Monday, October 15, 2012

Roach Campaigns for Romney in Battleground Colorado

This is the trifecta of presidential elections for me. I was in Iowa and attended the FOX News first Republican Presidential Debate and observed the Iowa straw poll in August of 2011.
In August of this year I attended the National Republican Convention as an elected delegate from Washington State.
And, now I find myself in the battleground state of Colorado, visiting grand kids and working for Romney. Here we are at one of the Douglas County Romney headquarters before door belling. Tomorrow we will be watching the second presidential debate.

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Location:Castle Rock, Colorado

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Women In Zambia

Today, I had some of the most amazing meetings. Thanks to the help of MP Mulama and Albert Munanga, and others I felt very prepared. When you are prepared doors open. If you know something going in there is greater mutual respect just plain learn more! A 300 level course is always more informative than a 100 level course, but you have to earn it.

My first meeting was with the YWCA in Lukasa. These ladies are amazing. They have a plan in working for women's rights in a country that has a tradition of strongly favoring men. We talked politics and about AIDS prevention, and domestic violence prevention, etc. These are all issues that I have encountered as a State Senator. Even today, I face discrimination from my own leadership. Abuses take many forms.

Later, I met with the Women's Caucus of the Members of Parliament. It was a huge honor to have been introduced by Mr. Speaker on the opening day of the Zambian Parliament! I stood and MP's gave me a few Here-Here's. Having met some of the women MP's previously, I was asked into the women's lounge and joined by several members. I told them about the National Foundation of Women Legislators and several other things.

Hon. Dorothy Kazunga (MP), Senator Pam Roach, and Jane Mwakasungula with the Development Research Group that is hosting my visit... outside the doors of Parliament. Note the Zambian seals on the doors.

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Location:Thabo Mbeki Rd,Lusaka,Zambia

Zambia: A Beacon of Democracy in Africa and the Death of Mama Betty K

When the revolution occurred in Zambia it was peaceful. No tribes fought against each other and none fought the British. And, last year, a peaceful change of power occurred when President Sata won election. Indeed, the former British colony of Rhodesia had grown the roots of democracy.

Each day has been very eventful as I am here at a time of events. Mama Betty Kaunda, wife of former president Kenneth Kaunda (KK) died last week. In her eighties she leaves a grieving nation and a physically drained husband who has been hospitalized while trying to take part in the decision of where the body will be interred, the capital or the home province.

After meetings I donned a wrappa (colorful material worn around the waist and long to the ground) and joined my new friends for the drive to the former president's retirement residence which over looks the savannah outside of Lukasa.

Zambians morn until the body is buried. I arrived to see several large temporary shelters set up to protect mourners from sun and rain.

I walked up very wide entry steps and signed the guest book. I removed my shoes and walked in to what looked like the living room with furniture removed. Mourning songs were being sung with perfect African harmony by women seated against the wall with legs straight out facing the room. I took my place on the floor. A woman sobbed in the corner, another woman nursed her baby. The music was something I didn't want to leave.

Outside again, a humble student group played a faster paced music. the drum and guitar were handmade. a shoe polish can was used as a fret on the base.

I met Mama K's fourth born son, a doctor. The press had followed me there by separate car. They listened as I offered condolences on behalf of myself and all Americans. We sat under the awning on a couch and talked for 10 minutes. I was then interviewed by the press. My attendance was reported on national television, ZNBC.

Taking pictures of this kind of experience is not something I feel comfortable doing. But, a friend did take a couple which, if discrete, I may post later.

The people will come through the night to pay respects. The next da
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Location:Lukasa, Zambia

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pam Roach In Zambia

Albert Munanga and I arrived in Lusaka, Zambia on Saturday afternoon to a greeting by a Member of Parliament, community leaders, and the Zambian press.

I had started the trip in Romania and by shuttle spent three hours on the road to Budapest. Then there was a flight to London and 10 hours in the airport until the 11 hour flight to Lusaka! As I received the flowers and was escorted to the press conference, I was surprised but glad to meet new friends and begin my mission.

That night I was on the national TV, ZNBC. I will try to add back in some of the print media when I get home. I am still working out the new IPad.

Albert is one of my constituents though he can't vote for me. He is a Zambian citizen. I met him in Olympia when he was lobbying me on long term care from the wings of the Senate floor. I liked him right off.

Quick to smile, smart, and fun, we decided that I should visit his country. That was a couple of years ago. He told me I would be welcomed and he was right.

That evening, MP Henry Mulama, drove us around the compound area of the city. There are no street lights but the dirt roads were occupied with many, many people. Headlights from the few cars were the only illumination. By day it is 35 degrees Celsius. It was cooler in the evening.

We dined in the MP's dining room at their motel complex. The Zambian Parliament would open on Monday and members were arriving from all the provinces. MP Mulama's 9 year- old daughter, Pauline, joined us and she and I decided to have chicken and chips. Albert had traditional food which I would catch on another occasion. I was having fun with Pauline!

Here are Pauline, MP Mulama, and Albert standing in front of the largest display of insect repellant I have ever seen! It goes clear to the end of the aisle. Malaria is a clear and present danger.

Below, I am with MP Mulama and Pauline. the blue sign reads "Members and Their Guests Only."

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Location:Thabo Mbeki Rd, Lusaka, Zambia

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pam Roach Meets Romanian Monk

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Gherisim is one of 25 monks who have devoted themselves to God and the Romanian Orthodox Church. He lives in the 12th century monastery which is in the Arad countryside.

He was 23 when he joined the order. He had a trade and served in the military but joined up for a different kind of army. I asked him many questions among them was to see his hands. They were swollen from years of work. He held them out to me to hold. The gardens are beautiful. Gherisim told us when they planted a new tree they dug the whole with their hands. Thankfully, Adrian, Paul, and Gabriel were there to translate.

When the communists took over they ransacked the place, tearing up even the floors, looking for gold and wealth. Today, they have a small museum and several small worship areas open to the public. It looks great.

As we lingered by the small gift shop (religious icons were the fare), Paul approached me. Gherisim had left and come back with gifts for me! he had declined to give them to me himself. He gave me two small laminated pictures, one of Christ and one of Mary and the infant, Jesus. The coin is a special item from the order. It is not a government coin.

Sides of the monastic coin given to me by the monk.

In one of the chapels.

Fresco on the chapel wall.

Beautifully kept gardens.

Plenty of alters.

Location:Arad, Romania

Romanian Gypsy And His Family


Monday, September 17, 2012

Pam Roach Helps In Romania...Then On To Zambia

I have been looking forward to visiting Romania for several months now. I am here with a health mission of the Seventh-day Adventists Church.  I arrived  Friday and met the group of eight already here. We are eating traditional food at the home of the pastor's family, staying at a pension, and today I visited the King's Castle.  I had no idea there was a king here in this socialist democracy. But, there is! King Michel lives in London most of the time. He is 91. During the Communist rule he thought it would be healthier somewhere other than Romania. This is the reason for his

Pam Roach In Romania

I am reporting today from Arad, Romania where I am part of a health mission sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I arrived in Budapest Friday afternoon and took a car shuttle for the 2 and a half our ride.

As in the states, Romania is suffering from drought. Without rain for over two months, the corn stands parched in the fields.  The thing I had never seen were the sunflower fields. Past harvest, only the tall stalks were left. Corn is harvested by ear from the field as are the flowers are harvested one by one. Farmers don't till the soil for the following year.

The best way to learn about a country is from its people.


On the way, a Romanian student studying in Denmark, told me about his family, income levels (the average is $300 a month) and his decision to leave Romania. He told me he knew he had to leave his comfort level if he was going to have a different life than that of his parents. He was used to living on very little so he has no problem working two jobs, being involved in student government, and studying marketing. (picture to come...) He was the first one to mention the gypsies.

I arrived in time for dinner. All meals are taken on the patio of a local Romanian SDA member who happens to also be a baker. SDA members are often vegetarians I have learned. All that we will eat is organic and traditional food. (pictures to come...)

Saturday was the Sabbath. Pastor Adrian from Renton SDA gave a sermon. Later we were all called up one at a time to introduce ourselves and to mention what we will be doing for the mission. I will be meeting the mayor of Arad and participating in a press conference. And, I will start the marathon! No, not by running but by signalling the start of the race. (pictures to come...)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Republican National Convention Pictures

WSRP Chair Kirby Wilbur, Dino rossi, Pam Roach, Jane Milhans, Colleen Wise, and others on the last day of the convention.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Iowa to Florida...A One Year Forced March!

This time last year I was in Des Moines, Iowa for the straw poll and the first Presidential Debate which was sponsored by FOX News. It was a surreal event.

The campaign nomination process started in Iowa and culminated here in Florida. Right now Speaker Boehner is speaking :)

"We Built It!" is the theme of our convention.   "Government was created to serve the people," Boehner is saying. It should not run us...we run it! That is the theme of our constitutions and I never tire of hearing that. It sets the tone of everything! It is a theme that you will not hear at the democrat convention. They are running away from Grassroots politics, not embracing it.

"I am proud to be an American, God Bless the USA," the singer is now singing. Everyone stands.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tampa On Hold, Scott Walker to Keynote WA Delegation Breakfast

I spoke with a Seattle reporter today and he asked about the weather in Tampa. Well, I'm from Washington! We have some wind and rain but nothing bad at all. For New Orleans and the surrounding area that will not be the case. All of us in Tampa are watching Isaac and praying for those in its path. Politics is second to the safety of others.

So, while the one day delay of the RNC was not needed,  "better safe than sorry." 

The major national nerworks had said they would not cover Monday anyway. I suppose the good news is that Ann Romney, who had been scheduled to speak on Monday will now be on stage Tuesday. She will be in primetime after all.

Today, delegation members explored Clearwater Beach and some went to see  the movie,  "2016."
The Gulf is choppy from the wind. And,  for contact lense wearers, the wind can really dry put the eyes!

Tomorrow, Gov. Scott Walker will be our breakfast speaker.

Republicans always like to see a gubernatorial win. 

P.S. OK, Walker did not make it to the breakfast. We had the mayor of Clearwater though!  Ok, Gov. Bob McDonnell of VA was there, too, and he was great!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Republican National Convention Update

Saturday late afternoon:

The Tampa Airport was jammed with arriving delegates, alternates, and guests. There were bands playing, welcome tables erected, volunteers stationed and exit doors adorned with "Welcome to Tampa RNC 2012."  Clearly, the potential for a storm has not cut the spirit of the occasion.

Washington is a blue (democrat) state and this is a red event. Many of us have postulated that our delegations distance to the Tampa Bay Times Forum is directly correlated to the color and political make-up of our state. Our delegation is 25 miles away in Clearwater!

Sunday brunch:

The Tampa Yacht Club was the location of our brunch. It was a great time to meet Republican people, party people, from around our state. As I write, we are on a bus going to Davis Island, touring the area, and learning the pirate history of this part of our country. I love the fact that Ft. McDill is located here. I like that idea because I like the area. And, there is the possibility of Capt. John and his family being stationed here. How cool would that be to have a place to stay while visiting?

We are in Tampa now. The guide just said, "If you look closely, you will see some of the snipers on the top of the buildings." I am not sure if that was suppose to be comforting! many of the D/T venues are closed for security reasons. The Hillsboro River is being patrolled by security. No other boats will be allowed on the river while we are here. The boats are small, with blue flashing lights. We just passed an eight horse mounted police patrol. There are units of State Patrol  National Guard, and local police. We are told the security has been up for a couple of weeks. The college is closed. The courts are closed....

The upside for Tampa comes with the publicity and the dollars spent by 50,000 visitors!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roach Successful With $2 Million In Budget For Rainier School

Last-minute reprieve for Rainier School money

Post by Jordan Schrader  The News Tribune on April 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

At Tacoma Community College, Gov. Chris Gregoire is getting ready to to sign the state capital-construction budget that contains more than $1 billion for one-time projects and will veto a handful of pieces.

This morning, $3 million worth of renovations to Rainier School was on that target list. Her legislative director even made a call to Sen. Pam Roach today to tell her the bad news: that Gregoire planned to cancel the proposed renovation of cottages where residents of the Buckley center for the developmentally disabled live.

The director, Jim Justin, said it’s because a study is looking at the future of all the residential centers. ”Why put money in for expansion if you’re not sure what you’re going to do with the facility?” he said.

But he said the office took another look and decided there was no expansion called for in the proposal. While it’s not a huge sum, it’s especially significant because Rainier School has been proposed for closure in the past, including by Gregoire. Spending new money on upgrades might help preserve it in the future.

“Once we start making financial commitments to Rainier then we will get the target off the back,” Roach said. So Roach was surprised when Gregoire’s office called her again later in the day to say the governor had reconsidered and decided against a veto. It’s “amazing” news, Roach said.

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: Gregoire said she made sure before deciding not to veto the money that it would not prevent future decisions such as closure of Rainier School. She also said she would veto a $600,000 study of the future of Rainier School that Roach had wanted. “I don’t see any reasons for that when we’ve got a study already that’s underway,” Gregoire said.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Enumclaw Patch Reports On Rainier Work

Roach Looks Ahead to Rainier School Study After Securing $3 Million for Capital Improvements

After placing the $3 million in funding for Rainier School Renovation Project into the Senate capital budget this week, Sen. Pam Roach continues to build support for the residential habilitation center in Buckley.

• By April Chan

• April 14, 2012

News that $3 million was headed toward a renovation project at the Rainier School in Buckley as part of a "Jobs Now" package passed by the state legislature was greeted with enthusiasm this week by local leaders including Rep. Christopher Hurst and Buckley Mayor Pat Johnson (read the story).

Meanwhile, it was actually Sen. Pam Roach who put the item in the Senate-passed capital budget. The money will be used to improve living quarters and supporting facilities, said a press release issued Friday from Roach's office.

"It was what I wanted if they wanted my vote," she said.

Roach, who in June 2010 (see her blog), formed an ad hoc committee to promote and save Rainier School from frequent efforts to close it and has for the last several years worked to secure the position of the Buckley facility.

"Pierce County wanted to tear down the facility and use it as a juvenile detention center," she said. "A threat of closure has been in existence for many years and putting the $3 million in that capital investment will help secure Rainier School."

With the state now investing in the physical condition of the Rainier School, Roach turns her attention toward the Rainier School Vision Development Committee that, though a funded study, will “create and submit to the legislature a long-range community vision and development plan for the efficient use of the Rainier School facility to best serve the needs of persons with developmental disabilities, including the establishment of a respite care center for families and other caregivers of persons with developmental disabilities.” The vision statement will be presented to the legislature and the Department of Social and Health Services.

The study committee consists of several stakeholders:

• The three legislators representing the 31st district;

• Two persons representing the cities of Enumclaw and Buckley;

• Two persons representing the chambers of commerce of Enumclaw and Buckley;

• Two persons representing the “Friends of Rainier School” organization; and

• One person representing the Pierce county developmental disabilities board.

In March, Roach announced that $100,000 was appropriated in a then Senate-passed bipartisan 2012 supplemental operating budget (read that announcement) for this purpose.

The final version of the operating budget passed this week now sets aside $600,000 for the project. Roach said she believes her 31st District colleague Hurst helped to increase the dollar amount. "While I had the language of the study committee, I do think he had something to do with that," she said. "I'll give him credit for that."

With the budget now with Gov. Chris Gregoire for review -- and vulnerable to section vetoes -- Roach said she hopes the funding for the study remains intact.

Meanwhile, she has held several community meetings and developed a common vision statement for Rainier School "about all the things we've thought of for Rainier School: how do you make it more viable, how can it be better integrated into the community, what services are offered at Rainier School and for the larger community of the developmentally disabled."

Roach said the effort to establish the long-term vision for Rainier School goes beyond the Plateau community. "I'm excited about it and I think it takes this kind of effort to put Rainier School on the map," she said.

Roach's past work has involved the support of many leaders in Pierce County, including the entire Pierce County delegation in the state legislature, she said. "Beyond that, we need the vision statement and the integrated thinking of the state legislature and DSHS."

Read more:

Sen. Roach's website with a Rainier School white paper (also linked to this story), fact sheet, FAQ and background on the Olmstead Decision over the rights of individuals to with disabilities to live in their community)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Roach Helps Rainier School during 2012 Session

Roach secures $3,000,000 for Rainier School improvements, plus study funding

OLYMPIA…As the result of a years long effort by Senator Pam Roach, (R) rural Auburn, $3,000,000 has been secured for capital improvements at Rainier School in Buckley. The money will be used to improve living quarters and supporting facilities.

Through Roach's efforts money was also included to fund a study with the end result to be a vision statement presented to the legislature and the Department of Social and Health Services.

Roach has held several community meetings and developed a common vision statement for Rainier School. “We needed to make the effort larger,” said Roach. “We need to involve the entire state in creating a long-term vision for Rainier School and our region.”

The new study committee consists of several stakeholders:

· The three legislators representing the 31st district;

· Two persons representing the cities of Enumclaw and Buckley;

· Two persons representing the chambers of commerce of Enumclaw and Buckley;

· Two persons representing the “Friends of Rainier School” organization; and

· One person representing the Pierce county developmental disabilities board.

The new law requires the committee to “create and submit to the legislature a long-range community vision and development plan for the efficient use of the Rainier School facility to best serve the needs of persons with developmental disabilities, including the establishment of a respite care center for families and other caregivers of persons with developmental disabilities.”

One of those greatly encouraged by this development is Bob Gee, the father of long-time Rainier resident Angela. Referring to the study Gee said “Finally we may be in position to use state assets like Rainier School to reach out to those living in family or other settings in dire need of long-absent critical services.”

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pretty Little One

Little Miri is still 2 years-old. She is far away but on my mind. I will buy her dresses, and bows, and books to read with her. We will go for walks and have short talks...about her pretty pictures...and what she likes to do.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's A Barn Raising!

As it turns wasn't really the old fashioned type of barn raising where with the help of neighbors you have it up in a day. hire a builder!

Instead of a hundred friends and neighbors...machinery does the heavy lifting.

Everyday it was a treat to see the progress.

On the top is a cupola (coop-a-la)

The cement truck pulls up and fills the floor except for the horse stalls where you will have dirt and mats.

In one of my best ideas of 2011 we painted the top while it was under construction and on the ground. We will have a family painting party when we get a stretch of warmer weather.
Final picture to come soon! Very soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ann Rule To Write About Washington CPS

Crime writer Ann Rule plans to write Susan Cox Powell’s story
Isabelle Zehnder
Missing Persons Examiner

PUYALLUP, Washington (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) -- Crime writer Ann Rule announced last week that she will be publishing a book about Susan Cox Powell, the young West Valley City, Utah mom who went missing in Dec. 2009.

Susan literally vanished without a trace. Three weeks ago Susan's husband, Josh Powell, set his rental house on fire killing himself and their two young sons in what police have called a double-murder-suicide. He was the only person of interest until his death.

Susan’s father, Chuck Cox, wants to make it clear that he and his wife do not wish to profit from the book. Rule made a contribution to the Susan Cox Powell Foundation, and any other money entitled to the family will be used to advance the foundation’s mission, Chuck said.

Rule told KIRO 97.3 radio, “This would be in the top five things that have shocked me over the last 30 years. A lot of parents kill their children to get revenge on an ex-spouse, but they usually don’t die themselves.”

Chuck says he is in support of the book because he believes it will bring attention to his daughter’s case. He wants people to know what went wrong during the investigation into Susan’s disappearance as well as shortcomings by Washington child welfare agencies. He believes those shortcomings include emphasis on family reunification over the safety of children. As a child and family advocate in the State of Washington, I agree wholeheartedly.

On Thursday Chuck, his wife, and their attorneys joined State Senator Pam Roach (R) at a press conference and town hall meeting in Olympia to discuss Roach’s demands for a review of child welfare policies following the death of Charlie and Braden.For more on Thursday’s hearing read: Coxes, attorney call for changes in Washington State’s CPS, DSHS systems.

Roach rightfully criticized the state’s approval of the children’s visitations with their father after concerns were raised that the boys had been exposed to pornography at the home of their grandfather, Steve Powell, where they were living for over two years with their father.

The boys died during a supervised visit with their father at his rental home in Graham. Josh lured the children saying, “I have a surprise for you,” dragged them inside, locked their social worker out of the house, attacked the boys with a hatchet, and then set the house on fire after dousing it with 10 gallons of gasoline.

Josh left messages to family members saying he couldn’t stand to live without his children, who had been placed in the custody of their maternal grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox, after Josh was investigated in a child pornography case involving his father.

Chuck said if he has to he will file a wrongful death lawsuit to facilitate change. He said he’s optimistic that he can make his points outside the legal system by working to revamp public policies. Chuck will have a tremendous amount of support in his endeavors as a great number of people have been crying out for change within the systems that are supposed to be there to protect children and so often fail them.

Chuck also said he doesn’t blame any of the case workers for what happened to his grandsons, and that he believes they had Charlie and Braden’s best interests at heart. A review of nearly 1,000 pages of documents from DSHS shows that to be true.

The Coxes will keep up the work of the Susan Cox Powell Foundation. The foundation was formed in 2010 to give support to other families with missing loved ones. Chuck is hoping to work with other foundations dedicated to families who have gone through a tragedy.

"When people have a difficult situation, they’ll know there is someplace to turn," Cox said. "I’m kind of excited about that, trying to make something good come out it."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thank You To All Who Helped With the Cox Press Conference

Chuck and Judy Cox were wonderfully brave and well spoken at the press conference. Thanks goes to the many citizens who participated in the comment period, attorneys Ane Bremner and Steve Downing, and to interested press who are helping to carry the message of changes needed at CPS.

Sen. Roach, Powell grandparents question Child Protective Services

Sen. Roach, Powell grandparents question Child Protective Services

Auburn Reporter
February 23, 2012 · 5:22 PM

Chuck and Judy Cox today joined Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, 31st District, in urging changes at Child Protective Services that they believe will help protect children.

Judy and Chuck Cox are grandparents of Charlie, 7, and Braden Powell, 5, who were murdered by their father, Josh Powell, on Feb. 5 at the beginning of what was supposed to be a state-supervised visit. Josh Powell let the boys in his Graham house, then blocked the social worker from entering. Moments later, the house exploded into flames.

During the hearing, the boys' grandparents, their attorneys – Anne Bremner and Steve Downing – Roach and members of the audience offered ideas to prevent what went wrong from happening again.

"Some of what needs to change will be up to the Legislature," Roach said. "Some of it can be addressed by the governor issuing a directive to the executive agency responsible for child safety in these matters, the Department of Social and Health Services."

Cox and his wife emphasized the need for grandparents to be given the same level of credence as a biological parent, pointing out that the boy's father was able to say anything during the custody process without having to back it up with proof.

"We had a feeling something bad was going to happen," Judy Cox said. "(The boys) did not want to go for the visit that day."

She said she wanted to call and say they were sick, but she and her husband were afraid to say anything for fear they would lose custody of the boys.

Roach and the attorneys for the Cox family emphasized that DSHS knew Utah's West Valley City Police Department was conducting a murder investigation based on Susan Powell's disappearance and that they were looking at Josh Powell as a suspect. The attorneys noted that search warrants had been issued in Nevada, Utah and Washington.

On Wednesday, Roach filed several bills to address the concerns in the Powell case and will be introducing legislation similar to what she offered in 2010, which gives grandparents standing in dependency proceedings.

Roach's new bills include:

• Senate Bill 6602 – creating child welfare transparency committees within each of the six DSHS regions. The four legislative caucuses, the attorney general and governor would appoint the six members.

• Senate Bill 6603 – preventing a child custody award to someone considered a suspect in an active murder investigation.

• Senate Bill 6604 – establishing what is to be contained in background information for guardians ad litem. The list includes a statement of financial affairs, number of years of experience, level of formal education and founded allegations of child abuse.

• Senate Bill 6605 – requiring Child Protective Services workers to be licensed social workers and bonded.

• Senate Bill 6606 – breaking the Department of Social and Health Services into the Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Public Welfare, and Department of Medical and Rehabilitative Services.

(Looks like the Grandparents standing in court was dropped from the list. I also want truthfulness guidelines like the State Patrol has adopted...then a CPS worker lying in court can be fired...just like a trooper would be fired for lying.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cox Family to Urge CPS Changes Today

Powell in-laws to discuss social services changes in Olympia
Josh Powell's in-laws are traveling to Olympia to discuss changes in how the state handles child protection.

The Associated Press

Most Popular CommentsHide / Show comments No comments have been posted to this article.
Associated Press from Seattle Times

OLYMPIA, Wash. —
Josh Powell's in-laws are traveling to Olympia to discuss changes in how the state handles child protection.

Chuck and Judy Cox plan to join Republican Sen. Pam Roach at a news conference Thursday. The Cox family had cared for Powell's two young boys until he killed the children and himself in a fire earlier this month.

Roach is introducing a measure that would prohibit a child custody award to a murder suspect.

Powell's wife, Susan, has been missing since 2009 but Utah authorities never publicly labeled her disappearance as a murder. Investigators also never called Powell a suspect

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Preparation for Cox Press Conference

Being up front in Olympia is not usually appreciated. I have found that characteristic to be lauded by the public, but really barely tolerated by members and others. It used to be seen as a breath of fresh air by the press, but they clearly like the more guarded legislator these days. Boring is better.

I want people to know what I am thinking. So, I initiated a call to the governor's DSHS policy advisor. She wanted to know what would be covered at the press conference. I told her what I thought the people in public comment might say about needed changes at Child Protective Services. I suggested that the governor could adopt most of the suggestions without implementing legislation.

I had a high ranking member of the Attorney General's staff in my office. We chatted about some of my observations of CPS performance. I have a detailed memory of the cases which I have investigated. I told him that the people wanted social workers who lie to the family court judge to be fired. He seemed to agree at least that perjury should not happen. He is only the messenger.

Washington Families United, Executive Director, Dave Wood, was one of my interviews. Dave is a hard core Democrat. He has traveled across the state advocating for families who have been wronged by the department. I will count him as one of the people who never gave up in trying to protect families by reigning in CPS. He has confirmed literally EVERYTHING that I have observed.

I had an unexpected conversation with a family court commissioner. I was looking for volunteers for the Romney campaign and stumbled across the judge. He agreed, if you lie in should lose your job. Judges cannot get involved in partisan races so the conversation had shifted to CPS.

Getting a good overview from different perspectives is, I believe, an important step in preparing for our press conference and public comment period.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

House Dems Budget Gives Away Taxing Authority

Much is being said about the House Democrat proposal to budget with a 25th month. Digging into the next biennium by taking a month's income prematurely puts our future at risk. But, let's not overlook another detail of the budget. It would give local government the authority to tax without a vote of the people.

So, Dems would cut the amount of state money given to local government (saving the money for themselves)....and then let the local elected officials tax the people at will to replace what the state dollars would have bought. Sounds like a shell game to me.

Erik Smith of the Washington State Wire recaps the WA House budget plan:

"The House plan also would give local governments the ability to raise taxes on their own, with up to a tenth-of-a-cent sales tax increase in the state’s seven largest counties, and two-tenths of a cent elsewhere. The taxes could be imposed by city and county councils and commissioners, without a vote of the people.

From Utah KSL: Child Protective Services Has Serious Problems WA Senator Says

Please cut and past for TV coverage. Thanks

SALT LAKE CITY — After Josh Powell killed his two sons and himself, a Washington State senator says Child Protective Services needs to be fixed.

Chuck and Judy Cox, the maternal grandparents of the Powell children, will join Sen. Pam Roach at a news conference and hearing on Thursday to discuss the issue. Attorneys for the Cox family will attend as well.

The purpose of the meeting is to explore what Sen. Roach calls "serious" problems within Child Protective Services in the state of Washington. It also aims to offer solutions to situations and actions that may hurt a child.

A public comment period will be held after the press conference.

In a press release posted on Sen. Roach' website she said, "Everyone in the room will have a story to tell. We are going to ask them, in short comments, what changes should be made in the way the department does business."

The meeting comes after the horrifying actions of Josh Powell in which he murdered his two sons during what was supposed to be a supervised visit by a CPS worker. Powell locked the worker out of the house, attacked the boys then set the house on fire, killing everyone inside. Powell's actions occurred two days after he was denied custody of his boys and was ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.

The Cox family now is considering a lawsuit against social service agencies in Washington for allowing Josh visitation with the boys when there were signs he had serious psychological issues.

A recently released psychological report on Powell reveals investigators found several hundred sexual images of cartoon characters drawn by Powell. Those images are one reason a judge in Washington ordered Powell to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation and take a lie detector test.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chuck and Judy Cox Join Pam Roach Regarding CPS

From the Auburn Reporter

Chuck and Judy Cox to join Sen. Pam Roach at conference, hearing
February 17, 2012 · 4:20 PM

Chuck and Judy Cox will join Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, in a news conference and hearing Thursday in Olympia, with the purpose of exploring the serious problems within Child Protective Services and offering solutions to actions that may cause children harm.

Attorneys for the Cox family, Anne Bremner and Steve Downing, also will be in attendance.

"CPS needs to directly hear from the public," Roach said.

A public comment period will be held after the conference.

"At the end of the meeting the department will be presented with ideas for change,"

Roach said.

"Everyone in the room will have a story to tell. We are going to ask them, in short comment, what changes should be made in the way the department does business," said Roach.

(Chuck and Judy Cox are the parents of Susan Powell and grandparents of Charlie and Braden Powell.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Roach Open Government Bill Moves Forward

The Auburn Reporter posted the following:

Roach bill to require web postings of public meeting materials passes Senate

February 16, 2012 · 5:01 PM

Pam Roach, R-Auburn, won full Senate support this week for her bill to require web postings of public meeting materials.

Senate Bill 5553 requires the governing bodies of counties, cities, towns, and special purpose districts that maintain a website to post regular meeting agendas at least 72 hours before the meeting. Special meeting agendas must be posted at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Along with the agendas, the text of any ordinance, rule or regulation to be considered at the meeting must also be posted. Meeting minutes must be posted within 15 business days after adoption.

Postings must remain on the website for one calendar year.

"People need to know what actions are going to be taken in time to prepare to testify and ask questions," Roach said. "My bill is about transparency and the people's right to know what their elected officials are doing- before they do it."

The bill provides exemptions for:

• Counties with populations under 30,000 and the special purpose districts and school districts within those counties.

• Special purpose districts providing services to less than 1,000 residents.

• Cities or towns with a population of less than 8,000.

• Port districts with three or fewer staff members.

Roach is a member of the "Sunshine Committee," a blue ribbon committee dedicated to government accountability and transparency, and tasked with making recommendations to repeal or amend exemptions to the Public Records Act.

2SSB 5553 is now before the House of Representatives for consideration

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Letting Kids Stay With Powell Was "Outrageous"

News | February 9, 2012
State senator says letting kids stay with Josh Powell was outrageous

Isabelle Zehnder
Missing Persons Examiner

PUYALLUP, Washington (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) – Washington State Senator Pam Roach (R) said it was “outrageous” that the court granted Josh Powell visitation with his sons and is asking to see what West Valley City Police shared with the Washington agency in charge of child welfare.

“This material should be made public,” Sen. Roach said. Her district includes part of the county where Josh murdered his children Sunday and died in the blaze he set at his Graham, Washington rental home. She said, “I want to see it all.”

This week Roach sent a public records request to the Department of Social and Health Services asking for materials WVCPD sent to the agency before the supervised Sunday visit.

On Sunday a social worker, following court orders, picked Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, up from their grandparents, Chuck and Judy Coxes’ Puyallup home to take them to their father’s rental home for what was to be a “supervised” visit. She was unarmed and alone with the children. She said the children were one step ahead of her as she approached the door.

(The entire article can be read at the

Continue reading on State senator says letting kids stay with Josh Powell was outrageous - National missing persons |

Friday, February 10, 2012

Utah Police Tried To Warn Washington Officials

On a hunch I called the police jurisdiction in Utah that has been investigating the disappearance of Susan Powell. I asked if they had communicated information about Joshua Powell to our children's services and they said that in fact they had. They were worried about the well being of the two young sons. The release is dated Feb. 1, 2012, the date of the placement hearing.

What I thought was so interesting is that it wasn't enough to send WA State the information, but that the Utah police felt they needed to send out a press release about having done so. It is almost like they felt they had to let the public the public could demand attention that the police in Utah felt would not be accomplished in WA State. For some reason, West Valley City, Utah police wanted attention to the fact they had sent they were worried it would not make a hill of beans difference to the authorities on Washington.... Yeah.

In the mean time it is day two and I still do not have a copy of the information sent.
West Valley City, Utah Thayle “Buzz” Nielsen
CONTACT: Sergeant Mike Powell-Public Information Officer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: February 1, 2012 Time: 17:19
The West Valley City Police Department is aware of the current child custody matter in the State of Washington involving Joshua Powell and his two children. During the course of the investigation into the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell, the wife of Joshua Powell and mother of their two children, the West Valley City Police Department discovered information specifically related to their children’s welfare. This information was provided to authorities in the State of Washington.

The investigation into the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell remains a priority for the West Valley City Police Department. The public is reminded there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Susan Cox Powell and encourages anyone with information to call the West Valley City Police Department at (801) 840-4000.
# #

Pam Roach And The Powell Case...NBC Tonight at 10 Pacific Time

Please tune in to Channel 5 tonight at 10 PM Pacific time to see the national NBC coverage of the Powell Case.

As the result of the following press release I was with the press all day yesterday. KSL radio in Utah, the Salt Lake Tribue, and the Deseret News were among the interviews. Please also see the release from the Utah police which I requested and which lead to my request of DSHS.

For immediate release For interviews contact:
Feb. 8, 2012 Sen. Pam Roach (360) 786-7660

Roach requests Utah police warning to DSHS in Powell case

OLYMPIA Under public disclosure laws Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, today formally requested information sent by Utah police to alert DSHS in the placement of the children of Susan and Joshua Powell.

The letter to Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams asked for the records at her earliest convenience.

The West Valley City, Utah, police department, in a press release dated February 1, 2012 indicated they had sent a warning to Washington regarding the placement of Charles and Braden Powell.

“It appears DSHS was forewarned about information regarding Joshua Powell and the treatment of his boys,” said Roach.

“DSHS needs to come clean with what they knew. Having information pertinent to the welfare of the Powell children, and not acting on it, may have actually contributed to their deaths,” said Roach.

Recent news reports from Utah indicate the investigation into Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance in 2009 has been conducted as a homicide investigation for at least six months. During that investigation correlated information unrelated to the death of Susan Powell, but concerning Joshua Powell and the children was discovered.

Please see attached West Valley City, Utah press release.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gay Marriage Will Be On The November Ballot...Only If The People Put It There

Referendums are not that common in Washington State. They come about when a bill is passed into law and the people want to repeal that law.

To do so the people must gather signatures and put the measure on the ballot for a statewide vote. There is another way. The legislature itself can send an issue to the people for a vote.

Tonight the opportunity to send the gay marriage bill to the voters by way of a referendum was defeated on a vote of 26 to 23. There were Republican Senators who helped defeat the referendum. Senator Cheryl Phlug was one of them.

Just now, as I sit at my floor desk on the Senate floor ...there are more press in the wings than I have seen in years. Tonight we will vote in gay marriage and then the presses will roll. That is...the presses printing the referendum petitions. Repeal of gay marriage referendums will make there way out to the people to gather signatures.

Only half as many signatures are required in a referendum as in an initiative. 150,000 will do it. That is the only way that voters will have any say in the issue of protecting traditional marriage. The legislature did not want the voters to decide this important matter. I will vote no on the bill before us. I support one man and one woman in marriage.

The bill passed 28 to 21 and the galleries exploded with cheers and sustained clapping. 7:58 PM and now the final gavel.

Sen. Pam Roach's Trip to Oil Fields Sparks Pipeline Push

Last fall visited Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada, the start of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil project. Yesterday, I held a press conference to announce a joiont memorial to Congress and the president urging the go ahead which is stalled in reelection mire.(Labor wants the jobs and enviros don't want what they say are risks...even though we have hundreds of oil pipeline already successfully crisscrossing this nation. I presented a resolution that I sponsored with the American Legislative Exchange Council. The resolution was passed unanimously among legislators from around the country.
I was joined by Senators Holmquist-Newbury and Benton who also spoke.

The News Tribune writes:

Sen. Pam Roach’s trip to oil fields sparks pipeline push
Post by Jordan Schrader The News Tribune
Jan. 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm

After touring a booming oil-producing part of Northern Alberta, state Sen. Pam Roach today handed out vials of oil sands to supporters of a pipeline project that President Obama has rejected.
Here’s Roach’s blog post on the subject, which details her October trip to Fort McMurray, Alberta, and meetings with members of the Canadian Parliament. She wasn’t allowed to take the oil sands on the plane, she said, but a gallon of them was FedExed to her.
The proposed pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast may be far from Washington, but Roach wants the Legislature to formally go on record supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline, citing jobs and national-security benefits.
Backed by the engineering union whose members would help build the pipeline, Republican lawmakers support a legislative letter to Congress modeled on one being pushed in multiple states by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. It’s unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
In rejecting the application, Obama said a timeline imposed by Congressional Republicans didn’t provide enough time to examine environmental risks.