Sunday, April 28, 2013

Valley Brook Oklahoma resident Bobby Burgess petitions us for an Everyday Zeroes Award

Bobby Burgess and his petition
for a Shiitake Award
How many times over the years has Hands Up ministries in Oklahoma been targeted by people determined to shut them down? More times than I can count. Once again, someone is trying to shut down one of the few  outreach ministries in Oklahoma (probably THE only one) that helps registered citizens who are struggling with homelessness.

This guy, Bobby Burgess, is gathering petitions to shut the program down. He's collected 150 signatures. But will he get enough signatures to win a 2013 Shiitake award? Stay tuned to find out.

In the meantime, maybe the guys at the coffee shop can start a petition against this guy.

Loitering sex offenders are making Valley Brook residents uneasy

Residents of Valley Brook, a small Oklahoma City suburb known for its strip clubs, are upset that convicted sex offenders are being allowed to work and hang around two local businesses.

VALLEY BROOK — Residents of this small Oklahoma City suburb best-known for its strip clubs and recent scandals are upset that convicted sex offenders are being allowed to hang around two local businesses in town.

During the last meeting of the town's Board of Trustees, a petition signed by more 150 Valley Brook residents was submitted to elected officials, detailing their concerns.

Town Trustee Lewis Nieman said residents are upset that Joe's Addiction — a coffee shop — and Free Store Boutique — a thrift store — are routinely admitting sex offenders from the nearby Hand Up Ministries trailer park.

On its website, Hand Up Ministries describes itself as “faith-based prison aftercare program for men and women that have just been released from prison.”

It's been widely publicized in recent months that convicted sex offenders are allowed to live in the trailer park, which is just across the street from Valley Brook.

“A lot of people are concerned about it,” Nieman said. “We've only got about 400 adults in town, so having more than 150 people sign the petition is a pretty good amount.”

The petition, started by Valley Brook resident Bobby Burgess, is seeking help from the town's Board of Trustees.

Burgess, who has four small children, said the sex offenders and other homeless people who hang around Valley Brook are gaining in numbers.

“I'm tired of them being a nuisance, hanging around the neighborhood,” he said. “They don't just hang around the coffee shop ... they hang around the creek that runs through here; they're always asking people for money and walking up and down the street at all hours of the day.”

Burgess said Valley Brook is home to many children, and he believes it's just a matter of time before something happens.

“Look, they may not all be sex offenders, but sex offenders are known to live over there (Hand Up Ministries),” he said. “A lot of the kids will talk to them, just because they've been taught not to be rude. You can imagine what will happen eventually ... given enough time.

Both Joe's Addiction and Free Store Boutique are in the same shopping center in Valley Brook. A handful of strip clubs and other businesses are clustered nearby. The town hall and police station are nearby, too.

The businesses and municipal complex line SE 59, the tiny town's northern border. Residents live south of the shopping center, in between Eastern Avenue and Crossroads Boulevard.

‘We don't discriminate'

The coffee shop's owner, Jamie Zumwalt, denied that her business is a haven for sex offenders.
“We allow anyone who wants to hang out there to do so,” Zumwalt said.

“And not just to drink coffee ... We have a food pantry on Saturdays for groceries; we have the Free Store for physical needs. ... We don't discriminate against anyone.”

Zumwalt said Joe's Addiction is more than a coffee shop. She said the businesses she runs in Valley Brook also offer free counseling services.

As for the sex offenders, Zumwalt said she hasn't had any problems with them.

“They are just like any of the other folks that we are helping,” she said. “Some of them are homeless, some are drug addicts or alcoholics. ... I'm unaware of any sexual problems ... from the folks who hang out there.”

The Rev. David Nichols, the founder of Hand Up Ministries, said he can't control where the sex offenders who live at his trailer park go or whom they interact with.

“I own the property and I have staff there, but they are not in prison anymore,” Nichols said. “It's up to the coffee shop whether they let them come there, not me.”

Nichols also said that most of the “sex offenders” who are concerning Valley Brook residents are likely homeless and not living at his trailer park.

“It's easy for them to blame me, but there are hundreds of homeless sex offenders living in that area — and all over the city,” he said.

“Most of them are not from my place.”

Next step

Nieman said local residents who signed the petition want the town's Board of Trustees to refuse to renew Zumwalt's business license, which would essentially put her out of business.

In Valley Brook, business owners must renew their business licenses once a year.

“I don't know if we're going to do that,” Nieman said. “We'll take it up at a future meeting and see what happens.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Miami attempts to exclude registrants from homeless protections

This is yet another sad legacy of the Julia Tuttle Causeway debacle, which continues to this day despite shutting down the camp nearly three years ago.

This is FloriDUH politics at its finest. It wishes to reinstate the practice of harassing and destroying the belongings of those forced into homelessness.

Miami to go to federal court to undo homeless-protection act  

The City of Miami, concerned that loitering homeless people are stunting downtown growth, will go to federal court in an attempt to undo major provisions of a historic legal agreement that for 15 years has protected the homeless from undue arrest and harassment by police.

Miami commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to petition the courts to alter a landmark settlement in the 1988 Pottinger v. Miami case, in which 5,000 homeless people and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city, contending that the police practice of sweeping them off the streets and dumping their belongings for loitering, sleeping on sidewalks or other minor offenses was unconstitutional.

The case, settled by consent decree in 1998, led to a significant expansion of public services to the homeless that has been held up as a national model. The settlement also bars Miami police from arresting homeless people for such “involuntary, harmless acts’’ without first offering them an available bed in a shelter.

Under the resolution adopted Thursday, which drew little to no public attention before the commission meeting, the city will hire an outside attorney to ask a federal judge to grant police greater latitude to detain homeless people and seize and dispose of their belongings. The city will also ask the judge to exclude sexual predators from the Pottinger settlement’s protections.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bradford County FloriDUH sheriff Gordon Smith wants to increase vigilante violence to prevent crimes

It is not simply the proposal that Bradford County FL Sheriff Gordon Smith has issued that draws my ire, but the attitude of this guy. Just read the story below. That's Floridiot logic for you-- create crime to prevent crime.

No more hiding out for sex predators in Bradford County

Reported by: Leslie Coursey Email:

Print Story Published: 4/08 5:38 pm Share Updated: 4/08 8:32 pm 

STARKE, Fla. -- "I don't want another victim," Sheriff Gordon Smith says it's that simple. 

To alleviate any confusion parents might have about where sexual predators live, he's posting big red signs, bearing the predator's names, in front of their homes.

"If you're selling Girl Scout cookies, if you're selling whatever, you'll know at that door lives a sexual predator," he said.

The sheriff says the idea came from his staff. He said parents kept calling with concerns. And when they looked, he said "We had more sexual predators in our community than all those other counties, comparable to our size, we had more than all them together. So that's an issue."

Florida law states, as Sheriff, he can notify his community about sexual predators any way he sees fit.

"And as I see fit means putting up a sign," he said.

And if the predators have a problem with it, he said, "If they don't like it, they got an option. Leave!"

The Sheriff's Office says the signs cost less than $10 a piece. They'll use inmate labor to post them this week, making the burden on the taxpayer minimal. 

The signs will only be posted at the homes of sexual predators, not sex offenders. The difference is that a predator is a either a repeat offender and/or their crimes are violent with a victim under 12.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nathan willing to risk life as a registered sex offender for TV ratings

I have seen plenty of reality TV stunts but this one has to be the dumbest yet. So this show is apparently some reality show/ documentary much like Borat. I don't know if this is just a silly act, a farce like Borat was, but it does illustrate the insanity of the registry. If it is all fake, it is clever writing.

Nathan himself says this:

"We've all seen escape artists risk death before, but tonight, I'm going to risk something even worse. Becoming a registered sex offender for life."

This week's "Nathan For You" is unlike anything we've ever seen. Taking a risk that could result not only in embarrassment but imprisonment, Nathan Fielder handcuffs himself to a metal frame and gives himself 90 seconds to escape before a robotic claw pulls down his pants in front of a crowd of children, with a police officer standing by to arrest him, thus making him him a sex offender for life.

Why? Nathan explains that he needs to show audiences that he is willing to risk his own embarrassment in addition to embarrassing the business owners he features on his show, but we think it's a spot-on satire worthy of Sacha Baron Cohen, examining and mocking the lengths that American reality shows go to in order to exploit its stars. If people are willing to humiliate themselves on "Fear Factor" and "Killer Karaoke" to get on TV, who's to say that they won't risk being in the sex offender registry for some airtime, too?

So does Nathan escape the handcuffs, or does he get arrested? We've seen the show, but our lips are sealed -- we simply must insist that you watch on Thursday at 10:30 to find out what happens.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Joke-lahoma's Leslie Osborn vows to ALWAYS vote tough on crime

Could Leslie Osborn's next award be a Shiitake award?
Leslie Osborn's statement is typical of legislators who blindly follow "tough on crime" laws. Oxen are strong but they are also dumb. Dumb enough to admit her intentions and her unwillingness to be educated.

"I will always vote to be the one that's tough on crime," Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, argued recently during debate over a bill to impose mandatory prison sentences for those who fail to register. "I want us to remember that the people that are registering here include people who are rapists, child molesters. These are people that have done heinous crimes to members of our communities."