Democratic candidate for mayor attacks Boughton's economic failures
Time: 1:48 PM
For more information on the man who wants to give Boughton his pink slip, visit Goncalves' website.
Danbury Live 06.13.09 broadcast
Time: 8:59 PM
Remember, you can now watch all the episodes of Danbury live at the show's official blog.
Minuteman leader accused in double homicide has ties to FAIR
Time: 7:25 PM
Accused double murderer Shawna Forde has ties to one of John Tanton's anti-immigrant organizations!?! Wow, I'm shocked that a member of an anti-immigrant group can have so much hate in her heart for Latinos...
Those upstanding nativists and xenophobes employed by the John Tanton Network -- and particularly the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which was designated a hate group by the SPLC awhile back -- have been complaining vigorously about how unfairly they are being treated. Why, they have nothing to do with the manifest racism swirling around the immigration debate -- so they claim.
But the recent arrest of Minuteman offshoot leader Shawna Forde for the murder of an Arizona man and his 9-year-old daughter -- part of a broader plan to rob drug dealers and use the money to finance their Minuteman operations -- has ripped the veneer off the fake walls these nativists use to pretend that they have nothing to do with the racists who seem to swell their ranks as though they belonged there naturally. (Funny thing, that.)
Back in 2006, you see, Forde appeared at a public "town hall" forum on immigration in Yakima, Wash., a central-Washington city whose main economy is agricultural, particularly apple orchards. As Jackie Mahendra at America's Voice notes, she was presented as a "spokesperson for FAIR" as well as the Minutemen.
As you can see from the video above, Forde was outrageously incendiary, accusing immigrants of bringing crime and disease to the state and costing taxpayers in health-care costs, particularly for their "anchor babies."
At one point, host Enrique Cerna asked Forde:
Cerna: Shawna, let me ask you about the issue of economics. You've heard constraints from growers, you know, that the apple harvest is very important in this state, particularly in this region. What do you say to the growers?
Forde: We've got a prison system. Let's utilize it.
She later wrapped up with this:
Forde: I'd like to see two things on there. Not just about the people who came here legally, and are here legally, but how about the Americans who have been affected and died because of the illegal invasion in our country? How about our sovereignty?
And securing our borders and protecting our nation is extremely important. And I know the Minutemen and many organizations will not stop -- we will start at the local level and work our way up -- we will not stop until we get the results that we need to have.
Anyone who has followed the insanity of Forde are not surprised with her being involved with a vicious double murder of two Latinos...if anything, this horrible event just reinforces what I've been saying about the xenophobic movement in this area.
...what happened in Arizona could happen in Danbury.
Right-wing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
Department of Homeland Security report on the rise of right-wing extremism, April 2009.
Group claims Danbury high school graduation rate are overstated
Time: 3:52 PM
The analysis, based on a comparison of graduation figures by the Connecticut State Department of Education and Education Week’s Diplomas Count project (an independent group), shows a gaps of up to 39 percent between the two reports.
ConnCAN's press release explains things...
The most accurate way to determine graduation rates is to track students on an individual level over a four-year period using a longitudinal database system to assess how many students actually receive a standard high school diploma. The Connecticut State Department of Education bases graduation rates on an older, less accurate methodology that relies on students to declare that they are dropping out and on districts to fully report these dropouts. The Diplomas Count methodology is the closest estimation possible without a longitudinal data system.
The Diplomas Count project provides the most accurate rates possible today by capturing the four steps to graduation: three grade‐to‐grade promotions (9th to 10th, 10th to 11th, and 11th to 12th) and receiving a diploma. However, because Diplomas Count does not have access to longitudinal data for individual students, this method is limited because it cannot distinguish between students who drop out and those who transfer to a private or out-of-district school. This study is based on 2006 data, the most recent year available for this project.
In 2007, the state legislature allocated $6.4 million over two years for the Connecticut State Department of Education to build a longitudinal data system with the capability to develop graduation rates on a cohort basis – such as used in the Diplomas Count study. In the past, the department has indicated that its goal is to have such a system up and running by 2010, five years after Governor Rell first committed the state to implementing this system in July 2005 when she signed a compact with the National Governors Association.
“Our hope is that this analysis boosts the effort to more accurately measure Connecticut’s graduation rates,” said ConnCAN Chief Executive Officer Alex Johnston. “We can’t fix Connecticut public education until we know what is broken, and we won’t know what’s broken until we measure it correctly.”
I know what you're asking...how did Danbury High School rate in the report. Well, the results aren't that great.
As you can see, the graduation figures from the State Dept of Ed's less accurate methodology shows Danbury with a graduation rate of 89.5 percent while the report from the independent Education Week’s Diplomas Count project has the rate at 68.5 percent.
With Danbury having such a large graduation gap between the two reports, you can see ConnCAN's point when it comes to the need for the state to implement a longitudinal database system so we can track graduation rates more accurately.
HatCityBLOG VIDEO: Board of Education meeting highlights
Time: 2:00 PM
Here's some highlights from Wednesday night's meeting of the Board of Education. This will be an developing post which will eventually include video of the entire meeting...I'm still processing the video.
During Wednesday night's Board of Education meeting, it became crystal clear that the controversy regarding the trip to Arizona, as well as the deteriorating relationship between the board and the Common Council, was paramount on people's minds...both those on the board and some in attendance.
With that in mind, here's a recap of some of the noteworthy items that happened (in public) at the meeting.
Principal search advances
Since there was no mention or the Arizona fiasco during the portion of the meeting which was public, it was fairly logical to assume that discussion on the controversy would happen behind closed doors. Myself and Danbury Live's John Neumiller hung around while the board debated behind closed doors for over 2 hours...and once the meeting was open to the public again, a couple of surprising developments happened.
1. The Board added to the agenda a motion to allow the school superintendent to begin negotiating a contract with the prospective candidates(s) selected to fill the principal position at the high school. The one person who voted in opposition to the motion was Democrat Joan Hodge.
2. The second vote was "a motion to approve the individuals as identified by Superintendent Pascarella for administrative positions," which was approved unanimously.
Here's the video clip of the votes (portion of the reading of the first vote was missed.
Voicing displeasure with the principal search process
One item that really got on the nerve of members of the board was the criticism over the principal search.
As I stated in an earlier post, the board has in place a policy where "expression of personal complaints or defamatory comments about the Board of Education personnel and students, nor against any person connected with the Danbury Public School System." With that in mind, when the individual in the video clip stated her displeasure with the search process, although not seen in the video BUT clearly noticed by those in attendance was the look of displeasure on the faces of Chairwoman Susan Podhajski and School Superintendent Sal Pascarella.
It's unclear why the individual was allowed to make this statement and as myself and others who were videotaping the meeting viewed, at one point, it did seem like she was going to be asked to refrain from making further criticism. Based on her initial comment, it did seem like she was a member of the school system (I'll get more info on her later).
Public speak out against budget cuts
While people are still fuming over the school board's site visit to Arizona, lost in the translation is another topic that's on the minds of many parents in Danbury; The city's budget.
With talk of staff reductions at various schools, during the public speaking portion of the Board of Education meeting, a concerned King Street School parent voice her displeasure with the proposed cuts to her children's school.
You can be sure the topic of education and the city's budget will be a big campaign issue as Danbury's municipal election season gets underway.
Another shameless plug
Time: 1:35 PM
Bethel Watch is a local access show on Comcast which is the equivalent of Danbury Live...for the exception that it catches local officials doing the strangest things.
Case in point, watch this episode that came on last week regarding so-called changes to the Library Board's by-laws:
After watching that episode, I wonder why people weren't videotaping the meetings in Bethel earlier...
Watch Bethel Watch Monday's at 8PM on Comcast 23.
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