Executive Committee 9/12/12

The Executive Committee meetings are usually pretty boring and uneventful. They are generally about scheduling and such.

The meeting this week, however, has a couple of intriguing items on the agenda.
1. Call to Order 8:00am
- Approval of agenda
- Approval of August 7, 2012 meeting minutes
2. Review of the September 19 and October 3 legislative session agendas
3. Government Relations
4. Community Engagement
5. Executive Committee Discussion
- Conditional Certification Application (R. English)
- Creative Approach Schools (R. English)

- Review and approval of retreat agenda
- Proclamation for Cheryl Chow
- Presentations to the Board
- Policy Development Process
- Board meeting times/Comment timing (Board and Student)

- NSBA Membership 4/1/13-3/31/14
- Directors’ 2012-13 Conference Attendance
- Superintendent Evaluation
- Board Calendar/Work Plan
6. Adjourn 10:00am

I want to know why the Executive Committee thinks that they have to discuss the conditional certificate application. I think it's because they intend to bring it for introduction and action at the same meeting. Let's remember that when the Board revised their policies they removed the policy that required introduction of a motion at one meeting and action at a subsequent meeting except in emergencies.

It's good to see that the Executive Committee will discuss Creative Approach Schools since Board President DeBell refuses to allow discussion of the topic during a Board meeting.

I'm not sure what proclamation the Board wants to make for Cheryl Chow. Will they congratulate her for coming out? Is this going to be a practice of theirs, to congratulate people for telling the world about their sexuality?

I'm not sure what Presentations to the Board is about - maybe they intend to alter the time limit put on staff who are presenting.

It's good to see that they have put "Policy Development Process" on the table for discussion. This is a topic of some confusion. Right now the staff are writing the policies and bringing them to committees. This is a clear usurpation of the Board's governance duty. Often the committee members are expected to refer the draft policies to the full board on the same day that they first see them. That's nuts. They need time to consider the policy and to get community feedback. Also, some Board members, especially those with hyphenated last names, seem to think that the staff is getting the draft policy language handed down directly from Sinai and that the committee is not the place to make changes. This board member has suggested that the way to make changes to the staff draft is with an amendment and the full vote of the Board. This same Board member thinks that the time for community feedback is during the period between introduction and action. What a beautifully unique sparklepony of an idea. The Board needs to work on their process because the current process creates faulty results.

And, there it is, hallelujah, the Executive Committee reconsiders the idea of public testimony starting at 5:00pm.


Anonymous said…
Charlie, perhaps the Board wants to honor Ms. Chow for her service to the district as a principal and board member before she dies, since she is dealing with terminal cancer and all. Jeez, does everything have to be a snark fest for you? Yes, she came out. Because she wanted to before she died from the terminal cancer,

Po3 said…
I agree with SWWS. Need to have a little restraint now and again.
Anonymous said…
"I'm not sure what proclamation the Board wants to make for Cheryl Chow. Will they congratulate her for coming out? Is this going to be a practice of theirs, to congratulate people for telling the world about their sexuality?"

This is offensive on multiple levels.

Anonymous said…
I'm gonna pile on and agree, Charlie. Cheryl Chow has a long list of accomplishments that are long overdue for public acknowledgement, and it is not at all unusual for a proclamation to be issued for such a distinguished career. This was very likely triggered only by her public announcement of her very grave illness. You truly owe her a public apology for your comments. They were uncalled for.

Anonymous said…
I, too am shocked by the comment re Ms. Chow. It sounds disapproving either of Ms. Chow's sexual orientation and/or her coming out. I am sure Mr. Mas did not mean to come across this way, but it sounds offensive to me, who is not gay; I can only imagine how jarring it would sound to people who are.
Anonymous said…

"I'm not sure what proclamation the Board wants to make for Cheryl Chow. Will they congratulate her for coming out? Is this going to be a practice of theirs, to congratulate people for telling the world about their sexuality?"

And so what if they did? Has SPS ever had a Board member who was openly gay? Ms. Chow was one of two former Board members that I know to be gay (the other has not, to my knowledge, chosen to speak to her sexuality publically and was married to a man during her tenure on the Board). Is it so wrong to acknowledge that it is a big deal for a very prominent member of the Chinese community to be out? I am sure that when the first woman board member or first minority Board member passed away it was acknowledge by the Board. Would it be awful for the Board to acknowledge Ms. Chow before she dies?

You are way off the mark on this.

Anonymous said…
"So I'm going to try not to rant and opine so strongly and focus instead on delivering the news."

You have failed, Charlie, unless you meant Fox News. I enjoy this blog. I agree, disagree, have found things informative, interesting, irritating, etc. But when I read your assumption that a board proclamation must be about Chow's sexuality (what else could it be for? Nothing I guess if you are gay or lesbian) I was embarrassed to be reading this blog and to have ever sent anyone to it. And you may indeed need to take a break. It may be that your irritation with the board at some things has seeped into everything they do. Or, you are just a homophobe who is disgusted at the thought that someone who decided to be public about who she is and who constitutes her family before she dies might receive a public recognition of some sort.
Mary G. said…
Charlie, -what they all said.
The board is showing it has compassion for someone near the end of her life. That's a good thing.

What I wonder, though, is if we all don't have such a jaded eye towards the school board or employees that even when they do decent things, or take us up on our suggestions, we still jump all over them with sarcasm and snarkyness. When a board member says, hey maybe times for public commentary are too early, why don't we let them know they are on the right track? Instead we offer snarky anonymous comments instead of being productive. I'm pretty sure most of board members did not run for office because they harbor a secret power-hungry desire to drive parents insane, even thought it seems that way at time.

I have had my share of head-banging frustration with SPS, don't get me wrong, but when they make a right move, let's recognize it for what it is. Honoring Cheryl Chow for what she has contributed in her lifetime is a right move.

Juana said…
I usually did not agree with how Ms. Chow saw and did things regarding school district issues. Although information about one's sexuality is a private matter, and disclosure should not be a requirement for even public figures, I admire her courage and her intention in doing so. I wish her and her family well. Ms. Chow, your life was NOT a waste.
Juana said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
^What they said.

--Piling on
JohnS said…
Wow, Mas, you're really a creep, aren't you? Maybe they're going to give her some recognition for her public service before she DIES OF CANCER. Too damn bad if the gay thing bothers you.

I really can't believe you went to the trouble. I think you said it best on your Aug. 31 post: "Maybe I should quit." That one I agree with. You should. You're getting toxic.
Anonymous said…
I'm going to add my voice to those shocked at Charlie's comment about Cheryl Chow. Whether one agrees with anything Ms. Chow has done in her decades of public service, it's beyond cruel to snark at a dying woman who braved her culture's disdain for being gay as her final legacy.

God, Charlie, you've been pondering whether to take a step back, and I think this is your answer. As far as I am concerned, you can't step back fast enough. But first, please do the right thing and remove your snarky, cruel comments and apologize to Ms. Chow.

==Adding to the pile
Joe R. said…
Cheryl Chow is an incredible woman that has done far more for this community than someone that rants on blogs about policy minutiae and tilts at math curriculum windmills.

You don't need to apologize. You said what you believe. You can own it.

I will stand and applaud for Cheryl Chow everyday.

Your writing? No, I don't need to read it anymore.
Anonymous said…
Cheryl Chow was a weak school board director. She didn't much care what anyone outside her director area needed. She sided with the super about - oh - 99 percent of the time. She cared about the protocol of being board president a lot more than reaching out to her constituents. Can't remember that she ever answered an email. Her time on the city council was the same deal. Maybe this is what Charlie remembered when he wrote his flippant comment.

That said, she did step up to public service and she has spent most of her life working with young people, including stints as a high school principal and regional leader of girl scouts or campfire girls or one of those organizations.

That's more than most in this high tech community attempt, (including the blowhard posers in the Corporate Ed Reform PACs) and Chow deserves credit for her dedication, if not her golden achievements, in the political and community service sphere.

But now she has done something above and beyond anything in her career. Coming out as gay, at the apparent end of her life, with a very public and strong message of hope to gays in her Asian community, and kids at large, was breathtaking. Amazing. It was true community leadership. It was more heroic than anything I've seen from any other school board director past or present. Ditto city council.

Celebrate her with a proclamation? Hell yes. It would have been good form to do so for any longstanding public servant. But at least in this case it will be more than a stale trophy. It will be a glowing embrace. We should all be so proud to make a difference with our own lives.


mirmac1 said…
Better yet, celebrate her by fully funding the Nova Project. Meeting after meeting these committed young students, many LGBT and proud, come to the Board and beg for the resources they need at their school. Our Board would be hypocritical to "do the right thing" by Chow, while ignoring the students she seeks to empower.
Charlie Mas said…
So I'm the only one who thinks it odd for the board to run with an obituary for someone who isn't dead?

Other longtime employees on their deathbeds were not eulogized until after they passed.
Anonymous said…
At the risk of jumping into the fire, I agree with DistrictWatcher that Chow was not a great board member. She fell in line with the Superintendent and ignored other input.

But I can see why the current board would honor someone with her history of public service, especially now that she is seriously ill.

However, while it's great that she came out, wouldn't it have been even greater if she had done that earlier, while she was still on the School Board or City Council and still in a position of public influence?

Wouldn't that have sent an even more powerful message, especially to other members of the Chinese community who may also be closeted, particularly younger people? She could have been a role model for them.

Better late than never, I guess, but earlier would have been even braver and more inspiring.

--Passing Thought
Anonymous said…
Jesus Charlie, you officially insanely awful. Perhaps they want to recognize her and encourage her to continue her fight? You had a chance to acknowledge that your comment was (1) homophobic (2) insenestive at beat, cruel at worst and (3) wrong. You could have done the classy thing and apologized. Instead, you just keep digging. Way to go.

-You would be amazed
Anonymous said…
Mirimac, NOVA still uses the ALE model and doesn't have students attend a full school week. The state funds ALE less because it involves less over head. If NOVA wants full funding, they need to offer full services..

Passing through, I am sure if Ms. Chow had a time machine, she might revisit some of her choices. But certainly it is easy to understand how someone from her culture, generation, and family struggled with being open about something so personal. Her mother didn't even say I Love You until she was on her death bed. Perhaps you shouldn't judge a life you haven't lived. Her choice to come out period is brave and worthy of praise, regardless of when it was made.

Charlie, you are being a grade A jerk (description of conduct, not name calling). If the Board wants to honor her for her service as an employee, her service as a board member, her years of volunteer work on behalf of kids with basketball and drill team, or her work with kids and the district through girl scouts before she dies, good for them. If they want to issue a proclamation honoring her decision to come out, good for them. If they want to wish her and her partner (also a long time SPS employee whose mother also was a long time SPS employee) well and to keep fighting on behalf of the district, good for them. You can show up and offer public testimony against it. I will be the person follIowing you to tell the board well done on this.


AboutOuttaHere said…
Yes, Mas, you're the only one. You've never really seen any other institution do something like that? And you really don't understand what a crappy thing that was to say?

This is how you get people to stop listening to you. Consider that.
Anonymous said…
I'm with "Amazed". The King County Council has made proclamations for Dave Neihaus (sp?), JP Patches and Rev. Sam McKinney-all while they were alive. They also recognized a family friend who was a long-time Metro employee who was dying. That's just the one I know about. It's what boards and councils do. They recognize a body of work or contribution to the area by someone in their golden years. Sometimes it's by request, other times it's by suggestion of a member. It's all in the public records, you can look it up.

Charlie, you haven't acknowledged that your comments were homophobic, cruel and insensitive, so I guess that means you're ok with that. This has nothing to do with Ms. Chow's effectiveness or popularity. She has literally spent her entire life in the public eye doing what she thought best. She is DYING. She was president of the school board. Why on earth SHOULDN'T she be recognized? It's not a eulogy and you know it.

You're mean and nasty and you wonder why you haven't been effective in your school advocacy? Why would anyone want to give someone like you the time of day?

Anonymous said…
Also, for those wondering why Ms. Chow didn't say something sooner-I believe her father only passed away in the last year or so. I have a gay relative with a deeply homophobic and very difficult father. She will never come out until he has passed because his wrath is not something she wants to endure. She also lives in a state where being gay is still dangerous. She might be in HER 60's before she comes out too.

In a world where kids are bullied, driven to suicide and killed (see Matthew Shepperd) for being gay, anytime a public figure speaks out is a win.

Anonymous said…
Pretty sure I remember the Board acknowledging Rosco Bass not that long ago when he was ill. Charlie you are wrong, wrong, wrong on this one on so many levels.

Anonymous said…
It would be great to overcome internal oppression earlier, but anytime it happens that is great. I wish I would never hear another person judge this. It can be difficult. And, as Charlie has shown us, people think you are telling them about your sexuality when you come out rather than about who you are. Which is kind of like saying people are telling you about their sexuality when they introduce you to their spouse. Yes, kind of. But not in the way Charlie makes it sound. She wanted to be honest about her life-- her family.
At any rate, I will not be reading any more posts that Charlie makes. And if he posts too often I will not be reading this blog. This blog has really helped me feel empowered. It has helped me talked to people in the district and at my school...Not just the main bloggers, but all of the commenters. I have become a knowledgable advocate in this district. And boy is there a lot wrong! But there is a lot right. My kids have had excellent teachers. Excellent! And I have encountered very good, helpful staff. And had some successes in advocating. And some big, big frustrations and seen some things go down that were messed up, like all of you.
But Charlie you are mean. And while I love heated debate, I don't like the meanness. I don't trust information I get when it comes from meanness. And it sucks the power out and just leaves ugly. It does not leave room for anyone to do right.
You want the board to acknowledge their wrongdoing and you can't seem to do it yourself.
Someone said…
Yes Charlie - you are the only one who sees such a proclamation as odd. The very fact you can not acknowledge that you were out of line - or maybe "crossed the line" speaks volumes. Take a step back and think about how you'd feel if this was YOUR friend or relative being discussed. I suspect your outrage would be direct and pungent.

You know, when I read that post about "should I quit" I thought you were being somewhat disingenuous and perhaps seeking accolades - yes I really did see it as an ego stroking move at the time. Now? I think youu truly have taken a step toward...well, "embittered" is the word that pops to mind. There was good info in your post, lost because of ego. Walk away for a while Charlie - SPS needs your watchdog attitude but not this way.
Anonymous said…

I agree. Mr. Mas, if you ever wanted to know why your advocacy falls short, it is because your ego shoots you in the foot. You could have easily fixed this blunder by saying you made a mistake. I stead, you keep going with a patently callow and wrong claim that it is unusual for SPS to ack owl edge Ms. Chow while she is still alive to hear it. Bet that ifs resented with advanced notice like was done with Ms. Chow by way of her coming out while dealing with a terminal illness, government agencies would recognized the contributions of former members and employees before rather than after her deaths.

My very best to Ms. Chow, Ms. Morningstar, their daughter (what a cutie), and their families and friends. I am sure that when they decided to do this they would be met with ignorance from some. And I am betting Ms. Chow isn't shocked that Mr. Mad can't manage to be a grown up on this topic. She probably saw a lot of that from him as a board member.

Unknown said…
"..policy minutiae and tilts at math curriculum windmills. "

Uh, that minutiae is what runs our district so yes, it is important. The devil is in the details.

Math curriculum windmills? Charlie definitely does not stand alone on that one so don't call him Don Quixote.
Anonymous said…
I agree Melissa, we should call Charley for what he is:

A mean, nasty, cruel, and snarky creep who lacks the guts to admit he's made a mistake. Or even maybe the intelligence to realize how horrible his comments about Director Chow are.

Anonymous said…

Recignizing when you are wrong is also important. Sad you are focused on one person's opinion of Charlie's focus (which is at times hyper focused on his own interpretation of policy in a way that is intended to be provocative rather that realistic) then to acknowledge that his comments regarding the appropriateness of the Board recognizing Ms. Chow were wrong speaks poorly of you now too.

Anonymous said…
So is it a congratulations on coming out or an obituary Charlie? You first ignorantly assumed that the only thing that the Board could be doing is addressing Ms. Chow's sexuality. Because clearly that is all you think is important or defining about her. Then when you got called on the blatant homophobia, you transitioned to the assumption that this is an obituary. Because the Board couldn't possibly want to publically wish a very recent former colleague who is ill well and express that they are supporting her in her battle against cancer. They always have to be stupid villains for you. I generally find your straw man premises to be not worthy of a read. Now, you have crossed the line and appear to be unable to even recognize it. What value are you adding at this point?
- appalled too

mirmac1 said…
Correction. The Board did NOT acknowledge the esteemed Mr Bass' contribution until he passed. I saw him at JSCEE just weeks before his death. It was an honor to meet him. I'm sure he would've preferred the respect and acknowledgment BEFORE he died, inasmuch as it placed the issues he advocated for in the limelight.

I look forward to the day when the color of one's skin, their relatives and their sexual orientation do not garner more attention then the issues they fought for. This is similar to Mas' point, if a bit more politic...
Anonymous said…
Cecilia, you are wrong. He was ill for some time, and I certainly was at a meeting where the Board expressed their best wishes to him. It was before your time as TFA watchdog and frequent board meeting attendee.

Juana said…
"I'm not sure what proclamation the Board wants to make for Cheryl Chow. Will they congratulate her for coming out? Is this going to be a practice of theirs, to congratulate people for telling the world about their sexuality?"

So I re-read what was said and it is unkind.
Joe R said…
Let me know when Charlie is no longer part of this blog.

I'll start reading it again.
Anonymous said…
The comments on Chow's meh leadership are right. She wasn't much of one on council or SPS board.

But so are the comments on her longevity of service, commitment to kids, and her bravery in speaking frankly about her regrets of not coming out earlier.

Charlie, your attitude around Chow and a possible board proclamation is beyond boorish and reflects extremely poorly on you.

Unknown said…
First of all, Charlie's thread was about the Executive Committee meeting coming up. Most of you (and maybe rightly so) focused on only one thing that Charlie wrote.

Charlie and I sometimes have very different views and certainly, we do not speak as one. That is one of the strengths of the blog.

Charlie can be blunt to a fault and I do not agree with what he said or how he said it.

That the Board can be vague about what they are doing can't be disputed but he certainly can't question Cheryl's commitment to public service. Indeed, I wrote a whole thread about it (and it seems some of you missed it).

This will certainly be a part of the thread I want to write about what gets written here and what is the line -either for authors and for people who comment.
Anonymous said…
Melissa, I don't think anyone missed the thread you wrote. People are not conflating all bloggers.
Anonymous said…
Ageee with shocked. No one is taking away from the thread you wrote about Ms. Chow or criticizing how you have handled your commentary on the topic of her illness and coming out. It is the homophobic and plain mean commentary of Mr. Mas that people are addressing. And it is deserved commentary.

hschinske said…
I suspect Charlie hasn't apologized for a homophobic action because he doesn't feel that was his intention. Charlie, intent isn't magic. You still need to apologize for the actual effect of your words regardless of what you originally intended -- just exactly as if you had stepped on someone's toes without intending to do so.

You owe us all an apology (and not an "if apology" or other form of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-apology_apology). It's that simple. I think we've talked before on this blog about how important it is to recognize one's own mistakes and make things right, and how much that shows about people's integrity.

Helen Schinske
mirmac1 said…
That may be so SWWS, but I met him last year and heard, after his death, board members regret that he did not live to see them finally heed his warnings.
Anonymous said…
Ah,I am referencing a meeting 2 or 3 years ago where he was recovering from an illness where it war was mentioned he was in ill health. We he returned to a meeting later in the year, the Board ALS acknowledged his return.

Anonymous said…
I've followed this blog awhile, posted occasionally, disagreed often with what's posted, and sometimes been put off by the bombastic style, but I've never felt fully ashamed to have participated in the blog until these comments appeared. After Charlie's offensive words here, his non-recognition of any possible problems with these comments, and the tacit support (via silence or subject-changing) of most of the regular contributors to the blog, I'm done. I will not read this blog again, and my grudging respect for many of the contributors has vanished. Tennessee Williams once said: "We all know what a faggot is. A faggot is the homosexual gentleman who has just left the room." This faggot/dyke/mom of an SPS student is leaving the room so those who have the taste for this level of discourse can enjoy it.

Mary Griffin said…
A Question

Charlie is apparently quite comfortable and perhaps overly calloused in his role of "lone wolf" blogger. There is not one poster here who supports these words Charlie has written, and Charlies has refused to capitulate.

Perhaps the words we write, words that we feel will not glance off, have no chance of getting through to Charlie. I feel that because Charlie refuses to say that he has made a mistake, he has smirched himself and his words in other posts he has written. And I guess he gets to live with that and we have to live with the fact that we can't change him.

But as a reader of this blog, it pains me to read these words, to know that these words sting other readers, and to contemplate what effect these words have on other.

What is the proper response? Charlies has the right to say what he likes. But has he sullied us all who have read these words? Are we participating in these words if we continue to read this blog and comment?

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Someone said…
Of course one should still read and comment - anything less smacks of the "silence equals consent" theory of life. If you run away from or ignore the things that make you uncomfortable, you are, by default, given tacit agreement to words you don't agree with. Words have power. Whatever we may think of Charlie's post and/or Melissa's (to me) weak response - going away, not speaking about about how you see a situation differently is...in my mind capitulation. I often don't see things the same way the authors and commenters here do - but I respect their right to say it - and will speak up on the areas of disagreement. I think we owe it to each other to keep the SPS conversations that happen here going.
Anonymous said…
Someone, there are many ways to follow what happens in SPS without reading and commenting on this blog. There are other blogs. There are public records. There are public meetings. There is getting involved in your own kid's school or the ones down the street. Why would avoiding just THIS blog with THESE people as spokespersons mean anyone is capitulating to ANYTHING the district is doing?

Now, if you mean we should speak up to Melissa and Charlie for being mean and nasty to a dying woman who's done more with her little finger to help kids than both of them added together? I absolutely agree. CALL THEM on Charlie's blowhard refusal to apologize and Melissa's odd defense of him. Go for it. And many have today. Not as many as I'd like to see, but some.

Maybe if Charlie and Melissa see a reduction in support, they'll realize that there is a line even free blogs with unpaid activist posters shouldn't cross.

Johnny Calcagno said…
I am no longer a frequent contributor or commenter, but I still follow this blog very closely.

Over the years, I have admired Charlie’s tenacity, clarity, and honesty, even when his tone has been a little off. For the most part, I am more concerned with the shortcomings of those who actually hold power in our district, than the community advocates whose voices or actions may strike an awkward note from time to time.

But this post, and particularly Charlie’s tone deaf followup comment, have left me profoundly saddened and annoyed. A cruel and cheap shot, apparently delivered with no remorse or sense of context.

Cheryl and family – I doubt you are reading this, but if you are, please know that Charlie is all on his own on this one. We wish you the best, and thank you for your service to our community.
Anonymous said…
Charlie, just apologize and Melissa, please don't cover for him. people say stupid stuff all the time and sometimes it can even turn out for the best in the long run. but apologies are expected and required. Don't sully the blog with some weird stubbornness. And Melissa, loyalty has it's boundaries. this will haunt you for a long time if you do not play it well.
If nothing else, this serves to remind us all of the dangers of blogging and why so many of us stay anonymous.

Carol Simmons said…
I have remained silent on this issue because I have no idea what Charlie meant by his post. I have no idea what the Board will proclaim but if the Board wants to issue a Proclamation about Ms. Chow, that is the Board's right. Words can be hurtful and I pray these words are not adding to Ms. Chow's pain. It is my understanding that many of Ms. Chow's former students are contacting her telling her how important she was in their lives.
Anonymous said…
I think it's pretty obvious by now that Charlie and Melissa's arrogance knows no bounds. This is just happens to be the post and lack of apology from Charlie, and the usual "we can do no wrong" attitude comment to a commenter by Melissa that made it blatantly obvious.

Sign me,

Done reading.
Anonymous said…
Let's see... Charlie wrote: I'm not sure what proclamation the Board wants to make for Cheryl Chow. Will they congratulate her for coming out? Is this going to be a practice of theirs, to congratulate people for telling the world about their sexuality?

Sure, it may not be the most sensitive comment, but it's hardly homophobic. He could have asked if the Board will start congratulating people for speaking out about their cancer. That might be insensitive too, but his point was clearly to question what else the Board might have to praise Cheryl Chow for. And I agree with him on asking that question. No matter how strongly Chow might have advocated for kids or her community, IMO she was pretty ineffective as a Board member. So; what could be the purpose of the as yet unstated proclamation? My guess is it's just a self-serving, pat-ourselves-on-the-back, feel-good move for Chow and the Board. It reminds me of the pointless Seattle City Council proclamations about the Iraq war.

Unfortunately, this created a big opportunity for all the haters to come out of the woodwork and pile on.

-Not piling on
"Don't sully the blog with some weird stubbornness. And Melissa, loyalty has it's boundaries. this will haunt you for a long time if you do not play it well.

If nothing else, this serves to remind us all of the dangers of blogging and why so many of us stay anonymous."

Charlie is being stubborn and he has written his reasons. You can accept them or not.

I'm not being "loyal" but I knew what point he was trying to make and it was not to attack Cheryl Chow. That he was awkward and boorish - I said he was and I also said I did not like it. I'm not sure what else to say.

I smiled at that "anonymous" comment because of course that is also a point. We sign our names to what we write - good, bad and indifference. We get praise, we get tomatoes thrown - it's all part of the job.

Yes, there are many places to get news but unfortunately that takes time to get to and then read all the content. But if readers are not happy here, that is their choice.

I hear you and I get the message. You are very unhappy with what Charlie said (even though he was not aiming at the person you all think he was) and you are unhappy because I'm not going after him. He used very poor wording and should admit that but I can't do much more than that.

Last thing and I wouldn't say this but I want to be very clear on this point. My brother is gay and if I thought - for a single minute - that Charlie was attacking gay folks, I would really be mad. I would never betray my brother or any other LGBT person.

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