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







Loading...

98 Comments

  1. heaven says:

    I am so grateful to hear that Karen’s grandchildren are now home with family!
    What a blessing+

    Has CPS/CWS closed the case???

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
    • Cindy says:

      NO CWS has not closed the case. The children are back and I have no reason to believe that they won’t remain at home and the case will be closed in the next few MONTHS (red tape and paper work I’m told).

      However I will add that CWS has made it as difficult as possible for the time being. Unfortunately, Karen would prefer that nothing more is said for the moment so I guess much of the BS is going to have to wait until the law suits are filed. However, since everyone already knows that they (CWS) tried to use the bogus DUI as an excuse for their illegal continued kidnapping over a 4 month period, I will tell you that because that “whack job”, Heather Zukler (sp) determined that Karen’s DUI makes her dangerous, she is currently not allowed to drive her grandchildren any where. If you consider that Karen’s daughter works to support her children and as of yet isn’t receiving any child support you can imagine the difficulties when Karen has the children (daily) and can’t drive anyplace with them and I have no doubt that CWS is enjoying making it as difficult as possible.

      Well I have news for CWS, Karen and Christine have friends, LOTS OF THEM.

      My question is, when is the judge going to do something about Heather’s “opinion”? Even if Karen had a REAL DUI, it’s unheard of to disallow someone (especially a first time offender with an otherwise perfect record) to drive their grandchildren anywhere. Everything that has happened to this family is over the top and clearly nothing but retribution.

      (1) 19 Total Votes - 10 up - 9 down
      • heaven says:

        I completely 100% believe that CWS is making it as difficult as possible on this family!!!
        I can further understand Karen’s position, until they close the case. The case has not closed why??? WARNING red flag. Be very CAUTIOUS!!!! Either they have met the petition (open case) or not….
        CPS is keeping it opened and this should make you stop and think…
        CPS is now allotted more time (but of coarse,claiming they are following the case plan) to further allege ridiculous allegations-anything to substantiate their case.

        Anyone who has had the unfortunate (first hand experience) knows this is how they play their game. Keep a careful watch. Until this case is closed.

        Karen and her family from my understanding have a substantial amount of support.
        I am a stranger, but have a common thread, I have gone before, so I speak from personal experience.
        It is unbelievable, CPS, a living nightmare until they are out of your life. Many others families have been impacted by the system. You are not alone and Karen you will get through this.

        (-5) 11 Total Votes - 3 up - 8 down
        • Cindy says:

          RED FLAG is right. I stopped by to see the kids today and offered to drive them all into town with Karen. Guess what? It turns out that in order for a person to drive the children, they have to be approved by CWS! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Currently there is a list with only 3 people on it who are allowed to drive the children anyplace! WT_?? I can’t wait until all the details come out in the law suit and in the mean time, CWS (Heather) is making certain that Karen’s friends can’t be of any support to her where driving is concerned.

          Also this so called SS worker, Heather Zickuhr (no more (sp) that’s her name) has some strange idea that CWS should show up twice a week, get that, TWICE A WEEK for the next 6 MONTHS to check on things! Check on what exactly? This is all nothing but harassment and only serves to continue to traumatize those children. Hopefully the judge will straighten out this inappropriate CWS behavior and put an end to it once and for all.

          I feel very sorry for Heather’s children, narcissist do serious damage not only to anyone who HAS TO deal with them but particularly to their own families. This woman should not be in this profession. I seriously believe that.

          (-2) 14 Total Votes - 6 up - 8 down
          • heaven says:

            RED FLAGS all over the place!!!

            Yes, this is just another form of CWS playing psychological games with this family! I guarantee until they close the case they just will continue to grasp at anything they possibly can by implementing new rules to the “case plan” made up along the way Karen
            must adhere to. These are illegal tactics using the “best interest if the child,” it just is intimidation/manipulation using Karen’s grandchildren as merchandise. It is all a smoke screen on the part of CWS to stop by twice a week. This is just to add further reports to the courts with their twisted perspectives about or on anyone that will try to help this family.

            ALWAYS have a witness there at the time of these so called visits. Oh heads up they will more than likely be recording the visits. Not likely they will tell you this. Watch you will see when the reports come out that they submit to the courts of the visits it will be word for word verbatim of what was said, who was there…and so on.
            I highly doubt that these social workers have a X-ray memory to recall every last word/detail that occurs on these visits..
            So keep your eyes open for the generated reports by these social
            workers. Generally they submit reports right before a hearing and last minute giving little time to read or correct them for accuracy.
            This is just another tactic used to make things more complicated.

            Unfortunately, the judges rely so heavily on CPS reports and
            recommendations.. the old rubber stamping.
            They just want you to jump through their hoops

            (-3) 13 Total Votes - 5 up - 8 down
            • Cindy says:

              “ALWAYS have a witness there at the time of these so called visits. Oh heads up they will more than likely be recording the visits.”

              It would be great if they recorded the meetings. By law they have to tell you (get your permission) and that will give Karen the opportunity to record as well. She wanted everything recorded, meetings and phone conversations alike. She went to Lee Collins for permission so she could prove exactly what was being said and Lee Collins REFUSED to allow her to record them thus foiling her efforts to prove anything. So after that, people started offering to always be present with Karen or listening in on phone calls so that they could witness the facts as they really are – ie: “Your profession is inappropriate for children”, “Your personality is inappropriate to be around children”. “Your use of words like attorney is in appropriate around children”.

              (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
              • heaven says:

                Thank you. Yes, I understand it is illegal to record with out all parties being notified… and in agreement.
                But do not underestimate CWS… Look how many
                laws thus far they have broken and are now breaking!!!
                It is clear they do not follow the law. They removed these children right and continue to keep this case active. Now, they want to do 2 visits until they close the case. Why? What next.
                I reiterate, be aware when the do the 2 visits…
                watch their reports. I am glad to hear that Karen will have an additional person always there with her. To give an accurate account of what goes on.
                I am surprised the social workers have yet to request supervised visits, and demand counseling or they may have. This sounds right that they want to control who drives the kids. Who came up with the 3 people that they “approved” as drivers? All of this sounds to me like it is just to make it more difficult on
                Karen.
                It is true once you turn it around on them that you will record them. Of coarse they will not agree. However, if they are coming to Karen’s home/residence.
                Post a notice on the front door in BOLD: Warning that any one who this domain may be recorded for quality assurance!
                Now they have been put on notice!!!
                I am so thankful Karen has many loyal and honest people who will remain in her corner( no matter what) who are committed to see this case through.

                (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
  2. heaven says:

    As 2013 comes to a close, it’s count down to shut down CPS what a great goal for the New year.
    Never underestimate the power of prayer!!!
    Just as the Gov’t shut down, drastic cuts are on the way to the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court system, including employee furloughs, service cuts and even the shutdown of a courthouse. Grover Beach closed!

    SLO courts could be next…… 2014 will bring drastic changes as to how CPS/CWS does business.

    Many Blessing to all and Happy New Year+

    (-11) 13 Total Votes - 1 up - 12 down
  3. ReelView says:

    Veli and her family will be in my prayers.

    (1) 19 Total Votes - 10 up - 9 down
    • Black_Copter_Pilot says:

      I have it from a sanctifying source that the prayers won’t reach her if you spell her name wrong.

      (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
      • Black_Copter_Pilot says:

        You folks have no sense of humor, period!

        (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
  4. ReelView says:

    Anyone who exposes the truth will become victims of this terrorism. I’m still working on my story and and CalCoastNews will be the first to check it out, and tell me what they think.

    (-1) 19 Total Votes - 9 up - 10 down
  5. JordanJ says:

    After reading all these posts and the articles related to this ordeal with these children, I decided that I have to say something about all this.

    I do hope that people realize that many of these social workers involved with CWS are not qualified by any means. Many have only completed minimal college credits in a related human health or services field but they achieve high end “unaccredited” credentials from within the agency based on experience. This experience can be related to anything in the field. They are not highly educated workers by any means, many don’t even have an AA degree. These so called social workers are the incompetent uneducated people who are making life changing decisions about who gets to raise their own children and which children will sold to a stranger, that is; with the help of a jv judge who relies on the reports that the SS workers present. The parents and children receive very little legal representation as these court appointed attorneys are usually flunkies in their own right, burned out and often fraternize with the social workers who they see on a daily basis.

    Recently, the Santa Maria Agency decided to upgrade 11 of 14 “intake workers” (“intake worker” this is a person who takes care of children on premise at the agency when they are initially brought into the system on the first day) to “social worker 1 status”. So now these intake workers are social workers out in the field looking for more children.. OMG

    I agree, this system needs a serious overhaul complete with real permanent oversight.

    (10) 24 Total Votes - 17 up - 7 down
    • heaven says:

      Yes, the social workers reports are often taken as factual and the judge heavily relies on these generated reports…
      These so called factual reports are riddled with inaccurate accounts and one sided to support CWS position in the petition to remove children.
      The System needs to be gutted.

      (7) 27 Total Votes - 17 up - 10 down
  6. Longarm says:

    It will be very interesting to watch what happens to all of the kidnappers careers, including
    the judge that is trying to cover it up. This kind of thing ends up in professional disaster and
    probably prison. The “Official Reason” for the kidnapping, “A dirty House.” Then to top it off,
    threats of child trafficking. Stay tuned, very soon, for a Hollywood style exposure of the
    whole “County Kidnapping Ring.” Our production company is switching gears.

    (5) 29 Total Votes - 17 up - 12 down
    • heaven says:

      Excellent!!!! This production will be priceless.

      I know people (concrete evidence) will be willing to tell their story. Yesterday, I just reiterated my desire and passion to see to a local documentary on local court/CPS.
      San Luis Obispo was named the “Happiest City in America.” What an oxymoron.
      This quaint town has thick layers of sheer corruption/ the County has a flip side. It is extremely important for the legalized kidnapping to be exposed. And these people are forced out of positions they are unqualified for. Each one knows who they are.
      I have always said it is just a matter of time..
      The TIME IS NOW for the truth to known.
      Just like Shamed Penn State defense coach Jerry Sandusky. Who would of thought?
      Our community is fed up with the abuse by these entities.These people have gone on long enough destroying loving homes. Just like Jerry, eventually time is up. ACCOUNTABILTY will be dolled out.
      (Social Service Director, CPS caseworkers, Attorneys, Evaluators, and Judges) will be getting their convicted rapist sentences.

      See

      http://www.kidsforcashthemovie.com

      I can see it now SLO CPS DOCUMENTARY

      (-2) 26 Total Votes - 12 up - 14 down
    • heaven says:

      That is ACCURATE “County Kidnapping Ring.”

      I am grateful for you exposing the TRUTH about CPS raping our families.
      Thank you!

      (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  7. freshair says:

    I also have a feeling that the homeless couples who have had their children taken away from them may be a direct result of their refusal to join Capslo’s Case Management program.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  8. heaven says:

    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…

    (6) 26 Total Votes - 16 up - 10 down
  9. Dave says:

    Dan Blackburn will discuss this essay Friday at 5:05 p.m. on News/Talk 920 KVEC.

    (10) 50 Total Votes - 30 up - 20 down
    • heaven says:

      Thank you Mr. Blackburn for the post/talk on KVEC.
      You are absolutely 100% correct. CWS has intervened with the wrong family and if Karen was not who she is those children would be adopted!!! If she remained quiet (like I was ordered) reunification most likely would not have occurred. Unfortunately, many others do not have the means to go public.
      Keep the heat on the County and CWS. Trust me, you have just hit tip of the iceberg. Keep digging. Follow the money trail…
      And they will eventually sink. After all these years of remaining silent, I know that in due time the truth will be exposed on the dark “CORRUPTION.” Child Welfare needs to cease rapeing families.
      Darkness likes to hide but the light always finds truth. That is why there is such distain, you news is making people uncomfortable.
      Yes, in time it will all play out. Keep up speaking the truth+ keep the faith.
      Thank you for continuing to be a voice.Can you repost the article that has the names involved.. Keep it fresh!

      (8) 42 Total Votes - 25 up - 17 down