Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Rest Of The Story (For Now)

We have had a lot of inquiries about the Pratt diploma story today, so for the sake of clarifying the background on this story, here is some additional information.

When it was first noticed that Pratt was claiming to have a degree from Keene State, reports began to surface that she had specifically denied having a degree at the time of her 2008 candidacy. According to the memory of some San Juan Islanders, Pratt had been very explicit during the 2008 League of Women Voters events that she had left college without ever attaining a degree.

To check for background facts and documentary evidence, a request was submitted to the National Student Clearing House for degree verification. This is the same service used by employers for degree verification, and it is the service recommended by the website of the Keene State registrar's office. You can see the response from the National Student Clearing House below. It clearly states that Pratt (née Richardson) did not attain a degree.

Simultaneously, and not being content to simply rely upon the results from the National Student Clearing House, email inquiries were sent to the registrar's office of Keene State. As shown in the previous blogpost, the registrar from Keene confirmed via email that Pratt does not hold a degree according to their records. Subsequent to receiving the registrar's email, follow-up phone calls were placed to the registrar to confirm the content of the emails and to inquire whether Pratt's degree might be misfiled under another name. The caller was assured by the registrar staffer that records at the Keene registrar's office are filed according to social security number, not by name, so even a person with multiple names, but the same social security number, would be captured by their records.

This is one heckuva story since someone (Keene State or Lovel Pratt) has their facts completely wrong. As we said in the last post, stay tuned while we try to sort out this strange story.

Click to Enlarge


  1. I know the answer! Maybe she has a "courtesy appointment" like Paul Adamus!


  2. Boy. This is sort of like the Critical Areas Ordinance.

    You know, the part about presumed guilty until proved innocent.

    If that "Big Map" shows a "Possible Wetland" then it is up to you to disprove it.

    And, if you have two Authorities saying you didn't graduate, but you think otherwise, I can see where the burden of proof is going to fall, even if unfairly.

  3. I guess good looks can only get you so far in life.....

  4. Folks, you realize what this could mean?? That's right, another cover song!!!

    I feel one coming. I did see the new song board on the TH so I will respect that.

  5. Well the campaign moves on, so probably best for Pratt to handle this irregularity with her alma mater now, and keep the local community informed going forward.

    What's next?

  6. Got my sheepskin out. SF is signed by Governor Ronald Reagan and three other people of slightly lessor fame. (A senator named Sam included)

    Thing is, this paper is VERY formal, raised heat treated type, stickers inlaid in the paper embossed and all that. This is not the movies, I don't think anyone can print one of these things up, so I gotta see Lovel's up close, because Graduate Pratt's looks very impressive too. (Anybody ran a finger on it?)

    I don't understand the word "Individualized" on hers, anybody know if this is meaning something? Anything?

  7. Individualized is a type of degree.

    Sort of "self directed".

    More credit for "work" or "life" experiences.

    see also, "community organizing".

  8. It's all about Me.

    It goes on the "Me Wall" behind My desk next to the pretty one I got from completing a Tony Robins seminar and the other when I graduated from Leadership San Juans, now that was tough.

    Along side the shelf of Readers Digest condensed books I've never read and photo of ME hugging Granny from L-Pod with Senator Ranker vying for attention in the foreground.

  9. I'm a little offended by the title of this thread

    If we're going to steal thunder from Paul Harvey, we should at least give him credit. Gotta give the guy accolades, not only was he a hero of the radio, but even in his death has been a superbowl star and now a player in the San Jaun County election.

    He's either a rising star or this is the low point of his career!

  10. Apologies to any offense given to the late great Paul Harvey or his many former fans :-) ... of which I am one. Paul Harvey would have led off with "Here's a strange ..." and ended with "Good day."

  11. Different topic here, but the modifications to HB 1224 to allow small counties to opt out of GMA passed committee vote and is moving forward.
    Looking at the bill analysis, SJC isn't one of the listed counties. Not sure if we don't qualify, or if it is an oversight.

    Anyone have the ear of our current council members, urge them to take a look at this, contact the state reps, and help it out....

    SJC voulntarily entered in to GMA planning, right????

  12. Well probably our Senator worked hard to relieve us of that opportunity but it may have to do with unemployment statistics.

    San Juan County is an anomaly (in many ways ...) but official unemployment rates vary with the seasons, plus there are so many self-employed, Sub S filers and such who don't show on the roles when they lose work, and other variations.

    What it means is that our average unemployment rates knock us out of the test for inclusion in this bill.

    Unless of course the legislature does for us what it has done in the past, put in a sentence to the effect (and any counties comprised of islands with populations under 20,000).

    That's probably what we need, because the unemployment barometer is not a good gauge for overall economic activity here.

  13. The bill looked very specific to population levels, and would appear to include SJC. What am I missing?

  14. I think it comes down to a very technical definition related to the requirements for fully planning back in 1990. There were some counties who were not required by any GMA criteria to fully plan. In other words, they did not meet the population or growth requirements. This new bill seems to be applying to those counties specifically. They opted into fully planning even though they were not required to by any measure.

    San Juan County was in a slightly different situation. Our full participation in the GMA actually was triggered by our growth rate in the 1980s, which was quite high (from a low base). HOWEVER, despite our relatively high growth rate, as a small county with a population under 20 thousand, we were still allowed to opt OUT of the fully planning requirements of the GMA. Despite being availed of this opportunity, our Councilors at the time (Cowan, LaPorte, and Orchid) decided to keep San Juan County in the full planning requirements of the GMA.

    In short, those counties listed in HB1224 seem to be those counties that, in 1990, didn't meet any of the GMA criteria of the GMA (neither growth nor population). San Juan County, on the other hand, met the growth, but not the population, trigger ... we still could have opted out, but chose not to. It looks, quite simply, like we are falling through a very technical crack on this one.

    We should write to the sponsors of this bill and request to be included.

  15. Will you write or call them?

    I am not a great spokesperson.

    Seems like a good time to do it since it was being worked on this week.

    Also, any legal opinion if the current council could create opt out language that would be binding, if/when it passed, since it will likely not be passed or in effect until the current winter council is out??

    I know that binds future councils to their choice, but is it a possiblity??

    I am legislatively challenged.

  16. Um ... I believe someone will contact them ... yes :-)

  17. So who do you think gets more calls Monday morning,

    Washington State Reps regarding HB 1224


    The Keene State Registrar's office???

  18. Let's leave Keene State to Lovel Pratt. She is the best one to resolve this irregularity. The registrar's office has already been contacted and responded, by email and phone. In addition the national student registry shows no diploma on record either.

    Ball's in Pratt's court. Her play now.

    Though am becoming very interested in just exactly was her independent degree focused on? Was she in a particular department or program? Who was her thesis or academic advisor? There are lots of questions.

  19. It's not what her degree was in that matters at this point; it's whether it exists. I don't think most people care that much about degrees.

  20. Where is Kevin Ranker? He endorsed Lisa, Lovel and Jamie. He is on Lisa's election committee. When is he going to step up and put our worries to rest. Maybe he is to busy Ocean Zeroing, sorry could not help myself,

  21. Ranker is on both Byers and Pratt campaign committees I think?

    I suppose he doesn't really recall though.

  22. It's really a simple question:

    Does Keene State College recognize the degree of Lovel Richarson as a valid diploma?

    If so, we move on.

    1. Is someone going to contact them on Monday with the JPEG file presented and ask this question??

      Independent 3rd party verification seems appropriate. Truly independent. How bout the state AG. They would get a quick response.

  23. Where is Kevin? Back in the old days when a young ambitious former FOSJ executive director became a county commissioner, he often could not be found on any given work day during the week. He'd just disappear and not bother to notify the council staff of his whereabouts.

    So, "Where's Kevin?" became a common refrain, sort of like "Where's Waldo?"

    It did not take long before Kevin developed a well earned reputation that he did not work well with others. He didn't grow out of it either.

    And we are starting to see some real evidence of that down in Olympia and news reports that shows the narcissistic side to him all to clearly. There is more to this, but it is not hard to see this kind of bizarre self-love behavior in the Machine such as Self-Lovel Pratt, and some major campaign contributors to both Pratt and Byers. Janet Alderton of the FOSJ immediately comes to mind.

    Time to kick the hornets nest.

  24. Nice letter in the guardian by Mike Carlson to Byers. Calling her out on principle and tactics.

    It made me re read her response. I find her letter rather condescending. Those who dare question her ideas are simply "un civil" or "mudslinging". Absurd.

    At a time when a candidate should stand proud of their ideas, she seems to be trying to obfuscate.

  25. Leave them to it. This is Lovel's responsibility now. We need to hear from her, personally, with a solution to this irregularity. Independent due diligence has been performed. And, the AG does need to be involved. It is between the AG and Pratt, and of course, the public has a right to know.

  26. I took Byers' response as taking offense to the word "Communist", which really in modern society is not a relevant identifier except when attached to N Korea or perhaps some portions of Latin America.

    I didn't find much else offensive in the email references, and honestly, if I were her, I wouldn't have bothered to respond.

    Let's face it, right now the candidates, other than Byers and Pratt, are taking a wise path of saying and doing very little. If the national Republican Party had done the same thing last election, there would be far more R's in the house.

    Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.

  27. Most have know for a long time that if you can get someone to complain about some exposure they don't like, then that exposure gets legs and is far more widely circulated.

    A sweet spot in politics.

    I'll bet Byer's will not respond to Mike Carlson's questions. But, now as a candidate that has whined about being wronged I don't see a good way out for her and people will remember the tags. And the opposing candidates should make sure people do.

  28. FWIW I had an issue with the clearing house involving enrollment at an institution other than my primary one. Quick call to the registrar's office and a few faxes back and forth, and the problem was resolved in no time.

    They seemed prompt and expeditious.

  29. If I am understanding the situation of the last commenter correctly, the clearinghouse had information that differed from that of the registrar. Is that right?

    Here we are dealing with a situation where the clearinghouse and the registrar are both in agreement. Pratt does not have a degree.

    I wonder if the last commenter could confirm my understanding of their situation. Thanks

  30. Yes, I just want to confirm that last point by the commenter above. Currently, we have a situation where Pratt apparently has a diploma, but BOTH the clearinghouse and the Keene registrar say she has no degree. I suppose we will find out more about how that can happen in the days to come.

  31. The clearing house gets info reported by the registrar. If you fix it with your institution, the CH will be fixed as well.

    My situation was different. It wasn't a mistake by either my school or the CH, rather an oversight by me that led to a status issue (part time vs full time) and involved another school, aside from my primary institution.

    Main point was that it was quick and easy to resolve. That's all.

  32. Re the HB1224. Is this finally an admission by the legislature that the GMA is a job killer? If unemployment rates are a qualifying factor it seems obvious the people in Olympia are finally getting the message. The GMA is not working as advertised.

    And YES, it seems SJC made a bad decision although like a lot of places with earnest people at the helm it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

    Maybe after HB1224 gets done the legislature can take a look at the Department Of Ecology, another job killer outfit if ever there was one.

    And to those who think that any mention of property ownership and jobs or even the economy is somehow a badge of being against environmental concerns you need to see your eye doctor, because you are not seeing the real World.

    Again, I challenge the environmental zealots: Please give us your evidence, your videos, your public records, of any San Juan County land owner doing nasty stuff with their land.

    Take your candidates and stuff em.

  33. The enviro-zealot and CAO worshipper would simply reply that you as a land owner are doing "nasty stuff" by simply living on the land. I give as support that any time the EPA opens up commentary on MCL's (maximum contaminant levels) in various standards, the EZ's deliver truckloads of reports demanding that the only approriate level is zero. They want levels below those which occur naturally. They want utopia. You and your house are a pollution point source, and you must be regulated. Look for an extension of eminent domain to include "potential for pollution".

  34. 2/25/2013

    As the Registrar at Keene State College in Keene,NH I am in a position to verify that Lovel Richardson Pratt did in fact earn a Bachelor Of Arts degree on May 12, 1984.

    The date of the award preceded our reporting of such data to the National Student Clearinghouse. We also changed our student information system in 1998 so current active records don't include Ms. Pratt's academic history - thus the initial negative response from Ms. Wheeler, a staff assistant in the Registrar's office.


    Tom Richard
    Keene State College
    Keene, NH 03435