Saturday, April 30, 2005

Put up or Shut Up

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There is supposed to be a separation of powers with checks and balances.

States with too much power, back in the day, meant the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) decided policies during the day, and at night, burned crosses and hung those that spoke out.

Too much Federal Power is the equivalent of the Nazi and Stalinist regimes, or possibly in our future, a corporate form of socialism.

More have to step up to the plate and contact the Federal authorities, state their names, lodge their complaints, and tell about what is going on.

States, individuals, and the Constitution should be as our forefathers intended.

Those that have shed blood, suffered, and died on countless battlefields across the globe in the name of Freedom should not be let down by us not being forever vigilant, questioning authoring, and stating our name and our opinion when our assistance is needed to guarantee America stays American, and America needs to be free.

The 'Little People' aren't at fault on this one


Scapegoat Posted by Hello


Abu Ghraib woman makes plea deal
By Matt Wells BBC News, New York

A US woman soldier is to plead guilty to abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, her lawyer says.

Private Lynndie England, 22, has agreed to a plea deal that will reduce her maximum jail sentence to 11 years.

The army reservist's grinning face became the symbol of the abuse scandal inside the notorious Iraqi prison.

Pictures of her holding an Iraqi inmate on a leash and pointing at inmates' genitals were among the most infamous images of the abuses.

More

Should Connecticut be shut down for illegal behavior?


Postal Receipt Posted by Hello

Text of letter mailed out:

To Governor M. Jodi Rell or to whom it may concern:

I was the first speaker at the public forum section of the CHRO, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights, Thursday night, April 14, 2005. I spoke on judicial corruption, that of law enforcement in Connecticut, and how pervasive corruption, unfairness, and retaliation against whistleblowers, is in the state. I’m asking that something be done about the continuing problem of corruption and illegal behavior regarding public officials in Connecticut, or why shouldn’t all branches of Connecticut Government be shut down until such a time as they act Constitutionally, legally, and in the best interest of Connecticut citizens?

The crowd there that night seemed to be more state workers than citizens such as myself. An African American Manchester, Connecticut former police officer, claimed that his complaints regarding his former employer, the Manchester P.D. are yet to be heard over a year later.

Those in the prison system, department of mental retardation, UCONN workers, and more all seemed to spout off the same theme, the CHRO and Connecticut, in general will go after those that dare speak out about corruption and improper behavior of others in their departments, are fired, retaliated against, black balled, and could conceivably be railroaded to prison with too many officials willing to cooperate with each other covering up crimes and silencing whistleblowers.

An African American woman brought the UCONN policy book where she stated that within the book, a worker could be fired for airing grievances outside of the UCONN hierarchy. She stated that it was a policy violation for her to appear in front of the CHRO (or bring a case in court?) and she could be fired. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights is supposed to be the forum for such a complaint to be heard and dealt with, not a policy violation.

Too many complained about the CHRO to the CHRO.

Excuses by CHRO staff were given why a complaint wouldn’t be heard. Many were waiting over a year to have their complaints heard.

The State is doing a horrendous job at fielding and correcting problems with its own workers, citizens can fare even worse when abused by the state officials.

The State can’t seem to oversee itself, judges give each other a rubberstamp of approval for all behaviors, so do cops, so do lawyers, and so do other officials in other branches and bodies of government in Connecticut.

Foxes should not oversee other foxes that are in collusion, raiding henhouses.

People are talking in Connecticut. Many are complaining about Rowland’s prison sentence and special treatment, which is surprising given the extent of Rowland’s crimes, day after day, month after month, year after year of his administration.

There are concerns that there was a deal made with Rowland, and with other officials, not to expose others involved in his corrupt organization (of officials and cronies), to get a lenient sentence, to save countless others from being prosecuted for crimes.

Were Rowland’s cronies and staff members involved in shredding documents, destroying documents, and making secret pacts to obstruct justice?

Christopher Kennedy of Ellington, Connecticut, said at the CHRO public forum, that Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan stated on the record that the reason he was not allowing Mr. Kennedy to see his kids is that he is Irish, that there is strife in Ireland, and Christopher Kennedy must be unstable to have lodged a complaint against a judge. This is a clear example of retaliation for speaking out and lodging complaints in Connecticut. Or, is taking away children based on one’s ethnic background?

Don Christmas of Enfield, Connecticut, a landlord upset with the lack of protection and service of police regarding downtown property and business owners got mouthy about that, and the unfairness in Connecticut courts to newspaper reporters, proposed civilian oversight of police as legislation, and threatened to sue police for violations of his civil rights. A police officer’s 16 year old prostitute girlfriend yelled at, and slapped Donny from behind on his property. Only Donny faced a year and a half in prison for this. What!!!???

I did the same things as Donny at an earlier date, I also complained my 14th Amendment rights were violated testing the 1st Amendment, spouting off in newspapers, proposing Civilian Oversight of Police to local elected officials, and told those same officials that I was going to sue Connecticut State Police for violating my civil rights. Representative Mordasky’s aid recommended that I sell my properties and leave Connecticut before police retaliated for my having proposed laws and gotten “mouthy’ in newspapers, telling me that a police liaison to legislators told her I would be toast.

I was then attacked by a police informant on my property at night after being terrorized and threatened by the individual, very publicly. The informant was given immunity for serious crimes to prosecute me, maliciously, as revenge, for having used pepper spray to end the beating I was taking from the individual, allegedly encouraged to harass me out of Connecticut by Connecticut by Connecticut State Police. Other individuals were also given immunity to break laws to harass me out of Connecticut to shut me up and retaliate against me for my political activities. I became a political prisoner in Connecticut, losing all that I had ever worked for in my life.

Jeffrey Yeaw lodged complaints to DCF about DCF workers. His kids were then taken away from him. DCF failed to adequately secure his children as he was easily able to ask the children to follow him out of a supposedly secure facility after the children complained of abuse in DCF care, and Mr. Yeaw believed his children were suffering serious psychological trauma under DCF care and abuse.

George H.W. Bush signed legislation passed by Congress regarding accessibility of the courts, regarding ADA regulations. I brought up at the CHRO, on the record, that Connecticut Courts are still not following federal laws 15 years later. It doesn’t seem to me that Connecticut Court personnel and judges care about federal and state laws, proper procedures and following rules, rules of law, nor honoring the State, nor the US Constitution. If Connecticut judges can’t follow the rules they should be removed in courthouses, closed.

Judge Scheinblum allegedly would tell defendants to take a deal, or face very stiff penalties, without the defendant being able to consult a lawyer. This was reported in newspapers. Has judge Scheinblum been removed and ALL of his cases reviewed to correct cases that Unconstitutional and illegal? What about other Connecticut judges that are blatantly breaking the law violating citizen’s rights?

I’m requesting that you either clean house, having the guilty investigated, justly punished, and help install safeguards to prevent this type of wholesale corruption and retaliation against whistleblowers from happening in the future, or possibly face federal intervention, the closing down of Connecticut branches of government until such a time as they operate Constitutionally, legally, and in the best interest of the citizens of Connecticut, AND the rest of America.

I also would like the retaliatory criminal case against me whipped out along with my record and that Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan and former Connecticut State Police Commissioner Arthur L. Spada for illegal and Unconstitutional behavior into their retaliation tactics involving me and other Connecticut citizens.

Taxpayer dollars are being pilfered and citizens, abuse.

Please act FOR the Citizens of Connecticut,

Thank you,
Steven G. Erickson, PO Box 730, Enfield, CT 06083

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Postal Receipt Posted by Hello


Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal April 30, 2005
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, Connecticut 06141-0120

To Attorney General Blumenthal or to whom it may concern:

I would like you to review trial transcripts of Docket # CR01-0074672, Rockville Connecticut court GA #19. I believe there will be circumstantial evidence of illegal behavior and collusion between Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan and former Police Commissioner, Arthur L. Spada. Police investigate and prosecute criminal behavior as described in this letter.

Please check out the webpage, http://www.freespeech.com/archives/001440.html, for more information.

Please also review the transcripts of the Christopher Kennedy’s trial where his kids were taken away because Kennedy is Irish, there is strife in Ireland, and Judge Jonathan Kaplan further went on the record saying Kennedy was unstable for lodging a complaint against a judge. This is pure retaliation and I believe against state and federal law. Please investigate Kaplan for crimes committed in that case as well.

Please prosecute Kaplan under State and Federal hate crime statutes.

I believe that in order for Rowland to get away with across the board corruption and thievery, he had to have coconspirators in the judiciary and in the upper ranks of the Connecticut State Police.

I believe Rowland Staff members, judges, and Connecticut law enforcement officials conspired to silence whistleblowers, obstruct justice, destroy and manufacture evidence, shred documents, lie, commit perjury, violate their oaths, and act in illegal collusion to defraud the citizens of Connecticut.

Please look into Rowland and his whole criminal crew for crimes against Connecticut citizens.

Please respond to this letter to acknowledge receipt. Please also inform me of what you plan to do in response to this letter.

Thank you,

Steven G. Erickson
PO Box 730
Enfield, CT 06083

Email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Friday, April 29, 2005

"Political Scams"

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I put "Political Scams" in a technorati.com search engine and this was an entry that came out:

The Roots of Anti-Americanism

The United States is one of the last remaining land empires.

That it is made the butt of opprobrium and odium is hardly surprising, or unprecedented. Empires - Rome, the British, the Ottomans - were always targeted by the disgruntled, the disenfranchised and the dispossessed and by their self-appointed delegates, the intelligentsia.

Yet, even by historical standards, America seems to be provoking blanket repulsion.

The Pew Research Center published last December a report titled "What the World Thinks in 2002".

"The World", was reduced by the pollsters to 44 countries and 38,000 interviewees. Two other surveys published last year - by the German Marshall Fund and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations - largely supported Pew's findings.

The most startling and unambiguous revelation was the extent of anti-American groundswell everywhere: among America's NATO allies, in developing countries, Muslim nations and even in eastern Europe where Americans, only a decade ago, were lionized as much-adulated liberators.

"People around the world embrace things American and, at the same time, decry U.S. influence on their societies. Similarly, pluralities in most of the nations surveyed complain about American unilateralism."- expounds the Pew report.

More from the 'World in Conflict and Transition' blog

The Project on Government Oversight

Do bloggers and reporters need more legal protection?

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Bill To Protect Reporters Gains Support

Another Effort Focuses On Shielding Whistleblowers From Workplace Retaliation

April 29, 2005 By DAVID LIGHTMAN, Washington Bureau Chief, The Hartford Courant

WASHINGTON -- Reporters would not have to disclose their confidential sources to federal officials and would have an easier time protecting their notes and other material under legislation that has picked up strong support in Congress.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., who launched the effort in November, appeared Thursday with a new, politically diverse group of supporters, including Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., one of the House's leading conservatives, and Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.

Dodd got involved in the issue when Jim Taricani, a Providence, R.I., television reporter, was found guilty last year of criminal contempt for refusing to reveal who gave him a videotape of a Providence official taking a bribe.

Taricani, a Newington native, this month finished serving a four-month home confinement sentence.Additional members of Congress have joined the Dodd effort because of other cases around the country, notably those of New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

They face jail time for refusing to testify about their confidential sources before a federal grand jury investigating the disclosure of a CIA undercover officer's identity.

The sentences of Miller and Cooper, who were held in contempt last year by U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, have been stayed while they pursue an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Because the Taricani, Miller and Cooper matters involved federal investigations, no shield law covered them, a point reiterated by a three-judge federal panel in February that studied the privilege issue.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have shield law protections for reporters. Connecticut does not.Beyond the world of journalists, though, there's also interest in protecting sources where they work.

The Project on Government Oversight, a government watchdog group, Thursday released a report saying that laws aimed at protecting whistleblowers from workplace retaliation are weak and have become weaker since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In the past three and a half years, the report said, leakers have "felt compelled to come forward in greater numbers to address our nation's security weaknesses."

A Government Accountability Office study last year found about 50 percent more whistleblowers annually have sought protection.But, the Project on Government Oversight found, they are not getting the kind of help they need.

Instead of being protected, "these modern-day Paul Reveres who do the right thing and report homeland security and national security flaws get fired," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who is leading an effort to toughen whistleblower protection laws.

"They are blackballed from getting other jobs," he maintained. "They go broke. Their lives are ruined."There have been some efforts at increasing protection. The 2002 corporate reform bill gave new help for whistleblowers at publicly traded companies, and last year the Bush administration created new procedures to help protect such insiders.

But the Project report found that retaliation is still too common, so Markey, working with former FBI contractor and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, would make retaliating a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

If the government said it could not take the case to court because secrets were involved - a growing problem for leakers, according to the Project - the whistleblower would automatically win the case under the Markey bill.

Dodd's protection for reporters does not go that far, but is being marketed in the same spirit.

Thirty years ago, the Justice Department adopted a policy setting standards to be met before it could issue a subpoena to a journalist in a federal case.

The bill essentially uses those standards and makes them mandatory in most federal judicial, legislative, executive and administrative proceedings.

While prosecutors could not learn the names of sources, the government could seek information from journalists if it could show officials have tried without success to get those details in other ways.

Questioning journalists, said Dodd, "should be the last arrow in the quiver, not the first."Conservatives agreed.

"Nothing's more connected with my ideals," Pence said. "The only check on government power is a free individual's power."

The bill is expected to be the subject of a House Judiciary Committee hearing May 12, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to follow soon afterward, since Crime and Drugs Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C., is one of the bill's chief backers.

While Markey's bill seemed to have little support thus far, there were more promising signs for the Dodd effort.

"I'm encouraged by the signals we're getting," said Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., a senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

While enacting laws to protect journalists has generally been a low priority for the public and for lawmakers, Boucher said all the publicity given to recent cases will make a difference.

"This time," he said, "the public's attention has been riveted on this protection, more than it has been previously."

This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Some heads are gonna roll and some shitheads are going to get eaten Posted by Hello

Stop Whining! Posted by Hello

US house market boom set for bust?

By Stephen Evans, BBC North America business correspondent


NYC Posted by Hello

Is the current property boom an unwelcome replay of the dot.com bubble of the late Nineties and destined to burst in the same way, showering a lot of people with a lot of pain?

In financial crazes, there's usually a general frenzied belief that the old rules of economic gravity have been superseded - but are we about to (re)learn the hard way that prices that go up can come down with a bump?

Certainly, the anecdotes indicating there's a boom with at least an element of speculation are starting to echo those of the red-hot Nineties.

More from the BBC

this blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

False allegations of sexual abuse

I hate stereotypes, but let’s use an example of a woman making a false accusation against a man in a custody fight.

The woman claims the man either allowed a child to be exposed to sexual abuse, or actually sexually abused his child or that of another.

Well, if the claim isn’t verified with some evidence, first, the child WILL BE sexually abused in a doctor’s office looking for sexual abuse, unnecessarily traumatized, and could be the cause of lifetime psychological trauma.

So, then, who is the real sexual abuser of the children?

Why then is it overlooked, over and over, when a woman makes a false allegation, a man is unfairly and unjustly punished, he is left penniless and/or in prison, and she with all the assets and custody of the children?

Just another example of America Back Asswards.

-Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas

stevengerickson@yahoo.com

click on white envelope below to email this post to a friend

Florida Republican Governor Jeb Bush


Florida Republican Governor Jeb Bush Posted by Hello

(Click) for text of letter I mailed to Jeb Bush on the Self-Defense Issue

Should Americans be allowed to defend themselves against criminals and crime?

Maybe they should as police in many states are merely "Armed Revenue Collectors" enforcing laws on the side.

-Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas

Post on the Stark Raving Viking related to the story below

Don’t Mess with a Floridian!(click) for Law Talk blog post



Governor to sign off on new self-defense bill
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday he intends to sign a bill that would allow people who feel threatened on the street, in a bar, at a ballgame — or just about anywhere — to “meet force with force” to defend themselves without fear of being prosecuted.
The measure (SB 436), the top priority of the National Rifle Association in Florida this year, passed 94-20 in the House. It already had passed the Senate.
The bill essentially extends and codifies a right Floridians already have in their home or car, saying that there’s no need to retreat before fighting back. People attacked in their homes generally don’t have to back off. But in public spaces, deadly force can only be used after trying to retreat.
"I'm sorry people, but if I'm attacked I shouldn't have a duty to retreat," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. "That's a good way to get shot in the back."
MORE

I was attacked on my property during a robbery attempt. Since I had angered police and the members of the judiciary in Connecticut by complaining that police and the courts do little about downtown social problems, including heroin and crack cocaine dealing, teenage drinking, and crime in general, but DO go after working, taxpayers for every dollar they can, spouting off in newspapers.

I then proposed Civilian Oversight of Police to elected officials where quality control questionnaires went out to citizens needing protection and service with the questionnaire going to an independent civilian review boards.

I allegedly outraged the former head of the Connecticut State Police, Arthur L. Spada, to such an extent that he allegedly ordered Connecticut State Troopers to follow me around, harass me out of Connecticut, and retaliate.

I was then attacked on my property by a police informant, and he was given immunity for threatening my life, stalking, and harassing me, to maliciously prosecute me for having defended myself with pepper spray. I was sentenced to a year in prison as self-defense isn’t legal in Connecticut.

I guess neither is Free Speech or proposing laws to elected officials that members of the judiciary and law enforcement brass doesn’t like …

stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Death Penalty Chamber Drawing


Death Chamber Posted by Hello

Click pic for full size view

Michael Ross


Michael Ross Posted by Hello

Michael Ross Video Interview
12:23 PM EST,
January 12, 2005

Michael Ross, who is scheduled to be executed Jan. 26, was videotaped Dec. 15 during a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation conducted at Osborn Correctional Institution by Dr. Michael Norko.

These images are from a copy of the tape, which was submitted Tuesday (Jan. 11) to the state Supreme Court, which is considering his competency.
During the interview, Ross discussed a wide range of subjects, including the long history of his legal case and what he is trying to accomplish, his emotional state, the medications he takes, his nightmares about his execution, and his daily routine now and how it compares to his life on death row.

Ross also talked about his concerns that he would not be found competent to make his own decisions, and he repeatedly expressed anger and frustration about his former public defenders' continuing attempts to intercede in his case


CLIP 1
Michael Ross talks about his nightmares about execution.
CLIP 2
Ross describes how he tried to avoid an execution date around Christmas.
CLIP 3
Ross expresses his worry about the competency evaluation and his anger at his former public defenders for continuing to try to intervene in his case.
CLIP 4
Ross explains that he won't be sorry not to live any longer in prison, but that if a life sentence were offered to him, he would take it.

Death Chamber


Death Chamber Posted by Hello

The death chamber at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers. The "execution surface" contains a series of velcro straps that hold down the prisoner as he is injected with a lethal substance. The red phone will be used by the warden to check for any last minute stays of execution. The executioner stands behind the one-way glass at the head of the table. At left is the witness viewing area. (STEPHEN DUNN) Jan. 9, 2005
-->Copyright 2005, Hartford Courant

The Death Penalty Debate


Judge Robert Chatigny
(Conn. Law Tribune)
Posted by Hello



Prosecutors Challenge Judge's Calls
Seven File Complaints Over Ross Intervention
April 28, 2005 By LYNNE TUOHY, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

Seven state prosecutors have filed complaints against Chief U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny, the person primarily responsible for derailing serial killer Michael Ross' Jan. 29 execution.

The complaints, filed with the clerk of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, remain sealed. They may never be made public if they are dismissed by Chief Circuit Judge John M. Walker Jr.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Harry Weller confirmed that he and six other prosecutors filed complaints last month, targeting two teleconferences Chatigny held in late January with various defense lawyers, prosecutors and assistant attorneys general on motions before him to halt the execution.

Weller would not elaborate on the complaints, citing the confidentiality that surrounds them in the 2nd Circuit.

During a nearly hour-long call the afternoon of Jan. 28 - less than 12 hours before Ross was scheduled to be executed - Chatigny berated T.R. Paulding, Ross' lawyer, for advocating his client's desire to proceed with the execution.

"We're not in this profession to help people get killed," Chatigny told Paulding.

"I think you are way out on a limb."

Chatigny said that, as a lawyer, he put more effort into investigating "a typical run-of-the-mill injury case" than Paulding had invested in evaluating Ross' mental competence to volunteer to be executed. He threatened to go after Paulding's law license if evidence surfaced after Ross was executed to suggest he was coerced or otherwise mentally unstable.

Paulding, who participated in the conference call from Osborn Correctional Institution where Ross was scheduled to be executed at 2 a.m. Jan. 29, clearly was rattled by the call.

He said he made numerous calls to colleagues seeking advice and spoke with state officials assembled in preparation for the execution, including New London State's Attorney Kevin Kane.

He also spoke with Ross, who became angry and upset, visitors have said, when he realized the call probably was going to undermine the execution.

Ross reluctantly acquiesced to Paulding's suggestion that the execution be postponed, and Paulding went before the media close to 1 a.m., barely an hour before Ross was to have been executed, to announce the decision. Paulding stressed that the decision was his, and did not elaborate, except to say he wanted to investigate a potential conflict of interest in his continued representation of Ross.

Two days later he filed a motion to reopen the competency hearing before Superior Court Judge Patrick Clifford.

Meanwhile, Chatigny's comments were getting national media attention and generating widespread debate by lawyers, ethicists and law professors.

Opinions polarized on whether what he did was courageous or the epitome of judicial arrogance.Paulding remains in the case and Ross is now scheduled to be executed in less than two weeks, on May 11. Paulding on Wednesday declined to comment on the complaints.

Chatigny's law clerk, Peter Gwynne, said Chatigny would have no comment.

Chatigny also opined during the Jan. 28 call, "Looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted. Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because of his sexual sadism, which was found by every single person who looked at him, is clearly a mitigating factor."

During the other teleconference, on Jan. 27, Chatigny second-guessed, though much more subtly, whether state officials had conducted a thorough investigation into whether Ross was acting of his own free will, or had been coerced by harsh conditions of confinement.

Weller said transcripts of the teleconferences were forwarded to the 2nd Circuit along with the complaints.

"All we did is we presented what happened," Weller said.

When pressed for how the complaints were cast, Weller said, "It wasn't `cast.' We just said here is the course of events."

Weller emphasized that it was the individual prosecutors, not the Division of Criminal Justice for whom they work, who filed the complaints.

"When we take an oath to the courts and the bar, we're obligated, if we see something improper, we're obligated to disclose it. Or if we think something just needs to be looked at.

Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano is not among the prosecutors who filed a complaint, but defends their right to do so.

"I don't feel I have the authority, nor would I exercise any authority, to discourage them from pursuing an action of this nature," Morano said Wednesday.

Asked why he did not file a complaint, Morano said, "I was not a party to the phone calls."

The transcript of the calls identifies those who participated, but the calls apparently encompassed a broader audience through the use of speaker phones in various offices. The other six prosecutors declined to be identified. Michael O'Hare, an appellate lawyer for the Division of Criminal Justice, participated in the conferences, but it is not clear whether he is among the six.

Although assistant attorneys general participated in the calls, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said none of his staff lawyers filed complaints. He hastened to add, however, that his office is prepared to ask Chatigny to recuse himself from any further Ross hearings, should there be a federal appeal.

Blumenthal said at a Jan. 31 press conference that he has "grave reservations" about Chatigny's conduct.

Attorney Hope Seeley, who participated in the teleconferences through her representation of the public defenders in their efforts to halt the execution, said she would not comment on the complaints without seeing them. But she applauded Chatigny's role.

"I think Judge Chatigny showed extreme courage and judicial independence in his actions," Seeley said.

An explanation on the 2nd Circuit website stresses that a complaint cannot be used to have a judge or magistrate disqualified from sitting on a particular case.

Walker could dismiss the complaints if he finds "the appropriate corrective action has been taken or that action on the complaint is no longer necessary because of intervening events," among other reasons.

If Walker determines that further investigation is warranted, he would appoint a committee including himself, six of the 2nd Circuit judges and the chief judges of the three districts the 2nd Circuit encompasses - New York, Vermont and Connecticut.

Because Chatigny is a chief judge and the complaints are directed at him, Walker would select another Connecticut judge to sit on the committee.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jeb Bush making sense in Florida

Praise Jeb Bush, Florida's Republican Governor


Postal receipts Posted by Hello

A letter I mailed out yesterday to Jeb Bush:

Governor Jeb Bush850 / 488-4441850 / 487-0801 (fax)Executive Office of the Governor400 S. Monroe StreetThe CapitolTallahassee, Florida 32399-0001

Dear Jeb Bush or to whom it may concern:

I’m seeking asylum in America, Florida, and need your help. I’m writing you because I admire you and what you are doing for Florida. To think of crime victims being, legally, able to defend themselves against criminals has 100% of my support. I saw on CNN that you support this. I’m seeking justice and the ability to live out my life in America, as a free American, please look into my situation and do something if you can.

I complained about crack cocaine and heroin being sold off my Stafford Springs, Connecticut lawn. Connecticut State Police officers were threatening me when I demanded something be done.

I then proposed Civilian Oversight of Police to elected officials, Republican State Senator Anthony Guglielmo and former Democrat State Representative Mordasky. Mordasky’s aid told me to sell my rental properties and leave Connecticut before Connecticut State Police retaliated against me for complaining about police doing little for downtown business home owners in regards to crime and the drug problem, printed in newspapers, and for having proposed legislation directing police to combat the problems to local elected officials.

Republican US Congressman Simmons wrote to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal asking him to read my trial transcripts and look into illegal behavior of judges and top Connecticut State Police brass. Blumenthal won’t even give the US Congressman the time of day to return phone calls and letters written in my behalf.

I believe Blumenthal is in the process of suing the Bush Administration over the ‘no child left behind act.’

That says volumes about Connecticut and its officials.

I was attacked on my property by a drug using, alcoholic, violent career criminal, and that had been stalking and terrorizing me with Connecticut State Police knowledge and/or prodding. The criminal was given immunity for threatening my life, trying to rob me, stalking me, and beating me, causing injuries, for having defended myself using pepper spray, to maliciously prosecute me and railroad me to prison.

With no record, I was sentenced to a year in prison, 3 years probation for Assault 3rd, which can be loud yelling, and Breach of Peace, which has to be in public, and I was beaten in my own dark driveway and the attack happened as a result of my assailant ambushing me after hiding in my bushes.

My daughter is a national honor society student. We have lost contact because of my going to prison. I lost the contracting business in which I had 4 yellow page ads for, my home, rental properties, my dog, contact with some of my family, my friends (was forced to leave Connecticut, but still have a mailing address there), credit, retirement, health insurance and the sum total of my life’s work for being a vocal CRIME VICTIM.

I fear further retaliation and prison time for having tested the 1st Amendment complaining my 14th Amendment rights have been violated.

I had dreamed of becoming a police officer or game warden, and because I was savagely attacked I can’t now own firearms or follow my dreams. I can’t leave the area, nor get a decent job with a criminal record that I should not have.

Please help me get pardoned and live in an honorable state, your state. My sister, her husband, their 3 kids, and my mother and step father all enjoy living in Florida and having you as Governor.

Please help me to live out my life as a FREE AMERICAN in Florida.

Thank you,

Steven G. Erickson
PO Box 730
Enfield, CT 06083

stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Open Letter to Chief Justice William J. Sullivan of Connecticut
(This letter was included in with the letter to Jeb Bush)

* * * *

My April 7, 2005, FreeSpeech.com post on Jeb Bush

Questionable Court, Questionable Outcomes

...

Convicted Man Goes Public
April 27, 2005 By DIANE STRUZZI, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

Supporters of a New Fairfield man convicted of shaking and injuring his girlfriend's child in 2002 are taking an unconventional step by bringing his claim of innocence directly to the public at a press conference today at the Legislative Office Building.

They hope to win financial support for his cause and publicize the errors they allege occurred in the case.

Jason Gebhardt, 28, was convicted of first-degree assault and risk of injury, and is serving a 12-year prison sentence, according to judicial officials. Gebhardt was not successful in an appeal to the state Appellate Court.

The lawyer representing him now, Richard E. Cohen of Hartford, said some attention needs to be paid to Gebhardt's case.

"What we're going on is that somebody else was involved in injuring the child and Jason took the fall for it basically," Cohen said this week.

"We feel that an injustice has been done, that mitigating and exculpatory evidence need to be brought forward and there needs to be a new trial."

Cohen has not filed any papers in court, but said there are two possible legal avenues. One is a habeas corpus petition alleging Gebhardt's trial lawyer was ineffective; and another is requesting a new trial.

A 16-page preliminary report was written by Andy Thibault and Jim Brewer, who say they are private investigators looking into the case. Among other issues, the report contends police focused solely on Gebhardt as a suspect when there were others to be investigated; there was inconsistent testimony about the child's injuries; and Gebhardt's confession was coerced. The report also contends the questioning of potential jurors during Gebhardt's trial was never recorded.

But a spokeswoman for the judicial branch said audiotapes of the jury selection process are available.

"Our information from the court reporter in Danbury is that there are two full tapes, and a portion of a third, from jury selection in the case of state of Connecticut vs. Jason Gebhardt," said judicial branch spokeswoman Rhonda Stearley-Hebert.

"In addition, Judge Gary White was present in court throughout the ... process," Stearley-Hebert said.

Thibault said Brewer was told the tapes do not exist. State police referred all questions to the prosecuting attorney in Superior Court in Danbury.

After reading a copy of the report, David Shannon, the assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case, said the evidence against Gebhardt was overwhelming.

"He made admissions," Shannon said.

"The jury credited the expert testimony from Yale-New Haven Hospital. The jury deliberated less than three hours. He received a fair trial."

State Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, who co-chairs the legislature's judiciary committee, said he agreed to secure a room for Gebhardt's supporters, but is not endorsing their position.

"If everything in that report is 100 percent true, it certainly raises a number of questions," Lawlor said.

"I have no reason to know whether or not it's true. In general, the phenomenon of false confessions is a real one. ... I agreed to host the press conference so I could listen to what they have to say. I'm supporting their right to bring it to the people's attention."

Gebhardt's parents, who are scheduled to be at the press conference, want to pursue their son's innocence claim, said Michael London of the public relations firm Michael J. London & Associates, which is helping to publicize the case.

London said Gebhardt's girlfriend, Teresa Allen, 23, of New Fairfield, the child's mother, supports Gebhardt. Allen was convicted of risk of injury in connection with the 2002 incident and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, according to judicial and court officials. Brewer said Allen does not have custody of the child, a boy, who is in foster care. He was 6 months old at the time of the injuries, according to the Appellate Court opinion.

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Blogger's Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials NOTICE

Open Letter to Chief Justice William J. Sullivan of Connecticut

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Death and Assessments

A grandmother of a friend died about 7:40PM EST today.

I felt bad and thought about my family and those that I knew that are now gone.

There is never enough time and sometimes when you realize how much you care about someone, they’re gone …

What do convicted criminals do for work?


crawl space Posted by Hello



foundation coating Posted by Hello

Since being convicted of ‘overreacting’ to coming home after of a double shift of work to my dark driveway to be jumped during a robbery attempt, where the criminal who jumped and tried to rob me was given immunity to maliciously prosecute me for having to do just enough to defend myself, my prospects have been dim.

I was deemed too violent to be able to load boxes on trucks or any other job for any corporation, for that matter. Before being attacked on my property, I was a landlord of 9 apartments that I fixed up top to bottom, and a contractor with 4 yellow pages ads.

I had planned on retiring on $6500 gross monthly rents in a few short years and even running for selectman on the Republican ticket in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Being a crime victim and sent to prison changed all that.

I have had very little work since being released from prison for having used pepper spray.

Being on probation, having to attend anger management classes, seeing a probation officer, and having a criminal record makes it hard to get ANY job.

I was given a choice of leaving Connecticut or going back to prison for 3 or more years as my Connecticut probation officer didn't want to have to deal with others giving her a hard time for being in charge of "Big Mouth."

My Massachusetts probation officer didn’t think I needed to see a psychiatrist at my expense twice a week for having used pepper spray with no previous record, and didn’t think I needed to go to drug and alcohol classes for being attacked by a drug using alcoholic, when I had no drug or alcohol abuse history.

Well, if I had to do all that, I wouldn’t have ANY time for work, or being able to get back on track.

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I worked in a crawl space with 20 inches of room, ground to beams, maximum, shoring up a sagging floor. I was worried there might be raccoons or worse under there as a hole had been chewed through the texture 1-11 in the skirt around the perimeter of the house.

I also broke metal ties off off of concrete with a sledge hammer, 5 high, every two feet, and more near the corners. I also busted off ‘snots’ of concrete with the sledge hammer. I then brushed and rolled foundation coating on the exterior of the walls, 2 coats.

This, doing some roofing work, and painting, here and there is the extend of what I have been able to chase down since the life altering prison sentence for having tested free speech, not ‘overreacting’ to be attacked on my property.

This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

My favorite links

Monday, April 25, 2005

If it types like a duck, and looks like a duck

is it a duck?


Just one word, "Wow!" Posted by Hello

Bodhisattva AvalokiteshvaraSouth-central Tibet Ca. 1400Gilt bronze with semiprecious stones15 1/8 in (38.4 cm)

The above found (here) on the web

Winning Hearts and Minds, One Soldier at a time ...


Not a good day for these US Soldiers Posted by Hello

Four Marines were killed in this Humvee with jury-rigged armor when it was struck by a car bomb in Ramadi last May. The four were returning to camp in an unarmored Humvee which their unit had rigged with scrap metal, but the makeshift shields rose only as high as their shoulders and the shrapnel from the bomb shot over the top. (Photo: AP)

I found the above photo (here)

The Lyme Disease Dilemma


There's way more to the story.

The Kathleen Dickson Saga

Following the Money Trail

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website

Action on Lyme website

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This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Readers, please send me more DCF and DSS abuse stories. As always please continue to send police and judicial misconduct links and stories.

Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas favorite links

Sunday, April 24, 2005

‘Little People’ banding together for Justice

I went out live on AM, FM, and a live internet feed this past Friday for an hour, from 7PM EST.

Many have found my email address and their way to the two sites in which I post most often.

A common theme is emerging.

Those that lodge complaints against officials and/or expose corruption and shady deals between public officials and corporations are retaliated against.

Piss off an important person, or head of a major corporation, and you can find yourself arrested, fired from your job, losing your house and family, silenced, being discredited, and more and more of you are being railroaded to prison, on shaky, contrived cases.

A common theme, also is, that Connecticut is one of the biggest violators of civil rights as their police and courts might be more corrupt than any other state. Others from all over the country and even abroad have contacted me with their stories.

When stories are first broken by bloggers, that go on to major media, and THEN end up being litigated in court, have the best chances for retribution. Those involved in getting the work out, can at least get a little justice, and maybe will be able to prevent the same people from perpetrating the same abuses against others in the future.

Don’t suffer in silence. Do your part, speak out, sue, and stay on task.

stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Punishing Bloggers for Free Speech

State ACLU Aids Student Blogger New Britain Teenager Was Disciplined For Profanity On Website
April 23, 2005
By LORETTA WALDMAN, Courant Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN -- A New Britain High School drum major is seeking the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut over disciplinary action taken against him for posting a profanity-laced entry in an online journal last month.

Daniel Gostin, 18 and a senior at the high school, was stripped of his drum major position, given an in-school suspension and barred by school officials from participating in music-related extracurricular activities and performances for the remainder of the year. Lori Rifkin, an ACLU staff attorney representing Gostin, contends the actions violated Gostin's free-speech rights. In a letter Wednesday, she asked schools Superintendent Doris Kurtz to reinstate Gostin as drum major, expunge his disciplinary record and allow him to resume participating in musical activities.

The posting "contained no threats nor did it contain any other statements which would interfere with the ability of school administrators to maintain order and discipline at the school," Rifkin wrote in her April 20 letter. Gostin posted his entry on livejournal.com, a website that allows users to create personalized pages, record thoughts as they might in a diary and share them with other readers. The posting was apparently brought to the attention of school officials by another individual without Gostin's knowledge, Rifkin said.

At Gostin's request, she said she would not release a copy of the March 9 posting, which was largely directed at band director Charles Lunn. Rifkin characterized it as a "typical teen-age rant" over a decision Lunn made to cancel several band activities.

She called it "the type those of us who are adults might have sent when we were teenagers had there been an Internet."

The New Britain police share that assessment but prompted by an earlier, more threatening entry also posted on livejournal.com, have launched an investigation. Another member of the high school band is suspected of being the author of the threatening entry, but police have not been able to establish whether there is any connection between the earlier entry and Gostin's entry.


In it, the writer promises a "homicidal spree" and "long, torturous death," presumably targeting fellow members of the band. It is not likely, however, that the investigation will result in criminal charges, Sgt. Gregory Wright, a spokesman for the police department, said Friday.

Because of a nearly 2-month lapse between the time school officials learned of the earlier posting and when police heard about it, electronic evidence was destroyed or deleted, Wright said.

"That's why there is no probable cause to make arrests," Wright said. Kurtz, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Ron Jakubowski and New Britain High School Principal Thomas Reale could not be reached for comment. Gostin and his parents have declined to discuss the case.

Daniel's father, Peter Gostin, is a former Republican alderman. Those who know Daniel Gostin describe him as a thoughtful and very religious young man who is not the type usually associated with trouble. In fact, Gostin was so filled with remorse about his online diatribe, he voluntarily removed it from the site about 12 hours after posting it, Rifkin said. But the episode was not the first time the student, best known for his musical talent and politically conservative views, has chosen to air his opinions in a large public forum. About a week before the 2004 presidential election, during a New Britain High School football game half-time show, Gostin shocked onlookers by holding up a Bush-Cheney campaign sign as he led the band on the field.

Gostin was reprimanded for the stunt and told to apologize.In the latest case, Gostin appears to have case law on his side. In her letter to Kurtz, Rifkin sites an "unbroken string" of recent court decisions rejecting attempts by school administrators to punish students for offensive off-campus Internet speech.

"Students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate," Rifkin wrote, quoting a passage from one of those decisions - Tinker v. DesMoines School District. Student speech that takes place off school grounds is accorded even greater First Amendment protection, she said. Rifkin has asked Kurtz to respond to her letter by Monday. With only 10 weeks remaining in the school year and the next scheduled performance of the band set for April 30, time is of the essence, she said. If school officials deny the request, Rifkin said she is prepared to take Gostin's case to court.

Friday, April 22, 2005

US policemen deny Mafia murders


Cops involved in Mafia killings Posted by Hello

Louis Eppolito wrote a book about his family's Mafia links

Two former New York detectives accused of killing on behalf of the Mafia have pleaded not guilty to charges including eight murders.

Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito appeared in court on Thursday.

They were arrested in Las Vegas last month, where they retired after serving in New York's police force.

They are accused of killing at least eight gangsters in the 1980s and early 1990s, as well as drug distribution and money laundering.

Mr Eppolito, 56, and Mr Caracappa, 63, were allegedly employed by the Luchese Mafia family.

Prosecutors claim they were paid thousands of dollars a month even as they worked as police officers.

They are accused, in one case, of pulling over a member of a rival crime family, showing their police badges, and then shooting the man dead.

The above from the BBC found here on the web

I put "FBI" in a technorati.com search engine

Some of what came out:

FBI Tells 911 Rescue Worker to “Shut Up”
Filed under:
General— webadmin @ 10:24 am
from: Rense
FBI Tells 911 Rescue WorkerTo ‘Shut Up’ Over FindingAirplane ‘Black Boxes’

more from blogblogblog (click)

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Psychic or Lucky?

According to this article, Lynn Ann Maker used her psychic abilities to find the body of a missing man. 30 year old Greg Wallace disappeared after heading off to work one morning. His car was found abandoned near a pond. Let’s hear about the amazing work Ms Maker did:

For reasons Maker can’t fully explain, she felt the need to wade into a nearby pond in an area police had already searched.

More from be Lambic or Green

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Flogging the Simian

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Kinkos saves the President from bad satire!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Scaring Al Terzi Channel 3 CBS News Connecticut?


Al Terzi Posted by Hello

Our group, consisting of myself, John DiBase Jr., Christopher Kennedy, and William Mulready rant into respected newsman Al Terzi.

We were a motley crew as compared to the suited prosecutors, lawyers, lobbyists, and others attending the UCONN event at the Hartford law school on the Death Penalty and Civil Rights.

We boldly stated that one or more Connecticut judges would be investigated and jailed.

We can only hope and help the process along.

My email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

Remembering ABSCAM

If the FBI operation continued our government would have shut down. The undercover operation netted public official after public official willing to take bribes and willing engage in criminal activity. The operation was so successful in nabbing politicians on the take, few politicians would have been left, if all were subjected to the sweep.

-Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas

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A BYTE OUT OF HISTORY
Remembering the Lessons of ABSCAM


ABSCAM pic from hidden camera Posted by Hello


Twenty-five years ago last week, the world learned of our high-level investigation into public corruption and organized crime, infamously code-named ABSCAM.

The unfolding details were riveting: ... Everything from mobsters hocking stolen paintings and fake securities in the Big Apple to politicians peddling influence in the nation’s capitol; ... High-ranking government officials caught on tape stuffing wads of bribe money in their pockets and saying things like, “I’ve got larceny in my blood”; ... And FBI agents posing as representatives of a fictitious Middle Eastern sheik, gathering evidence of these big league crimes.

It all started in July 1978, when we set out to catch New York City underworld figures dealing in stolen art. We set up a bogus company in Long Island—Abdul Enterprises, thus the name “AB(dul)SCAM"—said to be owned by a wealthy Arab sheik who wished to invest oil money in valuable artworks. Then, we recruited an informer who connected us with crooks willing to sell us stolen treasures. It worked. Within months, we’d recovered two paintings worth a combined $1 million.

Through that operation, we were introduced to criminals who were dealing in fake stocks and bonds. Again, success. Our undercover work ended up halting the sale of nearly $600 million worth of fraudulent securities.

From there, our investigation led to southern New Jersey ... and on to Washington, D.C. Our criminal contacts led us to politicians in Camden who were willing to offer bribes to get our “business” a gambling license in Atlantic City. Then, when we expressed interest in their suggestion to get the sheik asylum in the U.S., these corrupt politicians arranged for us to meet some U.S. Congressmen who could make it happen with private legislation. For a price, of course: $50,000 up front and an extra $50,000 later.

More from the FBI web page

FBI homepage

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For those of you contacting me about being victims of Connecticut corruption and retribution I suggest you contact the FBI in Haven.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

No rhyme or reason in US Courts

Judge Scolded Over Lenient Sentencing

Appeals Court Expresses Concern Over Reasoning
April 20, 2005, By DAVID OWENS, And EDMUND MAHONY Hartford Courant Staff Writers

In a strongly worded order, a federal appeals court has directed U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Dorsey to reconsider his no-prison sentence for a woman who embezzled nearly $366,000 from the bank where she worked.

Susan K. Godding faced 24 to 30 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines in effect at the time, but Dorsey sentenced her to one day - a term satisfied by the time she spent in federal court on the day of her sentencing.

He also imposed six months of home confinement and five years of probation, and ordered her to make full restitution. The decision angered prosecutors and many people in Godding's hometown of Norfolk, and led to an appeal.

Dorsey, a judge known for leniency toward white-collar criminals, was criticized a month ago for the sentence he imposed on former Gov. John G. Rowland.

In its ruling issued Tuesday, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said it was troubled by Dorsey's reasoning for abandoning the sentencing guidelines and, given the nature of Godding's offense, the "reasonableness" of the no-jail sentence.

If, after Dorsey's reconsideration of Godding's sentence, the case is again appealed, the appellate court will review any new sentence for "reasonableness," the court said.

While ordering Dorsey to consider whether he wants to resentence Godding, the appellate judges expressed concern over his comments regarding the bank's failure to have internal controls to detect Godding's thefts.

"Godding embezzled a significant sum and we do not think a district court could properly discount Godding's responsibility for the amount by referring to the bank's failure to check the crime," the judges wrote.

"Furthermore, we are more broadly concerned that the brevity of the term of imprisonment imposed by this sentence does not reflect the magnitude of the theft of nearly $366,000 over a five-year period."

"We are obviously very pleased with today's decision by the Second Circuit, which recognizes that Ms. Godding's sentence was inappropriate," U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor said.

"We are also pleased that the Second Circuit specifically noted in its opinion that it was troubled that the victim was deemed responsible for Ms. Godding's illegal activity. This decision properly puts the blame where it belongs: squarely on Ms. Godding's shoulders."

Godding, 40, is awaiting sentencing on separate state charges of stealing $32,511 from the account of the couple for whom she did bookkeeping work. As part of a plea agreement, she faces up to six years in prison and five years of probation. Her lawyer, Charles Willson, will have the opportunity to argue for less time at her sentencing, scheduled for May 17.

In addition to questioning his "reasonableness," the appellate court's Tuesday ruling also criticized Dorsey for abandoning the sentencing guidelines, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has rendered them "advisory" rather than "mandatory" since the Godding sentencing in May 2004.

The sentencing guidelines are not a "body of casual advice, to be consulted or overlooked at the whim of the sentencing judge," the appellate court said.

"On the contrary, the Supreme Court expects sentencing judges faithfully to discharge their statutory obligations to `consider' the guidelines and all of the other factors."

A judge must, among other things, consider the need for a sentence "to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense," the appellate court said.

The Godding case is not the first time Dorsey has imposed a sentence not in line with the sentencing guidelines - or one that prosecutors considered too lenient. Dorsey last month sentenced Rowland to, effectively, 10½ months in federal prison on corruption charges even after prosecutors urged him to increase, rather than reduce, the 15- to 21-month sentence his lawyer had negotiated in a plea bargain.

From the perspective of defense lawyers, Dorsey is considered the best federal judge in the state. He consistently has annoyed federal prosecutors by finding reasons to impose prison sentences shorter than those called for by sentencing guidelines.

Defense lawyers call him courageous. Prosecutors say he is infuriating.

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Blogger's Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials, Notice

This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

C.A.G.A

Citizens Against Government Abuse

It is our goal to educate the public and to help fight governmental corruption. It appears that the corruption is deeper than most will believe. Our liberties are fading away and we need save them from those that despise any form of freedom. What did our founding fathers fight for? It seems as if free America is just a fantasy now and many fear standing up for themselves.

They always claim that “Its for the sake of the children”
What will be left for ‘The’ children?

http://www.govabuse.org/

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I was asked to be interviewed live this upcoming Friday, 7 PM EST. The feed will go over the internet and over AM and FM stations across the USA.

The Steven G. Erickson aka Vikingas Office, Contact Information, and Favorite Links

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Maybe Connecticut's 2nd Biggest Cop's Pain in the Ass, Mark Gaines

The below was posted by myself in the deep, deep South, where there are a greater percentage of really good people.
-September 19, 2005 at 7:20 PM Central Time

“Every time some tells me to trust them because they are a good ole boy, I reach to my back pocket to make sure that my billfold is still there.”
The below is cut and pasted from one of Mark Gaines' Websites. Will Connecticut censor him as they have so many in Korruptikut.



SUFFIELD AMBULANCE MEMBERS FORUM
SUFFIELD, Connecticut USA
The Free Voice of the Members
Updated 19 September 2005 Moderated by Brian MacDonald, Cheshire, England

“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God”
Thomas Jefferson

Lyndon Baines Johnson
Former U. S. President and King of The Texas Good Ole Boys


OUR MISSION

The purpose of this Web Site is to provide for an open exchange of ideas at the grassroots level by ordinary SVAA members who are not officers or members of The SVAA Board of Directors. It is intended to summarize the different opinions and concerns being voiced outside the official meetings. This forum is intended to supplement the SVAA EPager authored by Don Minor and provide a reliable alternative to the rumor mill. There are several members banded together that made this site happen.

This forum doesn’t reflect the views of the SVAA Board of Directors, Board of Trustees or it’s appointed officers. It is published as an expression of free speech by a small group of Suffield EMTs trying to bring about political change. This site is protected by the first amendment of The United States Constitution and is not an official statement by The Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association. It is the legal right of any member to engage in responsible free speech without reprisal or interference by any SVAA official. This is a private forum not associated with The Town of Suffield or The Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association. The officers and Board of Directors are not in charge here. They never will be.

Send me your views at mailto:dansegypsy@juno.com. Responsible views based on factual, objective and honest expression are welcomed. Don’t be afraid of the “kingmaker” and the close supporters. You volunteer at SVAA and this is your association as a member of the Suffield community. .


FEEDBACK TO THIS SITE

I have heard both pro and con in response to this site. In all fairness, the opponents get the first say.

The critics consider that this site is dragging the name of the organization and it’s volunteers “through the mud,” in an effort to “destroy” the organization. They rely on arguments that center on personal loyalty and the “extended family” concepts. I have yet to receive one objective comment on the facts such as the violations of members rights, ethical concepts of conflict of interest, or the violations of federal OSHA standards. In fact the whole thrust of these negative comments seems centered on intense personal dislike of those of us who have spoken up. There seems to be a strong sense of clannishness and groupthink. One has even promised to do everything in their power to “run out” all of us who have spoken up on the issues of concern. The response has been emotional and not factual. In fact the people sending in the “hate email” are the very ones that sit with the leaders at functions. What I am hearing is that sticking with the leaders is more important than right principles. One even gave me credit for signing what I write, unlike someone else last year. Why would I not sign something I wrote?

It was very interesting they quoted market rates from 1989 to justify the current billing arrangement. It might have indeed been 15% commission back then, but The Certified Ambulance Group in Wethersfield currently charges 3% if collected within 15 days, or 6% if the bill goes over 15 days. SVAA currently pays 10% flat rate. At the very least someone should lower their rates. They never mentioned why there has been no bid since 1989. Can anyone answer that question please? This is an interesting use of statistics that reminds me of a quote by Samuel Clemmons, also known as Mark Twain. He said, “there are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Personal attacks on me have exponentially increased. Recently I was delivering a patient to Saint Francis Hospital ER while on duty for another volunteer EMS agency. Two members of SVAA pass by the triage desk, and I said “Good evening.” Two replied back in a civil fashion, but the paramedic, a career firefighter, ignored me while making a snide remark to my partner, “Oh aren’t you so lucky!” The remark had an opposite effect and left a bad impression of SVAA with another town volunteer service. It appears even basic civility is breaking down at SVAA as a result of the influence of the “Kingmaker.” This is so sad. This incident was witnessed by Saint Francis management and staff who commented on it. One made a joke about how easy it is to have a political falling out with SVAA. SVAA came out with egg on their face as a result.

The supporters have been growing in numbers. It is surprising to hear from some people I never expected to get involved. This site is getting an increasing number of hits in recent days. The support given is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

WE HAVE A WEIRDO LOOSE IN ALL OF THIS

I just received another strange phone call from someone no longer associated with SVAA. Since this is the second such strange call in two days, my mind made the connection to the fact that another person, a third party, has a copy of our telephone numbers. It is most likely an old list. Various telephone calls are being made which, appear to be an attempt to throw gasoline on the fire in this dispute. Recently I received another threatening call. This is a friendly heads up so you will be aware this is the handiwork of some crank. Thanks for your understanding while the leads are being investigated. It is no credit to an organization when a political disagreement escalates to what has happened here. Threats over the phone are a criminal matter, and certainly volunteer EMS folks should be above this. Certainly the leadership should not allow this to happen, and should not have fanned the flames against me as some nuts get out of control. Shame on the “kingmaker.” This is more evidence of the bad leadership the SVAA has to offer.

NEW YAHOO GROUP FOR SVAA MEMBERS

I have set up a private email system on a Yahoo Group. This is a closed, private system for eligible SVAA members only. You can join today by going to:

http://groups.yahoo.com/SuffieldEMS

This site is designed to bring things out into the open and promote the safe exchange of ideas, and hopefully eliminate some of the gossip and clandestine culture that is damaging SVAA. I have decided to bring my concerns onto the open Internet because SVAA officials have attempted to impede my right to free speech and tried to tell me that I am not allowed to do these things. Thomas Jefferson had a better idea when he wrote the Bill of Rights.

BACK UP WEB SITE SET UP IN GREAT BRITAIN

With the help of my friends at la Universitè de Montrèal, Quèbec, we arranged to set up a back up site outside U. S. authority as free speech has been put on the Endangered Species List by “The Kingmaker.” Thanks to Brian MacDonald for stepping up to the plate as the new editor.

You can now get this site at two places:

http://www.gainesnet.com/svaamembers.htm

http://members.lycos.co.uk/dansegypsy/svaamembers.htm

This site is now on a web circle supported by the European Union where free speech is much more of a reality. We are working on another back up site in Hilversum, Holland.

Other outside groups are joining this fight and lending me help. The site is getting at least twenty new hits a day thanks to some EMS internet contacts. The hits are coming from as far away as Ontario, California and the northeast region. Thanks for the support.

RETALIATION AGAINST FORUM MODERATOR FOR FREE SPEECH

As of 31 August 2005 at 1730 hours my access to Rescue Booker was no longer functional. When I asked the chief about the matter, he denied any knowledge. When questioned about anything else he “should be telling me,” he admitted that “there is something in the works.” He indicated to me he was not able to discuss just what it is. He directed me to call another person who handles the Rescue Booker. That person told me to “call the chief.” No one will tell me what is going on. I am being denied my rights as a member to due process. They did not even follow the SVAA By-Laws by having The Board of Directors meet, or telling me up front anything.

This is not unexpected with one “Opinion maker” in charge. When I can tell you more, it will be posted. I expect they will do me like they did another innocent member over two years ago. When there was no evidence another member was suspended and forced to resign. I expect they are trying to do this to me as they have placed me on “Administrative Leave” for the free speech exercised here on this web site. This begs the question, “What have they got to be afraid of?” Personnel matters are supposed to be private, but SVAA officials openly discussed my administrative leave at the annual meeting with outsiders present, including charges of: Defamation of the SVAA.” They even stated this administrative leave would continue until the investigation is over, and then it would be lifted.
Thanks for the numerous calls from members encouraging me and giving support! Their day will come soon! I hear this site is the number one hit at the SVAA computer in the annex. I will keep it updated as much as I can.

FEDERAL OSHA RAIDS SVAA ON FRIDAY

On Friday, 10 September 2005, The Federal Safety & Health Administration paid a visit to SVAA, to investigate serious violations of standards. The violations in question were repeatedly brought to the attention of the senior officers and Board of Directors, but were blown off. In part a certain member is on administrative leave in retaliation for speaking up about these violations. That retaliation is illegal under federal law and SVAA now faces legal action for this violation of the legal rights of an SVAA member. The lawsuit on this alone could bankrupt the SVAA. Right now the “Kingmaker” and puppets are being tight lipped by not telling the members just what is going on. This is not a routine OSHA audit folks, but an investigation. Why else would they suddenly have to announce training for Bloodbourne Pathogens, Hazardous Materials and HIPPA? How about the sudden surges for TB tests and other health requirements they refused to enforce when they were told many times?

SVAA officials were repeatedly warned about the real threat of a $40K fine (this happened in a nearby town for the same issues) from existing violations and failed to act. That is a lot of money that could buy a new ambulance, but certain people just had to hang on to power at all costs. They are going to spend a lot of town money on using the town attorney to defend them.

LEGAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITHIN THE SVAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS

This is painful for me to write, after having worked with some of the people involved for many years. In the best interests of the SVAA, I am taking the risk to write what I have heard, researched and how I feel. You will not likely be without strong feelings about what follows here.

My research indicates that we have one officer doing the billing for SVAA. The arrangement is not the usual in that SVAA bought the equipment used and pays for the phone line into a private residence used for billing purposes. The fact is the billing is done by this officer, as the owner of a private for profit business. This officer has even further conflict of interest as a sibling sits on The SVAA Board of Directors, a party to this arrangement. I did some research on The Connecticut Public Charities Law. The results are disturbing at best.

The owner of this private business is receiving 10% of the collected SVAA billing revenues. This individual has been handling the billing since 1992, having raised the rates from 8%. I checked with some other volunteer EMS organizations, finding the normal rate is about 6%. It would be one thing if an officer of the SVAA provided the service at a below market value such as 4% or for free. In fact that practice is more common than most people think. It is entirely another thing when this kind of conflict of interest exists by charging above market rates, as an insider. Furthermore, there is supposed to be a bidding process involved, which didn’t happen here at the SVAA. Why did this contract go directly to a privileged insider instead of being put out for bid? What is going on here? This is considered as an officer taking advantage of their position for their own private benefit. In general, public charities are trusts that must separate their interests from private business. Any such arrangements must be out in the open and within strict parameters.

This individual also does the billing for four other towns. We provided the “seed money” for this private business that is doing quite well by all accounts.

Windsor Ambulance uses a private company. CAG carries their own expenses including telephone, computer, collection and the like. CAG does it for 6%. If the bill is paid within 15 days, CAG gives an extra 3% discount back to Windsor Ambulance. Any well-run business bids out a major cost item on a yearly basis. Why is this not done at SVAA? The extra 4% would be more money for a new building or ambulance, instead of profit for an SVAA official operating in open conflict of interest. SVAA needs to do what is ethical instead of taking advantage of a loophole in CT Ethics Laws that allows private charities not to bid out contracts. That kind of practice is on the level with former Governor (now federal inmate) John Rowland and his friends. Hasn’t the state had enough of that already?

As a result SVAA may now be open to serious legal action and financial liability that could seriously impact our future. You need only look into the recent archives of the Waterbury paper and read the articles on The Seymour Ambulance Association Scandal. This is not a joke and every member ought to be very concerned about this issue. While some members of The SVAA Board of Directors have fought these abuses, most members have not, in violation of their duties to exercise considerable independent judgment and look out for the best interests of the organization. Just who is the SVAA Board of Directors really working for?

The problems don’t stop here as we have one Board of Directors member teaching CPR in our building, while collecting the fees as a private contractor. The SVAA building, funded by The Town of Suffield, with utilities paid for by a public charity; The SVAA. Again, a private business may not use the shell of a public charity for their own profit.

I believe this might have been the message someone tried to get out last year. That person lacked the proper education, experience and means to do it justice. Some people will hate me for this, but I care about the SVAA to look out for what I understand to be upright moral and legal principles. I care enough to put up with organized hate email and phone attacks that have been directed against me in the week of the recent annual meeting. Certain people have influenced their pinions to vent anger against me because of this web site. I understand they are this is the result of bad leadership and these normally generous and giving people have been misdirected as a part of an campaign by the “kingmaker” to stay in a position of power and privilege. Some members even came to the annual meeting with a carefully prepared script to read. Certain members did not miss that fact. It was obvious manipulation and they staged the annual meeting well.

Other members are selling goods and services to SVAA as well, on a much smaller scale. Some officers are also agents of a business that sell goods and services to SVAA.

We also have a legal issue as the SVAA Board of Directors meets in closed session for issues concerning purchasing contracts. I am informed by legal counsel this is not legal and would cause problems with The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, should someone bother to file a complaint. Was the Ambulance Billing Services contract awarded this way? Ask the Enfield area fire departments about the results of the illegal meetings they held. Fines were paid as a result.

We need to look at who is on the SVAA Board of Directors, and make the necessary changes.
If we don’t, outside government agencies just might do this. I am told there are disgruntled former and current members making inquiries at certain alphabet soup agencies. It is only a matter of time before the shoe drops. The members have been disenfranchised by a small clique of people acting against the best interests of the people of Suffield.

WHERE ARE THE PUBLIC OFFICIALS?

SVAA is a quasi-public agency that occupies a public building, and receives public funding for paid employees provided by the town. Several members have contacted the Board of Selectmen yet this obvious conflict of interest continues. Several members including a former official have contacted the CT Attorney General as well. The state level obviously requires some time being AG is a busy place. The first line of defense at the town level as obviously failed due to the inordinate influence certain individuals hold in town. These individuals are openly profiting from their official positions within SVAA, and no one has moved to do anything about it. We need the state and the federal agencies to come in and make things right.

It is high time The First Selectman and other Suffield Selectmen do their duty to safeguard the higher public interest. On 15 September 2005 a formal written complaint was filed with The Town of Suffield Ethics Commission and The First Selectman. Lets see if they do their job or blow this off like the SVAA Board of Directors has. Mr. Scott Lingenfelter, hello, are you really listening? Step in and do your duty by cleaning up this mess. Some SVAA officials need to go. Call them a taxi, Mr. First Selectman.

THE LEADERSHIP STYLE OF THE SVAA

My phone and EMAILS have been busy of late on the subject of leadership issues. In the past few weeks I have spent more time listening to members share their concerns with me on this subject. Let me summarize what I have heard.

There is significant concern during the interim period while we select a new chief. This is only natural. Concerns are being expressed over the perception that a very few individuals control and run the SVAA with an iron hand. The fact our former chief, Mr. William Dunne declined to return has only added more gossip.

Discussion has centered on the fact that the most members of The SVAA Board of Directors are very close friends with long standing ties to each other. The concern centers on one or two individuals who seem to direct every aspect of SVAA affairs with their opinions or direct authority, including selecting the new chief to suit their agenda. The fact has emerged that during the election in which the SVAA President was re-elected, this victory was by a single vote. Concerns exist over the fact that the SVAA President is a close relative of a senior appointed officer. There are concerns over the lack of direct input by members and that the Board of Directors is out of touch with the membership. In other organizations I have seen the important issues such as the budget, recall of officers and directors, changes in By-Laws and replacement of vacant Directors seats voted on directly by the electors (members), as it should be. That is not the case here at SVAA and this needs to change to give direct control back to the members of SVAA. Control of the SVAA has been stolen from the members.

One example I can provide is the attempt some time ago to impose a self Evaluation Tool on the members. The idea was each member was to fill out this job self evaluation and review it with their “mentor.” It was not accepted by the membership and in fact I don’t know of anyone that filled it out. It was quietly abandoned because the members did not accept it. Would it not have been better to ask the members first and save a lot of trouble, and paper?

Recently the SVAA President attempted to pass a change in the SVAA By-Laws that would proscribe an appointed officer from sitting on the SVAA Board of Directors. I am hearing that the members feel this would limit the choice of the members to select the candidate of their choice. Reports are further circulating that our President is resisting giving the vote on this issue to the members, as are certain senior appointed officers. My research indicates this might be a back door approach to remove one dissident member from the SVAA Board of Directors; a member who has spoken out against certain practices outlined in this article. Only the members at large have the right to change By-Laws. The Directors are supposed to work for the members.

I did research with an attorney specializing in business law and it was revealing. It is a principle in non-profit organizations that members elect directors, and directors appoint officers. Changes in the organizational by-laws are to be voted on by the general membership. Our SVAA By-Laws are in bad need of overhaul as the real power lies with the SVAA Board of Directors and not the membership! On top of that when a Director resigns between regular elections, the SVAA Board of Directors selects a new Director instead of the membership holding a special election. The SVAA Board of Directors holds closed meetings to decide contract and purchasing matters. These meetings are supposed to be open to the members. These are just some of the changes need to overhaul the SVAA By-Laws to restore a balance of power between the general membership and the Board of Directors. I hear too many comments about the culture of secrecy that the SVAA operates in.

I hear comments that anyone who speaks up against certain “kingmakers” and chief opinion makers is either ignored or faces retaliation. I was privately warned to be careful of this! There is a wonderful book on this subject that addresses this subject well. Crucial Conversations by Patterson et al, ISBN 0-07-140194-6, explores the need for safe and open communication by all parties at all levels in any situation to protect the safety and integrity of the organization. When you have one chief “opinion maker” such as a surgeon who will not allow free and open communication, you have a disaster waiting to happen. This is what happened at Duke University when a mismatched liver was transplanted into a Mexican girl in a rush to start the operation. The girl lost her life as a result of the surgeon failing to listen to the team, and check the safety data to insure a safe match. It happens in every organization at various times. When the opinion and authority of one person is more important than hearing what others have to say, you have a ticking time bomb. Given the explosive temper of the “Kingmaker,” there is a real problem here because someone’s temper tantrum caused this whole mess you are reading about. I would expect that from a two or three year old.

That is why it is important to rotate different people in positions on the Board of Directors and Officers positions. No one person should remain in a position too long, which is why term limits are a wise provision in any set of by-laws. Every one of us has both a duty and right to participate in the governance of the SVAA. For one person to gain too much influence and control is ultimately destructive to the organization in the long run. People who remain in a position too long too often tend to get a false sense of entitlement and ownership. The positions on the board and officers slots do not belong to anyone individual, but are positions of stewardship to serve others. One of our senior appointed officers has been heard out of town to refer to SVAA as “my ambulance service.” This attitude will drive out good members and keep our best talent from having a chance to contribute to the SVAA.

There is another book that explores what happens when there are serious leadership problems in an organization. Bad Leadership, by Barbara Kellerman, ISBN 1-59139-166-0, explores this issue in far more detail than any other book I have yet seen. It was recommended to me by my Medical Director at a Harvard University hospital, and is worth its weight in gold. It spends time on incompetent, rigid, intemperate, callous, corrupt, insular and evil leadership, as well as how these kinds of leaders will destroy an organization. Just an important is the emphasis on the responsibility of the close followers and ordinary membership to speak up to stop wrongful practices.

I learned a lot of this the hard way while working as a manager in Chicago, while attending Nursing College. All around me was the culture of corruption and Chicago style politics that descended from the era of the late Richard J. Daley, former Mayor of Chicago. If you want a primer on political corruption try to get your hands on an out of print book written by Mike Royko. Boss writes about the entire history of Chicago style politics in complete detail. The lessons there are timeless and apply today in the setting of any organization. From my experience it looks like we have a “Little Chicago: at the Suffield Ambulance.

In any organization, everything hinges on the quality of it’s leadership. I am concerned about the undercurrent within the SVAA. The comments and conversations I hear indicate to me that the SVAA is at a crossroads. We need to have a unity and consensus to guide the SVAA into the future. I am very concerned that an anonymous “Maceavellian Memo” was leaked outside the organization, finding it’s way to the press. It is of no small concern to me that someone might have done this feeling there was no other way to be heard. Perhaps this web page will help remove that false impression. It is obvious that changes are needed within the SVAA and very soon. I hear too many comments that the SVAA is a very cliquish organization full of favoritism and secrecy.


LAST YEARS “MACEAVILLIAN MEMO” AND SVAA LEADERSHIP RESPONSE

Last year an anonymous source spread a copy of what can best be described as either very evil forgery, or a disturbing factual memo, depending on whom you listen too. That argument was the center of the debate, but is perhaps the least important thing given the problems we need to deal with instead of trying to cover up because certain “kingmakers” don’t like the light of day.

Suddenly a copy of a “memo” appeared all over Suffield. The contents of the memo remain a mystery to most of us who did not receive it, or have not had an opportunity to read it first hand the response by the SVAA Board of Directors and The Town of Suffield is far less of a mystery.

The First Selectwoman appears to have been angered beyond belief by sending out The Suffield Police to track down the source. My first knowledge of this incident was on my office computer at work in Boston, while reading The Hartford Courant online. To say the least it was disturbing to me as a member of this organization. The police got around to calling on me about two weeks later, and the detective read me a few brief lines from the “memo.” The detective tried to trick me thinking I was involved in that incident. Information reached me through another police department that they even named me as a suspect. One of the reasons this web site is up is a constructive response to that false accusation. As a known human rights activist, I am a target on their radar screen for speaking up against police abuse at: http://www.gainesnet.com/police.htm

Other innocent people were wrongfully accused of being the author of this “memo.”

Two things disturb me about this affair. The first is the reports of heavy-handed police methods including threats to require SVAA members to take lie detector tests. There is no such requirement by law and this was patently illegal. Hints were dropped about “arrests.” Both these tactics were clearly attempts at intimidation that have backfired. Other members have told me they don’t bother take as many shifts as they used to, and feel alienated by SVAA leadership. I have noticed fewer people taking Medic 22 (back up) calls since the police “dragnet.” Overall more members appear to be taking fewer shifts. The response by officials has significantly eroded the trust, teamwork, camaraderie and unity within the SVAA. We now have only thirty active members with seventy seven names on the list. What gives here?

It also disturbs me as I hear some people in Suffield ask why the Suffield Police didn’t investigate the allegations made in the “memo.” I have not heard all of the allegations first hand. I have heard dangerous hearsay about allegations of corruption and private misconduct by certain senior SVAA officers and board members. It would have been better, in my opinion, to have openly investigated both up front as opposed to letting the matter linger. By not addressing these issues in the open in a timely fashion, much fuel has been added to the fires of speculation. The reputation of the SVAA and certain individuals will suffer as questions of a cover up persist.

It may be too late to peacefully bring the matter out in the open as the damage has been done. What is worse is the likelihood these issues will re-emerge in the future, with a renewed fury. That will not be a pretty day, under any conditions. The town lost the one chance it had to clear the air. The next go-round will endanger the future of the SVAA. The staged dog and pony show that passed as an annual meeting will someday blow back in their faces.


STUFFING THE BALLOT BOX

This is not a pretty subject but too many comments have reached my ears in the past two years on this subject. Some trusted members have told me that two certain “king makers” mounted a telephone campaign against me, using personal insults and false statements to make sure I did not win a seat of the Board of Directors. Having run three times, that is enough for me. If he fact is considered the last time I almost won, my loss was by one vote. We all need to do some thinking.

Why doesn’t SVAA post the vote count on the board? What has someone got to hide? Why aren’t the votes counted by an impartial witness as is the case at Windsor Volunteer Ambulance?

The practice of smear campaigns by telephone and other means begs another question. Why do certain key people always do this? I again consulted with a close friend who is a federal officer, and former board member of an area volunteer ambulance association. His opinion is this amounts to “owning the board,” by a certain “kingmaker.” Could a certain person be putting their kind of person on the board to insure control? This is how Mayor Daley did things in Chicago with his infamous “political machine.”

I know of many good qualified people that refuse to run for political office in both the public and private sector, because they wish to avoid this kind of mudslinging.

I see a lot of organizations with people in charge who got their positions by who they know and other devious means. Those organizations are in big trouble now as they are unable to retain or recruit licensed health care professionals. They are closing beds and losing revenue to organizations that promote free, responsible and open communication. It is time for a culture change in the SVAA, moving towards these modern management practices and away from the “good ole boy & gal” school of management.

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WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

There are a number of people wanting change. I have started to hear calls for the resignation of most members of The SVAA Board of Directors, and many appointed officers. That is a really good start. We need to hold a members meeting to elect a new board of new people. Those with conflicts of interest should not be allowed to run again ever in the future, or hold officers positions. While it will require new people to step forward and that we recruit new talent, in the long run it will keep certain insiders from using SVAA as their private cash cow.

We need to overhaul the By-Laws with the members that are left in good standing to vote.

We need to recover the monies SVAA put out to set up and operate a private, for profit business. This would mean the cost of equipment, supplies, telephone lines, training and other items. If necessary legal action should be used to force those in power to account for their actions and pay up.

Those people who have abused their positions need to be removed from the SVAA permanently.

All of us as members need to pull together, and organize. The choice is ours, and the time is now. What are you going to do? If you fail to act, then you are a part of the problem too.






CHECK BACK OFTEN FOR UPDATES AS THEY HAPPEN!
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