Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Channel 5 Finds "Sexual Predators"

Bad Reporting on WEWS TV

WEWS has done some intensive investigation (searched the County website) and came to the "shocking revelation" that over 100 sexually based offenders "live" at 2100 Lakeside Shelter. This is not news and Joe Pagonakis, who claims to be on my side, interviewed one staff person about the number of offenders and the 960 feet from a school. He reported that there is some thinking that they are going to move the men. Where he got this information no one knows?

So, what information did Pagonakis not report? First, the County sheriff is the one that sends sexually based offenders to the shelter. They have previously screened the shelter for "placement." Where should these guys go? They cannot find housing anywhere else in the city that is not within 1000 feet of a childcare facility. It can be assured that the shelters do not want sexually based offenders inside, but their mission is to provide a safe place not to enforce bad laws. Pagonakis never reported how bad this law is for the public and the children it is intended to protect. Most sexually based attacks against children are done by someone that the kids know and trust. Keeping men 1,000 feet away does not protect children; it just makes it harder for unbalanced people to find stability. We have now added new complications to these troubled individual's lives, and many are forced to live in shelters and on the streets.

How many sexually based offenders can we fit in the lobby of Channel 5, so that Joe can keep an eye on them? I am sure that the shelters will not mind turning the responsibility of watching the hundreds of troubled individuals kicked around by the state government over to the news media. Then we can find out if Channel 5 claim of being on "your side" includes sexually based offenders.

Other News...
The new Grapevine is out, and it is the best value for your $1 in five years. 20 pages for the price of 16. It is another colorful issue with a great deal of information. There are poems by those who live on the streets as well as a feature on one of our long time vendors. We have an extended interview with the founder of DC Kitchen, and a commentary on the shelter policy of breaking up families. It is on the streets now and sold by local vendors who keep the profit from the sale of the papers.

Stories the media is missing...
We comment in this section on the news media coverage of local poverty issues. I am going to start listing news stories that the media is not covering. For this week...The Housing Choice voucher program opens once in five years here in Cleveland. The applications for the lottery are out for only two weeks. Last time 36,000 people applied for 6,000 vouchers. CMHA sent out 75,000 applications to area libraries and government offices and nearly all were gone in a couple of days. By the first weekend, all the libraries had given out all of their applications. It is going to take 5 days to get new applications printed from California, and then the low income of Cleveland will only have a couple of days to pick up an application. No word right now if CMHA is going to extend the deadline or at least extend the distribution date past the deadline. This is a good story that is not covered by the media. Over 100,000 are looking for applications for a lottery for a house in the poorest city in the United States, and are having a hard time.



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