Overlay is crazy

first_imgRe “Overlay is the right way to go for new Valley area code” (Our Opinions, Oct. 25): The editors got it wrong this time. In the past, when an area code is split, it was split geographically. Every area code in SoCal is by geography. Splitting the Valley is most logical thing to do. It doesn’t make sense to have to dial 10 digits to call your neighbor or have to dial 4 extra numbers if you don’t have to. Overlay is just another example of NIMBYism or NIMACism. If you’re wondering, I don’t mind switching to the 747 area code. – Ngan Adams AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Burbank Boston – Phooey! So the Red Sox have the best home team record in baseball. Why, you ask? Because they have an (unfair) advantage over the visitors because they play in a jai-alai palace instead of a ball park. Balls bouncing off the monster. No doubles defense. Bullpen banging on the walls. Give Manny a big “scooper.” This place should be condemned and torn down. But no! The “Bastan” fans go there to worship in this obsolete “house of horrors.” Ever wonder why New Yorkers can’t stand the Sox? Now you get the idea. – Thomas Wierzbicki Van Nuys PIOs work hard Re “Last P.R. hero” (Our Opinions, Oct. 26): Your Friday editorial regarding public-information officers took a “broad brush” approach to communications during a disaster and does not recognize the hard work performed by PIOs, especially in the wake of the recent fires. Here in Santa Clarita, our L.A. County fire and sheriff PIOs worked day and night, hand in hand with the city of Santa Clarita PIO to provide verified, up-to-date information to our residents around the clock. Our city Web site (santa-clarita.com) was updated minute by minute, a bulletin board was used on our local cable channel and we even set up a hotline for residents to call, which was utilized 6.4 times per minute Monday. The first priority was communicating with our residents, helping them through the disaster, not providing photo opportunities for our elected officials. – Gail Ortiz Communications Division manager/PIO City of Santa Clarita Chimneys survive Once again I am looking at photos of homes destroyed by the fires. Once again, the only surviving structures seem to be the chimneys, standing like obelisks in a smoldering landscape. Why can’t homes be built like chimneys, or am I missing something here? – Ann Harootyan Van Nuys Phone-users tax Re “Now we know” (Your Opinions, Oct. 22): George Timko is not the only one fuming about the corruption in L.A. city government. We do not need a telephone-users tax put on the ballot. We could make up the $270million just by taking away all the perks city officials get, letting them drive their own cars, paying for their cell phones just as we the taxpayers do, freezing their salaries, reducing the staffs that each council member has, getting rid of the assistant city attorneys because anytime there is a lawsuit they have to hire outside help and make a stipulation for city employees when hired that they can’t sue the city if they are fired. And put an end or cap to the outrageous lawsuits brought on by L.A. city firefighters who couldn’t take the heat. – Marianne Castro Lawson Granada Hills Jewishness Re “They are Christians” (Your Opinions, Oct. 24): Richard Sharfman has in a few brief sentences casually disregarded centuries of philosophical debate about “what is a Jew.” The answer depends on who you ask. Hitler considered Jews a race. I have known and been friends with several Jews and none of them believed that they were defined by their religion. Nor are they a nation. Some consider themselves a tribe or a clan. In the Bible, they are referred to as a tribe. According to Sharfman, anyone in the world who believes in and practices Judaism is a Jew and those who don’t, aren’t. That is a simplistic view to a very complex and as-yet unanswered question. – Leonard E. McGinnis Granada Hills Where there’s a will The administration should finance the health bill the same way it finances its war in Iraq. – Chuck Crawford Newhall160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Isolation a barrier to exposing sexual abuse incest on reserve Bellegarde

first_imgThe Canadian PressAt night, he would arrive in Corey’s room by crawling through the window next to the bunk bed where she slept. She knew from the smell when he was there.By day, she endured different hands, sometimes under the most mundane circumstances _ once, she recalls, while in the kitchen eating lunch. He pulled down her underwear and started fondling her. He left money on the table.They were family members, these two predators _ their unwanted touch impossible to escape for a young girl living on a remote First Nation in British Columbia.That isolation, a fact of life for many Aboriginal Peoples, is a pernicious barrier to the essential goal of exposing the scourge of Indigenous sexual abuse and incest, says Perry Bellegarde, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.Bellegarde is pleading with chiefs to confront the problem head-on. But he also acknowledges a difficult truth: many First Nations people who live in remote areas are reluctant to come forward with their allegations for fear of reprisals in their small, tightly knit communities.“If you don’t have a safe space, are you going to talk about this?” he said in an interview. “If you do talk about this … and expose this, are you going to have the necessary supports in place?”Corey _ not her real name _ is skeptical. She knows from bitter personal experience how hard it can be to have faith in authorities within Indigenous communities, where sexual abuse is so often swept under the rug.“Having been raised in a community where we are supposed to respect our elders … I don’t,” she said.“Why allow somebody to hide behind a wall when that wall can be taken down so easily and they can start doing that work that they need to do?”During a months-long investigation by The Canadian Press, a number of leading experts _ researchers, the head of Canada’s national Inuit organization and former Truth and Reconciliation chairman Murray Sinclair _ have flagged alarming levels of sexual abuse in some Indigenous communities and potential links to the Aboriginal suicide crisis.A theme has emerged: it is very much an open secret.During interviews, some victims have cited a “deafening” silence about something they consider a widespread problem. Speaking up about their experiences often leads to a severe backlash, they say.For Corey, who’s now 55, the abuse began a half-century ago.It persisted until she was 11 or 12, filling her with fear of reprisals if she spoke up. She remembers being beaten. She remembers family members having sex with each other.What ensued, of course, is all too familiar: she turned to alcohol and cocaine to numb her pain. She went to the police and sought legal recourse through the courts, only to be told by a relative that she was “destroying” her family.Thanks to a lack of evidence, no one was ever convicted. But Corey never regretted her actions.“They put all that garbage on me _ the lies, the deceit, all the shame, all the guilt,” she said.“That was all garbage they dropped in me and just … to keep me quiet. And when I chose not to be that garbage bin … anymore, that’s when I knew I had my power and I could stand up to them and say, ‘I know what you did to me was wrong.”’She wants to see leaders like Bellegarde go beyond mere words.“I would say … you have all these words about the secrets that need to come out in native communities,” she said. “Step to the plate … be the one to step forward and say ‘You know what … let’s make a change.”’While the sexual abuse that took place inside residential schools _ government-funded, church-operated institutions _ is well-documented, there is less evidence of just how pervasive the problem is in Indigenous communities across the country.Sexual abuse is very much “learned behaviour” passed down from residential schools that has contributed to much of the dysfunction in First Nations communities, Bellegarde said _ a truth reflected in the 40,000 First Nations children in foster care and sky-high rates of incarceration among Indigenous youth.Slowly and sporadically, leaders are coming forward. Matthew Coon Come, a former national chief of the AFN, took to social media in the wake of a series of stories by The Canadian Press about Aboriginal sex abuse.“Indigenous leadership need to rise up and speak up for the children,” Coon Come, the grand chief of the Grand Council of the Crees, said on Twitter. “Praying secret things done behind closed doors be exposed.”The “secrets amongst secrets” is a big problem in small communities, said Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett.“What we’ve seen in some communities is now it is safe to talk about bullying, but maybe bullying means something different to these kids,” Bennett said in an interview.NDP Indigenous affairs critic Charlie Angus, who represents the northern Ontario riding of Timmins _ James Bay, said many people up north are conflicted when it comes to describing their trauma because of the church’s role in residential schools.“It becomes very difficult for them to talk about it, and the sense of shame,” Angus said.Suppressing the truth leads to destructive behaviour, which means it’s doubly important to treat old wounds and protect children from predators who might be hiding in plain sight, he added.“We also have to find ways of healing within the family.”news@aptn.calast_img read more