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January 24, 2013

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Excellent Jon. Its great when you sound mad! And we should be. But the group in power does not use CPS.
They bury their problems.

Laurie Roberts has fought this battle for so long that I am amazed that she is still able to carry on the fight.

IMHO, one of the most disturbing traits of modern society is the hypocracy that exists concerning children.

We've all heard the usual lines, "they are our future", "they are the most important part of our lives".

In reality, they have no value to our society. They can be easily replaced. Twenty of them have less value to our country than a 30 round rifle magazine.

And don't even get me started about religions, Catholic and Mormom, and their use for children.

There is no way on earth that CPS can hope to fix the world our children are now being born into.

Hey, maybe the NRA can finance a bio-project where the babies come into the world packing heat. At least that would give them a fighting chance.

Now U went and got the REB mad.

Apparently the food assistance program (SNAP) has been folded into DES as well. I think this is a recent development, because I was for the first time put through the we're-going-to-assist-you-in-finding-employment-by-policing-your-own-efforts wringer just this last week.

To my knowledge, this only used to be inflicted if you were collecting unemployment.

The outcome of this unhappy experience is one that I am too weary to share here. In any case, the children are more important than old goats like myself. Thanks for talking about this.

Thus far, Dr. John Kavanagh has managed to avoid being singled out for criticism in his powerful role as Chair of House Appropriations. To me, he is one of the most accountable for squeezing the life out of attempts to improve childrens' funding. He's too smart and wily for the Kook label, but he has huge influence on how the legislature's financial hocus-pocus underfunds childrens needs.

One thing that makes it difficult to put names and faces with this travesty is that usually Gov. Brewer is the only one whose photo appears. Kavanagh only pops up when he chooses to flog his cause du jour . . . which now happens to be an effort to deep six the marijuana legislation.

fealty to "conservative" dogma I see clearly when Arizona’s ‘conservative’ legislature allows themselves an open checkbook to prosecute the Independent Redistricting Committee. Which, so far, has cost the state $1.4 million.

Suzanne: $1.4 million is a pittance compared to what AZ has paid to Snell & Wilmer and to John Bouma, its 76 year old managing partner. By all accounts, he's a fine gent but he has a history of defending our state when it oversteps its legal boundaries. Made a Supreme Court appearance as I recall. Been riding something of a gravy train, from all outward appearances.

morecleanair, I don’t doubt what you say.

After all of the recent scandals and news coverage involving child abuse and deaths and the inadequacy of the CPS budget to cover their overwhelming case loads (even the Arizona Republic editorial board has finally admitted that it IS about money), you would think that even Arizona's conservative Republican legislature would see a budget increase for CPS as both a no-brainer and an easy political slam-dunk.

But you'd be wrong. The word obdurate comes to mind: 1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding. 2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.

The Arizona Republic recently ran a story titled "Chasm divides budget proposals", comparing spending differences between Governor Brewer's budget and that of the legislature. The hard-copy edition contained a box detailing individual spending proposals in major categories, which (as usual) was omitted at the newspaper's website.

Brewer: $87 million increase for the Department of Economic Security, of which $68 million is for Child Protective Services.
Legislature: $17 million

CPS' own director, named by Brewer, had recently mentioned a figure of $50 million.

And as Mr. Talton shockingly documents, that's only a small fraction of the cuts made to CPS in recent years.

Here's another issue:

"Across Arizona, scores of school districts are using money they had set aside for textbooks to fix air-conditioners and leaky roofs, laying off maintenance workers and having teachers sweep their own classrooms, putting off repairs and hoping nothing major breaks down.

"Malaj and his counterparts around the state are wrestling with the fact that, for the fourth year in a row, the Arizona Legislature has siphoned almost every penny from the state's school-repairs fund to help plug the budget deficit.

"The near-elimination of the state's building-renewal fund for schools is part of a broader set of cuts to K-12 education spending, which makes it harder for districts to shift funds from somewhere else without affecting classrooms."

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/20110522arizona-schools-building-repairs.html

The budget problems haven't been fixed since that 2011 article was published.

Brewer proposed $51 million for school construction and repair for the new budget. The legislature proposed $5 million.
Universities? Brewer, $59 million; legislature, $0.

The excuse the legislature hides behind is "fiscal responsibility". The state doesn't have the money, they say.

To which I respond: billion-dollar tax cuts.

In 2012 and 2011 the Arizona legislature passed two gigantic tax cuts, both of which benefit corporations and the wealthy.

One of them cuts the state's individual income tax rate on long-term capital gains by 25 percent, as well as giving businesses that lose money the ability to use the losses to offset future profits (and taxes) for 20 years (previously this was 5 years). Is this what "survival of the fittest" looks like in capitalism?

The cost of that set of tax cuts from FY 2014 through 2019, according to the state Joint Legislative Budget Committee, is $440 million.

The other set of tax cuts, which cut corporate income taxes by nearly 30 percent and business property taxes by 10 percent, will cost $538 million from FY 2013 through 2018.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/brewer-signs-package-to-slash-biz-taxes/article_f4531c48-a114-5126-87b2-296e70319796.html

Add them together and the lost state revenue totals $978 million. And that's according to the Arizona JLBC, not a liberal think-tank.

Cities like San Francisco and San Jose, both in "high-tax" California, have added FAR more tech jobs since the recession, whether measured in absolute numbers or in percentages, than Phoenix.

This refutes two commonly held dogmas at the Arizona legislature: (1) that taxes drive away businesses or prevent them from starting up or expanding; (2) that capital flight from California is bankrupting the state and that Arizona is poised to pluck this low-hanging fruit, provided it just keeps lowering its taxes.

Both of these myths have persisted for DECADES, yet California is still the tech king and habitually at or near the top of the list for high paying job creation, whereas Phoenix is still...well, Phoenix.

When you cite redistricting, you get my attention.

The redistricting of my area, C - 1, has resulted in non-representation for the next 10-yrs, or until the next census. AZ Cong 1's rep has missed the last 15-votes, and she's ( Ann Kirkpatrick) only been in office a few weeks! Together with my previous Congressional representation by a non-functioning Representative - Giffords - I have been disenfrancised for good. What's a TeaPartier to do? Drink hemlock?

Sorry about the double-spacing. I couldn't get the original to post and had to use the back-door, which inadvertently changed the paragraph formatting.

But, but, Arizona is Number 1 in the nation for "business competitiveness"!

"This refutes two commonly held dogmas at the Arizona legislature: (1) that taxes drive away businesses or prevent them from starting up or expanding; (2) that capital flight from California is bankrupting the state and that Arizona is poised to pluck this low-hanging fruit, provided it just keeps lowering its taxes."

They keep repeating that idiotic mantra as if the repetition makes it true. Yeah, a few thousand people move here from CA every year and maybe for some of them, mostly retirees, the low taxes are a factor. Big whoop. California has a population of 37.5 million compared to AZ's 6.5 million. The likelihood of a truly mass exodus from there to here is highly doubtful, considering our lack of many of the things that make people live in CA, i.e, a diverse array of industries that produce good jobs, a quality university system, etc.

(2) that capital flight from California is bankrupting the state and that Arizona is poised to pluck this low-hanging fruit
Yes! Just wait 'til Mickelson gets here. (That's 2 links).

I am also concerned about the demonization of low-paid, over-worked CPS employees who limp along with a lack of foster care placements or shelter spots for these kids. Yes, Laurie Roberts has focused on CPS for quite some time, but she tends to blame the agency and its workers for failures. It's akin to blaming a 10-foot dam for failing to stop the Colorado River.

I was a foster parent fifteen years ago, and I've seen all this up close and personal,. because my foster kids, now adults are still part of my family. I had caseworkers who had not the wherewithal to cope, but would visit and sit in my Biltmore living room enjoying their diet Cokes and the respite from the worst part of their jobs. Everyone at CPS burns out. It's just so awful.

First AZ, elected a car salesman with a bad hair piece,and I thought it was just a phase we were going through.After all,we survived ol' Uncle Ronny.

Then we elected a dirt developer who preached OPM and I thought the adults would surely stand up.

Then we became the Western Mississippi,lost a super bowl,watched Charley and the Driggs bros. help bring down the S&Ls,and I thought that the Suits would finally clean things up.

And then along came St. Jan and now there's nobody left to do anything.Never underestimate large groups of people proud of being dumb.

Az of 66,it was nice knowin' u.

terese dudas, I think Ms. Kirkpatrick was here in Arizona trying to educate herself on local mining issues.
However, she did cosponsor the reintroduction of the Violence Against Women Act. I think we can say that is good for all women, across the US and in Arizona.

I am a CPS Ongoing Supervisor.
I have been with CPS for over 14 years.
I have 130 sick days accrued that I don't use because I have too much work to do to call in sick; I lose 14 days of annual leave because I have too much work to do. I usually work 7 days a week including at home on my 'days off' because I have too much work to do. I have carried a case load of 45 children as a Supervisor because my case managers have too many children some as high as 67 children. The average case load should ideally be 25 children. The Juvenile Court doesn't care the legislature doesn't care and, as a result, case managers continue to quit in droves. We have a supervision problem as we can't find and keep good supervisors either.

Sounds like the Rocky Horror show.
But in my 62 years in Arizona its always been bad at CPS but it just keeps getting worse. And now that the state can fire at will its going to get even worse as competent employees are forced out and replaced with incompetent folks for political favors.

Terese dudas, Up until now I thought you seemed to think and post some stuff for thought. And U have a point about Kirkpatrick. But your offering to off yourself with Hemlock sounds like typical tea party trash talk. A mob is a mob.

Terese dudas, I forgot to mention suicide is a crime, so if U do it you are going to get arrested along with the dude that gave U the drugs.

Perhaps the Hohokam ate their seed corn too.

Rocky, a question for you.

Do you see any difference concerning "child" issues in areas that are within closed societies: Mormon communities, Hispanic communities, white suburbs. Looking from the outside, it would seem that the model of a closed community like the Mormon areas would be more protective of the children. (I know there are other issues concerning this particular community) But, in general, do you see any differences?

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Oh Cal, you're a worse stick in the mud than I thought. Can't you take a joke?

This is my answer to the question above from AZREBEL

We have a lot of Mormon children in CPS care. Mormon parents have drug issues too. Doesn't seem to matter what belief system one belongs to. Many children are also abused by religious parents. The one difference tends to be income levels. Children who are removed by CPS tend to be from low income parents/neighborhoods. So not too many children from north Scottsdale or Paradise Valley, if any at all.

terese dudas, good to hear U dint off your sel, how about a green chili burger and a beer at Shut Up Franks?

Regarding tea & hemlock: I was going to make a joke about Kool-Aid and the Reverend Jones but that would have been, er, impolite.

Badum... bump?

Saint Terese dudas regardless of you opine, color or gender I think you should join our next face off over coffee and beer, no Kool-Aid. And we can do a Petro led "in the moment" even though its hard to get AZREB and I out of the past.
one foot in the past one barley in the future. After a reflective meeting I had over a cup of Starbucks coffee today, we might institute a new club rule, "no goals"!

It would be our first rule.

So will Brewer get what she ask for at CPS or was it a PR political ploy?

Note to Cal - Dudas is a proper noun and takes capitalization. Just because you like to play at eecummings, doesn't mean that the rest of society has to relax standards.

Um, terese (sorry - "Terese")... your signature/handle is lower-cased. Just a heads up.

Sorry Terese DUDAS, wont let that happen agin. Offer still stands, I'll buy.
And whats wrong with ee cummings and "Relaxed Standards"?

on a more serious side, I am disappointed in the amount of serious comment that Children and MLK garnered.
Nite life and other such city scape issues draw much heavier comment.
I am not, but you know, "I am just saying"?

Cal, that is because in our society, children don't matter.

You can see proof of that every day in the news.

Children only matter when they are useful as a propaganda tool.

A place you can take kids.
Cactus Land. Home of the Sajuaro

I am in route to meet an actor and a stage hand from NY for lunch to the Botanical Gardens at Papago Park.
They have built a new restaurant at the outer edge and you can go and not have to be a member.

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