that has been coming out. Not that it's relevant, but I'd rather watch basketball, hockey, or tennis, if I have time to watch anything. But my personal sporting preferences are irrelevant. This is a policy issue, safety and money are #1.
      3. I think Kenny is experienced and dedicated. I don't know much about Mr. Piedmont, but he's only been to one SB meeting. Kenny has been to dozen, and knows the issues. I'm voting for Kenny Rotner and Tom Newkirk. I don't know about their views on football. I don't now whether you have ever seen Tom skate, but it's SCARY how fast he is. He is really impressive, and not just for his age. But I'm not voting for Tom because he is an awesome skater, I'm for him because he knows what he's doing and cares about education. But he is in incredible skater.

    5. THanks for this, Ruth.

      Honestly, I think the safety issue with football (in particular) is something that we as a small town shouldn't waste our time or resources researching. All that research has been done already, and there's nothing we'd be able to do to add to it (or change it). We (or, by proxy, the board members) need to read the research, form a decision, and vote. That's #1.

      As for cost, I think you understand this but for anyone else reading along: the program would be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the district that effectively makes it impossible for anyone at the school to divert funds to the football program. It would *have* to be self-sustaining or by definition (and NHIAA standards) will fail. There is no alternative. So the cost thing is handled, too. Again, no reason to spend our time and effort researching it because that's already been done, too.

      And to answer my own question and be 100% transparent: Until I moved to OR 8 years ago, I didn't even know it was possible to have a high school and NOT have a football team or marching band. I was truly flabbergasted when I got here that we didn't have that. Never even crossed my mind to ask as we were researching "good school areas" to move to. So... when the seeds of this program started 4 years ago, I was ecstatic and followed along with great interest. Now we have this momentum and opportunity to, in my mind, "right a wrong" with our town. And it costs us nothing to test it for 2 years.

      I grew up with the benefits of a football program in our school system, and our team really wasn't that good, to be honest -- they usually lost. But it didn't matter. It became a community event, everyone in town (students and residents alike) would pack the stands, and it brought us all together. I played in the marching band and we did our halftime show (which then gave US momentum to start competing at marching band competitions, which was a blast). In sum, those experiences were fantastic, and I just can't fathom what high school would have been like without them.

      So (and to answer Julie Reece's question below) the rush for me is so that my kids (in 5th and 7th grade) will have that opportunity to experience all those things here. That would be awesome.

  6. Maria said she knows Paul Butler when I commented that we should get Paul Butler at a board meeting to speak (thanks for the suggestion, Ruth).

  7. @ Ruth...then why promote hockey and lacrosse then. Looking at the study, it seems there are more head injuries in hockey than football. Here's the gist - you are making the choice not to have your kids play football. Frankly, I wouldn't let mine play either. However, it should not be our choice if there are members of our community that wish to promote and play this sport. Going on your reasoning, then all contact sports should be forbidden.

    Seems "intolerant" to me.

    1. Seth, I've been thinking about what you say here. The board members shouldn't decide the question as if they were deciding whether their own children can play. But how should they decide? There's presumably a level of danger the board may allow, giving parents the choice to accept it. How should they decide what that level is, and if football falls under it? - Dean

  8. Please take the FB photo down of me and my kids. I admit, it was an oversight on my part to have this in my profile. I have a new profile icon you are free to use. Thank you.

  9. @ Seth, you keep using that word, "intolerant;" I do not think it means what you think it means!

    I think every sport with significant risk of serious injury, particularly head and spinal cord, needs to be looked at. We have more and more evidence that even small concussions are dangerous to our brains. If we have made a mistake by supporting hockey in our schools, that is no reason to go on to support something else similarly dangerous. It would be a reason to at least consider phasing out hockey. But I don't know the particulars. That is why we need expert opinion on this. I'm not that kind of doctor.

    If you want your kid to play a dangerous sport, on your own dime, outside of public schools, I WOULD say that it is your right--to a point. If it exceeds a certain threshold of danger, it is negligence. What is the threshhold? That, I cannot answer on my own. Nothing is totally without risk. But in cases of excessive risk, I could not see it as anything other than child abuse. And I certainly don't want our tax dollars to pay for it, and I don't want to incur the legal liability if we support a sport that is known to cause brain damage. [Why do you think we don't have trampolines in schools any more?] Previous generations may be off the hook because they didn't know better; we will not have that excuse. Football at OR? I'm guessing we'd better lawyer up now.

  10. All of this fear-mongering about football comes across as insincere to me. We allow hockey and soccer and music in our high school. Should we stop those? I mean, the first two have significant injury risks, the latter, well, some musicians do drugs, and if the kids stick with music for the rest of their lives they're bound to encounter (well-respected) peers and mentors who offer them such things. Is that a reason to stop those? Our kids are going to be exposed to a lot of dangers. Let's let them learn about some of those while still under the tutelage of us parents, please.

    Seems to me, reading between the lines if I may (and I grant myself permission, thank you) is that there's some level of, "oh my goodness we don't want to promote yet another activity where kids will learn that they can do something and be a WINNER which therefore means that another kid has to be the LOSER." Is that what the opposition to football really is? If so, then lets just say that, shall we? It's OK to have that viewpoint, and then at least we can debate it transparently instead of coming up with all these other opposition points instead.

    Kids who want to play football will play it (with parents permission), even if that means going somewhere else to do so. And clearly a lot of kids here in ORCSD do want to play it and already play it. They showed up with hat in hand and money in pocket asking the school to let them do it here so that the kids can play against teams of other schools. The reason to fast-track it? The program has been building steam for 4 years and has great momentum. Lets do it now and let the experiment happen. If it fails, we kill it in 2 years and we're done, safe in the knowledge that we tried (with no cost to the taxpayers!) and we failed. And that's a lesson in and of itself. Better to try and fail than...

    1. Very well said. These kids deserve the chance to play. But here we are again with a small faction of the community running the show.

    2. Dave's arguments are terrible!

      1. I think we can call your first one "Safety, Schmafety." Everything's dangerous! So let's not split hairs over what causes traumatic brain injury and what causes, say, Achilles Tendinitis. Do I need to tell you why this is a bad argument, Dave?

      2. The second one is the "Secret Agenda Argument," AKA, "I Know What You're REALLY Thinking!" It's whatever Dave says you are thinking. Really? What "lines" are you reading between? Many of us who are concerned about safety are competitive athletes. We compete to win. As captain of my track and cross country teams and Most Valuable Runner every single year in HS, I loved to compete. I liked to win, and I liked it even more when my team won. I can't speak for everyone, but when I say I am concerned about safety, that's what I'm concerned about. Perhaps you can identify the people with the "secret agenda"?

      If you don't have any evidence that safety concerns are simply a smokescreen for an aversion to competition, then you are simply MAKING THINGS UP. You can grant yourself permission to BS if you want to (and then let your left hand give your right hand $5!), but it's still ridiculous. EPIC FAIL.

      3. The "Kids Will Do It Anyway, So Let's Help Them" argument is really bad! Why not hand out packs of Lucky Strikes? Kids will smoke anyway, so why not organize it for them? Perhaps you, as did I, went to a High School with a "Smoking Patio." (My High School was basically the HS in "Freaks and Geeks.") What an awful idea! Even as a rebellious teenager, I thought, "What the hell is wrong with the adults? Are inmates running the asylum?" (ANSWER: YES.)

      Anyway, if it's a safe sport and it teaches kids important skills and habits, then of course we should consider sponsoring it, once other issues like cost are addressed. But that just ignores the elephant in the room: IS IT SAFE?

    3. Ruth, you provide authoritative assessment of Dave's points, then counter "terrible arguments" with a rhetorical question like, "IS IT SAFE?" Hardly an EPIC PASS.

      What is safe? Is riding the bus to school safe? Not if you die in an accident. Is chomping on a Dunkin Donut munchkin safe? Not if it lodges in your throat and chokes you to death. How did you ever navigate the dangers of childbirth? I suspect it was an issue of risk vs. reward for you. Or do you not consider such things when YOU want something?

      Doesn't your husband have some "geeky math" he can use, i.e. MILLION HRS INJURY FREE PLAY[FUN + COMMUNITY + SPIRIT + COMRADERIE + ETC.] / HEAD TRAUMA to show the rewards of football far outweigh the risks? I think it would be a simple call for you to ask someone at the UNH athletic department how safe contact sports are. Any concerns beyond that amount to obstructionism.

      If your concern is about money, I'm with you there. Let's consolidate classrooms (which in my humble opinion wouldn't effect the educational outcomes of the students one iota) save us all millions of dollars, build an athletic field, line up the kids, and hike the ball.

    4. Dude, I stopped trying after this became the "Ruth Sample Advocates Teaching Kids to Smoke Instead of Play Football" thread, something I'm sure she doesn't believe yet she threw it out there anyway. There's not a logical discussion to be had here, unfortunately, just obstructionism, as you noted, and it really pisses me off how political this has become (for no good reason). I'm furious that Ruth is pushing this as the issue du jour and fighting against something that she and her kids don't ever have to do -- there's no mandatory football participation clause! So... I've decided my time is better spent doing other things in support of the program. And now... I fly off for a week of music in Austin at SXSW!

    5. Congrats Ruth - your rude and obstructive viewpoints while somewhat valid have left a bitter taste for those more open to debate and discussion. Stick to the points. Dave's points are not terrible, they are valid and backed up with facts. I don't understand the attitude of "I have all the answers and no one else's viewpoints are important and worth listening to!"

  11. Plus, how cool would it be to head over to Cowell Stadium on a fall Friday night under those lights and see our kids play? That's pretty awesome if you ask me. :)

  12. For me, this is a question of limited resources, and I can't believe the board is considering adding any program when there is so much uncertainty. I think they, or we as a community, need to figure out what our plan is with respect to our projected declining enrollments. We may also want to wait to find out what we may be required to add due to Common Core (all day Kindergarten? more and better computers?). I am very skeptical of the self-funding aspect of the proposed football program. I am interested to see the AD's report on that. Also, what happens in a few years when the passionate and energetic football parents are gone? The district will be ask to support all or at least some of the football bill, so what would the cost be and how would that affect other sports and other programs? There are a lot of things I would like to see for the kids and that they deserve... how about K-12 foreign language education-- are you tired of hearing me say that yet?-- OK, then how about a track?, how about more music at the ORHS?

  13. You raise important questions, Julie, and I encourage you to watch the video of the ORCSD board meeting the other night. A lot of the uncertainty you bring up is answered there. Specifically about the future of the funding, the way this would work is that a Memorandum of Understanding would be put in place that the program would definitively fund itself. That becomes part of the core foundation, and cannot change unless the town changes their entire stance and offers to do so. It wouldn't be up to the AD or anyone at the school, it would have to be changed and (re-)approved by the board, so we taxpayers are safe in that regard.

    As for more music at ORHS, now you're talking my language. I never played sports, but I've been a drummer since middle school (and still play today). It *kills* me that we don't have more music at the high school, and honestly a big part of my personal "secret agenda" for wanting football there is that then creates the gravity we would need to get a marching band going. That gets more kids involved with music and in turn creates a larger concert band, orchestra, etc. The benefit to the community of having football at the highschool is huge, and whether or not my son chooses to play (or we let him play) when he gets there is immaterial to my desire to see it at least *offered* to the kids at the school. And to be able to test ALL of this with no cost to us as taxpayers... man, let 'er rip!

  14. I saw the presentation on Wednesday night. I understand the framework, however, I also understand that 5 years down the road, we have a football program and the expectation of a football program. If the new football booster club doesn't want the burden of funding the entire program, I see them asking the board and it being very difficult of impossible to say "no" and then eliminate what is now a vested program at the ORHS. That is why, I want more information, and frankly, I want it from the AD. The info provided at the board was from the group that supports the program, so it does need to be looked at with some objectivity and with weighing other programming initiatives and obligations over the next several years. And, I really don't see what the rush is.

  15. Check out the photo I added to the top of the post.

    1. Why was there a keg at practice?

    2. HELLO, you were NINE! Did you photoshop that in?

    3. No photoshop. Maybe that's how they carried water in the old, pre-plastic everywhere days.

    4. Dude, you're totally right! Let's ban plastic from being used to carry water in all of our school sports. That stuff's left out in the sun and the plastic will leech into the water and poison our kids!

      :) Sorry, I couldn't resist. I don't actually want to do that but it just seemed like too much fun. Plus, blog comments are supposed to just be an asynchronous verbal jam session anyway, right? And we're supposed to revisit themes to keep the circle going? ;)

    5. Oh, man! The thing though my < / s n a r k > was an HTML tag and filtered it out. That was the best part of the post! ;)