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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Fort School Board Chair Responds to FFJ Story on D.C. Field Trip


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, February 5, 2014


   In an e-mail to the Fort Fairfield Journal (FFJ), MSAD #20 School Board chairperson, Paula Perkins responded to an article in the January 25, 2014 edition of FFJ regarding the proposed 8th grade field trip to the District of Columbia.  “I must say I was very disappointed in your portrayal of the school board and myself in the article on the DC Field Trip,” wrote Perkins.   “Below are a few points I would have filled you in on had I received the email message you stated you sent me (which I didn't):


1. Mr. Roberts contacted me at home 4 days before the meeting to ask if he could make a presentation to the board a field trip he was proposing for the 8th grade.


2. Mr. Roberts made no mention of asking the board for permission to fundraise. A motion was not put on the agenda for that reason. He stated he was making a presentation.


3. Once Mr. Roberts stated to present he also proposed, and expected to board vote on, a change to the social studies curriculum in the middle of the year without any prep work and without the knowledge of his fellow social studies teachers. It would not have been professional or appropriate for the board to take that action on that night.


4. What was suggested is that Mr Roberts do more research and work with Mr Gendron to answer some of the questions the board asked that night (reputation of the coach company, what if there are students who can not come up with the downpayment, timeline, out of pocket expense, etc.)


5. As for the wrong date on the was actually the wrong agenda, not the wrong date. It was the agenda from the January 2013 meeting. What I noticed the error Friday after receiving it I emailed Nancy regarding the error but it was already late. After that I don't know what happened and I apologize for the fact you were not notified.”

   “I know I probably need thicker skin but the insinuation that I would not respond to your email or that the school board had something to hide is inaccurate,” Perkins continued. “I am greatly disappointed that the public will read that and may feel I am not accessible to them. They need to know I am there to listen to them. Please feel free to contact me any time at [ ] or at my 551-9477 number.”

   In response to Ms. Perkins, this writer composed and returned, via e-mail, this rebuttal to her points:

   “Paula:  As I have told other people on the school board, and the town council, in the past, ‘I don’t write the story, you all do.’ All I do is put what you tell me, or what you say in public that is relevant to the story, on paper. If you don’t tell me anything, then that’s what I write. It’s unfortunate that I had to write the story that way, but look at it from my perspective;


1. – seemingly uninvited to the school board meeting by being given an incorrect date (I scan-read the header of the email and saw Jan. 14, instead of 13 and went with that; I don’t read the agenda until I get there), coincidentally on a night where there was more public participation than occurs in total for a whole year. If there wasn’t what seemed to be a great deal of silence and what started to appear like a “cover-up” I would have considered it an oversight on [the Superintendent’s office] and thought nothing more of it;


2. – convoluted answers from the superintendent to simple questions which led me to believe there was more that I wasn’t being told. He’s smarter than that;


3. – a very standoffish attitude toward the whole topic. Perhaps you didn’t receive my email, but considering the guarded silence and/or half answers I was receiving from everyone else, I chalked it up to a non-response to an issue that it seemed nobody wanted me to know anything about; and


4. – one other school board member who I confronted in person was afraid to speak ‘on the record.’ That tends to get my attention, especially if I was given a wrong date for the meeting and am being given very little information otherwise. You will notice I did honor that board member’s request and their name wasn’t used. It didn’t exactly give me a sense of “accessibility” with the school board or superintendent’s office. If I’m going to be shut out, I’m going to write that I was – or at least perceived it that way.


   As an aside, I learned more about what went on at that meeting standing at the counter at Harvest Market (which turns out to be a mostly true account after reviewing your answers and what limited response I got from Mr. Gendron). That’s not how I do business, though. I want it directly from the source. But, if the school board doesn’t want to talk about something half the town knows occurred, then I have to write about it or I’ll be perceived as either being ‘in bed’ with the school board, or derelict in my duty. That’s not only why I had to write the story, but had to write it the way that I did. That’s the way I received it.

   If [your above points were] received to begin with then we wouldn’t be writing to each other today. But know that I am not going to have my intelligence insulted with half-answers and non-answers to my very simple questions on topics that do not occur in executive session.

   Yes, ‘thick skin’ is beneficial when in the public eye. Mine has developed into that of a medieval stone fortress.”







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