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Hamburg School Board Meeting August 11, 2015 at 6 pm at the Hamburg Administration Building

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Rendezvous at Hamburg Middle School

A reader recently sent an email to CH regarding the busing of the Catholic school kids with the Public school kids.    It appears that Hamburg Central Schools and Fisher Bus is trying to squeeze and many kids on a bus as possible with little concern for the inconvenience it may cause for others, or the inappropriateness of mixing up the kiddies and jamming them into 16 buses. It has been reported numerous times on this blog that the Hamburg Middle School is a zoo at arrival and dismissal times, now according to the reader, another 100 kids will be added into the mix.  Has additional staff been assigned to look after the little ones just starting out on their educational tour of duty?   Is it true that Hamburg parents are in the dark about the twice daily rendezvous at HMS? And if it is true, is anyone surprised? The Hamburg School District is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside of an enigma. 

The email is in purple below: 

"Thought you would be interested in knowing that 100 students from St Peter and Paul will be transferring at Hamburg Middle school each morning and afternoon to one of 16 busses that will then transport the hamburg students and SSPP student to home.  This will mean that in the afternoon over 900+ students will be dismissed from HMS and the SSPP buses to board 16 waiting busses.  There is no concrete plan in place for this situation and to the best of our knowledge no additional staff will be available compared to last year to watch over the safety and well being of all students even thought there will be 100 more students at the busing site.  The students will also be as young as four years old (just starting kindergarten) and will be expected to independently complete the transfer process.

Finally the parents of the students at HMS have no idea that this is going to occur until the first day of school for SSPP which will be September 9th.  The parents of SSPP where notified of this change on August 13th.  After the August board meeting and will little time to voice our concerns or to get any information about the transfer plan, which appears to be seriously lacking.

If you would like additional information you can either email me or call me XXX-XXXX,  I have been enjoying following your site for some time know and have always appreciated your ability to report all the details to each story allowing the reader to have a better sense of what is really going on within the district.  Thank you for your efforts."

Thursday, August 13, 2015

From a Reader: More on the double life of a PTA Mom

Mrs. Christina Whipple, Hamburg Central Schools PTA Mom- a piano and violin player too?    

Where are the Hamburg Morality Police? 

Strip club owner professes legitimacy Though FBI Shut Her Down for Alleged Drugs and Prostitution



Christina Whipple was just getting ready to wake up her two kids for school when her telephone rang early on the morning of March 2.

It was Hamburg police, asking if she could give them a key so they could enter her business, located about 10 minutes away.

She gave the key to two cops who came to her door, woke up her husband, Mark, and told him to take care of the kids. Then she got into her BMW sedan and drove to her business, the 24KT Gold strip club, which the FBI and other police agencies were searching for drugs.

“I was shocked,” Whipple recalled last week. “We’ve tried very hard to keep drugs out of the club.”

Meet Christina Whipple, 38, a mother, PTA vice president, soccer coach, volunteer Meals-on-Wheels driver—and also the owner of two strip clubs.

One of her clubs, Mademoiselle, near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, is still open.

But 24KT Gold, on Route 5 in Hamburg, was shut down by Whipple on June 15 because it lost its liquor license in the wake of the FBI investigation.

She invited The Buffalo News to her club and her immaculate Hamburg home, and in a lengthy interview, insisted that she firmly opposes drugs and prostitution, two of the activities the FBI says went on inside 24KT Gold.

“My husband and I don’t use drugs, we don’t condone our employees using them. We don’t condone prostitution, either,” Whipple said. “And no, I have never danced in our club or any other.

“I am the club’s owner, and mainly, its bookkeeper. My husband is the manager.”

Whipple said she bought her two strip clubs last November. She insisted she runs a legitimate business that employed about 50 people, mostly part-timers, in Hamburg before the FBI raid, and is subject to frequent scrutiny from government agencies.

“What is immoral about it?” she said. “I’m a mom, and I help other moms with jobs that enable them to support their children. A lot of our dancers are single moms, or college students. Some dancers have gone on to work as lawyers, nurses, even in law enforcement . . . I don’t see anything wrong with what we do.”

The interview was the first public comment from either of the Whipples since the police raids at 24KT Gold on Route 5, and Rick’s Tally-Ho, a Cheektowaga club that has no connection to the Whipples.

Police and federal agents raided both establishments following a probe into drug trafficking and prostitution allegations involving dancers and patrons at the clubs. Both have lost their liquor licenses as a result.

Investigators from the Safe Streets Task Force arrested 27 people, including seven dancers and a manager of Rick’s Tally-Ho, and a disc jockey who had worked at both clubs.

Police learned that Rick’s Tally-Ho and 24KT Gold were frequented by drug dealers who sold cocaine in the establishments, according to a state police investigator. He also alleged that both clubs had “private rooms” where customers could pay dancers for sexual favors.

The State Liquor Authority last week canceled the liquor license of 24KT Gold, and Whipple agreed to pay a $30,000 fine. The agreement allows her to apply for a new liquor license. It also allows her to keep the liquor license at the other establishment she owns, Mademoiselle.

The Whipples were never accused or even mentioned in the 184-page federal indictment that led to the 27 arrests, and they had no knowledge of drug-dealing or prostitution at 24KT Gold, said their attorney, David B. Smith.

“The only person charged in the whole case who ever worked at 24KT Gold was a deejay,” Smith said.

The SLA alleged that Mark Whipple was aware of some of the criminal activity, but his wife and lawyer vehemently deny that allegation.

So why did Christina Whipple make what amounts to a plea bargain with the SLA, rather than demand a full hearing?

“If it was up to Christina, she would have wanted to continue fighting for years,” Smith said.

“But the legal fees would have been much higher, and if the SLA wound up revoking her license, rather than canceling it, she would have lost the license at Mademoiselle, too. She evaluated the risks and made a business decision to make a deal with the SLA.”

Even if Whipple had no idea that drug-dealing and prostitution were going on in her club, as the liquor license holder, she had a responsibility to know, and to prevent such activities, said Bill Crowley, a spokesman for the liquor authority.

“The conditions that were found in the FBI investigation, and our investigation, were intolerable,” he said. “If [Whipple] had no involvement in the wrongdoing, she could have asked for a full hearing and presented all the evidence to show she was not involved. She chose not to do that. The authority is pleased that she is no longer a licensee.”

Whipple said she accepts the fact that, as the licensee, she was ultimately responsible. She said she posted signs warning of the club’s “zero tolerance” drug policy and installed surveillance cameras in every room, including the “VIP Room” where private dancers perform.

Whipple, who plays the violin and piano, said the publicity over the case has been “very stressful.” But she said people who know her in Hamburg have been supportive.

She said she is especially proud of the volunteer work she does as a vice president of the Hamburg Schools Parent Teacher Association and other organizations.

As one of seven vice presidents in the Hamburg PTA, Whipple is responsible for activities at the Union Pleasant Elementary School, where her children — Julia, 11, and Jack, 7 — are students.

“Christina is very involved and very helpful,” said Jennifer Hubert, one of the other PTA vice presidents. “She has one of the biggest elementary schools, and personally, I think she’s great.”

Betty Newell, president of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, was asked if the business group considers 24KT Gold to be an asset or a detriment to the community.

“That’s a touchy issue,” Newell said, noting that the strip club did provide some jobs but was also a business that bothered some people.

“Adult entertainment is a fact of life,” Newell said. “[The closing] is unfortunate for people who worked there, but . . . it’s not my cup of tea.”

Whipple said she will reopen the club if she gets another liquor license. After the SLA suspended the license in late March, she tried keeping the club open with dancers and soft drinks, but it was not making money.

Whipple said she bought her two strip clubs last November from Michael and Irena Rudan, who run the popular Sundowner club in Niagara Falls, Ont. She declined to name the purchase price.

“They still own the properties and the buildings, and I bought the businesses,” Whipple said.

“Not the best timing,” said Smith, noting that the FBI crackdown — which mostly involved activity that took place before Whipple’s purchase — came four months after she bought it.

Whipple, former manager of a dental office, said she bought the clubs because her husband was a longtime manager of the two clubs and was familiar with the businesses. She said her stepmother, Nancy Trysnicky, was a longtime bartender at 24KT Gold.

How would Whipple react if, years from now, her daughter reached age 21 and announced that she wanted to become a strip club dancer?

Whipple hesitated a moment before answering.

“I would ask her, ‘Are there better choices you could make?’ ” Whipple said. “But if that is what she chose as a career, I would accept it and support her.” 



Buffalo News March 2010

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

PTA MOM BT DAY, STRIP CLUB OWNER BY NIGHT

Just when you think you have heard it all, it is worth remembering, that the parents of Hamburg Central Schools have as one of the executive leaders of the Parent Teacher Association, a nudity club owner, Mrs. Christina Whipple.   Mrs. Whipple and her husband Mark Whipple are owners of the strip club at 3747 Lakeshore Road,  Hamburg NY.  

Tonight at the Hamburg School Board Meeting, the Board will vote to approve Mrs. Whipple's appointment to the Health Advisor Council and the Extended School Day Committee.   How ironic it is, that a woman who profits from young girls pandering to the needs of misogynists, simultaneously acts as PTA mom by day.  Even Hollywood hasn't come up with this kind of drama.  So, Mrs. Whipple, what do you have to offer the Health Advisory Council?  What value do you bring to ensuring that young people, specifically young women, grow up to care for their mind, bodies and souls by making healthy choices?   Young girls poll dancing for barflies is not healthy, its morally reprehensible.

According to the New York State Parent Teacher Association webpage,  the mission of the organization is :

The PTA is

    The overall purpose of PTA is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. 

Beliefs

  • Every child deserves to have his/her basic needs met.
  • Every child deserves an education designed to meet the child's needs.
  • Public education is the appropriate forum to prepare children for participation in a democratic society.
  • Every child deserves our continued commitment to advocacy.
  • PTA will take the lead in parent involvement by training parents to be partners in education.
  • PTA will take the lead in promoting the value of parent involvement with the community and educational partners.
  • We are responsible for identifying, understanding, and meeting the needs of our diverse membership.
  • Educators are integral part of our association.
  • Education and leadership training and self-evaluation are essential at all levels.
  • Programs and materials should be provided to enhance parenting skills.
  • Challenging oneself leads to growth
One must wonder if Mrs. Whipple believes in the PTA, or uses it as a ruse to cover her real values which she exhibits as an owner of entities that exploit young women.  What does this say about the values of the Hamburg Central School District?  Shame on Hamburg Central Schools for permitting a person of this ilk as a face of the Parent- Teacher Association and a seat at the Health Advisory Council table, 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Miracle in Boston, New York

Last month, Buffalo Business First published the yearly edition of Western New York School rankings.

The overall rank of the district is 11 out of the 96 Western New York School Districts.

Hamburg High School ranked 18
Hamburg Middle School ranked 37
Armor Elementary School ( AES) ranked 31
Charlotte Avenue School (CAS) ranked 27
Union Pleasant Elementary School (UPES) ranked 55

and drum roll please .......
Boston Valley Elementary School ranked 28

A ranking of 28 doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment, unless you put it against the ranking of Boston Valley Elementary School going back a few years.  As reported by Concerned Hamburger over the years, Boston Valley always fell far behind the other 3 Hamburg elementary schools.  Boston Valley is a small country school with about 300 kids.

Consider the elementary school rankings over the last few years:

  
2011-12
AES  ranked 47
CAS ranked 16
UPES ranked 63
BVS ranked 149  (ouch) 

2012-13
AES ranked 74
CAS ranked 28
UPES ranked 58
BVS ranked 102 (ouch) 

2013-14
AES ranked 41
CAS ranked 33
UPES ranked 61
BVS ranked 40

If one considers that much of the demographics haven't changed in Boston since 2011-2012 other factors  should  be considered when looking for an explanation of the miracle in the valley.  No other elementary school in the Business First reports in the last 4 years have skyrocketed like BVS's rise from 149 to 40.

So what changed?, Did the teaching staff turnover? Was there a sudden increase in the socio-economic status of the families?

We do know that in 2012, the Hamburg School Administration, in their infinite wisdom, appointed a man with no classroom teaching experience as the building principal of Boston Valley.

In July 2012, according to the Hamburg school board minutes, Mr. James Martinez was appointed Boston Valley principal.  According to sources Mr. Martinez has been in Hamburg for 15 or so years.  Could it be, that Hamburg has had a true educational leader on staff, a diamond in the rough,  with the miraculous power to move a school ranked 149 to 28 since taking the helm?  What a shame it is  that the district waited so long before allowing Mr. Martinez to grow marigolds at Boston Valley.  
Hats off to the kids at Boston Valley for shaking off the title of lowest ranked school in the district that now goes to Union Pleasant.

Concerned Hamburger did not see any press releases or media reports of the miracle in the valley. So it seemed appropriate to share with our readers the stunning accomplishments of the little county school.  




Monday, June 1, 2015

Hamburg Parent files a petition with NYSED to have Mr. M. Cornell, Hamburg Superintendent removed for willful and intentional misconduct.

Gee that didn't take long.

A parent of a Hamburg student has filed several petitions, on behalf of their child,  with the New York State Education Department because of alleged denial of due process by the Hamburg Central School District.     It has been reported to Concerned Hamburger, that a parent of a student, allegedly mistreated and denied due process and access to educational services, filed a petition to have Mr. M. Cornell and certain members of the Hamburg School Board removed from their judge and jury perch.   Other allegations in the petition claim that big boy mall-cop James Martinez, and attorney Andrew Freedman, Esq. , threatened this parent with being arrested should they attend a public meeting of the school board.

Well, heck Hamburg, that didn't take long.  And on goes the dysfunction.   A new superintendent, with less than 3 months on the job,  facing a possible removal by the NYSED  and a crazy body of idiots doing as they please.  

It was reported that the parent  petitioned to have Mr. Cornell, Mr. Yoviene, Mr. Flynn (the turd), Mz. Heeter, Mz. Patt (bubble over the eye) Collins, Mr. List, and Mr. Hall removed.  So it seems this lot is up to no good again.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Old Wine, New Bottles

Mary Ellen Ellia who was fired by the Hillsborough County, Florida Board of Education is likely the next NYS Education Commissioner.    She will replace John King, who left NYS for Washington D.C..

Ms. Ellia is cut from the same cloth as John King, so don't expect much other than the same old, same old.   Ms. Ellia is a product of WNY higher education as stated on her biography.  

Ladies and Gentlemen (you too Dan) meet Mary Ellen Ellia:

MaryEllen Elia was appointed Superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools on July 1, 2005, following a nationwide search. District schools have successively earned more A and B grades each year of her tenure as superintendent. The district also earned its first overall A grade from the state of Florida for student achievement after her first year as superintendent, and has earned two more since then.
Ms. Elia, a lifelong educator, began her career as a social studies teacher in the state of New York in 1970. In 1986, she relocated to the Tampa Bay area after accepting a position at Plant High School as a reading resource specialist. She was promoted to several key positions in the district over the next 20 years.
She was the district's first magnet schools supervisor. She was promoted in 1997 to the director of non-traditional programs where she managed all magnet schools, as well alternative schools and drop-out prevention programs. Ms. Elia was appointed general director of secondary education in 2002.
In 2003, she became the district's chief facilities officer. In this role, she provided oversight of all new construction and was responsible for the maintenance and operation of more than 200 existing schools and educational facilities. She remained in this position until her appointment as superintendent.
In 2011, she received the College Board's District of the Year Beacon Award and was recognized with the Florida Department of Education's Data Leader of the Year award for leading the way in using education data to drive student improvement . In 2010, she received the Inaugural Governor's Business Partnership Award presented by Governor-Elect Rick Scott and the Florida Council of 100; the Women of Distinction award from the local chapter of the American Association of University Women; CEO of the Year from the Florida Supplier Development Council; the University of South Florida-Anchin Center Exemplary Leadership in Education award; and the Network of Executive Women 2010 Executive Woman of the Year award. In 2009, Superintendent Elia received The College Board's Outstanding Leadership award. She received the Florida Association of District School Superintendents' Superintendent's Award for Volunteer/Community Service in 2008/2009 and 2006/2007. In 2008, Mrs. Elia was named the Dr. Carlo Rodriguez Champion of School Choice by the State Board of Education. She was named Florida's Superintendent of the Year by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations in 2007.
Ms. Elia holds a bachelor of arts degree from Daeman College; a master's in education from the University of Buffalo; a master of professional studies in reading from State University of New York at Buffalo; and certification in educational leadership.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

McGarry, List and Schneider elected to the Hamburg School Board

Robbin List, who was sitting in the Catherine Forcucci seat on the Hamburg School Board will be put aside as Robert Schneider who came in third in the school board election immediately takes the Forucci seat.   List and McGarry will take up a three year term on the Hamburg School Board.  Sally Stephenson and Patti Collins elected not to run again.

And so begins a new era of Hamburg dysfunction brought to you by the local lawyer,  self-proclaimed education guardian and demagogue Dan Chiacchia, a tacit member of the school board.  Mr. Chiacchia  bought the seats that Flynn and Hall occupy and now it has been suggested that his money has bought the three men who won last evening their seats on the board.

Laura Heeter will remain the only female on the all white male Hamburg School Board.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Hamburg School Board Candidates- a paradox to consider

Tuesday May 19, 2015, residents of the Hamburg School District will vote on the school budget, and elect 3 members to the school board.  The person who comes in third on Tuesday will fill the seat which rightfully belongs to Catherine Forcucci.

According to the Buffalo News and other sources, Mr. Robbin List, Mr. Mike McGarry and Mr. Richard Schnieder are being endorsed and funded by local attorney Mr. Daniel Chiacchia.    Mr. Chiacchia has been very busy getting people elected to the school board over the last three years.  One must consider if his activities constitute the forming of a political party, or what his real intentions might be?    

Dan has been blowing his wad on the elections- signs, newspaper ads, flyers and other election paraphernalia.   The election literature, funded by Mr. Chiacchia speaks of integrity and responsibility.   One must also consider if the three men, who are seemingly nice fellas, really know the fabric of the man who feeds their election?

Something else to consider Mike, Robbin, Richard and Hamburg voters, why is Dan so concerned about the school district?   His conduct as an attorney suggests he has professionally acted against the innocence of youth.  Mr. Chiacchia is the attorney of Cara Dickey, the Buffalo teacher who was found guilty of having sexual relations with her young 14 year old student.  Mr. Chiacchia attempted to make a case for Miss Dickey.  If that doesn't disgust you then consider Mr. Chiacchia's defense of the Hamburg lawyer, John Duffy*, who was found guilty of a hit and run murder of a young Hilbert College female student.  Mr. Duffy had been drinking the night the student was kill and he left the scene of an accident.  A young girl died, her parents are still suffering.   

So, Mike, Robbin, and Richard, are you OK with having your campaigns funded by someone who seemingly acts against the innocence of youth?  The money that funds your campaign comes from defending these kinds of heinous acts.   Instead, choosing to stand in court and defend those who have abused and killed.   Where is the integrity in this?

* It is rumored that disbarred attorney John Duffy who was released from prison after a very short stay behind bars after killing a young student, is working in the law offices of Chiacchia and Fleming on So. Park Ave.  Where's the responsibility in this?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Springville's Connelly stressed out?

Concerned Hamburger posted a video and post ( in color below)of Springville Superintendent Paul Connelly defending an email he sent to former Hamburg Superintendent Achramovitch in 2012.   Connelly was troubled by teacher Christopher Cerrone's activism against student testing,  and attempted to influence Cerrone's employment as a teacher by contacting the former Superintendent of Hamburg, Cerrone's employer.  Connelly wanted to "get" Cerrone at work, and exchanged a series of damaging emails with Achramovitch.   Cerrone a resident of Springville and vocal "opt out" advocate, was elected to the Springville School Board in 2014, and is now Connelly's boss.   One must wonder if the " damaging" emails as referenced in this short video have anything to do with Connelly's extended administrative leave.  Perhaps the Buffalo News should submit a Freedom of Information request to Springville and Hamburg and shake out the Connelly- Achramovitch exchange. 
Paul Connelly, Superintendent of Springville Schools is called on the carpet about the email he wrote to Steve Achramovitch, Hamburg Schools Superintendent about a Hamburg Social Studies Teacher, and Springville resident.  This is only one segment of the meeting.  
Apparently, the Board President is ignorant in his knowledge of Open Meetings Laws as he attempts to stop the public recording of this meeting.  His arrogance and ignorance reminds Concerned of the ersatz  Hamburg Board President Dr. Joan Calkins.


Watch until the end of this clip, you will not be surprised at the arrogance exhibited by Dr. Connelly towards one of his bosses, a Springville Board of Education member.  

Perhaps, Dr. Connelly needs to find a new job?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cha is locked and loaded and ready with his " I care about Hamburg public school education" rhetoric,

and on goes the mawk and hooey.   School Districts across NY State will hold budget votes and school board elections on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.  Two seats are legitimately available, and the year left in the seat held by Catherine Forcucci may be available as a consolation prize for the person who comes in 3rd place.  On the other hand,  perhaps Mrs. Forcucci will regain her rightful spot on the Hamburg School Board.

Mr. Robbin List,  Mr. Mike McGarry, Mr. Richard Schneider, and Ms. Amy Brohfueher  have tossed their names into race.   Mrs. Sally Stephenson and Mrs. Patti Collins* have elected not to seek another term on the school board.

And Daniel "Cha" Chiacchia is up to his election shenanigans and has already posted a flashy glossy campaign  announcement on his Facebook page supporting the men in the race.   It appears that Hamburg's local attorney and Frontier graduate, Cha, doesn't realize that most people in Hamburg think he is a fool, and are tired of his smoke in mirrors theatrics.    Isn't their an ambulance that needs to be chased, Cha?

* It is rumored that Mrs. Patricia Brunner Collins is considering a run for a seat on the Hamburg Town Board.   This is not a joke, yet.