Chariho School Parents’ Forum

December 4, 2008

And the editor’s commentary

Filed under: Nov 18 meeting (where I was removed from office) — Editor @ 10:05 pm
The Felkner situation could have been handled better
Wednesday, 03 December 2008

Given the fact that School Committee member and Hopkinton Town Councilor William Felkner will not return our calls, we don’t know what his take is on being ousted from the school committtee. We do know this much, he has hired an attorney to fight his disqualification by the school committee and the Hopkinton Town Council is supporting him.
We also know the whole incident could have been handled better.

Continue Reading HERE

note – her piece mentions that I did not return their calls.  Thats true.  And it’s not easy because I find Galen McGovern (the Times editor) one of the better ones – I don’t always agree with her commentaries but they usually seem like I’m listening to one of my neighbors – very sincere and speaking from what she thinks is best for her family – very real.  But long time readers will remember that the Chariho Times fired a reporter after Ricci complained.  I understand its a private business and I support their right to fire anyone they want – but if I don’t agree, I can go elsewhere, or not speak to their reporters.  That issue is posted HERE



  1. A whole lot of nothing as I would expect from such an amateur newspaper. Where was the comments from Billy-boob…the Richmond police…Mr. Ricci? She only called Mr. Felkner? Nothing new.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 5, 2008 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  2. Hi!
    The Chariho Times does well with an editor and one reporter and an office manager. They have others that do some other work. The Sun has a number of staff people, they can assign, if need be. I am very concerned with The Providence Journal eliminating their regional sections. However Donita Naylor attended last Monday’s Town Council meeting in Hopkinton and produced a front page article in that newspaper featuring Barbara Capalbo,Marjorie “Midje” Rekowski, and Elaine Morgan.
    Bill could have responded and declined comment but telling Galen McGovern, Chariho Times editor why, mentioning his concern about the Ricci situation and the reporter he mentioned. At least she would have gotten Bill’s perspective.
    Obviously all perspectives should be considered in most circumstances in a newspaper story. Recently Ms. McGovern asked me for two names to do a story on the Ashaway Fire Station building matter. I gave her the Chief (Mike Williams), and Kathy Schmidt, the Chair of the Ashaway Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners. I did not mention Mike is also building committee chair but that would come out in an interview. I provided with some background.
    MOST people do NOT separate the Ashaway Fire District, a government entity and the AShaway Volunteer Fire Association, a private entity),. The Westerly Sun recently did an article by Ms. Goff,and she only talked to the Chief but not Mrs. Schmidt who heads the district’s governing board. I assume she did not think of or know of the two entities or consider that perspective for her story.
    As some if not many of you are aware ,I am on the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Ashaway Fire District, which is the governing body of the district. When the building committee was set up for the fire station additions was formed the then fire commissioners were named to it by name not office. That is why I am the only one of the three fire commissioners not on the building committee. I am not grouching about it just mentioning the facts. I started my second three year non consecutive term in 2007,.
    Our volunteer firemen save taxpayers a lot of money, as if we had a paid municipal fire dept., it would cost us much more money.
    I have gotten way off the subject of Bill and The Chariho Times, but I think The Chariho Times, do good with what they have.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 5, 2008 @ 11:52 am | Reply

  3. What they have could fit in my basement…amateur at best. I’d like to be nicer, but read this editorial, and just about any other, and try to convince me these are serious people (the three of them) writing serious stuff. Sorry, but their effort, well-intentioned or not, is amateurish.

    Mr. Felkner makes a wise decision in avoiding media which writes with obvious bias. Mr. Ricci is the likely ringleader, per usual, and the Times has shown they jump at his command. Why would anyone put themselves in a situation where their words can be misrepresented?

    Unlike Mr. Ricci, Billy-boob, etal., Mr. Felkner presents his opinions and perspectives here…unfiltered. Doesn’t get any better…every politician should be as open and honest. Shoot, the Times could easily come here for Mr. Felkner’s comments. Of course then, if they distorted his comments, we’d all know.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 5, 2008 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

  4. I’ve got to disagree with you CR. I find McGovern to be pretty good. As I did James Madden.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — December 5, 2008 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  5. I wrote the above before reading the article by Mr. McGovern. It did seem to be well written and fair. I stand by my comments on the editorial writing.

    If Mr. McGovern’s article is representative of his journalistic skills, I’m sure he’ll be moving on before too long. I hope Mr. Madden landed on his feet after being so badly treated by the Times with an assist from Mr. Ricci.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 5, 2008 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  6. Hi!
    Galen is a she not he.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 5, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  7. Is McGovern the editor or reporter? If she is the editor, then I retract my positive statement. The news report was fine. Whoever writes the editorials is severely lacking in logic. Not only are the Times’ editorials filled with emotion…”for the children” kind of stuff…but the grammar is sorely lacking as well. Most High School newspapers do a better job.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 5, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

  8. Hi!
    Galen is the Editor and does coverage also as I understand it. Mr. Martin does Hopkinton but they use freelancers. I will stand corrected if I am wrong.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 8, 2008 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  9. Well if Ms. McGovern is the one who writes the editorials, then she is the one who couldn’t compete with a High School newspaper.

    Mr. Felkner describes her as like talking to his neighbors, and this is about right. The problem is that when I want to talk to my neighbors I do just that…I used to hold newspapers to a higher standard. Ms. McGovern’s editorials are usually emotional drivel with little to no facts to back up her opinions. She strikes me as very nice and very ill informed.

    I’m tired of the “for the children” type nonsense that drives so much of our political discourse. How about doing what works instead of what feels good? Doing what works may make you feel terribly, like defeating a bond, but if it is the only effective means to an end then you do what should do instead of what you want to do.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 8, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  10. I was under the impression Mr. Petit voted against the actions taken to disenfranchise Hopkinton yet the Times editorial claims the vote was 6 – 3 – 1. Assuming Mr. Vecchio, Mr. Abbott, and Ms. Carney opposed the illegal move and Ms. Serra abstained, this would mean Mr. Petit supported Hopkinton being left without our full representation. I know the guy’s an idiot, but if this is true, it takes the cake.

    I wonder if Mr. Petit’s support of disenfranchising Hopkinton was a quid pro quo for his subsequent appointment to the position of Vice Chair? This can only mean the Chariho apologists are positioning Mr. Petit to be the next Chair after Ms. Eaves.

    Mr. Petit is the worst possible Hopkinton rep to sit as the Chair. He’s not very bright, plus he’s proven again and again he will support Chariho’s failures come hell or high water. I hope the town’s lawyer holds to the view that all votes occurring without Mr. Felkner on the School Committee are rendered null and void. Although we do not have enough votes to prevent the nincompoop Petit from stabbing Hopkinton in the back in exchange for power on the School Committee, at least the discussion should take place with Mr. Felkner present so Mr. Petit’s many flaws can be publically debated.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 8, 2008 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

  11. I’m pretty sure Petit voted for Felkner to remain and the vote was 5-4-1.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — December 9, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  12. Well if you are right Gene, and the School Committee re-votes (they love re-votes)…then perhaps there’s an outside chance they’ll reverse their horrendous decision to disenfranchise Hopkinton.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 9, 2008 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  13. There is not a chance in h*&$ that the SC is going to hold a vote on the reinstatement of BF… isn’t on the agenda so they can’t.


    Comment by RS — December 9, 2008 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  14. The SC saying they can’t do something because it isn’t on the agenda….now the Chair H. Eaves has asked for a recess because she doen’t know what else to do…..and BD is jumoing in(out of order I might add) to interject to her what she should be doing….the solicitor is obviuosly in the pocket of the SC to allow them to do what ever it is they want……truely pathetic, it really really is.


    There, I think that is the first time I used the word idiot on this blog, but if the shoe fits…..

    Comment by RS — December 9, 2008 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  15. BD, AP and the Chariho solicitor… Now there are the idiots!

    I felt badly for Holly Eaves, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Deb Carney did her homework and had it all lined up for them yet it fell on deaf ears.

    You take an illegal vote for which you don’t even have authority to rule on and that’s ok. Then a motion is made that is perfectly legal and on the agenda and contained within a letter but that’s not ok. GO FIGURE THAT ONE!

    I had to leave, couldn’t take much more of the stupidity that I saw tonight.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 9, 2008 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  16. Holly Eaves was only stuck because she is in a position(Chair) which she was ill prepared to be in. I would think that a person who accepts a chair position(I believe she had the option to bypass)would at least study and prepare for the task. I am sorry, but I charge her with the responsibility to step up to the task if she chooses to accept it.
    I have to wonder if this is how the whole Chariho system approaches the education of my children. Take the job, but don’t bother us with the details of actually knowing what we are doing, and don’t expect us to make any extra effort….why run for the office if you don’t expect it will take some of your time.

    B Petit was a classic when he said we have been at this for many hours and have done nothing for the children……if he only knew…..this case could teach a child more about CIVICS than anything I’ve seen from the SC thus far. Guess he will be blowing the perfect opportunity to learn from this. Sad.

    Comment by RS — December 9, 2008 @ 11:04 pm | Reply

  17. Allowing unlimited access to the Solicitor is a big, big mistake, that hack(I will be proven right about this, but it will be served on a cold platter)causes more problems than he solves by disrupting the meeting with what he thinks are “facts”. The SC members are so quick to turn to him for every little question it is silly. Between getting his approval and Ricci’s, the SC is nothing more than a puppet show. Nothing seems to get done unless Ricci and the Solicitor are in agreement.

    Oh yeah did I mention BD is might proud of himself.

    Comment by RS — December 9, 2008 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

  18. Couldn’t they have acknowledged they were wrong last time and rule the earlier vote illegal? Or if they don’t have it in them to admit they broke the law, at least rule the last vote null and void?

    No pity for Ms. Eaves. She’s responsible for her votes over the last few years. She decided to join in the coup against Hopkinton. Looks like “idiot” is taking the lead.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 9, 2008 @ 11:18 pm | Reply

  19. Was Mr. Felkner and his lawyer allowed to speak? Is it safe to say this issue will not be resolved by the School Committeee? Was there talk of settling it out of court?

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 9, 2008 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  20. Did anyone video?

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 9, 2008 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

  21. Hi all,
    Sounds like there is no good news. I’m disappointed. I wish Bob P. had stuck up for Hopkinton. We’ll have to wait for a judge to decide. Thanks for updating us!

    Comment by JIm L. — December 9, 2008 @ 11:29 pm | Reply

  22. The mouthpieces of the SC were worried about violating OMA by not having the vote on the agenda…..funny huh. They were very concerned about the proper procedures to follow, big change from Nov 18 meeting when they trampled on every policy, rule, and doctrine of fairness to oust BF. The solicitor actually state there was no open meeting violation at the last meeting regarding the issue not on the agenda. Does he have some “big ones” or what?? Thankfully I couldn’t tell, the podium blocked my view.

    Comment by RS — December 9, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  23. I think a court date is in BF’s future, but we will see what the SC puts on the agenda for January. Video was rolling. Anyone know how to get a copy…is it FOIA.

    Comment by RS — December 9, 2008 @ 11:33 pm | Reply

  24. The report from the evening sheds more light on Mr. Anderson’s role. He was told to figure out a way to legally justify Mr. Felkner’s ouster so he did…as pathetic as his legal reasoning was, he did as ordered. They voted on an issue not on the agenda. How much more a violation could there be? The School Committee has been trampling all over the rights of the community for years. Will this finally be the time when someone pushes back? I’d like to see each member held personally liable for their actions.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 9, 2008 @ 11:36 pm | Reply

  25. Hi!
    In 2010 Hopkinton will be electing three school committee members to the Chariho Regional School Committee. Richmond one, and Charlestown also three. If interested running in Hopkinton as a Republican keep me in mind as I serve on the Republican Town Committee. Town Committees organize next month. This happens every two years. Town Committees control the affairs of the local parties.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — December 15, 2008 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  26. Town Committees… Another outdated institution that needs to go away. What have any of the town committees done besides endorse candidates?

    Republican Party… a joke for a politcal party in Rhode Island.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 15, 2008 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  27. Why don’t we just do away with all politics, citizens rights to vote, and the Constitution, and just make CP the dictator!!

    PS All…….HAPPY BILL OF RIGHTS DAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by RS — December 15, 2008 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

  28. RS, you’ve missed the point…

    What do town committees do for any town? I’ve asked that question a number of times around the state and I’ve yet to get a viable answer on it.

    Can you say that the Republican Party in this state is of much use?

    I had been a member of the Republican Party in Massachusetts but I really don’t want to be associated with the Republican Party here in RI. They aren’t worth my time or effort and I could never call myself a Democrat since I don’t adhere to so many of their positions.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 15, 2008 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

  29. Sadly, the point missed is the right of every citizen to be free to participate in a democratic republic. People are free (within legally established limits) to contribute money to political campaigns, work as volunteers for political candidate’s, circulate petitions, communicate with elected officials in person or in writing, stage and participate in protests, and exert influence on the political system in dozens of other ways.
    If any of this is considered to be a waste of time by someone, they are free to choose not to participate.
    SBH is simply exercising his right.

    Comment by RS — December 15, 2008 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  30. …….as are you.

    Comment by RS — December 15, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  31. RS, tell me where I denied anyone any of that? I merely said that town committees are a waste as is the Republican Party in this state.

    Comment by CharihoParent — December 15, 2008 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

  32. Never said you denied anyone anything. Simply affirming SBH right to choose the political vehicle he believes in, whether anybody else does or not.

    Comment by RS — December 15, 2008 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

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