Monday, December 10, 2007

KS - Kansas attorney general admits affair

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Will the next sex offender please stand up! Like I've said before, by Gods law, anybody having sex outside of marriage, is a sex offender.

12/10/2007

Governor calls for resignation if he harassed ex-staffer

TOPEKA - Kansas' attorney general has admitted to having an extramarital affair with a former staffer, and the governor said Monday he should resign if allegations including workplace sexual harassment are proven.

The former staffer filed a civil rights claim against Attorney General Paul Morrison last month with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to her account, the affair began in September 2005 and lasted about two years. Linda Carter also accused him of attempting to influence a federal lawsuit involving a political opponent.

Morrison, who is married and has three children, said Sunday that many of Carter's claims are "patently false," but he confirmed they had a relationship.

Morrison, 53, was Johnson County's district attorney for 18 years before switching to the Democratic Party last year to challenge GOP conservative Phill Kline for attorney general. Republicans then picked Kline to take over Morrison's old job.

Carter, former director of administration for the district attorney's office, accuses Morrison of trying to pressure her to write letters on behalf of eight former employees who were dismissed by Kline. In August, a federal magistrate dismissed all but one count in a wrongful termination lawsuit they filed.

Carter, who is also married, also claims Morrison sought sensitive information about Kline's activities as district attorney. She detailed her allegations in a signed statement obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Painful issues
"Unfortunately, it is true, however, that I once had a consensual relationship with Mrs. Carter. And I profoundly regret that I did," Morrison's office said in a statement Sunday. "Many of the details Mrs. Carter dished to the newspaper regarding the nature of our relationship are absolutely false."

On Monday, Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Morrison should resign if the allegations are proven.

"Certainly, if any of the allegations turn out to be accurate, I think yes," Sebelius said in a brief interview with reporters. "One deals with his conduct as an attorney in the DA's office. The other is as an employer. I think either one should trigger a resignation."

The Associated Press left messages Sunday at a telephone number listed for Carter, whose age was not available. Morrison, through a spokeswoman, declined further comment, and asked in his statement for privacy as "I work through these painful issues."

Kline spokesman Brian Burgess also declined comment, except to say that the situation was still developing and the district attorney's office was assessing it.

Carter's allegations and Morrison's acknowledgment of the affair stunned legislative leaders and cast a cloud over the Democrat's political future.

"I think most people are probably still in shock. These are some astonishing allegations," Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt said. "Clearly, this will consume a great deal of time in the coming weeks and months, and it's likely to impede the attorney general's ability to advance an agenda in the Legislature."

The governor said she didn't want to "prejudge the situation," but that it was a shock and disappointment to her to learn of the allegations.

"I think it's a huge setback for Kansans. This I don't see as a partisan issue," said Sebelius. "I think when people put their faith in a public official and feel that faith to be violated, it's a huge disappointment and a shock for a lot of people."

Before the affair became public, even some Republicans assumed Morrison wouldn't face a serious challenge if he sought re-election in 2010. He won the attorney general's race last year with 59 percent of the vote.

During the campaign, Morrison faced allegations that he had drunkenly propositioned another female employee in a bar in 1990. But two federal lawsuits arising from those claims were dismissed, and when Kline raised the claims as an issue during the campaign's final weeks, the tactic backfired.

As Kline was failing to gain ground, Morrison and Carter were having their affair, according to her account. She said they had sexual encounters in the Johnson County Courthouse and in hotels in several Kansas cities and three other states.

'Profound lack of judgment'
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group and a frequent Morrison critic, said the attorney general should resign because his actions show such a "profound lack of judgment and honesty."

Her group has been following Morrison's activities closely because abortion was an important issue in the attorney general's race. The candidates argued about Kline's pursuit of records from abortion clinics as part of a criminal investigation.

Though he has pursued his own case, Morrison, an abortion rights supporter, criticized a case Kline filed against a Wichita abortion provider. As district attorney, Kline has filed criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park.

Those disputes spilled into Morrison's affair with Carter, according to her statement. Carter said Morrison also was upset that she continued to work for Kline until she left the district attorney's office in late November.

Associated Press writer Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.


CA - The Perils of Journalism and Child Porn



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By DEBBIE NATHAN

Bernie Ward, a San Francisco-based liberal talk show host, was indicted late last week on federal child pornography charges. His is the second such indictment brought against a media figure who then claimed he had the porn merely to do research and reporting. Meanwhile, a third journalist, a former New York Times reporter who engaged in similar behavior, has not been indicted. The inconsistency suggests that the government chooses whom to go after and whom to leave alone. And it makes clear that the media needs a First Amendment exemption or license allowing reporters to examine child pornography legally.

Before his indictment on December 6, Ward – who is 56 and married with four children—had two programs on San Francisco’s KGO-AM radio. One was a nightly political and news talk show; the other aired weekly and dealt with religion. In the 1980s Ward was an award-winning general assignment and political reporter at KGO. He is also known for conducting major fundraising drives for Bay Area non-profits that help the homeless and others in need. From 1982 to 1985 he worked for then-Rep. Barbara Boxer as her chief legislative assistant. On KGO and on national talk shows, he strenuously opposed the war in Iraq and other Bush Adminstration policies. KGO billed him as “The Lion of the Left”. Following his indictment, he has been put on leave from the station.

Ward’s lawyer, Doron Weinberg, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Ward accessed and distributed only a small amount of child pornography three years ago, for research he was doing to write a book about hypocrisy in America. The Chronicle quoted sources familiar with the case saying that “authorities noted that Ward was monitored as he went on a chat room and sent and received images.”

Indictment papers released on Friday support Ward’s claim that the government was involved in the case as early as 2004 but waited years to indict.

Ward’s case is strikingly similar to that of Larry Mathews, a media figure who faced child porn charges in the late 1990s. Mathews was a Washington DC-area radio reporter in his late 50s. He had won press awards and was known for covering social issues, including the problem of internet child porn. When arrested, he said he had acquired illegal material because he was impersonating a pedophile in order to do another story.

The government countered that Mathews had no notes or story assignment from a media outlet. The ACLU, National Public Radio, and other press and First Amendment organizations spoke out for him and filed supporting legal briefs. But an appellate court later ruled that journalists have no right to acquire or distribute child pornography while doing research. Mathews was convicted and served several months in a halfway house.

If convicted, San Francisco’s Ward faces a maximum 15 years for each of three criminal counts.

“The government knows that Bernie was doing this for an investigation he was doing for a book,” the Chronicle quoted attorney Weinberg saying. “But the government believes he violated the letter of the law, and they have gone ahead and prosecuted him….The fact that these events happened three years ago - and they are just being prosecuted – shows the fact that nobody believes that he is a child predator.” The Examiner seemingly attempted to explain how Ward could have avoided prosecution by citing a federal law—which the paper mistakenly said “forgives” possession of three child pornography images if they are destroyed and promptly reported to authorities. In fact, that statute, which is part of U.S. Code 2252, allows only two images. And some legal scholars interpret 2252 as “forgiving” someone only if he or she came to possess child porn by accident rather than intentionally. A reporter deliberately researching child pornography would thus hardly qualify for “forgiveness” under 2252. In addition, the law is merely an “affirmative defense.” To exercise it, one would have to first be indicted. There is no case law indicating that any journalist has ever used 2252 to justify their work after being charged with possession or distribution of child porn.

However, the statute was cited in August 2006 by the New York Times. Kurt Eichenwald, then a Times reporter, said he accidentally accessed a few illegal images while doing month’s-long reporting on Internet child pornography. In a sidebar to one of Eichenwald’s articles, the Times said that a law – presumably 2252-- excused the reporter’s encounter with the illegal material. But Eichenwald’s published work implied he had accessed far more than two images.

Further, Eichenwald in 2005 obtained and used administrative sign-on privileges to explore a commercial porn website containing images of a 14-year-old boy masturbating. Eichenwald went on to write a major Times story based on reporting he did about this site and the people who ran it.

Eichenwald took the young man who ran the site to federal authorities, where he turned state’s evidence against his business partners in exchange for prosecutorial immunity. As a result, four people were arrested and convicted. Eichenwald’s work also led to Congressional hearings – at which he testified – where witnesses made unsubstantiated claims about the prevalence of Internet child predators and pornography. Those hearings were a run-up to passage of the 2006 Adam Walsh Act. It requires states to put children and very low-level offenders, such as public urinators and people caught with small amounts of child porn, on sexual offender registries for years – a policy that has since been condemned by Human Rights Watch. Since 9/11, the government has used unsubstantiated claims about the extent of child pornography to defend sections of the Patriot Act which intrude on internet privacy.

Eichenwald claimed he became involved with child pornography to find out about the problem. In some instances, he did not tell Times editors what he was doing. Later expose of his activities provoked intense controversy in the media world, and currently he is not working as a journalist. However, he has not been criminally prosecuted.

[Debbie Nathan has covered the Eichenwald case extensively for CounterPunch. See:

nathan04122007.html and
nathan08012007.html and
nathan09142007.html AC / JSC ]

If KGO’s Ward is being truthful about why he was involved with child porn, the government is treating him differently than it has former Timesman Eichenwald. Is that because the feds don’t consider Ward such a good friend as they do Eichenwald? Does the DOJ deliberately go after certain types of media people and leave others alone? It’s too early to tell, since only three such individuals have been publicly implicated as involved with child porn. Meanwhile, the media has no way to cover the topic. To accurately describe the extent of the problem, to compare government claims with reality requires work that invites prosecution.

Journalists need some kind of system or First Amendment permit to allow them to do their reporting. Otherwise, the public will remain ignorant about what’s really going on with child pornography. And media people trying to find out will risk indictment, or worse.

Debbie Nathan is a New York City-based journalist who writes about sexual politics and immigration. She can be reached at naess2@gmail.com


Scientists Make Fruit Flies Gay, Then Straight Again

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More science stupidity! Why are we wasting tons of money on this in the first place? I think all the starving people in this world could benefit from this wasted money. So I guess next they will try to make all the homosexuals straight. Come on..........

12/10/2007

While several studies find homosexuality in humans and other animals is biological rather than learned, a question remains over whether it's a hard-wired phenomenon or one that can be altered.

A new study finds that both drugs and genetic manipulation can turn the homosexual behavior of fruit flies on and off within a matter of hours.

While the genetic finding supports the thinking that homosexuality is hard-wired, the drug finding surprisingly suggests it's not that simple.

In fact, homosexuality in the fruit flies seems to be regulated by how they interpret the scent of another.

Dramatic result

Homosexuality is widespread in the animal world. But scientists have long debated whether, in humans a "gay gene" exists.

Previous research in humans has suggested that how we interpret scents given off by another person might impact our sexuality.

In the new work, University of Illinois at Chicago researcher David Featherstone and coworkers discovered a gene in fruit flies they call "genderblind," or GB. A mutation in GB turns flies bisexual.

GB transports the neurotransmitter glutamate to brain cells. Altering levels of glutamate change the strength of nerve cell junctions, called synapses, which play a key role in human and animal behavior.

Post-doctoral researcher Yael Grosjean found that all male fruit flies with a mutation in their GB gene courted other males.

"It was very dramatic," Featherstone said. "The GB mutant males treated other males exactly the same way normal male flies would treat a female. They even attempted copulation."

Overreaction

Other genes are known to alter sexual orientation, but most just control whether the brain develops as genetically male or female. It's not known why a male brain does male things and a female brain acts in female ways, Featherstone and his colleagues say.

"Based on our previous work, we reasoned that GB mutants might show homosexual behavior because their glutamatergic synapses were altered in some way," Featherstone said. "Homosexual courtship might be sort of an 'overreaction' to sexual stimuli."

To test this, the researchers genetically altered synapse strength, independent of GB. They also gave flies drugs to alter synapse strength. As predicted, they were able to turn fly homosexuality on and off, within hours.

"It was amazing. I never thought we'd be able to do that sort of thing, because sexual orientation is supposed to be hard-wired," Featherstone said. "This fundamentally changes how we think about this behavior."

Sense of smell

The team figured fly brains maintain two sensory circuits: one to trigger heterosexual behavior and one for homosexual. When GB suppresses glutamatergic synapses, the homosexual circuit is blocked, the thinking goes.

So they did more tests. As expected, without GB to suppress synapse strength, the flies no longer interpreted smells the same way. The smells in question come in the form of pheromones, chemicals that affect sexual behavior in much of the animal kingdom.

It is not known, however, to what extent human attraction is affected by pheromones. A study in 2005 found that when smelling a chemical from testosterone, portions of the human brains active in sexual activity were turned on in gay men and straight women, but not in straight men.

But at least among fruit flies, "pheromones are powerful sexual stimuli," Featherstone said. "As it turns out, the GB mutant flies were perceiving pheromones differently. Specifically, the GB mutant males were no longer recognizing male pheromones as a repulsive stimulus."

The research was published online today by the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Copyright © 2007 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR

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12/10/2007

KBR Told Victim She Could Lose Her Job If She Sought Help After Being Raped, She Says

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

"Don't plan on working back in Iraq. There won't be a position here, and there won't be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.

"It felt like prison," says Jones, who told her story to ABC News as part of an upcoming "20/20" investigation. "I was upset; I was curled up in a ball on the bed; I just could not believe what had happened."

Finally, Jones says, she convinced a sympathetic guard to loan her a cell phone so she could call her father in Texas.

"I said, 'Dad, I've been raped. I don't know what to do. I'm in this container, and I'm not able to leave,'" she said. Her father called their congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

"We contacted the State Department first," Poe told ABCNews.com, "and told them of the urgency of rescuing an American citizen" -- from her American employer.

Poe says his office contacted the State Department, which quickly dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Jones' camp, where they rescued her from the container.

According to her lawsuit, Jones was raped by "several attackers who first drugged her, then repeatedly raped and injured her, both physically and emotionally."

Jones told ABCNews.com that an examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped "both vaginally and anally," but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR security officers.

A spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security told ABCNews.com he could not comment on the matter.

Over two years later, the Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.

Legal experts say Jones' alleged assailants will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law.

"It's very troubling," said Dean John Hutson of the Franklin Pierce Law Center. "The way the law presently stands, I would say that they don't have, at least in the criminal system, the opportunity for justice."

Congressman Poe says neither the departments of State nor Justice will give him answers on the status of the Jones investigation.

Asked what reasons the departments gave for the apparent slowness of the probes, Poe sounded frustrated.

"There are several, I think, their excuses, why the perpetrators haven't been prosecuted," Poe told ABC News. "But I think it is the responsibility of our government, the Justice Department and the State Department, when crimes occur against American citizens overseas in Iraq, contractors that are paid by the American public, that we pursue the criminal cases as best as we possibly can and that people are prosecuted."

Since no criminal charges have been filed, the only other option, according to Hutson, is the civil system, which is the approach that Jones is trying now. But Jones' former employer doesn't want this case to see the inside of a civil courtroom.

KBR has moved for Jones' claim to be heard in private arbitration, instead of a public courtroom. It says her employment contract requires it.

In arbitration, there is no public record nor transcript of the proceedings, meaning that Jones' claims would not be heard before a judge and jury. Rather, a private arbitrator would decide Jones' case. In recent testimony before Congress, employment lawyer Cathy Ventrell-Monsees said that Halliburton won more than 80 percent of arbitration proceedings brought against it.

In his interview with ABC News, Rep. Poe said he sided with Jones.

"Air things out in a public forum of a courtroom," said Rep. Poe. "That's why we have courts in the United States."

In her lawsuit, Jones' lawyer, Todd Kelly, says KBR and Halliburton created a "boys will be boys" atmosphere at the company barracks which put her and other female employees at great risk.

"I think that men who are there believe that they live without laws," said Kelly. "The last thing she should have expected was for her own people to turn on her."

Halliburton, which has since divested itself of KBR, says it "is improperly named" in the suit.

In a statement, KBR said it was "instructed to cease" its own investigation by U.S. government authorities "because they were assuming sole responsibility for the criminal investigations."

"The safety and security of all employees remains KBR's top priority," it said in a statement. "Our commitment in this regard is unwavering."

Since the attacks, Jones has started a nonprofit foundation called the Jamie Leigh Foundation, which is dedicated to helping victims who were raped or sexually assaulted overseas while working for government contractors or other corporations.

"I want other women to know that it's not their fault," said Jones. "They can go against corporations that have treated them this way." Jones said that any proceeds from the civil suit will go to her foundation.

"There needs to be a voice out there that really pushed for change," she said. "I'd like to be that voice."


NBC Drops "Dateline NBC" From Winter Schedule.

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12/07/2007

NBC has dropped the controversial news/reality tv program, "Dateline NBC" from it's winter schedule.

According to a report on The Silicon Alley Insider, "NBC News' "Dateline" won't be catching any predators this winter. The network left the newsmagazine off their winter schedule, which may be connected to the current round of downsizing in the news division."

Dateline NBC, and in particular the "To Catch A Predator" series, has been the target of criticism from journalistic scholars, law enforcement, Internet web sites and several print publications, including scathing articles in both Esquire and The Rolling Stone Magazine. Ethics violations and entrapment issues have been raised in recent months.

The current writers strike is also being cited as part of the decision to cancel Dateline NBC.

--Chatmag News Staff--

Copyright 1998-2007 chatmag.com


GA - Georgia will try again to ban where sex offenders may live

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Jerry Keen has proven he cannot create a law which does not violate the Constitution, which he took an oath, and apparently lied about, to uphold. Jerry Keen, IMO, needs to resign and let someone more qualified take over his job. What about all the people who rent and are forced to move over and over and over again due to some church or school opening near by? Why don't you pass a law stating these places cannot open within 1000 feet of a sex offender. By them doing so, they are putting children in danger.

12/10/2007

ATLANTA - Georgia will try again to limit where sex offenders may live, after the state's top court declared unconstitutional the strict residency requirements state lawmakers approved two years ago.

The Georgia Supreme Court last month overturned a portion of the tough law that banned sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and other areas where children congregate. In its unanimous ruling, the justices said there is nothing to prevent a sex offender from buying a home then being forced to move if a facility catering to children later pops up nearby.

Under the new bill being pushed by House Republicans, a sex offender who owns his or her home would no longer have to vacate it if a center where children gather later opens up in the neighborhood. The bill would carve out a similar exception for sex offenders who have established employment, allowing them to keep their job if they had it first.

"I think this addresses the court's concerns," said Rep. David Ralston, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee that will take up the bill.

Ralston said the bill would be a top priority in order to keep Georgia children safe from the state's roughly 11,000 sex offenders.

"We're concerned that Georgia without this is going to become a dumping ground for these people that we have tried to protect our children from in the bill that we passed two years ago," the Republican from Blue Ridge said.

House Majority Leader Jerry Keen echoed that sentiment, arguing that sex offenders from states that continue to impose strict residency rules might look to relocate to Georgia in the aftermath of the court's ruling.

"We basically, in my opinion, have opened the borders and invited them to come to Georgia and live anywhere they want to," Keen said.
- Well, it was a law you created and doesn't uphold the constitution, so instead of pushing the blame off to someone else, why don't you be man enough to say you are not capable of creating a law which maintains the Constitution? Or are you not man enough to admit you were wrong? That is apparently the case.

The residency portion of the new bill would apply only to homeowners. Renters would still have to relocate if a childcare center, church or school moves into the neighborhood after they do.
- So are you going to reimburse them for the pain and suffering of having to move over and over and over again?

House Republicans said they took their direction from the court's own ruling, which hinged on home ownership. The court said that to force a homeowner to abandon his property or be in violation of the law amounts to an illegal taking of property.

Whether the ruling applies only to homeowners - such as the plaintiff in the case that the justices acted on - or more broadly to all sex offenders has become a matter of some dispute.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker first said the residency law was unenforceable for all sex offenders. But several days later his office asked the state Supreme Court for a clarification because the ruling's scope was unclear. The court has not yet ruled on the request.

Separate challenges to the state's law are still pending in federal court.

Civil rights groups have challenged the law, saying it would effectively leave sex offenders who have served their time with nowhere to live.


NY - MANSFIELD -- A petition calling for restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can live will be presented tonight to the City Council, which h

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Tonight? I think the public would like a larger notice instead of the morning of! Come on, you should be required to give notice 1 week in advanced.

12/10/2007

SCHUYLER COUNTY -- Lawmakers in Schuyler County are expected to decide tonight whether or not to propose a law that would set residency limits for convicted sex offenders.

The law would prohibit a sex offender from living within 500 feet of a school, playground, park, day care center or camp.

If lawmakers approved the measure tonight, they'll hold a public hearing on January 14. After that a final vote would take place.

Tonight's meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers of the County Office Building on Ninth Street.


TX - Sex offender petition slated for Mansfield City Council

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12/10/2007

MANSFIELD -- A petition calling for restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can live will be presented tonight to the City Council, which has the choice of adopting an ordinance or putting the issue before the public in a referendum.

The petition drive, launched by Mayor Barton Scott after the council rejected similar proposals three times, collected 1,250 signatures. To be valid, the petition needs 950 signatures of residents verified as legal city voters.

The city secretary's office was expected to finish verifying the signatures today.

Scott estimated that at least 1,050 names will be verified, based on comparisons with voter rolls that he and his volunteers checked.

Tough restrictions

The proposed ordinance would require registered sexual offenders convicted of crimes against children under age 14 to live at least 2,000 feet from churches, schools, school bus stops, arcades and other places children commonly gather. Offenders would also be forbidden to visit those places or loiter near them, and the city would notify neighborhoods when offenders move in or change addresses.

Although the city charter gives the council the option of adopting an ordinance that mirrors all the terms in the petition, Scott said he doesn't want council consideration again.

"As far as I'm concerned, the next step is to put this on a ballot for the citizens to vote on it," Scott said. "I will respect whatever decisions the citizens make in regards to whether we want to implement these sorts of protections for our children."

Scott said the safe zones would force registered offenders to live in "undeveloped areas where they would have cows and horses and open pastures around them."

Effectiveness questioned

A majority of council members and the late Public Safety Director Steve Noonkester, who died recently from surgery complications, had called residency restrictions unnecessary because almost all molestations are committed by family members or family friends.

Opponents also call the regulations overly strict -- especially the 2,000-foot distance, which includes more than 1,500 school bus stops -- and contend the restrictions could be vulnerable to expensive constitutional challenges.

"We can always make something stronger," Councilman Greg Kunasek said. "But I hate to go through the legal process for the courts to dictate to us how to water it down."

Kunasek and other council members who voted against the ordinance said they're now content to let the voters decide.

"I don't think there's anybody on the council that's interested in negotiating or debating it any more with [Scott]," Councilman Larry Broseh said. "My belief at this point is we take it to the voters in May."

Honoring Noonkester

The City Council will consider a resolution changing the city's public safety building to the Steven P. Noonkester Public Safety and Municipal Court Building, honoring the first director of the division created in 2005. Noonkester worked 18 years for the city as a police officer, police chief and then public safety director. He died Nov. 28 of complications following surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

If you go

The Mansfield City Council meets at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 1200 E. Broad St.


GA - Keen, Ralston Ready With Fix For Sex Offender Law

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Already? Didn't put much thought into it, apparently. Jerry, your ideas suck, spend some time thinking for once...

12/10/2007

Just weeks after the Georgia Supreme Court threw out the residency restriction for sex offenders, state House leaders are ready with a fix.

House Majority Leader Jerry Keen and Judiciary (non-civil) Chairman David Ralston announced at a news conference Monday they are pre-filing a bill they believe will handle the court’s problem with the law and reinstate it with slight changes.

Last month, the court threw out a provision of the law that prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of where children congregate. The ruling came in the case of a registered sex offender who bought a home in Hampton that initially put him in compliance with the law because there were no schools, day care centers or other such gathering points for children nearby. But after a day care center was established within 1,000 feet of his home, he found himself in violation of the law.

The proposed legislation carves out an exemption for those who can show they were in compliance with the law when they established residency at a particular location, even though subsequent developments may have put them in violation.

Keen said the net effect of the court’s ruling was “opening our borders up to registered sex offenders who currently have significant residency restrictions in Florida, in Alabama, in Tennessee, and now we basically, in my opinion, have opened the borders and invited them to come to Georgia and live anywhere they want to.”

He said he wants to see the proposed new law get into the governor’s hands as quickly as possible.

Ralston said he will call a committee hearing on the bill next week.

“I think this is a proper response by this Legislature,” said Ralston. “We’re concerned that Georgia, without this, is going to become a dumping ground for these people that we have tried to protect our children from.”


CA - Not Our Fault

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And yet more proof the public cannot handle the registry and why it should be taken offline and used by police only, like it was before when it was working just as well as it is now, if not better. This is what it says on the California registry, which most states do NOT have, and NEED, and why people should sue. I think they should use the image at the end of this article, personally.

Legal and Illegal Uses. The information on this web site is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability.

12/10/2007

Nevada's Public Safety Commission has set up a website that includes searchable maps of where the state's sex offenders live. The city of Las Vegas then decided to set up its own site, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The problem is that both websites populate their databases with information from sex offenders themselves, people who, as you might imagine, aren't terribly vigilant about keeping their addresses up to date with state authorities. This has led to neighbors harassing non-sex offenders who happened to have moved into residences formerly occupied by sex offenders.

The city says it isn't to blame because . . . it includes a disclaimer on the website stating it shouldn't be used to harass or intimidate sex offenders. Pitchfork-toting crowds, city police say, should be aware of the fact that sex offenders supply the state with it's information, and that they 100 percent accurate. Sounds . . . dubious.
- And ANY sex offender who is harassed, needs to start filing complaints. Don't sit back and ignore it. If you do, someone may wind up dead. It's happening over and over, see here.

When 71-year-old Harry Berlin, a non-sex offender who's been mistakenly harassed and threatened by neighbors, asked city officials to correct their records they told him he had to ask the people who run the state database. When he went to the state, they told him to go back to the city. So now he's suing. In the meantime, his neighbors will continue to periodically gather outside his door to taunt him.



Suggested warning sign on ALL state registries: