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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Michael Fandel, Former Teacher, Removed For Improbable Cause, Speaks Out

From Betsy: Michael Fandel is a retired policeman and professional clown who decided to become a NYC public school teacher. He was appointed to Robert Wagner Middle School MS 167 in Manhattan (76th and third avenue), and then suddenly dumped. We know the drill.

From Michael Fandel:

Time to step out of my cave and seek the light and put the laser beam of truth on the modern day brown shirts. When do I start? Thanks for letting me see Betsy Combier in action. Let me become the candidate for "rubber rooms" across the nation.

Our so-called educators promote statutory rape across the city by the wholesale distribution of rubbers to minors, children below the age of consent, followed by teenage pregancy, followed by abusive relationships, subsidizing excesses, sexualizing our young citizens before their time.

Whatever happened to the guidance class - the umbrella for all health and adolescent issues - every school is vulnerable. They take a retired police officer like myself out of the classroom because a teacher was alarmed that a student felt uncomfortable in my classroom going on to inform the principal who informed subcentral computer registry. This only days after the Virginia Tech massacre. Students from k to GED to juveniles in lock-up facilities robbed of a per diem teacher who has cared about children and worked with them his whole life, who entertained thousands of students in Brooklyn's troubled neighborhoods in the 80's as a volunteer to combine teaching, crimefighting, and entertainment to get my main idea across-'treasure yourself-don't trash yourself', a big brother in the jewish big brother program, a recent candidate for a state office on the upper east side and on the ballot. My work has been featured on the major tv stations in new york city, written up by at least two pulitzer prize jopurnalists, including reknowned Russian filmmaker Stanislav Govoruhkin in his work 'no way to live' shown at the 1990 montreal film festival, featured in Ripley's believe it or not syndicated comic strip by King Features as 'the cop who's a clown'.

Thank god I did not seek a full time teacher position after retiring from the New York City police department with service spanning 20 years and honored by the prestigious New York Police Foundation's Hemmerdinger Award in 1992.

I grew up in Coney Island houses living right near the beach but who needs to be part of quicksand bureaucrats? My mobility and freedom far outweighed the perks bestowed by jerks who will yank you left and right until you spin away from the essential mission of preparing children for life as upstanding and outstanding citizens. I am the founder of the march 4th against crime day, one of the original coiners of the term 'eracism', promoter of the term 'gangproofing the schools' the propagation of which was interrupted by my removal from the classroom, son of a career registered nurse dad who worked in Harlem hospital for 25 years and columbia neurological institute, nephew of New London, Connecticut police commissioner Sam Fandel, yup that's me.

I was in contact with penpal Samantha Smith, who helped melt the iron curtain when she became an instant celebrity overnight when she toured Russia asking why they wanted to destroy the United States. She sent me a card thanking me for sending her my 'kiss crime goodbye' t-shirt, which was circulated thru all of the assemblies where I entertained as Ernest Desire the Clown. Russia honored her with a postage stamp. yet in all of my years teaching, only two students knew who she was. in elementary school is ps 145 in manhattan. just two! what a disgrace! smantha smith, cute green-eyed maine resident whose star lasted from 9 to 13 when she tragically died in a plane crash with her dad after filming of her tv show 'lime street' with robert wagner as lead star. what a delinquent system which cannot celebrate a child who accomplished more than half the state department. the bureaucrats fear their loss of power and irrelevance. so they straitjacket the troops in the trenches, their teachers who celebrate love of learning and hope that romance catches the minds, hearts, and spirits of their beloved students.

The Talk of the Town
Policemen's Ball

by James Lardner March 9, 1992

James Lardner, The Talk of the Town, "Policemen's Ball," The New Yorker, March 9, 1992, p. 26
March 9, 1992 Issue

Talk story about the Policemen's Ball at One Police Plaza, at which the annual H. Dale Hemmerdinger awards were presented for "exceptional public service." Michael Fandel, a 42-year-old patrolman whose regular job is to guard the Police Academy, was honored for his appearances in schools and other settings as Ernest Desire, the crime-fighting clown.

Mike's issues when he ran for office in 2006:

Michael Fandal - Change for Albany:

* Enforce laws that promote a trouble-free neighborhood (e.g., no leniency for offenders, from drunk drivers to reckless bicycle riders)
* Tackle issues and find solutions to common problems in our area such as underage drinking, rowdiness, and drunk driving
* Provide young people public spaces to socialize, thereby reducing behavior that generates negative attention such as graffiti, noise, vandalism, and disorderly conduct
* Promote youth athletics, recreation, and other involvement programs
* Introduce martial arts education to the public school system for personal growth and discipline, safety, and fitness - especially in view of the growing threats of terrorism
* Prioritize and establish emergency preparedness for all residents, workplaces, schools, and institutions
* Reassign licensing of taxi and limousines back to the NYPD to enhance safety
* Continue to push for high standards at CUNY
* Devise incentives to retain the best civil service workers, such as seasoned detectives
* Additional incentives to attract the industries such as film production that generate an abundance of jobs and tax revenues

By PHILIP MESSING, NY POST, March 13, 2007

The city is about to shell out more money for a puppeteer than for a rookie cop.

In the twisted world of New York civil service, pulling the strings on a marionette is worth at least $7,000 more per year than risking one's life as a rookie officer.

The city Department of Parks & Recreation just advertised that it's looking to hire up to three puppeteers - for jobs that will pay between $32,275 and $50,242 a year with complete benefits and union representation.

That contrasts sharply with the salary for a rookie NYPD cop, which is a measly $25,100 a year.

A city Parks spokesman said only one puppeteer will be hired for now.

Retired NYPD cop Michael Fandal, who moonlighted as a children's party clown, was outraged by the job posting, and called for the city to stop playing around with police pay.

Fandal - who billed himself as "Ernest Desire" in his second job - won honors during his 20-year NYPD career between 1973 and 1993 for incorporating his showmanship into the job.

"I think it's sad that entertainers are being paid more money than starting cops," said Fandal, 57, who now works as a substitute city schoolteacher.

"Looking at it from the police officers' point of view, they're risking their lives out there and puppeteers are getting more money for entertaining a couple of kiddies at no real risk.

"I think this [the puppet job] will tick off police officers that their risks are not being appreciated," Fandal added.

Parks spokesman Warner Johnston called the puppet job "a very skilled position."

"It's not just someone with his hand up a puppet," he said. "It's someone who has to create and maintain the marionette. It's an artisan position."

The new puppeteer will work at the Marionette Theater in Central Park - and also make rounds in the "PuppetMobile," doing performances in city parks and recreation centers.

Johnston said he expects the new city puppeteer to make closer to $32,275 than to $50,242.

"It's a civil service range and we typically hire toward the low end of the range," he said.

The oddball disparity between puppeteers and cops could be traced back to the police union's own bargaining committee, which negotiated substantially higher pay for veteran officers at the expense of the rookies.

After starting at $25,100, a police officer's salary jumps to $32,700 after six months.

After 51/2 years on the job, cops can make up to $59,588.

The latest police contract has now expired and talks are at an impasse on a new one.

Rookie cops have had a particularly rough time lately.

Beat cop Joseph Cho was attacked on Feb. 6 in Queens by a bat-wielding thug who had spent three hours lying in wait for an officer.

The thug, Danny Fernandez, 21, was chased down and arrested by two other rookie cops, Patrick Lynch and Christine Schmidt.

Fernandez, who stole Cho's gun and handcuffs, was slapped with a slew of charges including attempted murder.

Two weeks ago, a rookie cop in Queens was stabbed trying to protect a man who had just saved a nun from being attacked. Luckily the blade went directly into Officer Stuart Ingram's badge, shattering the knife and saving his life.

Additional reporting by David K. Li

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