Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Maine owes Wabanaki people sovereignty, respect. It’s long overdue

I remember reading, over the years, reports of the Truth and Reconciliation project in South Africa, which allowed black South Africans to finally speak out about the horrific treatment they received for so long from the white minority that descended upon their country and proceeded to reduce them to something approaching captives in their own land. It was painful to read their testimony to the incredible injustice and inhumane treatment meted out by the apartheid government.

More >> Maine owes Wabanaki people sovereignty, respect. It’s long overdue

Monday, June 29, 2015

Maine Parents can now be charged with the crime of letting their kids play outside

Keep your kids and pets on a leash or else!

Maine Parents can now be charged with the crime of letting their kids play outside.  

Apparently Westbrook Police has taken issue with the whole Free-Range kids thing.  This, in my humble opinion, is a pathetic violation of parental rights.
A Westbrook mother is upset with police after they picked up her daughter from a local park, but officers said the child was outside unsupervised. 
Westbrook mother upset after police pick up daughter, 7, at park
It should be up to the parents to decide if their kids are old enough to play outside by themselves.  It should not be up to the Nanny State to dictate it for them.

FYI, there was a big Whoop-De-Do in the state of Maryland that was finally concluded just last week when officials in that state ruled that letting kids play outside was not neglect.

Maine's DHHS: Taking Advantage of Grandparents

Maine's child welfare system is a total scam that will take advantage of anybody.
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
This makes me sick.  

Do you have any idea how much these people are saving the taxpayers?  Do you have any idea how much better these grandparents are for the kids than Maine's Foster Care System?  They are more stable, the kids don't bounce between so many different foster homes or schools, and they keep ties with their families and require less psychological counseling, medications or special education services and do better later on in life than do the kids in foster care.   

If the state is so concerned about these kids, as they so often make themselves out to be, then they should do everything possible to help these grandparents to make it work.  

A recent study from Tulane University explains it pretty well.  Kids need stability.  
And there was a time when Maine didn't rely on family members to take in abused or neglected kids and then there was a time when Maine was bragging about how well they were doing at it.
● Since 2001, the number of children taken from their homes has dropped by 30 percent, and the number of children in foster care on any given day has been cut in half.
● Under Concannon, Maine workers used to brag about their hostility to placing children with relatives instead of strangers.  As Casey’s report put it: “Adding to the overall misery in Maine’s child welfare system was a clear institution-wide prejudice against placing children with relatives.”   But now, Maine has nearly tripled the proportion of children placed with relatives; Maine now exceeds the national average.

And the progress continues.  Just this week, Time Magazine reports in its print edition that the Maine division of Casey’s direct services arm, Casey Family Services, has launched an “extreme recruitment” program to find relatives to take in foster children.  The program was pioneered in Missouri, and the story of how it works is beautifully told in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
● Most remarkable: The proportion of Maine foster children who are institutionalized has been cut by at least 73 percent.
In November, 2003, Maine had 28 percent of its foster children in group homes and institutions and only ten percent with relatives (and even that ten percent was an improvement over the Concannon era, when it was only four percent).  By now that’s reversed – 30 percent are with relatives and only ten percent are in so-called “congregate care” – making Maine one of the best in the nation at avoiding such placements.
The independent child welfare ombudsman has found that the reduction in substitute care has come with no compromise of safety. He strongly supports the reforms.
It all prompted Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to make the transformation of child welfare in Maine a finalist for its prestigious Innovations in American Government awards.
Here's a letter from Maine's Child Welfare Ombudsman to the NCCPR that talks about the benefits of kinship care over foster care.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bill to search bags of children in residential care becomes law

A bill sponsored by an Aroostook County legislator seeking to allow administrators of children’s homes or residential care facilities to search the backpacks or travel bags of the residents was passed into law this week.

More >> Bill to search bags of children in residential care becomes law

Friday, June 26, 2015

Franklin County child abuse rate among highest in Maine

Franklin County is one of three counties identified as having the highest rates of child abuse in the state. Androscoggin and Somerset counties are the other two, according to data released from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. 
More >> Franklin County child abuse rate among highest in Maine
What this means is that DHHS is going to go on the prowl for imperfect parents in Franklin County.  Innocent parents will be targeted, and the social workers still can't tell the difference between child abuse and a hole in the ground.

CPS will also take more kids and blame it on opiate addiction or something.

Claim that LePage 'Blackmailed' School Shocks State Lawmakers

Oh my!
Maine lawmakers are reacting with shock to accusations that Gov. Paul LePage threatened to withhold $500,000 in funding for a charter school unless the organization that runs the school removed Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves as president. 
More >> Claim that LePage 'Blackmailed' School Shocks State Lawmakers

Friday, June 19, 2015

Embracing diversity stressed at Maine Child Welfare Conference - The Sugar Coated Version from the BDN

The keynote speaker at the 21st annual Maine Child Welfare Conference told the story of how well-meaning and loving relatives didn’t accept that her child, who is half black and half white, needed to be treated differently when it came to her hair care.
Embracing diversity stressed at Maine Child Welfare Conference
Nok-Noi Ricker, the author of the above article who works on the staff of the Bangor Daily News apparently failed to mention, in her article about embracing diversity in regards to children of different races, anything about the Wabanaki and the findings of evidence of cultural genocide that Maine's Child Welfare System has been guilty of for years.

So instead of telling the truth that we should all know, such as how they are going to change the system to better serve all children including the Wabanaki and keep in line with the Indian Child Welfare Act, we get this Attention Diverting, Sugar Coated waste of newspaper space that makes for much more lighthearted reading.

I did contact Nok-Noi by email and asked her about this. Here's how the exchange went.
to nricker

In your article about Embracing Diversity at Maine's Child Welfare Conference, you forgot to mention that Maine's child welfare system routinely engages in cultural genocide of the Wabanaki people.

You didn't even mention them. 
Perhaps you should stop sugar coating the child welfare issue and tell the truth.

She quickly responded with this...
to me

Reporter Nick Sambides did an entire story on that issue over the weekend, so I was told to focus on the diversity. 
Sent from Ricker's iPhone
(she was told what to wite?) So I asked her...
to Nok-Noi 
Was the Wabanaki TRC even brought up at this conference?
She replied...
to me 
I don't know. It was the last item on the day-long conference agenda. I was called away at noon because police spotted the wanted murderer up in Guildford. Sorry I can't provide more assistance.
Of course all any good reporter would have to do would look at the conference brochure that I assume she got, and see that the issue was in fact brought up, but apparently they'd rather have you believe that the most serious racial or cultural challenge facing DHHS is teaching white people how to properly care for a black child's hair, not that that's not important.  People who care for children should know how to properly care for any child.

But in light of the cultural genocide that has taken place in Maine for years, I think it's at least worth a mention.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Officials: Kids setting fires is a problem in Maine

The State Fire Marshal said on average there are 300 fires each year started by children. There have been two this week alone.

More >> Officials: Kids setting fires is a problem in Maine

Maine Senate Narrowly Rejects Abortion Consent Bill

By a single vote, the Maine Senate rejected a bill Wednesday that would have required a specified adult to give consent before a minor can obtain an abortion. 
Maine Senate Narrowly Rejects Abortion Consent Bill
This basically means that your 14 year old can get pregnant and get an abortion without telling you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Maine House OKs bill aimed at boosting vaccination rates

The Maine House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill aimed at making it harder for parents to forgo vaccinating their children. 
More >> Maine House OKs bill aimed at boosting vaccination rates

Maine ranks one of worst states for teen driving

Maine is considered one of the worst states for teen drivers, according to a recent study by WalletHub, a popular finance website.

More >> Maine ranks one of worst states for teen driving

House nixes bill to outlaw discrimination of unvaccinated

The Maine House has rejected a bill that aims to outlaw the discrimination of people who choose not be vaccinated.

More >> House nixes bill to outlaw discrimination of unvaccinated

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Governor tries to block of speaker of house from new job

Maine's Speaker of the House Democrat Mark Eves is getting a new job and Gov. Paul LePage said he shouldn't get it.

More >> Governor tries to block of speaker of house from new job

Monday, June 8, 2015

Maine Senate approves standardized testing opt-out bill

The measure, rejected by the Legislature's education committee, would strengthen parents' rights to have children sit out during standardized achievement tests in public schools. 
More >> Maine Senate approves standardized testing opt-out bill 

Child Temperament Research Project at Bowdion College

If you are the parent of a child between the ages of 18 and 36 months, please help with our new research project on development and parenting. Participation involves completing questionnaires for about two hours at your home, and mailing them back to us. Participating parents will receive a $15 gift card.

Use the link below to send us your information if you are interested in participating:

You can also call (207) 725-3105 or email Hannah Broos at hbroos@bowdoin.edu or Carly Lappas at clappas@bowdoin.edu for more information. Also, please like our Facebook page, Bowdoin College Toddler Temperament Lab, for more information about this study and further information on toddler temperament.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Maine House OKs bill to provide parents with standardized test opt out rules

The Maine House has given initial approval to a bill that supporters say will ensure parents know their right to opt their children out of standardized tests.

More >> Maine House OKs bill to provide parents with standardized test opt out rules

Friday, June 5, 2015

Maine Parents Protest DHHS Child Stealing Policies in Portland

A small group of parents and grandparents along with members of the group Anonymous met in front of the all new DHHS office in Portland / South Portland today to protest DHHS's unfair child snatching policies.   

These people brought Maine into a much larger group collectively being known as #OpExposeCPS.

DHHS has long been known for their trampling of parental rights as well as their poor care of foster children.

I'm sure this isn't the last we'll be hearing from these people.  Things need to change.  

More from around the country.

Veto protects Maine homeschoolers

The governor of Maine came to the defense of homeschooling families recently when he refused to sign an education bill he described as "an invasion of the government into family matters."

More >> Veto protects Maine homeschoolers

Thursday, June 4, 2015

There’ll be no hunting age limit in Maine starting in 2016

Governor Paul LePage has signed into law a bill that repeals Maine’s minimum hunting age of 10. Beginning on January 1, 2016, kids of any age may hunt in Maine, with adult supervision.

More >> There’ll be no hunting age limit in Maine starting in 2016

Attn: Sheila Droege - Former Maine DHS Social Worker from the Biddeford Office

Dear Ms. Droege

I am happy and proud to let you know that yesterday my wife and I got to watch our beautiful daughter graduate from High School.

Of course, if you had your way we never would have seen her past the day she was born.  Perhaps you've forgotten that day back in 1996 when my wife was 5 months pregnant.  You came into my home backed by the power of the all mighty Maine Department of Human Services (later to be known as DHHS).  You were following up on another case from her previous relationship.  I had nothing to do with this earlier case with her son who you had custody of and she was fighting for, but you dragged me in anyway without as much as giving me the slightest opportunity to show you that I wasn't the bad guy.  I understand why I was involved in this, but you just assumed that I was bad because I fell in love with this woman and she loved me.

Perhaps you have forgotten how you smiled at me in the midst of the psychological beat down you were putting my wife through and said, "We're probably going to take your baby right from the hospital."

Sadly, years later on this wonderful day that was all about my little girl growing up, I though of that moment with you in my home so many years ago.  I know how close I was to not seeing this or any of the other major milestones in her life.  I have to thank God for allowing me to be there because had you had your way, I wouldn't have.

I have never forgotten those words of yours.  They haunt me to this day.  I remember the look on your face. I could tell you were enjoying yourself.  I remember the ugly orange hunting vest you wore and the bulging hips in the jeans that were too tight.  I remember what I wanted to do to you at that very moment.  I told you, "that wouldn't be in your best interest," and you took it as a death threat.  It may have been a poor choice of words for me, but you had just threatened us.  You had just shattered my world.  You triggered my fight and flight response, but I didn't run.  I remember how you then tried to destroy my character by making me out to be dangerous psychopath whose soul intent was to hurt you and who should never be around a child.

Fortunately, I'm a better man than that.  I was a father who felt the need to fight for his family.  I fought you and won.  I did all the right things and yesterday it all paid off because that little baby that we had to fight so hard to keep emerged into a beautiful young woman and we got to see it.  We got to be the ones to guide her along the way and I thank God for the privileged.   She hasn't gone a day without a roof over her head and she has never had to go without a meal, she's never been abused, she's never been in any trouble with the law, never done drugs or smoked, she's smart and talented and healthy, she will be starting college in the fall.  

We did it despite you although it should have been your job to support us.  You should have helped us to make it work and only acted against us had we given you a reason to believe that she was in danger.  That just wasn't your way.  You turned what should have been one of the happiest moments in our lives into a nightmare.  But we did it.

You were a real inspiration to me.  Your words forced me to define myself and helped me to become the man and the father I am today.  You destroyed my faith in the courts and the government of my state.  You taught me to question authority and to watch my back every step of the way.  I learned how to fight a corrupt and evil system thanks to you.   You changed my path in life.  You inspired my social activism and my website that exposes people like you, but you didn't destroy my family.  I couldn't let you.

The only thing left that bothers me about all of this is that we weren't the only family who you touched during your career at DHS.  I can't claim to know what your track record was, but I know the kind of person that you were at that time in your life.  It disgusts me to know that people who do such an importand job working with children and families would employ a monster like you.  My heart goes out to those who didn't get to see this day with their own kids because of you and those like you.  I know there are lots of them because I hear from them every day.

Peace Love and Flowers

The monster you created

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Maine Experiencing Record Number of Chicken Pox Cases

Maine Center for Disease Control officials say the state is experiencing a record number of chicken pox cases for the 2014-2015 school year. 
More >> Maine Experiencing Record Number of Chicken Pox Cases