Saturday, May 31, 2003

GRAD: Improving Referrals to Families and Children in Need

Ohio State University has developed a new tool to determine the risk level for kids hitting the juvenile justice system: the Global Risk Assessment Device. While other risk assessment instruments only look at the risk of re-offending, GRAD seeks to assess the "global" picture: how can we help this child? GRAD seeks to provide Courts with a tool that will help them tailor services and programs to the individual child's needs. Excellent news because the idea of focusing treatment and services on the individual needs of each child was at the heart of the juvenile justice philosophy during its creation over 100 years ago.

There are currently GRAD pilot projects in Franklin, Cuyahoga and Licking Counties in Ohio. You can find an early report on Cuyahoga County statistics at the GRAD website. Hopefully more information will follow.
I Can't Believe We Haven't Posted on This Yet: Supreme Court Gets It Right

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs. The case concerned whether extending the Family Medical Leave Act protections to state employees is constitutional. Quite honestly, I have been holding my breath for this one. It pitted two competing interests: states' rights versus gender discrimination. Fortunately, the Court held that state employees are entitled to FMLA protections and remedies by a 6 - 3 vote.

Interestingly, Chief Justice Rehnquist, a staunch proponent of states' rights, wrote the majority opinion. It is a reasonably thoughtful analysis of gender discrimination in the workplace based on the notion that women are the primary caregivers. In Hibbs, the husband took FMLA leave to care for his injured wife and was terminated. (Did you notice it was the Department of Human Resources? Um, shouldn't HR departments know how to follow HR related laws? Or is that asking too much?) The majority opinion also attacked the dissenting opinion's argument that FMLA protections are unnecessary because states are doing such a great job of handling family leave. Seems someone is out of touch with reality. I love it when the various opnions attack one another.

Justices O'Connor, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer joined Rehnquist's opinion, while Justice Stevens filed a concurring opinion. Justice Kennedy wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas (ooh I'm shocked). I'm really pleased with the 6 - 3 vote. There was much speculation that the decision would be too close to call and that Justice O'Connor would be the swing vote.

Now my only question is: Which 15 states give women one year of extended maternity? Hmmm. Further investigation is warranted!

Friday, May 30, 2003

An interview first
I actually had a woman close her eyes and look like she was nodding off during my interview today. I can honestly say that's a first for me (and I've had some doozies as far as interview experiences go). Oh!...And the executive director of the place kept looking at his watch. Now granted, my interview was just before lunch, but COME ON! Give me a break! Guerrilla Tactics didn't mention how to handle a sleeping interviewer. I think I might ask for my money back. hehehe
Friday Five:

1. What do you most want to be remembered for? Being a good wife, mother, daughter, friend, boss, person. I don't know that I always succeed in those areas, but hopefully, on average, I do. Maybe also for making people happy.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life? "That's what I like to see: A man with an extended grasp of reality" It's a line from Five Guys Named Moe.
And maybe, "for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." Proverbs 8:11. Finally, "It may be we know least what we treasure most." From The Castle of Llyr.

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year? My Daughter, who at eleven months, is just a way cool kid.

4. What about the past ten years? Still my Daughter. If I have to pick something else, I guess it would be my job in juvenile law and my work with legal interns and law clerks--I like to help younger people learn how interesting and exciting juvenile law can be.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say? Whatever you do, stay out of jail, prison, and/or detention. But that's just off the top of my head. Beyond that, people are either stupid or lying if they tell you that your teen years are the best years of your life. When you are an adult and you are off exploring your place in the world, life is so much better. When you have people in your life that you love (and are loved by them) and with whom you can share that exploration, that's the best time of your life.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Ongoing research
A change to the Juvenile Code in New Mexico will seal court records for juveniles who go for two years without new allegations. I'm still researching this one...I'll let you know what I find.
Back to Sleep benefits

Not only does sleeping on his/her back help prevent SIDS in infants, a new study suggests that also helps prevent fever, stuffy nose, and ear infection. It's amazing to me that there is still so much we're just now learning about babies.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Wednesday Book Club
Oh boy. I can so relate to this one: "What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby?" by Cressida Crowell

Who hasn't had a hard time getting a baby to stop crying. Look carefully, on almost every page, you can find the toy duck and the teddy bear.
If you're pregnant and depressed, you are not alone. Please talk to someone. You see so many doctors, someone should be able to help you.

Maybe they'll just suggest you eat fish.
HRT not a good thing
Hormone replacement therapy was being touted as helping prevent dementia. may actually INCREASE the risk of dementia. I'm getting the distinct impression that women are being used as guinea pigs...and I'm not happy about it.
Don't adults know any better? You can NOT call the number seen in Bruce Almighty and talk to God. Get a grip already people!
In what I can only assume is a step backward in the Middle East peace process, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are vacationing in Israel. Why do I feel an international incident looming?

OK...I'm all for new babies in the world. But now 60-year-old Paul McCartney and his wife are expecting. He'll be almost 80 by the time the kid is ready for college. Oy!
Here is a GREAT opinion piece about what I call the fetus-rights movement. It concentrates on the mentally and physically disabled woman in Florida who found herself pregnant after being raped in the nursing home where she lives. I particularly appreciate the line that says, " if pregnant women were just minivans delivering them to the doctor." And the very final line of the piece, "She now returns to her normal status: neglect." Kudos to Ellen Goodman for a well-written opinion that doesn't rely on name-calling and threatening language.
Three cheers for Vermont becoming the latest state to classify clergy as mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect.
In South Carolina, a fetus that can survive outside the womb, is a person under state child abuse and neglect laws. I'm simply terrified of where this train of thought will lead.
But we can find money for...
Homeland Security for the State of Ohio (a certain terrorist target if I've ever seen one).
Imagine this

An interesting look at the Bush tax cut.

"The Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, the president's point man on the economy, will get an annual break of $275,000. Imagine Secretary Snow standing in a room filled with 2,750 people, explaining why it is good for the country that he get a tax break equal to all of theirs combined; a room filled with pre-school teachers, secretaries, waiters, nurse assistants, day care providers, retail and service workers, janitors, security guards." [emphasis added]

Just how do you think he'd sell that one?
Of particular interest to me
The State of Ohio released its county-by-county jobless rates. Of course, these only count those that are eligible for unemployment and not those of us who have run out of eligibility (and hope that we'll EVER find a job). But, hey, at least our legislators can tell us it isn't as bad as we think.
Changes in subsidized childcare
Did you know that as of October 1, 2003, anyone above 150 percent of the 2003 Federal Poverty Guideline will be ineligible for subsidized child care in Ohio?

For those that are are the 2003 poverty guidelines.
1............................. $8,980

You have got to be kidding me! Even at 150%...How are these people supposed to afford childcare? And don't our state legislators realize they are putting these people back on assistance (for those that CAN get assistance, that is)? Or is it that they just don't care?
And schools wonder why they can't pass a levy?
With stories like this hitting the news, it's no wonder people are tired of being asked for money to fund schools. Now, I'm sure there is some perfectly logical funding explanation...but we don't hear that when the story gets it's minute and a half on the news, do we?
Section 8 to move to State control?
An article about the possibility of Section moving out from under HUD control and into State control. I'm not sure how I feel about this...I'll have to get back to you.
The Saga Continues
Butler County Judges dispute a report by County Commissioner Mike Fox that labels the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, "A Culture of Secrecy, Fear and Judicial Abuse." Thanks to Steve Kemme at the Cincinnait Enquirer for providing this link to a downloadable copy of the full report. Looks like things are getting ugly.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

By the way...before I forget you and your hubby know how ugly Howler Monkeys really are? We certainly suggest you discontinue use of that particular nickname, as your Baby Girl is just too danged cute to qualify.
Happy 1st Birthday to my Baby Boy!!!

A rainy day at the zoo to celebrate your baby's first birthday is the ABSOLUTE BEST way to spend a day. But now I'm just too tired to sweet dreams.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Kobe, Friends' Rachel, Monica & Chandler, and the Bible

What else is there in Oklahoma to name your kids after?
Anyone have an idea?

I love when the media makes it seem so easy. Why could the court possibly want to exclude grandma from a custody hearing? Anyone have any ideas? I do, but I don't want to jump on a soap box on a holiday.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

When Teachers Care

A Stark County, Ohio program is being touted as a success for getting teachers REALLY involved with kids at risk. And the results (1991-today)are exciting...
~Graduation rates~65.5% up to 91.6%
~Average ACT scores~18.6 up to 21
~Students planning college~27% up to 67%

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Verdict Sanity

Well...Justice Francis E. Sweeney won his $15 million lawsuit against The New York Times ...sort of. The jury ruled that the Times libeled the Justice...but denied damages. We shall see if this is the end (please let sanity prevail on this one).
Welcome to the world Baby Seth!!!

One of my college roomies, Melanie (and her husband, Hoyt) had her first baby earlier today. Seth Frederick was born at 11:16am. He weighed 6lbs, 12ozs, and was 19 inches long. Both mom and baby are doing well. Congratulations to the whole family!!!

Friday, May 23, 2003

Yay Team!

Spike's not dead (err un-undead?) yet according to Joss Whedon in TV Guide.

My favorite quote:

They were very excited about James. They have a shiny blond thing to show people, and they're gonna do it.

I completely understand that philosophy.

I will stop talking about Buffy soon. I promise.

Now if they could only fix Anya....
Neglect Laws Don't Apply to Fetus

At least in Colorado.

Here is the opinion.

Thanks to for the heads up.
When Smart People Disagree

Our friends down around Cincinnati, Ohio--Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court--are facing some serious criticism based on a study done by Butler County Commissioner Michael Fox. I've got an email into the author of the article, hoping he can get me a copy of the study and recommendations. We'll see.
You know you're in trouble when...

...a lawsuit against you uses the word "besmirched."

OK...I'm all for making sure innocent people aren't defamed...but $15 million????
Memorial Day weekend movies?

If you're headed to the movies over this weekend with your kids, you might want to check out the Family Movie Guide.
Maybe more people should live the experience

A student at Mary Washington College posted this article about her day as a witness in Juvenile Court. More people, especially legislators, go through this type of experience so they know what they're talking about when they purport to "solve" the problems of juvenile delinquency.
Early prevention?

I'm still hunting down the study referenced in this article , but it sounds like a decent idea. 4-year-old kindergarten for low-income families...maybe an idea for everyone if it really has all these benefits?

Here's a picture of us from Mars. Can you see me waving??? it's a little out of focus...what do you want from Mars???

(I posted a picture! Doing a happy dance)
Why don't lawmakers understand?

This makes NO sense. Effectively do away with a program that is working. If they do this, they have no right to complain about Juvenile Court ineffectiveness, cost, and/or the "rise of juvenile delinquency."
University affiliation?

We have University affiliations for medicine, law, technology...why not juvenile justice? I'll be interested to see how/if this idea works.
Found: One 2-year-old

Where are this child's parents? I look at my son, five days short of 1-year-old, and I wonder how much a 2-year-old can possibly help in his own investigation. But with new immigration laws, if his parents are illegal immigrants, they may never come forward. I'm not sure this is what we had in mind as a logical consequence of 9/11.
If we're headed for a defecit, at least there's SOME good news.

It looks like the tax cut is on it's way. And I know everyone is apprehensive about what it means for the nation's future. But at least with a $400 early refund, my husband can afford those tires for his car that he needs. I may never find a job...but he'll have tires. I guess it's a trade-off [sarcasm added].

Thursday, May 22, 2003


Jane Goodall wins the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

In April, she was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science. Very cool considering previous recipients included Marie Curie, Orville Wright, and Jacques Yves-Cousteau.
New social problems for the children of Iraq

Without debating the validity of the war in Iraq, I offer this article for consideration. Quite a vivid story (of course, I'm not completely sure I can believe anything I read these days). My heart breaks for these children. What will be the sense in establishing a stable government in that country if there are no adults to run it in another 30 years?
Talk about bad proofreading

The Akron Beacon Journal online really needs to do a better job with it's headlines.
I had my first official glass of iced tea for this summer. I don't know why I reserve it for a summer drink (actually, Grandma makes it for Christmas dinner too...but we can't talk about that since we're currently in the doghouse for not attending last year)...but there's something in my brain that just associates iced tea with sunshine and playing outdoors. I know this is probably a waste of good blog space, but it's my blog and I'll babble if I want.
If only the President could shoot hoops

Ohio Basketball All-Star LeBron James reportedly signed a $90M+, deal with Nike to hock their shoes. President Bush, in contrast,

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

In Honor of My Baby Girl's 11-month Birthday:

I present the Wednesday What If:

1. What if you had 24 hours to pack up and leave your country forever?I assume I'm taking my family with me, because if not, no way am I going. So assuming that, I would spend time with my parents, my brothers, sister-in-law, niece and nephews. If possible, I'd visit a few family graves. Maybe see some friends if there was time.

2. What if you had 24 hours to get married?Essentially been there, done that. While hubby and I were on the marriage track (together for seven years, living together for three), it took a surprise pregnancy to get me over my marriage anxiety and to give him some incentive to ask. We were married about five months after our first ultrasound in the doctor's office.

3. What if you had 24 hours to entirely change the way you look, so much as to become unrecognizable?I'd like to be a red-head. And my dad always wanted me to have blue eyes instead of hazel. But no cosmetic surgery! After a messy gallbaldder surgery and a surprise c-section, I'll pass on going under the knife any time soon.

4. What if you had 24 hours to make a scientific or historical discovery?Or what? Ummmm. I'd like to find out what happend to Amelia Earhart. Solve the mysteries of the pyramids and Sphinx. Learn about the historical Jesus. Determine if Atlantis existed. Do I have time to do anything else? Maybe a cure for SIDS or cancer or arthritis and a few other things.

5. What if you had 24 hours to meet and befriend the leader of your country? Oh I don't know what I would say to him. I'd probably use small words so he could understand me. (Sorry that was too easy). I don't think I'd want to talk politics. Except maybe juvenile law issues. I'd tell him I like Texas. I guess that's lame. I just don't see us being buddies.

I hope I'm not doing this all in the same twenty-four hours. And Jack Bauer thought he had it rough!

Good night!
Still Reading to the Baby

One of our all time favorite reads is I Love You Stinky Face. From the very beginning, our daughter's nicknames have ranged from "baby doll" to "howler monkey" to "princess" and most recently "demon spawn" (after a nasty bout of teething when two new teeth came in simultaneously). I saw this title while I was shopping with my mother-in-law when my daughter was about four weeks old and I pounced on it. Since then I have purchased copies for many of my mommy friends.

As you can tell by my book selections so far, I love reading books to my daughter that demonstrate unconditional love between parents and children. In Stinky Face, a mother is trying to put her "wonderful child" to bed, while the child asks the mother questions testing the limits of her love: What if I were a a swamp creature with slimy, smelly seaweed hanging from my body? What if I were an alligator with big sharp teeth? What if I were a one-eyed monster? The mother's responses are creative as she explains how she would continue to love her child in each extraordinary situation.

The art is simply beautiful. In each new physical form the child is still wearing the same striped pyjamas. Many of the scenes show that the child still has favorite toys and pets with him in each transformation. The art cleverly shows how small imaginations stretch the boundaries of their "worlds" and how small children start expressing their independence.

I was surprised that my MIL, who teaches pre-K in Pennsylvania, had not hear of this series. She loved it after reading our copy and decided to add it to her booklist for school.

Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore have collaborated on several children's books, including a series of Stinky Face books. I think it's a fun read for parents and children.
Early Teen Sex

NPR's Morning Edition has been running a story on sex among teens twelve to fourteen during my drive into work. Much of the story has been pulled from a report found at this site.

One of the more interesting comments was that while parents believed they did a great job with the talk, most teenagers would have liked more information from their parents. My girl is only 11 months old today, but I still find myself wondering how I'll handle the talk and if I can raise her well enough to make good choices. I think I'll just relax for now and go feed her.

Everyone likes Anya

The recaplet is up for last night's Buffy series finale at Television Without Pity. They must be sad the show ended: it isn't chock full of biting sarcasm , at least, not as much as usual. Fans at FireflyNet also mourned Anya's untimely passing (well, untimely for a vengeance demon who has been around a few hundred years). I woke up this morning thinking that I am really very upset that Anya is dead. Not my I'm-pretending-the-last-season-of-the-X-FIles-doesn't exist upset. But still, very sad indeed.

Here's a very interesting essay on Spike and Buffy as an example of Courtly Love. I bet the essay's author is thrilled with how last night's episode elaborated on that (Brian de Bois-Guilbert anyone?)

Betty Ragan
has some interesting pov's on last night's ep. Not that I entirely agree with her opinions, but she's always a great read.
Another good children's tv channel

For those that have it, Noggin has excellent programming for kids. They show Sesame Street, Blue's Clues and, of course, Dora. In addition, they have Oobi (which I love, even though it's just a hand with some eyes), Oswald (which appeals to me because the penguin's voice reminds me of Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley) and the very cool Play with Me Sesame (in which Bert, Ernie, Prarie Dawn and my favorite, Grover, "interact" with the viewers).

Who isn't up for a good game of Ernie Says?
Who says we need media ownership regulation?

A study of Los Angeles television released by Children Now finds that "the amount of kids' television programs in Los Angeles fell sharply when a media company owned more than one of the city's TV stations." Most disturbing is that the stations cut their children's programming to the bare minimum required by the FCC (three hours per week). I guess if you want good children's programming, you'd better watch PBS or Disney.
I watch too much television

Or rather, I used to watch too much television before I had my son. But I'm still able to see a turning point for a show. And next season on The Practice is just such a turning point. Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Lara Flynn Boyle, Marla Sokoloff and Chyler Leigh are ALL leaving the series (or rather, were fired from the series...And the firings come just a week after the cast was flown to New York for ABC's big fall schedule party. Talk about nerve!). The whole premise of the show was a small defense firm centered around Bobby and his secretary-turned-attorney, Rebecca, against the Prosecution centered around Helen Gamble. Now no Bobby, no Rebecca, no sassy Helen. Well, at least my husband will be able to stop complaining about the amount of lip gloss worn by the women on that show.
Time With Family?

Christie Whitman has resigned from the Environmental Protection Agency in order to spend more time with her family. Now, I don't believe in conspiracy theories too much...but haven't we heard this excuse before? Especially for a couple of staffers who were even occasionally at odds with the Bush Administration. On an interesting side note, Ari Fleischer is leaving the White House in order to enter private business. He just got married 6 months ago and I wonder why they didn't use the "family" reason for his departure? Perhaps "spending time with family" is code for something?
It seems all hell has broken loose at universities across the U.S. On May9th, a disgruntled former graduate student went on a shooting rampage at Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management. Today, it seems there has been an explosion of some sort at Yale University Law School. I find this particularly disturbing today, as I watched the season finale of Gilmore Girls last night (my reason for missing the Buffy finale--don't worry, I'll catch it on DVD)...where Chilton valedictorian, Rory, makes final arrangements to attend Yale in the fall. I think of all those students who currently attend, or those that are planning to attend, and wonder how this will affect their plans for continuing education.

Of course, stellar reporting by MSNBC and Fox News leave me with more questions than answers. Was it in the mail room? Was it in a classroom? Who knows?...why report details?...let's just talk "explosion" and we'll get good ratings.
A Fitting Finale

I must say that I thought the series finale for Buffy rocked! The second half was nearly perfect and I was surprised to find myself feeling so empowered and happy to be a woman during the whole "Choose to take the power" speech. I loved that Buffy decided that the only one slayer rule determined by some powerful men ages ago didn't bind her, or any other woman on the planet. I loved that she said that Willow was more powerful than all of those men and that she could make it so that every potential, everywhere, for all time would come into their own power. It was beautiful to watch it happen. I especially adored the girl who stopped the person beating her. For anyone who didn't see it, there was no reverse beating. She simply lifted her head, stopped the next blow, and her expression clearly indicated that this behavoir wasn't going to continue. This is one reason I happen to like Joss Whedon: he does a fairly good job writing for women.

Somehow I was sure there were continuity errors left and right, but I didn't care.

I thought it was brilliant that Willow's use of super-powerful magic put her in touch with good rather than evil, as she had feared.

Of course, my two favorite characters were killed off. I thought Anya got a raw deal last year and that she was probably most deserving of a happy ride off into the sunset. I was crushed to see her slain. I'll be interested to read what others say about this episode later.

And in spite of what I posted below, it appears that Spike is dead. Well, at least he got the last word in with Buffy.

Finally, I think I most appreciated the exchange at the end, "Well it looks like the Hellmouth is closed for business."

Giles replied, "Well there's one in Cleveland."

I think I know just where it is.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

OK...something screwy happened with my last post. I can't edit it or anything. grrrr...
The Hubster's Birthday

Don't ya just hate it when you want to get your hubby something great for his birthday but you have NO money so you have to get him something scholarships totaling $50,000. The scholarships are sponsored by Kumon Math & Reading Centers. For more information, or to register, visit their website.
More useless information

Columbus, Ohio leads the country in the veterinarian-to-pet ratio with one veterinarian for every 745 pets. This according to a new report by the Purina Institute.
KnowledgeWorks Foundation named eight Ohio schools as recipients of grants as part of the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative. Other supporting participants in this project are The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ohio Department of Education, and the United States Department of Education. Schools receiving awards: Cleveland Heights High School, Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools, $1,559,070; East High School, Cleveland Municipal School District, $661,725; Brookhaven High School, Columbus City Schools, $802, 485; Shaw High School, East Cleveland City Schools, $952,425; Libbey High School, Toledo Public Schools, $776,475; and Chaney, Rayen and Wilson high schools in Youngstown, $2,007,360. Grant awards are based on the size of each school's population.

I'm not sure I understand the concept...something about restructuring and creating autonomous high schools within existing facilities. I think I'll have to do some more research on this one before I make up my mind on what I think.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Firefly not dead yet

Hubby and I were big fans of Joss Whedon's Firefly. It was everything Buffy was in the first few seasons and more: clever, sassy, full of compelling adult characters with intriguing and mysterious pasts. We were disappointed and a little frustrated when it was cancelled: not only had Fox network shafted it from the beginning, but no other network was willing to air it. Given the garbage that is currently aired ( think every reality tv show--Jen from Mentor notwithstanding), I hate it when something truly original doesn't even get a chance. The X-Files was not a smash in it's first season--it built up steam through word of mouth and critical acclaim. It became a true phenomena by the second and third seasons, however, networks seem to focus on the X-Files success while failing to emulate the slow steady support Fox gave the show.

The New York Times (registration required but free) has an interview with Joss Whedon in which he discusses Buffy, and the abrupt end of Firefly. As he has indicated since the show's cancellation in December 2002, he hasn't given up on telling the Firefly story.

If you didn't see Firefly when it aired on Fox in the fall of 2002, and if you like sci-fi, I highly recommend that you buy the DVD's when they are released.
Now I can watch Buffy in peace tomorrow night

Now that I know Spike won't die in it.
Childsafe internet

Cheers to for being the first recipient of Safe Harbor certification by the Better Business Bureaus' new Children's Advertising Review Unit.
Legislative note
Here's one I'll have to look up later when I've got more time.
Reality TV comes home

Well, it's official...The Bachelor chose Jen, a Mentor, Ohio native who now calls Chicago, IL home. So now we can start with the I knew her when stories.
State Budget Crisis???

Faced with a $4 billion dollar budge deficit, several state legislators attempted to voluntarily decline a 1.3% pay increase. But there seems to be some controversy (between the House and Senate) over whether such a refusal of pay is constitutional. Huh?!?!?!?!?!
Will the Sheppard case EVER go away?

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Francis E. Sweeney is suing the New York Times over an article written about the case. Sweeney's lawsuit alleges the April 13, 2000, Times story defamed him by falsely saying he used his influence in a case he had been involved in earlier as a prosecutor.
Another study

KidsOhio released a study, Kids Today - Children in Central Ohio: How They Live, Learn and Grow. It includes bad and good news about the status of children in seven central Ohio counties.

Key findings:
* Children are the most likely age group to be poor: one in eight lives in poverty.
* Nearly one in five high school students does not graduate.
* One in four lives in a single-parent family, making them more likely to be poor.
* One in three babies is born to unmarried parents.
* One in three 4th graders is not proficient in math or reading.

Despite these challenges, central Ohio children today are also:

* More likely to have healthy childhoods due to reduced maternal smoking, improved prenatal care, dental care and immunizations.
* Less likely to die at birth or before age 1.
* Less likely to become teen parents.
* More likely to have parents who are high school graduates.
* More likely to complete high school and attend college.
I always knew the bar exam was evil

The Ohio Supreme Court notified 28 applicants that their status may change due to a clerical error on the bar exam. By Thursday (5/8), it was determined that 27 of those 28 passed.

Has anyone heard from that 28th person?
Road Girls rest stop

I can't believe neither of us have blogged about one our great loves in life...Russell Crowe! Sadly, this year's 30 Odd Foot of Grunts concerts at the Chicago House of Blues, featuring Russell as lead singer, will be without ME1 and ME2...seasoned road girls. Mommyhood and lack of funding will prevent our attendance, but we hope everyone who joins the Grunts will report back in great detail everything that happens.

By the way...TOFOG recently released a new album. Take a listen to the just might find yourself oddly attracted to their music too.
A second look at zero-tolerance

On May 14, 2003, Advancement Project released, Derailed: The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track. It's a pretty large file to download, but it's an interesting read.

I find it particularly interesting that, "Statistics show that youth violence has declined and that schools remain the safest places for children. From 1997 to 2000, nonfatal crimes against students dropped by 44 percent; for the same period serious violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault) declined 43 percent." (according to Yahoo News.)
Adios...ummm...I mean au revoir

Les Miserables closed on Broadway after 16 years...and I never did get to see it. I had the chance in the 9th grade to old am I? Hmmm...That's right, I would've been able to see it in it's first year on Broadway. But my Dad said no and now I'm scarred for life.
I need a JOB!!!

It's going to cost me approximately $170,460 to raise my son?!?!?! And we were thinking of having another. Holy cow!

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Good Riddance and Good-Bye!

I just wrote the check to pay off one of my student loans from law school! One down, nine more to go!
Raising a Drama Queen Princess

Lately, when my daughter isn't pleased with something she prostrates herself at my feet, arms stretched woefully above her head and then she will wail. She occasionally takes a break long enough to determine if her father or I have noticed and are coming to her rescue. I don't really know where she learned this. She will only be eleven months old next week.

Friday, May 16, 2003

It's Late

Because I had to blog something today and I just couldn't get much computer time tonight, here's the Friday Five:

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.? I prefer bottle and definitely spring over distilled or purified. We use a Brita filter at home.

2. What are your favorite flavor of chips? Salt and Vinegar. Mmmmm.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most? I can't really cook; that's the hubby's domain. I don't really think he wants me in his kitchen (I tried to cook a meal for his birthday the first year we dated--let's just say it wasn't pretty). But my chili soup is pretty good. And I can bake just about anything. Maybe a Boston Creme Pie. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Darn, now I'm getting hungry.

4. How do you have your eggs? Usually hard boiled and sliced in a salad.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? The Hubby. And it was for Mother's Day. How did it turn out? Excellent as always!
The end of DeRolph
The Ohio Supreme Court has put an end to any further litigation in the landmark case that declared the funding system for Ohio schools to be unconstitutional. I guess the legislature is magically now going to do what they haven't managed to do in the last FIVE years...and find a consitutional way to fund Ohio schools that doesn't rely on the current system of property tax.
Why I love eBay
Sterling breaks parity in surreal online auction.
All animals in the Bicentennial Parade in Canal Fulton tomorrow MUST be diapered.

No, I'm not kidding.
Preventing truancy in the 21st century
You always hear about parents who "just don't know" their child isn't attending school. Here's a plan that eliminates that excuse. And I can only imagine what my father would've said if he EVER got text messaged that I wasn't in school. yikes!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Break out the tambourines and the finger cymbals, there's a lunar eclipse tonight! If my son actually gets to bed at a decent hour and the clouds go away, I just might be out dancing in the darkness myself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Reading to the Baby

I have always loved reading to my daughter. When I was pregnant, I read the Two Towers out loud because studies show babies do respond to their mothers voices even before birth. After she was born, my hubby wanted me to wait until one of her grandmothers came before buying her any books ( he assumed--correctly-- that her two school-teacher grandmas would bury her in books). As a result, I resorted to reading a brochure on the National Parks to her.

Hubby and I are both avid readers, still, I was pleased and surprised with my very first Mother's Day presents: all books. I am enjoying reading "Mama Do You Love Me?" to my daughter after dinner. I will admit though, that I'm struggling to pronounce "ptarmigan." She doesn't seem to mind.
New juvenile laws at work
The Plain Dealer reported on another case involving Juvenile Law today. This time, a sixteen year old boy is accused of murder, attempted murder, attempted rape and kidnapping. Some of these crimes date back to 2001. In recent years, Ohio has transformed the purposes of the Juvenile Code from a rehabilitative model to a punitive one.

Based on these new laws, the Juvenile Court will have a variety of options in handling the case. Based on his age (sixteen) and the offense (attempted aggravated murder in 2002), he could be subject to a mandatory bindover to the adult criminal court and the Juvenile Court would be compelled to transfer its jurisdiction over the matter. If he was actually fifteen when the 2002 acts occurred and has never been committed to the Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS), he could be transferred to the adult court at the Juvenile Court's discretion or the Juvenile Court could chose to use the new serious youthful offender (SYO) disposition to his cases. In a serious youthful offender case, the Juvenile Court imposes a "blended sentence" containing both traditional juvenile dispositions ( commitment to ODYS or probation) and adult sentences (prison time, adult probation etc). The adult portion is "stayed" and if the juvenile can successfully complete the juvenile portion of his sentence, the adult portion will never be imposed. The idea is that the child will receive more rehabilitative services in the juvenile court system, which will hopefully deter him from a life of crime.

Interesting note: unlike most other juvenile hearings, the public (including the media) has an absolute right to observe SYO proceedings.

Finally, this child will also be facing classification as a Juvenile Sex Offender Registrant (JSOR) for the 2002 rape. If he was fifteen at the time, the Juvenile Court may choose to require him to register as a JSOR. If he was sixteen, he will be required to register. Depending on his delinquency history and any psychological assessments, the Court may also label him a habitual sex offender or a sexual predator.

There haven't been too many SYO's across the state so far. Courts are theorizing that the prosecutors are just more comfortable with the bindover process, which has existed as long as the juvenile courts. Most SYO's have been initiated by the public defender as part of a plea and the prosecutors file the appropriate paperwork.

In this case, like so many others, I think the kid just may walk away with several different labels and not much in the way of services to help him.
Don't let the actual law stop you
ME2 posted below about Baby Emma Rose who was found near some dumpsters on Mother's Day. The Plain Dealer wrote a follow up article here.

I find it interesting that Jim McCafferty, head of the Department of Children and Family Services, doesn't think pressing criminal charges is necessary in this case. He believes that this case would fall under Ohio's Safe Haven law which allows mother's to leave unharmed newborns with hospital staff or police within 72 hours of birth. Under these circumstances, she is immune from prosecution.
It's interesting because in preceding paragraphs the article states, "Emma's temperature was about 84 degrees, well below the 95-degree threshold to declare a baby hypothermic" and "'If she'd have been left out [much longer], she would have died[.]'"

Emma was found around 10:20 pm--just as
a wave of storms hit the Cleveland area. The winds reached 50 mph. Power went out in several areas.

I think it would be an incredible stretch to think that leaving a baby outside in such weather would trigger the safe haven law. So what does the agency actually consider to be endangering a child? I'm not really certain.

The real problem is that no one seems to know where the mother is, or even if she is still alive.
Luck be a lady?

This lady's baby is set for life...or at least the next 19 years. Now who wants to bet it's a girl?
Do we have comments on our blog? Hmmm...another technical question to which I don't know the answer. I really need a blog tutorial.
I think this says a lot about me
But I happen to find this blog hilarious. The comments are just as funny.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Truer Words
This is from ME2's post below:

What my mom never told me about motherhood was how paranoid I would be for the rest of my life. From the moment my children were born, checking on them every time they went to sleep, worrying when they crossed the street, first day at school, the teenage years, driving, etc. As a parent you never stop worrying about your children no matter what the age. Seems the only peace you get is when they are in your arms, hugging you.

I can heartily second that. Before my daughter was born, my Brother, has two small children of his own and another on the way, told me, "You don't know what worry is yet." I find myself worrying about the craziest things. "What if she doesn't fasten her seatbelt? What if someone breaks her heart? What if..."

And there's this:
When you first come home from the hospital with your baby, it's very scary that something so little came with no owner's manual and is now totally dependent on you.

I think my thought was something like, "You can't seriously be thinking of sending this perfect, tiny, little person home with me?? You don't know me. I do. You just can't be serious." I've learned since then that this is an almost universal feeling as there is absolutely nothing in life that prepares you (no matter how many times you watched other people's kids) for how wonderfully vulnerable you feel when you realize that you are in charge of this small life.

But there is absolutely nothing so beautiful in this world as watching the sunrise creep softly across your sleeping newborn's face.

Now it's my turn

I too am a lawyer by trade and training--hence the oh so clever Blog Title. I have a nearly eleven month old baby girl who is a joy and a prodigy. {Not that I'm biased!} I would prefer to be a stay at home mom but that role currently goes to my beloved hubby. {Not that I'm envious!} We have no pets. We had planned to get a dog then a baby but life had other things in mind. I've been working in juvenile law for almost seven years (including my last year of law school). My Hubby is also an attorney and we intend to strongly discourage our daughter from following in our footsteps.

I'm pretty close to my Mom and Dad. And I have two older Brothers whom I love and adore. Fantastic In-laws--including a great sister-in-law. And finally one clever nephew, one beautiful niece and a second nephew coming to a maternity ward in about a month. Plus some wonderful friends. All in all I'm pretty lucky.

Just what the world needs: More blogs by attorneys.
Newborn baby abandoned despite Safe Harbor Law

Just 5-hours old and with her umbilical cord still attached, Baby Emma Rose (named for her exceptional beauty) was found on Mother's Day...abandoned in a tire in East Cleveland. Such a beautiful little girl.
OK, so it's not funny

But I had to laugh at this one. "Bully twins in double trouble"
How to feed children

This one is a little advanced for our babies, but I thought it was an interesting article for parents of children who are a little bit older. It's chock full of info about teaching positive eating habits.
Moms can do great things

Moms in Scotland are training to climb Mount Etna, Vesuvius and Stromboli in Italy...all for charity!

What do you say ME1? Up for something a little bigger than a blog?
Does your company measure productivity not by what you accomplish but by how long your car stays in the parking lot?

Flexible work schedules seem to be making a comeback in the Northwest.

I need to find me one of these jobs! (I think ME1 will say she'd like one of these too)
In honor of Mother's Day

Yes, I know it's a couple days late...are you keeping track? You need a life!
A little bit about me

I guess I should tell you something about me before I start posting my thoughts on life. I'm a lawyer by education, but am currently a stay-at-home mom with my almost-one-year-old son. I've been married 8.5 years to my college sweetheart. We live on a small farmette where we hope to raise babies and horses. We already have two dogs, three cats and a goldfish in our menagerie...but we want to go bigger and better. I've worked for three years as a law clerk in a juvenile court, but never worked as an attorney as of yet. I'm hoping to get my malpractice insurance lined up soon so I can take on some guardian ad litem work. Maybe I'll open my own practice...stay never know what may happen.

Oh yeah...and I know ME1 because she used to be my boss. Now she's my friend, fellow mommy, and blogging buddy!
At last!
A book that says there is no PERFECT way to parent. [applause, applause, applause]
I'd be interested to read it myself, but will settle for reviews. If anyone's read it, please drop me an email and tell me what you think.
WOO HOO! Thanks for the purple design ME1 (I guess we should come up with more exciting nicks, huh?)! You are the web goddess!
From the "what a great idea" file...
In an effort to address a growing number of abuse and neglect cases in Allegheny county, The Juvenile Court Project (a program of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation) in Pittsburgh, PA, has a new video to inform parents of their rights in Juvenile Court abuse, neglect, and dependency proceedings. And they follow it up with face-to-face conversation...a novel idea that other courts might want to try.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Joys of Parenting

ME2 didn't mention that she and I both have the cribs subject to the recall. Sigh. I think this is the third item of mine that was subject to a recall.
A Day Late and a Few Dollars Short
Well ME2 got the site up and running today. We were aiming for our inaugural posts to go out yesterday but a freak electrical thing caused a power outage in my city while ME2 and I were in the midst of setting this place up.
Happy Mother's Day [late].
Hope it was a good one.
Is Restorative Justice worth the time and effort? I'm not sure.
Hey you have this crib? Recall notice.
Now, here's something worth spending court time on. It's not quite juvenile law, but I thought it might be good for a chuckle on a cold and rainy Monday.
After much cyber-headache pain, I have finally figured out how to BLOG. Will the technical know-how last? I feel as though I should say something insightful in my very first blog post...but I'm at a loss. Let's just see if I can get this to post.