- The alumni of the Class of '78 launch the event series, Hockey Night in Canada in Bethesda;
- The alumni of the Class of '78 launch a moderator-free, version of a Facebook Group page;
- The GoFundMe page to underwrite the cost of establishing a 501(c)(3) organization is now live; and
- a look at the mail bag.
My name is Gregory Pichler with the WWHS 78 Wire and you are watching my monthly update for Friday, November 27, 2020.
The Class of '78 alumni launch the event series, Hockey Night in Canada in Bethesda
The WWHS Class of '78 alumni are launching an event series entitled, Hockey Night in Canada in Bethesda. The event series will be held on the first Wednesday of every month. The first event in the series will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The event series, Hockey Night in Canada in Bethesda, will feature gaming activites as well as live, out-of-town, CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts on multiple Smart TVs. (As the hockey season does not begin until January, 2021 we may have to wait on any live broadcasts from CBC Sports.)
The gaming activities will include games from the 70s, including Mille Borne, Acquire, Masterpiece, Uno, Yatzee, to name a few. The house selects the first game the group plays that evening. The losing party decides on the selection of the next game thereafter.
If you recall Alan Wiecking, class of '79, Alan's brother David Wiecking, class of '75 hosts a similar series of events, called Thursday Associates. As the name suggests the group meets every Thursday at the properties of different members. Pat McGlade class of '78 and his brother, Henry McGlade attend these events on occasion.
Members of the Thursday Associates can view their life time scores from an online web site 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Click here to contact the event organize for the physical address of the event and directions.
The Class of '78 alumni launch a moderator-free version of its Facebook Group page
The alumni of the Class of '78 have launched a moderator-free, version of a Facebook Group page. The page is called the Walt Whitman HS, Class of '78, Open & Uncensored. Interested allumni can click here to go to register at the new Facebook group page.
The GoFundMe page for the 501(c)(3) organizational formation is now live
The alumni of the class of '78 have launched a GoFundMe page to raise the funds necessary to form a 501(c)(3) organization to better represent the alumni of the class of '78.
Interested alumni can click here to donate monies towards a 501(3)(c) alumni organization.
On November 5, 2020 I received an e-mail message from a fellow alumni, that included a copy of a posting on facebook reportedly authored by Jayne Fitzgerald. The posting is actually signed by three members of the 2018 reunion planning committee, including Jayne Fitzgerald, Jay Kaufman and Liz Dane. The posting, which never directly identifies me as the subject, includes the grievance that I am purporting to represent the Jayne, Jay and Liz, who were three members of the 2018 reunion planning committee, as well as the grievance that I disabled the feature on the web site application, allowing people to unsubscribe, presumably for some nefarious purpose as well as a rationale for why the moderators have permanently banned me from participating on the facebook group page, Walt Whitman Class of '78. Perhaps the rationale behind never identifying me by name has to do with plausible deniability. Who's to say. In any event let's break down the posting piece by piece.
Regarding the first grievance Jayne writes:
Back in 2017, as the Reunion Committee was preparing for our 40th Class Reunion, he volunteered to put together a website for our class. Since then it appears that he feels that the site is his to do with as he pleases, but (intentionally or unintentionally) leading the class to believe that it is coming from all of us who worked on the Reunion. This could not be further from the truth.
In effect Jayne' allegation is such that I am purporting to represent her, Jay Kaufman and Liz Dane, who combined comprise the 2018 reunion planning committee. If you examine the last broadcast e-mail message I sent to the alumni on October 28, 2020 I do identify myself as a 2018 reunion committee member, however, that committee is now defunct and is no longer in operation. The committee disbanded on October 12, 2018 or thereabouts four days after the 40th reunion event. The purpose for advertising myself as a member of the 2018 reunion planning committee is to give alumni some degree of reference and nothing more. The fact that I was a member of the committee is not relevant for purposes of organizing ongoing events post reunion. Nowhere in the e-mail message nor on the web site do I identify, Jayne Fitzgerald, Jay Kaufman nor Liz Dane to have any involvement whatsoever with the defacto alumni site. As there are over forty documents on the defacto alumni web site there may indeed be residual documents that bear the names of the former committee members, however, that is simply an oversight. The names of the 2018 reunion planning committee have been scrubed from the web site, leaving only my name as web master for the site.
More important than the signatories on this posting, are the names of the former 2018 reunion planning committee members who do not appear, including committee chair, Tracy Ziegfinger, Maurice Grant, Ben Lin, Leslie Dissin and Joey Applebaum. I am surprised that Joey's name is not there as both Applebaum and Kaufman were inseparable over the course of 2018.
Regarding the second grievance Jayne writes:
He has also stated in his email that many of us received, that if you unsubscribe from the website you will not get any more info from the class about upcoming reunions, etc. - this, too, could not be further from the truth.
In fact there was an undetected script anomoly in the template form. Fifteen people did attempt to unsubscribe only to be notified by the application that the system failed to perform the function. None of the fifteen people ever contacted me to alert me to the apparent software glitch.
Errors like these are common in evolving software projects. The underlying code base for the domain, wwhs1978.org, originates from the domain, teptak.org. That code base is constantly evolving. New releases on that code base are being promoted, requiring updates to the templates in the broadcast e-mail software. That is the failure point. The fault has since been corrected. Any alumni that receives a broadcast e-mail message from the domain, wwhs1978.org, and wishes to unsubscribe can do so on the next broadcast message.
Regarding Jayne's rationale for permanently banning me from the facebook group page, Walt Whitman Class of 78, Jayne writes:
Everyone has the right to put on any event or info - we did not “censor” him for that. The Facebook posts were deleted because, in our eyes, he was misrepresenting the hosts, to fit his agenda.
This is all well and good, however, it is immaterial as the moderators of the group page have affinity rights. The moderates can invite any facebook accounts to join the group they wish or in my case disinvite any facebook account they deem objectionable. They really do not have to have a plausible explanation.
In any event when news spread of my account being banned, my e-mail client inbox lit up, largely due to e-mail messages from alumni, who are registered Republicans. They all believe that given my material, advertising an alumni event, coinciding with the federal election on November 3, 2020, which includes a five letter word that appears to trigger people in Montgomery County, Maryland coupled with the fact that the material had a negative spin towards Vice President Biden (another five letter word, but apparently a five letter word that is somehow sacred) that this was the reason the material was expunged and I was summarily banned from the group page.
If the alumni kicks out the proud boys, the Bernie Bros., QAnon, The black lives matter people, The ANTIFA people, the Hillary Clinton, pant suit fanatics, Anti abortionist Catholics, militant Joos, Islamic fundamentalists, social justice warriors, the RAD femmes, the TERFs, The gay Boi's, the LGBT Q'tie people, who do you have left to attend a reuion event?
You would not have enough people to play a pinochle card game.
Embracing diversity means you accommodate and tolerate people, whose have beliefs and life styles you otherwise hate. If you find yourself in complete harmony with everyone you have invited to an alumni event, then you ostracised someone who otherwise should have been invited.
Jayne's posting stands in stark contrast to the e-mail messages between the committee members in September, 2018 and October, 2018. To illustrate this I would like to present a number of e-mail messages from these individuals two years ago, illuminating what their positions were on the defacto alumni web site at that time.
In her e-mail message, dated September 11, 2018 at 9:50 AM, Jayne Fitzgerald writes:
I was not at the first few meeting when the request for a class web page was brought up. What I see is that the class web page is a separate entity from the reunion. This committee has worked together to hold an event, when the event is over, the committee dissolves. The class web page is a fluid product for our classmates to go to for on going information and connection. Not every classmate is on FB, nor do they necessarily want their info displayed, but may be interested in a dedicated website. I, personally, have no problem announcing this to our classmates and giving them your contact info, Greg, if they are interested in donating to the cost, or want to help you in this endeavor.
In her e-mail message, dated September 11, 2018 at 2:54 PM, Liz Dane writes:
Greg, we did indeed ask you to create a website. We wanted a simple site that people could go to for various reasons. We are appreciative of your efforts. However, the site you created was complicated and difficult to work with. We tried politely to tell you that it was not working. We didn't communicate it well as we should have as we did not want to hurt your feelings. We didn't communicate and you were not listening to us. It shouldn't have resulted in a shouting match.
We also stepped over people's shoes (so to speak). People were assigned roles and than some people took it upon themselves to jump in and take over the roles.
Also, if you joined the committee and did nothing. Perhaps you need to re-think about joining groups if you don't do anything. Just a thought.
In his e-mail message, dated October 9, 2018 at 2:01 PM, Joey Applebaum writes:
I appreciate the time and effort you've put into the website.
That said I am not comfortable being part of it.
Please remove my name and any of my contact information.
In his e-mail message, dated October 9, 2018 at 2:51 PM, Jay Kaufman writes:
But please also remove us from any listings as to involvement with the website ie planning committee as the reunion event is complete and I don’t know what I will be doing in 10 years.
In response to one of my e-mail messages, challenging whether Kaufman had the authority to speak for the entire planning committee in his e-mail message, dated October 9, 2018 at 4:51 PM, Jay Kaufman writes:
I am only speaking for myself and Joel. We would like to see our names removed from the website as the event is over and we have no control or input into the website.
I would like to show you one more e-mail message around that same time period, that I think you will find interesting.
In his e-mail message, dated October 11, 2018 at 7:01 AM, Chris Barker writes:
Great job to all of you, and I apologize for having to back out over the last months, but I really appreciate your thoughts and understanding.
A simple 5 year reunion, without all the bells and whistles, is a great idea! I’ll be healthy then, I promise!
Chris Barker died at Adler Center hospice on April 23, 2020, from complications of leukemia. He was 60 years-old. Barker served on the 2018 reunion planning committee. Chris was a good guy. Chris never said a critical word about anyone, not even behind someone's back.