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Contact information will be updated in future releases.

Contact:          Brian Kelly  
Date:               June 16, 2015
         ****** PRESS RELEASE ******
Note to Press: You may use all or part of this press release in a report or column. It was written by Brian Kelly.  The reason Brian writes so many press releases is because he believes the media in NEPA does not represent the people effectively.  He hopes and objective source will pick up on what is really happening in Wilkes-Barre. The media companies in NEPA are short of staff and they go with the flow because they have nobody to respond if they actually take a stance and the people want to gain a better explanation.  So, to keep the profits rolling, the savants in local media cannot actually do their jobs because they are not given the time by their management to help the people. 

Probably the worst thoughts of the people in a community are expressed when unpaid School Boards decide to build something about which the people, who feel they have a stake in the decision are against. Some citizens who cannot figure out why the school board would be against the people, go so far as to suggest that the only way an unpaid board gets paid is to build something.

How in the world can our school board know the magic cost number is $100 million? This is very intriguing considering there are no blueprints yet? Heck, there is no design unless you check out the generic platforms on www.lionel.com and then you check out their Plasticville subsidiary.

One could reasonably posit that a hundred million is a lot to pay for permanently deferred maintenance that to this day has never been done. The people say there is a huge cadre of maintenance personnel just willing to us both sides of a hammer. If so, why have they chosen not to engage the nails for so many years? This Board must remember that this decision is not about a big city such as Philadelphia and their public education system. This is about little ole Wilkes-Barre PA. We surely do not want this little venture to be about profiting off of children. And, so we have a right and a duty to question our representatives.  

Why should the public worry about the integrity of the school board? Obviously, we elected them so we must have once trusted them. But, all of a sudden our buildings are all falling down by themselves and the same people that permitted that travesty are looking for our trust to the tune of $100 million in public funds to make it OK. OK for what? OK for them to start mismanaging district assets once again. OK to let the faucet leak while the work breaks go on in the wet. OK to let the toilet block and enlist the district sign people to put a "broken" label on it? OK to put scaffolding up to prove that things need to be replaced and that $100 million is needed? Who is trying to fool the dummies in the district? Are we the people the dummies? Dear school board; it does not seem like the people are as dumb as you think. Your plan to overwhelm John Q. Public into capitulation for your quest is not working so maybe you should reevaluate your solid stance against the people. 

Maybe I am not seeing it straight but I think I see it too straight. Here is a case study—just enough to show you that school officials are brought to task in other parts of the country in the same fashion that the FBI wiped out the infamous Dunn Deals of the past from the WBASD less than ten years ago?  This is not an anecdote and it is not about our school board but could it be with $100 million at stake:

" Brownsville ISD is the Rio Grande Valley's largest school district but according to a new federal lawsuit, it may also be the most troubled. A 29-page page lawsuit filed at Brownsville's federal courthouse on Tuesday outlines at least three year's worth of corruption.

The "tell-all" lawsuit alleges acts of favoritism and corruption at Brownsville ISD. Among the allegations are favoritism with school district contracts and retaliation against those who asked questions.

BISD school board members Luci Longoria and Caty Presas are suing the school district they were elected to represent. [Walker and Katsock should take similar action.] The two are also suing Superintendent Carl Montoya, school district attorney Baltazar Salazar and their fellow board members. Presas and Longoria claim late school board president Enrique Escobedo acted as a ringleader of the corruption.

They claim Escobedo had a personal relationship with Joe Salazar, a person whose company got a contract for insurance at the district. The lawsuit also alleges that Escobedo gave his own brother school district work.

Presas and Longoria claim Port of Brownsville board member Martin Arambula gave escobedo's brother…

It goes on

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Has anybody heard of nepotism or cronyism or corruption in Luzerne County? Let's suppose that everybody on the board did their jobs to the best of their ability. That would mean there was no corruption. Well, what happened to the buildings? Why are they in such a state of disrepair? Did Scranton take over for a few months and that is when the damage occurred?

Was it local incompetence or malfeasance? Will there be no corruption when WBASD gets to put forth the lucrative design and building contracts. To whom will they be awarded? Can the people be assured that there will be no finders fees for board members and that those contractors who helped the board members reach their conclusions in this past phase cannot profit by receiving a huge multi-million dollar contract when the project gets underway?

Even a contract for $1.00 would be out of line as I see it. Would the recommendation be so unanimous for building a new school and ripping down another if the contractor who studied the buildings' strengths and weaknesses were not permitted to bid? Hey! These are questions the people are posing! What are the answers? Why are there no answers? 

Dr. Bernard S. Prevuznak, who may be the first Superintendent of the Wyoming Valley East School District in just a few years has composed a terrific greeting on the current WBASD web site.

http://www.wbasd.k12.pa.us/SuperintendentsMessage.aspx

The parts that are about to change based on the board's recent decision to destroy community schools are highlighted in red below. Has Dr. P constructed the shorter version of this greeting for the future without neighborhood schools or will this piece of hogwash stand over time? If so, please show us!

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Welcome to one and all,

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District has a rich tradition of academic excellence, athletic competitiveness, and community and social involvement. Our district consists of a diverse student population that embraces and promotes the unique differences that each individual child brings to our schools. 

Our district strives to provide a safe learning environment while giving opportunities that allow students to achieve academic success, obtain emotional maturity, and recognize the social responsibilities that are needed to become productive citizens of society.  

Our past successes as a district are rooted in our long standing traditions and accomplishments, but our future stands on a vision that is flexible enough to provide growth for all our children’s needs. 

Despite being urban in nature, our district encompasses many geographical areas, from a country setting to city landscape, our district offers much to our community and its stakeholders. 

We welcome you to join us and explore the possibilities that the Wilkes-Barre Area School District holds for you and your children. Welcome!

End of WBASD message.

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How will these changes affect the children of Wilkes-Barre's many parents? That is the question not answered by the School Board, with the exception of Sean Walker, who happened to be the highest vote achiever in this year's primary election. In the fall, we the people need to address those savants who voted for this big rip off by voting them all out of office to give our kids a chance! Amen!