Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Monday Gazette

I have been a subscriber to The Daily Gazette for 15 years, and overall I find it to be a good paper. However, I am disappointed in the Monday edition during the Fall and early Winter. With the Pro Football Monday section and the regular Sports section, I feel I get short changed on the news. Last Monday there was even a sports article on the front page of the Local News section. I don't mind that there is a Pro Football section, even though I don't read it, but I don't want to get short changed on the news.

Who's Protecting Your Children In Montgomery County

Montgomery County's Department of Social Services does not have a big staff, yet in the past year one of its Child Protective investigators was arrested on drug charges and one of its Child Preventive social workers was arrested on Medicaid fraud charges. This does not give one confidence in the department or in those who are doing the hiring.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Glens Falls Man Arrested For Filing False Child Abuse Report.

According to The North Country Gazette "Daniel J. Russell, 24, of Glens Falls, has been arrested for falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, for allegedly calling the hot line and reporting that an acquaintance was used marijuana in the presence of children.

Authorities determined the report was false and according to Glens Falls police, Russell admitted to both his probation officer and the state Department of Children and Families, the state agency that operates the hot line, that he had made up the story."

This is a first in my memory. Three million child abuse reports are made across the country each year. Out of those two million are found to be without merit. Nevertheless, you never hear of anyone being arrested for filing a false report. It is unlikely that Mr. Russell would have been arrested except for the fact that he was on probation.

Child Protective Services in New York State and elsewhere make it easy to file a report but difficult to press charges against someone who has filed a false report. Teachers, doctors, policeman and a host of other occupations are required to report suspected cases of neglect or abuse. If they don't, they can be arrested as an elementary teacher and principal were this past year in Florida.

If you are the subject of a false child abuse report, you have to go to your local D.A. and it is up to him to do something about it. If he or she chooses not to, you have little or no recourse. The name of the person who made the report is kept confidential, which also hinders the victim of the false report.

Even when a person is arrested for filing a false report, it is considered a misdemeanor. Failing to file a report of suspected abuse, however, is a felony.

Somehow we have to get it into our heads that people falsely accused of crimes are themselves crime victims and need more support than they are getting.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Peter Porco Murder Case

As we approach the one year anniversary of the murder of law clerk, Peter Porco, it looks like his son Christopher might be indicted soon. While I wouldn't want to pre-judge the case, the mounting evidence does seem to point in his direction.

A side note to the case: while doing a google search on Peter Porco, I discovered another Peter Porco, a reporter in Alaska. About the same time that our Peter Porco was being murdered, the Alaskan Peter Porco was writing an article about guess what--a parent being murdered by a child. This time it was 16 year old Rachelle Waterman who hired two former boyfriends to kill her mother, essentially because she thought her mother was too strict. From Rachelle's on-line journal, however, one easily sees that she lacked for nothing. In both the Porco and the Waterman cases, it appears that self-absorbed, spoiled brats turned and bit the hand that fed them.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Sorrenti's Restaurant In Fonda

Went to Sorrenti's to eat the other night based on a recommendation by a friend. The food was great. I would give it a 9 on a scale of 1-10. The atmosphere was dismal however (score 1) and the service was mediocre (score 5). I recommend getting food there, but get a take out. Don't eat in. Sorrenti's needs a complete interior renovation and better trained waitresses.