Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snowed In And Other Quirks Of Nature

It snowed heavily last night.

Our farm house is on a hillside above the pasture. I remember one time when I attempted to go down the hill when the snow and ice covered the long steep driveway. The pump house had been leaking water so under the snow there was a sheet of ice. It took two tow trucks to get the car off the side of the hill. :o)

Second to that in exciting descents was many winters ago. I was in my '97 Gran Prix STP, super charged, 240 hp fun car. Captain John was about 18 when he picked it out on the showroom floor. Yeah, it was an impulse buy :o) But, I am good at executive decisions :o) I know John was only thinking of me.

There was no snow. I pulled the Pontiac out of the yard onto the driveway...when about half way down I thought I saw the under belly of a snake shimmying up into the dashboard by the steering wheel...three inches from my nyloned leg!

Maybe it was a rat! In any event I got onto the Green Valley Road when the fat mouse ran across the top of the dash, full length, left to right. I just kept on driving.

Maybe this will give my political enemies a little more insight.

Reader Writes...Correct On CPS

Dear Madame Senator,

Families first is the law..Period.

Many clients have called to say that finally their children are being placed with relatives. Some 3 and 4 years after the fact.

Then you have social workers that are so resistant to placing with family. The case of which I speak was on your blog sometime in October?? The department has now requested a settlement conference.

They have spent thousands with legal representation. They have an ICPC in place that had to be court ordered after the social worker told the judge that it had already been done..They got Oregon on the phone..and guess what? It had not been done and the social worker through the AG's office just lied. HMMM..if that were you or I what do you think would happen?? Perhaps some jail time?? You know as well as I do that the truth will always reveal herself. Sometimes not so kindly. Whatever it takes.

This department is not only ruining today's families they are destroying our future. They are the abusers.

Until the culture is changed there will not be change. Until you have an equal playing field there will be no change.

What say you?


Dear Respectfully. I agree with you. I am sure the department does some good things. But, your observations are correct. In the cases that I have studied closely...this is exactly what happens. Only, the children do not always go home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From The Mouths Of Babes

Conversation between Mom and Grandson, Jack age 3 1/2.

Jack, holding a toy: "Mom, does this tank kill people?"
Mom: "Sometimes tanks kill people, but only if they are fighting in a war."
Jack: "Not regular people?"
Mom: "Nope. Regular people don't kill other people."
Jack: "Yeah, regular people just watch."

Third Meeting Tomorrow: Regala, Chase, Roach

There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't think of Doug, Ann Marie, and Alexis Stuth.
Tomorrow Senator Chase and I will meet again with Senator Regala to discuss DSHS/CPS and the budget. Shielded from budget cuts ("for the sake of children"), there may be nothing done to stop the industry known as CPS. The agency is a labyrinth of government and non-profit organizations all kept alive by the need to self sustain and the need to fill the demand for healthy adoptive children.

If the state would follow the law by placing with relatives there would be huge savings to taxpayers. Protectors feel there would be a collapse of the industry and job losses in the mansion of cards. Yeah. This out of control agency has too many rooms and too many "in only" doors.

Other states have shown that sending all but 30% of kids to their own qualified family members can be done without harm to kids and millions of dollars are saved. WA keeps 85% in the system. Secretary Susan Dreyfus personally told me that the number of children out of family care needs to be vastly reduced. (VASTLY was my word.) But if you reduce from 85% to 30%, the number of children taken from homes and housed with non-relatives...that would be a VAST improvement.

Eyman, Roach, and Benton...Saving The Initiative Process

By Tim Eyman (On-line letter to supporters and press)

Benton, Roach stage 'amendment filibuster' on anti-initiative bill SB 5297

Senators Don Benton (R-Vancouver) and Pam Roach (R-Auburn) are, by far, the strongest advocates for the initiative process in Olympia. And they proved it again last week when anti-initiative bill SB 5297 came up for a vote in committee. They staged an 'amendment filibuster', proposing 17 changes to the bill, each of which had to be debated and voted on by the committee. This put a bright, bright spotlight on the many legal, constitutional, and policy flaws in this idiotic legislation. It was magnificent. The Senate Republican Caucus awarded Benton the "Elephant Award", something they give to members who go over and above the call of duty.

Huge, multi-policy bills like anti-initiative bill SB 5297 are intended to give supporters just one 'tough vote', but Benton and Roach's amendments forced them to take anti-initiative votes over and over and over again. Most importantly, their amendments forced the other side to learn what was in the bill (most don't have a clue what's in the bills they're pushing). Many times, they forced Democrats to defend the indefensible. After 40 minutes of debate and discussion on just the first eight amendments, the Democrats made a motion to quash the remaining amendments and move forward with the vote. The bill received a party-line 4-3 DO PASS recommendation.

We lost that battle but we firmly believe we're winning the war. SB 5297 wilts under the bright light of scrutiny. There's another hearing on this bill tomorrow at 1:30 pm before the Senate Ways & Means committee. Since it'll cost the taxpayers $360,000 to implement a brand new bureaucracy requiring licensing and registration, photo headshots, criminal background checks, and fingerprinting for citizens who collect signatures for initiatives, we're going to ask the committee a simple question: at a time of $5 billion deficits, how can they possibly justify spending $360,000 to address a problem that testimony and history shows doesn't exist?

Please send another email to ALL legislators (they can all vote so they all need to hear from all of us) -- 'cut and paste' the list of email addresses provided below into the 'bcc' portion of an email from you (one email for the senate, one email for the house) -- and tell them "At a time of $5 billion deficits, there's no justification to spend $360,000 of taxpayers' money to address a problem that clearly doesn't exist. The initiative process is ours, not yours, LEAVE IT ALONE. Vote no on anti-initiative bills HB 1668 / SB 5297."

Friday, February 18, 2011

CPS In The 2011 Session

Yesterday Senator Maralyn Chase (D) and I met with Senator Debbie Regala (D) for the second time on issues pertaining to the budget and Child Protective Services.

Senators were asked by Senate Ways and Means Chair Ed Murray to step forward if they were interested in working on any particular part of the budget. We were given general categories from which to chose. One dealt with social services. I checked that and then put CPS in the margin.

Murray's idea was a good one. But the test of that will be in seeing what becomes of the suggestions.

Regala was chosen by Murray to meet with the only two who stepped forward on this area of the budget....Chase and Roach. We independently gravitated to this area.

I signed up because I know we can do a better job with less money!

Chase is a liberal Democrat who moved up from the House in the '10 election. I am a conservative Republican. As far as I can tell, we are in 100% agreement on CPS issues.

Chase came to her realizations the same way I did. We worked for our constituents and discovered horror stories! ...damaged families and accountability...etc. The stories we have are the same except the names are different.

Much has been covered. Stop the lying in the court rooms...get a system of accountability in place...give grandparents standing in the courts (that alone would save millions and millions though protectors of the system will argue otherwise. There is more, of course.

One Child A Month Dies Under The "Care" Of CPS (2)

2/17/11 P.I. On-line
Wash. court says siblings can't file death claims

(In this starvation case the adoptive "mother" who was vetted by DSHS got just 3 years in prison for torturing and killing a child. Read it a weep. I will call today to see if I can find out what happened to the employees involved. Ed.)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The adoptive siblings of a 7-year-old boy who died of starvation in the care of his adoptive mother can't sue for wrongful death, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The estate of Tyler DeLeon had filed wrongful death claims against the boy's primary care physician and his psychiatrist and also alleged they were aware of the boy's injuries but failed to report them under the state's mandatory reporting law.

The high court affirmed a Spokane County Superior Court decision to dismiss a portion of the case against Dr. David Fregeau, the Rockwood Clinic, and psychiatrist Sandra Bremner-Dexter. But the Supreme Court said the doctors could be sued for failing to report the abuse.

The state Department of Social and Health Services and three employees also were sued, but the agency separately agreed to pay more than $6 million to Tyler's estate and other foster children in a 2008 settlement.

Tyler weighed only 28 pounds when he died Jan. 13, 2005, the day he turned 7.

His adoptive mother, Carole DeLeon, was sentenced to six years in prison after entering a plea to criminally mistreating Tyler and another boy in her care. She was released last year after serving half of her sentence.
The lawsuit on behalf of the boy and his adoptive siblings cites an extensive history of abuse complaints and health concerns regarding foster children at the DeLeon home, including broken bones, knocked-out teeth and withholding of food and water.

Tyler's adoptive siblings are considered second-tier beneficiaries under the state's wrongful death law, which means they can recover damages under that law only if they were dependent upon him for support. Their lawsuit against the doctors argued that they did depend upon him because DSHS provided $717 month in adoption support to Carole DeLeon for Tyler.

The doctors argued, and the Supreme Court agreed, that Tyler's estate and his adoptive siblings were not financially dependent upon them. The high court said "DSHS provided separate payments to Carole DeLeon to supplement her support of other children in her home."

"I knew that we had a tough case to make, but I thought it was worth the effort since I think not compensating Tyler or Tyler's estate for what he suffered through is just wrong," said Allen M. Ressler, a Seattle attorney representing the plaintiffs. "The legislation as written right now makes no sense to me."

Justice Gerry L. Alexander concurred with the majority opinion, signed by eight justices, on the issue of whether the siblings were qualified to bring wrongful death claims. But he dissented with his colleagues on whether the doctors could be sued for failing to report child abuse or neglect.

The majority said the mandatory reporting law doesn't explicitly provide a civil remedy against a practitioner who fails to report suspected abuse but said it was implied as a means of enforcing the reporting duty. Alexander said the conclusion contradicts what the Legislature intended, which was to make it a misdemeanor crime to report child abuse.