Children's Right and Child Protection

Children’s Right and Child Protection

Childrens Right and Child Protection

There is something about a child’s innocence that makes us all want to instinctively protect them. Some argue that it’s the fact that they are so helpless that we feel the need to protect them. Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way about children. There are people out in the world that wish to cause children harm. Whether they knowingly are hurting children or not is up to a judge to decide.

Children are human too. That means that they also have rights, and deserve a chance in the world. Unfortunately, some people still choose to abuse their kids. Recently in California, a house full of children who had been severely neglected and abused by their parents was discovered. The only reason we know about these 13 kids is that one lucky 17-year-old girl escaped from her parents and called 911. The 13 siblings all ranged from ages 2 to 29 years old. This begs the question of how did this go unnoticed?

Reports of child abuse come in by the thousands. In 2015 there were four million reported cases of maltreatment involving seven million children. Approximately 683,000 of those children were considered victims of maltreatment. Looking at these numbers from 2015 it’s clear to see we have an issue when it comes to raising the next generation. Child Protective Services (CPS) visited only 12% of the reported cases where the child eventually died.

Child Protective Services is supposed to save children. Their goal is to protect children from hostile living situations and remove them from abusive homes. When kids suffer from their living situation and can’t remain with their family, CPS steps in and rehomes the kids. The 13 kids in California somehow flew under CPS’s radar, and suffered greatly for it. To help prevent a situation like this from happening again, you can look out for signs of child abuse.

This is what CPS considers child abuse:

  • A physical injury inflicted on a child by another person other than by accidental means.
  • The sexual abuse, assault, or exploitation of a child.
  • The negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s health or welfare. This is whether the harm or threatened harm is from acts or omissions on the part of the responsible person.
  • The willful harming or endangerment of the person or health of a child, any cruel or inhumane corporal punishment or any injury resulting in a traumatic condition.

The children we raise depend on us to help them make it to adulthood. We don’t live in prehistoric times where we have to actively fight off predators to protect our young anymore. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we have to protect the young from a different kind of harm.

We have to safeguard them from predators disguised as regular people. As a society, we must guard our children because they will be the ones taking care of us in the future.


Did You Know about This Forgotten Right?

Did You Know about This Forgotten Right?

Did You Know about This Forgotten Right?

Many people are familiar with the First and Second Amendment to the US Constitution. However, this is like only reading the first paragraph of a book and saying you understand everything in between. We do this a lot in today’s society.

We look for articles with catchy headlines and graze over them hoping to gain all the knowledge that is within the article in 15 seconds or less. We see or hear things in the news and react based off of that small sample. Most people just get information from secondary news sources rather than the primary source. Within this crazy world, we get so caught up in all the drama of the problems that we don’t focus on a solution. The solution is within the 15th Amendment.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s time to pull out your duplicate Constitution that you were given in grade school. The 15th Amendment outlines our right to vote. If you are women, the solution lies in the 19th Amendment, where you were granted the right to vote as well. Our right to vote is often understated and misjudged. People assume that our votes don’t matter, but they do.

California has the primary election this June 5th, and the final vote this November 6th. There are many things to vote for this year. For starters, this upcoming election we’ll be able to vote for a new Governor. Not only will get to elect a new official, we can also vote on controversial topics like: bail reform, the 3 state initiative, gas taxes, and rent regulations. The ballot is still in the process of being formed. By the end of the summer, we will know what issues are going to be on the ballot.

If you feel empowered, and want to make a difference, register to vote. You need to be registered to vote at least 15 days before the election. Try not to put off registering to vote until last minute because if there is any issue you won’t be able to vote.

There are several places where you can register to vote:

  • The Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Armed services recruitment centers
  • State and county public assistance offices (SNAP/food stamps, WIC, services for the disabled)
  • Post Offices
  • Online

It’s time to step up and exercise your right to vote. We weren’t given these rights to just ignore them. It’s time we put them to use.

The world seems crazy and out of control, we can at least help reign in the California government. It’s time to not forget about the 15th Amendment.


Be Cautious of Suspicious Packages

Be Cautious of Suspicious Packages

Be Cautious of Suspicious Packages

There are things in the world that we never expect to happen. We expect our shoes to get untied. We expect to get stuck in traffic, and we expect that we will inevitably be late to a meeting at least once in our lifetime. We also tend to expect the worst case scenario. After all it’s better to prepare for the worst and just hope for the best, right? That is why we need to question everything.

Recently a suspicious package exploded in a spa in Aliso Viejo. The explosion unfortunately took one life. What would have happened if someone questioned the integrity of the package? When we go to airports, we hear the voice over the speakers constantly reminding us to be aware of any suspicious or unattended baggage. We’re used to being on guard for attacks at the airport, but we never think to question things that happen at a spa. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter where we are. We always need to be aware.

There are several things you need to inspect to determine the integrity of the package. According to Georgia State University, you shouldn’t just open any package that you were not expecting.

There are also several characteristics a suspicious package may have:

  • Rigid or bulky.
  • Lopsided or uneven.
  • Wrapped in string.
  • Badly written or misspelled labels.
  • Generic or incorrect titles.
  • Excessive postage.
  • No postage.
  • Foreign writing, postage, or return address.
  • Missing, nonsensical, or unknown return address.
  • Leaks, stains, powders, or protruding materials.
  • Ticking, vibration, or other sounds.

If you happened to receive a suspicious package it’s best to alert the authorities immediately if you think it to be life-threatening.

If you receive a package that is suspicious there are several steps that you can take:

  • Leave the mail piece or substance where it was found.
  • Do not disturb it.
  • Do not try to clean up the substance.
  • Clear the immediate area of all persons and keep others away.
  • Instruct people in the immediate area to wash hands and other exposed skin with soap and water.
  • Direct these people to a designated area away from the substance to await further instruction.
  • List the names of the persons in the immediate area of the mail piece or substance.
  • Keep others away from the immediate area.
  • Shut down all equipment in the immediate area and HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).
  • If possible without disturbing the mail piece or substance, document location of mailpiece or substance.

Just because you only hear about it happening in bigger cities, doesn’t mean you’re never going to encounter a suspicious package. We live in a time where it seems like everyone is fair game.

You could be living in a small town but have had a business meeting in Los Angeles and encounter a suspicious package. There are so many possibilities that it is best to be prepared for all scenarios.


The Perfect Present for Father’s Day

The Perfect Present for Father’s Day

The Perfect Present for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is June 17th this year and it is coming up fast. The Mother’s Day cards are being put away and every time you pass the card section in the grocery store you see Father’s Day cards lining the shelves. With Mother’s Day, grocery stores put out flowers, chocolates, pretty pink vases and “I love Mom” t-shirts. Mother’s Day is like Valentine’s Day shopping, except it’s just for the moms in your life. For Father’s Day, we don’t have the one-stop shop like we do with Mother’s Day.

For Father’s Day, a few stores might have deals on tools, but not all dads are tool guys. Maybe a few watches will be on sale, but if you have a father that is very picky about his apparel, you’re kind of at a loss. This leads to the big question of what to even get your dad for Father’s Day.

Get something personalized for your father this holiday. You may lose at first as to what to get your dad, but try thinking of his favorite things and you might come up with something. Think about your favorite memories with your father and you will remember a fun time you had at the lake with him when you were little. Since you remember that lake memory, you may want to grab your dad and take him to the lake for a picnic. Don’t limit the gift to being just a physical object. Remember, when it comes to gift giving, it’s the thought that counts.

Dads usually have everything they want or need, so getting the perfect gift could seem impossible. If you can’t think of what he may want, maybe it’s time to think about what his favorite meal is. Your father could simply belonging to have a good family meal with quality conversation. Try preparing his favorite meal for the whole family to enjoy this Father’s Day. This will create an opportunity to bond with your dad and family as well.

Tools, cards, personalized gifts, and food, are just some gift ideas for Father’s Day. The most important thing to remember when trying to figure out a gift for your dad is to keep it personal. You can never go wrong with a gift that has a lot of thought and effort in it.

Father’s Day is meant to be about appreciating everything that dads do for us in the world. Your gift just needs to show that you care.


Got Daddy Issues?

Got Daddy Issues?

Got Daddy Issues?

Complaining about problems we have is our specialty. Who better knows our problems than ourselves? When we grow older, we tend to have a moment of clarity. For example, it dawned on Tammy the other day that she drinks wine a lot because as a child she saw her dad drink every night. Tammy now realizes that she only drinks every night because she wants to be like her dad. Tammy experienced a moment of clarity and realized that she has “daddy issues.”

The phrase “daddy issue” has been around for a while. It’s typically used when referring to a kid that was once rejected by their father, or has been influenced negatively by her dad in some way. As a result the child, once grown, may find that they are still influenced by their father’s actions. Daddy issues are generally linked to girls, but can be experienced by anyone. The phrase has been coined as joke or motif for years, but it does hold some truth.

Even President Barack Obama addressed daddy issues in his 2008 Father’s Day speech. In his speech, Obama said:

Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit a crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

Though we may joke about having daddy issues with our friends, in reality these are real problems. These issues don’t stop at high school dropout rates, of behavioral problems. They continue to echo through our lives when we’re faced with hard choices such as having to bail our boyfriends, husbands, or even fathers out of jail. We may feel disconnected and not want to help them. We may group all male figures in the same group, saying things like, “you can’t trust men.” Daddy issues can lead us to make emotional choices, instead of factual decisions.

Daddy issues or not, we’re all human. We’re humans that are capable of learning forgiveness and owning up to our mistakes. Try not to let the past influence your choices on the future.

Be the difference you want to see. Instead of holding grudges, bail your father and yourself out of the stigma of daddy issues this Father’s Day.


The Hidden Dangers of Keyless Cars

The Hidden Dangers of Keyless Cars

The Hidden Dangers of Keyless Cars

We sometimes hear stories that see so crazy they must not be true. Then, once we look into the story more, we find out it is really true. Some things that you think are common sense, might only be common to you. It’s important to remember that not everyone goes through the same life experiences. Some generations seem to be more intuitive with technology than others. The most recent technology that seems to be difficult to master is push to start cars.

We’re not talking about pushing a car to start it like in the Flintstones; we’re talking about keyless cars. These are cars that don’t need a key to start them, and automatically start and shut off when the key is gone. This new feature is supposed to save the driver the hassle of placing a key in the keyhole. It’s a convenience for the driver that has turned deadly in some instances.

Unfortunately, there has been an issue with carbon monoxide leaking into houses from the garage. High dosages of carbon monoxide are poisonous to us. When people forget to press the button and turn off the car, the car stays running and producing carbon monoxide in the garage. The toxic gas then seeps into the house from the garage through vents or a crack in the door.

More than two dozen people have fallen victim to this tragedy this year. An older gentleman thought that his car would just turn off, but unfortunately it didn’t. His car continued to run, and in the morning the older gentleman was found dead in his house. The carbon monoxide produced by his car leaked into his house from his attached garage. The older man’s lack of knowledge about this technology cost him his life.

Car companies are looking to fix the problem. As technology advances, keyless cars aren’t going anywhere. If anything we’ll start to see more push to start cars. This feature, which was once a luxury, will soon be in all new vehicles. Car companies are considering creating a warning noise, and a failsafe to help prevent any more deaths related to the push to start button.

Time will tell if putting in a warning system to notify users that their car is on will pay off.


The Sound of California Is Calling You

The Sound of California Is Calling You

The Sound of California Is Calling You

If you put your ear to a seashell, you’ll hear the waves of the ocean. However, you take your ear away from the seashell you’ll probably hear music. California is home to several noteworthy music venues and festivals. Being able to drive an hour, max, to a concert is one of the perks of living in the state. You often don’t realize how good we have it music wise until you leave the state.

California is widely popular for its stardom living within the Hollywood hills. This makes California a must-see on any tour of the world. From international performances, to locals making a name for themselves, California is a hot stop for all genres of music. Whenever a new concert or tour is announced, you can bet there is a stop in California. Other states aren’t as lucky. Less populated states like Alaska have a limited amount of concerts. Luckily for us, California has plenty of venues to host many artists as you can imagine.

From small bars and nightclubs to venues like the Staple Center, the possibilities are limitless. The Staple Center is just one of the bigger stadiums that concerts can be held at. Other places, like the Hollywood Bowl offer a more intimate setting with excellent acoustics. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the Philharmonic Association, and the building’s outside appearance is enough of a show stopper.

California also plays host to several impressive music festivals. From the Van Warped Tour, which is huge punk rock festival, to Stage Coach, a country music festival. You may have even heard of a little music festival called Coachella, that’s hosted out in the deserts of California.

If you’re into EDM music, California has plenty of raves like Nocturnal Wonderland, or Hard Summer. Music is in the blood of California and it’s no secret that if you want to experience a music festival, it’s time to visit California.


California’s Glowing Beach

California’s Glowing Beach

California’s Glowing Beach

California is a magical place that captures many people’s attention. Magical people, views, and sights seem to gather in the best places. California is a pretty cool state, there isn’t any debate over that. California has beaches, sand dunes, amusement parks, and giant redwood trees. It’s hard to believe that California could get any better. However, California is still glowing up.

If you’ve been to any San Diego beaches lately you saw a kind of glow up that is memorizing. The ocean is a magical place and is always changing. Every so often, our oceans and beaches in California change a little. Usually it’s just the tides, but sometimes the changes in our beaches are more chemical, or plant influenced. Whenever there is a change in our beaches, we tend to worry that it has something to do with climate change, or global warming. Luckily for us, this change had nothing to do with either.

There is an algae in the ocean called dinoflagellate that blooms every few years. These algae can be found in several beaches, but are particularly common in the waters of San Diego. When this algae blooms it turns the ocean water red during the day. The beaches turn into a red soupy mixture. Locals in San Diego call it the “Red Tide.”

If the red water itself doesn’t memorize you, just wait for it at night. The dinoflagellate glows bright blue. The algae just need to be moved around by a wave, or a person and it gives off a bioluminescent glow. The last time the shores of California glowed like this was back in 2013. Scientist have a hard time predicting when the algae will bloom, making forecasting this event difficult.

California likes to enchant its occupants. However, it’s not the only place in the world where you can find this bioluminescent algae. There are beaches in both Maine and Australia that host similar phenomena. Before you jump into your swimsuit and head out into the water you should know that high doses of dinoflagellate from the Red Tide could make you sick.

The reason is that there is more bacteria in the water at the time of a Red Tide. Instead of jumping into the water, try sitting back on the beach and simply watching California’s glowing beach.


The Low Down on Hands Free Devices While Driving in California

The Low Down on Hands Free Devices While Driving in California

The Low Down on Hands Free Devices While Driving in California

Cell phones and motorists are a bad mix. The split second it takes to answer the phone is enough time to get into a serious accident, and as if that’s not bad enough, most California motorists pay more attention to the person they’re speaking to than they do driving their car.

California’s Laws Regarding the Use of Cell Phones in Vehicles

In an attempt to keep motorists’ minds on their driving, California lawmakers have passed several laws designed to curtail the use of cell phones on the road. Most motorists know about the laws that prohibit picking up the phone and holding it while driving as well as the laws that state they can’t text while they’re driving. Fewer are aware of the fact that any driver under the age of 18 is prohibited from using even hands-free devices and speakerphone while they’re behind the wheel.

Based on statistics that show that even drivers who use a hands-free device while on the phone are at an increased risk for getting into a serious accident, it’s likely that a day will come when even drivers over 18 will be penalized for using the devices while driving.

The Consequences of Using a Cell Phone While Behind the Wheel

California’s patrol officers are constantly looking for drivers who are breaking the rules and talking on the cell phone. Even the faintest hint that you’re phoning while driving and they will pull you over. Due to the severity of the accidents that have happened as a direct result of cell phone use, most aren’t sympathetic and won’t let you go with a warning.

The first time an officer catches you using a cell phone while driving, you’ll get hit with a $20 ticket. After that, the cost goes up to $50. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you were doing things like speeding, weaving, or not obeying traffic signs while you were talking, those will be added to the ticket, driving up the amount the state collects from you. Most people who are pulled over for using their cell phone while they’re behind the wheel, ultimately pay $250 in traffic fines.

In addition to the cost of the ticket, most insurance companies raise the rates of drivers who are ticketed for cell phone use.

Exceptions to the Rule

Yes, there are times when you can be behind the wheel and use your phone, but they’re limited to a few outstanding situations.

Those times include:

  • Making a 911 emergency call
  • If you’re driving an emergency vehicle
  • If you’re driving on private property

The best way to stay out of trouble and avoid costly fines while also reducing the risk of you getting into an accident is pulling over to the side of the road if you need to make a call.


Life Threatening Illnesses Not Considered Gravely Disabled

Life Threatening Illnesses Not Considered Gravely Disabled

Life Threatening Illnesses Not Considered Gravely Disabled

The high cost of living as well as other things have resulted in California’s homeless population soaring. The sheer number of individuals currently living on the streets presents a wide assortment of problems for law enforcement officers. While there’s no way to make sure that every single person currently living on the streets gets the shelter they need, lawmakers are currently taking steps to ensure that those who are a risk to themselves or others are protected.

The Problem

The biggest problem California’s lawmakers face when it comes to the state’s homeless rate, is how to correct it. Everyone truly wants those who are currently living on the streets and in homeless camps to have good housing. Not only will this improve the quality of life of those who aren’t able to support themselves, but it should also lead to a reduction in petty crime rates. The issue is that no one knows how to go about making things better. The shelters simply can’t keep up, the state has a limited amount of funding available, and it’s nearly impossible to find the best place to begin. The hope is that by identifying which members of the homeless population are in the most trouble and getting them off the streets, some of the high crime currently connected to the state’s homeless population will decrease.

Using Old Laws to Generate New Results

One of the methods currently being used to get some people off the streets is the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, which became a law back when Ronald Reagan was California’s governor, all the way back in 1967. The law includes the always controversial Section 5150, which allows someone who is considered a threat to others or themselves to be detained for 72 hours of observation and treatment. The questions lawmakers are pondering is if Section 5150 gives law enforcement officers the right to pull a homeless person off the streets, placing them into a hospital for three days, while the courts decide if that person has the right to take care of themselves or if they should be made a ward of the state. At the same time, those very same lawmakers are also trying to determine if they should pass Assemble Bill 1971. If Assembly Bill 1971 passes, Section 5150 could be used to confine any member of the homeless community who doesn’t have the wherewithal to care for severe medical conditions, essentially forcing them to get medical treatment.

High Death Rate

Many California residents were shocked to learn that in 2017, over 800 members of the homeless community died, not because of crime, but because they lacked the means to get medical treatment for conditions that should have been curable. While no one is sure how many of these individuals suffered from mental illness, lawmakers do feel that mental illness is a factor.

According to current laws, Section 5150 can be used to hold someone who suffers from a severe mental illness for up to a month and lead to over a year’s worth of conservatorship.

The problem is that many believe that a large number of the homeless population who are currently struggling with life-threatening illnesses aren’t mentally ill. The hope is that with the addition of Assembly Bill 1971 it will be possible for the law enforcement agents who work with the homeless to use the law to treat anyone suffering from a life-threatening illness, even if they don’t necessarily want treatment or if they have to be taken into custody to receive it.

The question is, does the combination of Assembly Bill 1971 and Section 5150 violate the rights of those currently living on the streets?