CPS is getting
a bum rap
Speaking from 23 years experience as a trial-court judge dealing with cases of abused or neglected children, I believe that Child Protective Services is getting a bum rap.
There is an important reason for the mess. The authorities have to work under two conflicting policies. You have the long-standing law that the welfare of the child is paramount. Then you have the doctrine of “parental rights” with its emphasis on reunification. A few counseling sessions cannot transform an abuser into a good parent.
Frequently the parents fight for return of the child because they want the Aid to Families with Dependent Children funds that they can then spend on drugs, or whatever. A substitute, whether potential adopter or merely a foster parent, cannot invest in bonding with the child, knowing that it may be removed from his care.
I cannot recall a single case in which I appointed separate counsel for the child in which he recommended reunification.
Retired California appellate justice, Green Valley
Why health reform
is likely to fail
I have two questions and a comment on the Affordable Care Act. The federal government, which has almost unlimited resources in a nation that invented the computer and the Internet, had more than three years to prepare for the Oct. 1 launch. Why did it fail?
If there was in fact a “health-care crisis” in 2010, with tens of millions of uninsured people, why did the ACA delay the implementation until now?
Most low-income people and those with pre-existing conditions will enroll; not nearly as many relatively young, healthy people will. The ACA needs very high enrollment from the second group, because the first group, due to various subsidies and tax credits, will pay far less in premiums than their actual costs. This just isn’t going to happen and it could cause the entire law to fail.
Douglas R. Holm
Chandler’s contribution to water policy was large
Re: the Dec. 3 article “Philanthropist, lawyer, ex-regent helped start many service groups.”
My heart is heavy to learn that Tom Chandler has died. Not mentioned in the article is the profound impact Tom had on water management in Arizona. In 1977, he was appointed to the Arizona Groundwater Management Study Commission, which was established to rewrite Arizona’s groundwater laws.
When the Groundwater Commission’s recommendations were denounced by agriculture, Tom joined with cities and mines to forge a compromise with agriculture under the leadership of Gov. Bruce Babbitt. The result was the 1980 Arizona Groundwater Management Act that continues to be the nation’s most visionary law for the use and protection of water.
Tom was a mentor to me in my role as executive director of the Groundwater Commission. He was whip-smart and hilarious. His stories consistently had a point. I could always count on him. They really don’t make them like Tom anymore. I will miss him.
Executive director, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, Phoenix
Exorcism report carries reader to another age
Re: the Nov. 16 article “Bishop to do gay- marriage exorcism.”
As I read this piece, time seemed to drop away. Back through modernity, the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Exploration; I found myself smack-dab in the Middle Ages looking at words that might have come fresh off a press made by Johannes Gutenberg. As I finished, I caught a whiff of burning flesh on the breeze.