| Mayor Berry invited ASE 8th grade students to be involved in the blueprint planing for Albuquerque for the next 25 years.|
Thank you Mayor Berry for hosting us.
NOW GETTING INTO THE ARTERIES OF THE SYSTEM AS THEIR HOCAEFENDI HAS INSTRUCTED THEM
The Turkey Trip
N.M., Turkey get tight as lawmakers get gratis visits
By Steve Terrell | The New Mexican
Some Roundhouse regulars' heads were turned in January when they saw the flag of Turkey flying above the Capitol in place of the New Mexico flag. Bloggers Notes: The Flag of Turkey is actually the Islamic Symbol, you silly stupid Americans have no clue do you?
I jokingly suggested in my blog that the state was trying to fix the state budget problem by renting out our flagpoles to other countries. But the truth is that seven Turkish congressmen were in town to meet with the governor, legislators and other state officials.
Turks seemed to be everywhere during the session. During the past two sessions, there have been "Turkish-New Mexican Friendship Receptions" in Santa Fe with host committees that included several state officers and legislators.
And in recent months, the Turkish-New Mexico connection has grown stronger. State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, who recently got back from a 10-day Turkish trip with several New Mexico journalists, said Wednesday that he's just one of several legislators who have traveled to Turkey courtesy of a private group.
Sens. Dede Feldman and Cisco McSorley, both Albuquerque Democrats, are currently in Turkey, Ortiz y Pino said. And another Albuquerque Democrat, state Sen. Eric Griego, even took time off of his campaign for Congress to make the trip.
Earlier this year, another group of lawmakers including Rep. Debbie Rodella, D-Española, went, he said. And last fall, Ortiz y Pino said he made his first trip there along with Senate President pro-tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, and others.
Raul Burciaga, executive director of the Legislative Council Service, confirmed Wednesday that the state isn't paying for any of the Turkish trips. Legislative leaders in recent weeks have been talking about cutting back on out-of-state travel because of the budget crunch.
So who is paying? The cost of the travel isn't readily available. Because the state isn't paying for it, lawmakers don't have to file travel vouchers or other records with the state, Burciaga said.
The group that instigated the Turkish trips is the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians, which on its website describes itself as "a leading independent and an umbrella organization committed to advancing the interaction among American and Turkish, Turkic and Eurasian people to promote and encourage continuing good relationship and understanding through its affiliate organizations regardless of their ethnic origin, religion and other preferences."
The council "brings people together by hosting public programs and private events featuring leaders and experts with diverse views on a wide range of global and regional topics through task forces, executive forums, luncheons, conferences, studies and leadership dialogue."
Phone calls to the Houston-based group weren't returned Wednesday.
The group plans to build a Turkish cultural center in Albuquerque, which would be affiliated with the Raindrop Turkish House in Houston. The Turkish community in New Mexico is relatively small — only about 500 people, according to information on the council's website.
"They approached us about a couple of years ago about sending trade delegations," Jennings said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "A lot of people think that everyone in the Middle East hates America. They wanted to show us that's not true." He said he learned that Muslims, Christians and Jews live together in Turkey without strife.
Jennings said he and other legislators were allowed to go wherever they wanted in Turkey. "It wasn't like the government only allowed us to see what they wanted us to see."
Ortiz y Pino said the main motivation for the Turks wooing American legislators and journalists is that Turkey is trying hard to join the European Union. But the senator said a Turkish journalist told him even if Turkey doesn't get accepted in the EU, the effort has been worth it because of the reforms undertaken by his nation in seeking membership.
Ortiz y Pino said there's a lot to be learned from Turkey. "It's the world's third-fastest-growing economy," he said.
So if you begin noticing an influx of Turkish coffee, tobacco and bathhouses into New Mexico — and if Istanbul suddenly develops a hunger for green chile and tortillas — you'll know why.
Contact Steve Terrell at 986-3037 or email@example.com. Read his political blog at roundhouseroundup.com.
Who are these NM State Legislature that took the FREEBIE trip to Turkey? They are not without controversy, surely they have all accepted the famous campaign contributions from the Gulen ran front groups. $$$$$$
Ousted Rio Arriba County magistrate Tom Rodella is causing a new set of problems for Big Bill. The husband of Dem State Rep Debbie Rodella claims the Guv knew his background was checkered with all kinds of wrongdoing when he appointed him to the bench in March. Rodella embarrased the Guv when he was recently forced to resign because of his checkered past. The story was breaking fast Wednesday night in the Espanola's Rio Grande Sun. Here's an excerpt.
"Gov. Richardson knew about the problems in Thomas Rodella's past when Richardson appointed the former State Police officer to be a judge March 31, Rodella said Tuesday, flatly contradicting numerous statements from Richardson's office. "I answered all the Governor's questions as pertained to the investigations in my State Police career," Rodella said. "I answered them truthfully. He did know."
A former wife filed a suit against Rodella in the 1980s, accusing him of repeated violent abuse. After he married his current wife, now a state representative, Rodella was repeatedly investigated by State Police for a variety of infractions, including ticket-fixing. Richardson knew about it all, Rodella said, and knew about it before Rodella ever applied to be a Rio Arriba magistrate." Reports the Sun.
Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, nothing much here
Senator Cisco McSorley, says "NO" TO UNM Golf Course redevelopment, but 'YES' To medical marijuana and 'YES" To FREE Trip to Turkey.
MORE ABOUT THE NEW COSMOS FOUNDATION SCHOOL IN ALBUQUERQUE
Ahmet Cetinkaya was a teacher in Turkey and then Texas before heading the new Albuquerque School of Excellence, a charter that is one of a growing number of Turkishrun schools around the country.
The Albuquerque School of Excellence, which opened this year in an old grocery store near Tramway and Lomas, uses curriculum, training and other resources from Harmony Schools, a chain of Texas charter schools where Cetinkaya taught. The school serves students in grades 1-8, with a focus on math and science. Harmony Schools, with a reputation for high test scores and graduation rates, are run almost exclusively by Turkish-Americans. Although the schools have caught the attention of journalists and parent groups, educators caution against thinking of
them as a united network, since they belong to different chains with no connection. Harmony Schools in Texas, for example, has no formal connection to the Sonoran schools in Arizona. Both are Turkish-run charter systems.
"I'm not sure I'd call it a movement," said Nelson Smith, senior adviser and former head of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. "There are several states where there are a number of schools that are Turk-led. If I could characterize them as a group, they seem to be high-performing and well-run, with a math and science flavor."
The School of Excellence aims to fit that mold. Cetinkaya leads tours of the school with pride, showing off the building, which has been brightly painted and remodeled to accommodate the 220 students enrolled this year.
Parent Marianne Hund said she researched the school before enrolling her two sons. She is excited so far about the education they are getting, and said the success of Harmony schools in Texas gave her confidence in the new school.
"They don't have to reinvent the wheel; they're going off something that has been invented and tested, and that meant a lot to us as parents," she said.
Hund belongs to a small co-op of School of Excellence
parents who commute from the East Mountains, and she said the parents and students in that group are happy with the school staff and want their students exposed to people from other countries. Still, Cetinkaya said he has fielded questions from parents concerned about the school's ties to Turkey, and about Internet-fueled rumors that the schools are connected to Fethullah Gulen, a prominent, controversial Turkish thinker who has pushed for more dialogue between the Western and Muslim worlds.
No concrete links between Turkish-American charter schools and Gulen have been documented, and Cetinkaya said his school has no links to Islam or Gulen's philosophy. He acknowledged, though, that most Turkish educators have read Gulen's books and may be influenced by his thinking. Gulen is controversial in Turkey, but is widely known as a Muslim thinker who condemns terrorism and promotes tolerance.
"Gulen is really wellknown in Turkey. He has many books and is on TV," Cetinkaya said. "Most people have probably read his books."
Hund described herself as a devout Christian, and said even if staff are inspired by a Muslim thinker, that isn't a problem for her. "I think you have to look for real experience with real people and then make your own assessments," she said. "My experience with the people running the Albuquerque School of Excellence is that they bring grace, patience, creativity and respect for all people to the table."
Cetinkaya came to the United States on a work visa provided by the Cosmos Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Harmony Schools. He initially came to Albuquerque in April to help recruit for the School of Excellence, and stayed on as principal when Harmony officials asked him to do so (and when he got a taste of the weather). Cetinkaya is relaxed but firm in debunking rumors that have sometimes surrounded Harmony schools. He said his school offers both Turkish and Spanish language classes, but in no
way pushes Islam or any other aspects of Turkish culture. On his staff of 19, three are Turkish, including Cetinkaya. He said especially in the early stages of a new school, he makes it a point to keep the school's doors open and allow parents to visit at all times. Transparency is necessary, he said, to dispel parent fears. "Being a Turkish-American BLOGGER NOTE: Cetinkaya is not American and merely has a work visa and starting a new school, it's a question parents have," he said. Part of the school's central philosophy is encouraging participation in academic competition, including robotics contests and geography bees. In robotics class, the theme for this year's national contest is medical technology. Students are charged with building and programming robots that can simulate sophisticated tasks like placing a cast on a limb or applying just the right pressure to a nerve. Tyler Collins, an eighthgrader at the school, eagerly shows off the tasks the team will need to complete and the progress they've made so far. Collins, 13, hopes to become an engineer and is excited about the robotics competition. "I've been wanting to mess with robots," he said. "This is a good time to start my engineering."
Albuquerque School of Excellence Charter Application
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS CHARTER SCHOOL PUBLIC INPUT HEARING OF SONER TARIM, ET AL (SONER SURE GETS AROUND)
And Texas citizens thought they were so special to be home of Gulen Charter Schools...
Harmony Science Academy a Gulen Charter School
Harmony Science Academy in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico are under the Cosmos Foundation. The Cosmos Foundation ran by Turkish Nationals who are known members of the Gulen Movement have abused many state and federal laws. Cosmos is the largest abuser of H1-B Visas for foreign teachers than the largest school district in America. Scratch your head and wonder why the Gulen Movement is getting away with reverse discrimination? Texas money crosses over state lines to support the other Gulen Managed charter schools, this is WRONG!! DISCLAIMER: If you find some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship which has filed bogus copyright infringement rights to UTUBE
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Albuquerque School of Excellence, Turkey trip for officials by GUESS WHO?