Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Here’s my hope for a student who was living in poverty

Imagine that you are a fourth grade teacher working in an economically deprived school in the foothills of western Maine. You teach in a small town where the factory and farming jobs that used to be the economic engine of your community no longer exist. In this once thriving community, many parents now struggle to find jobs that pay a living wage. Many parents struggle to buy school supplies and clothes for their children.

More >> Here’s my hope for a student who was living in poverty

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Abuse allegations dominated Biddeford news

Allegations of child sexual abuse against two now retired Biddeford police officers dominated the headlines this year.

More >> Abuse allegations dominated Biddeford news

Friday, December 25, 2015

Maine school reverses decision on ‘Hello Kitty’ Christmas tree

“The Christmas tree that has been the focus of this discussion does so, and is therefore appropriate for the school setting,” he said.

More >> Maine school reverses decision on ‘Hello Kitty’ Christmas tree

Study: Maine is 5th in US in School Broadband Access

Maine is the fifth-best state in the nation when it comes to equipping its schools with quality Internet connections, according to a study from a national nonprofit advocacy group.

More >> Study: Maine is 5th in US in School Broadband Access

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Maine's Outrageously High Foster Care Psychiatric Drugging Statistics Revealed

A new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request just revealed that 23.1% of Maine’s foster children are being prescribed mind-altering psychiatric drugs and that 9.2% percent of foster children are on at least two of these drugs at a time

More >> Maine's Outrageously High Foster Care Psychiatric Drugging Statistics Revealed


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Maine's DHHS Child Welfare Department makes the Ripoff Report!!

I am seeking justice to file a class action lawsuit against Maine's CPS/DHHS for failing to abide by a court order to reunify my son. It was their responsibility from December 2012 until August 2013 and they did nothing when my weekly visits were stopped with my son coming to visit my other children and me!

More >> Maine's CPS/DHHS Maine Department of Health and Human Services I am seeking justice because CPS/DHHS failed to abide by a court order in reunifying my son! Portland Maine

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bangor teacher says she was ordered to remove Christmas tree from classroom

A long-time math teacher at Bangor High School said on her Facebook page that she was ordered by the principal on Friday to remove a small Christmas tree from her classroom.

More >> Bangor teacher says she was ordered to remove Christmas tree from classroom

Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Maine KIDS COUNT

The 2015 Maine Kids Count Databook paints a comprehensive picture of how children are faring in Maine in comparison to children both regionally and nationally. The data acts as an effective indicator for which policies and practice are working and which policies and practice are failing. It is the hope of the Maine Children's Alliance and the Annie E. Casey Foundation that this concrete evidence can aid policy-makers and advocates alike in creating a better Maine for our youngest citizens.

More >> 2015 Maine KIDS COUNT

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Paul LePage: “Hungry Kids Grow Up To Be Better Workers, Food Stamps Make Them Fat And Lazy”

The federal government has warned that Maine could face sanctions after breaking federal and state laws by mismanaging its food stamp program under Gov. Paul LePage (R). “If the department’s goal is to make more people hungry, the strategy is working,” wrote David Farmer of the Bangor Daily News on Monday. “Under LePage and Mayhew, more people are hungry and the department isn’t doing its job.”


More >> Paul LePage: “Hungry Kids Grow Up To Be Better Workers, Food Stamps Make Them Fat And Lazy”

Friday, December 11, 2015

Husband of Parkman day care owner faces seven counts of child sex abuse charges


NEWS CENTER spoke with Piscataquis District Attorney Christopher Almy on Thursday. He said "We became aware of it recently when parents of some of the kids complained to both state police and the Sheriff's office that the children at the daycare center had been enticed in to exposing their privates to the owners husband." 
More >> Husband of Parkman day care owner faces seven counts of child sex abuse charges
Always remember; Pedophiles who haven't been caught yet are great at passing their background checks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Foster Mom Reflects on Family Unification, Separation

This article was written by Mary Callahan, she was a foster parent who led the efforts to reform Maine's child welfare system after the death of a young foster child named Logan Marr.

I also had Mary's help with my own case back in 2004.  She is a big part of the reason I won and I am forever grateful.  
My daughter called yesterday with some exciting news. She has decided to go back to school to be a social worker. I almost choked. I see social workers as the people who ruined her childhood. She sees them as the friends on the other end of the phone who got her through it. 
More >> Foster Mom Reflects on Family Unification, Separation

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Maine Voices: Parents who won’t vaccinate their kids need a shot of common sense

As I read in the paper that many parents are refusing to let their young children be vaccinated to prevent serious diseases, I can’t help wanting to share my concern for the consequences to their children, and for the risk it causes for immune-compromised children whose health may depend on not being exposed to these all-too-common diseases. My concern is based on memories of how much my childhood was affected – you could say “crippled” – by one case of pertussis (then called “whooping cough” because of the persistent, rasping cough it caused).

More >> Maine Voices: Parents who won’t vaccinate their kids need a shot of common sense

Maine CDC: Tests fail to link children’s E. coli cases to Oxford fair

The E. coli infection that killed one Maine toddler and hospitalized another in October cannot conclusively be tied to the county fair both boys visited, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.

More >> Maine CDC: Tests fail to link children’s E. coli cases to Oxford fair



Attorney: High court will question Maine’s wrongful birth law

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will be asked to interpret Maine’s wrongful birth law, amid a lawsuit from a Newport mother against a health care clinic and pharmaceutical firm over the failed implementation of a birth control device, according to her attorney.

More >> Attorney: High court will question Maine’s wrongful birth law

Maine signs NH company for standardized tests

The Maine Department of Education has signed up New Hampshire-based Measured Progress Inc. for new statewide English and math tests given to students in third through eighth grades.

More >> Maine signs NH company for standardized tests


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Judge blasts DHHS, acquits Rockland mother in child assault

A 30-year-old Rockland woman accused of kicking her 5-year-old son in the face was acquitted of assault Wednesday afternoon as the judge sharply criticized the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and police for what he called shoddy investigative work.

More >> Judge blasts DHHS, acquits Rockland mother in child assault



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Planned Parenthood and Abortion Clinics Want to Force Maine to Pay for Abortions

Abortion advocates and the ACLU are suing the state of Maine this week in an attempt to force taxpayer funding of abortion.

More >> Planned Parenthood and Abortion Clinics Want to Force Maine to Pay for Abortions

Merck : Wrongful birth? Maine mother sues drug company over contraceptive

Kayla Doherty believed she was being responsible when in February 2012 she went to a government-owned medical clinic in Albion to have a long-lasting birth control device implanted in her arm.

More >> Merck : Wrongful birth? Maine mother sues drug company over contraceptive


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Family reunited after fight against child abuse charges

Congratulations to this family.  I hope the future is good to you, and I know how cold and heartless these child stealers can be.
More than a year after a Bath father was accused of abusing his infant son, he and his wife have regained custody of their children after claiming he was wrongfully accused. 
More >> Family reunited after fight against child abuse charges

Studying sex education standards in Maine

Teachers are getting creative when they're teaching students about sex as they try to balance state guidelines, parents opinions, and getting kids to open up.

More >> Studying sex education standards in Maine



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Waterville School Board votes to dismiss Reiter



The Waterville School Board voted 6-1 to fire high school principal Don Reiter, who's accused of asking a student for sex.

More >> Waterville School Board votes to dismiss Reiter

Overseas Instagram message leads to Camden middle school lockdown

An Instagram message from overseas led to a temporary lockdown and heightened security at the Camden-Rockport Middle School on Monday morning, but in the end, police and school officials said there was no threat to students.

More >> Overseas Instagram message leads to Camden middle school lockdown

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Home schooling resources abound for Maine families

Babette Cohen-Solal, 15, may seem young to be a teacher.

But don’t tell that to the teenagers who followed her lead as she sang and signed energetically to the song “Yellow Submarine” during an American Sign Language class held at the First Baptist Church in Belfast.

More >> Home schooling resources abound for Maine families

Monday, November 9, 2015

At least 15 students punished after a week-long sexting contest was discovered at a Catholic high school

Students at a Catholic high school in Maine were punished after officials discovered that boys were competing to collect the most sexual photos of teenage girls in a week.

More >> At least 15 students punished after a week-long sexting contest was discovered at a Catholic high school

Monday, November 2, 2015

Maine ranked one of the best in nation for rules limiting student restraints

It gave Maine one of the highest scores in the country for the following:

  • its comprehensive level of regulations,
  • its limiting of restraints and seclusion to emergencies that involve potential harm to students or others,
  • its requirement that parents be notified every time children are subject to restraints or seclusions,
  • its prohibition of restraints that restrict breathing, and
  • its prohibition of mechanical restraints like straps, handcuffs and bungee cords.

More >> Maine ranked one of the best in nation for rules limiting student restraints

Sunday, November 1, 2015

OUR OPINION: In Maine and elsewhere, poor students being left behind

A college education has never been more valuable or necessary, and the link between early childhood education and later academic achievement has now been firmly established.

More >> OUR OPINION: In Maine and elsewhere, poor students being left behind

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Maine Falls Behind New England States in Reaching Uninsured Kids

Maine continues to fall behind other New England states when it comes to getting health insurance to children. A new report from the Georgetown Center for Children and Families ranks Maine 37th in the nation for kids without health insurance.

More >> Maine Falls Behind New England States in Reaching Uninsured Kids


EDUCATE MAINE RELEASES 2015 “EDUCATION INDICATORS FOR MAINE” REPORT

Educate Maine, a business-led education advocacy organization, released its third statewide snapshot of Maine’s education pipeline - early childhood through postsecondary - at a press conference at the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. "Education Indicators for Maine 2015" reports where Maine students stand within ten education indicators, compares them to students throughout New England, and connects benchmarks to each indicator. This year’s report finds both progress in some areas and a widening achievement gap among students from lower-income families.

More >> EDUCATE MAINE RELEASES 2015 “EDUCATION INDICATORS FOR MAINE” REPORT

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Our View: Burgeoning cost of child care cripples Maine families

The staggering cost of a college education has received a lot of attention recently, and rightfully so.

But in 33 states, including Maine, the cost of day care for an infant exceeds the cost of tuition at nearby public four-year institutions. The high price of child care is a burden for most families, especially those with multiple children. But it causes a particular struggle for low-income families and families led by single mothers.

More >> Our View: Burgeoning cost of child care cripples Maine families

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Prescriptions for Health: Children without health insurance a growing problem in Maine

Maine has a child health crisis on its hands. In 2010, 4 percent of Maine children had no health insurance. In 2014 that percentage increased to 6 percent. This means that 16,000 Maine children are currently without health insurance. The real tragedy is that most of these children do qualify for insurance coverage.

More >> Prescriptions for Health: Children without health insurance a growing problem in Maine


Strout: The Media’s Inexplicable Attack On DHHS

In the past few weeks, media outlets have slammed Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the growing number of uninsured children in Maine.

More >> Strout: The Media’s Inexplicable Attack On DHHS


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Maine parents call for gun sales background checks

 Dozens of parents canvassed the streets on Saturday morning in Portland to gather signatures to get a gun referendum on the November 2016 ballot.

More >> Maine parents call for gun sales background checks


Thursday, October 15, 2015

State identifies Maine schools hit with chickenpox outbreaks

The state has released the names of three schools and a childcare facility where chickenpox broke out during the 2014-15 school year. While months have passed since the outbreaks occurred, the disclosure finally publicizes information that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has resisted releasing.

More >> State identifies Maine schools hit with chickenpox outbreaks


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Farmington daycare faces criticism after 2 children briefly disappear

Two 3-year-old children are safe after vanishing from a Farmington daycare. The Department of Health and Human Services is investigating. On Tuesday, the daycare owner spoke to CBS 13.

More >> Farmington daycare faces criticism after 2 children briefly disappear

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Maine CDC director supports strengthening state’s vaccine laws

Kenneth Albert wants to make it harder for parents to opt out, a position that may help the "informed consent" bill survive a possible second veto by the governor in 2017.

More >> Maine CDC director supports strengthening state’s vaccine laws

Country music singer calls on LePage to do more for foster kids

Country music singer and songwriter Jimmy Wayne on Tuesday called on Gov. Paul LePage to do more to help the state’s foster children, advocating policy changes that would allow foster children to remain in the system until age 21.

More >> Country music singer calls on LePage to do more for foster kids


Exemptions make it too easy to skip mandatory school vaccinations

Maine’s philosophical exemption from required school vaccines is vague and has led to dangerously low immunization rates in some parts of the state. It should be eliminated. But Vermont’s experience with eliminating its philosophical exemption could offer Maine a cautionary tale. 
More >> Exemptions make it too easy to skip mandatory school vaccinations


Monday, October 12, 2015

Forced Removal of Native American Children From Parents Exposed in 13 Minutes

A 13 minute documentary about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), set up in Maine to investigate the forcible removal of Native American children from their homes over many years, debuts today.

More >> Forced Removal of Native American Children From Parents Exposed in 13 Minutes



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Maine Voices: Let’s declare Indian wars over

During the tenure of the Maine State-Wabanaki Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where we bore witness to testimony of the destruction of native families, communities and culture through unjust child welfare policies, it struck me hard that for so many of us, we’ve had our own culture erased from our souls. 
More >> Maine Voices: Let’s declare Indian wars over
The only problem that I have with this is that the Wabanaki aren't the only ones whose families have been destroyed through unjust child welfare policies.  Sure it's a different set of issues when you talk about the racial divide, but it's all the same baby-stealers.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Group proposes taxing top 2 percent to help state meet education funding law

A group of parents, teachers and business leaders, frustrated with the state’s continued failure to fund K-12 education to the point required by law, has launched a push to help the state meet that requirement by taxing the highest-income households.

More >> Group proposes taxing top 2 percent to help state meet education funding law


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Maine principal defends canceling dances over ‘grinding’

The principal of a Maine high school is defending a decision to cancel school dances, saying conflict had arisen between staff, students, and parents over students’ “grinding” at the events.

More >> Maine principal defends canceling dances over ‘grinding’



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Parents want answers after toddler dies from E. Coli visiting Maine fair

The parents of a toddler say their son passed away after contracting E. coli at the Oxford County Fair in Maine.

More >> Parents want answers after toddler dies from E. Coli visiting Maine fair

Our View: Kids falling through cracks in MaineCare coverage

Maine is the only state in the country where the number of uninsured children has risen significantly since 2010: from 4 percent of children in the state that year to over 6 percent – or about 16,000 children – in 2014. Which happens to be four years after Congress passed a measure aimed at offering all Americans more health insurance options.

More >> Our View: Kids falling through cracks in MaineCare coverage

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Maine releases chickenpox outbreak records after Press Herald sues

The state on Friday released the names of three schools and a day care center where chickenpox outbreaks occurred during the 2014-15 school year, the result of a court settlement between the Portland Press Herald and the Department of Health and Human Services. 
More >> Maine releases chickenpox outbreak records after Press Herald sues
Yes, the state likes to keep their secrets and the news paper likes to make mountains out of mole hills.  Prior to this, they were making it sound like the great plague.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Health experts call for collaboration to reduce number of drug-affected Maine babies

At a daylong conference in Portland, doctors and other health care providers say treatment specialists, police, the medical community and others need to work together.

More >> Health experts call for collaboration to reduce number of drug-affected Maine babies

Monday, September 28, 2015

Maine Credit Unions donate $25,000 to fight childhood hunger

For the third year in a row, Maine's Credit Unions have made a significant donation toward feeding hungry children. 
More >> Maine Credit Unions donate $25,000 to fight childhood hunger
Gee, I hope they don't have too many of these anti-welfare people as members of these credit unions.  They might get mad.

Bucksport man writes memoir about custody dispute

A local man has written a book about a custody battle between himself and the Child Protection Division of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

“Sky: Child, Interrupted,” is a memoir by William Dale West.

More >> Bucksport man writes memoir about custody dispute

Mayor Robert McDonald from Lewiston: ‘Name and shame’ welfare recipients so special needs kids will stay out my state


Robert MacDonald, (ie. Mayor McDickhead) mayor of Lewiston, said on Sunday that he wanted to publish a registry of welfare recipients because he was annoyed by disabled children coming to the state for help. 
More >> Maine mayor: ‘Name and shame’ welfare recipients so special needs kids will stay out my state
Leaving aside the asinine notion to publish the names of people on welfare to a website...

As the parent of a special needs kid, who has gone through all the hell of dealing with public schools, special education, physical restraints, social workers, IEP's, complaints against top administrators, cover-ups of child abuse, falsified documents, arm twisting and threats to report me to DHHS for refusing to drug her on several different pills and as retaliation for complaining about an incident where my daughter had to be checked for a concussion, etc, I gotta ask where this idiot gets his information?  There is nothing great about any special education system in Maine.  Especially Lewiston's.

Sure they mean well and think that they're only trying to help, but having lost sight of the fact that kids are kids, it's now all about medicating the kids to keep them quiet and docile during all day kindergarten time and identifying families where trouble could be brewing to feed the states cash cow of a child welfare system.

Mayor McDonald is obviously out of touch with the current educational financial trends as well.  Just think about how much money the schools would loose if he got all the special needs kids out of his state which is in direct opposition to the current trend of diagnosing more kids with special needs so the schools can qualify for more federal funding through the DOE and Medicaid which pays for more normalization services such as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, etc, thus pumping more federal money into the schools which isn't all dispersed to the welfare sucking parents of the special-ed student, as Mayor McDonald would have you believe.  The loss would be tremendous to any town and many schools couldn't survive without this extra money, and many professionals who work with these kids would be out of a job.

You are a bad parent if you question their "state as parents" authority.  They prefer parents who will just give their kids the meds and kids on Medicaid are much more likely to be diagnosed, go figure.

And my special needs kid was born here.

Therefore if, like Mayor McDickhead says, you are a parent of a special needs kid coming to Maine for the special education services, then you are just as ignorant and stupid as he is.

And you're feeding your kid to the dogs.  So there.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Advocates: Health Insurance Eligibility for Maine Kids 'Not a Very Clear Process'

According to U.S. Census Bureau data released last week, Maine is the only state in the nation where the number of uninsured children has increased significantly since 2010.

More >> Advocates: Health Insurance Eligibility for Maine Kids 'Not a Very Clear Process'

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Portland school officials hear parents’ concerns about bus route safety

Changes to Portland’s new school bus routes are unlikely, according to some of the roughly 25 parents who met with Portland School Department officials on Wednesday.

More >> Portland school officials hear parents’ concerns about bus route safety

Monday, September 21, 2015

Maine schools vulnerable in vaccine debate, but hands tied

Parental rights to opt out remain strong after a bill to make it harder was vetoed, leaving districts with few options for getting more students inoculated.

More >> Maine schools vulnerable in vaccine debate, but hands tied

They should make up their minds.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Questions Mainers should be asking about explicit Facebook posts

As Maine State Police detectives continued to search this week for the person or persons who posted dozens of naked photos of underage girls from across Maine on Facebook, advocates for victims of sexual assault encouraged the teens and others to remember they were victims of a crime and should seek support if necessary.

More >> Questions Mainers should be asking about explicit Facebook posts


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Maine Voices: Maine has the tools, grit to eliminate state’s quiet crisis of child hunger

It’s fall, and schools across our state have welcomed students back to the classroom. The start of the school year is an exciting time for every community, a time many of us look upon fondly. But while most students are ready to learn and do their best, some are facing a monumental challenge: hunger.

More >> Maine Voices: Maine has the tools, grit to eliminate state’s quiet crisis of child hunger


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Law enforcement provides free car seat checks to parents

Dozens of children are riding safer thanks to free car seat checks provided by Maine law enforcement agents.

More >> Law enforcement provides free car seat checks to parents


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Anti-vaccine trends revealed in Maine's coastal clusters, private schools

Laura Blaisdell’s youngest son just started second grade at their local school in the Willard Square section of South Portland. He’s her second boy to head off to the Dora L. Small Elementary School in this comfortable coastal neighborhood, about a mile from the beach. 
More >> Anti-vaccine trends revealed in Maine's coastal clusters, private schools

Maine Voices: Civil disobedience begins at school

This month has brought the start of another school year in Maine and, on that momentous occasion in all guardians’, parents’ and children’s lives, the annual newsletter, handbooks and expectations welcoming students back.

More >> Maine Voices: Civil disobedience begins at school

Friday, September 11, 2015

Are parents refusing vaccines at your child’s school? Now you can check.

For the first time in Maine, parents can easily look up vaccination rates at their local elementary school. The Maine Center for Disease Control publicly released the data for the 2014-15 school year, revealing how many children were exempted from school-required vaccines — and for what reasons — in kindergarten and first-grade classes.



Maine DHHS to hold sham seminar to discuss impacts of prenatal substance abuse


So here comes the LePage Administration all concerned for families now after cutting successful drug treatment programs under the guise of welfare reform and trying to do away with treatment options such as Methadone and replace it with Soboxone instead of adding it to the states arsenal of tools to help people.   Here he comes concerned for the babies born addicted while piss testing parents in an effort to boot them off welfare.
The conference is the latest initiative by the LePage administration as it grapples with Maine's drug epidemic. 
More >> Maine DHHS to hold seminar to discuss impacts of prenatal substance abuse
I'm sure anybody who attends this seminar will hear about how the state is adding more police and making jail cells available for addicts.  

You'll hear talk about the need for more foster homes but little about helping the kids by helping their parents by making treatment options and good supports available or anything.  You'll hear nothing about how much more this approach costs, just that the legislature should provide more funding to support policies that punish rather than treat addicts and destroy families rather than help the children.

The event will take place on September 30th at the Seasons Event & Conference Center in Portland.


155 Riverside St. 
Portland, Maine 

Contact Nikki Busmanis at Nikki.busmanis@maine.gov or (207) 287-2816.

New standardized test results for Maine public schools are in, but they reveal little

Scores were down last year, but because the Smarter Balanced test was only used once, comparisons with results from other years are largely meaningless. 
More >> New standardized test results for Maine public schools are in, but they reveal little
They should do away with standardized testing altogether.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Schools release early due to hot classrooms

School districts across the state released students early from school Wednesday because school officials deemed the temperatures in the classrooms were too high for student and teacher safety.

More >> Schools release early due to hot classrooms




Kids today have it too easy.

Senators question FDA decision on Oxycontin for kids

Angus King
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Maine Sen. Angus King, and New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shahaeen and Kelly Ayotte, are calling for an investigation into the Food and Drug Administration's recent decision to approve the use of the painkiller OxyContin by children as young as 11-years-old.

More >> Senators question FDA decision on Oxycontin for kids

Don't do drugs... Here take this...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Biddeford mayor vows to stop disruptions of council meetings

Biddeford’s mayor is vowing to crack down on disruptions of City Council meetings by critics of the city’s response to sex abuse allegations, and has accused them of using the issue to further their own political aims. 
More >> Biddeford mayor vows to stop disruptions of council meetings
Yes we know.  They'll do whatever they want to our kids and we can't do a damn thing about it.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Parents’ lawsuit says Maine DHHS failed to protect children from abuse in Lyman day care center

Legislative approval is needed for the lawsuit filed last month by parents whose children attended the now-closed Sunshine Child Care and Preschool. 
More >> Parents’ lawsuit says Maine DHHS failed to protect children from abuse in Lyman day care center
It's probably a good thing that the legislature has to approve any lawsuits against Maine's Child Protective Services.  God only knows how much the taxpayer would be paying out for the fraud, incompetence, corruption and abuse of families and children that Maine's most easy targets often suffer at the hands of sadistic, power hungry and very often clueless social workers.  

On the flip side, this will just make CPS Workers more likely to crack down on innocent daycare providers, because they're paranoid and will rather be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Explicit photos of girls reappear repeatedly on Facebook pages

Police say the use of the social media site for this purpose, which in this instance includes at least some girls from Maine, is rare and has magnified the problem.

More >> Explicit photos of girls reappear repeatedly on Facebook pages



New push to crack down on school bomb threats in Maine

In December 2014, an e-mailed threat closed Windham schools for three days. A 16-year-old student was charged with eight counts of terrorizing. 
More >> New push to crack down on school bomb threats in Maine
The next step will be like in England where the schools have to report potential terrorists just because a teacher doesn't like the parents political beliefs.

Lyman daycare parents sue Maine DHHS

Several parents who sent their children to the now-defunct Sunshine Child Care and Preschool in Lyman have filed a civil complaint against Maine Department of Health and Human Services and several of its bureaus, alleging the agency was negligent in how it handled reports of abuse, licensing violations and other complaints against the daycare and its owners, Cheryl and Dan Dubois.

More >> Lyman daycare parents sue Maine DHHS

Friday, August 28, 2015

In surprising turn, Maine toddlers had nation’s highest vaccination rate in 2014

In a stunning turnaround, Maine has gone from the middle of the pack in vaccination rates for 19- to 35-month-old children to the highest in the nation in 2014, according to new figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More >> In surprising turn, Maine toddlers had nation’s highest vaccination rate in 2014


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Statutory change to @parentalrights by Maine Supreme Court is very scary

This is another opinion on the Vaccination issue in Maine.
What happens when a parent’s statutory right to make decisions comes against a court order to the contrary? If the child is in the custody of the state of Maine, the answer is very much up to the judge. 
More >> Statutory change to @parentalrights by Maine Supreme Court is very scary 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How Maine’s childhood poverty was changed by the Great Recession, in one interactive map

The number of American students in high-poverty school districts, as defined by having more than 20 percent of their students below the federal poverty line, increased during the Great Recession from 15.9 million to more than 26 million, according to a new report.

More >> How Maine’s childhood poverty was changed by the Great Recession, in one interactive map


Maine Supreme Court proposes change to juvenile restraint in court

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is seeking comments from the legal community and the public on a proposed rule change that would limit the shackling of juvenile defendants in criminal cases.

More >> Maine Supreme Court proposes change to juvenile restraint in court


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Parents, residents unhappy with alleged overcrowding on SAD 27 bus

Parents in St. Francis were well aware their children would be bused to Fort Kent when they voted last week against appropriating local funds to keep the community’s elementary school open. 
More >> Parents, residents unhappy with alleged overcrowding on SAD 27 bus
Back to school is going to keep me busy I'm afraid.

'Super Lice,' Secrecy and Back To School Fear Mongering In Maine

Okay, so the following article is from Florida, but mentions Maine as a state where the problem being discussed is also taking place.  That problem being Head Lice that have developed an immunity to the current treatments that we have for them.
Scientists that study lice populations across the country have reported that the bugs found in at least 25 states have developed into creatures that are quite resistant to common over-the-counter treatments. The researchers reported those findings to the American Chemical Society this week. 
More >> 'Super Lice' Lurk As Kids Head Back To School
Here's another article from Maine, but I had to search it out because it didn't just pop up in the news feeds.
Just in time for the kids to go back to school a new study has found 25 of the 50 states have head lice that have built up a tolerance to normal treatments making them immune. 
More >> Treatment Resistant Head Lice Found in Maine
Fortunately, this is not the end of the world, as according to the article, there are still prescription treatments that are effective, and lice don't carry disease like ticks do, which the media has been going off about as recently as today, but that's not the point.  

The problem is in the way the State of Maine Center For Disease Control will handle it.  They will monitor the situation.  They will identify the schools and families with the head lice outbreaks.  The media will sooner or later jump on it.  School nurses will call parents and parents will go to the doctor for treatment, or shave the kids head so there is nowhere for the little buggers to hide, whatever.  If they don't solve the problem quickly, a social worker might show up to inspect the home and move along the process among other things.

What they won't do is notify the public of where the outbreaks are so that parents can make the schools take preventative measures. The schools will still make all of the kids hang their jackets up together, and all of their backpacks will be stuffed into the same corner.  Who knows what could be lurking in some other kids backpack, head lice, bed bugs, cooties...  (Twilight Zone Theme here)

It will be just like when they failed to notify the public of where the Chicken Pox outbreaks were back a couple years ago, forcing the Propaganda Press Herald to take them to court on a Freedom of Information Act request.  
The Maine CDC has refused to release the names, citing privacy issues, but the newspaper says information about outbreaks of infectious diseases would help the public avoid exposure. 
More >> Press Herald sues to force state to identify schools that had chickenpox outbreaks
And yes, no matter how clean you are, sooner or later your kid will probably come home from school with head lice.   You could get head lice while trying on new cloths at your favorite high end clothing store.  You could get it from the person who sat in the seat on the plane ahead of you when you went on your trip to the Bahama's too.  There is really no way to escape it short of total isolation.

Bwa ha ha ha ha.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Biddeford mayor announces receiving letter about sex abuse allegations

The mayor of Biddeford says he has received new information regarding allegations made against the Biddeford Police Department.

More >> Biddeford mayor announces receiving letter about sex abuse allegations

Our View: The State Shouldn't Trample On Parental Rights

Under Maine law, parents who don’t want their children to be vaccinated can opt out, whether their objections are medical, religious or philosophical. 
But Maine’s highest court recently ruled that parents who lose custody of their children to the state also forfeit the right to make medical decisions for those youngsters – such as refusing immunizations. The court’s ruling is a sound one that recognizes the duty of state officials to do all they can to protect kids in their care. 
More >> Our View: Maine Supreme Court vaccination order protects boy in state custody 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Corrupt CPS/DHHS Maine: CPS HATES GOOD MOMS



Protect Your Family: CPS Hates Good Moms CPS Wastes Time Trying To Kidnap Kids From Non Offending Loving Homes for Adoption Industry While 15 Year Maine Foster Dad aka Scum Abuse Foster Child and Social Worker Negligent For Not Reporting It.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

‘No Child’ waiver means Maine can keep $48 million in federal school aid

Maine’s receipt Thursday of a waiver from strict federal education guidelines means state government and local school districts can continue to develop their own plans to improve schools without the risk of losing $48 million in federal funding.

More >> ‘No Child’ waiver means Maine can keep $48 million in federal school aid


Friday, August 14, 2015

Maine court system seeks panel to review guardian complaints

The Maine court system is looking for members of the public interested in sitting on a panel being set up to review complaints made against guardians ad litem. 
More >> Maine court system seeks panel to review guardian complaints
They will probably pick some lawyers or man-haters or something for this as it's usually the fathers who are complaining.  I suggest the guy who does this blog for this pannel, but who am I to make such a recommendation?

I will name two GAL's who should be booted from the GAL List though.

Judith Plano and Chris Dilworth.  Judith is a father hater who sides with the mothers, and Chris Dilworth will sign off on the states request to terminate a parents rights, just to get the GAL contract which he can keep until the kid turns 18.

Maine GALert

Maine Gets Three-Year Reprieve From No Child Left Behind Requirements

The state of Maine has won a three-year waiver from the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, which governs federal education policy for elementary and secondary education. The reprieve is drawing praise from state officials and educators.

More >> Maine Gets Three-Year Reprieve From No Child Left Behind Requirements


Maine tries to stop woman from fighting for her stolen child

Before you read this article, please understand that the woman who kidnapped her kids had her kids kidnapped by DHHS first.  She was trying to get them back.
A Maine woman convicted in February of kidnapping two of her children and driving them to South Carolina has asked to leave the state to engage in a custody battle. 
More >> Woman Who Kidnapped Kids Asks to Leave State
And if you would like to read more about Beth and her fight for justice... 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Maine court rules state could order child’s vaccination against mother’s wishes

The state acted legally when it ordered immunizations for a child in its custody against the mother’s wishes, Maine’s highest court ruled Tuesday. 
More >> Maine court rules state could order child’s vaccination against mother’s wishes


Maine takes the ethically dubious approach of using children as lead detectors

Isn't it just wonderful how the Propaganda Press Herald is looking out for the health and well being of our children while milking and inflating a health issue that would require property owners to shell out thousands of dollars to fix thus inflating rents and making it hard for people with kids to find housing?

I have already covered this issue during this recent propaganda awareness campaign against old housing, but there was a paragraph in this article which is concerning to me.

Instead of screening homes for the toxin, Maine takes the ethically dubious approach of using children as lead detectors. Once a child is identified as lead-poisoned, then the state conducts a home inspection, relocates the family if necessary and works with the property owner to fix the site.
First of all, the state does not relocate the person.  They force the Landlord to do it.  And what they call "working with the property owner to fix the sight" involves loans that the Landlord will ultimately have to pay back, adding potentially thousands of dollars in costs which will go back on any future renters.

More concerning than that, however is the line, "Instead of screening homes for the toxin, Maine takes the ethically dubious approach of using children as lead detectors."   

Enough said.

Monday, August 10, 2015

That nasty foster kid molester from Belfast Maine was indicted

A longtime foster parent from Belfast was indicted last week by the Waldo County Grand Jury and charged with gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact against a 9-year-old foster child.

More >> Belfast man accused of abusing foster child indicted

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Another OUR OPINION brainwashing attempt: Maine’s work with juvenile offenders breeds success

This sounds great and all, but they're probably more likely putting them in group homes and psych wards where they give them psych meds and call them better and sell the stupid people on what they want them to think works.
The state is producing fewer young inmates, giving youthful offenders a better shot at future success.  
More >> OUR OPINION: Maine’s work with juvenile offenders breeds success
The state does not make a good parent.  Never has and never will.  A few successful social programs aren't going to change that.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Juvenile detention center’s closure a sign alternatives worked

The closing of the Mountain View Youth Development Center marks an important turning point in how Maine treats its youngest offenders. Instead of sending children to a detention center, Maine has aggressively pursued alternatives, which is better for the kids and for taxpayers.

More >> Juvenile detention center’s closure a sign alternatives worked


Now they're going to harp on it until landlords stop renting to people with kids.

Now they're going to harp on it until the sheep scream out, "keep our kids safe" and the landlords stop renting to people with kids due to the liability risk.
The twin cities' rates of childhood lead poisoning remain at least three times the statewide rate, despite education efforts aimed at landlords.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Westbrook police have dropped the child endangerment charges against a mom who let her young daughter play alone at the park.


Westbrook police have dropped the child endangerment charges against a mom who let her young daughter play alone at the...
Posted by WMTW-TV on Thursday, August 6, 2015




Good, I was hoping that Maine wasn't going to give into the helicopter parent mentality.  It's the police's fault if the town isn't safe.  It should be the parents decision to let their kids play outside or not.  Not the police.

I haven't come across any related articles yet, but will post them as soon as I do.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Maine Lead Paint Panic

So I've come across 2 articles with one coming from many different sources, as if it were released as a press release.  These articles have to do with the led paint issue, which I've brought up before.  This is certainly an issue that warrants some concern, as would anything that effects the health and well being of our children.

They like to fluff the problem to cause a panic though.  So here we go.
Experts know the solution is to remove lead paint from homes or maintain it so it doesn't chip, peel or break down, but officials have taken a cheaper approach that means lead poisoning will persist. 
More >> Despite state law, thousands of Maine children still suffer from lead poisoning
The problem I have with this is the way the state handles it.  When your doctor reports the issue to the state, they invite themselves into your home.  They inspect it thoroughly.  If you don't comply, they report you to Child Protective Services.  Either clean up the problem or face having the place condemned.  For homeowners it's very expensive to do.

Also, this woman, Susan Lee, from the CDC who calls you to inform you of the oncoming invasion is not very nice.

Most children with lead poisoning are from poor families who live in lower quality apartments.  The state does not help these people relocate to safer housing.  Nor are there any incentives for landlords to provide it, and it therefore becomes harder for people to find affordable rents.  Nor are there very many lead free homes in Maine.  Therefore we're all screwed.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

More Pathetic PR From The Only Scrutiny Free Department in Maine's DHHS

Here she goes being all morally superior again.
"There is nothing more important than any of us can ever do than to love a child and to help support them today to help ensure a brighter future for them tomorrow," said Mayhew.  
Maine needs more foster families  (FYI: I tried to post the video here but it didn't work.  Please click the link and watch so you know what I'm talking about.)
I swear to God if there was a fake sob story telling contest, Maine's DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew would be a shoo-in.  Especially after this little video from WCSH 6 where she continues this whiny foster parent recruitment drive that has been going on for the last few months.

And to bring in that poor sweet, clean-cut and brainwashed foster care poster-child, so full of gratitude, so happy to be in foster care, such a wonderful outcome...  
"I get to express what it's like living in a foster home and show that there is a savior. It's a great way to allow kids to actually have a life when you feel like there's nothing left," said Packard.
This is absolutely pathetic!

This is false advertising and phony public relations or deceptive marketing or whatever you want to call it.  This does a dis-service to the people of Maine by selling people who can't possibly handle a damaged kid, on a happily ever after fairy-tale.  They completely disregard the very real challenges that foster parents face with very damaged kids who come into their homes with tons of emotional baggage, physical ailments and behavior problems.  They also disregard the fact that many of these kids have loving but imperfect families who are fighting for them to this day, while the state continues to cut off the less costly services that used to help families stay together.  They disregard the fact that many of these kids are better off left alone than they are in foster care.

Interestingly enough, on July 16th of this year, (just 2 short weeks ago) WMTW 8 was doing the same thing by reporting that....
The Department of Health and Human Services said hundreds of people are taking steps to become foster parents after putting out a plea from the department's commissioner.  
 More Maine families opening homes to foster children  (2nd paragraph.  Check it out.  Unlike DHHS I never make any of this stuff up.)
The "hundreds of people who are taking steps to become foster parents" apparently aren't enough though because we need more.

The article features two wonderful gay men who opened their hearts and were raising a special needs teenager in their wonderful therapeutic foster home of happiness.  

And just a month ago, several wonderful grandparents who are raising many of these kids who the state takes away from their parents were in the news seeking more support from the state.

So we have all of these wonderful people helping out, which is great, but we have nobody asking why we suddenly have such a drastic increase in the number of foster kids in Maine.  We have nobody trying to find ways to solve that problem.  We have nobody bringing up the fact that the LePage Administration has been working tirelessly to cut off funding for services to families who need them under the guise of welfare reform.  I don't think most people even see it as a problem.  We even have the Channel 8 article claiming...
A 2012 study by the Foundation for Government Accountability found that Maine ranks in the bottom 10 states when it comes to re-unifying families,
which is obviously a major factor and a major problem that should be addressed.  Why?  Because it's what's best for these kids.  Most of them want to be with their families.  Nobody bothers to bring up the possibility that the state is taking too many kids and keeping them for longer than they should or not giving them back at all.  Often times families are desperately fighting for the return of these kids while the state pays it's lawyers to prevent reunification every step of the way and the media turns them into monsters.  It's absolutely shameful, and the pain and suffering that this agency causes for theses families and kids doesn't even begin to come into the discussion.
There is no scrutiny here.  We are simply left to assume that DHHS is on the right track while taking more and more kids from their homes at a higher and higher cost to the taxpayer without even questioning it, without questioning the struggles families are going through, without providing the services needed to keep the kids safe in the home.  
Of course, if this was a welfare program that could help to keep a kid safe in the home, like AFDC, Snap, General Assistance, a daycare subsidy or Medicaid, the LePage administration would be finding ways to cut it, streamline it, prevent drug abusers from accessing it and lower costs to the taxpayer.  But not the Department of Children and Families.  On the contrary, they were the only ones to get raises back in August of 2012 despite an across the board raise freeze for state workers in Maine that had been in place since 2009.   Governor LePage and Commissioner Mayhew felt it was important to give them a moral boost.   Also, back in April of 2012, when LePage called managers at DHHS corrupt, he obviously wasn't referring to child welfare workers.  Just everybody else at DHHS. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Maine has safe schools, but high bullying rates, website claims

I'll agree with this headline to a point.
Maine has safe schools, but high bullying rates, website claims
There are lots of bully teachers out there twisting the arms of parents to comply with the schools policies.



Monday, July 27, 2015

OUR OPINION: The Media Milks This Stuff

This morning I come across a few articles of stuff we've already been discussing but that you should read anyway.  Nothing that inspires any major rant or anything, so I'll share the links in one post.  

I realize the media has been milking these stories.  That's what they do.  It sells papers. Regardless, the more you know the smarter you'll be so read.

Let's start with the Annie E. Casey Kid Count report that just came out.  CentralMaine.com gave us one of those nice opinion articles that they use to try to sway public opinion.
The constant stress of living in a poor household affects the way a child's brain develops, but that's not the only thing that sets kids back. 
More >> OUR OPINION: To break cycle of poverty, start with Maine kids
You should read it.

Moving on...

The Marcy's Diner Drama continues with the experts weighing in from across the USA.  You should learn the proper etiquette when bringing your kids out into public so that your brats don't cause a social media firestorm.  
Last week a heated online exchange between a Maine restaurant owner and a mother of a fussy child became an international news story. Marcy’s Diner owner Darla Neugebauer screamed at the almost 2 year old disrupting other diners in her restaurant, and the offended mother posted a rant about the incident on Facebook. Neugebauer fired off an expletive-laden rebuttal, and people with and without kids commented on the posts, instigating a debate over whether parents and their children belong in restaurants. 
Restaurant etiquette tips for parents dining out with kids in San Francisco
 The idiots are also weighing in on this...
What if my bad parenting choices go viral? 
More >> I Am Terrified of Taking My Child Literally Anywhere
 but we must cover all the bases.

Finally, remember that case in Westbrook where the mother was charged with child endangerment for letting her kid play at the park?   Well, she was mentioned in an article in the New York Post.
Or how about the case just last month of Nicole Jensen in Westbrook, Maine? Her 7-year-old daughter was playing for an hour in the playground down the block — you can see it from the family’s porch. But someone called 911 to report an unsupervised child, and the cops swooped in. 
More >> Give parents back their rights to let their kids walk free
I personally think that the Westbrook cops were a wee bit overzealous in that case and should probably be fired for not keeping the town safe enough for kids to play outside in.

But that's just my opinion.    

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ayla Reynolds ruled out as match for 'Baby Doe'


Massachusetts State Police have ruled out Ayla Reynolds as "Baby Doe," the little girl found dead on Deer Island in Boston Harbor.

Missing >> Ayla Reynolds ruled out as match for 'Baby Doe'


So sad...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

No more kids in public!!! America's temporary obsession with a diner owner who yelled at a toddler.


So the news feeds are full of the story about the Portland diner owner who yelled at the 21 month old child to be quiet.  Everybody and her sister has an opinion on it.  The self-righteous helicopter parents are crying emotional abuse, while the arrogant and intolerant people without any kids are pushing for the permanent ban against parents bringing their kids to public places.

Sadly, this stigmata against parents of kids who are kids at times has led to parents going to some rather drastic solutions such as drugging kids on long flights where they would surely get antsy-pantsy.  This simply to avoid the backlash and dirty looks from others who would otherwise be bothered by the outbursts of your poorly parented and out of control but very normal infants and toddlers.

I too must admit to being bothered by other peoples kids at times.  For example, there were times back during my college days when I'd be sitting in a coffee shop reading from a textbook when some very distracting kids would come in.  Then again, I've also been bothered by that overly bearing mother who sits there telling little Johnny over and over in that annoyingly patient voice not do do everything.  "Johnny stop it.  Johnny be good.  Johnny don't do that.  Johnny eat your chicken nuggets."

At least I can sympathize simply from having been in that situation with my own kids, as I'm sure any parent who has ever had to drag a 2 year old out of a department store because the kid was throwing a fit because they didn't get the toy would.

This story has gone way overboard with nothing but arrogance from both sides.  The parents defend their actions and complain about the rudeness of the owner.  The owner complains about the parents and a screaming toddler.  The mother was shocked because somebody yelled at her kid.  The owner is shocked at the parents being oblivious.  There are two sides to every story.   Be the parents in this case right or wrong, the owner of Marcy's Diner probably could have handled it better too.

What's most surprising is the mother's disbelief that somebody would do that.  Some of these parents have to learn that they're not going to protect their child from everything.  Sooner or later they they will experience what really happens in the real world outside of the protective shelter of the helicopter parents.  But by then it will be too late.  Mom will be complaining about their little one being bullied at school, but only because she raised a victim.
Making national news was the last thing we expected on our quiet summer getaway to Maine this week.
More >> I’m the mom whose encounter with an angry Maine diner owner went viral. Here’s what happened.
Yes it's also true, some parents are oblivious to their own children's imperfections and wrong doings, but after you read this, you'll probably come to the same conclusion I do.  This mother is totally milking it.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PPH suing the state to identify the schools involved in a Chicken Pox outbreak

The Maine CDC has refused to release the names, citing privacy issues, but the newspaper says information about outbreaks of infectious diseases would help the public avoid exposure. 
More >> Press Herald sues to force state to identify schools that had chickenpox outbreaks
I believe that the Propaganda Press Herald is more interested in the big juicy story than they are keeping kids safe from infectious diseases.  

I also believe that parents have a right to know that their kids are going to school with disease spreading kids of anti-vaxers.  

Not everything they do is bad you know.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Portland diner owner defends yelling at crying toddler

The owner of a Portland diner is defending her actions that have resulted in a social media firestorm. 
More >> Portland diner owner defends yelling at crying toddler
Of course the mother is milking it.
Twenty-one-month-old Keira did clam up after that, which Neugebauer considers a victory, but mom Tara Carson said her daughter had only been crying for a few minutes and her child was traumatized by Neugebauer.
“I honestly didn’t think Keira was making that much of of a fuss, so to us, it came out of nowhere. We thought she was joking… It was just too unprofessional for reality,” Carson said. “Also, after waiting so long, I was definitely going to feed my child before going anywhere.”
More >> A kid cries in a restaurant. The owner yells at her. Now what? 
I'm sure this is all just one big over-reaction, but the kid was "Traumatized?"  OMG!  Please!  

Kids Count finds more Maine children living in poverty

Here we go.

Apparently Maine isn't as good of a place to raise your kids as we thought.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count report says the number of Maine children living in poverty grew from 42,000 in 2008 to 45,000 in 2013. 
More >> Kids Count finds more Maine children living in poverty
 And what was the big issue?
The report says Maine's child poverty rate of 18 percent in 2013 was higher than before the recession, when it was 16 percent.
Which totally sucks and shows that either the states current economic policies are failing or that parents are lazy and need to get up off their duffs and get better jobs!

 
  

Residency restrictions for sex offenders offer false sense of security

Old Orchard Beach is considering placing restrictions on where sex offenders can live in the seaside, southern Maine community. While such restrictions could make residents and visitors feel safer, registries and limits on where offenders can live and work haven’t been shown to make much difference in their two-decade history. Instead, a heightened focus on treatment and rehabilitation would likely be more effective at reducing the horrific crime of sex abuse. 
More >> Residency restrictions for sex offenders offer false sense of security
If they're so dangerous then they shouldn't be let out of jail.  It's as simple as that.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

And what are we offended by today? Funtown Splashtown USA!

See how one bad apple spoils the whole bunch?  Jumping to conclusions comes in many forms and the stupid people are so quick to do it.
Officials work to clear the Saco park's name online after an alleged bullying incident by staff at the San Antonio park, which has a similar name. 
More >> Outrage meant for Texas water park misdirected at Funtown Splashtown in Maine
It's probably just that the park in Maine came up higher in an internet search, which makes them victims of circumstance.  

Oh well.  What are you gonna do?

Owner of Portland diner defends yelling at screaming child

The owner of a Portland diner is defending comments she made on her Facebook page about yelling at a 2-year-old child for crying, screaming and disrupting her customers’ dining experience. The encounter happened Saturday. 
More >> Owner of Portland diner defends yelling at screaming child
Not sure how I feel about this one.  I've eaten at Marcy's more than 100 times.  The food is great.  I've never had a problem.  I am also a parent of a very difficult child, I know what a pain in the butt kids can be at times, but I'd also want to pop anybody in the nose for yelling at her.

Then again, I've always been a bit self-conscious about my kids behavior in public because it reflects on me as a parent in the eyes of others.  That is an unfortunate consequence of living in a world full of stupid people who don't understand the struggles some parents face while automatically blaming them for their children's behaviors instead of being empathetic to the struggles of being a parent to a difficult child.

I went onto the Restaurant's Facebook page and the debate was certainly on about this, but the post on the topic has apparently been removed.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Stolen Children of Maine: Native Wabanaki Seek Truth, Reconciliation Amidst a Cultural Genocide

My great-great-grandfather was brought into Taos, a city in what is now New Mexico, as a young Navajo boy around 1860. Slavery would soon be abolished, but at the time indigenous bondage was widespread. He was purchased—a typical price would have been 100 dollars—by Don Juan Santistevan, a Spanish man whose settler family had been in the region since at least the early 1700s. Santistevan had just lost his only son, and raised the Navajo boy as part of the family.


The Stolen Children of Maine: Native Wabanaki Seek Truth, Reconciliation Amidst a Cultural Genocide

Pro-DHHS Propaganda and Misinformation via WMTW Channel 8

So I come across an article by WMTW 8 that absolutely disgusts me because it is full of misinformation and Pro-DHHS propaganda that most people wouldn't have enough of a clue to pick up on.  

The article starts with the heartwarming happily ever after tale of a gay couple who have opened their hearts and their home to a teenage boy with autism and goes on to discuss the wonderful things that DHHS is doing for the children. I urge you to read the article with your truth detectors up then come back for my analysis.
The title of the article and the link: More Maine families opening homes to foster children
The subheading: State providing more resources to families
Let's take a closer look at this article starting with the subheading.  "State providing more resources to families."  I assume that means foster families specifically and not real families.  Especially since only last month grandparents were organizing and complaining that the state wasn't helping them with the cost of raising the kids who DHHS took away from the parents and placed with them.
Guardians, often grandparents, say they could use more support from the state as they try to raise children. 
More >> Maine kinship families forming bonds, seeking support
According to the Channel 8 article though...
"If you look at the state of Maine over the past decade we have made incredible strides in the right direction," said Director of Child and Family Services Jim Martin. 
Maine is a leader when it comes to utilizing kinship families. 
In 2000, nine percent of children in state custody where in the care of a relative. As of this year, that number had increased to 35 percent.
That 35% by the way, was in thanks to the Baldacci administration.  Child Welfare progress in Maine has actually gone backwards under the current LePage administration.  As recently as 2011 Maine still had somewhat of a right to brag, specifically during the 10 year anniversary celebrations of the death of a little foster kid named Logan Marr, Maine's child welfare system was telling stories about being a national leader in helping children to avoid foster care.  This was done by helping many of the parents who came into contact with child welfare services to be better parents.  It's much less costly to provide housing assistance or counseling or food to a family than it is to pay the lawyers, private agencies, court costs, shrinks and anybody else who profits off of the wards of the state.  

In a letter to the National Coalition for Child Welfare Reform back in 2011, for example, Dean Crocker, Maine's Child Welfare Ombudsman, discusses the progress that Maine had made in terms of keeping families together over the previous decade but prior to more recent events... 
As you have noted, it is in the best interest of a child to keep him/her in the home and with the family whenever possible and safe to do so. Caseworkers now emphasize this goal as they work closely with families, ensuring they receive the supports and services necessary to keep the child safe and the family intact. Reducing the rate of children who are placed in state care or custody has been a significant achievement of our program. In December 2004, there were 2,590 Maine children in DHHS state care or custody. In December 2009, the number in care or custody dropped to 1,650. During this time period, Maine saw a 38.3 percent decrease in the rate of children in DHHS care or custody.
GUEST BLOG: Foster care in Maine: More on one state’s transformation
But remember this was all before Governor LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mayhew took over and provided us with a Child Welfare policy shift.  Now they are desperately trying to increase the number of foster homes and services available for the kids who have been taken away.  

More recently we have Governor LePage's welfare cuts.  As a result there are less resources available for families at risk of being ripped apart by DHHS and less resources available for those who have been ripped apart to reunify then there were before LePage took office.  This has led to more kids being taken by the state and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew's request to the legislature for an additional $4.2 million dollars to cover the unexpected increase in the number of kids who have been snatched by CPS in Maine just a couple years after her and LePage took office.  

That is not the right direction.  But according to the Channel 8 article...
Mayhew said she hopes to achieve the goal of reducing the time children spend in state care with increasing immediate support and assistance for children and families. 
That is a total wishy washy crock of BS, and Commissioner Mary Mayhew damn well knows it.  This "support and assistance for children and families" would be considered to be welfare by Mayhew and LePage without consideration for the good they provide.  Welfare programs should be cut.  Therefore support for the kids families is basically on it's way out.  Even adoption subsidies have been put on the chopping block under LePage.  So no one is safe.

A recent example of these welfare programs that were or would be cut out of the budget by the LePage administration would be to drug treatment programs.  Many of these programs have been successful at helping parents to reunify with their children by helping them to clean up and keeping the parents involved in the lives of their children while they do.  It's less costly to the state in the long run to help the parents get back on their feet.  The kids ultimately and statistically end up with better outcomes then they do by being bounced through the foster care system.  Unfortunately, Gov LePage doesn't see it that way and is more interested in cutting off their TANIF checks.


"We want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to improve their outcomes. At the end of the day how do we define success on behalf of these children?" Mayhew said.
I honestly believe that she doesn't have a clue as to how to do that because at the end of the day, the money is often much better spent by providing support and services to families who need it and are considered at risk of child welfare intervention.  

The scariest thing that this article tells you though is that...
A 2012 study by the Foundation for Government Accountability found that Maine ranks in the bottom 10 states when it comes to re-unifying families, and 25th for it's foster care system as a whole.
That should tell you that none of these people have any right to brag.  They're just not trying hard enough to do what's right.  

They just should have left well enough alone.