Letter to the Editor: I’ll Get You My Pretty … and Your 6 Lateral Transfers Too

It sure feels like Ms. Corrigan is trying to get rid of the six lateral transfers hired by the fire department in 2016, one way or another.

Ms. Corrigan is now using a 3-platoon, 56-hour work-week system as a way to get rid of the six firefighters.

Let’s look at the history of her actions:

It just so happens that she is trying to remove the same six firefighters that she complained about while testifying in the James Perry case.

Ms. Corrigan said she felt a lateral hiring process was “discriminatory” because “generally the number of firefighters that are currently employed are predominately white males” and that the CBA, charter language, the active hiring list were all “thrown away” in the lateral hiring process used. Ms. Corrigan testified that she “took it very seriously and spent a lot of time and energy trying to understand what had happened, how the laterals had come in, how the whole CBA had been — it was almost like a tip of the iceberg is this firing” and why she thought “relying on solely lateral hires is a bad idea” and “not a best practice in employment.”

When questioned further and asked about being discriminatory and if that bothered her, Ms. Corrigan replied, “It’s a fact, it’s a discriminatory practice. As you know, with employment law, there’s a lot, EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], the Town has an affirmative action program, all of these things when you are hiring laterals, it’s a fact that you are not — you are reducing the subset. It’s a fact. It doesn’t bother me. It’s a fact you are reducing the people that can apply.”

Perhaps the tip of the iceberg stopped with Jim Perry because Justice McGuirl ruled, “This Court finds without question based on the credible evidence before it that Corrigan did not engage in ‘careful and factual consideration,’ as required by §45-1 of the CBA before terminating FF Perry for ‘just cause.'”

And, “There was no valid basis to terminate FF Perry.”

Gall-lee said Gomer Pyke, I’m sure glad Ms. Corrigan didn’t reduce the subset and followed employment law, the EEOC and the Town’s affirmative action program when hiring Ms. Dykeman and Ms. Antunes.

Also noted in the decision of that case is where the judge wrote, “Corrigan stated that her analysis revealed a structural deficit and, in her professional opinion, the lateral transfer procedures were a major contributing factor.” The only other familiar statement from Ms. Corrigan that appears to be missing was about that being “unsustainable” as well.

OK. That didn’t work, let’s try this . . . .

Ms. Corrigan now comes along with a plan to have the firefighters work more hours per week on average (56 rather than 42), while saying it is being done “due to the recognized fiscal and, more importantly, health, safety and wellness concerns from such extensive overtime hours.” So I guess if a firefighter has a bad night and works the 24-hour shift continuously and then has to work overtime, that is now somehow safer than a firefighter who works a 10 or 14 hour shift and has to work overtime.

Ms. Corrigan recognizes the changes as structural changes that will take legal opinions and potentially additional complaints for summary judgement, i.e. a softer way of saying additional lawsuits. Apparently, we haven’t spent enough yet on legal fees.

Ms. Corrigan said she will supply the council with her progress reports at the meeting on June 11. So much for the town manager search, maybe Santa will bring us a new one.

– William Higgins

William Higgins, retired EG police officer and former EMA director for the town, lives in East Greenwich.

Letter to the Editor: A Critique of Town’s Median House Value Analysis

By Eugene Quinn

The East Greenwich Town Council recently conducted a 20-year analysis of median house values” from FY 1998 to FY 2017, including median tax bills. Among the conclusions stated were that, over the period of the study,

• The median house value grew approximately 136 percent
• The median tax bill grew by approximately 149 percent

This is the latest installment in a continuing series of communications intended to create the impression that the town is on an unsustainable path with respect to property taxes, and that drastic actions like level funding the schools are called for.

Like the resident mailer from last spring, it is easy to tell at a glance that these numbers are wrong. If tax bills had increased faster than property values, the FY 2017 tax rate of $24.06 should be higher than the FY 1998 tax rate of $26.22, but it is not.

So, why are the numbers wrong?

East Greenwich property owners recently received an official notice jointly issued by Northeast Revaluation Group, LLC, and the East Greenwich tax assessor. Referring to the December 31, 2017, valuation it states: Please do not multiply this value by the current tax rate. Your assessed values do not reflect any exemptions to which you may be entitled.

Yet, this is exactly how the supposed median tax bills were computed for both FY 2017 and FY 1998. Ignoring exemptions makes tax bills look are higher than they actually are, and invalidates the computed medians.

A more subtle problem with the methodology involves the comparison of the overall median tax bills and property values 20 years apart. While the median home values presented for FY 2017 and FY 1998 are technically correct, computing the percentage increase from these two numbers produces a meaningless comparison of the assessed values of two different homes, 20 years apart in time.

Just as retailers look at ”same store sales” to estimate trends, you have to look at ”same house changes.” This is important because between FY 1998 and FY 2017, nearly 300 new homes with a median value in the $750,000 range were added to the tax base.

An apples-to-apples comparison requires that you look at the FY 1998 and FY 2017 assessments and tax bills for each individual home, house by house, and compute the median of those changes. Failure to do so produces inflated estimates of the actual increases in valuations and tax bills due to new construction.

Every analysis published by the Town Council, including the resident mailer and the subsequent correction, has failed to do this (which explains the difference between their numbers, even the ”corrected” ones, and mine).

Another obvious error is the exclusion of the Fire District taxes in the FY 1998 numbers. It is easy to verify that the median FY 1998 tax bill was computed from the median valuation using a rate of $23.88, which is the FY 1998 town rate. According to the Tax Assessor, the Fire District rate for FY 1998 was $2.34. Because the FY2017 number includes the fire district and the FY 1998 number does not, the increase in the median tax bills is overstated.

It is not clear why FY 2018 was excluded from the analysis. The FY 2018 tax roll has been posted on the town website for months. Including FY 2018 would produce a slightly lower estimate of the growth in tax bills, because the FY 2018 rate of $23.66 is lower than the FY 2017 rate of $24.08.

This illustrates another flaw in the methodology. Although the title would lead you to believe that 20 years of data were analyzed, in fact only two years of data (that happen to be twenty years apart) were used. From the years 1998-2017, you can make 190 different pairs, and each gives a different estimate of the medians and growth.

There are much better ways to estimate trends that use all of the data, such as the regression model I published in response to a two-point analysis the council used to estimate the growth in the tax levy.

These methods are much less sensitive to cherry-picking the start and end years (coincidentally, FY 1998 is the only year in recent history with a 4 percent increase in the tax rate within a revaluation cycle).

So, if these flaws are addressed, what is the result?

Extracting the individual tax bills from the FY 1998 and FY 2017 tax rolls and matching the contents house-by-house produces a list of 3,619 single family (state code 01) homes that appear on both tax rolls. Computing the percentage change in the assessed values and actual tax bills for individual homes produces the following median perentage changes:

• The median percentage change in valuation was 104.3 percent
• The median percentage change in the actual tax bill was 91.4 percent

These annualize to 3.8 percent and 3.5 percent per year over the interval. As noted earlier, the result of any trend analysis based on only two points is likely to be quite sensitive to the choice of starting and ending years. If we repeat the analysis using FY 1994 and FY 2018 as the endpoints, the results are:

• The median percentage change in valuation was 178.3 percent
• The median percentage change in the actual tax bill was 117.6 percent

The annualized values are 4.4 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

In summary, the Town Council’s study contained numerous flaws that render its conclusions invalid, while a more careful analysis found no evidence that the tax bills of single family homes are increasing faster than their assessed values (if anything, valuations are increasing faster).

I asked three economics professors if a situation where property values were increasing faster than property taxes would be considered sustainable, and all three said essentially that it’s a no-brainer, as long as you are able to come up with the cash to pay the tax bill it is sustainable.

A list of the 3,619 properties used in this analysis, ordered by percentage increase in their tax bills, is posted here.

Eugene Quinn, Ph.D., a resident of East Greenwich, is a professor of mathematics at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. He has been challenging figures put out by the town over the past year

Letter to the Editor: Dear Students of East Greenwich

I am reaching out to express my deepest remorse and apologies for the senseless gun violence you and your friends and classmates have relentlessly witnessed during the innocent years of your youth because of the misguided judgment and fathomless corruption of our leadership at every level.

It is unavoidably evident that we have profoundly failed to protect you because of our complacency, our greed, and the malignancy that power can bring. In the face of this most difficult time, your voices are the antidote. It is your time to organize and join with your brother and sisters in Florida and around the nation and demand common sense gun laws and safe schools. Don’t wait for another election cycle only to have money and corruption stymie change while your friends and dedicated teachers are dying on the front lines.

Organize a walkout, for just twenty minutes, or for a day, or more boldly, tell all your friends and allies next door and across the nation: no students in schools anywhere until military style assault weapons are banned everywhere. Hold closely in your heart, that you, your brothers and sisters are the future and safe passage is your right. Go forth, be kind and do well by each other. We then may have a new day. 

Respectfully yours,
Lindsay Daskalopoulos

P.S. There is a discussion about gun violence this weekend (2/25) in our community – What We Can Do About Gun Violence, at 11 a.m. at Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Road. Open to all.

Letter to the Editor: Where Did Social Media Policy Come From?

During the last town council meeting (1/22/18), the new Social Media Policy was vetted by the council. During that time, Councilman Mark Schwager tried to ascertain where the policy originated from.

​Town Solicitor ​David D’Agostino at first said he had it in his office but was hesitant in his answer, and then ​Town Manager Corrigan stated she received it from Whelan, Corrente (Flanders, Kinder and Siket)’s office. Later on during the same discussion, ​Town Council President Cienki tried to frame it as though it went through several variation before the town’s Personnel Board rewrote major sections of it.
In a subsequent statement to the ProJo, Ms. Corrigan stated the policy “was vetted by the Town of East Greenwich’s highly-regarded personnel board, department directors, including fire and police, and the town council.” That was certainly a surprise to the employees who attended that meeting as they claimed they’d not seen it at all.

The Personnel Board had only one meeting in – on Nov. 30. If you look at the minutes (which you will have to request since the town has not posted them on their updated website), the social media policy is discussed. However, according to the minutes, the items discussed were cell phone usage, CDL licenses, “Review Internet Policy for the compatibility with the Social Media Policy Section e” and “Discussed a long range plan to develop a new comprehensive manual including anti-discrimination, sexual harassment, drugs etc. and contradicting policies in CBA’s that may trump these.”  Nowhere listed is a discussion about a new Social Media Policy being created and/or new sections of said Social Media Policy section e. The discussion that did take place appears to be an informal discussion of whatever the former policy was and updates to it.

Someone lied during the Town Council meeting. It would have made sense if the Personnel Board had appeared at the meeting to clarify which parts of the Social Media Policy they had agreed to and why. So far the town has claimed publicly that three different groups had a hand in creating it but only Whelan, Corrente, Flanders, Kinder and Siket offered any defense of it to the ACLU when challenged. Is lying during a Town Council meeting a punishable offense? It seems to me that anyone who is elected or has chosen to serve the town who lies during a public meeting should be sanctioned by the state, especially since there is a pattern of misleading statements. The Personnel Board is described as a board that advises the the Town Council and the Town Manager on matters of personnel administration, including compensation of all elected officials of the town and School Committee. However during all the current turmoil within the town over employees and former employees, only once has the council or the current manager reached out to this board for their expertise.  

The new policy is as vague as it is overreaching. What constitutes an offense? While it is understood that private companies can hire and fire at will, the council is aware that it does not apply to public employees. That public employees have the right to speech in the interest of public concern and safety – like our current temporary fire chief who lives 80 plus miles away and is not available during peak call times such as the weekends or holidays. That is a public safety concern, especially given that East Greenwich has had several emergencies that other departments have had to cover for us. I’d hope that current members of the fire and police departments would feel free to notify citizens of this potentially dangerous situation.

Renu Englehart
2005 Division Road

Letter to the Editor: Who Counsels the Town Council?

At the end of December, two taxpayers, Anne Musella and Eugene Quinn, took it upon themselves to meet with Town Council President Sue Cienki and Vice President Sean Todd along with their informal financial advisor. Their concern was ​a flyer that had been sent out in May which stated the 51 percent increase in residents’ median tax bill from 2011-2016 (which was incorrect). Also addressed was the claim of an unfunded pension liability by Ms. Cienki of $86 million although the state and the Municipal Audit of the Town showed an unfunded liability of $34 million. The meeting was recorded with the full knowledge of all those who participated. There were a couple of occasions during the meeting where the recording was halted on the request of a participant.

One of the things that is particularly striking was the participation of the financial advisor – a friend of both Ms. Cienki’s and Mr. Todd’s. Although publicly Ms. Cienki claims that this person was not privy to any info that isn’t readily available to any taxpayer, if you listen to the recordings available on EG News (Eastgreenwichnews.com) or Engaged East Greenwich (https://www.facebook.com/groups/EngagedEastGreenwich/), you can hear this person leading the discussion regarding finances. There are also past emails in which this person was cc’d along with other town employees or elected officials. During the full recording you can hear all the participants agree that the info regarding the 51% was incorrect and a correction should be published.

“It seems that although I cannot ask for some of financial documents without an APRA, certain individuals are allowed this info if they are friends with the council.”

It leads to the question as to who is allowed to give recommendations on behalf of the town? It seems that although I cannot ask for some of financial documents without an APRA [Access to Public Records Act request], certain individuals are allowed this info if they are friends with the council. Also, who will be responsible for any erroneous information that this individual has given to the council? Since the council has side-stepped actual employees/official advisors of the town, how do we know what financial guidance the council is getting? If this person works for a large financial firm, is that firm responsible for any financial advice? There is no financial advisory group to the council at this time although there is one for the school committee. How does the council receive its financial guidance? If there isn’t any impropriety, why not allow the general public to see how the finances of this town are guided?

Finally, this past week, Geoff Marchant retired as the head of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Consortium. He had worked for them since 1996. He had worked in the offices in East Greenwich since 1999. All the other towns in the consortium recognized Mr. Marchant’s contributions and commended him. However the town in which Mr. Marchant had his office and which undoubtedly benefited, East Greenwich did not give him a commendation or otherwise acknowledge his retirement officially. Not only does this council not respect the truth or its taxpayers, it also doesn’t respect the hard work of its employees.

 – Renu Englehart

Renu is a member of the town’s Zoning Board of Review.

Letter to the Editor: Cienki Says Council Hires & Doesn’t Hire – Which Is It?

As a resident of East Greenwich, I have been closely following the many recent news items related to East Greenwich’s municipal government, including a January 19 article in the Pendulum regarding the Ethics Commission’s investigation of Gayle Corrigan. As I understand it, a threshold issue before the Ethics Commission is whether Corrigan or the Town Council is responsible for hiring the Town’s Finance Director. Having read a few different accounts, I remain unclear.

A January 12 article in the East Greenwich News quotes Town Council President Sue Cienki as saying “Per the Town Charter, the Town’s finance director is appointed by the Town Council, not the town manager. . . . It was the Council’s decision to hire Ms. Dykeman, not Ms. Corrigan’s.” 

EG News confirmed that the article quotes Cienki’s written statement verbatim. 

Yet in a meeting held on December 20 with me, two other residents, and Council Vice President Sean Todd, Ms. Cienki said, “We’re a policy board.  That’s what we do.  The only management control we have is Town Manager.  That’s the only person we appoint and fire.”  The audio clip below contains that statement (the meeting was recorded with the knowledge and consent of all attendees).

I have submitted an email similar to this to the editor of the Pendulum as well.  Has EG News reached out to any of the East Greenwich Town Councilors for their comment to this article? Does their president have a clear understanding of the scope of the Town Council’s powers? Do they?

Thank you,

Anne Musella

Letter to the Editor: Council Tramples on Democracy

“The transparency in which the council operates must be at the forefront of all our decisions,” Town Council President Sue Cienki posted on Facebook on Nov. 3, 2016. Now, seven Open Meetings Act violations later (and more being reviewed), Cienki’s philosophy of government and vow for transparency has clearly changed.

When each council member chose to run for office, they did so for the people. Their job is to listen to the residents of East Greenwich, but unfortunately this is not the way the current council has transpired. On Jan. 8, beloved Drug Counselor Bob Houghtaling was on the Town Council agenda for his semiannual presentation on the substance abuse program. During public comment I spoke about my wonderful experiences with Bob as the advisor of the EGHS Civic Action Club and I also spoke out against any alterations to his job, considering how they have altered or eliminated many other positions and employees in town. The council did not like this.

Cienki responded, “Okay, so let me correct any misinformation that may have gotten to you, Anthony. The reason why Bob was here tonight was for him to tell us everything good that he’s done.”

As I was saying, “I am well aware,” I was cut off by Councilor Andy Deutsch. “Anthony, Anthony,” he said, “I have known Bob for longer than you have been alive. . . . you can’t believe everything you hear. . . . ”

There was no misinformation. I simply stated that any negative changes to his job would be a mistake if they were to happen. Yet, it seems like any dissent towards the council is labeled as “misinformation” that must be “corrected.” 

Such transparency that Cienki called for as a candidate has become very blurry. The Town Council has used very early Saturday morning meetings as well as quorums in controversial Town Manager Gayle Corrigan’s office to avoid the public. According to the Providence Journal, “[Judge] McGuirl castigated the town for failing to accurately inform the public, and at times outright misleading citizens with vague and inaccurate agendas and meeting minutes.” In addition, town employees say they have been told not to talk to the press (Bob Plain/RI Future).

Occasion after occasion, the Town Council sends out emails and letters to residents filled with propaganda. These letters have supplied misleading facts and have been inflammatory, pointing fingers at different departments and organizations only to further separate our community. Bob Plain reports, “In one particularly egregious example, a finance error in the approved budget made it appear as if the fire department cost $1.4 million more than it actually does.” This propaganda is among much more such as blaming unions for meetings being adjourned and listing town employees who have salaries over $100,000 when discussing fiscal responsibility.

The Town Council has even dared to hinder free speech. The new Employee Social Media Policy,  “provides information of a precautionary nature as well as prohibitions on the use of social media by Town personnel.” This new policy comes after several firefighters and other town employees have been very critical of the town’s actions on social media. It also states, “Town employees should assume that their speech . . . on social media sites will be a reflection on the Town as a whole [including during non-work hours]. . . . Any violation of this policy may result in . . . termination of employment.” While the policy is very ambiguous, the town seems to be walking a fine line between pushy employee rules and the First Amendment in another attempt to shut down opposition.

In other instances the council has also tried to control speech at meetings. On July 10, 2017, Town Solicitor David D’Agostino told an elderly woman who spoke against Corrigan in public comment that, “We can’t have personal attacks and personal comments.” Compared to other meetings at least there was a public comment on the agenda. For a period of time public comment was nonexistent in Town Council meetings such as during the important town budget approval meeting in 2017. It was brought back, but placed at the end of meetings so agenda-related input can pointlessly be shared after the votes take place.

Oftentimes the Town Council is rude, inappropriate, unapproachable and disrespectful. They constantly attack and demean the very residents who are involved and care. In a Nov. 6,  council meeting, resident David Caldwell spoke during public comment. While he was speaking a few members of the council were blatantly snickering and not listening to what was being said. After he finished, a shocked resident went up and called them out for doing that. Part of Councilor Nino Granatiero’s response to this was, “. . . his kind of crap that we have to put up with all the time.” This is how the taxpayers of East Greenwich are treated. The resident said the council was disrespectful and Granatiero responded, “There’s disrespect when someone comes up and uses theatrics to make a point. . . . You don’t see the emails we get either!”

Behavior like this is certainly not uncommon. In a Nov. 20 meeting, Council Vice President Sean Todd said to over 500 taxpayers, “The taxpayers I represent don’t care about facts,” and most infamously, Cienki called a firefighter a “sociopath” during a private meeting and said, “I will cut his balls off and feed them to his goddamn dog.”

In the bigger picture these instances are not separate events. Through their tactics of intimidation, erratic behavior, scapegoating, and propaganda they try to shut down all forms of dissent and factual information to manipulate the residents of East Greenwich. They ignore the people. They ignore the facts. They only seem to care about their own political and personal agendas.

Nevertheless, the power of the people is greater than the people in power.

– Anthony Soscia, EGHS ‘17

Praise for Public Works Department

Dear Editor,

When things go wrong, I, most likely, will be one of the first to complain. On the flip side, however, when things go right I feel it is equally important to make sure that the people doing the right thing be recognized.

Just recently I had occasion to call the Town of East Greenwich Department of Public Works for help with a problem. In a short time, they responded and did a great job to ensure that the predicted heavy rain would have a path to go on come this Thursday and Friday.

I want to thank Bill Pagliarini for the excellent job he did and for Audrey and Mary at DPW Headquarters for their help.

It was a page out of old town EG here in 2017. Great job all!

Sincerely,
Bruce R. Mastracchio

 

At Start of Winter, Time to Think About ‘Summer’s End’

For many of us, the Summer’s End concert is something great that happens the Friday of Labor Day Weekend. We don’t have to give it much thought – it just IS.

And it has been, for nearly 25 years. But here’s something a lot of us don’t realize: Summer’s End is put on by a small group of volunteers. It is not put on by the Town of East Greenwich. While the town assists in logistical planning and provides day-of police and public works support, as well as a financial contribution, the majority of work is done by a small group of volunteers that make of the Summer Arts and Festival Organization (SAFO) board.

The Board plans the entire day’s events including hiring of the musical performers and companies to handle the stage, sound and lighting; vetting of on-field vendors; coordinating volunteers; fundraising and providing special treats for donors who have gone above and beyond.

SAFO could use people who love this event and would like to see it continue.

SAFO also provides scholarships to EGHS students who are planning on pursuing the arts at the college level. In the past, SAFO provided after-school art class scholarships and supported the sidewalk art competition in town.

Recently, many board members have rotated off because either their board terms came to an end or they moved away. Because of that, SAFO is looking to add new board members to assist with fundraising, marketing, organization, logistics, and communication. New blood always adds a spark to an existing organization. SAFO could use people who love this event and would like to see it continue.

I personally became involved with the SAFO board over 10 years ago when approached by a board member. The Summer’s End concert always brings a smile to my face.  My family has been attending the event since its inception, when our children were still very young.  It was fun to go each summer and see all the kids in town and how they’d changed over the prior year.  The whole town truly came out for the event – from toddlers and young children to teenagers to parents to empty nesters, all together for a wonderful evening of music.

Now, it’s your turn to step up and help make this end-of-summer magic happen. 

Unbeknownst to many, there were several times over the years that the concert was in danger of not happening. It costs a lot to hold this event and people need to step up to help pull it off. Happily, Summer’s End has always managed to find a way to go on. Now, it’s your turn to step up and help make this end-of-summer magic happen. It’s an amazing feeling when you are part of something this special.

If you are interested in joining the board, contact Jessica Granatiero at jessica@thesavorygrape.com or Karen Cammuso at karencammuso@gmail.com. You will be glad you did!

– Margie Ordog

EGHS Sophomore Dreams Of China

What is your dream? What is the one thing that you have been wishing you could do, for as long as you could remember? For me, it’s to visit another country, not only to experience the culture and language, but more importantly help those who live there.

With luck, my dream will take me to China. For so long now, I have been enthralled in the vast, inclusive culture of the region and have been doing as much as I can to learn about it. I have spent my free time learning some of the language, and have wholeheartedly tried to find out as much as I can about the history of country. I can only do so much from the comfort of my home, and this is why I have taken this time to write – I need your help.

A few short weeks ago, I discovered a way to make my dream come true. Through an organization called GLA, I will be able to fulfil my dream and finally visit China. During my time there, I will commit over 80 hours of community service, participating in the communities I visit by doing things such as restoring cultural sites such as temples and teaching english to the students who live there. I will also be participating in many local programs such as campaigns to develop sustainable agriculture. Along with this, I will have multiple opportunities to learn the language in authentic setting. Lastly, I will also get to see national landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, the Stone Forest, and the Forbidden City. However, all of this does not come without its costs.

By Dec. 31, I need to raise $7,000. These funds will go toward tuition to the program, as well as flight costs of my trip. Through a partnership with Delivering Hope, a local nonprofit organization, I have set up an account to which you can easily donate, enabling you to share a small piece of my dream. You can send in funds, either by a check to Delivering Hope, or electronically through the link below. Since Delivering Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, your donations are tax deductible.

Lastly, I wanted to end my message to you by thanking you. By donating, you are enabling me to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity… you are enabling me to participate in my dream, and I don’t think that I can sincerely express on paper what that means to me. With that being said, I don’t think it would be fair for you to lose out on what I am doing. I plan on starting a blog to keep everyone up to date on what is going on, including donation goals and what I am doing before, during, and even after my trip.

Oscar Clement is a sophomore at East Greenwich High School. You can donate through Delivering Hope at http://deliveringhopenow.org/?page_id=255.)