But don’t worry, EdwardRingwald.com is here to stay! Stay tuned!
A holiday should not be a luxury for the rich; we believe all workers deserve time to spend with loved ones.
That’s why I signed a petition to Retail CEOs, which says:
“Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays that retail workers receive. By opening stores on Thanksgiving, stores rob thousands of men and women the opportunity to spend time with their families.
A holiday with family should not be a luxury for the rich; we believe that all workers deserve the chance to relax and give thanks with loved ones.
We, as consumers, have the power to tell stores not to open on Thanksgiving by staying home. We hereby pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving Day, to show the retail industry that everyone deserves a holiday.”
Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/pledge-to-not-shop-on?source=s.fwd&r_by=32908
In another case that was investigated by the ABC Action News I-Team, there was the case of a 90-year old Clearwater resident, Paulette Karpa, who also fell victim to the restrictive confines of Florida’s guardianship laws. Ms. Karpa ended up in the same Pinellas Park ALF as Mr. Berchau, Grand Villa.
In Mr. Berchau’s case, the social worker was claiming that Mr. Berchau was trying to sell his home for much less than market value. On the flip side of the coin, in Ms. Karpa’s case it was a series of calls to police about attempted burglaries which turned out to be unfounded. To make things worse, Ms. Karpa did have her legal documentation in order.
Yeah right, a social worker. I am not saying that not all social workers in Florida are bad; instead, there are social workers out there – unfortunately – that will do anything to do irreversible damage to you or your loved one’s well being. That includes adults as well as children.
Is also calling the police to report a burglary grounds for guardianship? To me, that’s also complete hogwash in my book. We teach our children at an understanding age to call the police if someone breaks into the home.
Here’s an article I found at Fiduciarywatch.org very useful: How Guardians and Conservators Take Advantage. You might also want to read that, as it’s Florida specific.
The petition is presented to the judicial system and the judge approves the petition to last no longer than 60 days. Before the 60 day period is over, the social worker will have a petition to determine capacity and for appointment of a guardian and will in most likelihood file the emergency guardianship petition for fast tracking a person from a law abiding citizen to a ward of the state.
An Adult In Need of Services petition, once granted, takes away certain rights of an adult, mainly medical treatment. Unfortunately, due to the 60 day temporary nature of the Adult In Need of Services petition and order, it gives the social worker the necessary time to get the regular and emergency guardianship petitions going. After all, the emergency petition for guardianship lasts 60 days while the alleged incapacitated adult is inquisitioned by the court appointed Examining Committee.
Imagine for a moment you having to see your child taken away by DCF under the uber watchful eyes of a social worker. Now imagine your loved one, stripped of his or her rights thanks to guardianship, and you can only visit your loved one in the ALF facility under the uber watchful eyes of either the professional guardian or the social worker hired by the professional guardian.
After all, a Florida resident can carry a Florida Identification Card if the time comes that he or she can no longer operate a motor vehicle. In the alternative, an U.S Passport Card is also ideal for identification related matters too.
Getting back to the situations that placed Mr. Berchau and Ms. Karpa in the wrath of Florida’s guardianship laws, who is their court appointed guardian? You’ll be surprised to know that it is a professional guardian, and that professional guardian is nothing more than Pinellas Park City Council Member Patricia Johnson, according to the ABC Action News articles I mentioned earlier.
A Pinellas Park City Council Member, like anyone who holds public office in the State of Florida, holds a position of public trust. It holds true from Rick Scott on down. After all, Rick Scott continually violates the trust and confidence of the people of the State of Florida from the day he was anointed Governor in January 2011.
From reading both ABC Action News articles, it is my opinion that Patricia Johnson has violated the trust and confidence of the residents of the City of Pinellas Park by her actions as a professional guardian. The people of Pinellas Park should do the right thing: When Patricia Johnson is up for re-election as Pinellas Park City Council Member, vote her out of office!
The best thing you can do for yourself or your loved one is to make sure your affairs are in order. Here are some important legal documents you or your loved one should have, and these should be prepared with the help of a competent attorney that is licensed by the Florida Bar and specializes in Probate and Elder Law:
1. Last Will and Testament.
2. Durable Power of Attorney.
3. Living Will.
4. Designation of Health Care Surrogate.
5. Designation of Pre-Need Guardian.
Keep the originals in a secure place, but scan them to PDF files first and store the PDF versions somewhere in a place where the files are readily accessible if needed.
Remember, if you need legal assistance in Elder Law or any other legal related matter, be sure to have a consultation with the attorney of your choice. Most attorneys will give you a 30- to 60-minute consultation either free or for a small fee. Be sure you check out the attorney’s qualifications and expertise (including courtroom track record) and read everything before you sign that retainer contract and hand over any money.
The above tips presented here in this blog entry are not to be construed as legal advice. Should you run into a situation where you need legal help on an Elder Law or any other legal matter, consultation with an attorney licensed by the Florida Bar is strongly advised and encouraged.
And as for William Berchau and Paulette Karpa, they deserve plenty of dignity and respect, not have them live out the golden years of their lives in an institution and their everyday lives controlled by a total stranger.
A very special thanks goes out to ABC Action News reporters Adam Walser and Francis Gilpin for exposing the harrowing consequences of Florida’s guardianship laws. As I mentioned earlier, Florida’s guardianship laws need to be fixed – and big time.
2. Your ticket only allows you to see a movie at a particular time and only within a particular auditorium. This information is printed on your ticket when you obtain it from the box office or the ticket kiosk. Your ticket does not allow you to hop from auditorium to auditorium; if you want to see another movie the same day at the theater be sure to purchase a ticket for the other movie too. Auditorium hopping is grounds for exclusion from a theater without refund.
3. When the movie starts, please observe silence during the feature presentation. Your fellow movie goers will thank you. Like AMC Theatres says, it’s movie time, not cell phone or texting time or whatever.
4. If you have a group of people that want to attend a movie, call ahead of time and find out if your theater will make arrangements so that your group can sit together during the show. Please, don’t show up with your little group right when the movie starts and chase other people out of their seats. Unless told to do so by someone in authority at the movie theater such as an uniformed usher, I will not yield my seat to your group that decides to show up at the very last minute.
Now there is a meaning to come early to get a good seat. In fact, if you buy your movie tickets on Fandango or MovieTickets.com you are advised to show up well in advance to get a good seat.
If everyone can follow these simple tips I presented above for going to the movies then everyone will be happy and at the same time everyone will get their money’s worth for the price of admission.
1. You, as a parent, have a right to look over your child’s school records and see test results, teacher comments and any disciplinary action taken against your child. In the Pinellas County School District, you can log in to Parent Connect and see much of this information on your child; access requires a login which you can get from any school upon presentation of a government issued photo ID.
2. If your child’s school is a Title I school – a school that receives federal funds for low income children to help them succeed in school – federal law requires that you as a parent be involved in programs and decisions that affect your child. Your child’s school principal will tell you if the school is a Title I school.
In fact, corporal punishment is prohibited in the Pinellas County School District per the Student Code of Conduct. Pinellas County’s prohibition also extends to parents and anyone else while on school district property.
Seems like every time you turn on Bay News 9, 10 News (WTSP-TV), ABC Action News (WFTS-TV) or NewsChannel 8 (WFLA-TV) or you pick up a copy of the St. Petersburg Times (to this day, I still do not recognize the misnamed Tampa Bay Times) or The Tampa Tribune and find this: School official arrested on child pornography related charges. Now doesn’t that sound scary?
Or, God knows, what your child could be bringing home from school? Let’s say your child comes home from school and you are going through your child’s backpack. You find something that is objectionable and you make your concerns known to your child’s school principal. Instead of taking the time to listen to your concerns, the principal contacts law enforcement and has you arrested for trespassing on school grounds! In fact, there is a video out there on YouTube called Overruled: Government Invasion of your Parental Rights which was produced by ParentalRights.org – I have it embedded into a blog entry I made right around August 2012 when the 2012-2013 school year started and you can read that blog entry as well as watch the video here. The Overruled video speaks for itself when it comes to parental rights as far as school is concerned.
You can read the original story on why Virgil Mills Elementary parents have to wait an inordinate amount of time to pick up their children and the consequences of a trespass warning for the parents enforced by Virgil Mills Principal Mike Rio over at Bay News 9. That was an excellent article by Bay News 9 reporter Summer Smith, by the way.
After all, as the 2013-2014 school year gets underway we can make our schools safer for our children and it can be done. We do not need to turn our public schools into correctional facility fortresses or closed mini-North Koreas for that matter at the expense of keeping your child safe at school.
You as a parent play an important role in your child’s education. As such, you as a parent do not sit on the sidelines and let your child’s school principal dictate what is appropriate for your child. As I mentioned earlier, you pay taxes for public schools – demand better from your school officials.
With that said, onward with the 2013-2014 school year!