Dumb, dumber and Dayton Public Schools

Last week Dayton Public Schools launched their enrollment campaign- done by the Ohlmann Group, the highest bidder. We mentioned it: If this is the best DPS can do.

thumbnail of Ohlmand Group Invoice #1

Radio invoice

thumbnail of Ohlmand Group Invoice #2

Outdoor invoice

They spent $20k in media, but were supplied invoices from The Ohlmann Group- not the invoices from the media outlets. Considering their contract says they are only going to mark their invoices up 10% – DPS has no clue if they were paying 10% over net or gross- because, they don’t have anyone there who knows anything about buying media. The way radio and TV stations bill ad agencies as a middle man, there is the gross amount- and a 15% agency discount. It’s all horseshit these days – since the media outlets long ago hired huge sales teams- and even offer “free” production of ads. That’s why you see the “pan and scan” with a voice over ads- over and over for local businesses.

We asked for the DPS instructions to Ohlmann for this campaign and the invoice for the “creative” but those have not been released.

The real issue is that right after the campaign launched, DPS got hit with a protest over a 4th grader being put in handcuffs. DPS should have consulted their marketing/pr firm for an appropriate response, but, instead, stood mute as people asked questions. Instead of taking the campaign down- they continued with their “Great things are happening” while the public is hearing- we put kids in handcuffs. We’ve yet to see anyone from Ohlmann at a board meeting.

But, what we do see is a circus. At the last review session, where we asked at the beginning if they should be continuing with an ineligible board meeting, Board President Dr. Walker claimed they knew nothing of it (lie). Considering I’d informed responsible parties within the district, by continuing, they violated their own rules.

They discussed, and wasted the first 90 minutes of another one of their epic meetings – the handcuff situation, the “newcomers academy” or “international academy” and what to do with the historic Longfellow, without an iota of research, historical reference or input from their overpaid staff.

The handcuff issue was actually old news. This happened last fall. To have it come up now- just reeks of incompetent messaging management. The proper response is a simple one, instead, they did their best to imitate United Airlines.

On the international school- we’ve been there done that. First was the ESL school, Miami Chapel, and then, when that closed and was torn down, they put 900 kids over at Patterson Kennedy Elementary and it was like the united nations. Of course, institutional knowledge isn’t valued in DPS- most of the people who know this stuff have been shown the door, and the rest- well, they are ignored by the new superintendent and crew- who think they know it all and everyone who works there is expendable except them.

As to Longfellow. This conversation was as confused as could be. Why we need an entire building to house approximately 60 kids is confusing already. But, the boards lack of knowledge about historic structures, real estate development, real estate disposal, and preservation is epic. However, they throw out all kinds of possible “solutions” without any research or supporting documentation. Why they waste the public’s time with their wild ass ideas is incompetence on display. This time, it was costing them at least several hundred dollars an hour, as their attorney from Subashi & Wildermuth, Tabitha Justice (that’s really her name- a lawyer named Justice) had arrived to be part of the following executive session and sat through the clown show while her meter was running. Not a single mention of how the board disposed of the old Hawthorne School, or any discussion of Historic Tax credits. Of course since they fired their property manager in the November putsch, they don’t even have someone to assign this to.

Then came Dr. Hazel Rountree with a “presentation” based on her visit to Cleveland. We were assuming Cleveland Ohio, but the first site she pulled up was Cleveland Tennessee. She was so excited about the ads their agency had done, and was going to show them to us, but the district filtering software wasn’t allowing it. She wanted to get the agency from Cleveland who did these ads to give the district a quote. Does that mean they’re ready to fire The Ohlmann Group already? That Hazel didn’t know how to give a presentation using PowerPoint doesn’t give us much hope for our kids. There is a microsite for the “Get 2 School- you can make it” campaign, but as to what video she wanted to show, we’ll never know. BTW- while Hazel was fumbling her website- Superintendent Rhonda Corr who should have know immediately that Hazel was on the wrong site- sat on her thumbs and let Hazel twist in the wind.

However, if you want to see the difference between a district doing competent marketing and DPS’s failure- all you have to do is go look at the Cleveland Public Schools YouTube page and see how many videos they are posting and compare it to DPS.

There are ways to run a school board meeting, and a good superintendent wouldn’t allow school board members to turn it into a carnival barkers midway. Corr has no concept of control or command- and often sits there like a dazed bystander. Someone should show her video of how Kurt Stanic ran a meeting- or better yet, bring Stanic back.

As a final insult, the agency DPS hired to help them, Ohlmann, is spending $125K on media to promote the pre-school promise for Learn to Earn. And, after reading my firms proposal on how to market DPS, Learn to Earn is copying our playbook according to the Dayton Daily news:

The Preschool Promise board approved a large marketing plan this week, including plans to hire a vendor to run a “field campaign” for grassroots outreach in Dayton. Board member and former Dayton mayor Clay Dixon said the marketing approach “is of the utmost importance.”

“That is actually how we’ll go out in the community, shoulder to shoulder, eyeball to eyeball, with the parents to make sure they are aware of the program, aware of what we do to get those kids into one of our quality programs,” Dixon said.

The board’s request for proposals for field campaign vendors is going out this week. Lightcap said the vendor will hire people who know Dayton’s neighborhoods and can build relationships with community partners, all in an effort to connect with the families who would participate in expanded preschool.

Source: Dayton Preschool Promise: Board plans marketing blitz for public

When the Issue 9 people finally release their post election finance report- how much do you want to bet that Ohlmann either worked on the campaign or donated to it? We may never know, since the Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future- seems to be exempt from post election or annual filing.

In the meantime, we’ve got a school board with an ineligible member, fumbling around with issues, while their lawyer racks up billable hours for sitting on her thumbs, and a union that’s ready to strike. We’ll have more on how to remove the entire school board posted soon.

In an age of inequity- build a bigger palace

My facebook feed is full of photos of “The Main Event” – the semi-black tie party to show off the new Main Library downtown. Tickets sold out and were $150 each.

The sad thing is, this is probably the first time many of the party goers had been to the main library. For some, it may also be their last visit.

When I was a kid- visiting the library with my parents was at least a weekly event. In high school, it was a several times a week thing- not to socialize, but to do research to complete homework. It was the only game in town.

Now, I can’t imagine trying to do research in a library that would be more complete than what I can do from home. Any library worth its salt has digitized its assets, or is in the process of doing so.  Libraries now are more social spaces, bars for people who drink from the well of knowledge. To this extent, a grand palace isn’t necessary- need proof- I’ve learned lots at Pecha Kucha events in empty warehouses, on city streets and in really old buildings.

What is needed is access to information- not just through the library, but through all public records. Many of which are stored in ways as to actually hinder access. Need proof- go to the Montgomery County Board of Elections site and try to look up campaign finance reports. Now- try to do it with screen reader software as if you are blind. #FAIL (Proper structure would have you type in, or select from a drop down- with candidates name, or office, or election cycle- to filter the results, all results would be in a digital format that is ADA compliant.) To expand on the access to information theme- this week, Steve Balmer, former CEO of Microsoft, launched his new government data site to show where the money comes from and where it goes- www.usafacts.org – and without the internet, none of this would be possible.

The thing about libraries is they aren’t open 24/7/365- the internet- is always open.

Dayton is a city that has a real digital divide. Many in this community have to rely on a library to have internet access. For that- the grand palace is overkill. What would be better is small internet rooms sprinkled across the community- with librarians assisting the people in their search for jobs, benefits, training, etc. Or better yet- universal wifi. It’s been done in entire countries, so just covering the areas where people can’t afford it shouldn’t be too difficult.

When I posted the beginning of this post on Facebook, the responses were immediate and from both extremes. Some pissed about the palace, some defending libraries as the most important asset a community has- but, all missed the point about a palace having a party for the privileged while the hoi poloi looks in from the outside.

And of course, there were grumblings of the library serving as a homeless shelter as well.

Of course, what’s not mentioned: Dayton Public Schools barely has librarians or libraries left in their buildings. And, for the last four weeks- Miami Valley Hospital psychiatric ward is half closed thanks to a patient destroying the sprinklers- which may not seem connected until you realize that yes, the library is a place where the mentally ill find refuge.

There was also a question of when was the last time I was in the library- to which the answer is last week. Of course, it was getting a movie for mom, who along with Dad, were weekly visitors until the beginning of last year.

While Abe Lincoln was quoted as saying “All I have learned, I learned from books” – there are infinitely more things one can learn from the Internet. Sure, books are there, but so are tutorials, videos, podcasts, communities and more. Access to libraries can only get you so far- access to the Internet is even more empowering.

In a community where kids are given chrome books in school, but can’t take them home for fear of damage, where you have to sign up for a virtual school to be eligible for free internet access, where food insecurity, as well as extreme poverty still exists, I wonder how much less library we could have had to make access to information ubiquitous and free?

That would be something to have a party for.

 

Incomplete Investigations at Dayton Public Schools

In the continuing saga of the eligibility of a Dunbar football player, the Dayton Daily news, decided to write their fifth story beating the dead horse, but never conclusively telling anyone who killed it.

This site posted both the internal investigation and the Ohio High School Athletic Association findings, as well as the organizational chart ten days ago. Board member, Joe Lacey claimed he’d never heard that the athletic director had directed the Dunbar coaches to throw the game at half-time so that Belmont and Dunbar could both go to the playoffs. How he’d not heard was incomprehensible, since the board had a lengthy argument both in public and in executive session over the fitness of the coaches- who had continued on as basketball coaches.

Re-reading the report by Director of School Security Jamie Bullens, it does seem to focus almost entirely on the eligibility of the player- and not address the game throwing attempt. How this can be excluded is a mystery- as it would go to the credibility of any of the people involved. When I read about the thrown plays- I assumed Dunbar just made some bad plays- but, then the Dayton Daily decided to pull down the footage from WDPS-TV and re-edit it with a whole bunch of cuts and commentary, as if it’s new news this week.

Here is the un-cut version with the questions that should be asked at the end:

Dunbar went on to win. The people of Dayton lost. The fact that a star athlete wasn’t eligible shows how badly we fail our kids. Word has it that since the seventh grade, he’s never made it through an entire season eligible to play. That’s the true failure here.

And, while this video has the citizens of Dayton upset, this is all just smoke and mirrors. The real eligibility question is if Dr. Adil Baguirov is eligible to be on the School Board- as I posted on April 5th, 15 whole days ago.

No news outlet has touched the story. The school board is pretending they don’t know about the information presented – even though I clearly notified them, and questioned the legality of their last meeting if he was allowed to participate.

But, what it comes down to is this: is this the kind of school district we can be proud of? Is this a district that instills faith in leadership? Would you want to send your kids to a district where a coach tells the team to throw the game? And, then, the coach, the athletic director, the district athletic director and the superintendent- all basically get a slap on the wrist?

The video is disgusting. How this wasn’t presented as part of the evidence to the school board in considering the future employment of the people involved is criminal.

The actions of this school board are criminal- in the public discussion of the severance contract for David Lawrence (who btw was previously in charge of eligibility for athletics- before he was sent to the doghouse by Rhonda Corr), the conflict of interest of Dr. Baguirov in negotiating the bus buy outside of district channels, and questions about the disposal of real estate by the district.

Because of these many violations of the public trust, it’s time to begin the process of having a judge intervene and remove all seven members of this school board. It’s not been done very often, making precedent hard to follow, and it requires over 4,500 signatures of registered voters to make it happen. The teachers union, who is currently in stalled negotiations with the district, has had enough of the circus run by this board- and has pledged to have its members circulate the petitions.

We hope to have the petition language ready for the delayed board meeting next Wednesday, the 26th of April at 5:30 pm. The teachers are inviting all to come to show their support for the union and to support them in asking for regime change at the board of ed.

And while the throwing of a football game isn’t a reason to rally, the fact that this district has been on the verge of State takeover for years- and the leadership team who brought it out from under the gun- were dismissed by this board- to be replaced by disruption, disrespect, and now disgrace, it’s time to end the charade.

Let’s have a judge evaluate the practices of this board and decide if they are fit to serve.

thumbnail of 2017_Candidates_Petition_4_18_17

List of candidates who have pulled petitions to run for office in Montgomery County Ohio as of April 18, 2017

If you need any indication of the level of disgust- Baguirov, Lacey, Lee and Rountree last ran four years ago unopposed.

As of today, the Board of Elections lists 13 people who’ve pulled petitions for the four seats, and the petitions aren’t due until August 9th 2017. Here are the names, addresses and pull dates:

Mohamed H. Al-Hamandi 26 Hawthorn St. Dayton 45402 4/17/2017
Shondale Atkins-Dorise 817 Mount Clair Ave. Dayton 45417  11/23/2016
Paul F. Bradley 227 Green St. Dayton 45402  4/17/2017
Donald Domineck Jr. 1035 Superior Ave. Dayton 45402  4/4/2017
Ann Marie Gallin 40 Gebhart St. Dayton 45410  3/2/2017
William E. Harris, Jr. 1125 Cornell Dr. Dayton 45406  4/17/2017
Claudia Hunter 4621 Prescott Ave. Dayton 45406  6/29/2016
Tommy J. McGuffey, Jr. 1625 Tuttle Ave. Apt B Dayton 45403  1/11/2017
Thomas M. Nealeigh 1326 Ruskin Rd. Dayton 45406  12/6/2016
Jocelyn S. Rhynard 107 McDaniel St. Dayton 45405  2/9/2017
Dion Sampson 224 N. Williams St. Dayton 45402  2/22/2017
Jo’el Y. Thomas-Jones 33 W. Babbitt St. Dayton 454052/24/2017
Karen L. Wick 222 Warren St. Dayton 45402  4/17/2017

It’s safe to guess that the four petitions pulled on Monday are being run as a slate. Al-Hamandi just moved to Dayton, Bradley, Harris and Wick would be the group to watch. (full disclosure- I do work for Wick’s business Coco’s and have worked with her and the seedling foundation for years).

Ann Marie “Mario” Gallin, has been on the board previously. Of the 13, I know 9. Do I expect all to file, no. Do I expect all who file to get certified on the ballot- no. Do you have to pull the petitions publicly to file (could there be dark horses?) No.

Be sure to watch this race as it may turn into yet another “Kids First” type money burner.

However, if the board is removed, any and all may apply to be appointed to the board until the election, which should make it all very interesting.

The Narcan® roundabout

In this Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 photo released by the East Liverpool Police Department, a young child sits in a vehicle behind his mother and a man, both of whom are unconscious from a drug overdose, in East Liverpool, Ohio. Drug overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio last year. AP Photo.

In this Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 photo released by the East Liverpool Police Department, a young child sits in a vehicle behind his mother and a man, both of whom are unconscious from a drug overdose, in East Liverpool, Ohio. Drug overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio last year. AP Photo.

A small business I work with has had the Dayton Fire Department stop by almost every other day- because someone OD’d in their parking lot. The other day it was a city employee. The medics revealed that when they looked him up- they found out that he had been treated the day before as well. If a Narcan® revival was a frequent flyer bonus, we’d have people with miles to go to the moon and back.

Current practice is to revive them, offer treatment, which they refuse and let them go right back to using.

That would classify it as insanity- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
I wrote a post about Narcan, coincidentally, 2 years ago to the day: “Just say no to naloxone” I was chastised in comments. And in the two years, we’ve just seen massive increases in overdose deaths- turning Dayton into the Heroin epidemic epicenter of the nation.
Two friends of mine, who are former journalists (the real kind- no longer employed by the Dayton Daily news) went out on an assignment from a foreign publication to do a story about the heroin problem. Within 30 minutes, they’d taken a photo of a roadside sign offering treatment- and followed a DPD ambulance to an OD victim in a parking lot of the U-haul franchise. Photos, story- the works- easy peasy.
In my last piece I spelled out the societal costs of heroin and overdoses- and they still apply. The drain on resources puts your life in danger- while the paramedics are out dealing with a self-inflicted wound- you might have to wait for a ride while you are having a stroke or heart attack.
Save and release ain’t working.
It’s time to change the way we do things. The first time you qualify for a trip back from death, you are taken to clinic where you are held for four hours, where you have to watch a video explaining the new practices and procedures on Narcan- and given a chance to enroll in a treatment program, offering methadone, Suboxone, Naltrexone, Vivitrol etc.
You are also informed that the next time you need to be revived, you will spend 24 hours in the center. There will be round the clock counseling available, but, you won’t be receiving any medications that aren’t prescribed as part of a doctor supervised program.
Third visit, you’ll spend 3 days in the center. Fourth visit, a full week. Fifth visit, a month. At the end of the month, you will have an option to voluntarily stay in a highly supervised treatment program for up to a year, or walk.
Unfortunately, after the fifth visit, you will no longer be revived by safety personnel. If you are unidentifiable as a five time loser, and are being treated for the sixth time, you will face a mandatory 1 year mental health incarceration. This isn’t in a prison, but a secure treatment facility. There are no options for appeal, or release. If you are identifiable by the medics, treatment will not be administered.
Drivers licenses or state ID’s will be “punched” with each treatment- as reminders and for medical personnel to check.
Right now, we are kidding ourselves if we think we can arrest suppliers and take enough drugs off the street to solve the problem. All the posturing of law enforcement is an insult to our intelligence. Heroin addiction isn’t a criminal problem- it’s a mental health one. Yet it does cause massive increases in crime and threats to public safety.
What we can do is seize all assets of anyone caught with what we would identify as quantities to distribute- and use the proceeds to fund the treatment programs.
Of course, the other option is to stop kidding ourselves, and just start providing addicts with safe, inexpensive heroin and take the profit motive out- and give people who want to stay high permission- no judgements. This has been done in other countries and has cut crime and deaths considerably. There are people who are able to function in society while high- this is nothing new- my paternal grandfather was a PhD MD and a morphine addict his entire adult life.
If you have any better ideas, feel free to leave them in comments.
It’s time to stop the insanity cycle of save and release in Dayton Ohio- it’s not working.

The DPS investigation

It’s been three business days since I published the post that clearly identifies a serious problem with the residency requirement for school board member Dr. Adil Baguirov. You’d think the local news would pick the story up, or that the prosecutors office or the board of elections would have a statement? Nope. You’d think other school board members would be calling for an investigation- nada.

However, when the Dunbar coaches played an ineligible player against Belmont, knowing that he had played the week before at Taft as ineligible, there has been no stone left uncovered. Fingers pointed everywhere- and now the Ohio High School Athletic Association has weighed in as well- with probation and a fine. Wow.

I requested both the report from the Director Safety & Security, Jamie Bullens, a former Dayton cop with plenty of experience, and the OHSAA report and read them.

thumbnail of OHSAA Ruling – 4.7.17

OSHAA Report

thumbnail of Investigative Summary – Dunbar Eligibility

DPS internal report

Reading them, all I can say is add another ring to the three ring circus, with the coaches, athletic directors, principals all looking like clowns on parade.

How do you have a star quarterback failing to maintain his C average in the first place? There are no excuses for this- once again, Dayton Public Schools fails a student- all the rest really doesn’t matter.

Not a single one of these people did what was right for the students, and this goes all the way to the Superintendent.

The reason I bring her in, is because previously, David Lawrence was the guy who was over the rookie athletic director- and was known for his attention to the details of eligibility. Once Corr had demoted him, she forgot to appoint someone else to keep tabs on athletics- mostly, because she’s too busy at the same time with the self-created budget crisis and RIF that turned the entire district upside down for the entire month of November.

Here is the DPS Organizational chart- having LaMark Baker reporting directly to Rhonda Corr- the chart was supplied to me on Feb 3, 2017.

thumbnail of DPS org chart Feb 3 2017

Dayton Public Schools Org Chart 3 Feb 2017

For the people who worry about the $10K fine- really? Considering Corr and the board had no problem spending 20+x that to buy out Lawrence’s contract- as well as to pay off Lori Ward, as well as for unnecessary time clocks ($400K) or to hire the most expensive ad agency to do sub-par work, or buy buses from people who do business with Dr. Baguirov….

If Dayton really cared about the students, we’d end this circus by having a judge recall the entire board, fire the superintendent and treasurer for gross incompetence, and ask the state to install a professional team to supervise the schools and pick a new superintendent.

The best choice to run the district is Dr. Elisabeth Lolli, who seems both competent and has integrity.

In the meantime, we’ll wait to see if anyone has the gumption or brains to ask Baguirov to step down.

If this is the best DPS can do…

Screenshot of bad microsite for DPSWhen you hire an ad agency that likes to buy media- of course, the first thing you do is buy media.  Dayton Public Schools hired The Ohlmann Group, who bragged about winning the “Mercury award” for media buying all seven years the award has been in existence. Airing today, radio spots on 103.9- Clear Channel Alt rock station – directing people to the new landing page site www.enrolldps.com

Which starts off with:

GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT DAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

At Dayton Public Schools, good grades aren’t just for our students. The State of Ohio recently awarded Dayton Public Schools a grade of A for “value added,” recognizing the improvement we’re making in our students’ education. From our top-rated preschools to our innovative elementary and high school technology initiatives and career programs, the future is filled with tremendous promise. Enroll now and discover how Dayton Public Schools provides the teachers and educational resourcess (sic) that help every child thrive.

More stock photos, stock icons, and links back to bad DPS forms like this one- the actual enrollment page: http://www.dps.k12.oh.us/students-parents/student-enrollment-and-records/online-student-registration.html

Please tell me one thing on this page that makes you confident that DPS is any different than it was last year – the year before, or the year before that? Should you really be bragging about “Award winning athletics- Committed to providing student-athletes with a healthy athletic experience designed to enhance their overall development” considering the district just got put on probation for 3 years by the Ohio High School Athletics Association?

Here we go spending money on radio, billboards, new bad websites, without addressing any of the issues facing the district.

My favorite is the part about the 1-to-1 computers: “Will my child receive a chromebook? As part of the district’s 1:1 Initiative, all students and content area teachers (including self-contained teachers) grades 1-12 will receive a Chromebook for the upcoming school year. Similar devices will be available for kindergarten students”- leaving out that they won’t actually have possession of said chromebook, or be able to bring it home, you just get to use it to drill and fill while in a classroom.

Considering radio reaches communities well outside DPS, one has to wonder what DPS thinks they are doing? Do people in Kettering really need to hear this message?

Another #FAIL brought to you by the fine folks at Dayton Public Schools.

 

International Man of Mystery: Adil Baguirov

His campaign literature was a bit over the top, and why he even needed any to run unopposed for Dayton School Board was a bit of a mystery. But when you take a closer look at Dr. Adil T. Baguirov he, not Austin Powers, is Dayton’s own international man of mystery.

Adil Baguirov and John Paul IIThe literature (which I saved but can’t find at the moment) had a photo of the young Turk with the pope and another with Joe Biden. Not your run of the mill school board candidate, but he was unopposed, had a PhD, and had the 300 required signatures. What could we do?

He came in dead last- of four (the write in didn’t stand a chance in hell).

One thing has been clear in his tenure on the Dayton Board of Education, he’s been THE mover and shaker. He pushed hard for the one-to-one computer program and the decision to cut ties with former Superintendent Lori Ward and Treasurer Craig Jones. He was the loudest voice convincing others that internal candidates for replacement would be giving someone who got us in our current mess a promotion, thus starting David Lawrence’s oust. Most would say current Superintendent Rhonda Corr was his hand picked protegee (or maybe more appropriately, partner in crime).

Since Corr has come on board, and while he was the President of the School Board, we’ve seen an insider deal to sell the Patterson Co-op site to the Port Authority (for a handoff to CareSource), an odd dismissal of a private developer’s offer on the Patterson Kennedy site near UD and MVH, a massive ruckus caused by a Reduction in Force driven by a supposed budget shortfall, and a push to spend $11 million to finance over 100 buses (with a full 10 year maintenance contract).

And the uncharacteristic silence and tacit approval from the board about Issue 9: a play by Nan Whaley and the city to jack up the income tax, in part, to fund a competing quasi-public pre-school system. There was so much money behind issue 9 and we still don’t know the half of it, since the PAC “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” hasn’t filed their post election report. Any half-wit journalist would start to wonder why, but since Dayton is sort of short on journalists, you’re stuck with me.

For those of you not into the whole “reading” thing, here’s the video to whet your appetite.

What did I do? Well, what any mediocre journalism student is told to do: “follow the money.”  What I find is a lot of smoking barrels which point to the personal enrichment of Dr. Baguirov as well as a spiderweb of shell corporations and business partners.

Sure, if we’d done our homework before he was elected, we’d have known this was coming, because Adil Baguirov is connected. Not just photos with the (previous-previous) Pope or Biden, either. It took months to put all the pieces together.

The Father: Dr. Togrul Bagirov

We found the following short bio in the “Worldwide Strategic Energy Final Draft Business Plan”

Dr. Togrul Bagirov is the Executive Vice President of Moscow International Petroleum Club (MIPC), a non-profit non-governmental specialized international organization. He is a Special Advisor to the Russian Prime Minister, the Russian Minister of Energy, Gazprom, LUKoil, and Transneft. In addition, Dr. Bagirov serves as a Deputy Chairman of the United Nations Forum on Energy Security.
Dr. Bagirov received a M.S. in International Relations, a Ph.D. in History from Moscow University (MGIMO), and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Institute of USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is an adjunct professor in energy security studies at MGIMO University. Dr. Bagirov also heads the public consultative center under the Russian Government for international projects in oil and gas.
Dr. Bagirov is a member of the World Economic Forum at Davos, a participant in Russia-U.S. and Russia-EC Energy Dialogues, and a Deputy Chairman on the Board of Trustees of the Russian-American Business Council.

And while all that sounds impressive, I’m not sure I can tell you much about Dr. B. senior. Other than, he’s done OK for himself.

Photo of Togrul Bagirov, Stephen Payne, Timur Kulibayev (son-in-law of the President of Kazakhstan & Chairman of the KazEnergy Association and VP of Samruk – the new state-owned holding company), and Adil Baguirov

Togrul Bagirov, Stephen Payne, Timur Kulibayev (son-in-law of the President of Kazakhstan & Chairman of the KazEnergy Association and VP of Samruk – the new state-owned holding company), and Adil Baguirov

The people he’s rubbing elbows with in this venture, Worldwide Strategic Energy, are a bit better known like the lobbyist Stephen P. Payne. In July 2008, Payne attracted international attention after being secretly videotaped discussing a $750,000 lobbying contract offering access to senior U.S. officials and suggesting a $250,000 donation to the future presidential library of U.S. president George W. Bush.

Dr. B. Sr. is also the chairman of the Baku Nobel Heritage fund, which describes itself as a “civil initiative to restore the Nobel brothers’ heritage in Azerbaijan.” Apparently, the Nobel family were the movers and shakers who developed Azerbaijan’s oil resources at the end of the 19th century. Introducing innovations like oil pipelines and steam-powered tankers to transform Baku into one of the world’s leading oil producers. This leads into one of the stranger Baguirov connections. Adil has a Wyoming Corp, “Nobel Brothers Pictures, LLC”, which is working to make a big-budget Hollywood movie called “The Big Game” about the history of the Baku oil industry.

Recall that another movie about the history of Baku oil industry starring world-known actors will be shot in Hollywood. The multi-million dollar film to be produced by the chairman of the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund Togrul Bagirov in the frame of the Nobel project will show the history of Baku oil through the eyes of the Nobel brothers.

The film will describe mutual relations in the Nobels-Rothschilds-Rockefellers triangle of the great powers and the global role played by the Baku oil. All this will be shown in the context of the Nobel oil empire’s prosperity and fall, the communist revolution in Russia and political compromises of the early 1920s. The film presumably will be called ‘The Big Game’ or ‘The Oil Wars’ and will underline that the Baku oil has always been in the focus of international attention, being “an award” which superpowers were endeavoring to gain.

Source: Azerbaijani movie shown in Italy

Dr. Baguirov Sr. with Dolph Lungren

Dr. Baguirov Sr. (fourth from Right) with Dolph Lungren (fourth from left)

And the “world-known actors”- ready for it?

The large-scale movie, which will be filming in Baku and the U.S., will be made with the use of innovative technologies.It is expected that the film will star Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas, Monica Bellucci, Antonio Banderas and Dolph Lundgren, Bagirov said.

Source: Hollywood to make film on Azerbaijani oil history featuring superstars | Dünya Times

He has been very valuable to Russian national interests, obviously, since Togrul was also awarded Russia’s Order of Badge of Honour, signed by Vladimir Putin.

The Son: Dr. Adil T. Baguirov

Adil was born in 1978, which makes him just eligible to be one of the Dayton Business Journal’s “40 under 40” this year. Don’t worry, even I was one of the 40 under 40, so you know it’s not that big of a deal.

However, Dr. B Jr. is kind of a big deal on paper. He went to the University of Southern California with a degree in International Relations and Business Administration, graduating in 1999. By 2002 he’d earned a Ph.D in Political Science from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

His father’s status opened doors, and he served as a “Special Advisor on Russia and the Former Soviet Union” to Congressman Curt Weldon sometime around 2003. This was while was also serving as an “Executive” for “Worldwide Strategic Energy” out of Houston, which is where we got a lot of the info on his father through a leaked “proprietary and confidential- Placement Memorandum.”

Don’t ask why, but it seems almost everyone that Adil comes in contact with has some sort of international controversy, usually connected with Russia:

In 2006 Weldon faced investigation by the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section for suspected unlawful ties to two Russian companies and two Serbian citizens, when in a filing with the Federal Election Commission Weldon’s campaign committee reported that it transferred $70,000 to the “Weldon Legal Expense Trust”.

Source: Curt Weldon – Wikipedia

Come 2009, he’s still in DC creating non-profits.

The co-founder of Karabakh Foundation, a 501(c)(3) in Washington D.C. with a mission statement to “preserve and disseminate the cultural heritage and traditions of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus area, and the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.”

And he’s also elected to the board of directors of the U.S. Azeris Network, an organization dedicated to coalescing the political power within the U.S. of Azerbaijani and Turkic diaspora communities. That’s a fancy way of saying lobby for the best interests of the legal immigrants, of which he is one.

Sevin Elekdag and Adil Baguirov in their wedding pix

Sevin Elekdag and Adil Baguirov  wedding pix

In 2013, just as he started showing up in Dayton, he married Sevin Elekdag in D.C.  She’s the daughter of Sukru Elekdag, the Turkish Ambassador to the United States from 1979-1989.

Check out the wedding announcement page in Turkish. She’s our own version of Melania Trump. We think the girl with the shoe addiction is Adil’s sister, who is an artist in NYC.

Adil in Dayton

This is where we start running into problems. As you may know, Adil has to file a few things as an elected official.

thumbnail of Baguira, Adil

The post campaign report

thumbnail of Baguirov Campaign Finance Report

The pre-election report

Our first document is his campaign finance reports, to which you really do have to laugh. He was running unopposed, yet still printed literature and bought signs, with his own money. Specifically, he spent about $2,200 (no contributors listed) on printing, signs, and $92.75 on online advertising.

He lists his address as 111 Cooper Place West downtown. And, while this is an OK place for a nice, young, newlywed couple, they still had a house outside DC that was quite a bit nicer. Bought 12/06/2004, for $552,000, 3920 Charles Av, Alexandria, VA, the 3 story townhouse was built in 1994. This property is notable in that it actually has his name attached, which we found to be a rarity. Since the property wasn’t in Ohio, he doesn’t have to list it on his ethics commission form.

Adil made history as the first Ahiska-Turkish American to be elected to public office when he was sworn in to the Dayton Board of Education in January of 2014.

Since his election, the School Board hasn’t quite been the same. They meet more often, and cause more consternation than any other school board in the region. There are deep divisions on the board, and the one member who seems to be at the center of almost anything that has controversy attached is Dr. B. But, considering who he’s worked for in the past, is it any wonder?

thumbnail of Adil Baguirov Ethics Statement 2015

Adil Baguirov Ethics Statement 2015

Cycling back to his listed home, 111 Cooper Place, it was bought by his undisclosed shell company, Metroplis LLC of Wyoming (the state, not the suburb in Cincinnati) just before the election, August 27, 2013. We know this because we looked at his Ohio Ethics Commission Financial Disclosure statement.

He lists no debtors, no creditors, and his only investment is in the Connor Group Fund. It’s also funny that he only lists ownership of two pieces of property:
1819 Troy St Dayton OH 45404, home of his trucking company, and 400 E. 5th St. Dayton Oh 45402. No residential properties at all. His income comes from:

  • Turbillion- which provides “Consulting”
  • Addison HHS- a “health care provider”
  • Dayton Board of Education- $5,229
  • American Power- Freight and Logistics.

Living with him is his spouse, Sevin Baguirov, and his two dependent children.

The businesses listed/offices/fiduciary relationships, add “Megapolis” and “Oregon Renaissance” which is 400 E. 5th St.

If asked what business he’s in, the standard answer is logistics. He owns “American Power LLC” which has offices on Troy Street. Interestingly, the last blog posts on their site are 2013… it seems once he got his $5000 a year job on School Board, the trucking company didn’t get the attention it once did. But, no worries, he’s got other ventures. Lots of them.

One that he’ll admit to is Addison Home Health Care [full disclosure, I did some work for his business partner Islom Shakhbandarov, printing some business cards, and working on a craptastic boxing event that was being done in a hurry] which has its offices in the Oregon District, above Salar. The building, formerly owned by shadow Mayor Dr. Mike E. Ervin, was originally owned by Oregon Renaissance LLC – a firm set up on 3/12/2008. On August 29, 2014 paperwork was filed to make Turbillion LLC a subsequent agent of Oregon Renaissance. Adil lists himself as a director in his 2015 ethics statement. What is the address of Turbillion? 111 Cooper Place of course. In the Ethics Statement, he’s listed as a director of Addison as well.

Businesses incorporated in Ohio by Adil Baguirov and his wife Sevin Baguirov

Businesses incorporated in Ohio by Adil Baguirov and his wife Sevin Baguirov

What’s more interesting is what’s missing from his disclosures. Two other medical firms, one in his name and one in Sevin’s. That’s a no-no. It’s why I contacted the Ohio Ethics Commission and asked them to investigate in the first place. Adil seemed, to me, the only one in the loop on both the CareSource sale of school-owned real estate and the denied sale to a private developer. He has companies doing business in the medical field, and both Premier Health and CareSource are the 800lb gorillas in the industry. This could be a conflict of interest, if Baguirov’s companies work with CareSource or Premier. Right after I brought up this conflict of interest in Millennial Medical LLC at the Dayton Board of Education Meeting on February 14th, he filed to “kill” the corporation. I was holding the knowledge of  “Montgomery Medical Holding LLC” as my hole card. Metropolis Holdings LLC lists 111 Cooper Place W. as its mailing address, and its business address is the Troy St. American Power offices.

Remember, the Cooper Place house was bought by Metroplis LLC of Wyoming, so we have at least 2 Metropolis branded companies.

The problem is, we’re pretty sure that Adil and Sevin don’t live at 111 Cooper Place W. A quick look at voter records finds two things. Sevin isn’t registered to vote in Ohio and Adil isn’t registered to vote at Cooper Place.

630 Maryland Ave Dayton

630 Maryland Ave

Adil is registered to vote at 630 Maryland Ave in Old North Dayton, a 1,300 square foot house bought for $10k by Ismat Shakhbandarov. Slight problem, I don’t know who is Ismat is. I do know that Islom Shakhbandarov is Adil’s business partner in Addison HHC. Don’t worry, Islom, who drives a Range Rover, is also registered to vote at this humble house.

If you think that Adil just crashes at 630 Maryland Ave home with his beautiful wife and two young children and Islom too, well, you’re about as gullible as the rest of the school board who has been buying Adil’s guidance hook, line and sinker.

4611 Charleston Ter NW, Washington, DC 20007

The Baguirov’s DC manse

Nope, I don’t think Adil lives in the school district. Sevin also may not live in Dayton, since we found a building permit (see page 54) in Adil’s name for 4611 Charleston Ter NW, Washington, DC 20007. When we look to find the owners name in the DC.gov Office of Tax and Revenue site, it’s Metropolis LLC. This is a house more befitting of the Baguirov family, bought for $1,560,000 on 12/02/2011. Check it out on Zillow. Sure, Sevin may still live here and Adil flies out every weekend. The more likely answer is, they’ve got a new mansion and it too is not in Dayton, but in the Vandalia Butler School district.

7077 Meeker Commons Ln belonging to Metropolis LLC

The Baguirov Mansion in the gated community

Once again, Metropolis LLC bought a home. This one has two addresses: 8 Meeker Place is on the tax record, bought Oct. 2nd of 2015 for $495,000. This beauty is 5,352 square feet, and you could safely and covertly park that Jag in the driveway, it’s a gated community. The Zillow address is 7077 Meeker Commons Lane Dayton OH 45414 and the house is described as 4 beds 7 baths 5,702 sq ft. It looks like a very nice house.

Why is this a problem for Adil? Well, one of the conditions of being on the Dayton Board of Education is that you actually have to reside in the school district. His kids aren’t old enough to be enrolled in school, and it’s a moot point, he’d probably send them to a private school.

Page 6 of the DBOE Manual:

Filling Vacancies
Vacancies in Board seats may occur as a result of many things including,
but not limited to: resignation, non-residence, removal from office or
death.

The question of residency gets a little muddled in Ohio, thanks to our very own Secretary of State Jon Husted. He had a vacant house in Kettering while he lived in Columbus, when he was a State Representative. I don’t want to get into the legal quicksand on this issue, but there is a major difference. Husted actually owned the house in Kettering and no one else lived there. Really, it’s not much different than Tony Hall living in DC all those years as our congressman, while keeping a small bachelor pad here in town. Again, the house was his.

Now, this would all be great and fine, except, if Adil lives in 111 Cooper Place, which he owns, why is he registered to vote at 630 Maryland which he doesn’t? Is that voter fraud when he and Islom went to vote for president last year? Or, does he live in the mansion outside the district, 7077 Meeker Commons Lane Dayton OH 45414? Well, that would have to be his residence if he decides to run for State Rep Mike Henne’s seat when it comes open. Word on the street is that’s his goal.

The question is, who enforces the rules when it comes to residency? I talked to the Board of Elections, the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Secretary of State’s office, the BOE again. I put a call into the prosecutor’s office and then told a few trusted people within the school district. No one knew who would be the ones to investigate and prove the residency. It requires a court order to put a tracking device on his car. Frankly, I don’t have time or the inclination to start tailing him all over town.

It’s time to investigate not only his residency and his legitimacy on the Board of Education, but take a deep look at possible conflicts of interest. His many holdings in companies could be enriched by his actions on the board (eg. bus purchases and vacant land sales).

In the past, I’ve called for an elected chief ethics officer position in each county to help wage integrity in office on behalf of citizens who always get the run around when they bring issues like this to light.

And as always, I have to sit and wait for the Dayton Daily News to do their normal theft of my story and not give credit. Then wait for the people in the statehouse to move, if they even care.

I’m sure that the athletes in Dayton Public Schools will suffer more from the in-depth investigation of Dunbar playing an academically ineligible player in a football game against Belmont, than what will happen to Dr. Adil Baguirov, because politicians policing politicians is the lunatics running the asylum.

With all the noise in Washington about connections to the Russian government and interference in our elections, this story of our very own International Man of Mystery surely won’t be discussed on the Sunday morning talk shows, but isn’t it nice to know that international intrigue can happen right here in Dayton?

Senior day care facility shuts down

Friday was the last day for the Senior Resource Connection Adult day services facility in Kettering.

I can’t tell you why, or how long it operated, or any of the things I should be able to share. But this video can.

I can tell you it will be missed. Not by my mother- who is soon to be 89, who went 2 days a week. It was always a battle to get her up in the morning and get her dressed to go. But, on those two days, I didn’t have to worry much about her, she was in good hands. The funny thing is, she always came home happy- and had a good time. That’s the horrible part about suffering with dementia.

The drivers were all wonderful and courteous. The facility was clean, well run, and best of all- when I walked around observing- a majority of the guests were engaged. The staff was friendly. There were at least 50 seniors off the streets- and into a positive, social environment. Although I didn’t take advantage of these services, they offered bathing and salon services as well for a very reasonable charge. For a caregiver- this was a much needed break.

One of the things most of us don’t think about, unless we’re dealing with an elderly parent or grandparent, is what kind of safety net is in place to help them cope. Since my father died in August, Mom has been living alone. I’m over at least half a dozen times a day to check on her, but, that’s still not enough. People need to interact- and socialize. Sadly, she no longer asks for books from the library- where she used to go weekly. She no longer turns the TV on- to watch the news- or the old movies that she loved.

Meals on Wheels is an amazing program- but, I still have to do all her grocery shopping, take her to all her appointments, and mange her bills.

But, we’re lucky in Montgomery County- we passed the human services levy- and the Area Agency On Aging has been amazing at helping me navigate the various federal and state programs- and to coordinate care. She’s eligible for a home health aide- who comes 4 days a week- and helps with cleaning, bathing and hopefully- working with her on her physical therapy/exercises. Right now- I’m waiting for a new aide after the last 2 quit.

There are other daycare programs- but, the one that can transport, didn’t impress me on our visit, and the other is “too far away” for her to qualify for transportation. I’m still working on that.

One of the great things about living in Dayton and especially South Park, is the help that I’ve received from friends and neighbors. I’ve had over a half-dozen people voluntarily come to visit with mom, bring her meals, help with watching her when I can’t be around. Our community is filled with amazing people, and for that I’m thankful.

I wish I knew why the center was closing down. I wish someone would see the value in these kinds of programs and step in and re-open it asap.

I shot a video of her at her worst one morning- to be able to show her what she’s like at her worst. I also shot one of her as she came home one day. I asked her how her day was- and she said it was wonderful to be home, that she’d been at “work” and had an amazing day- to which I confused her by telling her that she had been at daycare. “Daycare, that was daycare? I’ll have to think about that.”

We all need to think about it too- because one day, that might be us, who can’t remember, or has a safe place to go to socialize and be engaged.

Whaley finally announces development plans for West Dayton

Ohio Medical Marijuana logoIn an early morning announcement, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley unveils her plan to revitalize West Dayton, promising to bring life back to several large failed city projects on the west side. “I’m glad to announce that the City of Dayton has been selected as one of the cannabis grow operators by the State of Ohio  Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The former McCall printing plant across from the soon to be renovated DeSoto Bass housing will become a indoor cultivation site, and promises to create 20 jobs. “These aren’t high paying jobs, but we know we will find plenty of highly qualified employees nearby, since I’ve been told that illegal cannabis cultivation has been going on over on the West Side for quite some time” said Whaley. The OMMCP is also allowing the city to do a scatter-site program, with a second operation in the former Kroger location on Gettysburg Ave.  It will include a dispensary and in a novel twist, Premier Health Partners will be opening up a “Doc in a box” location to provide access to prescriptions of medical marijuana on the spot- since there are limited medical offices on the West Side.

Whaley says that the revenues from the West Dayton cannabis cultivation and dispensary will be used to back fill the general fund, which has been severely drained from all the investments the city has made in Downtown projects under her watch; like the new Student Suites project on the old Dayton Daily News site, River Run, The Levitt Pavillion, the arcade, new downtown housing, and for future investments in the Fairgrounds property.

This will be the pilot program for government owned medical marijuana facilities in Dayton, when asked how she negotiated this deal with the Republicans in Columbus, Whaley said she had a sit down with governor Kasich, she showed him the quality of locally grown cannabis that had been seized on the West Side, and once they both smoked a bowl, the deal was done. Kasich’s aides, said that the Governor wasn’t prepared to comment, but that he would highly recommend the Dayton branded pot if it’s even remotely as good as what Whaley had been smoking for the last 3.5 years of her Mayorship.

Short memories. Dayton Public Schools

Summer of 2016, Dayton Public Schools thought they needed a tax levy.

Then came Mayor Whaley- who needed a tax levy even more. For some reason, the board rolled over and played dead.

They’d changed Superintendents, bringing in the rookie Rhonda Corr to replace Superintendent Lori Ward- who they had to spend big bucks to get her to go away. September 14, 2016, they find out, Ward had pulled a rabbit out of a hat- getting the district an A in Annual Yearly Progress- the first A they’d had on a State report card in decades. This averted state takeover. It also gave Corr and crew breathing room.

But, since Corr didn’t like some of Ward’s people- she had a housecleaning- ostensibly a Reduction in Force, to get rid of opposition, and so she could justify bringing in her own team of highly paid assistants. The board, under leadership of Dr. Adil Baguirov, claimed the district was short about $4.5 million- although no one could provide real numbers. On the chopping block along with the opposition, were about 30 para-professionals (teachers aides) who were widely credited with helping get the A in AYP.

Along came Nan’s issue 9. A quarter percent increase in the city income tax. The board actually BACKED it- despite it creating a whole other quasi-public school board for pre-school only. These “Learn to Earn” folks even got to pay themselves big money- instead of the $5k a year the board members make. And, btw- get $4.5 million a year- without any stipulations on where it goes- charters, private schools, churches, as long as they are doing pre-school. There is a bit of a conflict of interest here, but, we’ll save that for another post that’s coming.

That levy, btw- was financed with big money- although we still don’t know the full extent, since the “Neigborhoods for Dayton’s Future” PAC  that solicited the $1873 average donation still hasn’t filed their post campaign finance report.

Then the board has to finish doing Rhonda’s dirty work, buying out David Lawrence, who was Chief of School Innovation- and partially responsible for the A in AYP. They blew that buyout, but had the money to throw around.

And all of a sudden, after not buying any new full size buses since 2010, they are about to buy 30 and take 10 more on a grant. It’s an overdue $2.1 million buy. But, Dr. Adil Baguirov, who happens to be the only one who also buys trucks from the same dealers for his trucking company- all of a sudden jumps in with all the facts and figures and the district is ready to commit to long term financing of 110 buses.

The teachers union isn’t too happy. The paraprofessionals know they are toast. The deal Adil is talking about seems to have a 10 year service and maintenance contract attached- meaning the districts mechanics are probably going to lose their jobs too.

And, all of you voters are just along for the ride.

Watch the video- and don’t get fooled again.