What is going on with the "Not" Melrose Free Press. It's not even a news paper. Its 30 pages of garbage stories, ads, and articles about schools and kids outside of Melrose with 1 or 2 local stories sprinkled in. Who cares about a kid from Saugus playing for MC, or a bunch of kids at SJP. Half the articles are written by the parents of kids with "courtesy" photos, the other 90% are written by other "wicked local" writers from other communities placed in the local paper...and there are 3 times as many ads as new stories. Paper is a complete joke. I'm canceling my subscription. Melrose weekly News is the only actual "Melrose" paper in the city. Credit to Bob Burgess and Jen Gentile and Gail Lowe for actually reporting on Melrose news with Melrose people and Melrose schools instead of letting a bunch of out of town writers or out of town parents who go to out of town schools send stuff in to to brag about there kids. Free Press is a rag used to sell regional ads...its not a news paper.
I totally agree. The Free Press is a rag that is bloated with ads. The Sports section is terrible. They would cover just 1 sport each week, except football. You might see a writeup about boys soccer one week, then wrestling the next, then volleyball the next, etc. The Friday paper is much better and to the point. I am one who cancelled the Thursday rag as well.
The Free Press reporter, AL is hitting the nail on the head and exposing the underbelly of this town. The 1 or 2 local stories he writes each week makes the paper worth reading.
Interesting that suddenly there is 'opposition' to the Free Press the day after it published a potent rebuttal to the school apologists who wrote last week.
I hope Colleen Murphy sees the requests to post her letter here.
Will The Melrose Weekly News print it next week?
I just read Miss Murphy's letter to the "Not So" Free Press. It appears Miss Murphy just discovered "famous quotes" via Google. I'm sure Superintendent Taymore is rushing to city hall today to tender her resignation after that piece of literary genius.
When are you Melrose Message folks going to step out from behind the keyboard and make your move. Letters to the newspaper and anonymous posts on a message board year after year. You are a bunch of paper tigers. All show, no go.
Original poster is right. I dumped my subscription 2 years ago, my neighbor kindly loaned me her copy of this weeks advertisements with a few stories and an editorial.
Hey "Lame": your mockery of Ms. Murphy's use of intelligent quotes demonstrates your own low tolerance for anything the least bit intellectual. You fit right in here, sadly. Too bad for elevating the discourse, something Ms. Murphy has done twice now, something Ms. Kourkoumelis and her family and associates (like Mr. Mroz) have done for many years. Sure, stick with the illiterate low bar of Taymore and Dolan (and Gagagliano and Grovor and Casetelli et al) if that's the best you can do. Some of us actually appreciate reminders of what constitutes true American and patriotic values, as Ms. Murphy's quotes do quite appropriately.
As the original poster as I can state that this post had nothing to do with any letter to the editor in the Free Press this week or last week. It was a direct criticism with the out of town garbage being placed in the Not so Melrose Free Press every week. The paper is a waste of natural resources. Losing a single piece of a tree for the garbage "wicked local" produces is a crime. With that said, you @ssholes opened the door on the perpetual whining and complaining by the MM crowd and their loser political champions. Your heroes, CKK, GM, MM,PW, the latest queen JD, JLB are trying to tell Melrose how it should be run but can't even maintain their own property, if they actually own property...as a couple are living in their parents home. Their houses are falling down, they live in garbage neighborhoods or are mooching off their parents..but you losers think they should be the elected officials in the City of Melrose...proving that your opinions are right where they belong...the meaningless anonymity of Melrose Messages. This crowd either went down in flames at the ballot box, or got elected and quit. Not surprising for a group that can't keep up their own property. Taking care of business starts at home. Only delusional lunatics live in sh*t boxes or mooch off their parents and try to tell everyone else how to live.
I don't care what kind of house, box or tent my elected officials and school officials live in. I only expect that they not intimidate me or retaliate against me and my family using public resources (MPD, DCF or the court system or other criminal methods) simply because I have made a complaint of misconduct against a school or city official. Sadly, the majority of Melrose citizens who have made legit complaints about city officials and school officials have become victims of this insidious and criminal activity. It runs from the very top, through the city solicitor's office to the superintendent's office, assistant superintendent's office SRO and down to individual principals. They are all complicit in violating the civil rights of our friends and neighbors.
Boy are you a sweetheart of a fellow! Out of guilt I’m assuming your writing about the condition of my house. Guilty as charged. I just had another 5 day stint at Melrose Wakefield and three months before that had another 4 day stay. I’ve got some health issues in recent years which has prevented me from keeping up with appearances. I don’t know why that bothers you unless you happen to live across the street from me and I’m pretty sure you know how I feel about the time and energy you spend on cutting each individual blade of grass on your lawn. Time well spent.
Had it occurred to you that maybe some of us may not have the cash to make repairs? Or the equity to borrow because we’ve got too much debt paying for college or taxes or water bills? Who are you to judge? I could use the help if you’re volunteering.
Perfect example of free press not covering the news...... Late start vote Monday March 21 and free press didn't have a word of it in paper and weekly news covered it extensively on Match 25. Free press finally had it on paper this week March 30. They are late to game, courtesy articles and ads are what makes the paper now not any real news until the story is old.
Good 'catch' Hassan! That's similar to when athletes give "110%". [:))]
Not sure where this is coming from. The Free Press broke both OCR stories, covered records disputes between CK and CT, broke the news about CK's resignation, and yesterday reported that a teacher had been placed on leave for a physical incident with a student. Lots of ads, yes, but also some well reported stories each week.
Not so. Melrose Messages first broke these stories; OCR and others. The "Melrose Faux Press" only caught up to the game after it became impossible for them to ignore without them looking like incompetent reporters.
The whole purpose of MelroseMessages is to provide a safe anonymous place for folks to drop dimes, expose what's going on and to vent. So what if all the stories begin here? That's the point. What people post here needs to be vetted and legitimized. How else is that suppose to happen unless the media is involved? This site can never be authenticating in and of itself and must be partnered with the press At one time the Free Press didn't print anything that began here until Aaron road in on his white horse!
Hundreds of people read this board everyday, and essentially most of the City knows about it and it is the bane of Dolan's and the school committee's existence which give me great personal satisfaction.
I have to disagree that the Free Press is worthless. It was. Now...not so much. As long as Aaron is around I'm willing to buy it.
OK Pattie. You win. But I've got an idea. Lets have Aaron file a public records request for all police reports since August 2012 filed by school administrators against parents using the school resource officer. Let's see how many times the super, assistant super, principals and teachers have filed false police reports against unsuspecting parents who have just filed teacher/administrator misconduct complaints with the school district. I bet this would yield a treasure trove of illegal intimidation and retaliation by district employees.
Here is the post Pattie is referencing from a victimized family:
Quote: concerned parent
I happened to see the name Van Campen bantered about in connection with the Melrose Civil Rights violations and the name rang a bell.
“In prior communications you have been informed to direct all inquiries in connection with this matter to me. Do not communicate with ________ as she has no further information relative to your request. In fact, further communication from you to Ms.________relative to this year old issue is bordering on harassment and intimidation and, to the extent you persist in further communicating with her about this specific matter, I will advise her to seek guidance from the Police Department as to her rights.”
I am wondering how many other SPED parents or parents who have filed complaints with the schools have received similar intimidating communications like this after receiving inadequate or no response to their formal complaints with the school district?
Most alarming was that this e-mail was openly copied to the Chief of Police and other top school administrators which we naturally understood as an open and serious attack on our family.
The cyberbullying threat above was sent to parents who were victims of a false police report, crafted by a principal less than two days after the parents had filed a formal complaint of teacher misconduct/harassment (the teacher was ultimately permitted to exit the school year early and retire). Although there had been many complaints from parents regarding this teacher, this was the first one that was formalized in writing, which apparently ticked off the administration and city solicitor.
Now wouldn't think that an investigation would be undertaken immediately in accordance with State law regarding these complaints about a teacher? This is Melrose,so you would be wrong of course.
And just imagine how startled and shocked you would be to hear from your child at the end of the school day to hear that a parent was yelling, screaming and swearing at the principal for a full 10 minutes from 8:00 to 8:10 AM at the front steps of the school in front of all the parents and kids lined up and waiting to to enter the school? Wow! What a fantastic story!...except it was complete fiction. The school resource officer failed to interview even one of the 150 or so alleged witnesses to corroborate this fantastic story.
And curious how this fantastic story never ended up on Melrose Messages which would have been lighting up that same day if such an incident had ever occurred.
Terribly sorry to hear about this incident and to see the actually note sent to you and your family! Rest assure that this does not represent the community feelings and only goes to show the arrogance and indifference that our city and school officials have towards those parents who speak out and really care about the educational opportunities for their children in our school district. This is what many of us have been fighting against over the past many years and particularly over the past 4 years!
However, nothing will change until we remove the Mayor and change over the school committee members. I am afraid that this will take time given the Mayor's penchant to remain in office and his machine he has built over the past 14 years - and the stubbornness of the "Old Guard" on the committee to remain in office. As the saying goes, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"!
How did the city solicitor become involved?
Just a quick follow-up to my thoughts above. Everything to the city & school admin is about "image" and how they want this to be portrayed to the outside world - no matter if the narrative does not fit the reality - to them it doesn't matter - it's the narrative that's important - a city without problems - no drugs, no violence, no vandalism, no school issues worthy of comment - all is right! Get the people that think like you in all the important city and school departments - and the narrative continues, unabated, unchallenged, and of course, unsubstantiated!
The parents found out several weeks later from a friend that their name and address turned up on the Melrose Police Department website's online incident log. They requested any records related to the alleged incident from the superintendent's office who then falsely claimed there were no such records.
A records request was then made to MPD citing the report number on the police log. They also denied that the record existed. A request was then made through the school resource officer, again requesting the record by report number. After much wrangling, the police report was finally sent to the parents by MPD. (The school department's record of the principal's allegations was never released to the parents and presumably has been destroyed).
Given the parents' extraordinary efforts to attempt (three times) to receive a copy of this false report, it is quite clear that the superintendent's office nor the school resource officer ever intended to let the parents know that any police report had even been filed against them in retaliation for making the initial complaint.
The parents then presented the false report to the principal, requesting that she immediately redact all her false statements contained in the report within two weeks. Knowing that filing a false police report is a felony offense, she panicked and referred it to the city solicitor, who then contacted the parents, initially implying he could help them with the matter.
The city's "legal eagle" is someone of low ability to discern what is appropriate and what is not, just like those who are using him to bolster their claims, whatever they may be. He is himself a politician, failing catastrophically in his own bid for Everett mayor, continuing as alderman and Melrose city solicitor simultaneously. Our mayor, financial officer, superintendent, certain aldermen, and most certainly the chair of the school committee (past and present) using this failed hack (who should be reported) to craft "opinions" that in many cases already have been shot down by higher authorities, starting with the Federal Office of Civil Rights and moving through various state authorities like the Attorney General's Office and Public Records chief. He is aided by the hired guns, all of whom employ similarly low legal and ethical standard (but at least citizens are paying through the nose and for many years for their distinguished services!).
It doesn't take a law degree to know that the US OCR condemned the work of our city's legal team, which had been behind the illegal "investigations" and strategies of OCR cases 1 through 4 (2-4 may have been merged by now). (FYI there are likely other OCR cases by now, based on the pattern of illegal retaliatory actions of school and city authorities.) CT could never have acted on her own with issues of such magnitude. The entire school committee is complicit, if not by their direct action, then by their willful refusals to be informed and demonstrate appropriate oversight. The same is true with all of the other legal actions (special education, labor/personnel) that have been taken against the school district and city which the elected officials have chosen not to see or take appropriate responsibility for by channeling all information through the chair (present and former), who most certainly is in the loop and bears total culpability.
Getting rid of various elected officials will just be like cutting off the hydra-head. Same with getting rid of certain key hired officials. For anything to be effective there will have to be a multi-pronged effort to expose, discredit, and ultimately remove the roots of the pernicious structure. Going after the attorneys at the heart of the "advice" keeping these elected and hired officials going with their abuse of power is key to unraveling the whole mess. Having truly ethical and skilled attorneys who are citizens willing to help is the way to start.
That being said, Ms. Colleen Murphy is an attorney, one with an obvious ethical makeup and clearly someone of strength. Not only is she to be commended for her extraordinary two published analyses of the school system. She should be asked to join with other similarly capable and ethically based attorneys who live here and care about fixing the obvious injustice that now compromises the well-being of the entire community.
First he claims he can help you with the situation, does absolutely nothing other than stall for time, closes the matter without doing an investigation and then intimidates you into not contacting the school district again about the matter! And our tax dollars pay this guy's salary??
Let me give the citizens of Melrose a piece of advice. If the city solicitor ever contacts you, hang up the phone immediately. Despite his claim that he is the Liaison to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission, he will do absolutely nothing but throw up road blocks. Best advice: If it is a school related matter go straight to Federal Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Division. DESE will do nothing for you. Otherwise, contact the Middlesex District Attorney's office. Call Department of Children and Families if it is a situation of teacher/educator/administrator misconduct with a child, such as last week's incident at the middleschool.
Better yet, go to the US Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights, not the US Dept of Ed OCR.
Still on going until an investigation and outcome letter are sent to the complainants. Complainants have 60 days to file with OCR after the school department's complaint process runs it's course (ie., investigation completed and shared with parents along with the outcome letter).
Don't hold your breath waiting for an investigation and outcome letter. There are likely dozens of cases like this where the district received formal complaints but the assistant superintendent never did the investigations or outcome letters.
Apparently, the district "leaders" and city solicitor falsely believe that these cases can be "closed" by simply intimidating the complainants into not following up with their complaints. And when they try to, the city solicitor apparently believes that the complainant's periodic requests for the timely investigation and resolution of a complaint with district officials is somehow considered to be criminal harassment!
I want to thank you Pattie for what you did for my family. Without your help my child would have continued to be a victim. I'm not going to share the details here as I don't want my family to be outted which happens a lot here in Melrose. You knew we couldn't pay you and it didn't matter to you. I also know you well enough that it must be very difficult for you to have to turn people down. You are a great lady and a kickA&& attorney!
Ms. Wright, I posted a response above to the person who said (paraphrased)
Ok. Patti you won ... but what about a public records request ...
I said that it only takes one such finding to be abhorrent. And I referenced the letter that I'd seen on here.
Since my post was answering the person speaking to you, it might have been read as you saying it.
I stand behind what I said which is simply that my blood would run cold to have to continue to send my child to a school where the admin was willing to destroy my life.
If the school district doesn't answer complaints in the time proscribed, is there no place to elevate to?
So many days pass, no response, next step is ....
I just looked back and Pattie is right. I should have mentioned "It Only Takes One " as the poster who had referenced the city solicitor letter they had seen earlier on MM. Sorry about that Pattie.
No apology is necessary. I just needed for the folks who read this thread to understand that I was not making any inferences, advocating support or imparting any legal advice. An honest mistake. No harm no foul.