“I thought it would never happen to me,” said Judge Raymond Voet, who is the chief judge in Ionia County, Michigan. He was referring to the fact that his cellphone made noise in court on April 13 during a trial. Like many judges, Voet hates it when cellphones ring in his courtroom, and he hates it enough that he has had signs posted outside saying that violators will be fined $25 if it happens.
Unlike some judges, perhaps, Voet was willing to impose the fine on himself when he violated his own rule.
What-is has no bearing on what is coming unless you are continually regurgitating the story of what is. By thinking and speaking more of how you really want your life to be, you allow what you are currently living to be the jumping-off place for so much more. But if you speak predominantly of what-is, then you still jump off —but you jump off into more of the same. —Abraham Hicks
Excerpted from the book – Money and the Law of Attraction
Lawyer who used hidden video cameras to peep on tenants will get psychotherapy rather than jail time
A Maryland lawyer who pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors for spying on his tenants “with prurient intent” won’t have to go to jail for the crime.
Instead, Dennis Alan Van Dusen of Chevy Chase was sentenced on Tuesday to five years’ probation and fined $2,500, the Washington Post reports. The 64-year-old defendant was also ordered to continue psychotherapy.
Judge Paul Weinstein said psychiatric treatment is needed more than jail time, the story says. “We have a gentleman here who, I guess, I can only characterize as being disturbed or sick, and that’s been confirmed by many sources,” Weinstein said.
Van Dusen’s lawyer, Samuel Delgado, told Weinstein that Van Dusen’s mother had been a hoarder and his childhood home was so crowded that he was forced into the attic. His bar admission was approved last year despite conflicting recommendations. Van Dusen had several degrees, including ones in computer science and applied mathematics, and he had served in Vietnam.
Prosecutors had alleged Van Dusen used low rent to entice female tenants to sign leases, and used hidden cameras to record them while undressed or having sex with their boyfriends. One of the tenants discovered a camera in a smoke detector above her bed after reading an article in Cosmopolitan magazine about how new technology can be used to spy on people.
Prosecutors had sought a one-year sentence.
By Valena Hamilton Koontz
Growing up in foster care from the age of 3 to 17, I don’t know where to start. There were 40 placements, so I was told. I may correct that number later. I can remember everything like it was yesterday; people, names, faces, placements, group homes. I am half Native-American and African-American. I am enrolled in the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. I also am the youngest of four siblings.
For almost 14 years I was lost. It was a tug of war with the Tribe and the State of Nebraska, and I was the rope. In the late 80′s early 90′s, I don’t think they knew what to do with children that were abused, hurt, alone and lost. By the time I was 8, I was in 12 different homes. Some state and some by the Tribe.
I was never stable. I just got used to hearing, “You’re going to meet a new family today Valena.” So I put on my cute smile and charm, packed my bags and wished to myself this time they would like me or keep me. Not knowing the smile would always fade. I wasn’t getting the right treatment and help to deal with all that I had been through. I was able to create a fake mask that was not me at all. It was just to please everyone. It was like I was on the market.
I was in group homes where I felt like a guinea pig. I lost three years of my life being drugged up on meds to see if they controlled any of my feelings or problems. During the first eight years of my life I met some of my real family. I always remembered times with my grandfather and seeing my mother on short visits. It was good and scary to know where I came from. But what hurt the most was getting close and loving so many people that were ripped from my life. Being hurt and broken all over again made me just shut down. I didn’t care anymore.
To make a long, long story short, I raised myself. I learned to live in the day, in just the moment, because I didn’t know what was going to happen the next day. I became a mother at the age of 14. And had a few more after that that the state took because of my past. I am 30 now, still trying to find my path. But God showed me that everything I’ve been through is for a reason. So I can share and relate and help.
I’ve been down the drug path, living on the streets, was abused every way you can imagine. And I have every story and situation locked in my head and heart. I am writing a book about my tears as a minor. I have the story of every home, person, who, what, where and how…but could never answer why? I am hoping to help and heal other children who are feeling everything I’ve lived and I want them to know you can survive. I love them without knowing them because I know every tear, every fear. I was them at one time. I want to let other younger foster children know don’t give up.
This post first appeared on Fostering Media Connections’ “In My Own Words” blog.
Published on May 10 as part of Children’s Rights 2013 “Fostering the Future” campaign.