Mr Michael Fisher of the RC Teen Activity Center Finally Stepped up to the Plate and Responds to … We’re Not Quite Sure What He’s Responding To…
We have published Mr Michael Fishers comment in its entirety in the comments section of one of our previous articles on the RC Teen Activity Center. In retrospect, we thought that we really should respond to some of Mr Fisher’s statements, to clarify them, if you prefer, and to offer our understanding of what he’s attempting to say. (Fisher’s original comment is so rambling and emotional it was very difficult to digest at one sitting, so we’ve just reproduced some parts of it (in quotes and maroon) and provided our comments below.)
“Ok enough is enough. I stated to everyone that I will not get involved in politics, although there is this one guy here with this blog who is trying to drag me into the politics.”
Mr Fisher appears to be very naïve or deceptive or both when he makes such a statement. In fact, in a comment published on this blog in response to Mr Fisher’s alter ego RavenaCitizen, you can read exactly what our position is: “Michael Fisher has willingly and voluntarily become a part of local politics and he can’t simply escape that fact by simply saying that he wants to stay out of politics in this district. That’s idiotic, to be very honest. He’s not running a gas station or a hair salon, for Pete’s sake! He’s made a highly charged political statement and has made political statements galore throughout his promotion campaign of the Teen Center. He is injecting himself into a political relationship with the village, the town, the school district, the churches, the social institutions and organizations of the district, and is placing himself in a very tenuous and sensitive position in parent child relationships. How much more political can it possibly get?”
“So I am here to say my peace, and you will not see me on here again. If someone should know of a lace where blogs can be posted by both parties and not be editied for ones own benefit, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can continue this in public forum elsewhere. The reason I am looking for a place on the web, is because the owner of this blog is editing and posting to his benefit.”
[Editor’s Note: You can do that right here, Mr Fisher. You already have!] Mr Fisher, is either very badly informed, naïve, or plainly malicious to make that statement. Anyone who comments on this blog or on any of the articles published on this blog knows that this is absolutely untrue! Mr Fisher is showing some very uncomplimentary colors when he makes a statement like this.
“I am Michael C. Fisher, I reside at [redacted] Cottage Street, Ravena, NY 12143, in Albany County. I am a volunteer firefighter in Coeymans Fire Department, and yes I work full time as a Leasing Consultant for Oakbrook Manor LLC in Ravena.”
That’s nice! Finally, the writer of the comment identifies him/herself. We do wonder, though, how being a volunteer firefighter and a leasing consultant (What is that anyway? Are written and oral communications skills a requirement?) qualifies Mr Fisher to be a principal in a facility that claims to provide social and academic support and services to adolescents.
“You see, the owner of this blog knows this because the ravenacitizen is someone that I know and has forwarded personally to the owner of this blog copies of my Deed to my home on Cottage Street, a copy of my power bill to my home on Cottage Street and a copy of my firefighter ID. Although no mention was made of that from the blogger…”
We and others have repeatedly told RavenaCitizen that we are not interested in third-party information, nor in receiving questionable redacted documents from a third party that allegedly are in response to our demands for disclosure from Mr Fisher. We do not use that sort of information; it’s clearly hearsay and very iffy. We have repeatedly asked why Mr Fisher needs to go through RavenaCitizen (is Mr Fisher actually RavenaCitizen?) when he could easily have simply answered the questions publicly in any of the forms we had previously suggested. Or he could have left a sensible response on this blog. Strange way to behave in our opinion.
“…and his updates now state that I am from Guilderland, not Glenmont. You (the blogger) state that you are searching my name and I am in Guilderland.”
Yes, Mr Fisher, that’s completely true. A reliable source corrected our error and we immediately corrected it in the article. That’s how we do things here. We stay truthful and reliable and correct errors immediately.
Furthermore, Mr Fisher, your statement is not true. We have repeatedly stated that we have searched reliable sources for the town of Coeymans NOT the town of Bethlehem. I have repeatedly, read it now Mr Fisher: Repeatedly! stated that I have searched the official listing of registered voters in the town of Coeymans, which as you should be aware, includes the village of Ravena, and can find no listing for you. What this means is: (1) that prior to March 2012 you were either (1) not registered to vote in the town of Coeymans or (2) you did not have a private primary residence in the town of Coeymans or (3) you did not vote in the town of Coeymans, (4) very unlikely but possibly, the County of Albany Board of Elections forgot to include you in the list. In addition, the village of Ravena confirms that you own property in Ravena but does not confirm you have your primary residence in Ravena, which might explain why you’re not in the list of registered voters here. (Admittedly,we may be using an old list. It is from March 2012.)
“You include a special note on your blogs that “we make every effort to be truthful, blah, blah, blah. YOU ARE FAR FROM THE TRUTH AND DO HAVE THE FACTS!!! I noticed after reading multiple emails between you and ravenacitizen (yes I have copies of all)”…”
No “blah, blah, blah.” Yes, we do include a disclaimer to that effect and Yes! we take that commitment very, very seriously. That’s why we refused to respond to your friend RavenaCitizen, who refused to identify him/herself and who was passing around documents that we could not verify but which RavenaCitizen stated were from YOU. We explained to RavenaCitizen that we could not accept any documents from him/her and that s/he was violating your privacy by sending them to us without explicit authority to do so. We also asked Why? was RavenaCitizen doing this when you were free, but apparently, unwilling to do it yourself!?! The situation was too bizarre for us to get involved in at that level. Please re-read the paragraph above relating to our error corrections policies.
Thank you very much for having such high regard for this blog and our e-mails that you have gone to the trouble to copy them. Actually, it’s rather imbecilic to go to such trouble when you have them at your finger tips, publicly on the Internet. So what’s your point when you take the trouble to tell us you have “copies of it all.” Like Who in hell cares, Mr Fisher!?! That might impress a 13-year old but it doesn’t do much for me without further specification.
“…you were first on here calling us morons, actually corrected to a bunch of morons in your blog. After one email from a person that I know, you changed the wording to people instead of morons. You can change it back to morons, with my permission, you are only making yourself look bad to everyone that reads this with the name calling of myself and the people that donated thier time to support the RC Teen Center.”
Yes, you are correct. We did use the word “morons” in the original article because we actually felt that the entire scenario created on that Saturday afternoon was very moronic! In fact, stupid. We still feel it was poorly conceived and executed, especially in view of your own and RavenaCitizen’s comments. But in all sincerity, when we found that it was actually the Teen Center, and respecting the effort being made while questioning the leadership, we felt “morons” was much too powerful a word and had the tendency to brand the entire effort with stupidity rather than just the leadership. With that in mind, we edited the article on our own initiative. And Yes! “You’re very welcome!” and “Thank you!” Mr Fisher for acknowledging the change. Our pleasure!
“In your original post you states ” not another accident “… on rt 9W in Glenmont. You were delayed from shopping or going home or whatever. The trafffic situation was normal flowing, with a few that stopped and supported the RC Teen Center while traffic lights were green, that minimally held up traffic. The Bethlehem Police even stopped by and did not shut us down, simply made a suggestion of safety vests, although not required I went and bought them anyways (with my own money, not money from supporters).”
Yes, an accident would have been unfortunate, don’t you agree, Mr Fisher And Yes! that’s exactly what I mean when I say “sloppy,” “poorly conceived and executed,” Mr Fisher. And you claim to be a “volunteer firefighter” in Coeymans? Well, that would make sense. Apparently you don’t get any training in safety. It seems to me that anyone with an ounce of commonsense would have planned for Safety First! and would have had all sorts of safety equipment available BEFORE sending people into the traffic of a busy intersection! In terms of good planning, Mr Fisher, anyone with an ounce of common sense would have informed the police well in advance of the plan. But no, Mr Fisher, you neglected both the safety issues and the courtesy, public safety issues and followed your own plan. And you want this community and the parents of this community to entrust to you the safety and welfare of their children on that evidence?!?
“You say the sloppy signs were an embarrasment to you…The Teen Center signs were created by cheap stencil from Walmarts on a board that was donated from someone who knows that we were doing a coin drop and donated the plywood for a good cause. By the way I love the artwork that you printed on the blog, and yes I will (with my own money) repaint the coin drop signs to this. Thanks for the idea.”
Yes, I did say “sloppy.” And the initial impression made was sloppy. In fact, the whole thing appears to be sloppy. I’ve already commented on the safety issues. When you go into an initial interview do you wear your dirty jeans and a torn T-shirt? Maybe. But when making a public appearance, it’s best to make a clean-cut, sensible, responsible, attention-to-details appearance. If the appearance were made on that Saturday of taking the time to show that good planning and leadership went into the event, which is not true, you would have avoided this whole controversy. As it is, by your own admissions, you failed in a significant number of very basic organizational and leadership items, including the image you created for your efforts.
And thank you very much for your comment regarding the artwork on this blog. You see, we even managed to positively impress you with the care and attention we take to make this blog a good place to be. Please learn from the good example.
“You have an editor note on this blog that there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding myself and origins. Simple stop in and ask. If you had questions regarding the Teen Center prior to opening, and it was made very public in the press for the original planning board meeting, why did you not stop into the public meeting and ask your questions then. Even before the final approval of the Village Planning Board, the signs were up and displayed to the public. So there was no secret that this was going on in the Village of Ravena.”
Mr Fisher, we did follow what was going on and we did read the print media articles. None of those sources provided any information of substance. If they did, why would so many people have to come in and ask you questions in person? If the information put out by the village of Ravena and the town of Coeymans were so complete, Why? Mr Fisher were there so many outstanding questions? If the local print media were so complete in their reporting, Why? Mr Fisher did we have to ask so many questions on this blog…?
“Actually you might have been to busy, following the life of certain Police Officers in this town, and certain names, that I now understand are very big in this town. You come on this blog that you own and post multiple name calling to town officials and Police Officers and now myself.”
Actually, indeed, Mr Fisher, if you were from Ravena it seems to be to be very strange that you would admit that “certain names, that I now understand are very big in this town.” If you live in Ravena it’s inconceivable that you would not have known of “certain names” that are “very big in this town.” If you didn’t know those names and their histories, you must have been snoozing under some log somewhere! They’ve been around for at least thirty years and you’d have to know those names and what they mean in this community if you wanted to open a teen center or even set up a PortaPotty in this community. Come on, Mr Fisher, get real!
“If there are questions, people want answers. I am willing to answer them at the Teen Center, in person, not hiding behind a screen name on the internet. The blogger even has a link now of questions, although in an email to ravenacitizen, states that he has no questions for me in person… WHY??? Ravenacitizen has posted and emailed you stating that I will answer any questions that anyone has at the Teen Center. I am true to that, and anyone can come in (at no charge) and look around and ask all the questions they want.”
The questions, Mr Fisher, should have been answered long ago, and completely. I find it outrageous and arrogant that you should think you or your teen center should occupy such a central position in this community’s eye that you can hold court at the teen center. In any such activity total transparency, competent outreach, etc. are essentials. We’ve asked reasonably about your dialogue with schools (not teachers!), churches, established community organizations. We’ve asked those questions for a very good purpose. Have you figured it out yet, Mr Fisher? No, Mr Fisher, it’s not for the community to come to YOU, YOU have to go out to the community. You seem to have a lot of things ass-end-backwards, Mr Fisher, and a great many facts totally cockeyed.
“Ravenacitizen has no power to speak on my behalf, although he has asked questions and got his answers and has given you the answers…And yes he ran a sex offender background check on me, on the computer at the Teen Center, and stated true findings, I am not one!!! Actually now there is a printed copy of this on the wall at the main entrance.”
Well, we can agree on one point: RavenaCitizen has no power to speak on your behalf. But RavenaCitizen states that s/he had your authorization! In fact, RavenaCitizen tried to hand off documents allegedly pertaining to you and provided by you! So who is lying, Mr Fisher? You or RavenaCitizen? This is a very important point, Mr Fisher, who is the truth-teller and who is the liar? You can’t both be telling the truth! In fact, Mr Fisher, much of what you’ve written is coming across as so much double-talk. I’m really not comfortable with your story.
Now, I am very happy that your friend Mr RavenaCitizen sat down at a computer at the Teen Center and did an online “sex-offender background check” on you, and congrats that you didn’t come up as Lester the Molester. That certainly speaks in your favor…somewhat. What I am very interested in asking is this: Did the village of Ravena or the Coeymans police department run a background check on you and did they run your fingerprints? That, I would assume, would be standard procedure in your application process. And what about your “employees”? Background checks? Fingerprints? Every time I apply for a position in my professional field, I have to go thru all of that. Did you? You didn’t mention that in your rather lengthy diatribe.
“Now about the Teen Center. You state that we will be offering help with homework. Where does it say that??? We will be offering a place seperated from the activities for kids to do homework on their own. You dont like my typing on the website, TOUGH!!! Its my freedom of speech also, just like this blog on here from you.”
I’ll concede this point to you, Mr Fisher. And I’m very, very glad you are not “offering help with homework.” That was a very scary thought. And NO! Mr Fisher, I don’t appreciate your raping the English language and your carelessness in not even running a spellcheck on your writing. It’s offensive and irresponsible. It’s even more irresponsible given the fact that you have the potential of influencing children.
“I never stated that there is a problem with the kids in Ravena / Coeymans and the surrounding area. You did, and blame the parents, here on this blog. I am only offering a place for kids to go out of the cold in the winter, and cool in the hot summer and give them activities that will interest them. The kids of this community are the ones who state what they want to see here, and within being legal and safe for them I will offer it.”
Here’s a quote from the Ravena News Herald: ““I always wanted to do something for the community,” Fisher said. “I always hear about the problems kids are causing because there is nothing for them to do. This is a place where they can come, enjoy themselves, hang out with friends, and have full adult supervision.”* That is a quote of you, Mr Fisher.
The very fact that you felt it necessary to open the Teen Center is a statement that you feel that there’s a problem with the teens in Ravena/Coeymans. I seem to recall that you even mentioned in one of the print media articles that the local teens were getting into trouble with the police and you wanted to get them off the streets. Didn’t you say that, Mr Fisher? And now you say you never stated that there’s “a problem with the kids in Ravena / Coeymans and the surrounding area.” If what you say is true, whatever you claim to have said, why would we need the RC Teen Activity Center in the first place? What’s your agenda, Mr Fisher?
Good Lord, Mr Fisher, the local children don’t have a place to get in out of the cold in winter or the heat in summer!?! And it took you, Mr Fisher, to bring this deprivation and inhumane situation to the attention of the community, to our elected officials, to parents?!?! Don’t these children have homes, parents? Aren’t those homes heated? Cooled? Seems to me the local parents need to be dragged into Family Court for child abuse, indifference to the safety and welfare of minors! And these children didn’t have a place to go to do things that “interest them?” Like pool, fussball, electronic games? Yeah, just the things that have been rotting their brains all along! Just the thing that’s going to get them on the buses for educational field trips. Just the stuff that’s going to increase RCS’s graduation rates.
“The parents that come in and either stay with their kids or drop them off, are always asked if they have any suggestions or comments about how things operate in the Teen Center. I have not heard one complaint yet, I have even had parents come in by themselves without their kids, ask questions, see how things are run, and then they leave and come back with their kids. Sounds like good parenting to me, checking up on things before allowing kids to go somewhere.”
And two more quotes from the same Ravena News Herald article: “The entry fee on dance nights is $4. There is also a VIP membership program, which costs $20 and entitles the teen to $1 off their entry fee, plus a 20% discount at the snack bar…The price for the after-school program is still being worked out. Fisher said he is trying to come up with a price most parents can afford, and is considering something in the $12 to $15 a week range.”*
Damn it! Next thing on your program of activities will be to give parents a medal if they act minimally like adults. Great idea! If parents can affort the $4 or the $12 or $15 to use your Teen Center to dump their kids they can just as easily contribute that amount to an educational field trip or to an activities center in the RCS Community library and get help and education by qualified people. Just because local parents check out your place before dumping their kids there doesn’t equate with good parenting. All that means to me is that they’re doing the barest of minimum to cover their own dumbasses so that they can go do what they want…without the kids. Give me a break, Mr Fisher, I’m a bit more intelligent than you apparently take me for.
“The coin drops that you see around town are to support kids that can not afford the minimal prices that I have set for entrance…I am doing this for the kids of the community, should they use it is their choice, not a quarantine of troubled youths. You are the one who stated “the poor, deprived, bored, wayward teens” of this community. I never stated that about anyone in this town. THE COIN DROPS MADE IT SO 12 KIDS OF OUR AND A NEARBY COMMUNITY WERE ABLE TO ENJOY A NEW YEARS PARTY JUST FOR THEM, no alcohol, tobacco, bullying or drugs, just plain out fun. They were not turned away from the Teen Center and allowed admittance with their friends and parents, thanks to the coin drop support. The coin drop in Glenmont was an idea from a parent who had seen the coin drop in Ravena and made the suggestion of Glenmont because of more trafffic. SO YES WE DID IT.”
The Winter holidays are family holidays. Here you are saying that you provided a place for the children to spend the transition from the old to the new year. I seem to remember the wonderful times we had as a family staying up ’til midnight, chomping on delicious junk food and snacks, cheering then when the ball dropped on Times Square, and toasting the new year with ginger ale. Fond memories, don’t you agree? Now, you are offering a place away from the family, where they can enjoy a “new years party just for them, no alcohol, tobacco, bullying or drugs, just plain out fun.” Yeah, I guess “plain out fun” would be preferrable to family fun. You’re making a very questionable contribution to this community if that is an example of the benefit you are providing.
Let me just say that if your center is open any other time, those very same children can enjoy whatever it is that you say you are offering, and that’s just fine. But when you start dragging them out of their homes on the holidays, that’s where I take offense. You have no right to do that and any right-thinking parent would refuse to allow his/her child to avoid family for fun…and if I read correctly, the center kept them out until 1 a.m.?!? Nice!
“You have a requested confidential email with your personal name on it from ravenacitizen, stating all the facts about how many places I looked at prior to 172 Main Street, and all the things that were done in preparation of the Teen Center. YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO POST THIS EMAIL WITHOUT ANY EDITING DONE TO IT.”
I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have already stated my position with regard to anything that RavenaCitizen said, wrote, or provided. In your own statement you admit that “Ravenacitizen has no power to speak on my behalf.” You’re making no sense, Mr Fisher.
“You state that you are not bashing the Teen Center??? What do you consider all the name calling and predicting the “soon to fail” Teen Center in Ravena. Even in this comment I am not calling you names, outside of telling you to update your equipment.”
I am concerned about your reading comprehension ability, Mr Fisher. I’m not going to comment further on your reading comprehension or this allegation of “bashing.”
“Even with a not for profit business, I can still draw a salary of near $30,000 per year from it and maintain my not for profit status. I do not want or will take from the Teen Center. When we have completed the Not for Profit status, and my books are open to the public, as required you will see this.”
Are you or are you not a private business? Are you a registered not-for-profit or non-profit organization? Do you have a board of directors? Do you have any officers? What exactly is your structure and how are you organized? When did you win the lottery? You sound like Mother Theresa reincarnated as a Coeymans volunteer firefighter, Mr Fisher! You’re just too good to be true! Maybe that’s the problem.
“So are we really going into foreign terrritory? Is it the name that bothers you? Maybe I should change the name and leave the RC (Ravena / Coeymans ) out of it, before my attorney completes the paperwork of the non-profit. Maybe Northeast Youth and Community Center. Then the name of Ravena and Coeymans is not attached.”
I may be terribly wrong, Mr Fisher, but I feel that you are somehow missing some very important points. How can I help you to understand?
“Should I change things here for educational purposes, the website will be updated with that persons credentials for all to see. Currently there is no educational activites to interfere with the RCS or other area schoold districts.”
Please, Mr Fisher, do the community a favor and stick to dance events, fussball, pool, and computer games. Avoid at all costs any involvement with any education pursuits. We have enough problems with dumbasses and Coeymanazis as it is in this community.
“I have said my peace and I will see you all at the Teen Center in support of it or not. Now I have to go to lowes to buy paint with my own money to make some nice new signs.”
Apparently, Mr Fisher has invested personal funds in his teen center but that’s certainly anything anyone would be expected to do in such a risky and poorly conceived and poorly planned investment. While Mr Fisher’s heart may be in the right place, a lot of other important things that can mean the success or failure of a business don’t seem to be in place. I think that becomes quite clear from what Mr Fisher himself writes in what appears to be a defense, but our analysis reveals the obvious need for caution and for reading between the lines.
Obviously, the village of Ravena and Josie Biscone had a vested interest in getting Bob Fisk’s property rented/leased and Mr Fisher was a willing taker. That’s their business and I’d rather not start looking any deeper into that quagmire for fear of what I might find.
What should be clear from Mr Fisher’s statements and my responses is that Mr Fisher is on very thin ice and makes some very bizarre assumptions. Mr Fisher is contradictory in many of his statements. Mr Fisher obviously does not have the gift of planning and leadership or organization. And we are still out on a very precarious limb as to any qualifications for running a center for adolescents and teens. A readiness and willingness to answer questions if you come in person just doesn’t help much to resolve some of the still burning questions.
We do wish you every success Mr Fisher and a Happy New Year as well.
* These quotes are taken from the Ravena News Herald article, “Teens dance the night away,” by Melanie Lekocevic, December 20, 2012.
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