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The State of California and Failure to Protect

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Janet Phelan
November 19, 2010
San Bernardino County Sentinel

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“A recent board meeting found the members focused on concerns about raising more revenue for the bureau, which has taken out two loans totaling over a million dollars in order to stay solvent. The bureau reported that $357,000 for the current year covered only two staff positions and that a mere $50,000 was allotted for enforcement. The minutes reflect concerns that “one big case would break the budget.”

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When Janis Schock learned that her complaint of conservator wrongdoing, submitted to the California Professional Fiduciaries Bureau, had been closed without an investigation taking place, she was dumbfounded. The communication from Angela Bigelow, analyst and sole full-time employee of the Professional Fiduciary Bureau (PFB), stated that the court must first make a determination of wrongdoing before the PFB could take action. Janis Schock wasn’t so sure this was true.

As it turns out, Schock was correct.

The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau is a relatively new addition to consumer oversight agencies and is lodged in the Department of Consumer Affairs. The PFB was established by an act of law in 2006, following public outcry engendered by a 2005 Los Angeles Times series which revealed questionable practices by California conservators, who were at that time unlicensed. The bureau, as written into law, is mandated to license professional fiduciaries, to investigate complaints and, where appropriate, to refer complaints to law enforcement.  The bureau is also empowered to revoke a license based on complaints and to take action on unlicensed activity.  The Professional Fiduciaries Act defines a professional fiduciary in this manner:

“Professional fiduciary”means a person who acts as a conservator of the person, the estate, or person and estate, or guardian of the estate, or person and estate, for two or more individuals at the same time who are not related to the professional fiduciary or to each other.

Conservators are generally appointed through court proceedings when there are allegations that a person is lacking capacity; in other words, becoming forgetful or otherwise unable to handle his or her affairs.  These allegations need meet no standard of proof, which provides an opening for abuse of process.  The Government Accountability Office recently released a report citing multiple instances where a conservator had abused his powers to the detriment of the conservatee.  Several grassroots groups have sprung up to address the issue of abusive conservatorships, which are reported to be taking place countrywide. More

Illinois HB 1166 NIBS : Animal Hoarding

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Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Not content with raising taxes 66%, attempting to track down those crazy homeschoolers so they can be “helped”, and sheltering Wisconsin’s missing Democrats (we hear that Indiana’s Dems are on the run as well)  Illinois actually has HB 1166 sitting in Committee right now which will criminalize individuals who own 7 or more “companion animals”.

As usual, one has to dig around a bit to find out just what the terminology contained within the proposed Law means and what the effect might be:

Companion Animal :

(510 ILCS 70/2.01a)
Sec. 2.01a. Companion animal. "Companion animal" means an animal that is commonly considered to be, or is considered by the owner to be, a pet. "Companion animal" includes, but is not limited to, canines, felines, and equines.
(Source: P.A. 92‑454, eff. 1‑1‑02.)

What will change in current law (pdf of HB 1166):

A person must obtain a permit from the Board to possess 7
or more companion animals, as defined in the Humane Care for
Animals Act. Failure to receive a permit for the possession of
7 or more companion animals is a violation of this Section and
a person is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. A second or
subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony with every day that a
violation continues constituting a separate offense.

Who is “The Board” referred to in the above change? More

San Fransisco NIBS : Whose Penis Is It?

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Copywrite : Creative Commons/Caitlin Childs

Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Yes. I used the “P” word.

When I began blogging, I tended to avoid words that euphemisms could cover. I did consider utilizing “the ol’ stick and berries” merely for the visual context, but I decided when a populace of a city gets to decide what one chooses to do with their offsprings genitals – only the real thing would suffice.

Off in the “la-la land” of budget deficits galore, the city that determined toys in a childs meal might possibly be a “bad thing” and therefore should be banned, attention has focused a little further south in anatomy land.

San Francisco circumcision ban headed for November ballot

Most bans in San Francisco are enacted by the Board of Supervisors, but come November, it sounds like voters will have the opportunity to jump on the ban wagon by deciding whether to ban male circumcision. More

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