Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. "Well," trainer said, "when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free."

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn't, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.


CA - Fountain Valley seeks to ban sex offenders from parks

Original Article

10/03/2012

By CURT SEEDEN

FOUNTAIN VALLEY – Registered sex offenders who have committed crimes against children will be prohibited from entering parks in Fountain Valley, the City Council decided Tuesday.

The council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance, modeled after a county ban, but defines "park" to include other recreational areas where children may be. The city's ordinance also differs from the county's in that it specifically targets sex offenders who have committed crimes against children.
- WTF?  We have the federal government making laws, states, cities and counties as well?  No wonder all these laws are hard to understand!  Everybody wants to do it their own way.

The vote was 4-0 with Councilman Larry Crandall absent.

The Orange County District Attorney had recommended that cities adopt an ordinance that prohibits all registered sex offenders from being in parks where children may be present. Bans have already been adopted in Westminster, Irvine, La Habra, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Yorba Linda, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Costa Mesa and Seal Beach.

The Fountain Valley council conducted a study session on April 17 to discuss concerns about sex offenders frequenting parks and preying on children. At the study session, council members were briefed about recent sex offender incidents, including at Mile Square Park on May 5, 2011, when a registered sex offender entered that park in violation of the terms of his probation.
- So you are making a law to punish all ex-offenders due to the deeds of a few?  And how many incidents can you tell us about, that occurred in a park?  I am sure it's less than 5.

Susan Kang Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney's Office thanked the council for addressing the issue, but urged council members to delete the portion of the ordinance that refers to sex offenders who have committed crimes against minors, noting that the county ordinance prevents all sex offenders from entering county parks.
- It should be only for those who committed their crime in a park, not all ex-offenders.  If we made all laws affect everybody the way sex offender laws do, we'd all be in prison.

The first reading of the ordinance approved Tuesday applies to all parks in the city and the portion of Mile Square Park known as the Fountain Valley Sports Park and Recreation Center.

"It's the right thing for us to do for the people in our community," Mayor John Collins said. "It's a positive step. You have to be proactive in life to make sure we don't have a problem later on."
- So lets just ban all guns, and anyone who owns one, throw them in prison!  Many criminals have killed people using guns, so why not be proactive and ban guns from existence?  Might as well!

In California, convicted sex offenders have been required to register with the state since 1947. According to city-data.com, there were 19 registered sex offenders living in Fountain Valley as of August 2011.
- Yep, the registry came to be about the time Hitler was in power, and he had registries as well.

The City Council is expected to vote on final approval of the ban at its Oct. 16 meeting.


PA - The Justice Conference (2013 Promo)


MA - LPD Chief Encourages Residents to 'Remain Calm' Concerning Sex Offenders

Original Article

10/03/2012

By Jonathan Pickering

Before the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 1, Lexington's Police Chief Mark Corr addressed a recent rash of calls concerning sex offenders and the idea of a new bylaw to restrict Level 3 offenders.

Police Chief Mark Corr went before the Selectmen Monday night to talk about the rash of calls they have been getting concerning a Level 3 sex offender hanging around school yards, soccer fields and public places in Lexington.

Corr began by setting the facts straight: The chief noted that many of the reports of sex offender sightings have been unsubstantiated.

Amid the rash of 911 calls that came in last Thursday reporting sex offender sightings, one caller was insistent that a Level 3 sex offender was outside a school event taking photos of children. That individual was not the Level 3 offender residents claimed he was, Corr said, but the police investigation identified the man as a parent from the visiting team.

Those calls came after Lexington Police recently circulated a Waltham man’s detail flyer to Lexington Center businesses, schools and other organizations, and the Bridge School's PTA last week sent an email to parents reporting William Lafauci approached two kids on their way to Bridge Elementary School.

In his remarks at the Town House on Monday night, Corr sought to explain how residents can handle their suspicions and without sparking hysteria, as anxious parents have.

My mantra to the community is remain calm, get informed and make informed decisions,” he said. “A Level 3 sex offender in the community is not new.”

Corr addressed the concerns of skeptical parents concerning the particular offender in question, who has sparked concern by hanging around soccer fields and restaurants around Lexington Center.

We do have an individual that can be cavalier, which has raised concerns,” he said, later adding, “We cannot be an extension to violate people's civil rights, but we want people to call us that are concerned and we're here to answer any questions.”

Corr then said it's easy for suspicion to term into hysteria in these circumstances. “Our kids pay attention to what their parents do,” he said, explaining that if parents get excited and begin to place unnecessary blame or suspicion on people, then their children will emulate this behavior.

A New Bylaw?

Late last week, there was chatter of a proposed bylaw being added to warrant for the special Town Meeting coming up this November, which could potentially restrict the areas around town where a convicted sex offender could spend time. While the deadline has passed for collecting enough signatures to add a new article to the warrant, Corr expressed his support of such a bylaw in the future.

I would not object to a new bylaw,” he said, adding that he “would help anyone interested in creating such a law.”

Corr went on to explain that the rash of calls and fervor for the new bylaw shows that Lexington wants to look into an initiative to explore the issue of Level 3 sex offenders in town. The meeting ended with the chief and town counsel agreeing to partner-up in order to follow-up on this concern, which they will report to the selectmen and the town at a future meeting.
- I'm sure if you announced all other criminals as well, like murderers being released or moving, gang members, thieves, etc, you'd also have a moral panic.

Lexington's Sex Offenders

According to the chief, Lexington currently has eight people in the community who are either level 2 or 3 sex offenders (those at either moderate or high risk to re-offend).

To further ensure the community, the police are doing all they can to quell the fears of its residents and keep track of these offenders. Corr encouraged those seeking more information on these sex offenders to contact the Lexington PD or visit the official Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry to search Lexington and other nearby communities to examine at risk offenders.


New Zealand cancels Mike Tyson's visa over rape conviction

Original Article

10/02/2012

WELLINGTON – In a reversal, Mike Tyson has been denied entry to the country whose indigenous Maori people he says inspired his facial tattoo.

New Zealand authorities on Wednesday cancelled an entry visa for the former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist, days after the prime minister spoke out against his planned visit.

The Las Vegas celebrity had earlier been granted an exemption to New Zealand immigration rules to speak at a November charitable event, "Day of the Champions." Tyson's 1992 rape conviction would have normally made him ineligible to enter the country.

Speaking to the APNZ news agency this week before his visa was cancelled, Tyson said his tattoo was inspired by New Zealand's indigenous Maori culture. In pre-European times, many Maori wore elaborate facial tattoos as a sign of their status in their tribe. Some Maori today who identify strongly with their traditional culture get similar tattoos.

"Other than that I've never heard of Maori people, so I'm looking forward to come down there and see them," he told the agency.

Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said in a statement Wednesday that the original decision to let Tyson enter was "a finely balanced call" and that the charity that would have benefited from his visit had now withdrawn its support.

Prime Minister John Key spoke out against the planned visit this week, questioning the decision by immigration authorities and saying he personally disapproved.

Before his visa was cancelled, Tyson told APNZ: "Fortunately, I am coming to New Zealand and there's nothing they can do about it and I'm so sorry, I'm sorry they feel disappointed and I'm just living my life."