Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yeedle Kumzitz In Lakewood

Singing songs from his latest album.

Lipa @ Oorah concert Chanukah

Yehuda Green in Lakewood Carlebach kumzitz

I know what your thinkin...'This must be an oooold video because it's outdoors'...??? You're right, but it's a Lakewood vid....and we're all about Lakewood stuff here ya know....!

Danziger Singing At Mekimi Chanukah Party this Chanukah

One of the many Mekimi Chanukah parties in Lakewood....Danziger and the Mekimi boys

Hold up @ gun point

There was a hold up last night @ the cash checking place on rt 9. A handgun was used in the robbery. No injuries were reported.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Continued Readers' Scoop: Kosher Cars

(Continued) In conclusion, I'd like to encourage the yidden of Lakewood to fix up their clunkers or cash them in. Forget this philosophy of "drive the car until it dies" and take the car to a proper mechanic who will fix the car properly. Please note, I don't think these mechanics who bandage a car when it needs surgery is considered properly fixing a car. At the same time, why do you need a 2009 or 2010 car? Is it to show off your wealth or to drive a car that will last a long time. I guarantee you that a 2006 car or even 2003 car will suffice just as well.
Thanks for listening.

M. Spinka
(Click here to comment on front page)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Conitnued EXCLUSIVE: Audio And Statement From Vaad Hatzala Japan / Lakewood Sheds New Light On Case

(Continued) The only reason for them all not being represented by the same people, is due to the choice of the families and the advise of their Rabbeim. Rabbi Mendel Shafran, a Dayan in Bnei Brak, provides some funding, to both of these groups, from collections made via Kupat Hair.

Yossi, the youngest boy, had his trial, ending on Feb 10, of this year, and in April, was sentenced to 5 to 8 years. He was transferred from his jail in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba, to a Juvenile Prison. He (and the other boys) was and is, completely alone. Though strictly speaking, their condition is not called solitary confinement, due to the fact that they can see their jailer, and don't receive their food through a hole in a door, however they have no interaction with any other people. They are not allowed visitors, other than their parents, who have seen them a few times, their lawyers, and officials of the Israeli Embassy.

Yossi, now is waiting for the process of preparing his transfer to Israel be completed. There was a treaty for prisoner exchange, between Israel and Japan, made a few years ago , and legally there is nothing stopping this transfer, other that the bureaucratic process.

It has been reported in the English Hamodia paper, that Rabbi Bleich , a rabbi in Ukraine, flew to Japan in late July, to receive a signature from the Japanese Justice minister to enable yossi's release within ten days. This Report is False. According to Rabbi Bleich, he never met with the minister as reported. Additionally Vaad Hatzala has confirmed that the claim by some people that the minister signed a release, did not happen. According to Yossi's lawyer, the lengthy process of arranging the transfer is still ongoing. This fact has been confirmed , by multiple officials in the Israeli Justice Ministry, and the Israeli embassy in Japan. According to the Embassy, the normal amount of time needed for such a transfer to be arranged, is one year from the sentence. It is unclear how this false story became circulated to the media.

Some of the information disseminated about the condition of the boys in jail, is not true. Though the boys are each kept in a small room by themselves, and are not allowed to lay down during the day, they are not forced to sit in any particular position. However, being held in seclusion, would undoubtedly cause a person , some of the worst kind of anguish imaginable, regardless of whether the word torture should be applied to this form of punishment. Their mental and psychological collapse from being in this condition, is almost certain. Seclusion of this kind, for even a few days, would cause an average person long term damage. The cell the boys are each in ,are about 4 ft x 8 ft. All there is in the room, is a roll up mat on which they sleep. During the day, they must roll up this mat, and either sit on the floor, or stand. Their diet consists of bread and a half cucumber, or tomato, per day. They are periodically allowed out of their cell, into a different cell, of the same size, that is open to the sky, for a break of 20 minutes.

Currently, Yossi is in a juvenile prison, and is waiting for the process of transfer to be completed. The other 2 boys are waiting for trial. A trial date has not yet been arranged.

Vaad Hatzala Japan, are people from Lakewood NJ, who have been involved in the effort to free these boys. (To contact the Vaad Hatzala, please email TLS).
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Continued: Kudos To Chaveirim, LPD And Chief Lawson

(continued) -while advising the woman to park her car at a local shop. Meanwhile, Captain Mooney immediately contacted Chief Rob Lawson about the ordeal. Chief Lawson immediately agreed to head out to pick up the stranded woman and children. Without further delay, The Chief got into his car and headed out to the I195. He picked up the family and arrived to Lakewood approximately one hour into Shabbos. Chaveirim Emergency Shabbos Hosting Program director Yehuda Tzvi Rotberg would like to thank Chaveirim dispatcher and member Mutty Tress, dispatcher and member Peretz Gershbaum, Chaveirim member Sruly Dorfman, Captain Mooney of the Lakewood Police Department and Chief Rob Lawson for bringing this nightmare to a swift end. (TLS).
(Click here to comment on front page)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

continued TLS EXCLUSIVE Chavrei Hakollel Fined Nearly $3,000 By Township

(Continued) the plumbing inspector found some code which stated that the thrift store needed a shower and a slop sink. While this back and forth was going on the Kollel was told by the people involved that a variance can be filed with the township and the store should remain open. However, the township inspector refused to budge and wrote ticket after ticket to the Kollel-to R' Yishai Ghoori-and to the owner of the property, Mr. Seymour Wynmann, who is allowing the Kollel to use the building and just asking the Kollel to cover monthly costs. In fact says R' Ghoori, Mr. Nelson was overheard at the municipal court after he was confronted by him saying "I’m gonna fine that R' Ghoori", which he did. The work was then completed and Mr. Nelson threatened the owner that being that some of the work wasn't done properly he’s going to get the township to reinspect for electric and fail us. While this was happening The Kollel was informed that the township “can’t find” the change of use and a new inspection cannot take place. Eventually after a few thousand dollars of costs, the C/O was filed and the court date to clear up this mess, was set. The Kollel approached some township members and askanim about the situation and was assured that all we be well. Unfortunately that wasn't to be the case. The judge took no interest and refused to entertain the circumstances of the case and fined them $2850. Says R' Ghoori "the most frustrating part about the whole story is, that in a town like Lakewood, its possible for a Moisad-which is a pillar of Chesed in the community-has nowhere and nobody to reach out to to step in and stop it from being harassed by the township". (TLS)
Click here to comment on front page.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Continued Readers' Scoop: Response To Shadchan Crisis

(Continued) We need them. They are here to help, and we need them.You may have had bad experiences. My heart goes out to you. But, don’t paint the all Shadchonim as pushy, uncaring and selfish people. It’s just not true.You have the right to tell a Shadchan that you don’t want to go ahead with a Shidduch. You don’t have to listen to a specific Shadchan whom you feel keeps giving you names that are off target. No one is forcing you to do anything. But please don’t blame Shadchonim for the crisis when they are the very people who helping to solve it. I’d like to take this opportunity to express the Hakoras Hatov that K’lal Yisroel has to the many dedicated Shadchonim. They deserve our greatest respect, and we can’t thank them enough. Hashem should bless them with much nachas from their families and hatzlocha in their efforts to help K’lal Yisroel!!
A TLS Reader
(Click here to comment on front page)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Continued Readers' Scoop: The Shadchan Crisis

(Continued) after another date until they have forced the two to marry each other on a pile of doubts. The “he wears pants and she has a skirt” philosophy in shidduchim is the number one factor for divorces in the frum world. I have become very turned off because of some of the shadchanim I’ve dealt with. I hope the shadchanim of Lakewood are reading this and ask themselves, “how have I caused the shidduch crisis and what can I do to solve it?”

A father.

(Click here to comment on front page)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Continued Reader's Scoop: Shocked And Disgusted

(continued) that would have told this rude person to send us such a hurtful letter. We are going through enough pain every single day and to add this on top just makes it harder. To be honest, I'm so disgusted with the person, and that a town like this can produce people who write such things that I'm seriously considering leaving. Furthermore, Mr./Mrs/ Anonymous should get their facts straight. I don't wear short skirts, and if I wear my skirts any longer I will end up flat on my face. None of my clothes are tight and if they were it's none of your business. Every day I have to listen to peoples insensitive comments but this...this is way to far.

IY"H Mom2B

(click here to comment on front page).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Continued Readers' Scoop: Where Is The Rav Now?

(Continued) Imagine…if someone called a Morah in this town and wished to pull their registered child out of the playgroup for a GOOD reason such as moving to another state or discovery of special needs etc., that parent would be required to find a replacement or pay for the entire year! A Rav would be called to deal appropriately with this hefsed and inconvenience for the Morah. But, a Morah could uninvite a child without engaging the parent in any dialogue or solution seeking conversation, based on phone calls from two mothers who thought this child was aggressive. Is every child easy? Are those the only children we INVITE to our playgroup? Who is going to find an appropriate playgroup for this yiddisher yingele at this late date? The two mothers? The Morah? From the conversation with my friend, it didn’t seem so. Where is the Rav now?
Completely disillusioned,
RB. (Click here to comment on front page).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Continued: Solomon College Comments

(Continued) It is to these people that I hope college becomes an option. Perhaps, college isn’t for them for one reason or another. However, I don’t think it is fair to people who could better their situation in life to not have college on the table. The problems in Lakewood are real and we need real solutions. College isn’t ideal, but neither is a teenage bochur skipping seder to hang out with a girl or do drugs. The “pretend like nothing is wrong” policy and the “sweep it underneath the rug” days of Lakewood are over. That is why I got up and suggested that college be considered an option. If you disagree, I ask that you offer some better suggestions. Click here to comment on front page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Continued: Solomon’s Journey From Yeshiva To College (Part 1)

(Continued) I went to one of my most trusted Rabbeim who knew me well from my years in Ohr Somayach. I explained the situation to him and he told me that he felt I should stay in yeshiva, but could leave to pursue parnassa if I felt that strong about the issue. I moved to Lakewood where I took a job at Shloimy’s Kosher World, while I was hoping to figure out what I was going to do with myself. College was on the back of my mind, but I still had fears. I was 24 and wouldn’t graduate until I was 28. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for college. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be successful. I had these fears along with a number of other concerns. Nevertheless, my experience at Shloimy’s Kosher World convinced me that college was my only ticket out. In a world of truth a cashier probably deserves the same respect as a lawyer, doctor, accountant, or any other hard working American. However, we live in a world of falsehood. People might not admit it, but many people don’t have a great deal of respect for a cashier. Proof is that not all, but a good number of customers talked to me as if I was less than human. I even discovered that the shadchanim shunned a cashier. I went to a certain shadchan and when I mentioned that I was a cashier at Shloimy’s Kosher World I knew from the expression on his face that he didn’t have a girl for me. Another shadchan was at least honest enough to say, “You can’t support a family with a paycheck from a grocery store.” If you doubt that this is how many people think I challenge you to answer a few questions honestly. Would you marry a cashier? Would you let your child marry a cashier? Would you ever work as a cashier for a long period of time? I didn’t leave yeshiva to be told that I’m worthless or that I don’t make enough money to marry this type or that type of girl. I left yeshiva to make an honest living so that I could support a family. My experience as a cashier at Shloimy’s Kosher World pushed me to overcome my fears. In the fall of 2006 I enrolled in Ocean County College. (Part 2 of this article to be completed at a late time…) (Click here to comment on front page)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Continued: The Unspoken Option-By Avi Solomon

(Continued) Granted, this generalization doesn’t even come close to pin pointing the source for teens at risk and etc… Nevertheless, I do think letting people know that “stay in yeshiva” or bumming around aren’t the only options. College can be a very viable option for people not matzliach in yeshiva, a youngerman who can’t afford kollel life any longer, or a female who wants to make more money to support her husband in learning as long as possible. I have made it a known fact on more than one occasion that I have attended Ocean County College for 3 semesters and am currently enrolled in Rutgers University. Consequently, I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and asked how they can get enrolled in college. The reality is that if you have a GED beginning the college process is quite easy. Enrolling in Ocean County College for an AA, to transfer to a 4 year school later, or to become a nurse through their nursing program is quite easy. OCC is like one the yeshivas that will accept anyone. Also, funding your education at OCC is also quite easy. FAFSA alone can pay for your entire education at OCC. Another option is that if you have BTL from BMG or another yeshiva you can apply to Fairly Dickinson, Kean, or Rutgers’ Master Program in accounting. A masters program will usually require you to take out student loans that will need to be paid back later. Finally, if you have a BTL in Talmudic law from BMG or another yeshiva you can take a test known as the LSAT and if you do well you can probably get accepted into a law school. If you and your rabbanim do think that college might be an option for you, now is the time to enroll as a new semester will beginning in September.
(Click here to comment on front page)

Continued: Exxon Station Responds To TLS Readers

(Continued) we observe all the kosher rules, and if there is anything that we need to correct we address it immediately.6-my store is open for inspection for anyone who would like to make sure that we are doing the right things. SUPPORTING the community was a priority since day one, and never refused to donate any money that I can afford, to any cause in Lakewood. as many can testify I donated large amount of money to BETH MEDRARSH GOVOHA, TARYAG MITZVAH PROJECT, local schools and events more than I can even mention here.I personally made lots of friends in the area and keep close contact with them.I gladly accept any comments or suggestions to make my customers(my friends) shopping experience a pleasant and enjoyable one.
ED KASHOUTY( owner and operator).
(Click here to comment on front page)

Monday, August 4, 2008

(Continued) A Mehudar Esrog, A Mehudar Pair Of Teffilen: How About A Mehudar Bank Account? By S. Friedman

(Continued) It is NEWS, perhaps even front-page news. The incarcerated individual will not be referred to as “Joe Shmo from Brooklyn,” but rather as “Beryl Shmeryl, the Religious Jew from such and such Orthodox neighborhood.” Whether we like it or not our actions are reflective of the klal’s, and as such we must be extra vigilant to stay away from any questionable actions. As we have seen, the damage is too detrimental to be indifferent to the potential outcomes of our actions, no matter how remote we may think them to be. How many of the people reading this article are makpid on cholov yisroel? Would you buy a “kosher” piece of meat without recognizing the hashgocha? I do not profess to be a competent poisek, therefore I challenge you, the reader, to ask a Rov (and yourselves) about the following scenarios: • Your wife does babysitting at home, or maybe she’s a sheitel macher, how much, and do you have to report? • You just got into an accident (and B”H everyone is okay!), maybe you should call a Rov first before celebrating your “windfall?” • Thanks to the help of your shver, you’re now eligible to get on HUD. Should you think about the other people still on the list who need to be on HUD? • Maybe “everyone does it” isn’t a good enough reason to pay mezumin to save a little money at a store? Etc… Obviously what I am proposing may be extremely difficult for people to do, and at the same time, perhaps not even necessary (that’s why you should ask a Rov). Change is not supposed to be easy, especially when it entails such a drastic change to our lives. However, I think the events that happened last week were significant enough of a wake up call to obligate an equally profound transformation in response. Proper emunah dictates that if halachicly we are required to spend more money than we are used to, Hash-m will “cover the difference,” and perhaps we will even merit seeing additional brocho. Having just sat on the floor reflecting about the painful galus, it should behoove us to look for more ways to bring about the geula shelaima, and not chas v’shalom, prevent it. Click here to comment on front page.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

continued Tznius Reminder From Gedolei Lakewood

(Continued) This is especially applicable to maternity wear, where the present trend is to make the clothing tight fitting to reveal the shape of the body. Also included, are tight fitting skirts which emphasize the thigh area. Signed by: R' Matisyahu Solomon Shlita, R' Osher Chaim Lieberman Shlita, R' Yaakov Forscheimer Shlita, R' Shloime Miller Shlita, R' Henoch Shachar Shlita, R' Simcha Bunim Cohen, R' Shmuel Felder Shlita, R' Shmuel Meir Katz Shlita. (Click here to comment on front page).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Continued President Of BOE Resigns-Message From The LAC

(Continued) The appointment of Gonzales is only until next elections.The new president is Mr. Abe Ostreicher, who also came prepared with his acceptance speech, and the new VP is Mr. Tracey Tift, a board member since March 2009. The LAC feels that making such an appointment without a proper discussion and advertising, opening the position for resume's and picking the most suitable candidate, seems like someone has an agenda here. We feel this fits in well with the process taken in picking the superintendent. While Mrs. Silva is a great candidate, the process seemed to suggest that an agenda was at play.We would like to let the public know that the Vaad and some board members have been ignoring the LAC entirely and the interests of the kehillah at large. They are more concerned with who has the power over what is best for the oilam. If we do not stand up for what we need we will be paying for it with our wallets. Next year there will be 4 open seats on the board of Ed: Tracey Tift, Ada Ginzales, Meir Neuman, And Akiva Gontar. At that point in time the kehilla will have their chance to speak for themselves. Click here to comment on front page.

Readers' Scoop: I Was Abused

(Continued) Lonely. Lonely? Can you imagine the feeling of being surrounded by friends, yet unable to get help from any of them? Can you imagine the feeling of being the post popular girl in the class, yet staring at all of the admiring girls from behind a huge glass partition? Can you imagine the feeling of being surrounded by masses of girls, dancing in a happy circle around the radiant Kallah, yet feeling like I am the only one who isn't part of the joy?
Angry. Angry? Sure I am angry at my abuser, but it's more than that. I feel angry at the world. Angry at the people who have created a society where I have to be ashamed, to keep HIS secret. Hurt. Hurt? Yes, physically hurt. This man hurt me, but it was more than that. I am also hurt at those few people who know my secret, who are privy to my pain. Hurt at their lack of support. Hurt at their lack of understanding.
Shocked. Shocked? Shocked that this could happen to a "regular" girl like me. Shocked at the way one man can change the entire course of my life. Shocked that people aren't doing more to stop it.
Frustrated. Frustrated? Frustrated that people think I did something wrong. I was six years old at the time. Frustrated that people pity me. I am still a regular girl. Frustrated that people think it doesn't happen in "our" world. Frustrated that we can't talk about such things. Frustrated that people are sweeping a problem that is such a big part of my life under the rug.
Hopeful. Hopeful? Hopeful that some day in the near future, I won't be forced under a blanket of shame. Hopeful that Hashem will continue to give me the strength to grow from my challenges and use my experiences to help others in similar situations. Hopeful that frum publications will continue to help raise awareness by printing my letter.
Happygirl. (Click here to comment on front page).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Continued More Families May Be Eligible For WIC/Maximum Income Levels Announced

WIC provides supplemental foods that supply significant amounts of protein, iron, vitamins and other nutrients that are needed in increased amounts during periods of growth, such as pregnancy and early childhood, said Meg McCarthy-Klein, project director for the Ocean County WIC program. The Ocean County Health Department staffs and operates 12 WIC clinics around the county, benefiting infants, children under age 5 and pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women. For more information about WIC, or to schedule an appointment for eligibility application, call 800-342-9738, ext. 7520, for the Toms River area, or 800-342-9738, ext. 7108, for the Lakewood office. The Ocean County Health Department released the new maximum allowed weekly gross income amounts, effective July 1: Family size income 2 $519, 3 $652, 4 $785, 5 $918, 6 $1,051, 7 $1,184, Each additional family member, add $134. (Click here to return to home page article).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Continued TLS Exclusive: Supreme Court Decision Favoring Private School Reimbursement: The Lakewood Reality.

The Supreme Court decision comes in the case of Forest Grove School District v. T.A. The case centers on an Oregon teen who attended public school for years, but was not diagnosed with a disability until his parents enrolled him in a private placement. The teen’s parents later sought reimbursement from the school district even though the boy had never been enrolled in special education within the school district.Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education (FAPE) until age 22. It has long been held that parents could seek reimbursement for private placements if a child’s needs could not be met by the school district. But schools have argued that parents must first give public education a try.The court’s 6-3 ruling Monday in favor of the teen and his family found that not to be the case.“We conclude that IDEA authorizes reimbursement for the cost of private special education services when a school district fails to provide a FAPE and the private school placement is appropriate, regardless of whether the child previously received special education or related services through the public school,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion.Two years ago the Supreme Court heard a similar case, but failed to render a decision when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy recused himself and the other justices were evenly divided, 4-4. (click here to comment on home page article).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Continued: Can't Fight City Hall? Says Who?

Success Story: How I Won a Private Placement Using Documentation & Telling my Story to the School Board, by Kim Riley. Last year, I attended the Wrightslaw conference in Jefferson City, Missouri. Thank goodness I attended that program. I didn't anticipate having to use what I learned so soon. You gave me the tools to endure a very stressful battle with the Kansas City School District. This story is a summary of that battle. Two weeks after I made this presentation to the school board, the district entered into a settlement agreement with me. My son is allowed to attend a great private school where he is making tremendous progress. Keep up the good work and fighting the good fightTestimony by Kim Riley before the Kansas City School District School Board Good evening. My name is Kim Riley and I’m an alumnus of the Kansas City, Missouri School District (KCMSD). I attended Sanford B. Ladd Elementary from 1975-82, from kindergarten to 6th grade. And I attended Lincoln Academy from 1982-88, 7th to 12th grade. I was always an honor roll student – National Honor Society, Who’s Who, Student Council, etc.Now I’m on the other side of the fence. I’m the parent of a child in the district. My son is 6 years old, has autism, and is in kindergarten. Instead of the achievement-driven educational system that I'm accustomed to, we’re in the special education arena. And we desperately need your help.Documented Events On May 25th, I contacted my son’s teacher to schedule a meeting with the Exceptional Education officials to revise Kendall's Individualized Education Plan and placement for the fall. Kendall had been evaluated by staff at Children’s Mercy Hospital. The staff made some specific recommendations. A week later (the day before the last day of school), the teacher called me. She said she left messages for Gayla Wampler, Diane Odegard, Cheryl Stefanella and Jennifer Cramer. No one returned her calls. I called Jennifer Cramer on June 3rd and left a message asking that she call. She didn’t return my call. On June 16, I faxed a letter to her and requested a meeting.Meeting #1 was held on June 25th, 30 days after my first request for a meeting. I provided copies of the evaluation from Children’s Mercy. The KCMSD officials said they needed time to review the evaluation. They asked to reschedule the IEP meeting to the following month. They suggested that I invite the therapists who work with my son to the meeting so we can get complete information about Kendall and his needs.Meeting #2 was held on July 26th. I provided copies of the Children’s Mercy evaluation to those individuals who did not attend the June meeting. I invited a therapist who works with Kendall at home, his case manager from the Kansas City Regional Center, several family advocates, and a representative from Milestones Academy. At the June meeting, I asked the team to consider Milestones Academy as a placement option for Kendall. This school uses a behaviorally-based therapy approach that has proven to be effective with helping people with autism overcome their symptoms and live productive lives. A third meeting was scheduled for August 26 to allow Gayla Wampler, District placement coordinator, to review the Children’s Mercy evaluation.Meeting #3 was held on August 26th. We reviewed Kendall’s Individualized Education Plan. I submitted new Present Levels of Performance and goals and objectives for the coming school year. KCMSD officials agreed that the District couldn’t educate Kendall. This decision was based on the Children’s Mercy evaluation and the revised IEP goals and objectives. The team decided that to place Kendall at Paige Elementary School for 30 days, until we could agree on an appropriate placement. The district asked me to visit four schools and observe the programs. For the third time, I asked the district to visit one school – Milestones Academy.Documented Missteps Along the Way There have been missteps along the way. On the first day of school, I contacted the superintendent about the Exceptional Education department’s failure to keep their promise to enroll Kendall in Paige, and my concern that I would have to take off work again to do so. A more serious offense occurred during the second week of school. The wrong bus was sent to my home to pick up and drop-off my non-verbal child at the wrong school. I sent a letter to the superintendent and spoke with Gayla Wampler about this incident. Months have passed. I have not received an apology or any evidence that an investigation was conducted into this child endangerment matter.What happened during six months of meetings and conversations with the placement coordinator, the interim director of Exceptional Education, the superintendent -- and anyone who would listen to me?Documented Inaction 1. The KCMSD ignored the Children’s Mercy Hospital recommendations. They continued to use the same speech goals and program that have been unsuccessful in teaching my child to speak for three years. 2. After nearly four months, my son continues to be placed in the interim 30-day placement at Paige Elementary, despite the District’s admission that this school is not appropriate for him. 3. In October, I realized that I could no longer jeopardize my son’s life by negotiating in good faith with the KCMSD. I filed child complaint charges with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Special Education. The district hired an attorney to fight me. The district has continued its pattern of stalling by having this attorney file for an extension to answer the charges. A decision was due this month. Because of these legal tactics, the decision will be delayed for at least another month.Negotiating in Good Faith As a product of the KCMSD, I am deeply saddened that the District treats children with disabilities in this neglectful manner. While these children have limitations, they can learn and live productive lives.As a parent and consumer, I am shocked at the non-existent customer service the District extends to parents.As a taxpayer, I am outraged the District spends our tax dollars to hire attorneys to fight against the interests of children, instead of investing these dollars into their education. I thought educating children was the mission of KCMSD.I ask the board to conduct a thorough internal investigation of the Exceptional Education Department and to take action by holding your employees accountable for their actions and/or inactions. In this District, there is a pervasive attitude that kids with disabilities are uneducable. The opposite is true. Countless interventions are successful at teaching kids with disabilities. There are people with autism who have completed college, have jobs and families. But kids with disabilities in this District will never learn, and will never live up to their potential as long as the District continues to put up road blocks, uses stall tactics, turns a blind eye to the truth, and abandons children who desperately need their help. I beg of you to review the attached timeline so you can see how parents are treated when they attempt to be proactive and negotiate in good faith for their children. For six months, I’ve tried to get the District to follow the doctor's orders and implement an intensive program to address my son's delays. I beg you to act. DO SOMETHING and DO IT QUICKLY. Kendall Riley and other kids with disabilities in this District cannot speak or fight for themselves. Their lives and futures are in your hands.Kim & Kendall RileyKansas City, MO. (Click here to comment on home page).
The following is the link to the souce of the article.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Letter From LAC Continued

However there was some comforting news too. The askanim in town together with the taxpayer's staunch supporters on the Committee, worked tirelessly until the very last minute to cut the proposed raise in half. They worked solely L'shem Shomayim, but were blocked by the Republican Administration, and our taxes were raised astronomically. We will now have a net tax raise of 13% over last year!!! At least we are able to discern who are our real advocates on the Committee. THANK YOU TO MEIR LICHTENSTIEN AND MENASHE MILLER!While we have lost the battle we will win the war. In the coming months we will highlight some of the free spending ways of the Lakewood Township departments, and the Board of Education, which have come to light after the Advisory committee presented their findings. We will let the Public know exactly what our Mayor and Deputy supported. Hopefully this will prevent us from repeating the same mistake next year, and we will bring back MAYOR RAY COLES!!! We would like to inform the readers that while the public hearing on the budget has been closed, the actual vote will take place at the June 18th Township Committee meeting. We would suggest that any citizen who feels that this budget should be voted down, even if it means shutting down Town Hall until a better one is introduced, should please come to the June 18th meeting in the Municipal Building at 7:30 p.m. While we cannot say that it will change anything, at least it will show the politicians that we are watching and will hold the Mayor and Deputy responsible for this travesty! (Click here to post comments on home page). (For a full report including an interview with Deputy Mayor Steve Langert, see this weeks issue of the Voice.)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Readers' Scoop Continued

(Continued from home page). And just hold-on, this is not about Orchos Chaim, certainly a fine mosad, nor its principal, for that matter. We say this item struck us as ‘odd’, because, if you have a neighbor, friend or relative who is parent of a child with special needs, you know a little about the anguish parents routinely experience trying to get special ed help from the District. Bashing your head against a brick wall, doesn’t even begin to capture it. But if you yourself have a child with special needs in Lakewood, as we do, you know—up, close and personal—the excruciating pain, heartache, as well as the intimidation, abuse, and outright blackmail you must endure in trying to obtain special education services. Be it a reliable evaluation, an accurate, comprehensive IEP, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Counselling, or any other special education service essential for your child’s growth and development. So this hollow “newsletter” testimonial struck us so bizarre that we decided to take a closer look. Guess what we found? BOE records show that Orchos Chaim, whose principal “volunteered” this apparently “unsolicited” testimonial, was paid $112,275 in 2008 in special services from local taxpayer District funds—for just one student. The highest award made by the Lakewood District, nearly four (4) times the District’s average per-child award, (see Chart). But let’s not jump to conclusions. Despite all appearances, this is, after all, not solid proof of a handsomely-paid political ad. Perhaps it is purely a coincidence that, of Lakewood’s approximately 20,000 preschool and school-age children, the single most needy child just happens to be enrolled at Orchos Chaim. Orchos Chaim, is after all a fine mosad, and definitely deserves credit for enrolling and caring for this child. Maybe the principal, just coinicidentally, got a little carried away by hakoras hatov for this one child, and ignored the District’s overall dismal performance record and sordid tactics. Maybe. But, again, though noteworthy, that’s not really the main point. And before anyone comment about this specific case, losing focus, please answer one simple question, which is our main point. Who, besides Michael Inzelbuch, decides how to distribute annually a Special Education and related services budget comprised of $20+ Million in local taxpayer funds, plus another $17+ Million in federal and State funds?? With a Special Education services budget for nonpublic schools (mosdos) totaling nearly $40 Million ANNUALLY, and rapidly growing, who decides that one child will get $112,275 per year, while hundreds of other, similarly-situated children in our mosdos, including our child, will get not a single penny? In short, how is Michael Inzelbuch qualified to pasken dinei nefashos on who gets into the lifeboat, and who is left behind to drown?? How is this decision reached? On what basis? When? Where? Let us save you many hours of research. No one. And NO ONE looks over his shoulder. Duped again and again, the members of the BOE have abdicated their responsibility, and have given Michael Inzelbuch a free hand to use and abuse his authority as he deems fit, and are paying him handsomely to do so. As taxpayers we would like to know how long this abuse will go on. But much more importantly, we, as well as hundreds of other parents like us, demand to know. As we said up-front, the answer to the question posed at the beginning of this letter really depends on who you ask—those who know what’s going on—or those who don’t. (click here to comment on home page).

NEXT: Stay tuned for Part II of the Parents Letter.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Readers' Scoop: When Idealism Is Sheltered From Realism

(Cont'd from front page) Those individuals seek out other, second-best ways to serve the Eibishter with their lives. B”H, we are all able to start our married lives learning in Kollel. But when the realities of realism would hit, in the form of rent payments, tuition bills, etc., etc., every person would deal with them differently, in the manner that was dictated by their personality, and their level of devotion to Torah. Some would immediately leave learning to seek an income. Some would hold out longer, having decided to devote more Mesiras Nefesh. Some would try a combination…seeking income in the field of Klei Kodesh. Some would vow that no matter where realism led them, no matter how hard the path became, they would never leave learning…I will always live in a Yeshiva apartment, I will never go on vacation, I will make the simplest of Chasunos for my kids…etc. It was realism that brought each individual to a true “Cheshbon Hanefesh” , to decide how much Mesiras Nefesh he could tolerate, and at what point he would make the fateful decision of seeking a Parnassa in the outside world. The beauty of realism is that it is incremental. It doesn’t all hit at once, but rather slowly and gradually. One kid, them two. Playgroup tuition, then elementary school. Couples health insurance, then family. Rent payments for a one bedroom, then a three (or a mortgage!). Through these increments, our Mesiras Nefesh is constantly tested, causing us to constantly re-evaluate, and find our “breaking point”. In recent years, a dramatic change has occurred…one which has never been tried before, is virtually untested, and may be very dangerous. For whatever reasons…blame it on the Shidduch crisis, previous wealth, keeping up with the Joneses…etc., …we have removed, and are sheltering our children from, realism. We promise them 7-10 years after marriage, of full support. We rent them their first apartments, buy them their cars and houses, and take care of all their needs. We insist that they must stay in Yeshiva long-term, regardless of their temperament, or their ability to belong there. They spend their first 10 years of marriage, and their first 4-5 kids, never really facing reality, and never having to make any decisions because of it. They never have to decide if the Yeshiva lifestyle is one truly meant for their personality, or whether they can handle it. And we deprive them of the benefits of incrementally coming to that decision. We drop them from being supported, cold turkey, to fend for themselves...with large families, large expenses, and no income...without having given them access to enough reality to help them decide if they ever wanted to be in this position. It is the greatest disservice to our children, disguised as assistance. It is time we stop ignoring the hundreds who spend much of their day in the coffee rooms, hallways, and smoking areas of our Yeshivos. Not everyone was meant for long-term Kollel. And the ones that don't, would know it, if we allowed them to see it. We don’t have to stop preaching to our bochurim and girls “Nohr Torah”. We don’t have to tell any Yungerman when it is time to leave Yeshiva. We should just stop depriving them of the views, discomforts, and, yes, some hardships, that they need to experience in order to be able to make some very important decisions for their own lives.