Sunday, January 24, 2010

Busy Day(s)

It's been a busy week and my head is spinning.

Last Tuesday - the PS 15/PAVE public meeting. Weds the DA and a final meeting at Norman Siegel's office where we found out that the morning ruling that the city had lost its appeal of the decision giving us the right to march on Bloomberg's side of the street was reversed that afternoon and another hearing would be held on the day of the rally at 11 am. By 2pm we found out the 3 judge panel had reversed the ruling and we were back to marching on the south side of the street across from Bloomberg. That actually made it easier for us since we only had to cross the street once instead of walking and crossing in a constant circle.

Well, as I reported all too briefly in these posts
One Big PARTEEEE at Bloomberg's

Protest at Bloomberg Home

we all had a wonderful time and lots of bonding went on between activists and people who were just dipping their toe into activism. I saw lots of people I hadn't seen in a while. Check out the video links in my posts and the pictures on the GEM blog.

Then we found out that the police had taken photos (why the cops needed to take pics is beyond me, since we post them ourselves) and Norman Siegel called a press conference today over that issue. I got there late for reasons I will go into later but David Bellel was there to tape. See the sidebar for the links to the 3 part event.

And then there was the Jets this afternoon with our gang of 3 where I ate as much junk food as I could cram in. In the midst of this this was a major robotic weekend with the final 2 borough qualifying events and on Saturday I visited the Queens tournament at Aviation HS and today before the press conference, CCNY at the fabulous Shepherd Hall. I found out that a major NYC politician has a child at one of the competing schools in Queens and I was introduced and got to chat a bit.

On the home front, we are in the midst of birthday season with cousin Dan on Jan 24th (26), my dad on Weds. (92) and my wife on Jan 25 (^%$%). Cousin Rachel follows up on Feb 4 (24). So we started the gala celebration on Friday by picking up our orthotics (did you know SHIP pays $200 each?) and then off to the Museum of Natural History to use the super passes a former robotics coach who works there gave me before they expire next week. We did Imax and the space theater and the Silk Road- all for free. I love super passes. Then dinner on Columbus Ave.

Sat night was the play "Billy Elliott", with really good seats and it was worth the money. We saw the new kid who is from Australia. Can he be even 13 years old and have so much talent? This was a real show, not those phony musicals, with a solid labor story in the background of the destruction of the British mine workers union by Helen Thatcher. Though I could raise political questions about the message - the destruction of a 200,000 member union in some ways takes a back seat to giving the kid a chance to fulfill his dance ambitions ("see, it all turns out well in the end.") Well, it is a Broadway musical and probably goes further than anything else you will see.

Monday night is the wife's birthday piece de resistance at the River Cafe and Tuesday she starts the last 3 days of work before retirement, upon which time I can expect lots of honey do's. Oh, and next Monday the gang at work are taking her out to another nice restaurant and I can come along.

In the midst of this, all the political work continues. ICE is involved in petitioning for the UFT elections and that is one big chore. (We could use some help getting on the ballot at our petition signing party this Friday. Email at if you want to help.) I'm also getting invitations to schools so speak about the state of education and the UFT and why it will keep getting worse - if are interested in a school visit let me know.

Of course the main event is the PEP meeting at Brooklyn Tech on Tuesday with the UFT holding a demo at 4pm and GEM and CAPE will be there in force to support the closing schools and PS 15 in their battle to keep PAVE to their word to leave this year.

Well, gotta go and get the food ready for the opening of the next Jets season.


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Anonymous said...

What about the photographer that is snapping away at the speakers at the schools closing hearings? He took more than the usual number of photos per subject; he stood next to and fraternized with DOE staff for the event. This photographer pointed the camera towards the crowd. Given that there is very little press coverage at these hearings, and that it is rare when the press run photographs, I am suspicious: is this someone that is working for the DOE? I saw the same individual, overzealously shooting photos of speakers and audience members last night at the Brooklyn PEP meeting. Given that the police were doing surveillance work against protesters at Bloomberg's residence, I am suspicious for added reasons that the city is building a dossier of protesters. Can we say chilling effect?