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Topics - Helena Handbasket

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Public Sector Gulags / Crossroads Wilderness Institute
« on: August 16, 2006, 09:49:33 AM »
Looking for more reports - about 9:30 am, I heard a radio report that stated two kids were missing. ... tp1ch6.htm


Fire destroys Crossroads' cafeteria

The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the Tuesday morning blaze. Officials at the facility reported a possible gas leak just prior to the fire.

Crews from three agencies battled a fire at Crossroads Wilderness Institute that destroyed the cafeteria building Tuesday morning.

None of the 28 juveniles staying at the moderate-risk facility for young offenders was injured.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the blaze, which started shortly after officials at the rural facility reported a possible gas leak.

The juveniles finished breakfast in the cabin-like cafeteria building Tuesday morning without any problems, said Charlotte County Fire Chief Dennis DiDio.

Shortly thereafter, some of the teens complained of burning eyes. No smoke or flames were seen, DiDio said. All staff members and juveniles left the building.

Crossroads officials called the gas company to report a possible gas leak, said Bucky McQueen, chairman of the board of directors at Crossroads, and Deputy Chief Bill Cameron.

A short time later, smoke began pouring out of the small, empty cafeteria building.

Fire crews from Charlotte and DeSoto counties joined Bayshore to battle the fire in a remote area near the Glades County line.

The cause of the fire remained undetermined Tuesday.

"Maybe somebody left something on," DiDio said.

The juveniles, between the ages of 14 and 18, will be able to stay at the 35-bed institute. The American Red Cross, along with the institute's parent company Associated Marine Institute, will build a temporary kitchen until the cafeteria can be rebuilt, McQueen said.

A staff of about 30 works at the 20-acre facility, where the state Department of Juvenile Justice sends young offenders from across South Florida. The 20-year-old Crossroads is located off Bermont Road, four miles east of State Road 31, on the large tract of land recently acquired by the state through the Babcock land deal.

You can e-mail Christy Arnold at [email protected].


Staff Writer

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Open Free for All / Tanya Kach
« on: March 22, 2006, 11:01:00 PM »
Full Text:

 Woman Who Vanished as Teen Says She Was Confined to House for Years

McKEESPORT, Pa. ? A woman who disappeared as a teen 10 years ago had been living with a middle school security guard who didn't allow her to leave his home for several years, police said Wednesday.

Tanya Nicole Kach, now 24, was reunited with her family this week. She had been living at the man's home, located about two miles from her father's house in the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesport, police said.

The two met when Thomas Hose, 48, worked as a security guard at a school where Kach was a student. It was not immediately clear how she ended up at the home.

She was discovered Tuesday when she approached a convenience store owner and told him that she wasn't Nikki Evans, the name the owner knew her by. She said she was being kept locked in a bedroom, said the owner, Joseph Sparico.

When she told him her real name, he said, she was upset and shaking.

"I was so scared that nobody would believe me," Kach told WTAE-TV from her father's home Wednesday.

Sparico's son, a retired McKeesport police officer, recognized Kach's name, and Sparico contacted authorities.

Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said Kach had been staying at the home Hose shared with his parents since 1996, and was not allowed to leave for the first four years she was there.

When others came over, Kach had to stay in a bedroom, Moffatt said.

"She had no contact with people, other than the people that were in the home," Moffatt said.

Moffatt said Hose would tell her what to eat and what to wear, but there was no indication that Kach had been physically restrained. He said charges were pending but would not elaborate.

James Ecker, Hose's attorney, said police planned to charge his client with sex crimes involving a minor. The attorney said there was no indication that Kach had been abducted or kidnapped.

"As far as I know no one has ever said she was held against her will," Ecker said.

Kach disappeared Feb. 10, 1996, said Police Chief Joseph Pero. She was initially listed as a runaway, but her status was changed to a missing person. He wouldn't say why.

The woman's father, Jerry Kach, was grateful for her return: "I just say thank you. There is a God and he brought my little girl back home.",2933,188838,00.html

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.' target='_new'> Thomas Jefferson, 1787

I just heard on a local news channel that the Bay County Boot camp is now closed.

I also *thought* I heard that they will be exhuming Martin's body for a second autopsy, but I can't find any written news on this.

Shutting down the camp is quite a step for Flori-duh.  Let's see if they surprise us even more and do the right thing and find the original autopsy results rating high on the Bullshitometer.

For myself, I do not believe in any revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.
--Charles Robert Darwin, English naturalist

Open Free for All / Name That Cult
« on: February 03, 2006, 08:28:00 AM »
Ok kids - Can you name the cult that these behavioral traits were taken from?

1. Can you follow instructions without adding your own interpretation?

2. Can you deliver instructions as you receive them or do they change according to your computer?

3. Do you participate in inconsiderate conversation, polluting the ears of others while you and your partner work things out?

4. Are you physically clumsy - breaking things because you handle them too harshly or carelessly?

5. Do you half way complete a task because of your poor standard of what is thorough?

6. Do you put tasks off - procrastinate?

7. Are your patterns of cleanliness, sensitivity, gentleness, etc. consistent or are they good only when spotlighted?

8. Do you use more of something than is adequate (for example, excessively high cooking flame, more toothpaste than necessary, etc.)?

9. Do you go from one extreme to another: as from overeating to undereating, etc.?

10. Are you sensitive when approaching another individual about something you want to discuss? Do you permit that individual the choice to continue what he is doing, or do you force him to drop it in order to give attention to you? Do you stop and check, or do you assume that what is on your mind is more important than what is on theirs? (Know the difference between your relationship with your teachers and your fellow classmates in this regard.)

11. Do you needlessly ask a question when the answer is obvious or a moment of silent observation would quickly reveal the answer?

12. Are you pushy, aggressive, interfering, or demanding in any way?

13. Has familiarity caused you to become so relaxed with your partners or others that your actions or words don't hold enough restraint?

14. Are you gentle, simple, cautious, and thoughtfully restrained in your steps and all other physical actions or words?

15. Have you outgrown defensiveness and its flip side, martyrdom?

16. Can you understand and review in your mind all the ways in which members of the Next Level are sensitive? If you can, you have no excuse for not working on improving in these areas at all times.

17. When your teachers have asked someone to do a task and it relates to you, do you treat that task and its deliverers with as much respect as you would if it came directly from your teachers?

Life may have no meaning.  Or even worse, it may have a meaning of which I disapprove.' target='_new'>Ashleigh Brilliant

The Troubled Teen Industry / The "All or None" Principle
« on: November 27, 2005, 10:53:00 AM »
I've been meaning to write about this for some time, but I either can't find the time, or it's never acutely in my mind when I decide to write.

I, with a few others are accused of believing "all programs are bad".  Speaking strictly for myself, this is untrue.  Every once in a while I remember a "program" I was in in Massachusetts.  

After being considered a "Child in Need of Services" by the state of MA because of my unruliness (working double shifts, holding study groups that sometimes included members of the opposite sex, having a black friend... ), a rational social worker agreed I needed to be in a "Program".

I landed in a place called "Communities for People" located in Newton, MA.  It was a big Victorian house, with three of us girls in residence with an adult counselor.

Rules of the program:

1.  You either attended school or actively worked on your GED (We were all 16+)

2.  You received a monthly allowance, with which you opened a bank account, if you didn't already have one.  However, this allowance would not leave you any spending money after the bills were paid (more on this later), so if you wanted mad money, you would need to work a job.

3.  Weekly house meetings were required.  This is where we all sat around the table and discussed housework, who turn it was to clean the various rooms, who's doing the shopping, etc.   We also had a segment of those meetings to discuss our personal progress... grades, jobs, boyfriends (yes, we were allowed to date!) and other real world issues.  One of our best meetings involved a good old fashoined food fight.

4.  The end of the month meeting was to go over the bills, who was paying what, and we talked about budgeting and so forth.  More real world stuff.

5.  Sure - there was a curfew depending on age.  Generally midnight on the weekdays, and 1AM on the weekends.  I shit you not.

When you turned 18, you moved into your own apartment, with weekly check ins by the counselor to see how you were doing.  Kinda like getting out on your own in the "real world" and having your parents check out your new digs.

There is a reason the only time I remember this "Program" only occasionally - and that's because it was so NORMAL!  There were no "confrontations",  no getting in anyone's face and nothing like these "Emotional Growth" programs we discuss in these threads.

Were we angels?  Hell no.  Consequences?  Of course.

When the Co-Ed house opened up,  I moved in, and became great friends (many would call it "dating") with the new guy.  Nope, not what you're thinking - we never saw each other naked, although there was plenty of opportunity.

We took the "T" (Subway) into Braintree one night to hang out with a friend of his, and long story short, violated curfew because we missed the last train back to Newton.

Couldn't go back to the friends house (at least we didn't wanna hear it from the guys parents for waking them up!) and we couldn't call "home" (it was long distance, and this was before phone cards and cell phones), so we camped out until we could catch a train home in the morning.

When we arrived, the "brass" was there - what some of us would call "Executive Staff". We explained the situation, and our consequence was that we got "grounded" for a week, I think.  Home directly after school or work.  So we rented movies all week.  And just like in the real world, where I would have to explain my absence at work, I had to explain my absense at school to the principal.  

Funny... to this day, I have fond and fun memories of everyone (except the first two bitches - they were just... well... bitchy).  

Incidentally, it was at the coed house where I learned the other girl (Julie) who came after I did, came from Straight, Stoughton.  

The guy (Robert) and I remained friends for about ten years after... we lost track of Julie about 3 years after.

The whole point of this long, drawn out post is to show that there IS a different way of doing things.  I'm not sure what happened to this "program" - but I was told during a reunion-of-sorts with some of the staff that the kids that were currently enrolled like two years later were "severely limited".  Maybe I and my group just got lucky.

Where are we going, and what are we doing in this handbasket??[ This Message was edited by: Helena Handbasket on 2005-11-27 08:03 ]

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Radio Inside Scoop
« on: November 13, 2005, 10:20:00 PM »
This is a LIFE - specific response to Sue, who wrote:

There MAY have been a couple isolated boarder-line "abuse" situations at one or 2 of these programs, but it's a CROCK if you believe this (what these callers said) went on for YEARS and YEARS, daily at these programs.
I was in LIFE and NEVER witnessed what was said here. Most of these callers were TROUBLED teens, with horrible attitudes, arrest records, drop outs from school and their parents emrolled them in HEAVEY, long term treatment. It's not SUMMER CAMP. They were made to think about their attitudes, actions, and wreckless ways. Who wants to do that?!? There were lots of rules, and guidelines to follow. It WAS strict. But these abuse reports are almost laughable. They never completed their treatment/counseling, and now need to BLAME someone/something on their current failures. It's an EASY target.
I graduated the LIFE program, learned how to DEAL with reality instead of get into drugs and trouble, and improved my self-esteem tremendously. I made life-ling friends there, whom I remain friends with today (20 yrs later). I have NO regrets about being there, as it helped me and SO MANY others. I appreciate that my folks didn't sit by and watch me get worse. They cared enough to TO DO something, before it was too late.
I believe many of these "survivors" (I have trouble not laughing at this term) would love to somehow get $ out of all this. It's really sad that this is their plight SO MANY years later.

My response, as posted on ... 00506.html

Ginger mentioned that LIFE wasn't as violent as Straight, and I tend to agree.  Many of the abuses that I've heard committed at Straight, I did not witness at LIFE.  However, I did personally witness physical abuse, denial of bathroom priveleges, and denial of privacy.  I personally was forced to sleep with my legs intertwined with my oldcomer - something that comes very close to sexual impropriety.

However, I will ask Sue - and anyone else who cares to answer - how you consider this okay?  How do you consider slapping kids, sitting on them, pulling their hair, forcibly "motiviating" (arm flapping) them, and accusing them (of drug use) without proof - helpful?

Sue, if you gave your kids this "treatment", you'd be up on abuse charges in no time flat, and you know it.  

I don't know what your agenda is.  Most of ours is to simply stop abuse.  What is your problem with that?[ This Message was edited by: Helena Handbasket on 2005-11-13 19:29 ]

Let's talk about the weather... / WILLLLLLL-MAAAAAAA
« on: October 23, 2005, 03:23:00 PM »
Just a short note to anyone else in SW FL - hope you're all safe and/or in a safe place.  I'm about 90 miles North of ground-zero, but I'm heading to Northern territory.

There are tornadoes to think about also - so if your house can stand up to the 70-100 MPH winds, I'd still get out of the way.  JMHO.

I'll be back!

The Troubled Teen Industry / More Kids in Chains
« on: September 21, 2005, 10:54:00 AM »
Just... Damn. ... tp2ch7.htm

Where are we going, and what are we doing in this handbasket?? [ This Message was edited by: Helena Handbasket on 2005-09-21 08:00 ]

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Wonder what happened?
« on: March 05, 2005, 09:40:00 PM »
Lack of interest?? seems to be kaput.

Open Free for All / Ring any bells?
« on: February 15, 2005, 08:29:00 PM »
Does this sound familiar?

She admits to committing abuse - for fear that she would be abused.

Same shit, different venue.  :flame: [ This Message was edited by: ~-=Sara=-~ on 2005-02-15 17:34 ]

The Troubled Teen Industry / A New Disease
« on: February 06, 2005, 11:39:00 AM »
Hmmmm wonder if this will pave the way for new pills and new programs? ... 297023.htm

Brat Camp / Has anyone seen this yet?
« on: February 01, 2005, 06:54:00 PM »
I have two four letter words just watching the trailer:


Has anyone seen this trash yet?  The cancer is spreading. Whatever happened to the "confidential" nature of "treatment"?

Fuckin Scary.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Weekends for Newcomers
« on: January 30, 2005, 09:48:00 AM »
Hey DC, or anyone who knows now or remembers:

What do newcomers do on the weekends in their host homes?  I've been trying to remember myself, but I'm drawing a blank here.  I just remember the things we couldn't do:  leave the house (or even go outside), watch TV listen to music, read, etc.  We couldn't even assist in cleanup after meals because we weren't allowed in the kitchen, and we weren't allowed to touch cleaning supplies.

You can only write so many MIs and talk about your "druggie past" so many hours a day.  What else do you do?

New Info / Big F(_)cking Deal!
« on: January 07, 2005, 12:24:00 AM » ... 1JMO0.html

OH yeah... they were out there making someone's life a living hell weren't they?

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