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It is our intent to create a respectful environment for understanding and healing, a Discussion-Safety-Zone for Related Topics, while maintaining our Visitors' Zones-of-Privacy, and to interact on a non-judgmental basis. Today far too many communities fail to create these safety-zones!

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*** Issues Affecting Sex Offenders ***
-In Society-

This page does not include suicides, murders, vigilantism
or other harm to sex offenders and their families.
For those stories CLICK
Sex offenders are being forced into living in clusters, in less than desirable areas of cities and towns!

1-25-03 Texas: Sex offenders clustering in poor neighborhoods: Each weekday morning, Maria Sosa's 8-year-old daughter walks her 6-year-old brother from their home on Everton to Anson Jones Elementary on Canal. Past rows of little wood houses on blocks and sagging two-story boarding houses. Past all the taquerias and cantinas. Past the tiny building where six registered child sex offenders rent rooms from another registered child sex offender. The house at 3514 Canal is an extreme example of a trend that's beginning to concern many cities: clusters of sex offenders that infect low-income neighborhoods. The Canal rooming house is just one of 16 sex offender residences clustered in an area of about a square mile just east of downtown and south of Buffalo Bayou.

1-25-2003 Kentucky: Sex offenders don't fit profile of neighborhoods where they live: More of your neighbors there are young, poor, black and female than anywhere else in the city, but you are white, male and at least 10 years older than most of them. And you are four times more likely to be a registered sex offender than anyone living in the outer ring of suburban subdivisions that surround your neighborhood.

1-8-2003 California:In San Francisco: In San Francisco, police officials have a separate five-person unit devoted to tracking down sex offenders and ensuring that they have registered. Under the department's Grand Slam program, officers check 80 addresses every six weeks to track offenders and make sure they're where they say they are. Officers have made a special effort to track about 10 percent of the city's sexual offenders who are homeless.

1-8-2003 Washington State: Some live in shelters or are otherwise transient and are difficult for detectives to contact, Shilling said. In Seattle, about 140 registered sex offenders have no home address or live in shelters. Countywide, of the 3,900 registered sex offenders, about 300 list themselves as transient or homeless, according to the King County Sheriff's Office Web site. Of those, more than 60 are level 3 offenders. "Homelessness is a growing problem" among sex offenders, Shilling said. Many communities make it difficult for registered sex offenders to move into their neighborhoods. "A lot of places have just closed their doors totally to taking in these offenders," he said.

1-29-2003 Washington State: Transient sex offenders living in tents: A team of Department of Transportation workers stopped work recently when they came upon an encampment of transient sex offenders near a rural intersection here. State Department of Corrections spokesman Veltry Johnson said sex offenders commonly live in tent cities stretching all along the Interstate 5 corridor. In King County, thousands of residents turned out at public hearings recently to protest the potential sites of transitional housing for sex offenders in their areas. However, current law allows sex offenders who have been freed already to set up tent cities in those very same neighborhoods..

COLORADO HOUSING ORDINANCE Limiting number of sex offenders permitted per household, overturned by Colorado Supreme Court, as to juvenile offenders, but remains in effect as to adult offenders:

1-13-2003 Colorado: The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that local governments can't control how many juvenile sex offenders live in one household. It does not affect restrictions on adult sex offenders. Three boys who had been both victims and perpetrators of incest were living with Ibarra and her husband (foster parents), Eusebio, in Northglenn when the city passed a new law in 2000. It limited registered sex offenders to one per household, or two if they were related. That meant two of Ibarra's boys had to leave. "I just don't know what's going to happen to them," she said tearfully in a federal courtroom in February 2000, at the beginning of her legal battle.

Comment:Colorado Supreme Court decsion.
Cannot Have Holiday Decoration:

» 10-31 Texas: Sex Offenders Use Halloween To Lure Children: Probation Officers Prohibit Halloween Decorations! News2Houston's Cynthia Hunt asked, "Did you knew you had a sex offender next door?" "We thought but no one had ever brought it to our attention till y'all showed up," said Charles Kee, a father. "What do you think of his Halloween decorations?" Hunt asked. "Totally inappropriate. He shouldn't have anything to do with any children," Kee said.

Of the almost 5,000 registered sex offenders, only about one-third will be forced to remove their decorations. That is because the rest are no longer on probation and their behavior is no longer monitored. (by

» 10-31 Washington: No Law in Washington Limiting Sex Offender Participation in Halloween! The DOC has already warned the 300 sex offenders under its supervision in area about Halloween restrictions, after Halloween they will use a lie detector to make sure the restrictions were followed. (by News4)
Washington State Legislator Proposes GPS Tracking
1-13-03 Washington State: State Sen. Pam Roach wants to use satellites to monitor dangerous sex offenders. Her bill introduced Friday to use Global Positioning System devices comes amid the ongoing uproar over the state's plan to place sex-offender housing in residential areas -- including two potential locations in south King County where residents are up in arms.

The GPS devices will allow police to determine the exact locations of sex offenders, said Roach, whose proposal would require convicted sex offenders to wear the GPS devices for the rest of their lives. Roach said her bill would save state and local governments money because police wouldn't have to track down missing sex offenders. And the sex offenders would pay the cost of their home or GPS monitoring.

COMMENT: Force past offenders, who are not under the jurisdiction of the state, to wear a GPS device, and pay for it, for the rest of their lives? Is this overkill? I guess DUI's should wear a Breathalyzer for life and also pay for it; and many other conditions which right now slip my mind.

Several States Use GPS Tracking for Parole/Probation
1-24-03 Several States: Kansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana are using a GPS System to monitor parolees and probationers. Further information about the company and product can be found on the iSecureTrac web site.

COMMENT: The reported cost is $6.00 a day, and in the State of Washington, they intend to have their sex offenders pay for it themselves; thats $180.00 a month.

E. Bangor, Pa: Borough council voted unanimously Tuesday night to not reinstate former maintenance worker and admitted sex offender John Hanna, said borough Secretary Bonnie Due. The borough hired Hanna as a maintenance worker in January 2001.

Greene recommended that Hanna be placed on house arrest for six months with the county's new global positioning system equipment. Under the program, Hanna would be required to wear an ankle bracelet and to carry a purse-sized transmitter that would allow the probation department to constantly track Hanna's whereabouts. The new equipment has been in use by the county since January. The probation department can set up "hot zones" to alert probation officers if Hanna comes near sensitive places, such as schools or the home of the victim.

Panella said Hanna must pay for the program up front before he will approve it. The cost is $10 a day, which means Hanna would have to pay $1,800 for six months.
United Kingdom: Silicon chip to be inserted under skin of Sex Offenders
»10-28 Nationwide: Big brother or the mark of the beast? If homeland security’s extreme precautions against terrorists haven’t gotten under your skin, look again. That’s just what they’re about to do — with VeriChips. A VeriChip is a rice-sized radio frequency identification microchip designed for tracking everything from products to people. The company who created the chip — Applied Digital Solutions (ADS) — has announced that organizations in Brazil and Mexico have begun implanting the chips in children.

Depending on the public’s response, some American’s can expect to find VeriChips being offered in the U.S. as part of a child-identification program very soon. ADS has a program called VeriKid. Under the program children are implanted with a VeriChip — an RFID device, using a large needle which injects the device under the skin. The chip gives off a 125-kilohertz radio frequency signal which is transmitted to a nearby scanner or hand held wand. Scanners read the transmitted ID number and use it to identify the child through a database.

When a “chipped” child is abducted or missing, authorities place scanners in areas where the child might turn up — such as shopping malls, bus stations, airports and other areas. If the child goes by the scanner, the chip triggers the scanner and alerts authorities to the location. Both Brazil and Mexico have implemented the program for “security purposes” and to track abducted and missing children. Mexico's National Foundation of Investigations of Robbed and Missing Children estimates that 133,000 children in Mexico have been kidnapped over the past five years.

Brazil has ordered 10 wall-mounted VeriGuard scanning devices to be used as part of their security system which will be launched in Brazil in mid-November. That program, VeriChip claims, will be the first in which implantable chips will be used as part of a building access security system for adults.

Parolees could be chipped to make sure they do not break parole. Sex offenders could be tracked even if they did not register with the city as required by law. Law enforcement wouldn’t even have to stop a person on the street to question them. A patrol car mounted scanner could relay the person’s criminal history faster than a cop could type in a license plate number. If that becomes the case, then the scanners might start popping up anywhere – highway overpasses, libraries, schools, or stores. (by Becky Blanton - Sierra

11-17-2002 United Kingdom: Britain is considering a controversial scheme to implant surgically electronic tags in convicted paedophiles amid fears that the extent of the abuse of children has been massively underestimated. The tags can be put beneath the skin under local anaesthetic and would also be able to monitor the heart rate and blood pressure of the abuser, alerting staff to the possibility that another attack was imminent.

Ministers would need to pass new legislation to oblige offenders to be surgically fitted with the tags. Civil liberties groups expressed horror at the proposals last night. 'Implanting tracking devices provides a very frightening vision for the future. We already know that the rules protecting our privacy are inadequate. Where would this stop?' said John Wadham, director of Liberty.

COMMENT: Will life begin with "the Government Ritual of Implantation" ? Could an accident, 911 incident, or the death of a close friend signal a "mass sex offender alert?"

1-29-2001 Clearwater Fl: Sex Offender, after his past was revealed to his employer, was terminated. Offender wants further education but fears, if he gets a loan to pay for education, that because of being a sex offender he will not be able to get another job to pay loans.

Eyewitness News 4: has learned of another sex offender working for the City of Albuquerque. The city's mayor says there are possibly more, and he is changing city policy to catch them all. [...] Just days ago, Eyewitness News 4 alerted the city about Transit Department supervisor Edward Tim Gonzales who has been convicted of criminal sexual contact with a minor. After Eyewitness News 4's discovery of two convicted sex offenders on the city's payroll in the past week, Mayor Martin Chavez says he suspects there are others. Chavez is trying to make Albuquerque the hardest place for sex offenders to live. He has been trying to get convicted sex offender David Siebers, called a "sexual predator" by authorities, to leave the area for months. Law enforcement has followed Siebers at every turn. The mother of Rodriguez' victim says they should instead concentrate on other sex offenders in the city. "We're out chasing David Siebers and we're not out cleaning up our own backyard," she said.
Stories that need to be read to be believed:
12-2000 New Jersey: One New Jersey law firm discusses, "An Employer's Obligations" under Megan's Law. If you think Megan's Law affects you and your family only in your neighborhood, think again. If you are an employer, you may have certain obligations intended to protect your work force.

1-28-2002 Virginia.: Ronald Cotton mistakenly identified: There are others imprisoned on mistaken identifications who will not be proven innocent. Mistaken eyewitnesses, many of them adamant about their identifications, are the top reason innocent people wind up behind bars. .

5-29-2001 Corpus Christi Tx.: On May 18, a judge ordered 21 registered sex criminals to post signs on their homes and automobiles warning the public of their crimes, and the results were almost immediate. One of the offenders attempted suicide, two were evicted from their homes, several had their property vandalized and one offender's father had his life threatened, according to court testimony..

6-21-2003 Ontario, Canada.: An Ontario police force has paid $150,000 to settle a lawsuit by a man whose retirement was shattered when he was charged with repeatedly molesting his son's playmate in the 1970s.

The charges were laid in 2000 by Peel Regional Police based on the uncorroborated memories of a woman in her mid-30s, according to Mr. Dikens's lawyer, Sean Dewart. The woman claimed to have been raped and abused dozens of times in different cities, sometimes while Mr. Dikens's son was present and allegedly forced to participate. Mr. Dewart said the allegations of abuse were actually "false memories" conjured up by an unstable figure who had been psychologically damaged by her deprived and abusive upbringing.

Mr. Dikens said yesterday that his life instantly tumbled into a "vortex" of fright and powerlessness. He was barred from carrying on his regular volunteer work with seniors and paraplegics. And he could no longer cross the border to visit his children in the United States.

Az.: Legislation Targets Unregulated Group Homes:(December 3) -- Phoenix Councilman Claude Mattox and state Rep. John Nelson, R-Glendale, are joining forces to regulate group homes catering to sexual predators and drug addicts released from prison. There currently isn't a law in place to restrict the number of homes or apartment communities renting rooms to sex offenders in a particular locale. As a result, Mattox's west-side district at one time had seven such unlicensed and unregulated group homes in operation within a few blocks of each other. In response to his constituents' requests for a measure that would prevent a concentration of sexual predators in their neighborhoods, Mattox requested the creation of a legislative panel to study the issue. That committee's report is due in two weeks. In the meantime, Mattox and Nelson say they will introduce state legislation next month targeting the unregulated group homes. Although Nelson expects to face some opposition to stiff oversight of the privately run homes, he is optimistic about getting some sort of legislation on the books to spread out the sexual offender population. Source: Arizona Republic (12/03/02); Diaz, Elvia

» 9-24 Texas: Offenders Moving Out Into The County To Avoid Sex Offender TV! Sex Offender TV has been on the air for just more than four weeks now. But already some of the registered sex offenders shown in your home have found a loophole to keep their crimes off air. "As far as the sex offenders go, several sex offenders have moved outside the city to keep from being on TV," says Long. "We've seen several go out into the county just for that reason." Corporal Long says at least five city sex offenders now call the county home, off city streets and onto county roads where the offenders can't legally be shown on TV. (by Geoff Corkum)

» 8-7-03 Minnesota:Never convicted of sex crime, but man still must register as offender! Minnesota's sex offender registration law and the Minnesota Supreme Court's interpretation of it "turn reason and fairness on its head," wrote Judge C. Arlen Beam, who nonetheless concurred in the unanimous decision of a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Brian Gunderson was charged in 1998 in St. Louis County with first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a woman he met in a bar accused him of rape, the ruling said. Gunderson denied raping her but admitted they had a "physical altercation." Tests supported his version of events, and the rape charge was dismissed.

As part of a deal with prosecutors, Gunderson pleaded guilty to a new complaint charging him with third-degree assault. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, which was stayed, and three years probation. Less than a year later, the ruling said, Gunderson violated his probation and was sent to prison. While in custody, he was told he would have to register as a sex offender under a state law that requires it whenever someone is convicted of a sex offense "or another offense arising out of the same set of circumstances." (by Howie Padilla, Star Tribune)
» 8-7-2003 Gunderson v. Hvass:
A federal appeals court has upheld a Minnesota law that requires a man to register as a sex offender even though he was not convicted of a sex crime. In Wednesday's ruling, Judge C. Arlen Beam wrote that the sex offender registration law and the Minnesota Supreme Court's interpretation of it "turn reason and fairness on its head." Nonetheless, Beam concurred in the unanimous decision of a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Findlaw Article

» 7-19-03 Massachusetts: Unbelievable Story! The SJC rules a former selectman's name must stay on a list of alleged offenders! The Supreme Judicial Court upheld a decision by the Department of Social Services to keep Wayne Covell's name on its internal registry, despite a Barnstable District Court jury's having found him not guilty of sexually assaulting a child. The court yesterday ruled that the DSS registry is not subject to the same standards as a criminal court. Instead, the agency needed only "reasonable cause to believe" abuse occurred.

The list is separate from the state's controversial Sexual Offender Registry. James McMahon Jr., Covell's attorney, insists his client is innocent of the charges, but wanted to fight the issue on principle. He said it's difficult to fight the DSS when it makes and enforces its own regulations. "For goodness' sake, where are the rights of the accused here?" he said. "How do you defend yourself? Do you just say 'I didn't do it'? How do you defend yourself in this type of environment?" (By Kevin Dennehy, Staff Writer)
10-11-2002 Lafayette, Louisiana: Duplantier's (Local Judge) decision in the case of Melvin "Bubba" Domingue of Lafayette, who pleaded guilty in February 1999 to molestation of a juvenile. Duplantier sentenced him to a suspended seven-year sentence with five years supervised probation. Duplantier ruled in April 1999 that Domingue wouldn't be required to notify neighbors of his conviction and wouldn't have to publish a public notice of his conviction in the (Lafayette) Daily Advertiser. Domingue had notified the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office and school officials of his conviction. The legislature has since amended the sex-offender law, preventing judges from waiving notification and publication requirements for sex offenders.
Alabama Appeals Court Overturns Violation of Community Notification Act declaring that sex offender DID NOT violate the Act:
10-25-2002 Alabama, Chambers County: A state appeals court Friday threw out a sex offender's conviction for violating Alabama's community notification act by letting his victim and her mother move into his house. When J.L.N. got out of jail on probation, L.N.P and her mother moved into his house and the couple got engaged.

The community notification act prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of their victims. The law was used to prosecute J.L.N., and he got a six-year sentence. In his appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals said the community notification act contains no exemptions for rare cases like J.L.N.'s and it is unconstitutional only as applied to the facts in this particular case.

The man had been convicted of second-degree rape for having consensual sex with his girlfriend, L.N.P., when she was 15 years old, which is considered under age in Alabama.

COMMENT: The misuse of the letter of the law, and ignoring fundamental constitutional right to marry (which begins with an engagement, AND this too was ignored in the dissenting opinion).

9-30-2002 Warm Springs Montana: Instead of languishing in prison cells, three dozen inmates are sitting in a sun-dappled classroom surrounded by a chain-link security fence. This group therapy is part of a new state program (Warm Springs Addictions Treatment and Change (WATCh) Program), offering repeat DUI felony offenders (who already have 4 prior DUIs, all felonies) a six-month treatment program as an alternative to the mandatory 13-month prison sentence. Not every felony DUI offender is eligible for the program. The program screens out sex offenders and those with violent or extensive criminal records, Okeson said.

Note: Notice that if one is a prior sex offender, s/he spends the 13 months in prison. EQUALITY of TREATMENT???? The US Supreme Court, in MARSHALL v. UNITED STATES, 414 U.S. 417 (1974) has permitted states to exclude felons who have 2-or-more felonies, from participation in drug addiction treatment pursuant to Title II of the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act of 1966 (NARA). However, there seems to be no rationality for excluding a felon because s/he has a prior sex offense. Unless it is to further enhance her/his sentence.<


See New Section on "No Sex Offender Zones"
also know as "Child Safety Zones."

12-17-2002 Waterloo IA: Tough residency law spurs debate on sex offenders: From the window of his stifling room, Kevin Zahnd sees nothing but a gravel parking lot, an empty road and a few trees, straggly from the frost.

Inside, it's just as barren. The mattress he sleeps on is prison-cell thin. His closet is a garbage bag. His recliner is broken. As is his alarm clock. He has no phone. He does have a TV, a banged-up Zenith, though the picture wavers. Above it, on the stucco wall, hangs a rough unframed painting of a mountain, in three shades of drab.

Kevin Zahnd turned 24 in this room last month. He says he likes living here, in a residential motel so desolate it doesn't have a name, in a cramped room that costs more than a decent apartment downtown. "It's quiet," he explains. "It's near the river."

More to the point: It's one of the few places in town where Zahnd can live legally.

A new Iowa law -- one of the toughest in the nation -- prohibits any sex offender who has victimized a minor from living within 2,000 feet, or roughly six city blocks, of a school or child-care center.

10-2-2002 Coralville IA: A 21-year-old Coralville man is the first person in Iowa to be charged under a new Iowa law that prohibits convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day-care center. Johnson County Attorney J. Patrick White said charges filed against Roe may become a test case for defense attorneys who want to challenge the law, which, when implemented July 1, made most of Iowa City and Coralville off limits to sex offenders.

4-2-2003 Winter Park, Florida: Winter Park's first registered sexual predator has moved into a quiet cul-de-sac dotted with basketball hoops and a "Watch for Children" sign just two doors down from his home. Now, angry neighbors are meeting every Sunday, brainstorming ways to get rid of Ronald James Gukenberger.

So far, neighbors have put large signs in their yards -- bright yellow arrows pointing toward Gukenberger's home that tell visitors a sexual predator lives there. Beneath them are fliers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that include his photo. Neighbors have met with Winter Park police, the mayor and Gukenberger's probation officer and have distributed the FDLE fliers to the business where Gukenberger works. They log his every move to see if he violates his probation.

Neighbors hope he will move, but they also want to change the law. Sexual predators are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or playground. "A cul-de-sac just doesn't meet that definition, even though we have 12 kids living here," Berg said. "Now they all have to play in their back yard. That's just not right."

Lunin (Florida ACLU) said he hopes the Winter Park controversy ends up in court. "Otherwise, I'm afraid where it's going to wind up is that one of these people with an X on the forehead is going to be killed," he said.

4-2-2003 CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wisconsin: Proposed group home angers resident! Drug, sex offender facility would be near children’s play area, he says. Fenske addressed the Chippewa Falls City Council Tuesday to find out what ordinances the city could create to prevent the plan from going forward.

“The neighborhood was in an uproar when that first started,” Smith said. “And we found out there was nothing we could do about it.” Fenske said he was unaware the vacant house next to his property could become a treatment center for offenders when he purchased his home two months ago..

“I think the idea of these (homes) is to get people in a residential area,” Holden said. “Whether these people are dangerous … I don’t know how we investigate that.”

01-23-03 Calif: WEST COVINA, Calif. -- A sex offender has been released from jail and now resides in a West Covina neighborhood -- and residents want him out. Conklin's stepfather and mother said that they support their son. "He's our son. He's come to the Lord. We are going to give all the help and support he needs to come back to society. He won't be out of our sight," Roy Snelson, Conklin's stepfather, said. "Put yourself in my shoes. Would you love your children? Would you support them in any other situation?" Conklin's mother, Vivian Snelson, said. .

UPDATE 1-24-03: City officials have decided to sue the state over the parole of a convicted sex offender who is being allowed to return to a neighborhood in that city. The decision follows an emotional public hearing Thursday night before West Covina's City Council.

UPDATE 3-2-03: Steven Conklin, 39, moved into his family's home in January after serving half an 18-year prison term. He was convicted 10 years ago of the sexual assault and attempted murder of a 6-year-old girl. West Covina residents, including the mother of the young victim, gathered near Conklin's home to demonstrate against his presence, NBC4 reported.

9-21-2002 Rensselaer NY: A man who served 13 years in state prison for sexual assault was welcomed home last week by jeers and rocks thrown at his mother's house. "She (Dubois' mother) called me complaining that neighbors were threatening her and her son," said Police Chief Rick Fusco. "We've been monitoring the situation and trying to keep a handle on any vigilantism up there. They've made it pretty clear they want him out of the neighborhood.".

8-12-2000 Plymouth England: Families campaigning to have a convicted sex offender evicted from their housing estate in Plymouth have vowed to continue their protests. Talks between protesters, police and city officials failed to end the campaign against the 73-year-old man.

9-2-1999 Danville Ky: Nate Sims' story is about an ex-con seeking a second chance, a neighborhood losing its innocence and a couple testing their faith. But it doesn't have a storybook ending. After 20 years in prison, Sims returned in late July to Danville, the quaint college town where he had settled as a teen-ager. Within days, his picture was in the local newspaper; next to it were the phrases ''sex offender'' and ''high risk.'' He had been convicted of rape and sodomy.

He immediately lost his new job at a packaging plant and was soon living out of his rattletrap car. Under Kentucky's newly enacted Megan's Law, named for a 7-year-old New Jersey girl murdered by a released molester living in her neighborhood, Sims was arrested for not being at the address he'd reported to parole officials. Instead of a jail cell, the 52-year-old Sims found himself living in a $150,000 house in upscale Riverview Estates, with a couple who trusted him enough to give him a bed across the hall from their children's playroom.

08-13-1998 Dilley Ore: Neighbors block sex offender from moving in by buying the home he would have moved in to, his mothers, who feared what neighbors would do if son moved in.

» 8-8-03 Littleton, Mass: Sex offenders stir concern in Littleton! LITTLETON Police Chief John Kelly promised close to 100 residents who turned out for a special public meeting last night he would do everything in his power to protect the community from sexual offenders living in Littleton. Kelly called the meeting after residents expressed fears over at least three convicted sexual offenders living in town that have been designated "sexually violent predators" by the state's Sexual Offender Registry Board. "I realize that this information can be very upsetting," Kelly said. "But we should not let it change the entire way we live."

Kelly, a father of three, told residents that he felt much the same as they did about their children's safety, advising them that although he planned an increased police presence in neighborhoods where sex offenders live, the best protection they could provide their youngsters was the same common sense rules they once heard from their own parents: don't talk to strangers, tell your parents where you're going, keep doors and windows locked when home alone, don't place yourself in compromising positions, keep a cell phone in your pocket. .... (by Pierre Comtois,

» 8-10-03 Carpentersville, Illinois: A conflict Wheaton had first! Dozens of residents pressed into the board room, some standing shoulder to shoulder. The air crackled with tension. They were angry and scared. Word had spread like wildfire: A home for ex-convicts was coming to town. It was the fall of 1991, in West suburban Wheaton.

But today, as Carpentersville confronts its own fears about allowing a transition house for recently released inmates, residents of the DuPage County town 30 miles southeast recall the rush of emotion sparked by the idea of ex-cons calling their town home, the ensuing battle against the perceived threat and the changes that have since taken place.

Not in my back yard! Carpentersville residents were just as strident in their demands of village board members Tuesday night. "What can we do to stop this?" Patti Reusch asked, handing the clerk the signatures of more than 300 residents who didn't want Life House Ministries as a neighbor.

For the next two hours, resident after resident would either lambaste the program (no convicted arsonists or sex offenders)or concede it was a good idea, just not in Carpentersville. ... (by Naomi Dillon Daily Herald Staff Writer)

» 8-10-03 Washington State:Proposed sex predator site hurting home sales nearby! The looming threat of a possible sex-offender facility in the residential Peasley Canyon neighborhood is scaring off potential home buyers and costing sellers thousands of dollars. ``I certainly wouldn't want a listing a block from the site,'' said Scott Horan, a John L. Scott sales associate among the most active agents in this community between Auburn and Federal Way.

In this small, quiet, woodsy neighborhood with primitive roads, signs protesting the sex offenders line the sidewalkless streets. Despite the signs, the house next door to the potential sex-offender site sold -- but for 25 percent below its listed price. Daniel Ngoc Phan said he and his sister were aware of the potential of living next door to the halfway house, but discussed the situation with government officials and decided purchasing the house was worth the risk. (by Jamie Swift, King County Journal)

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