Friday, January 29, 2010

Gone, Gone, Going...

GONE abruptly and involuntarily from Catskill High School, as of yesterday: the principal, William Ball. According to sources, he has been suspended with pay after refusing to accept a Board of Education-framed choice between having the remainder of his contract bought out or facing charges having to do with willful destruction of school property (ripping out a telephone in a fit of rage). Some bits of the story were disclosed at a special meeting of faculty and staff members yesterday at 1pm, but attendance was spotty because, in anticipation of more bad weather, the school was closed at mid-morning. Old complaints about sexual harassment were not immediately involved. [NOTE: Mr Ball, through attorney Dennis Schlenker, says the foregoing sentence is “unequivocally false and must be construed to constitute libel,” having been “made with malice.. in reckless disregard of the truth.” He intends, says Mr Schlenker, to “seek legal redress…for the harm and all damages that have been caused through [the author’s] conduct.” (Posted 3/8/10)] For the remainder of the school year, the principal’s duties will fall mainly to Patrick Wemmit, whose present job title is Principal of Special Learning Programs. With regard to the rumors that generated the foregoing notes, Superintendent Kathleen Farrell and Board of Education President Randall Griffin voiced the following comment:

“No comment.”

GONE from the Board of Catskill Central School District, as well as from Catskill: Beverly Cotten. Formal acceptance of her resignation, dated as of December 11, took place at the Board of Education’s Jan. 26 meeting. Ms Cotten was elected to the Board only last spring. She and her husband, Forest, the county legislator and Democratic Party leader, have separated. She has moved with the children to Amsterdam, where she holds a job in school administration. As reported in The Daily Mail (Jim Planck, 1/28), the remaining Board of Education members have not decided how to fill the vacancy.

GOING from the office of Director of Tourism and Promotion for GreeneLand. as of February 28: Daniela Marino, Ms Marino is leaving because (i) her appointive position has been abolished, with its functions placed under the wing of what is now the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Planning, headed by Warren Hart; and (ii) she was not invited to remain as interim manager or to apply for the redesignated job. A call for applications for the "provisional" position of Tourism Marketing Manager has just been distributed (by the county Human Resources Department,, with a March 1 deadline. The incumbent, working under Mr Hart's supervision,, would be "responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing the tourism destination marketing plan and integrated campaigns of Greene County." Rich experience is required, along with multiple skills of the sort that Ms Marino possesses in abundance. According to reliable sources, Ms Marino’s work has been exemplary but for some local honchos she has been a bit too sophisticated, too literate, too (gasp!) cosmopolitan.

GOING downhill, at a rate that could be more than a bit troubling: pieces of land near Snake Road Extension in Jefferson Heights, close to planned construction of additional care facilities for seniors at the Greene Medical Arts Center and Kaaterskill Care.

GOING to State prison, following conviction for vehicular assault and related offenses committed when he drunkenly crashed his pick-up truck into an oncoming vehicle: Waldemar J. Zahn of Cairo. According to a Daily Mail account of trial proceedings (by Doron Tyler Antrim), the assault’s victim, Kevin P. Nicewornger of South Plainfield NJ, spent four months in Albany Medical Center being treated for a broken femur, a fractured pelvis, a broken clavicle, broken ribs, a fractured pelvis and a punctured lung. “During the five-day trial, Zahn testified that he had rapidly consumed four to five beers the morning of Feb. 21 before driving to a store to purchase cigarettes. On the return trip home he had dropped the pack of cigarettes on the floor of the truck cab. As he reached to pick up the pack the vehicle veered off to the right side of the road. In the act of correcting his steering he collided with Nicewonger.” Judge George J. Pulver Jr imposed the maximum sentence, of up to four years of incarceration.

GOING to Coxsackie Court on Monday, to face a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle (meaning that he had already lost his license for a previous misdeed): a young mean from Gloversville whose actual name, according to the local Press, is Matthew D. Cuckoo.

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