The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy

St. Cloud, MN: a microcosm of the battle ahead for cities targeted by federal refugee program

Ann Corcoran

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 24, 2017

The dramatic change in demographic makeup and the escalation of tensions in St. Cloud came to my attention in the earliest days of writing this blog when my then blog partner, Judy, wrote in 2008 about how Somali students were harassing a service dog to such a degree that it caused the disabled student to leave the school.

See that story here.

It is a good thing that we captured some of that story because it seems to no longer be available at the St. Cloud Times, which surprise, surprise, seems to be the case for many of the articles we have reported on from St. Cloud in the ensuing 9 years.

Recommendation!  I can’t do it here, but when I look at RRW’s archives on St. Cloud (that began with the dog abuse story) what immediately comes to mind is that what has happened to the city, now the third highest for the direct resettlement of Somalis in the state (Minneapolis and St. Paul, are numbers one and two), is that someone should do a documentary film or write a book about the transformation of a small American city that began with a meatpacking plant’s desire for cheap labor.

And what got me thinking about it this morning is this snarky editorial in the St. Cloud Times blaming the Christian haters for the tension there.

Before I get to that, take a look at my St. Cloud archive by clicking here.

A sampling of stories that you should look at include:

St. Cloud, MN Somalis turn up the stealth jihad heat, demand “human rights”

St. Cloud, MN a perfect example of community agitation to bring “change”

St. Cloud, MN update: refugees now arriving there directly from camps

On this last post, I checked data at Wrapsnet and St. Cloud was getting Somalis directly, immediately after 9/11, but I believe Lutheran Social Services MN (the resettlement contractor there) didn’t open an office in the city until 2010.

But, direct resettlement doesn’t tell the whole story because Minnesota leads the nation in secondary migration (Somali refugees placed in other states move to MN to be with their own kind of people.)

Continue Reading: https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/st-cloud-mn-a-microcosm-of-the-battle-ahead-for-cities-targeted-by-federal-refugee-program/


St. Cloud City Council Meeting 09/25/2017

 

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Hospital Holding Cells

From Ken Ditkowsky-Attorney Activist Andy Ostrowski still missing and what happens when a mental health issue means jail time in the US?

WHEN A MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY LANDS YOU IN JAIL

POSTED SEPTEMBER 25, 2017, 7:00 AM CDT

BY TAYLOR ELIZABETH ELDRIDGE, THE MARSHALL PROJECT

Early last year, two suicidal patients showed up at a hospital emergency room in Pierre, South Dakota, seeking help. Although the incidents happened weeks apart, both patients ended up in an unexpected place: jail.

Across the country, and especially in rural areas, people in the middle of a mental health crisis are locked in a cell when a hospital bed or transportation to a hospital isn’t immediately available. The patients are transported from the ER like inmates, handcuffed in the back of police vehicles. Laws in five states — New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming — explicitly say that correctional facilities may be used for what is called a “mental health hold.” Even in states without such laws, the practice happens regularly.

“It is a terrible solution…for what is, at the end of the day, a medical crisis,” said John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national group that advocates for the severely mentally ill. Research shows that the risk for suicide, self-harm and worsening symptoms increases the longer a person is behind bars.

But in a shift, Colorado recently outlawed using jail to detain people in a psychiatric crisis who have not committed a crime. The state delegated just over $9 million — with $6 million coming from marijuana tax revenue — to pay for local crisis centers, training for law enforcement and transportation programs.

The new law was passed after Colorado’s sheriffs lobbied the state to extend the amount of time a person could be detained. In rural counties, sheriffs testified, lack of manpower meant they were forced to hold onto people longer than the 24-hour legal limit. A state task force instead recommended ending the practice entirely.

There are no national figures on how many people are held each year in jail just because they have nowhere else to go in a mental health crisis. Reports from the federal agency overseeing hospitals — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — offer a glimpse. Since 2011, at least 22 hospitals in 16 states have been cited by CMS for failing to stabilize patients in need of mental health help, instead handing them over to law enforcement to wait for a psychiatric evaluation or a bed. The hospitals span the country, from Alabama and South Dakota to New York and Ohio.

The practice affects patients of all ages. At Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre, South Dakota, children from 12 to 16 were sent to spend the night in jail on at least seven occasions, CMS inspection reports show. One 16-year-old girl came to the emergency room after overdosing on Motrin and was escorted to jail less than an hour after her arrival, without a psychiatric evaluation. Hospital staff waited until the morning to notify her parents. At the same hospital, a 12-year-old girl arrived in the emergency room after an attempted hanging. She was sent to spend the night in jail less than an hour later. The hospital did not respond to requests for comment.

Few people think jail is an appropriate place for someone in a mental health crisis. Most jails, especially small rural facilities, do not have mental health staffers on site. For the suicidal, law enforcement agencies have few options other than periodically stopping by the cell to check on the person and putting potentially violent individuals in restraints and seclusion. Once someone has been held for 24 hours, he or she has to be charged, transferred to a treatment facility or released. “People should not, because of their mental illness, be in jail,” said Jennie Simpson, a public health analyst with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the federal agency that oversees national behavioral health policies.

The problem highlights a nationwide scarcity of available doctors and inpatient beds for people in a mental health crisis, particularly the poor. The number of psychiatric beds decreased by 96% across the country over the past 50 years, research shows. At the same time, awareness of mental health needs has increased and more people have access to health insurance, allowing them to seek care.

The issue was exacerbated by a 1972 federal law that was intended to help stop the widespread warehousing of people with mental illness. The law forbids the federal government from paying for inpatient mental health and drug treatment at psychiatric facilities with more than 16 beds. States are left to foot the entire medical bill for those on public insurance, straining budgets already struggling in the midst of the opioid crisis. A federal commission recently recommended that exemptions to the law be given immediately to states that request one.

In New Hampshire, a long waitlist for beds led the state to begin sending non-criminals who were ordered committed for their own safety to a prison psychiatric unit for treatment. Patients and inmates participate in the same therapy programs. During group therapy, to protect patients and staff, particularly violent inmates are placed in metal cages with a bench.

The decision of who gets sent to the sheriff and who gets to stay in the ER can have serious consequences. Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City, Tennessee, was cited by CMS in 2012 for allowing an eye doctor to evaluate suicidal patients. The doctor discharged one patient to jail who returned to the hospital the next day after attempting suicide. He later died of his injuries.

Continue Reading: https://marygsykes.com/2017/09/26/from-ken-ditkowsky-attorney-activist-andy-ostrowski-still-missing-and-what-happens-when-a-mental-health-issue-means-jail-time-in-the-us/

Continued Mystery Surrounds Activist Attorney Disappearance

From KD – we are still looking for activist attorney Andy Ostrowski, taken from his home by officers against his will last week

Posted on 

No one from any of the social media or boards we know has heard from him, however, recently an unknown woman claiming to be a relative wrote to all of us to say he is fine, this has happened before and is a private matter and not to enquire further.

Whooooa.  How many times have we heard this one before.  No proof of this, never heard from her before, but it seems she “suddenly” can find all the right emails.

I find her email (without any proof of her assertions) to be most alarming.

In any case, here is an exchange of emails:  Please pray for Andy he is safe and will be released soon.  He is an amazing, talented, kind light worker and we are all very, very concerned for him.

I am including all the emails, because they may include witnesses to a crime:  false arrest and kidnapping of OA.  All emails have been forwarded to the FBI.

Andy, as a long time activist may be in grave danger.

Continue Reading: https://marygsykes.com/2017/09/25/from-kd-we-are-still-looking-for-activist-attorney-andy-ostrowski-taken-from-his-home-by-officers-against-his-will-last-week/

Wake Up St. Cloud Times

From Peace In St. Cloud: The left wing under researched St. Cloud Times has gone off a journalistic cliff with this ridiculous piece of fiction ….. 

First of all we are all children of immigrants and no one has said or will ever say anything about our immigrants that indicates we do not love and care for them.  We do think our immigration laws should be enforced and reason applied to the children brought here by illegal parents.  

But our questions and concerns apply only to unknown, unavailable, untrackable numbers of refugees ( No Christians allowed even though they are suffering genocide in their home countries) streaming into our fairly small town with a moderate tax base to continue to care for them as the volags that bring them look to the tax payers to continue their care.  All we ask our elected officials is research the numbers and analyze our ability to continue bringing more in through the UN appointed volags.  

The Mayor and Council and State representatives are invited to the Lutheran Social Services meetings where it is required that local and state governments be consulted.  This is where the questions must be asked.  But this is where none of our government officials show up to ask any….We are simply asking them to start asking questions and let the people know the answers.

It’s fine to get to know our new neighbors and many are doing so …this concern has nothing to do with being good neighbors but everything to do with economic sustainability if this continues unabated for years and years with no questions asked. 

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to use reason and caution and demographics must be taken into consideration….how many taxpayers can we lose due to flight from poor City induced conditions and still survive?  

This has nothing to do with attacking the religious beliefs of others…..Wake up St. Cloud Times…the quality of your staff is deteriorating and it shows.   

1 year after stabbing, know from whom hate emanates

If Central Minnesota is going to look back on one year since the Crossroads Center attacks and ask about community relations and people getting along, we at least need to be honest.

When it comes to publicly exuding religious extremism in Central Minnesota and a lack of tolerance for others, it’s not from new immigrants nor Muslims. It’s from long-time residents. And Christians.

Make no mistake: It’s not all Christians, not all residents. In fact, the good news since the attacks is many local residents — Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and none of above — made concerted efforts to get to know their neighbors.

Continue Reading: http://www.sctimes.com/story/opinion/2017/09/23/1-year-after-stabbing-know-whom-hate-emanates/681281001/


Click to watch:  St. Cloud City Council Meeting 

Valued opinion from a former St. Cloud resident……

I managed to view the entire City Council proceedings.  It was mostly very painful.  It seems that Roberts Rules of Order have digressed into highly specialized jargon that is nearly unintelligible to ordinary people.  This may be intentional, to mask or obfuscate the content of proceedings, or it may simply be the result of unconstrained bureaucratic processes run amok.  I would like to think that the latter is the case.

On the issue Jeff Johnson brought up, regarding Council attendance at quarterly LSS immigration planning meetings, his very reasonable suggestion was summarily dismissed for bureaucratic and mostly unintelligible reasons.  Nobody stated that the LSS meetings were outside the bounds of Council interests and responsibilities.  The main objection appeared to simply be a dislike of any Council representation or attendance at the LSS meetings.  That objection is irrational and flaunts the Council charter.

In my opinion, since the Council apparently hesitates to attend any LSS meetings, LSS should be requested to brief the Council with the results of their meetings, especially regarding immigration issues and plans that directly impact city (and school district) budgets and resources.

Also, mention was made that St Cloud’s demographics have changed due to recent immigration.  How much have they changed, using what metrics of measurement?  The Council should conduct a study of how demographic changes caused by immigration have impacted city functions and resources, as well as the projected impact of best known, future planned immigration.  The study should answer questions selected by the Council, as being most germane to the Council’s charter.

The proceedings were quite painful to watch, but enlightening nonetheless.  I don’t know how Jeff can take it.  I sure don’t want his job.  I drink enough as it is.

-Mike

19-Year Old Forges Ahead

Annelise Rice

Annelise Rice, a hockey player at UND and graduate of Minnetonka High School, filed a lawsuit on March 17, 2017, in Minnesota federal court seeking damages for deprivation of civil rights by tortuous intervention in a mother-child relationship and deprivation of rights under color of the law (Civil Action No. 17-cv-796 ADM/HB).

 

As expected, U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery dismissed the case on September 19, 2017. Annelise will be appealing to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Conitnue Reading:
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MINNESOTA CHILD VICTIM ACT

When They Come For You

How To Disappear An Activist (Or, Where IS Andy Ostrowski?)

By Janet Phelan
As reported here, activist attorney Andy Ostrowski was taken into custody by the Wilkes-Barre, PA police department on September 19, for a forced mental health evaluation.  Ostrowski was reached later that afternoon at General Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, where he asserted he was being held as a political prisoner.

Ostrowski, a radio talk show host and civil rights advocate, also made a run for Congress in 2014.

Per hospital protocol, Ostrowski was subsequently transferred to another facility. And now, no one can say where he is.

HIPAA—Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act—disallows hospitals from confirming if a person is at their facility, if he is on a psych unit. In the conversation on Tuesday, Ostrowski asserted he was most likely to be transferred to First Hospital, in Kingston.

First Hospital, however, will not confirm or deny his presence. As Ostrowski had expressed not only appreciation to this reporter for reaching him at General Hospital, but also asserted the necessity to follow up on his forced incarceration, the failure to reveal his whereabouts  becomes a central issue vis-à-vis his right to freedom of association.

However, the hospitals in question do not seem to honor this historical right. The behaviors by staff at both General and First Hospitals couldn’t be more alarming. Yesterday, in an effort to ascertain where he was transferred, I called General Hospital and spoke with a woman who initially identified herself at “Joanne.” Joanne refused to give information as to where Ostrowski was transferred and when asked her full name, she replied “Julia.” According to Joanne/Julia, to disclose where Ostrowski is would violate HIPAA.

Continue Reading: https://www.activistpost.com/2017/09/how-to-disappear-an-activist-where-is-andy-ostrowski.html

THE POLICE STATE IS HERE

Judicial Reform Activist And Attorney Abducted By Police While Broadcasting

By Janet Phelan

Judicial reform activist and radio personality Andy Ostrowski has been taken into custody against his will and forced into a psychiatric evaluation. His abduction took place yesterday, September 19, at approximately 3 pm in Wilkes-Barre, PA, where Ostrowski resides.

Ostrowski was taken while on Facebook live and the incident was captured on video. The video is available here:

Read full article here: https://www.activistpost.com/2017/09/judicial-reform-activist-attorney-abducted-police-broadcasting.html