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Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:56 PM (2 replies)
PITTSBURGH MAG/ JAN 2013/ "TAKEN" provides a glimpse into official opposition to PROTECT bill in PA.
Thursday at 4:25am
“It’s not easy," Alicia Kozakiewicz tells Pittsburgh Magazine. "There are times when I break down in tears and want to give it all up and think to myself, I can’t do this anymore." But she does, and her work with PROTECT results in the rescue of more and more children every month. Read her story here: http://bit.ly/U9Kyfz
The article also provides a glimpse into official opposition to PROTECT's Alicia's Law bill in Pennsylvania. The legislation would require the Attorney General to refer any child exploitation suspects who are not being investigated by state or federal authorities to local law enforcement. It would also fund the training of those investigators and first responders statewide.
In a circular argument to nowhere, Bruce Beemer, chief of staff for the Pennsylvania Attorney General, calls it "impractical" to refer the unworked cases because so many local officers "aren't trained properly" and could harm "an ongoing investigation."
Eleven years after her abduction and torture by a child predator, a brave young woman is on a mission to inform youth about the very real dangers of online sexual predators.
by Geoffrey W. Melada
Alicia Kozakiewicz went to hell. If she closes her eyes, she can still picture it, hear it, even smell it. Despite what Dante and the ancient Greeks say, hell isn’t a gloomy, subterranean river. Hell is a townhouse in Northern Virginia overrun with cats, comic books and computers. That’s where, for four days in the winter of 2002, Kozakiewicz, then 13, was held captive by a 38-year-old man who abducted her from outside her parents’ house in Pittsburgh. He met her in a Yahoo chat room. According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, Kozakiewicz should be dead. But like the hero in every epic story since Homer’s The Odyssey, Kozakiewicz managed to escape from the underworld, returning home with newfound strength, wisdom and purpose.
All of this is obvious when you meet her in person — although her appearance and attitude come as a surprise. It is hard to imagine that the stylish, confident 24-year-old, smiling and posing for a picture with TV star Joe Manganiello (of HBO’s “True Blood”) at a party honoring powerful women in the region, experienced the trauma that she did. But as former U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, whose office coordinated Kozakiewicz’s dramatic rescue and convicted her abductor, puts it: “Alicia is not a victim of child abuse; she is a survivor.”
Kozakiewicz says that her kidnapper, Scott Tyree, a divorced computer programmer now serving a 19-year prison sentence, “stole my innocence.” But, she stresses, he could not take away her will to live, not even as he starved, beat and sexually assaulted her for four days in a basement dungeon stocked with knives, whips, chains and a cage.
Like most teens, Kozakiewicz had been awkward and shy. She weighed only 90 pounds. But in the darkness of Tyree’s basement, she found her courage.
“On the fourth day, I remember thinking, Today is the day I have to fight, and it’s probably going to kill me. I’m probably not going to make it out of this alive, but I am not going down without a fight.” Later that day, when Tyree was at work, Kozakiewicz heard crashing on the front door, “and I hear men screaming, ‘We have guns! We have guns!’” As armed men swarmed the house, “I saw the most beautiful letters in the alphabet: F-B-I, in bold yellow on the backs of their jackets, and I knew I was safe.”
How did she get there in the first place? Former prosecutor Buchanan calls it “grooming.” Tyree didn’t break into the Kozakiewicz house in Crafton Heights to nab her; he broke into her mind. During the eight months they corresponded online, he easily manipulated her.
“He behaved as if he were somebody my age,” Kozakiewicz says, “talking to me about my favorite things back then — the Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, the movie Titanic. He became my best friend.” Kozakiewicz explains further: “He took my side no matter what. It made me feel like I was doing the right thing, that I was a good person. He made me feel beautiful and special and unique and important — like I meant something.”
PM contributor Geoffrey W. Melada, a trial lawyer, served as Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney from 2007-2011.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:48 PM (0 replies)
Source: By Jason Grant/The Star-Ledger
December 28, 2012 at 12:15 PM, updated December 29, 2012 at 1:43 PM
NEWARK — Tim Ryan climbed from his FBI-issued van and started toward the beige-brick building that holds roomfuls of forensic evidence from across the state: blood samples, human skeletal fragments, markings from tools used in crimes, ballistics results.
He swiped his security card and passed through several doors. Then he walked through long corridors before stepping inside the forensic computer lab.
On a table in front of him sat a DVD. It had two simple words scrawled across it in black.
Read more: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/12/a_depraved_world_fbi_agents_wa.html
Attorney General-drafted bill would strengthen N.J. child pornography laws
By Jason Grant/The Star-Ledger
on January 31, 2013 at 6:00 AM, updated January 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM
...O’Toole said he'd decided in December to propose a bill after reading a story in The Star-Ledger (above) that reminded him, he said, of the awful impact the crimes have on children’s, parents’ and investigators’ lives.
When Chiesa found out about his support for stronger laws in New Jersey, they soon teamed up, O’Toole said.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:32 PM (80 replies)
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:32 PM (0 replies)
If only Lance Armstrong still headed LiveStrong...
Aug 28, 2012
Lance Armstrong Foundation Launches Patient Empowerment Project in Japan
Foundation to Host Cancer Patient Forum to Address Global Cancer Burden
Today, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, with partner American Cancer Society (ACS) and lead agency Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI), announced the launch of the Patient Empowerment Project in Japan. The announcement was made at the World Cancer Congress during the session, "Innovative Strategies to Empower Survivors in the Global Fight Against Cancer."
The Patient Empowerment Project was designed to amplify the cancer patient voice by allowing people to share their stories through testimony in a Forum in front of policy makers, media, and the public, elevating and bringing a face to the country's problems in cancer care.
"Our goal is to build a grassroots movement in Japan," said Foundation President and CEO, Doug Ulman. "In the long-term, the Patient Empowerment Project will highlight patient voices in order to bring visibility to gaps in cancer control and highlight the need for cancer to be a stronger priority on the country's health agenda."
Over the course of the Forum, experts will present specific data illustrating key cancer issues, which are supported and brought to life with testimony as patients speak publicly and share their stories. In the weeks or months after a Forum, a national call to action is designed, released and promoted detailing patient and NGO recommendations, calling on policy makers and other key stakeholders to take action on the issues raised at the Forum.
The concept of the Patient Empowerment Project was inspired by a series of Cancer Patient Forums that the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) supported beginning more than 10 years ago. In 2010, the Foundation and the Society added to the work that the UICC began by working with organizations in countries ripe for major cancer advocacy activity to create a framework for a Patient Forum that would not only provide organizations with funds to plan a Forum, but would also provide training and resources to execute one. The pilot program took place in South Africa, where the country held its first Patient Forum in May 2011. Shortly after, the Foundation and the Society successfully launched a similar initiative in Mexico.
This year, the Foundation and the Society are teaming up with the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) to collaborate in boosting their grassroots advocacy efforts and more deeply engaging patients in the cancer policy-making process.
"It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of the Survivor Empowerment Campaign in Japan," said HGPI Chairman, Kiyoshi Kurokawa. "It is essential for each of us to be aware of the necessity of such effort, think about what we should do and take action."
As of 2008, less than 50 countries in the world have prepared or implemented national cancer control plans. Moreover, even in countries that have some national cancer control agenda, there are still significant breakages or failures within the health care system in terms of the physical, emotional and practical needs of cancer patients. These issues could range from a lack of data or lack of a cancer registry, to inadequate insurance coverage, to patients being excluded from decision making processes that have a direct impact on their treatment. However, cancer patients and their families can help shed light on what is working well in a health care system and what needs to be addressed in a country. As multiple countries engage in Patient Empowerment Projects, it is anticipated that an international patient advocacy movement will emerge.
On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake struck Tohoku, Japan initiating a 130 foot tall tsunami and the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. As a result, 15,960 people died and destruction costs were more than $220 billion. Nearly every hospital in the zone was devastated and treatment and support of many cancer patients was interrupted.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation recognizes the need for ongoing support serving cancer patients affected by the earthquake in Japan. The Foundation and key partner, RadioShack, raised funds to provide relief grants for operating cancer treatment, survivorship or patient support programs to communities affected by this disaster. Grant recipients included: The Public Health Institute; Oncology Education Organization; Tohoku Re-Life 311; Tetsuyukai Medical Corporation, You Home Clinic Ishinomaki; and CancerNet Japan.
About the Lance Armstrong Foundation
The Lance Armstrong Foundation serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world's leading cause of death. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation became a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer throughout the world. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation provides free patient navigation services to survivors with financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Known for its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- the Foundation is also a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people living with cancer today. Since its inception in 1997, the Foundation has raised nearly $500 million for the fight against cancer. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, and with programs in more than 20 countries, we fight for every birthday threatened by cancer in communities worldwide. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying people across the globe to join the fight. As a global leader in cancer research investment, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. To learn more or to get help, and for more information on our global programs, visit www.cancer.org/global
Since its establishment in 2004, the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) has been working to help interested citizens shape health policies by generating policy options and bringing stakeholders together as a nonpartisan think-tank. HGPI's mission is to improve civic and individual well-being and to foster as sustainable healthy community by shaping ideas and values, reaching out to global needs, and catalyzing society for impact. HGPI commits to activities that bring together relevant players in different fields to provide innovative and practical solutions and help interested citizens understand choices and benefits in a global, long-term perspective. HGPI promotes a Global Citizen Nation by building a society for people with various backgrounds and different values. It aims to achieve a sustainable, healthy, and more prosperous world. For more information, please visit www.hgpi.org
Busola Afolabi, 404-417-5894, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:12 PM (0 replies)
Source: By Lindy Washburn, The Record, December 18, 2012
New Jersey's autism rate nearly doubled in four years, according to new research published Monday that expands upon previous national studies.
Of the 8-year-old children in four sample New Jersey counties, one in 57 had autism in 2006, compared with one in 94 just four years earlier, researchers from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found.
The findings represent "the best data we have for knowing the accurate complete prevalence of autism in our region," said Walter Zahorodny, the study's lead author. They were based on an analysis of school and medical records for all children living in Hudson, Essex, Union and Ocean counties who were born in 1998, a total of more than 30,000. The sample provided a good cross-section of New Jersey in terms of ethnicity and social-economic background.
New Jersey's autism rate is among the highest in the nation.
"The question is, where does the trend level off?" Zahorodny said.
Read more: http://www.northjersey.com/news/183892061_N_J__autism_rate_soared_in_4_years.html?page=all&scpromo=1
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:50 PM (33 replies)
I was taught and previously believed that water fluoridation was always an unmitigated public good. Then I read that the NJ Sierra Club was opposing legislation promoting fluoridation because of the use of industrial-grade fluoride.
Pharmaceutical-grade isn't automatic? You learn something new every day.
Another Push to Add Fluoride to Public Drinking Water
Assembly panel clears bill that once again pits dentists against water companies, environmentalists
By Beth Fitzgerald
January 31, 2012
Convincing a majority of lawmakers of the benefits of requiring fluoride in New Jersey’s public water supply has been like pulling teeth for years in the New Jersey.
The long-hoped for measure by dentists has consistently been opposed by some environmentalists and water companies. But on Monday, the Assembly’s health committee took another shot at moving the bill.
But the bill has its critics -- water companies and environmentalists who cite its impact on the environment, potentially harmful health effects, and the cost of installing fluoridation equipment for opposing the measure.
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said his organization is not opposed to water fluoridation, but he urged the committee to ban the use of industrial-grade fluoride, which may contain heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead.
"Any grade of fluoride that is not industrial will suffice," he said. “Fluoride in our water can be healthy, but not if it also contains toxic chemicals. The legislature’s job should be removing toxins, not adding them."
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:29 PM (1 replies)
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release December 07, 2012
Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 915, H.R. 6063, H.R. 6634
On Friday, December 7, 2012, the President signed into law:
H.R. 6063, the “Child Protection Act of 2012,” which makes changes to the Criminal Code related to child pornography and protection of child witnesses and Department of Justice programs related to prevention and interdiction of child exploitation and child pornography on the Internet; and
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:44 AM (0 replies)
I am only relaying aspects of their academic research as summarized themselves during recent interviews for the lay public. The startling point here is the public confirmation that the scientific basis exists for the case that parents have been marginalized and ridiculed for reporting on regression into autism.
And by the way, here's a website dedicated to debunking myths. Check it out.
Here's the kind of attention to detail it sounds like you'd respect, and an example of the quality of observation at AoA, from a comment read today exposing a flawed study most probably accept at face value.
Excerpt posted by reader December 04, 2012 at 10:10 AM
So where do we focus our money and time and energy now? I suggest, after apologizing to Katie Wright for the ad hominem, that one place is here:
"And I’ll tell you what they—I’ll just tell you what one of them, the big one that they all rely on, the Danish study, where they said, okay, in 1992, Denmark banned Thimerosal. And after that, autism rates continued to climb. Therefore, there is no association between autism and Thimerosal. That’s the study. What they didn’t tell you is that in 1992, Denmark was concerned about the connection between Thimerosal and autism, and about this huge rise in autism, and it began for the first time requiring registering autism as a reported illness in Denmark. So all the people who had autistic children suddenly had to register them for the first time. Plus, in Copenhagen, they founded a new clinic to treat autistic kids, which gave people a huge financial incentive and health incentive to register their children. So it’s the registry that went up, not the incidents of autism that went up. But they didn’t say that in the study. They never mention the Copenhagen clinic. They never mention the change in the rules in Denmark. They just show you the graphs, of Thimerosal is banned here, and autism continues to go up. Well, the reason the autism rates rose was because—was an artifact of their data collection processes. It had nothing to do with the reality on the ground of the occurrence of autism.”
See Part 1 of 3 YouTube videos above.
By the way, catch this?
According to testimony of Rep. Chris Smith (R.NJ) at recent congressional hearing on autism .. who has served on Africa Global Rights Committee for decades:
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 PM (1 replies)
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:09 PM (0 replies)