Friday, January 30, 2009
They are white with a green"'Families First' It's the Law," on the front. On the back there is a "Stop CPS Abuse" logo. The rally will be held at noon in the capitol rotunda. Thankfully, Dave Wood, who has been working this issue for years has been a tremendous help. I don't want to forget the many others...and won't.
First come, first to get some very cool buttons...what is a rally without big pins to wear? And, look overhead when you drive down Capitol Way to see the 30 ft. banner across the overhead walk.
While I have been fighting off the attacks of my detractors on this issue (more to come on how a Senator can be punished by their own), voting, attending debates, seeing my son off before deployment, etc......good people are coming together.
They come together because they have a message. We want government to follow the laws. We want government to be held accountable. We want the unnessary child deaths to stop. And, STOP the kidnapping of toddlers...taken from good families like the Stuths...who are being turned over to strangers for money.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
(Let me first thank the many GOOD CPS workers who are doing their jobs well despite working in an undisciplined agency that frequently makes big mistakes. It is your management and a few unprincipled people who create the press....whose names are never associated with the story.)
Turns out my lobbyist friend and her husband are foster parents. And, they are among the very good ones.
A little toddler boy was brought to them who had been burned in a meth lab. They had him for several years. Thankfully, his face healed. He could smile now in this good home.
Then the state stepped in to reunite the drug abusing, felon mother with the boy. My friends kept the boy over the weekends... the story goes on, the foster parents spending $10,000 to try to protect this little one from his drug addict mother who didn't want the boy! Turns out the lobbyist is coming to the rally. The word is getting out.
I am assembling a packet for distribution to the press. If you have a "good" or "bad" story that can be condensed to one 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper (you have to narrow the issue) and you are willing to put down your name and contact information, I would like you to email it to my office. Roach.Pam@leg.wa.gov . Remember one page only.
To protect yourself from CPS retaliation you may use the name of a friend or relative as the contact person. The idea is to give the press a place to go for stories. Without some verification of the story it will not be regarded as truth. That is any one's standard.
Please submit as soon as you can. Sounds like a mini book in the making.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Sometimes you just have to rub a little harder....
There was some speculation about the sudden departure of both DSHS head Robin Arnold-Williams and CPS comrade Cheryl Stephanie at year's end. Turns out, it was really all timing around a report outing CPS program failures that the departures were all about.
With a scathing report on the failings of the department about to be released by the Office of the DSHS Ombudsman....here was the plan:
*Wait until after the election for the release of the document,
* Move Williams and Stephanie out of the picture before the study is released,
* Then hire replacements so there is no one who was immediately responsible for the findings to be around to answer questions,
* Issue the report around the holidays when half the press would be looking for new jobs, and the others vacationing or writing "human interest" stories.
* Have former press guru, Thomas Shapley, ready to deflect any criticism and downplay the study.
It worked...no press on the awful revelations!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Please mark your calendar and plan to attend the Feb. 5th noon Families First Rally in Olympia. Help stop CPS abuse.
But, I didn't have a chance to give it.
There were apologies afterwards. I was offered a chance to enter my remarks in the record. That's about all that can happen when you are left out after a quick gavel.
Senator Franklin gave a beautiful speech. Nearing 80 she has lived a life of hurt and hope. Rosa is our only black member. She is a liberal from Tacoma. She was an Obama delegate to the Democrat National Convention. Her dreams have been answered.
Next came a wonderful black pastor who gave a large part of the "I Have A Dream" speech...that was really a sermon. He had every word, with perfect intonation, truly, coming from the heart. The other 47 white Senators, and one dear Korean, sat spellbound. We worked our minds to feel the passion of the historic event of the past and the one soon coming.
I wanted to be a part of that. Whites want to feel they are a part of this moment in black history, which is really the history of a whole nation...The whole point of Obama's inauguration is inclusion.
The pastor finished with passion. And, before any comments could be made the session ended. We had always in the past been able to remark. This year you will have to read the remarks from the party of Lincoln... in the record.
Let's move forward...together. That was King's admonition. That is Obama's mantra.
Please see "News and Views" section on this Senate link.
I was tired of putting mileage on my summertime rag top car so Jim went looking for a commute car for me. He found it at a local Auburn dealer and we paid cash for it this weekend.
It is a 2002 maroon Alero..... 12,896 original miles.....(REALLY...under 13,000 miles) for $6,100.
The dealer said he paid $6,000 at a government auction. It had been in the motor pool.
I bought the car from the owner who was working the floor selling cars. Times are tough. I think he was now going to make his payroll.
In the meantime...it will do.
If you have short stories of how you are cutting back or making ends meet please comment to this entry. God bless us.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Now the Big D doesn't mean Divorce...but Depression. I think we are going through a depression.
I suppose there are defined lines between economic downturn, recession, and depression. But, sometimes you just know one when you see it. Jobs are being lost not regained. The job losses are in almost every sector. Stocks are a disaster. Real estate has taken hits. Sales are down, etc.
Just talk to people: Car dealer...only four left on the payroll and two of those are on commission; NY lawyer back in WA to be with parents (finance industry bust); MBA family of 5 back in WA (CA housing industry bust); Boeing; PACCAR; teachers (even); carpenters; Circuit City; etc.
You know it when you see it. "Going though the big 'D' and I don't mean Dallas."
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Washington State SenateSen. Pam Roach
For immediate release , January 15, 2009
Senator Pam Roach to call for DSHS Accountability at February 5 Rally
10:00 AM PRESS CONFERENCE TO PRECEED RALLY, JAC ABC
Auburn…Sen. Pam Roach (R-rural Auburn) has announced her Families’ First rally at the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia on February 5, 2009 at 12:00 noon.
The subject will be the need for justice and accountability within DSHS Child Protective Services.
Roach believes CPS is out of control, and she is giving voice to the thousands of children and relatives hurt by the department.
Roach led the successful 11 month effort to return the granddaughter of Doug and AnneMarie Stuth to their Enumclaw home. (Please see: KING 5, “Up Front,” January 11, 2009. Investigative reporter, Susannah Frame, covers this story.)
“It is time the citizens of Washington stand up against the atrocities of this department,” said Roach. “We expect hundreds, if not thousands, of people will join their voices to publicly be heard by the Legislature and Governor.”
Washington Families United, Grandparent’s Rights of Washington, legislators, and citizens demanding accountability will be in attendance.
“Of the Stuths,” Roach said, “we have become family after our year-long struggle. These are good people who fought and won. So many others have had their children stolen.”
“Doug and AnneMarie Stuth, the Enumclaw couple recently awarded third party custody of their grandchild, will be in attendance,” Roach said.
“Their horrific story shows just how intent CPS has been to separate good families from their children,” said Roach. “On the other hand, they often leave children in harm’s way.”
“Just one month ago, between Christmas and New Year’s, two infants returned to their respective homes, died by shaken baby syndrome,” said Roach. “This is absolutely atrocious.”
“The rally is intended to give hope to the thousands of families injured by the negligence of CPS,” Roach added.
“As in other cases, the Stuths have been terribly hurt by the system,” said Roach. “They deserve vindication for all the untruths told in court and should be compensated for the $50,000 they spent trying to get their granddaughter back.”
“It is not a coincidence that both DSHS Secretary, Robin Arnold-Williams, and CPS Director, Cheryl Stephani, announced their departure from the department just three weeks ago, and two weeks prior to a scathing report on CPS practices they knew would be released by the State Ombudsman,” Roach added. “Out of the hot seat, but not out of the fire.”
“The leadership in the department has not addressed accountability within the system,” Roach said.
“I will be proposing legislation to break DSHS into smaller agencies to increase accountability and efficiency,” added Roach. “Another piece of legislation includes creating a Citizens Review Committee of CPS.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
It has been reported to PRR that the press corp is running on fumes. "Something like only 10 credentialed reporters (most blog) down from 30+ in the early nineties." And, as we say good-by to the Seattle Post Intelligencer (P.I.) in a few weeks...as they say..."There goes another one!"
For a conservative it just means fewer bullets. However, they will be higher caliber.
Monday, January 12, 2009
This is my 19th session. It is an honor to serve... and opening ceremonies and the swearing in of new and returning senators is the order of the day.
While there is a lot of clapping and standing on the inside of the legislative building...on the outside there are preparations for a lot of hot air! That's because of the big tents going up for the food court area of the governor's ball. The venting system was strewn all over the walkways as we made our way to the chambers.
I missed the swearing in of my son, Rep. Dan Roach. Eight years ago when he was first elected to the House I actually did the swearing in myself.
I cornored Senator Jim Hargrove, Senate Human Services Chairman and it looks like we will be able to have a few good bills heard on the day of our Families First Rally.
Later this afternoon I talked with Mr. Hart (the new Cheryl Steponme). I will not report the details of my conversations with him. But, I did say I wanted to work together to put in some needed checks and balances within CPS. And, I will say that I stressed that without accountability there would be no change in the department. Yes...he did see the KING5 coverage:o)
This was Day 1 of the 105 day session. I drove back to the district for a speaking engagement and got home at 11:30 PM.
Please comment if you have questions about session, an individual bill, or what is on the Senate Dining Room lunch menu!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thank you all for so much support. And, to my detractors and supporters of the foster woman...she should never had claimed ownership of someone else's child. This family has been terribly hurt by the system. They deserve vindication for all the horrible untruths told in court and for the $50,000 they spent trying to get their granddaughter back.
And now....click on the link to see a wonderful story.....
Friday, January 9, 2009
There was some divine intervention here and I want to acknowledge that. On Tuesday the state argued that the child was bonded to the foster woman and there should be a termination and the child placed with her. I have been trying to point out to the state for months that the foster woman was a very poor risk at best. But, the state felt differently. (They have no real standards.)
Yet, for all their efforts to place with the foster woman...Tuesday night the toddler was taken away, permanently, from her. She had shown up at a local hospital and they called in a complaint. Thank God there are some honest people. The complaint was against the foster woman. Apparently, she showed some "symptoms" of --------- (you fill in the blanks), that was enough to have her reported immediately and caused her to lose the children and her license. So much for the judgement of CPS.
The attorney for the little girl's mother did not know about this. The whole thing came to the attention of the court by way of a slip up of the new CASA.
If the foster woman had not gone to a hospital....The Stuths would not have this child! If the CASA had not let the cat out of the bag...the Stuths would not have this child. The state had no place but the Stuths to turn to when the emergency foster care (48 hours) was up. They were last on the list but the only ones on the list. The state did feel, finally, that the toddler had seen too many people and should go to the Stuths even though there was "not much of a bond." (Check out the video to see if YOU think there was a bond) The little girl obviously remembers and loves her grandparents!!! You would not have believed that based on the state's testimony.
It was an act of God that that foster person blew it. It was an act of God that the CASA "blew" it.
I have been left with a terrible knowledge of the power of unrestrained government.
And, judge, please understand that I represent a different branch of government. And, that I believe open government makes better government. In my mind the Stuth Case will be used as the low watermark in an example of how the system works. If it weren't for the light of day that was shown on this case...and the incredible sense of bad timing for the foster woman....things would have been very different.
God must have a wonderful future in mind for a very special little girl.
We have been together for 11 months. It has been that long since they came to my Olympia office and asked for my help.
At some point, I will have a picture taken. I will hang it in my office. And, through the years, I too, will watch this beautiful little girl grow up.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I have toured flooding before. In the aftermath of the '07 storms I asked the WA State Farm Bureau for a farm tour. Dead cows were washed up along the Chehalis River, the waterlines in houses were higher than the refrigerators, and high ground neighbors helped shovel out 10 inches of silt from the homes of their valley friends.
This year, there is now even flooding on the high ground. It is so wet it floods without a river!
Our first responders are doing a great job. For out of state readers... this has been a flood of monumental proportions and has involved huge areas, many rivers, and thousands are displaced. There are many acts of heroism.
Producer, Mike Cate, has been watching the Stuth case with great interest. They are giving ME the mike and will ask me questions about CPS.....Dum...da...dum...dum.......DUM!
(Its times like this I really love my job!)
The Stuths have spent well over $30,000. This does not count lost work time that was needed to fight the cyborg! They are not people of great means...that's why they were targeted! (That ... and the fact Little Lisa is blond and cute and young!)
Right now, I will focus on legislation for the 2009 session which starts next Monday.
I believe there should be an ethics complaint filed against the state's attorneys. I wonder if I have enough time? Maybe someone else should do it since they might claim I am harassing them! What a travesty of justice this whole thing has been!
I will keep you posted as best I can. I get many comments and thank you so much for your opinions and your open hearts. While there are many stories to tell I will focus on some specifics in hopes of moving the issues forward.
A "Families First" rally in Olympia is being planned. A date has not been selected but there will be plenty of notice. We will have a great program and it will be worth your attendance. I hope Little Lisa will be there. I have several legislators who want to join in the efforts to hold DSHS responsible and open government to public scrutinty. I hope that you will step forward and contact my office if you are willing to attend. Please call 360-786-7660 or email email@example.com to get involved.
Please know that I am preparing for the upcoming legislative session and I have many special projects that I try to balance. I will begin to broaden PRR coverage to include a legislators look at session. There are many pressing issues.
Thankfully, after 11 months of trying to help the Stuth family, we have seen some results. I have never worked harder or been more involved than I have in this case. Injustice is a motivator. Injustice is an evil that must be fought.
Best Wishes in this new year,
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Washington National Guard has moved in to help. Local emergency management teams are in place as thousands of people evacuate. This is the worst flooding we have ever seen.
My district has not been left out. I talked with son, Representative Dan Roach, today. Two years ago he worked during the night to sand bag riverbanks in Sumner which is in our district. He told me today that he might not be doing that as the water has risen too high and too fast and there may not be an effort there. We are bracing for the full impact. This is not just in farmlands but residential areas.
Technically, there would be no food in the grocery stores within two days if there was a run on the food.
Well, judge, as grateful as we all are for your decision today...I have to tell you that there have been a lot of lies by CPS before your court.
Yesterday, the state went full bore against the family. They just railed on the Stuths and the mother. They lied through their teeth. They testified that "Little Lisa" had bonded with the foster woman and it was in the best interest of the child to terminate parental rights and place Lisa with this woman who has an active restraining order against a former lover. And, at the same time, they knew that CPS was removing Little Lisa from the foster woman and placing her in "emergency" foster placement.
CAN ANYONE REALLY BELIEVE THIS OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOR? What will the Attorney General say about this big lie? What will AG Ms. Li say about this lie?
WILL THE ATTORNEY GENERAL PUNISH THESE TRAITORS TO THEIR OATH?
AND...JUST PLAIN FUNNY.....Today, the state argued for 15 minutes that KING5 TV and investigative reporter, Suzannah Frame, should not be in the courtroom! (...Ya gotta love how stupid it is to go after people who broadcast TV all western Washington!!!!)
The attorney general's attorney argued the judge could not let the press in the courtroom. They were abruptly set straight when....Judge Kessler finally dropped a big book on the bench and said, "According to this book I can ... and... I will!" I LIKE BOSTON LEGAL, TOO.
Nothing seemed to be going well. The judge told the mother she wasn't a good person. He went after the grandparents, he was just not a happy guy. He only knows what he is told or what comes out in court. The mother's attorney could certainly have found a way to bring the terrible medical records forward but did not.
THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED...SOMETHING THAT STUNNED THE JUDGE...SOMETHING THAT HORRIFIED CPS AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE STATE.
The new CASA mentioned that Little Lisa had been removed from the "loving" foster woman and placed in emergency housing last night. The woman just assumed the judge knew! She didn't know the rules on how to steal kids!
It was one big blunder committed by the new court appointed special advocate (CASA). She didn't understand that she was suppose to shut up about what had happened last night at the home of the foster woman... and it unfolded right in front of a very irritated judge!
While the state was testifying about all this "bonding" crap between the foster woman and Little Lisa...they were preparing to take the child on an emergency basis away from the foster home!
Apparently, the loving foster woman had her license pulled! (I will find out why!!!!) And, remember...she has an infant baby boy from the state who was just in the hospital...another emergency.
CPS was flippin' mad....KING5 got it all and it is splashed across the evening TV news...and the family cried with tears of joy.
The judge was prepared to terminate but because the state lied to him he did not. He said the state erred by not placing first with the relatives. He said the mother had been wrongly classified with substance problems she did not have. He wants third party custody. (This is what the family had asked for in the first place!) He has given the Stuths one week to get the paper work ready.
Since Little Lisa was removed from the foster woman and is in emergency foster placement right now it just could be that there will be placement with the Stuths by the weekend. Please see KING5.com for tonight's story.
Blog your comments here and on KING5.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Washington State CPS aggressively moved to take little "Lisa" from her biological family again today. The state perpetuated lies about the grandparents who have no representation in court. And, I am sure the judge was never told about the serious medical records.
Judge Ronald Kessler let KING 5 News reporter Suzanna Frame in the courtroom. Viewing the link is a must. Thank God for the First Amendment. Word is that CPS was livid over the exposure. Government needs the light of day. There is almost nothing that can constrain CPS.
The grandparents have spent thousands of dollars to try to keep their family together. The deep pockets of the State of Washington are almost insurmountable.
Court continues tomorrow with the mother's attorney taking her shot at it. Go get 'em Ruth! And, thank you Suzanna and KING 5 News.
CPS...I will be sending this link to every state legislator, DSHS high-up, and print media.
And...coming up...it is reported that two babies in Region 5 died of shaken baby syndrome over the holidays. They were babies, reportedly, CPS gave back to their BAD families. Who the hell is the administrator out there? That is 12 dead for '08 by my count.
Monday, January 5, 2009
A crushing decision that would impact the lives of four people forever...could be made. Lisa's mother has not been perfect. During the past six months she did not report for one "pee" test...which is regarded as a positive.
(As a side note. I have a copy of a recent Seattle Times article re: one mother, a drug addict, and three kids. The family is together and living in a rehab place. Lisa's mother is not a drug addict though listening to the AG and the CASA, and CPS you would think that. She is not an alcoholic either. She has in the past had some alcohol and marijuana...the same could be said of 40% plus of all teens in WA. The woman in the article is a hard core drug addict. I guess her kids are not wanted by the state. Maybe they are drug affected. Little Lisa is not.)
The foster woman and Lisa? Apparently, Lisa has JUST been placed in emergency foster care. Apparently, the little boy the state has placed with this single and working (and therefore absent during most of a small child's waking hours) woman, is in the hospital. This is being reported to me by a very reliable source.
Note: This is a situation where the foster woman has no back-up. This is not the first time she has relied on strangers in the state system to fill-in. Lisa is with a stranger...AGAIN! This is abuse in itself. At the hand of CPS she has been kept form those who love and have cared for her. The anguish that the state is causing the extended Stuth family can only be imagined. The state continues to persecute the mother, the Stuths, and the extended Stuth family by not allowing this little girl to have contact with her biological relatives. (Lisa has seen her grandparents maybe 7 hours in the last 12 months.)
QUESTION TO PARENTS: HOW "ORDINARY" DO YOU THINK IT IS THAT TWO CHILDREN IN THE CARE OF ONE LONER WOMAN WOULD BOTH BE HOSPITALIZED WITHIN A THREE MONTH PERIOD?
NOTE OF INTEREST: I RECEIVED A MESSAGE FROM AN ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO SAID THE JUDGES HAD ALL THE MEDICAL RECORDS THAT THEY NEEDED...BUT SAID THE JUDGES WOULD HAVE TO ASK FOR MORE IF THEY THOUGHT THEY NEEDED IT. SAY WHAT?
I THINK THAT MEANS THE JUDGES DO NOT HAVE LISA'S MEDICAL RECORDS AND THAT CPS AND THE AG ARE NOT GOING TO PROVIDE THE RECORDS. THE MOTHER'S ATTORNEY CAN NOT PROVIDE THEM RE: COURT PROCEDURES. AND, THE JUDGES...IF THEY ASK IF THEY HAVE ALL THE MEDICAL RECORDS THEY NEED...ARE PRESUMABLY BEING TOLD..."WHY, YES, JUDGE. YOU HAVE ALL YOU NEED."
Saturday, January 3, 2009
At our church Christmas party, John was the Shepard in a little nativity play. Sadie saw John up front and noticed that he didn't have any sheep. She ran up to him and loudly said: "Daddy, I'm going to be your sheep!" Then she crawled around him for for ten minutes.
Since the beginning of our Mideast conflicts I have had the following news clip on my refrigerator door:
'He was the most treasured thing I could give my country. I
want people to know the sacrifices he made.'
(Ricky Crose, on his 22-year-old son, Sgt. Bradley Crose, who died in the bloodiest operation of the War in Afghanistan. The elder Crose, his voice breaking, said he wanted his son buried at Arlington National Cemetery.)
Last summer our family lost a very much loved young man, too. He died as a result of a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel. Parents should never outlive a child. My heart goes out to the Travolta family and to all families who through accident, act of war, self-inflictions, or criminal actions lose a child. God bless the families. They need comfort as they mourn.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Apparently, my writing about the facts has made some people very angry. They are working over-time to "get back at me" for daring to talk about things that need to be corrected in government. It reminds me of Lisa's foster care provider who, instead of supporting the law regarding relative placement, has assumed the child is hers. And, has complained about my belief that families come first. You see, I support the law that says children should be placed first with qualified family members. And, I believe legislators should try to hold government accountable when it acts outside of the letter and spirit of the law.
For the record...I have been told by several different people that once termination is the goal that does not change. Only a judge can change that. That is also absurd! Anyone who goes down the wrong road can change course. I have found that our CPS apparently never thinks it goes down a wrong road. We just need to read the papers to see how wrong they can be! There are several powerful people who want to punish me for having this political opinion and articulating the opinion.
Little Lisa's foster care provider, her brother's wife (having surfaced in this blog and KING TV's), and several government officials have, instead of addressing the law...chosen to defend the foster mother and argue that she is a fit person to take the child. In my opinion...she should not have had the toddler in the first place! It is cheating and if I had my way it would be illegal, to take a child from a family without following the law. They don't care about that law. I do.
One of my fellow senators commented to me that CPS line workers only last an average 1 and 1/2 years on the job. I have not checked that out. But, I was told that again the other day. Where is the survey on the poor job satisfaction? What is going on in that department? For the senate leadership onlookers of this blog...why aren't you asking the same things? Instead of helping to cure this mess you would rather vilify me...take me to the cleaners...run me out of office...perhaps, rid your own conscience?
It is the policy of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Children and Families...to withhold positive in-home studies of fit relatives willing to care for their relative children. The information is not given to the court.
1. Judge Schaffer did not know about the positive in-home study of Lisa's aunt and uncle in ND. The judge was angry when she found out she had not been told and whipped around to the CASA and asked why she had not been told. I witnessed this. I was the one who told her...not the CASA, not the attorney general, not the social worker, not the attorney for the CASA, and apparently...not the attorney for the mother!
(Thank you, Judge Schaffer for allowing me to read a statement to your court. I appreciated that. And, given there were facts about the existence of the ND relatives that you had not been told I think it was the right decision on your part. I also think it was the right decision on your part to assign additional counsel to help the mother's attorney who was so clearly out numbered. We were so far down the line at that point I don't know if things evened up.)
2. I was told by a CPS worker that the policy is that in-home studies were not given to the judge until after termination.
3. The aunt in North Dakota also mentioned in her letter (reprinted here in PRR) that she had also been told that.
I was flabbergasted when I was told that. In fact, it made so little sense that I didn't believe it! But, turns out it is true. No one wanted to give me a written policy regarding the matter. But, it is apparently a matter of practice.
These are things I find out by asking questions. Unfortunately, I can't always get a straight answer so I have to dig a little further. To formulate legislation there has to be an understanding of the problems. God knows I wish there were not so many!
It is 3:07 AM, the first day of 2009. PR