Readers Write: The honor of the first official toilet flush

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Readers Write: The honor of the first official toilet flush

I assume that you saw that wonderful group photo of our school officials at the top of page 3 in the Aug. 29-Sept. 4 issue of the Port Washington News.

That photo accompanied the story, “Concessions Building Opens Before School Start(s).” What a wonderful achievement by our school officials.

In the long, long history of our Port Washington School District, the concessions (and restrooms) building that has just been completed on the Schreiber HS athletic field is the first one of its kind to have ever been built in our school district.

As Kathleen Mooney, our superintendent of schools is quoted in the story as saying, “Outdoor activities at our high school campus… bring our community together. This new facility will make those experiences more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.”

Right you are, Superintendent Mooney.

Our school officials celebrated the opening of the concessions (and restrooms) building with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 21. Our school board had held a regular board meeting that morning and after that, the ribbon cutting ceremony took place.

Nine of our current school officials are shown in the photo, plus two former school board members. The only high level school administrator not in the photo is Dr. Wafa-Deeb Westervelt, our assistant superintendent for curriculum.

Two of our current board members, Mrs. Emily Beys and Ms. Rachel Rosenblatt Gilliar, are also missing from the photo. The minutes of the Aug. 21 board meeting have not yet been posted to our Portnet website, so I can’t tell you if Mrs. Beys and Ms. Rosenblatt Gilliar were at the board meeting, or not.

I’m pretty sure that they weren’t at the meeting, because if they were there, I’m sure that they would have been invited into the group photo. The two former school board members who are in the photo are Mrs. Christina Nadlone and Mr. Alan Baer.

I’m sure that they were invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony because both served on our school board when the matter of creating a concessions and restrooms building was first conceived, discussed and then was approved of.

Both probably had a great deal to do with the making of this new Schreiber concessions and restrooms building.

Also missing from the group photo are Judi Bosworth and Wayne Wink, our town supervisor and town clerk, respectively.

Now, before you say that the town had nothing to do with the new concessions (and restrooms) building, please bear in mind that the town had to approve the electric, water and sewer, or was it electric, water and cesspool, hookups of the facility, as well as approve the basic construction of the building itself.

As we know from reading our local newspapers, both Judi and Wayne find themselves attending countless photo-ops over the year, so perhaps, our school district erred by not informing them of the ribbon cutting ceremony held on Aug. 21.

This leads me to ask about who should be given the honor of performing the first official toilet flush in each restroom. Those two first official flushes should be memorialized in photographs and then the two framed photos should probably be hung in the concessions portion of the building.

I think that it would be very appropriate (and wise for our school district) if Judi and Wayne were given the honor of performing those first official flushes, but if they should demur from that opportunity, then I think that Mrs. Nadlone and Mr. Baer must be granted that honor instead, because of the great efforts each made leading to the creation of the  building.

Of course, it’s assumed that Mrs. Nadlone would flush the toilet in the women’s restroom, while Mr. Baer would flush the one in the men’s restroom. That doesn’t have to be the case, of course, which leads me to raise a final issue.

According to the Port News story, this new concessions building contains two restrooms, one designated a men’s restroom and the other a women’s restroom.

I thought that starting three years ago, after our school district had acceded to the demands made by a graduating transgender student, that the student shouldn’t be made to choose between a graduation gown designated for males and a different gown designated for females, that designating anything male, female, man, woman, men’s, women’s, his, or hers, in the school district, had been abolished.

I thought that we now only have genderless, unisex, multi-sex, multi-gender, or undesignated restrooms in the district. Relabeling the restrooms in the concessions building now would be in accordance with concepts about sexual diversity now being taught in our school district, under the educating the whole child philosophy adopted by our school officials some years ago.

Perhaps, either school superintendent Mooney, or our board president Sloan, will write to the Port Washington News soon, explaining that the restroom designations, men’s and women’s are only temporary, until genderless designations have been determined by our school officials, or, that the specific designations, “men’s” and “women’s”, must remain, and why.

I look forward to reading that explanation in the Port News soon, I hope.

The Port News story also mentions that “the concessions part of the building will be open for athletic booster clubs to sell water among other things during games.”

I wonder if our school officials have negotiated with the booster club vendors yet, the percentage of such sales that must be paid over to the district for the use of the concessions building?

After all, the concessions/restrooms building is a school district facility and as such, community based youth and other organizations using it, should be made to pay a facilities use fee to the district.

That fee should be based on concession sales volumes. I assume that there will be no facilities use fee charged to anyone using a restroom in the building, but that has also yet to be finally determined by our school board.

Because of the extremely tight financial circumstances that our school district now finds itself in, every facilities use fee dollar earned, which must also include dollars earned from concessions sales, will help our struggling school district to meet its financial needs.

Joel Katz

Port Washington

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