Pearl Harbor lookouts – a great pair, Florida Keys school district and Key West

 

Pearl Harbor lookout

From Nashville J re yesterday’s public watchdog Larry Murray investigates Florida Keys School District fraud hotline, for fraud post:

Sloan:

You can not make this shyte up!

So, you start a Fraud Hotline and due to Larry’s diligence, you find out that the Hotline itself is a Fraud.

Only in Key West!

Ken Gentile, has a part timer review any hotline cases that include himself and his wife! ROFLMAO, yeah, that sounds like it should work. So, now that these six missing cases have come forward, is Superintendent Porter going to launch an investigation into those six complaints? Only in Key West! Only in Monroe County!

How can the Superintendent and the School Board sit on their asses all this time, make Larry jump thru hoops and get a lawyer, without any comment? Why aren’t they doing their job? Just like everything else with the school board, they believe, that if they just don’t address it, it will go away. Unfortunately, it probably would have had it not been for Larry.

And to finish, has the School Board or the Superintendent ever responded to YOUR two FOI requests?

J

I replied:

Morning, J -

If I use your email in tomorrow’s post, I will have to remove a certain word out of the first sentence, rhymes with excrement, if I want the post to have any chance of getting through the School District’s pure as the driven snow server.

Actually, the part-time employee Ken Gentile designated to handle Fraud Hotline complaints against Gentile only worked there 2 or three months, as I recall from what Larry Murray wrote to me. Now perhaps the part time employee handles such complaints in phantom mode.

Actually, J, the School District makes this sort of excrement up all the time; it has a M.A. and a PhD in making it up. Maybe 2 or 3 PhDs in excrement manufacture. Perhaps the SD should advertise free home grown excrement on the SD website, and invite locals with pick up trucks to come on over to Trumbo Point and back their trucks up to the big ever-growing pile and help themselves to free manure – like I used to do when I lived in Birmingham and maybe every two weeks drove my wife’s small pick up over to the not that far away Birmingham zoo and loaded the back bed up with elephant, hippo and rhino poop, which was great fertilizer for my vegetable garden.

I think maybe there are more than just these 6 cases, as I recall from early emails from Larry, but for whom, you’re right, but for Larry, all that excrement would have remained hidden in some SD coal bin and gone to waste.

Right again, I have heard nothing further from the SD on my 2 Freedom of Information Requests, since I was promised what seems like nearly a year ago, but maybe it was not quite that long ago, that they were putting people on it and I would get the information I requested. Which was, (1) what all heads rolled in the SD, which then School Board Chairman John Dick boasted to Bill Becker on US 1 Radio would roll; and (2) what was the outcome of the investigation of the allegations that Sunny Booker had used the EDOptions online make up program to pass students in the ACE School (alternative school for boys with legal and related troubles), as well as Key West High School athletes who were sent over to the ACE School by KWHW to they could get passing grades and keep playing football, etc. at KWHS.

The charges against Sunny first were leveled by then Superintendent Jesus Jara, in the same breath that it came out that KWHS students had used 500 ED Options courses to make up classes they had flunked at KWHS. Looked to me the charges against Sunny, of falsely passing maybe 30 students via EdOptions, were used to smother and shove under the rug KWHS students flunking 500 classes and using EdOptions to make them up.

As for why aren’t School Board and Superintendent doing their jobs?, to hear them, they are doing their jobs. As you sort of indicate, the attached photo explains their jobs.

head up ass

Most likely, the you can’t make this excrement up sitcom will continue in tomorrow’s post.

Sloan

J replied:

Feel free to edit as needed. The School computers sure seem to have a problem with “S” words!

Maybe you need to threaten to sue them over the FOIA’s to get some action. Seems to have worked for Larry in his case anyway.

J

I replied:

Hiring a lawyer worked in Larry’s case, but he is paying Dennis Ward, when the School District should be paying Dennis for forcing Larry to hire Dennis. I thought of talking to Dennis, to see if would like to represent me, too, but that could cause problems later, if Larry and I disagreed about something, or if Dennis and Larry disagreed, or if Dennis and I disagreed. The cleaner way, perhaps, would be for me to hire a different lawyer to simply file suit without further warning, and let a judge deal with it, including who pays my lawyer – the School District or me. Or maybe, I put this into a post the School Board and Superintendent Porter all receive, and see what comes back from them. If nothing comes back, maybe the next thing they hear is the process server knocking on their door. I suppose I need to sleep on that, hear what the angels say. Stay tuned. Sloan

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If I had my way, I would have nothing further to do with the School District; I would let it rot and sink to its own evolutionary manure pile level.

Pearl Harbor lookout

Meanwhile, this came in from Tim Gratz yesterday:

The latest snafu over the lack of an ADA approved parking lot for HOB [Horace O'Bryant School] is just incredible. I do not fault the school board but rather the architecture firm. Has it never designed a parking lot before?

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Perhaps this Keynoter article prompted Tim to write to me:

More problems — ADA compliance — in school rebuild

By SEAN KINNEY

skinney@keynoter.com

Posted – Wednesday, January 23, 2013 09:49 AM EST

With a June 1 completion date approaching, Monroe County School District leaders are scrambling to figure out how to fund and build a $350,000 handicap-accessible parking lot at Horace O’Bryant Middle School in Key West.

The handicap-accessible portion of the parking lot is required before the district can obtain a certificate of occupancy for the under-reconstruction school and was not included in the original $39 million scope — even though the Americans with Disabilities Act requires access for the disabled.

No one at the district could say why the ADA requirement isn’t in the district’s contract with Coastal Construction and why the lack of it wasn’t caught at the outset. The school’s been under reconstruction since 2010.

This is just the latest issue with the school’s rebuild.

Among other things, when the walls on the first phase went up, no one bothered to check whether they complied with the city’s building-height limit — which they didn’t. That led to last-minute design changes for parts of the school not yet rebuilt to downsize the buildings.

Under law, the School District issues its own certificate of occupancy. School Board Chairman Andy Griffiths said he isn’t clear on whether the parking-lot issue would bar use of the school but said the issue would be researched with the Florida Department of Education.

“We’re our own grantor,” he said. “Usually on the education specs side, most of the certificate-of-occupancy issues are safety issues like fire alarm or fire extinguisher that needs to be there before you put kids in there.”

“As far as the parking lot, I’m not sure,” he said.

There’s the possibility the parking-lot money could be derived from funds saved throughout the course of construction that are contractually split 60 percent-40 percent between the district and Coastal Construction. Of $608,755, the district would keep $365,253 and Coastal $243,502.

However, the dollar figures deemed “savings” as articulated in a change order are being debated at the board-level and further scrutinized by the district’s advisory Audit and Finance Committee. The discussion revolves around whether the calculation is the legitimate result of cost savings or rather simply derived from a decrease in the scope of work.

“Potentially this project could be funded from project savings once they are identified,” Superintendent Mark Porter said in an e-mail.

“I do not believe there will be problem getting the parking lot completed prior to the start of the 2013-14 school year,” he wrote. “I also assume that we would not be allowed to have students in the building until the final certificate of occupancy is issued. At this point, I would describe this as an issue not a problem.”

The June 1 deadline is a function of the financing, provided at a low interest rate as part of the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. If the district misses the date, penalties could start around $2 million.

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I replied to Tim:

I think maybe there is more to the parking lot than the architect’s design. For example, the School Board ok’d adding a K-6 school at HOB, after it was only supposed to be 7-9. That required an extra building, which I imagine affected the design for the parking lot. I think there were more things, too, which changed/happened. Tim, I’d be very hesitant to point the finger at anything that goes awry in this school district, away from the School Board and the Superintendent and those under the Superintendent.

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I started to write more, then stopped writing it. What I started to write more was it has long looked to me that the addition of K-6 to HOB was part of a grand scheme to do a deal with the City of Key West, wherein the City would get most of Glynn Archer School for its new City Hall, as a gift, and the School District would get the rest of Glynn Archer for its new Administrative Offices. The Administrative Offices at Trumbo Point now vacated, that prime piece of waterfront land could be sold for top dollar to a developer, perhaps to Ed Swift, who owns nearby property and an option to buy other nearby property from the City, on which a big waterfront condominium complex would be built.

I still think something along that line is in play. I still think that because Ed Swift came to me in a dream at an unreasonable hour this morning and took me on a tour of a new waterfront three-story condominium development where there had only been vacant land, before it was built between similar three story condominum developments. Not the sort of information you’d ever hope to get from the School District or the City of Key West by making a Public Records Request.

Meanwhile, what the School District really needs to do is relocate its administrative offices to Marathon, to centralize the school district, make it easier for administrative staff to drive to the schools in the longest school district in America, and to end the Key West Conch Bubbafied stranglehold on the School District.

As for HOB exceeding the City of Key West’s three story, more or less, building height restrictions, the School District’s HOB project manager provided plans for the new school to the departments in the City, which the City requested – the Fire and Engineering Departments – to ensure that fire safety and road/traffic/water run-off concerns were addressed. Then, the HOB project manager sent and email to the City Manager’s Office asking if there were any more city departments which should be given a copy of the plans. That email was not answered by the City Manager’s Office. Whereupon, after a prescribed time had passed, the School District began construction of HOB.

Apparently, none of the elected city officials, nor anyone in the City Manager’s Office, looked over the HOB plans. One of the city commissioners, Teri Johnston, in whose voting district HOB lies, is a building contractor. She reads building plans ongoing. Yet it was only after the prefab tilt-up walls went up at HOB that Teri knew the new school was over twice as high as the City’s building height restriction.

Furthermore, at a city commission meeting, the HOB architect told the mayor and commissioners that he had designed schools all over Florida, including in the Florida Keys, and he had never had to get a municipality’s approval for a school’s building plans or height. It was the School District’s position all along that municipalities have no say so over the design of schools, and I  think that position is in accord with Florida Law.

In all events, city officials and citizen watchdogs were asleep at the switch. I told the mayor, city commissioners, city manager and city attorney at a city commission meeting, that they would go down in history as the HOB Pearl Harbor Lookouts.

I also told them the way to deal with the problem was to red tag the construction and arrest and jail any worker who did any further work on the new school. But that was before I learned of the email from the HOB project manager to the City Manager’s Office, asking if there were any nore departments in the City, which should receive copies of the HOB plans, and the City Manager’s Office did not reply to that email.

At a later city commission meeting, I told the mayor and commissioners that not responding to that email was the end of it as far as the City’s legal right to protest was concerned.

Maybe the unsublime point of this post today is to show it isn’t just the School District that is terminally dysfunctionally insane. The City of Key West is, too.

All you have do do see that is attend 2 or 3 city commission meetings.

Or, you can go out to Truman Waterfront and walk around and enjoy all the pretty things the City talked to death out there, literally, since the Navy gave that land to the City 10 years ago, more or less.

Or, you can take a stroll through Bahama Village and speak with Afro-American Bahamian descendents living there and learn just how much they do not feel like parts of Key West’s alleged One Human Family, even though they were born and raised in Key West.

Or, you can try sleeping outside at night anywhere in Key West, or in your vehicle, and learn the alleged One Human Family does not allow that crime against humanity.

Or, you can attend a Key West Tree Commission meeting and learn how much more important trees on private citizens’ property are to the City, than are human life and private property rights. Right, Tree commissioners are appointed by the mayor, with advice from the city commissioners. Tree commissioners serve at the leisure of the mayor and the city commissioners. Therefore, whatever tree commissioners do is the same as the mayor and the city commissioners doing it.

head up ass

On that uplifting topic, Nashville J sent yesterday:
Sloan:
Just thought I would pass along a little info on power lines and trees here in the Nashville area and how TVA handles it. As I remember – the power company in Key West refuses to cut them.
The TVA though says this is all part of necessary line maintenance that needs to be done to keeps the power running and their customers safe. “The tree doesn’t have to touch a line for it to be a problem, it can grow in proximity to a line and be a problem,” says John Dooley with the TVA.
Under state law the TVA has the authority to cut and trim any kind of plants or trees that grow in the easement area around their power lines.
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Brentwood is an upscale municipality a little south of Nashville.
Yours very truly,
Sloan Bashinsky
keysmyhome@hotmail.com

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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