Friday, March 27, 2009

RUMBLE IN WARD NINE


Anyone trying to navigate Broadway in Kingston during the mid-day lunch periods were in for a shock. We experienced what you would call a civil protest by the High School students sparked by the plan to close the campus next year.

Several Emails between students were intercepted before the day got started and the police department was prepared. You would think the
situation was dire, based on the number of officers, but you can never be too prepared for something unexpected.

Superintendent Gretzinger made the announcement that starting
next fall, the students will not be permitted to leave the campus grounds during the days operation.

Like most of my immediate neighbors, I am thrilled to hear this. We have begged for this action for as long as I can remember. The school dominated the Watch meetings from 1997 to 2003, while I was chair. Now, even with only slight contact from the neighborhood, the School Board is doing what we asked.

There were arrests made. A few students did get aggressive with the authorities and were taken downtown. A smaller number were taken in for "J" walking. That offence didnt require cuffs, but the example was made of a few that such a large crowd on a busy street obstructing traffic, someone couldhave gotten hurt.

My take: These students provided the School Board with just the example they cited when issuing this ordinance. Had the students simply crowded the lunchroom to the breaking point instead, their message would have been better received.

Assuming the campus is closed next fall, you'll find the neighborhood from Staple Street to Hoffman Street to be quite nice and litter free. No more Wendy's and Burger King wrappers on our lawns, no more speeding on the streets and best yet, the mid-day clubs that formed on our dead end streets will come to a close.

I expect our property values to increase. Dare I tip off the assessor.

I saw the Cheif and spoke with the officers during the chaos, but got the sense that the students did little to cause alarm. Once the seniors are off starting life in the jobless market this summer, the incoming crop will harbor less angst on this issue, having little off-campus history to reflect on.

14 comments:

Michele Gilbert said...

As a fairly new resident to the area that I am very grateful to read this. I too have noticed the influx of speeding cars. This winter was pretty scary with what I saw. It didn't seem to stop the students from screaming down the road mid day. Definately happier now that I can safely pick my child up from school
(we walk)without a car screeching around the corner mid day.
Thank you to all involved for this change.

Anonymous said...

This is great to hear! But....

If we could do something about their parking and driving that would be icing on the cake. Living on Brewster Street, I see countless students disobeying the stop signs, speeding, driving the wrong way on one the way streets, blocking driveways and parking in such a way during the winter we can't get through Levan Street to get out to Broadway.

Anonymous said...

ITS ABOUT TIME THE SCHOOL TAKES BACK CONTROL MAYBE WE CAN RESTORE SOME PRIDE TO OUR CITY

Shannon said...

I am a student at KHS and I understand what you mean by the crowding the cafeteria idea. But I disagree with you on the same level. Everyone, and I mean everyone looks down on our high school, but did anyone even know that our jazz ensamble made it into the Lincoln Center Jazz Festival?? The BIGGEST jazz festival in the WORLD?? And if so, do you even care?? That's the problem...no body cares about the GOOD things we do. Yes there are a select minority that isn't the greatest, but still. We not only have the Lincoln Center, but our choir is at Carnegie Hall this weekend, but does anyone show much attetion towards them?? Also how many students make it to Ivy League schools?? Alot. But the whole city looks at KHS like we're all misbehaving brats. So think about that while you write your next article about KHS, that you have no idea what we truely are, and can do.

Anonymous said...

Sammi's Pizza, Joey D's Subway, Dallas Hot wieners, Monkey Joes, Burger King, Stone Soup,Planet Wings, and the rest of stores and restaurants that depend on the KHS kids. All of them will be hurt badly if this happens. If you think Broadway is bad now, just imagine it with at least 6 more empty store fronts empty.

UCP said...

Mr. Gretzinger will bow down to the students. keeping the campus open.

Anonymous said...

10:52 News flash...Monkey Joe's doesn't need student support.
When the campus closes next fall, the shops will feel the pinch for a few months, until the hundreds of local employees discover they can patron the shops in safety again.
Instead of kids with an $3 allowance, you'll have adults with wallets. If the shops can hold out long enough to realize this outcome, they'll be grateful.
In addition, if the shops rely on the students as their only hope of profit, then they should rethink their product.

Peter Mack said...

Shannon,

First and foremost, kudos to you for taking the time to write here and defend your school and talk about all the good things going on at the high school.

I know it may seem that everyone looks down on the student body; however, surrounding neighbors don't get to hear about or see all the good things going on at KHS, like the jazz ensemble, choir, and honor students attending ivy league schools from dedicated students such as yourself.

Unfortunately, what they see and hear are students speeding down residential streets, discarding litter on their lawns, ignoring traffic laws and parking ordinances. Also, students running out into oncoming traffic against the don't walk signs.

While this may seem petty as compared to all the hard-working students and extra-curricular activities, it nonetheless, is what affects the neighbors and residents' quality of life in their homes and neighborhoods.

You sound like you get involved at school. You and your friends have the power to change public opinion. Tell your fellow students to set the example with respect to littering, speeding, and parking--show the neighbors that majority of students do care and are doing great things in school.

It all starts with one person and builds from there. Perhaps you or one of your groups could start a blog and tell some of us residents what you students are doing and accomplishing.

I certainly would like to hear from the students--your concerns, your accomplishments, and achievements. I believe many people would welcome a blog by students.

It would also be a great venue to interact with the community and local government. Students are important part of Kingston--you are residents of this community just like we are, and you are future voters.

Best wishes this school year!

Anonymous said...

Mike!! This is the GREATEST NEWS!! As a former BOE member, I had made a case for closing that campus since 2001! I was shunned, attacked and verbally spit on by the liberal members who were on the board at that time. But I kept at it, and sent Mr. Gretzinger articles about the dangers of an open campus, and last year, spoke before the BOE after the "gang rape" in the bathroom and again warned them that it was only a matter of time before something serious happened and that they need to take action.

Just about every safety single issue that I brought to light and tried to fight for when I was on the board has finally been embraced by many of those who argued against me.

I was just years ahead of my time, I guess!! More than the mess on the streets and inconvenience, the public has to realize that Broadway has way to many thugs lurking around, and it is a priority SAFETY MEASURE that the campus be closed to protect all of the students...especially those kids who are serious about their education such as the young lady from the Jazz band who wrote in.

It is beyond comprehension that this campus has remained open for this long. Travel around to schools in NYS or any others, and you will find ALL CLOSED CAMPUSES. Those schools actually appear to have education as a priority. Students are not hanging around the property, loitering and creating a visual disaster for the public to witness. They are too busy inside getting the education they need.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!! and the school board had better not back down because teenagers protest. That is part of their nature:)

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:52 PM!

"Sammi's Pizza, Joey D's Subway, Dallas Hot wieners, Monkey Joes, Burger King, Stone Soup,Planet Wings, and the rest of stores and restaurants that depend on the KHS kids. All of them will be hurt badly if this happens. If you think Broadway is bad now, just imagine it with at least 6 more empty store fronts empty."



But I also agree with Peter Mack

Anonymous said...

Keeping the "students" on campus should have happened years ago.
This is a long festering problem,

i go to a dr nearby to KHS & it is disgusting the behavior of these little hoodlums.

Foul language, grabbing grls behinds, bullying & intimidation of passersby keeps customers from patronizing the shops on Broadway.
Nothing is more depressing than to see teenaged mothers pushing their babies with hoodlum "fathers" strolling by, Nauseating & this is what KHS has produced.

we rarely hear about those positive things happening because we are all turned off to KHS because of the dregs of society we see.

If you care about yr positive image, do something about the Broadway East crowd impregnating 1/2 of KHS women.

Anonymous said...

My Daughter participated in this and I am damn proud of her for doing it. It may not have fallen in line with what the BOE and MR. Madsen would have liked or had planned, but it worked. It is blatantly unfair to punish students like my Daughter who is an Honors student, participates in many many activities and enjoys the relief of leaving the campus during her lunch period. She and students like her deserve to enjoy their senior year with all of the freedoms that those before them had.

I know that many of the students off the campus should not be. The School is not doing its job of keeping the underclass students on campus.

This whole thing is an effort by the school board to try and convince the voters to build a new high school.

Gretzinger claims 10 instances of violence in February, funny thing is he NEVER MENTIONED THAT TO THE PARENTS UNTIL THIS HAPPENED!!!

Poor management all the way around. As for the Neighbors, the school has been there forever. You knew what you were getting into when you bought your house.

Mr. Madsen, you are a panderer and it is disgusting. If I were a business owner along Broadway, I would fund anyone who decides to run against you.

Anonymous said...

In reponse to "As for the Neighbors, the school has been there forever. You knew what you were getting into when you bought your house."

So we knew that YOUR children would be criminals (speeding down the road, not stopping at stop signs, blocking peoples' driveways, parking on the wrong sides of the street (yes those are all criminal acts)), slobs leaving THEIR bags from lunch, THEIR cigarette butts(wonder how they get those?) all over my lawn and sidewalk. Playing LOUD music disturbing EVERYONE around at 7:30 am. So we should have known that PARENTS would not teach their children to be respectful of other peoples' lives (yes speeding, not stopping at stop signs could KILL someone) and property since the school had been here for years.

I am sorry but I don't buy that!! If parents would teach their kids instead of IGNORING them maybe some of this would not be a problem!!

As for Mr. Madsen, there are many of us around that FULLY support him for the small and large things he has done for us not only as a ward but as a community.

Anonymous said...

Mike- some great news to all. As one who has reached three score and ten- I can recall that unless we were able to "sneak" out during lunch- we had to eat in school. The assessment about the local business is right on target- Compare it to the local "Gin Mills' and pubs who fought unsuccessfully against smoking and how it would "kill" their business. Well, it is now fact that many who did not eat there in view of the horrendous second hand smoke are now enjoying eating out. Of course our economy is hurting all, but in a short while, the recovery or the normal business cycle will begins its upward move and the bad R words will be in our rear view mirrors.

Yes it is difficult time that we live. As a grandparent of one who probably did participate, I too am proud. And to those who talk about the negative areas of the KHS, take a gander of the soon to be released Fiddler on the Roof, DVD and "qvell" about the production. Attended by thousands.

Also check out the HS and Middle School All County orchestra performances at the Miller School. These All county student musicians were magnificent.

The sounds of these "kids" is phenomenal. Hopefully the orchestra shows were recorded so that money can be made to make certain that these kids continue to have music and "stuff".

Sure athletics are important, but these extra curricular programs should not be taken away. Oh yeah, there are many music scholarships.

Hopefully the BOE understands that the calibre of these students are spectacular.
Hey as one who probably talks as much as he writes- let this be the summary of this long winded statement. .............you fill in the blanks.
take care
Shelly Z

And as we gain entry into the month of April- Remember Bataan.
April 9, 1942. Without this incredible sacrifice and courage, we might have to be speaking Japanese. The Battle for the Philppines althought barely mentiond in our current history books is almost obliterated. But lest we forget- it was the real turning point of the war in the Pacific. These valiant heroes gave our country the necessary time to reinforce Australia and commence the journey to victory.