Rally to free Karen Velie’s grandchildren

December 5, 2013
The children at the SLO Children's Museum in June, after building their rendition of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The children at the SLO Children’s Museum in June, after building their rendition of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

OPINION by SAUNDRA MURRAY KING

It’s time for the masses to gather together and protest against the subjective cruelties of San Luis Obispo County Child Welfare Services. While we do need to have a watchdog for the protection of our children, it’s another thing when they use subjective decisions to demonstrate an abusive power — a power that tears families apart and subjects the children to more abusive behavior. 

Karen Velie’s grandchildren are in the custody of CWS. They were originally supposed to be in CWS custody for a couple of days for a “dirty house.” That was in July. They are still in custody and are only given a one hour visit a week with their mother. The children are depressed and suffering. Who is the county trying to punish?

Enough is enough! Help bring the kids back home by joining me at a rally Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8:30 a.m. in front of the County Government Center at 1055 Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo. Bring signs to send a message to the County Board of Supervisors that it is unacceptable to ignore suffering children.

It’s time for a good, old fashioned protest. It’s time to let everyone know that we will stand up and make our voices heard. It’s time to do our part to right a wrong. It’s way past time for CWS to do their proper job and reunite Karen Velie’s family.

See you Tuesday morning.


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heaven

Nepotism runs deep and thick throughout the various county Departments.


It is the “good boy system.” So the threat runs that there position will be jeopardized or that of one of there colleagues or coworkers. So when they are called on the carpet…you better believe they cover each others backs.


I familiar with these characters and players. The truth does comes out one way or another.

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1inthemiddle

Well that certainly was a shameful display. A group of people with no knowledge of the facts surrounding this sad circumstance using the lives of innocent children to further their misguided views is such a sad sight. People who claim to want limits on government power coming out and encouraging the legislative brach to run over the judicial, unbelievable behavior.


Cindy

Please don’t even try going there “1inthe middle”. I have knowledge of the facts, all the facts.


I have been privy to the facts since day 1 and I have known this family for several years. I have first hand knowledge. These children were removed for a dirty home that was outside the control of the mother at that time. The mother has never had any history of alcohol, drug or child abuse/neglect. THAT IS A FACT. The mother is hard working, mentally sound and as good a parent as any of us could be under the circumstances that she was facing. If DSS had done their job and assisted her with collecting child support from her husband ie: the father of the 3 children, she would not have had to have roommates. It irritates the daylights out of me to hear people like county council state that they have reviewed the file and all is in order. NOTHING is in order, sure, the file appears in order but is it factual? The answer is NO. Many, many statements by the social workers are not true, even the police who initially called for the dirty home said , I will quote” no I did not say that to the CWS respondent, she must have misunderstood”. It goes on and on. There isn’t anything wrong with the mother, it’s all about who these children have for a grandmother. Make no mistake about that.


I did not come to this conclusion lightly or early on. Frankly, it’s difficult to believe that this could even be happening but I know all the facts and it is exactly what the CCN article say’s that it is.


Now have a nice day and learn the facts before you call those who seek justice “shameful” .


1inthemiddle

It is remarkable that you “have all the facts”. That is indeed a very unique position to be in. I assume you are referring to the court sealed case regarding the children that where only a person of legal standing with the court has access too and second hand or hearsay knowledge. It is notable that you indicate the mother has no mental issues while the initial CCN opinion stated something different. Additionally the original CCN opinion speaks of the grandmother but in general that relationship does not give her standing with the court as a guardian.

I don’t know any of the answers, but the whole presentation and execution is suspect to me. 50 people at a BOS meeting certainly did not “know all the facts” but chose the time to exploit the children and the family for there own agenda. Again, to suggest that the legislative can or should rule over the goings on of the judicial branch is unconstitutional.

I will agree that abuse of power can manifest itself anywhere from your cell phone customer service person to a public official, it is quite an unsubstantiated leap to the proposal that there is an institutionalized conspiracy here. On that subject it is not possible for you to “know all the facts.”


Cindy

I have not seen the case file and I don’t know the inaccuracies (I’m being polite here). What I do know is the factual truth. I do know the judges rulings as those are not made behind closed doors and I know that those rulings have not been followed. I am privy to some items in the case file that are out right “inaccuracies” and it is clear that there is an agenda where CWS and CAPSLO is concerned here and that agenda is to pursue a vendetta above the well being of those children.


If you think for one moment that it is easy for me to conclude that which I have stated above, your mistaken. It is not easy, not fun and the last thing that I want to believe but facts are facts and I have reached a cross road where I have to believe the unthinkable. The truth is frightening and I wish the facts were different. I adore these children and know them well. The last thing I would ever do is to advocate on behalf of the parent and grandmother if I didn’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was correct.


These children will be damaged, insecure and traumatized for many years to come and it is solely because of what CWS has done to them. These children were otherwise, happy, funny, healthy, emotionally secure and well loved.


Cindy

and another thing, you mentioned Christine’s mental health in relation to the article. Yes Christine is currently depressed and it is a healthy depression and a natural depression. In the last year, her uncle and grandmother died from an accident. Then her baby sister died (there is a 8-10 year difference in age between Karen’s older girls and the youngest who passed)

On the same day that Christine’s baby sister died, her 3 children were taken away for a dirty house that she had no control over as she had been away for a week with her children in tow, sharing with Karen sitting vigil by her sisters side in hopes that the sister would show signs of life. If she wasn’t currently depressed then I would agree that something is wrong with her. Life isn’t always great.


I might mention that her sadness hasn’t caused her to miss a day of work or a single child visit. She is not what is considered “clinically” depressed as in a mental illness. Depression/sadness is natural and healthy under these circumstances.


Cindy

Anybody got any GREAT IDEA’s for sign’s? I just bought some poster board and can’t decide what to write on it. There are so many options and so much wrong that I don’t know where to start. Something simple, but what would be catchy?????


Pelican1

“HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS”


heaven

Pelican1-“Home is Where the Heart is”


Freedoms are not given. You have to fight to keep them. Daily, homes are destroyed by the heartless actions conducted by CWS

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See parentalrights.org

-ParentalRights.org/Overruled.


Pelican1

Exactly my point. CWS has NO heart. The children’s heart is at home with THEIR family.


heaven

Get as much live News Coverage as possible…contact the San Luis Obispo Tribune…

write and call. As much MEDIA on the case.


Right Now, in LA there is a large protest going on in from workers in there agency protesting the case loads and safety concerns for children.

So it is time for SLO to look like that.


Also, The Women’s Press. Angie King has a great heart. They have court watchers.


I know that due to budget cuts, the courts at times no longer provide court reporters so you have no record to fall back on.

If there in no court reporter. REQUEST IT. So you can later request all copies of the record.


Preserve the record. So vitally important.

Trust me, it’s like it never happened if you do not have written record!!!! So request it.

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isoslo

Free the kids to restore freedom of the press


achillesheal

How about the cliched but effective “Free Kaleb”, one for each child.


Pelican1

“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with the county’s favorite colors.”


Pelican1

Don’t allow the county to “Dee”stroy these children. Set them free.


Pelican1

A bit of a throw back to the 60’s but still relative today…

“CWS is not healthy for children and other living things.”


LAH

Why the Government center and not in front of social services? Maybe we should be posting signs in front of DSS?


achillesheal

For all of you fans of big government, please keep this story in mind. A government big enough to give you anything you want is powerful enough to take everything you have – including your children, apparently.


MaryMalone

Our government isn’t “big enough to give you anything you want,” so your linking of the size of our government to SLO’s CPS bizarre child-snatching of Velie’s grandchildren isn’t logical.


achillesheal

The point of the comment , Mary, is that people seem content with the ever expanding role of government. As a result, federal state and local govt becomes larger and more powerful each year as evidenced by a case such as this when government officials can take someone’s children away seemingly because of a personal vendetta. Not knowing all of the facts in the case, due to govt secrecy, I am a little disturbed by this.


MaryMalone

I agree that over-reaching government officials are a problem in our government, and one of the worst manifestations of an over-reaching government is when it reaches the point where children are wrongfully taken from their parents and grandparents and placed into government institutions.


I don’t agree that the equation you attempt to create (big government=over-reaching government workers) occurs more frequently in “big-government” led societies.


If you have any evidence to support this equation I would be very interested in reviewing it.


SLOBIRD

Mary, talk to Gibson guitar manufacturers, or the lead mines or lack thereof (EPA closed the last one this month) and now we can get our lead from China and other countries, another industry lost. Of course our government will now continue the ammunition supply of our Country. Two examples!


MaryMalone

Is your opinion that the EPA overreached its boundaries by closing down the lead mine? I’m not familiar with the case, but I would be interested to know if the problem that lead to the closure was related to the way the mining was conducted and the damage to humans and water resources from poor mining processes.


President Obama has been a cheerleader for the Keystone project. This project significantly puts water resources and air quality at major risk. So I don’t think President Obama is afraid of dangerous and toxic projects.


The only issue of which I am aware with Gibson is their harvesting and use of wood which endangered or protected. I know they have a stockpile of previously harvested wood. In addition, some the practices used to harvest the wood are extremely wasteful.


I don’t believe your two examples are necessarily valid. More information would be appreciated.


Even if they were valid, you have not shown evidence that large governments are any more guilty of overreaching than are small governments.


achillesheal

I guess you do not understand irony.


Homer
isoslo

Quoting statistics from a blog with no sources identified. I wouldn’t bet much on the validity of the numbers quoted


Homer

I wouldn’t bet at all if I were you, because you’d lose. It’s called Google and it’s your friend. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/bloated-government-federal-employment-at-47-year-low/?_r=0

Source is Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, when people like to believe in conspiracies, facts don’t matter.


MaryMalone

Even if the claims of a “bloated government” are true, you still have not provided evidence that a large government is more apt to be overreaching than a small government.


There are certainly smaller governments in sub-saharan countries that are profoundly overreaching to the point where their military forces are paid by the government to send out death- and rape-squads to intimidate the people such that they flee their homes to refugee camps.


obispan

If you are personally tough enough and stand up to a criminal enterprise they up the ante by going after your innocent family. That’s pretty tough for anybody. SLO County/CAPSLO knows this very well.


Cindy

To put this into perspective, keep in mind that even the notorious Mafia had a “hands off” rule when it came to families and particularly children. This segment of our local government (DSS/CAPSLO) is not only without conscience and incompetent but these ‘hand shakers’ have gone off the deep end with their highfalutin ego’s. We should not stop until there is a full outside investigation and the guilty parties are prosecuted and removed.


Sickandtired

So there needs to be some justice here. I think that we need to get the network news to check this bs out. Investigative news. Lets weed out the crooks in this this matter. I think that some people will be going to jail and paying large fines. Please go to facebook and like Karen Veile’s facebook support page. I am going to start a letter campaign to get the attention of more people who have the ability to put away the people who are retaliating, and committing crimes against the homeless. Dee and Adam orange looks great year round and you can plan your wedding with one color theme!


Pelican1

As we rally n the 10th, I would like to propose a moment of silence in honor of the passing of Nelson Mandela who helped right so many wrongs, despite is 27 years of imprisonment.

If we can sustain his inspiration, we can win this battle with the county and free these children.


Sickandtired

Excellent suggestion!


maybe not

Are the “down votes” indicating that they are anti “what Mandela lived for?” Isn’t that the definition of “racism?”


Sarah Bellum

I’m not one of the “down vote” folks, but comparing the present situation to the struggle against apartheid seems a little excessive.


SLOthinker

Sarah,

I don’t want to speak for Pelican, but what I took from it was we can all draw so much inspiration from Mandela. He stood so long for what he thought was right against the seeming immovable object of apartheid. In the end he succeeded in changing his world, if not the world.


This struggle isn’t anywhere near so great, but can’t we draw a little inspiration from Mandela to help us stand up for what is right, even though as others have said, it alone won’t succeed in forcing change.


Pelican1

At no time was my intent to make a comparison, but rather to point out that we can, and should be inspired by the greatness of this ordinary man who did extraordinary things to right wrongs.

It’s not about comparing, it’s about doing what’s right.


Sarah Bellum

Thank you, Pelican. I can see where you’re coming from. I guess I’ve grown jaundiced to reckless hyperbole offered as a talking point. Let cooler heads prevail.


No_More_Anger

Pelican, I’d like to say hi, how will i know who you are?


Pelican1

I’ll be joyous, white-bearded man, with wire rim spectacles, wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots.


Black_Copter_Pilot

For some reason I thought you would be sporting a dress.


One can never tell, is the lesson here.


MaryMalone

Santy Claus!! My dream man!!!


flytrap

What the cr*p is Nelson Mandela doing in this discussion?


Reality Check

Honoring Mandela and rallying for the release of Karen Velies grandchildren are two different things. In my experience, it’s usually best to focus attention on ONE key issue rather than diluting the message.


Certainly there will be other opportunities to honor Mandela and focus full attention on his humanitarian works and wisdom.


MaryMalone

For heaven’s sake, no. The two issues are completely unrelated, and it will just muddy the waters and make the protesting activists look like nincompoops.


I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a moment of silence for Mandela…just that linking it to the Velie issue is not wise.


Pelican1

“Wise” or not, goodwill is good, and without limitations. Even if just for a moment.


inmyopinion

What CPS is doing is wrong on so many levels. They return kids to abusive, dirty and drug infested homes all the time. This is another lynch mob tactics because CNN reports on the real deal. Wow, what a big slap in the face to CPS – everyone knows they do what they want, how they want. Authority run amuck here in slo county. Lets help those that dont need it and not help those that do. Seeing way to much of this from the very people that are supposed to be helping them.


Have you seen the two states in the news lately? ya, Social Services and CPS records audited and thousands of kids in state custody are being abused and not getting any help from the ones that place them in these so-called “safe homes” NOT – Some of these foster homes are just people working the system and they could care less about the kids they foster. I would say alot of these kids are drugged up too because no one wants to help. Just mask and smother the symptoms and when they are 18 years old, kick em to the curb.

This is so common, these poor kids dont stand a chance. Feeling so sorry for all of them. Including Karen’s grandchildren caught up in this power play because SLO is being exposed and they dont like it. JMO


1inthemiddle

Setting aside the right or wrong of this sad situation, signs to the BOS are pointless.

There is a legal firewall between the two entities so that no influence can occur. This was clearly indicated at the last BOS meeting I believe.


mbactivist1

On the other hand, everyone who has dealings with County agencies knows darned well that supervisors call and tell staff people to do something, and they do it. If they didn’t, those staff people probably wouldn’t be working there very long, and they know it.


1inthemiddle

In some cases they do serve the board. In this case that group is legally separated to prevent influence.


mbactivist1

Technically, yes, but in practice, it is clear that not all of the supervisors care what is legal and what isn’t


MaryMalone

I agree that not all of the supervisors care what is legal and what isn’t.


I don’t agree that supervisors tell individual staff members, not under their direct supervision, what to do.


I don’t have evidence that they don’t, but it would be truly an abnormal situation if they did…one that would leave the supervisors open to litigation.


MaryMalone

If there was REALLY a “legal firewall between the two entities” Adam Hill would not be using his SLO County computer to send emails trying to discourage advertisers from continuing to advertise on CCN, and, more importantly…


HE WOULDN’T BE VOTING ON ANY ISSUES HAVING TO DO WITH CAPSLO SINCE HIS FIANCE IS A DIRECTOR OF HOMELESS SERVICES FOR CAPSLO.


The BOS refusal to censor Hill for his many inappropriate votes on issues for which he has a conflict of interest has destroyed any “legal firewall” the county may have set up.


1inthemiddle

With regards to the firewall, you are using a distinctly different case to validate your perception and they are not comparable.

With regard to Hill crossing the lines of conflict of interest, I fully agree. He continues to do that and at some point is going to get in hot water over it. I can’t believe county council has not already warned him.


MaryMalone

Either there is a “legal firewall” or there is not. There are other instances besides Adam Hill’s conflict-of-interest-laden votes as county supervisor. The issue I am addressing is whether or not there is a “legal firewall” that is actually in practice at the County BOS.


Either there is a legal firewall or there is not. One breach of the legal firewall puts the entire firewall at risk for challenge. That is why government agencies who have set up legal firewalls are so ninja about ensuring they do not become compromised by a nincompoop like Adam Hill.


1inthemiddle

You are mistaken. There is not a single relationship between various branches, committees , departments, etc.

in this case there is a legal separation that prevents a political body from having influence. No body on the BOS can influence this or has any access to the court files or has any legal standing here. It is not one answer for all.