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Opinion 1999 to 2001
Letters To The Editor

Don't Wait Till Itís Too Late
Civic Leader Speaks Out
July 21, 2001

43 Year Village Resident Asks
Has Anybody Seen Our Cat?
July 18, 2001
Look At The Real Statistics
Building Department Not Doing Enough March 16, 2001
Nazi-like Gestapo Tactics Deplored February 24, 2001
We Need A Change February 24, 2001
Vanishing Breed ē A Resident PO Speaks Out February 2, 2001
Finally, Reassessment March 21, 2000
Restoring Cuts March 26, 2000
We Must Get Our Schools Going Again March 24, 2000
A Parent Speaks Out ē Surprised ?! March 20, 2000
Baby Needs Bone Marrow Transplant ē March 5, 2000
A Student Speaks February 20, 2000
School Board Coverage October 30, 1999

Ebenezer Scrooge ē A candidate for sainthood
January 4, 2002

(Hand delivered early in December and addressed to Mayor Glacken, Freeport's mayor decided to ignore yet another resident. Mr. Goldstein told FNYN, "Even had he disagreed, some acknowledgment would have been in order. I've never had a politician ignore one of my letters before.")

Dear Mayor Glacken:

I am a New York City schoolteacher. In addition, I teach at Queens College and often do extra work on weekends. I have a daughter who goes to kindergarten at Columbus Avenue School, with whom I try to spend as much time as possible. Iím sure youíll understand when I tell you that Iím busier than Iíd like to be.

Last week, I received a nasty, threatening note from Vilma Lancaster (Village Treasurer -ed.) informing me of the demeaning treatment I would receive if my taxes were not paid within one week. The Village would publish my name in a local paper, charge me fees and put a lien on my home. I was particularly upset by this because I always pay my mortgage on time.

I spent hours last week trying to contact my mortgage holder, Municipal Credit Union (MCU). I tried e-mailing, phoning, waiting 30 minutes at a time on hold, but could not get through. I was very upset. By yesterday, it was interfering with my work, and I was making calls when I should have been with my students.

Yesterday, the school switchboard operator found me a number that connected me to a live person at MCU. Imagine my surprise when he told me the offices of MCU Real Property were at Ground Zero and that every town in the State of NY, except Freeport, had granted extensions and waived late fees.

I distinctly remember Governor Pataki requesting municipalities to comply with such requests and Mr. Hall from the Credit Union told me his company had filled out many forms for that very purpose.

I saw and tried to console students wondering whether they had families to go home to on September 11th. The horror of that day lives with us all. The disgraceful and grotesque insensitivity of the Village Government in response to this disaster boggles the mind. The more I think about it, the more disgusted I get. Thatís why Iím up an hour early this morning writing you.

Can you imagine elderly Freeport residents worrying about having their names falsely published as delinquent homeowners? In place of our names, why doesnít Ms. Lancaster publish a letter of apology to those to whom she sent this letter? And why doesnít she send a hard copy to everyone who received a letter like mine? And why donít you immediately put a halt to this nasty, draconian, and unusual practice of threatening Freeportís residents with public humiliation for slightly late tax payments? They put away the stocks years ago, you know.

Freeport makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a candidate for sainthood.

Arthur Goldstein
Freeport NY

They Are All Our Children
January 4, 2002

My heart is in despair as I think about the condition of the school district and how it affects my children. I attended a board meeting where everyone seemed to have his or her own agenda. But I ask, whose agenda do our children fall under?

The superintendent states that he has the best interest of our children at heart. The board meeting suggested otherwise. We have people that sit on the board, making decisions regarding our children, but send their own children to private school.

Oh yes, let's not forget about the state! They pretend not to know what is going on in our school district, but they would have to be deaf and blind in order to miss it. The Commissioner of Education as well as the Regents Board sits by while our children suffer.

Every politician I talk to politely explains how they can't help me and maybe I should try writing or calling someone else. I have emailed, faxed, mailed and called every politician I could think of, from the President of the United States, down to our assembly representative. Everyone has a suggestion or a new bill, but none of the people who are supposed to watch over and protect us have a definite solution.

As a parent whom do I turn too? I get so frustrated I could scream, but I think of my babies, take a deep breath and start my writing campaign all over again. I think someone will listen eventually they will hear my pleas and cries for help.

Help us help our children!

Janie Martin
Roosevelt, NY

Don't Wait Till Itís Too Late
Civic Leader Speaks Out

July 21, 2001

While our neighborhood is being taken over by drug dealers, drug users and
gangs, Mayor Glacken is planning the "Taj Mahal" of giant water slides. He bonded hundreds of thousands for parking lots and attempted to demolish our community swimming pools. This "Giant Water Slide" will probably bring 200 to 500 more people into the Freeport Recreational Center swimming area. How do you feel about sharing your pool time, pool space and parking space at the Recreational center with 200 to 500 more people? Most of them will probably be from outside of Freeport. This will require thousands of your tax dollars to build, thousands of your tax dollars to staff, thousands of your dollars to maintain and thousands of your tax dollars for policing. How much of a tax increase is it going to cost to build this Trojan Horse?

We need drug busting, gang busting police services, not the Taj Mahal of water slides. We need well staffed programs and better policing of our neighborhoods. Where are the drug dealers and gangs going to go after they overrun the neglected neighborhoods in Northeast Freeport? They are going to come to your neighborhood and get your children. Don't wait until it's too late! Help protect and improve our neighborhood and it will help and protect yours.

Come to the next village Trustee Meeting, Monday, July 23, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. Tell the Mayor and the Trustees to "clean up and clean out" drug dealers and gangs in northeast Freeport. Tell the Mayor and the Trustees to stop herding drug dealers and gangs into northeast Freeport and letting them flourish.

Bernard Smith (pictured)
President - Northeast Civic Association
Freeport, NY


43 Year Village Resident Asks
Has Anybody Seen Our Cat?

July 18, 2001

Recently, we received a phone message on our answering machine from the Village of Freeport, telling us that we were in violation of an ordinance. I did not hear it myself, but upon my return, my fiancťe informed me of its content. It was from the Code Enforcement Department and the person politely informed us that we had to remove the some 8Ĺ x 11 inch posters we put up on several already staple ridden utility poles in our neighborhood. The posters were a request for information that we hoped would enlighten us as to the whereabouts of our beloved cat, that had been missing for four days. I applaud you for your feeble efforts to make Freeport a safer and better place to live!

What about the ordinances, if there are any, that govern the loud music that emanates from the Woodcleft Avenue drunk tank establishments every weekend? What about ordinances that prohibit the use of motor vehicles with loud mufflers or no mufflers at all? The ordinance that prohibits constantly barking dogs no matter what the hour? An ordinance that requires the use of rakes instead of noise polluting lawn and leaf blowers that permeate the air with dust, pollen, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and microscopic particles of dried up animal feces?

How about the ordinances that are supposed to keep dangerous feral dogs from roaming our streets and yards? Or "open-sea" worthy horns that blast private citizens from there living rooms along our waterfront? Double parked school buses picking up charter fishermen on Guy Lombardo Avenue? The constant disregard of stop signs that are occasionally, at best, monitored by police that openly park their marked cars at the intersections in question? Kids that walk down the middle of a side street and give you the high sign if you toot your horn to warn them of your approach?

And then there are the over-occupancy ordinances? A half dozen vehicles parked overnight in front of a single family house should tell you something, no? Forget it! From what Iíve been told, an inspector canít enter the house in question unless itís during or after the house is on fire!

I could continue this list until the cows come home. (Ironically thereís an ordinance that prohibits the keeping of cows in Freeport) However, I am sure that the longer the list gets, the less the chances of it being displayed to the public. Regardless, someone has the unmitigated and heartless gall to prevent a family from trying to recover its cherished lost pet!


Jeff Keene (43 year village resident)
Freeport, NY

The Village Responds

Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2001 11:52 AM
Subject: cat poster
Mr. Keene,
Your e-mail has been forwarded to me. I on behalf of the Village Building Department I apologize for the call that you received from this office in regards to above subject.
Obviously the inspector who made the call did not use discretion. Please understand that signs on poles are a violation ( usually for garage sales) for which we receive many complaints, but in no case would I authorize the inspector to ask that a missing animal poster be removed unless deteriorated. If you wish put the posters back up and keep me informed as to your progress. I do hope you are successful in finding your cat.
There are ordinances in place for noise. Call the police department when the situation arises.
As far as over/occupancy that is my department. We have been quite successful in combating illegal housing. I do know we have a long way to go. If you have any leads on illegal housing you can call our anonymous hotline or contact me. All information will remain confidential.
The hotline number is 377- 2230.
If you have any other question please feel free to call.

(Mr. Madigan's response is unedited - Ed.)


Look At The Real Statistics
April 23, 2001

The Freeport School District and certain members of the Board of Education are misrepresenting the facts. It must stop! As residents, as well as parents, we deserve to hear the truth. For months the district has been boasting that 63% of the 1999/2000 graduating class received Regents diplomas. At the March 28, 2001 Board of Education meeting, the district report card was presented. Once again, the administration failed to tell the audience that the percentage was calculated using the number of students that did graduate, rather than the number that should have graduated.

Letís look at the whole picture. Six-hundred and thirty children were ninth graders in 1996/1997. They were the graduating class of 1999/2000. By tenth grade, 533 remained. By the eleventh grade 504 and by twelfth grade 418 were left. Of those 418 students, only 327 graduated, with only 206 receiving a Regents diploma. What happened to the other 303 children that began in ninth grade? Remember, in 96/97, six-hundred and thirty children began their high school career in Freeport. Why did the district conveniently forget about them?

A look at the real statistics reveals the numbers that the district doesnít want to talk about. The senior class of 1999/2000 began the year with 418 students. The math reveals a dismal picture. Based on the more realistic calculation of seniors beginning the year and those graduating with Regents diplomas, the senior class Regents diploma rate is 49%. Based on the graduating rate of the cohorts (those that began in 9th grade) the regents diploma rate is a dismal 33%.

In the April 5th edition of the Leader, the official newspaper of both the school district and the village, the whole picture was not reported. The Leader reported that at recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Dante Grover, former School Board President said, "Freeport School taxes have had no increase in five years." The truth is that in the last five years, not including this year, school taxes have increased every year except for two. Going back seven years, the tax increases were nothing short of phenomenal. This year, the district is presenting three budget scenarios, with tax increases ranging from 9.92% to 12%.

Isnít it time to stop shopping around to find a school district whose statistics are worse than ours? At the same Chamber Of Commerce luncheon, Grover claimed that the high school showed a 6% increase in the drop out rate. This is frightening and totally unacceptable. School districts have known for years of the new Regents requirements. Itís time the district stopped wasting time finding excuses and began finding answers, the right answers. Our children need to stay in school, graduate and have a future. The Leader, the District, and the residents should be looking at the whole picture.

Stephanie Cieslik
Freeport, NY 11520

Ms. Cieslik is the former Co-president of the Freeport H.S. PTA -- ed.


Building Department Not Doing Enough
March 16, 2001

I believe in the American right of free speech. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, no matter how silly or inflammatory. I believe that a responsible person reporting news of any kind ought to check the facts before printing their story. I feel that printing a letter from someone who is making strong allegations, without checking "facts" is sophomoric and irresponsible. I am referring to your recent article about the building department and a letter written by someone named Patrick Hoey.

Mr. Hoey wrote that the person came on a Sunday, out of the blue, flashed an ID card and then barged right into the house. The Building Department does not work on Sundays unless they are specifically called out by the Police Department or sometimes the Fire Department. The inspector will not come in unless the officers are inside the premises, where they are authorized to show the Inspector any violations that are observed.

This person is either outright lying or simply neglecting that the police or fire department were already there and observed violations, which necessitated the building department's presence. Maybe you should check these agency's records. You may be surprised.

Mr. Hoey said the inspector flashed an ID card. Check the facts. The Building Dept. uses badges, not ID cards.

Mr. Lilker, did you ask to hear the tapes of the alleged incident? No? You mean the resident didn't audiotape the incident? Well, the Building Department did. Why don't you ask to hear them? You won't, though, because the tapes will prove that whoever wrote that sham letter is a liar. The same thing goes for alleged photos of children in their jammies. Inflammatory propaganda, which is easily disproved by the Building Department's photos.

The author of that ridiculous letter, in his silly summation, called upon the federal government to review the Building Department. Well, I call on the Feds to impose severe fines on all home/apartment owners who blatantly disregard building codes and who prey upon immigrants, illegal or not, and have them living in dangerous, overcrowded, deplorable and illegal conditions. These are the bad guys, not the Building Department.

I think you would find, that if you bothered to let the Building Department have their say, that they would prove that any contact they had with a property owner named Hoey, or any property owner for that matter, was strictly within legal guidelines. You would find that tenants gave the inspectors permission to inspect. The tapes prove this. You would find there are statements admitting illegal rental payments. You would also find that there is evidence supporting the Building Inspectors charges, such as toilet paper in every room, separate refrigerators and hot plates in every room. These are all indicative of illegal and unsafe rentals. Tickets are not "thrown out for frivolous reasons"... they are plead down.

I am a lifelong Freeport resident. I am Hispanic and I vote. I say the Building Department isn't doing enough!

What's it going to take for you to see that the Building Department is doing what is necessary? The death of an immigrant in a dangerous illegal apartment?

Please don't take this letter as a personal attack upon you. I simply believe in checking facts before you click that "send" button. Otherwise, have a great day, and thanks for the highly entertaining FreeportNYNews.com.

James Sumner
Freeport, NY 11520


Nazi-like Gestapo Tactics Deplored
February 24, 2001

My wife and I, property owners in Freeport, wish to thank you for your role in the recent meetings concerning the villageís attitude toward Spanish residents of the community. We offer you any material assistance you may require in rallying community support for your efforts, including a vast network of resident families and friends.

Recently, relatives of my wifeís family had a frightening experience with the Freeport housing inspectors. Our property in Freeport had all the required permits, which makes this incident all the more troubling.

This past autumn, late on a Sunday evening (the Lordís Day in this Christian household), with their children about to climb into bed, someone showed up at the door, claiming to be investigating a gas leak. The person quickly flashed an identification card and without authorization from the property owner, or permission from the tenants, entered the home. The inspector then took out a camera and began taking photographs. Some of these photos were of children in their pajamas. My wifeís relatives, terrified, stood speechless as the inspector opened doors and roamed around the house at will. One hour later, the inspector departed, leaving behind a shaken and upset collection of legally residing tenants. Shortly thereafter, we were assessed $17,000 in fines, many of which were ultimately deemed frivolous and thrown out of court. To conclude the matter, we paid a $500 fine ó leaving that much less available to improve the property.

We deplore the Nazi-like Gestapo tactics of the Village of Freeport Housing Department. We deplore the unauthorized invasion of homes on the day of the Christian Sabbath and at all hours of the day or night. We deplore the Villageís policy of taking unauthorized photographs of children in their beds and the disruption of the lives of peaceful residents. We call upon the Federal Government to solicit and review the hundreds of complaints about the tactics and methods of this out of control public agency.

Patrick and Silvia Hoey
Bellmore NY

We Need A Change
February 24, 2001

There are major academic performance problems in the Freeport school district. These problems affect 7000 children. The news is not good. I have recently reviewed the results of the Freeport Summer School, the results of which can be found in a report called Freeport Summer High School 2000. The results are a disgrace. In the Math A Regents, eighty eight students took the exam and eight passed the regents. In Sequential Math 3, thirty seven took the exam and ten passed. The US History & Government regents showed one hundred and eighteen taking the exam, with a disheartening sixteen passing.

The Regents Competency Test (RCT) where the requirements are less stringent than those of the Regents were also disappointing, with the highest passing percentage at fifty seven percent. Moving past the Regents Exams and RCTs, the results were even more disappointing for the less taxing tests. In English 11, eighty nine students took the course and only thirty passed. In Math Level 8, seventy one took the course and only eighteen passed. This is a disgrace. The students that need help the most are not getting it and the result is obvious -- too many are failing. The Board of Education is letting these students and their families down.

In the grade schools, I found the results to be even more disturbing. In 4th Grade Math, out of a total of fifty three school districts in Nassau County, the Freeport School District has the lowest "mean score" of all districts. No district is lower. And in the Jr. High School, the 8th Grade Math Scores show that only one district that has a lower "mean score" than Freeport, putting Freeport right next to the bottom in that category.

We need a change on our Board of Education. There are two seats coming up for election, those of incumbents Albert Renken and Dante Grover. We need to elect two new people who will put our children first. Board members who will tell us all the truth, whether the news is good or bad. If you're not registered to vote, the last day to do so is May 2nd, but don't wait until the last minute. Finally, remember to vote on May 15th.

Bruce Lloyd
Freeport NY

Vanishing Breed ē A Resident Police Officer Speaks Out
February 12, 2000

Mr. Lilker, regarding your article, "Mayor Glacken Can Run But He Can't Hide," in which you mention that there are two Spanish-speaking officers in the department, for your information, the Freeport Police Dept has 6 officers I know are fluent in Spanish. Also, there are at least 4 (maybe many more) who speak well enough to get by in a crisis situation.

Although I enjoy reading your column and find it hysterical at times, I feel the need to correct you this time. Please get your facts straight before criticizing those who gladly would put their lives on the line to protect your family and yes -- even you. Don't forget, if you're in trouble and want the Freeport Police to respond, dial 911. If you want the county to respond, dial 573-7000 and hope for the best.

After discussing your bias-reporting and the contents of your propaganda column with other Freeport residents, as well as with Freeport Police Officers, we have all come to the conclusion that you should definitely run for Mayor. We think that because you know everything and have all the answers, that you would surely win by a landslide and clean up all the problems that Freeport faces for the present, as well as the future.

I will continue reading your column, as I find it more entertaining than the comics. I also wish you the best of luck in whatever you do and hope that one day you are compelled to sell your tackle store and move to a different municipality, somewhere where the police and the Mayor really do suck.

James Germanakos
Freeport NY, February 2, 2001

(At the December budget workshop, Chief Woodward stated there were "five bilingual police officers" on the force. He also said, "We have made job offers to those who were bilingual. One resigned in the academy, the others did not pass through civil service certification." The editor thanks Mr. Germanakos for pointing out our typographical error. - ed.)

Finally, Reassessment 

To the Editor:

On April 27, 2000 the legislature, caught between a lawsuit and the threat of Nassauís bond rating being downgraded to junk, supported a consent decree to change the existing assessment system and reassess all residential properties at fair market value by January 1, 2003. After sixty-two years of resisting changes to Nassauís antiquated property assessment system, the County Legislature moved forward with a bipartisan vote of 14 to 4. The nine Democrats and five Republicans finally agreed to start down the road to reassessesment, proving in some cases how courageous they can be. For some Democrats, this vote buys with it instant political headaches, as some districts will see tax increases. For the Republicans who broke ranks, it could mean big trouble come next election from anti-assessment legislative candidates

On the day of this historic vote all sides had their say. Fearful homeowners against re-assessment let their feelings be known, claiming it was unfair to reassess and their taxes could go up 20% to 300%. Proponent homeowners exhibited a long anticipated breath of tax relief. Nassau must now implement and have in place a new residential assessment system based on full market value and reassess all residential property by January 1, 2003. Charles OíShea, Chairman of the Board of Assessors for Nassau County, went on record stating that "Senior Citizen and Star Program exemption entitlements will not be effected." Mr. OíShea further said, "The earliest reassessment would have an effect on tax bills would be January 2004."

Battle lines are forming. Republicans are being blamed for Nassauís debt and junk bond status, while Democrats are being blamed for Nassauís passage of reassessment. Opponents and proponents are banding together. Reassessment will be a very difficult task. Some homeowners will pay less, some will not change and some, who have not paid there fair share for years, will pay more. With Nassau legislative district elections coming up in November 2001, we are going to be subjected to all kinds of vicious character attacks, mudslinging and grandstanding.

The Nassau County Legislature has finally moved to fix a scandalous assessment system scheme that has demanded the poorest homeowner subsidize the richest. This will bring fairness to a system that has forced thousands of home owners to pay billions of dollars too much. The fourteen legislators, who voted for a change, should be congratulated and commended for taking a courageous giant step forward.

Robert W. Zilinsky
Baldwin NY, March 31, 2000

Restoring Cuts

To the Editor.

Since taking office in January, my fellow legislative colleagues and I have been forced to take a hard look at the Countyís fiscal situation and make some tough decisions. While we favor cuts over taxes, the Legislature has always looked to make cuts that would have as little impact on the community as possible.

Over the past few months, concerned voters have flooded my office with their opposition to the steep cuts in County bus service initiated by County Executive Tom Gulotta. The hardship this will cause to our community is truly devastating. These cuts will slash an already under funded but vital service to the South Shore. Residents, including those with disabilities, depend on public bus service to get to work each day. For many there is no other alternative available.

The State Assembly has allocated 15 Million dollars to Nassau County to help restore some money to MTA and social service agencies. But that money hinges on the passage of a fiscal oversight board for the County The Assembly has already signed off on an oversight board, and I am urging our State Senators to follow suit.

On March 28. the M TA will be holding hearings at 4 p.m. at the Nassau County Medical Center to discuss the cuts. I encourage anyone to come down and help me voice opposition to the cuts in service. In addition, I urge you to write to the County Executive in support of restoring these cuts

My fellow legislators and I are working hard toward solutions that do not place the needs of our residents in jeopardy because of the poor budgetary practices and poor fiscal management of the past. With a little perseverance and your support we will find a solution.

Joseph K. Scannell
Legislator, 5th District
Mineola NY, March 26, 2000

We Must Get Our Schools Going Again

To the Editor:

I'm a new resident here in Freeport. I must admit am somewhat stunned at this major defeat of the school bond referendum. The vote wasn't even close. I don't know all the specifics of the pros and cons, but I would like to suggest that Stewart Lilker reserve an auditorium at one of our schools on a Saturday real soon for a meeting of as many residents as want to attend. I think we all would like to talk about this openly and hear more. The meeting is certainly proper and there should be no problem in getting use of a school auditorium. If the Board of Education were to give Mr. Lilker a problem, I would be willing to pay $2-$3 for my share to help rent a hall for such a meeting. I'm sure 300-400 people would come. That would certainly cover any rental. Mr. Lilker could then put the meeting announcement on this web site and an ad notice in the Leader.

Bruce Lloyd
Freeport NY, March 24, 2000

A Parent Speaks Out ē Surprised?!

To the Editor:

It comes as no surprise to me that the Freeport School Districtís 39.8 million dollar Bond was rejected by the community. Even though I am the Freeport High School PTA Co-President, Site-Based Team member, Sports Booster Treasurer and the High School parent representative for the 1.5 million dollar Magnet Schools Assistance Innovative Program Grant, I am writing this letter today as a very concerned Freeport parent. I am worried about what the District will do now! On March 17, 2000 at 10:30 a.m., I was one of six people who attended an Emergency Board of Education meeting, a meeting that was supposed to be a matter of "real estate." It wasnít. It was a "bond" meeting. The atmosphere was sullen. The Board of Education and the Administration said "we got a clear message, we will do whatever it takes." I thought this was promising, until I heard "what can we cut from the bond, we need it all, but we can cut 5 million dollars by taking out HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES." I find it disheartening that the Administration and the Board "still donít get it ." On March 15, 2000, the community spoke. NO! We will not support your plan. WHY! Thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time spent by the board on propaganda to support their bond. I am disappointed that the District did not spend the equivalent time and money to educate its children and build a relationship with its community. Sure its about money, but more than that its about arrogance, lack of trust and a community that isnít going to listen, because they havenít been heard for years. Instead, the Board will cut 5 million dollars by deleting fixing and/or replacing boilers, fire and smoke detection systems (health and safety issues). Issues that shouldnít exist. My plea to the Board is ... STOP! Read your report card ... LOOK! At the disservice you have been doing to the children ... LISTEN! To the cries from the community, the parents and most of all the children. The School District is wasting tax payers dollars with its flawed plan on the pretense that it will benefit the education of our children. You canít build without a solid foundation. Shame on them!

Freeport NY, March 20, 2000

Baby Needs Bone Marrow Transplant

To: editor@freeportnynews.com
From me and my family, we are forever grateful to you and the Freeport community for your publishing the Bone Marrow Transplant information into your newspaper regarding our little loved one, Colin O'Connell.
Thank you and God Bless you.

Debbie Bucking
March 5, 2000

A Student Speaks

From: Name Withheld@aol.com
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000
Subject: lottie talyor northover
To: editor@freeportnynews.com

I am a student at Freeport High School. Since interim Principal, Dr. Northover, has entered the doors of the High School I, the teachers, students and hall guards dread entering that building day after day. This is my senior year and also the worst school year of my life. Everyone is fed up with Dr. Northover. The way she goes about things, her threats, disrespect and how she treats people is pathetic. She has called the staff "hoodlums" and the students "animals" and recently has been cursed out right in front of my eyes.

There was an incident that occurred Monday, Feb.14, Valentines day. My friend was involved in a verbal and physical altercation by the pond. After the altercation was broken up, the students were dragged into the office. There, my friend full of mud from head to toe, broken nails, scratched up bloody face and all was sitting in the office in tears when Dr. Northover entered the room. She got right in her face asked, "What is going on here?" in her stern and harsh voice, as if she couldnít tell there was a fight. My friend repeatedly said, "Please, get out of my face. Please, someone get her out of my face!" The dean, hall guards and teachers in the room asked Dr. Northover to leave the room until my friend calmed down. Dr. Northover refused. She continued to question and hover over my friend. My friend then glanced my way and asked, "Why is she still in my face?" With that, Northover walked between us. My friend said "excuse me" and got up, walked around Dr. Northover and said quietly to me "I canít believe this is happening." Northover then said, "Sit down now!"

My friend, at that point, had it and said, "No, I donít see my mother in this room and you didnít give birth to me". Dr. Northover then said, "your out of here," as if my friend meant nothing to her. My friend asked, "Youíre suspending me?" Dr. Northover said, " No you expelled, sit down and shut up." Then my friend lost her temper saying, "F--k you, I hated this school every since you walked through the doors!

When her mother came to pick her up Dr. Northover said, "The day this child walks through the doors of my school is the day I hand her over my keys and let her be the principal. The next day teachers, hall guards and students who donít even know my friend approached me and asked how she was. There was a line of people waiting to shake her hand for standing up to Dr. Northover. I was shocked. I couldnít believe the teachers and hall guards who approached me. On Friday Northover went on the loud speaker and to the entire school she told us how you have to give respect to gain respect! I think she should take her own advice!

Name withheld (ed)

School Board Coverage

October 30, 1999

To the Editor:

NEWSDAY is to be commended for conscientiously writing about the opposition to the Freeport Board of Educationís hiring of Lottie Taylor-Northover as its High School principal. I would like to further clarify the coverage of the Board meeting by your reporter, Victor Ramos on June 25, 1999.

In listening to the various speakers one was struck by the spontaneous in-gathering of a true "Rainbow Coalition." They included retired and active teachers, parents, interested community members from all backgrounds as well as High School students. The charges ranged from inappropriate use of funds while involved with the Roosevelt School District to unprofessional and uncommunicative dealings with teachers and students. Others criticized that the hiring was done illegally without a search committee, background check or consideration of the harm such a divisive presence could have on Freeport.

With the overwhelming opposition, the School Board led by Dante Grover, had many choices. Any member might have issued a demur, called for a tabling of the appointment or even voted "no." None of that occurred. The Boardís tin ear prompted an honor student, who had been rudely cut off during a meeting with Taylor to express her willingness to travel 70 miles from her college to vote in the next School Board Election.

The Boardís attitude is disturbing when we think about the consequences for Freeport. How many teachers will leave? How many might shy away from applying to work in the High School? How many parents will hesitate to send their children given the fractiousness? Freeport canít afford a School Board that as one parent said "wants to experiment with our children."

Freeport NY, June 29, 1999

(Mr. Jurist, a Freeport resident, is a retired NYC school teacher who has worked with Dr. Taylor/Northover)

This letter was recently received by FreeportNYNews. Newsday did not print it and it is printed here for its value to the community.


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