County bullies in full revenge mode

December 24, 2013

Dan 2OPINION: By DANIEL BLACKBURN

It was a casual get-together of professional women, mostly from the South County and Santa Maria, and the tone was cordial until one of the ladies happened to mention that she had read an article on CalCoastNews.

“The mood of the gathering changed instantly,” she later recalled. “The contempt was palpable.” The room went to ice, and the subject was dropped.

CalCoastNews has been loathed by a segment of county readers since its inception five years ago. That goes with the territory; every newspaper for which I have worked was roundly reviled by the local population. Competent investigative reporting has a way of upsetting fat cats and moral midgets intent on exploiting the status quo.

But my friend wanted to emphasize: What she heard expressed at that gathering was deep, raw, visceral… pure hatred.

News outlets don’t often become the target of anonymous, ongoing, compensated character assassination, and see its reporters probed by private dicks in the hire of public officials.

Nevertheless, it’s all still just part of the job, I guess.

But there’s nothing in the job description about placing one’s family in jeopardy of governmental kidnapping.

That’s the simplest and most accurate way of describing what has happened to the grandchildren of CalCoastNews co-founder and publisher Karen Velie.

(For those of you familiar with social media terminology, the linked article already has been “shared” by 1,536 readers, and is probably CalCoastNews’ most widely read article, ever.)

Velie has been prohibited by order of the court to discuss her family situation, so those of us who haven’t yet been silenced will continue the conversation.

That’s the right thing to do, for Velie, her family, and all of the families now afflicted by these kinds of punitive child welfare services. And it’s the right thing for society.

Those who have followed the grandkids’ plight know that they were taken by San Luis Obispo County’s Child Welfare Services (CWS) last summer on the thinnest of premise after declaring the home of their mother, Velie’s daughter, “dirty.” Since then, child welfare case workers have tried to  justify shuttling the children from foster home to foster home, admonishing Velie to change her attitude and her profession if she wanted to see the children again.

In other words, some CWS people apparently did not like what CalCoastNews has been reporting about CWS’s conjoined agency, the  Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO).

These are not empty assertions. CWS case workers have been oh-so-willing to make these comments with witnesses present or listening.

Check the law: None of these arbitrary “reasons” justify splitting up a family, nor does Velie’s bogus DUI, pasted on her in the immediate aftermath of the CWS abduction.

As the family separation wore on, it became clear from their own comments that CWS employees had every intention of putting Velie’s grandchildren up for adoption.

Did you get that? Up. For. Adoption.

That’s when CalCoastNews published its first mention of the Velie family plight.

The article provided a perception of the county’s CWS policies that generally remain hidden from public view by confidentiality laws and loosely interpreted regulation. But the veil of secrecy surrounding child welfare activities in general is intended to protect the kids, not provide impenetrable cover for inept welfare workers and their unprofessional retaliatory actions.

People need to know about this. Don’t count on most of the local media to bother looking into this situation with open eyes, though, partly because there are too many sacred cows grazing on county largesse, and partly because there is a distinct lack of journalistic huevos hereabouts. This is doubly troubling because I believe an informed, bold, inquisitive, and politically insulated media guards against unwarranted governmental intrusion into our lives.

There seem to be plenty of people in this county who would not agree with that opinion.

They are the folks who are content to sit mute and watch as the sticky fingers of government pluck apart families without sound reason. They are satisfied to look the other way even when confronted with overwhelming evidence of official misconduct.

They are the folks who believe this will never happen to them, or theirs.

Lastly, I should note that this news site’s publisher doesn’t allow reporters to write commentaries. So, figuring that apologizing later will be simpler than getting her approval now, I’m just going to go ahead and post this.

Happy holidays.

CalCoastNews’ senior correspondent says unprintably hateful correspondence may be directed to blackburn.danielj@gmail.com


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IronMan

What is going on here is simply a microcosm of what is happening nationally. Challenging the status quo is what founded this country. To be blunt, our forefathers, in particular my forefathers were traitors to the tyranny and oppression that England cast on this land. One of the objectives of the Civil War was to end slavery. Then we gave everyone the right to vote. These were all novel concepts, but concepts and ideologies that challenged the status quo. It all started with a reporter and people willing to challenge the corrupt government. These corrupt officials are nothing more and nothing less than the “school yard bullies” who abuse their position of trust and responsibility for personal gain, whether it be monetary or ego driven? So, if you can’t believe this has happened in the happiest place on earth, then it is time to pick up a history book and read it. Our local governmental agencies are often dubbed the most corrupt agencies on the west coast.

Lastly, when the matter is before a tribunal there won’t be enough money in the county coffers to insulate the perpetrators of this blatant rape of the kids’ lives. Be sure to sue the architects of this horrific deed, because I for one will give a billion to each of the kids involved to this injustice – take the case outside of the jurisdiction.


heaven

It is time for the individual s involved in this case to be publicly named…

The CWS workers names, the attorneys (private, court appointed, and the children’s cout appointed lawyers) the presiding judge. And all persons impacting this case. The public has the right to know who these individuals are. So they can be addressed accordingly!

They need to be exposed.

No more hiding.


shellbeachmom

Maybe it’s time we got 20/20 or 60 minutes involved? I’ll bet they’d jump at this story. Hmmmm????


heaven

I think all the families in the community impacted by cws should come together and bring to light all the stories and make a documentary!


heaven

It would be great if all the families who have been impacted by San Luis Obispo CPS would come together and shed light on there stories by putting together a documentary!!!


heaven

It is time for the individual s involved in this case to be publicly named…

The CWS workers names, the attorneys (private, court appointed, and the children’s cout appointed lawyers) the presiding judge. And all persons impacting this case. The public has the right to know who these individuals are. So they can be addressed accordingly!

They need to be exposed.

No more hiding.


NorthCountyGuy

So, what’s the quid pro quo for CWS employees who abuse and defraud the taxpayers?


Everybody knows how the bosses of the public sector unions are rewarding corrupt and incompetent public employees and defrauding the taxpayers.


The public sector unions are the rotten core of everything that is wrong in all levels of government. The teachers unions are the rotten core of everything that is wrong in the government schools.


Concerning self-serving arrogance, corruption, abuse of power and the lack of accountability, public sector unions are the biggest organized-crime racket in America.


hijinks

Merry Christmas to you, too.


heaven

I think all the families in the community impacted by cws should come together and bring to light all the stories and make a documentary!


BitchMoanComplain

Although the title of this article is “County bullies in full revenge mode”


It should really read “County CHILD ABUSERS in full revenge mode”…. as it is on this case and probably many others.


It is beyond sad that the very agency SLO CWS, designated to protect the welfare of children does the exact opposite in so many cases.


AND IT IS EVEN SADDER THAT WHEN QUESTIONED, THESE AGENCIES DENY OBVIOUS WRONG DOING AT THE EXPENSE OF INNOCENT CHILDREN!


heaven

It is time that Director Lee Collins takes personal accountability and responsibility for his department and staff alike!!! OVERSIGHT on Child Welfare.


Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Many cases do not have this outcome…before I speak to soon. Lets wait and just see how CWS handles this case until they close it.


There should be no reason these children should be removed or are in the custody of the state-unless they are in “imminent danger.” A “dirty house” or “depression” does not equate to three child becoming dependents of the court.


It begins with a dirty house and then….keep filling it in as to the next reason they continue to keep your children.


I personally know, first hand experience…it begins with one accusation and then CWS has to meet the reason of removal so things begin to be falsified to support there petition for removal. And they will never say they made a mistake or are wrong.

You will be intimidated to jump through all the hoops (so called case plans) and depending on the case workers mood the outcome follows suit.


Trust me your child can be held hostage while you are left with no other option other than to comply with a social workers cookie cutter case plan-whether you agree with it or not….


I will not continue on, for now.. but I do want the TRUTH and to see JUSTICE for all these children. The one’s who have gone before and the future ones. A voice for the family’s in cases just like this who were given “gag” orders by the courts, claiming confidentiality.


It is injustice and it happened to my family. It must stop!!!!!!!!

+


See

CA Codes (wic:300-304.7)

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=wic&group…‎


WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE SECTION 300-304.7. 300. Any child who comes within any of the following descriptions is within the jurisdiction of the …


I am encouraged to see the continued good fight for oversight on CWS.


Cindy

“It begins with a dirty house and then….keep filling it in as to the next reason they continue to keep your children.”


This is true. In an effort to substantiate a removal based on neglect, the CWS worker reported that the children were filthy, had not bathed in a couple of weeks and all had head lice! This is an absolute lie, every bit of it. In fact Gwen was immaculate that day, I still recall what she was wearing because she looked so cute. The boy’s were a little dirty from playing outside but they clearly had new dirt from the day on them. All of them had clean hair and I know those kids bath every day. They did not have head lice either, that is an outright lie. They had all been staying in a hotel with their mother and Karen. Karen and Chrisy didn’t have head lice and they had all been sharing the same hair brush. I asked Gwen if she had head lice after CWS took her and she said no. The children (like all children) have contracted head lice in the past from school and they know the routine. They all said they didn’t have head lice. It just makes me sick that a CWS worker would outright lie like this. She also stated that the children were very upset and that they were screaming and crying, NOT TRUE. I arrived right behind CWS and the kids were all fine, no one was screaming and crying.


danika

Why would there be 10 thumbs down for Cindy’s post?


If you disagree with her, then post WHY you gave her a thumbs down. I certainly want to know…


No_More_Anger

It’s Cindy, that’s all that counts


Homer

“The children (like all children) have contracted head lice in the past from school and they know the routine.” All children? Are you kidding? Very, very few children get head lice and fewer still “know the routine.”


heaven

YES, I AGREE WITH MR. BLACKBURN WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO BE A VOICE…


I knew it would be a matter of time the courts ordered Karen not to talk/write/ or publish further details of her case.


SO IN THE MEANTIME WE CAN KEEP ADVOCATING.


Look up SAN LUIS OBISPO GRAND JURY REPORTS downloads from 2003-2004


The below is just the beginning…


THE SAFETY AND BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN?

AN INQUIRY INTO CHILD WELFARE SERVICES

Synopsis

The 2003-2004 Grand Jury received multiple complaints against the San

Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services (DSS). These complaints

accused the Child Welfare Services (CWS) division of failing to provide for

the safety and stability of children who are at risk of abuse and/or neglect.

Investigation of the complaints led us to examine several CWS systems.

Our investigation focused on two areas where CWS has important responsibilities:

the county system for reporting and investigating suspected child

abuse, and the processes involved in the placement of children who have

been removed from their homes. We found problems in both systems that

involve lack of communication and coordination with related agencies. In reporting

child abuse, CWS fails to provide law enforcement and the district attorney…


SLOTECH90

Over 100 years ago, a reporter in NYC by the name of Thomas Nast brought the infamous

“Boss Tweed,” and his crony-criminal gang who ran the city to public light. Thank you Ms.

Velie and Mr. Blackburn for carrying on a most noble tradition. You are aiming not just to kill a few alligators, but clean up the whole damn swamp,


Cindy

“the linked article already has been “shared” by 1,536 readers”


When 1536 readers decide to share an article with someone they know, you know that people are angry. Most people don’t forward an article on to someone else unless they think it’s very important. No doubt all that sharing will increase readership as more people learn about CCN. The internet is full of stories from all over the country about CWS/CPS overstepping their authority so I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up with many new readers following this item right through to the end..


heaven

Yes, it would be great to follow through…

I monitor a few times a day for updates and grateful to read them.

Personally, I know the devastation CPS causes by there carelessness and sheer negligence. The grief is deep and goes to the marrow. My heart and prayers go out to this entire family!


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