Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cop, Killer

I think we should officially redefine that phrase to mean cops who are killers. Just another week, day, month, pick one or all of the above where law enforcement demonstates another turn of phrase, trigger finger.

Investigations in Colorado, Texas after police shoot and kill teenagers

By Mark Berman
Washington Post
January 29 2015

Authorities in Colorado and Texas are investigating two separate incidents that involved police officers shooting and killing teenagers.

In both cases, police said the teenagers threatened the officers. In both cases, families and friends of the teens have questioned the actions of police. And both shootings occurred amid an ongoing debate involving when and how police officers use force, a topic that has sparked protests across the country.

Last week, Kristiana Coignard was shot and killed by officers inside the police department building in Longview, Tex. Police said that Coignard, 17, walked into the lobby on Jan. 22 and “indicated” to officers that she had a gun.

One of the officers “determined she had a large butcher knife which she was attempting to pull out of her waistband,” and another officer also saw that she had a knife, police said in a statement.

When Coignard charged at one of the officers with the knife, another officer used his Taser “with no effect,” police said. Footage released by police on Wednesday showed Coignard charging toward one of the officers. Two officers fired their guns a combined four times, and Coignard was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.

Coignard’s aunt, Heather Robinson, told ThinkProgress that the teenager had been dealing with mental health issues. “I think it was a cry for help,” she said of Coignard’s death. “I think they could have done something. They are grown men. I think there is something they are not telling us.”

The Texas Rangers, a division of the state’s Department of Public Safety, are investigating the shooting, and the Longview officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave. When the investigation is complete, the case will be given to the office of Carol Dorrough, the Gregg County district attorney.

This week, two officers in Denver were also placed on administrative leave after a shooting. On Monday, Denver police said that two officers had shot and killed Jessica Hernandez, 17, that morning.

According to police, the officers were walking up to an occupied, stolen car when the vehicle was driven into one of the officers. The officers shot Hernandez, who was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

“How can they shoot her when she doesn’t have a gun?” her father, Jose, said, according to the Denver Post.

The shooting is being investigated by the Denver Police Department, the office of Denver’s district attorney and the Office of the Independent Monitor, a civilian oversight agency. This agency has said it will look at the police department’s policies for shooting at moving vehicles.

Robert White, the Denver police chief, released a statement saying that the department welcomes “any input that can improve the way we serve our community.” His statement was accompanied by the department’s policy on shooting at moving vehicles, which states that officers shouldn’t fire at moving vehicles unless they believe it “poses an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury.”

“An officer threatened by an oncoming vehicle shall, if feasible, move out of the way rather than discharging a firearm,” the policy states.

The shooting has been followed by outrage in the community. A large crowd of demonstrators gathered outside a Denver police station on Wednesday to protest. The mother of another teenager in the car told the Associated Press this week that she saw officers pull Hernandez out of the car and place handcuffs on her. “She seemed like she was not responding, not moving,” Bobbie Diaz said.

These incidents have occurred as protests involving police tactics surged into the public consciousness following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York. During the protests that followed those episodes last summer, as well as others around the country, activists called for stronger oversight and investigations into cases where police use force.

The protests over police officers and how force is used have cropped up nationwide. In Albuquerque, the police department’s recent history of fatal shootings — officers shot and killed 27 people between 2010 and 2014 — has been the subject of heated protests. The Justice Department determined that officers there shot and killed people too often, saying in a report last year that Albuquerque police used deadly force at times when it was not needed.

In response to these protests, some officers and law enforcement groups have criticized the demonstrations and said they feel under attack; others, like the Nashville police chief, responded by saying the police must be “respectful of all people.”

Yet the larger debate has highlighted a related but separate issue: The uncertainty over just how often this sort of thing actually occurs.

There is no reliable, comprehensive data regarding how many times police officers shoot and kill someone each year. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. earlier this month called for the federal government to pull together better information, saying that the current ambiguity is “unacceptable.”

Care or Not Cash

When I lived in San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, then a rising star in the political scene devised a program, called "Care not Cash" or Proposition N. The idea of this program was to discontinue the then practice by the City to give indigent and/or homeless persons cash for them to use to find accommodation or other necessities. The idea was they were using the funds for drugs or alcohol and that was not serving either them or the community. Instead they would be provided with the needed medical care or housing needs in a voucher or contracted system arrangement. It passed and then everyone moved on from the hoopla it caused.

 In January 2013, counters found 6,436 homeless people living on San Francisco’s streets and in its jails, hospitals and shelters. The figure hasn’t budged much since 2005 despite the city spending $165 million on homeless programs every year. So the program clearly failed or not who knows who cares there is Twitter in da house!

As for Gavin Newsom was a rising star in the political scene and then it all fell apart. Mr. Newsom had troubles in his life, including an admitted drinking problem and marital issues. Today he is recovered, married with children and the Lt. Governor of California. He got the care he needed as he always had the cash he needed in which to do so.

For those not as privileged in a City that is now catering to the new elite of the tech sector it struggles with gentrification and in turn isolation of the city's underclass. I lived there and I live in Seattle it is the book end on Interstate 5 when it comes to the social problems that homelessness and all the baggage it brings - mental illness, addictions and other ails that contributed to the individual being on the street.

I have frequently said that being a woman, being one of a certain age you are already dead to society and unless you have someone attached to your vagina at all times you are treated with a type of disdain and dismissal. The story of Carol Ann Reyes in Los Angeles a few years ago is one such example. But then I read this and threw up. My god dead for days in a hospital stairwell.

Hospital death settlement: The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a nearly $3 million settlement payment Tuesday to the family of a woman whose body was found in a San Francisco General Hospital stairwell 17 days after she disappeared from her hospital room in 2013.

San Francisco and University of California officials reached a deal with the family of Lynne Spalding last month to pay a combined $3 million to her two adult children, Liam Ford and Simone Ford.

The city tentatively agreed to pay $2.941 million, with UC paying $59,000. The Board of Supervisors must approve the city portion of the settlement payment. UC’s share is less than the amount that must go before its Board of Regents. Doctors at S.F. General are UC employees.

Spalding, 57, was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 19, 2013, suffering from a bladder infection. The family’s claim blamed the hospital and the Sheriff’s Department, which provides security at San Francisco General, for multiple failures related to her care and the abortive search after she vanished Sept. 21.

Spalding’s body was not found until Oct. 8, during a routine stairwell check. That discovery came four days after a doctor reported to a nurse that he had seen a woman slumped in a stairwell. No one searched for her at that time, however.

An autopsy found Spalding died of dehydration and liver problems related to alcoholism. The medical examiner’s office said she had been dead several days, but could not tell exactly how long.

Doctors who initially assessed Spalding concluded she was disoriented and weak, and ordered that she be monitored around the clock. However, no one was watching her when she disappeared.

I keep thinking there by the Grace of God go I. As I read the repeated rape stories of Bill Cosby, over 36 women drugged and assaulted, the young woman of Vanderbilt and that tragic case  and now another in Stanford, and the tragedies that exist on our streets and communities as now cities are finally testing rape kits that have been collecting dust for years I ask myself why no one believed or helped me. I get it I really do.

When you are a woman you are nothing to those who are obligated to pick up the pieces when you break but when those who break around you it always seems women are there to pick them up. Or are they? Well you have to have a reason to do so and sadly I am not sure I know the reason anymore.



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Share Share Alike

I am not adverse to the concept of sharing. There is a new tool library opening up nearby and I for one will avail myself of the opportunity to use needed tools without the needed investment of having tools for seasonal work. I am not against a self employed driver who has the necessary insurance and license to chauffeur those needing rides.

There are many other individuals who should be willing and able to provide any number of services for an individual and make extra income, learn skills and provide assistance as needed. And guess what they have. Kelly Girls, Merry Maids, actual B and B's, and many other agencies that are both profit and non that have provided as such. But with the new internet suddenly that is passe blase and now its called the sharing economy. It is basically contract employment. But with self employment comes the need to ensure that the income generated is sufficient and that the long term goals are not absolved in the short term one of needing money.

I have long had problems with the growth of the food truck, the silly companies with varying apps to basically do what a phone book used to do and Google does. What was once industries and businesses that had an actual address, employed people, both short and long term, they had longevity, purpose and in turn served a larger community while addressing a smaller community with employment and the appropriate protections that accompanied them.

Catherine Rampell in the Washington Post discusses what such protections are and how by ignoring them on the short term the long term problems they generate will continue to be ignored under the glow of venture capital funding. And that does not build an economy it builds a bomb. Remember those?

The dark side of ‘sharing economy’ jobs


By Catherine Rampell Opinion writer
The Washington Post
January 26 at 7:04 PM

Flexible hours. Being your own boss. The glories and self-bootstrapping pride of entrepreneurship.

These are among the virtues of “sharing-economy” gigs, as touted in a recent Uber-commissioned survey of its drivers. Other companies offering peer-to-peer platforms, such as Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Homejoy, have made similar pitches: They’re giving workers — particularly those who are unable to land traditional jobs or unfulfilled by 9-to-5 Organization Man duties — the freedom to take their breadwinning fates into their own hands.

It’s true that, in many ways, sharing-economy jobs can offer more autonomy than traditional employer-employee relationships. But there’s a dark side to these work arrangements that gets considerably less press: the shifting of risk off corporate balance sheets and onto the shoulders of individual Americans, who may not even realize what kinds of liabilities they’re taking on.

The risks involve everything from income instability (the worker, rather than the firm, has to absorb the brunt of demand shocks or price cuts); to irreversible capital investments (Uber and Lyft have infamously pushed drivers to buy new cars by promising big returns that never materialized); to unforeseen criminal liabilities (what happens if an Airbnb guest turns your home into a brothel?); to fewer protections in the event of catastrophe (no access to programs such as workers’ comp). Sure, sharing-economy “entrepreneurs” can get a lot of upside, but there are a lot of hidden downsides, too.

Celebration of these riskier arrangements can seem especially strange when you consider that society’s ability to better manage risk, and spread it over larger pools of people, is considered by many historians to be one of the great advances of 20th-century finance. This achievement arose partly because economists developed a much more sophisticated understanding of insurance market design. But it also stemmed from social necessity. The safety nets humans relied on for centuries — their extended families — became less reliable in the age of industrialization and urbanization. As kinship networks frayed, European governments developed robust welfare states. Here in the United States, for reasons driven partly by ideology and partly by historical accident, these new safety nets were largely administered through employers (for example, health insurance). Some historians call this “welfare capitalism.”

Then, beginning around the 1970s, this form of corporate-based risk-sharing began to unravel. Exactly why is debatable; globalization, the decline of unions, regulatory changes, new technology and financial markets all likely played a role. The result, though, is that programs such as defined-benefit pensions began to disappear. Just-in-time scheduling, outsourcing and other arms-length relationships between firms and workers blossomed. In some ways, these developments were very good for economic growth, but they also introduced much more instability into the lives of middle-class workers.

In this context, sharing-economy jobs look a little less revolutionary and more like a logical extension of longer-term trends.

It’s easy, but probably unproductive, to feel nostalgic about the good ol’ days of welfare capitalism. The disintegration of the corporation-centered safety net looks likely to continue. The challenge is to develop policies that mitigate some of the greater risks and sources of instability facing workers, whether as Lyft drivers or temps, especially since we know from behavioral economics that individuals tend to be really bad at managing risk on their own.

The private sector has made half-hearted attempts to offer new insurance products to help sharing-economy “entrepreneurs” deal with precarious work arrangements. Peers.org, for example, recently started selling ridesharing drivers access to a spare car if theirs is in the shop. But as long as such products remain optional, adverse selection and “death-spiraling” seem unavoidable. (Only people with the shoddiest cars may buy the insurance, causing the price to rise, pricing more people out until nobody is left.) And as we’ve learned from Obamacare, individual insurance mandates — basically the only way to guarantee insurance markets don’t death spiral — are not exactly politically popular.

That said, Obamacare is actually one of the few major policy developments of recent decades to mitigate the risk-shifting trends I’ve described. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick supports it, given that a functional individual health insurance market makes becoming a sharing-economy “entrepreneur” much more sustainable.

I’ve given Uber a hard time about many of its policies, but on this we agree: As long as safety-net programs are being decoupled from the employment contract — and it’s not obvious to me that that was the best place for them to begin with — America probably needs a more robust government safety net to help workers deal with the fallout.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quality over Quantity

This is with regards to the current state of our medical industrial complex. 15 minutes in 15 minutes out, like fast food only without the taste and higher costs. Frankly I would rather have an order of McD's fries than see a Doctor.

The Obama Administration in an attempt to stave off Medicare dissolution and in turn accountability and possibly less fraud is devising a new strategy or payment "model" to encourage better quality care. Ah the ideal vs the reality.

But hey the Doctor's "union" aka the American Medical Association actually backs this idea. What's next single payer? No the ideal is better then the reality.



The Obama administration wants to dramatically change how doctors are paid

By Jason Millman
January 26, 2015
Washington Post

The Obama administration on Monday announced an ambitious goal to overhaul the way doctors are paid, tying their fees more closely to the quality of care rather than the quantity.

Rather than pay more money to Medicare doctors simply for every procedure they perform, the government will also evaluate whether patients are healthier, among other measures. The goal is do this for half of all Medicare payments by 2018.

Monday’s announcement marks the administration’s largest effort yet to shape how doctors are compensated across the health-care system and fix the problem where doctors are paid for volume, regardless of whether patients get better. As the country's largest payer of health-care services, Medicare influences medical care generally, meaning the changes being initiated by the administration will likely be felt in doctor's offices and hospitals across the country.

There's widespread agreement among policymakers that the U.S. health-care system needs to move away from rewarding doctors and hospitals for volume and focus more on the value of the care being offered.

Medicare’s current payment system, known as fee-for-service, cost taxpayers $362 billion last year between the program's hospital insurance and medical insurance programs, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Critics say the traditional payment scheme fails to discourage overuse of health-care services, without holding providers accountable for whether patients’ get healthier.

As the country's largest payer of health-care services, Medicare often uses its leverage to influence reforms in the private sector. The agency also announced Monday it will try to accelerate new quality-based payment models among states and the private sector by creating an education network of state officials, private insurers, employers and patient advocates.

The agency said alternative payment structures now represent about 20 percent of Medicare payments, and that will rise to 30 percent by 2016 under goals set by the Obama administration Monday. CMS said this marks the first time that Medicare has set specific goals for expanding the scope of alternative payment systems in the program.

"Those models will depend on how well providers care for their patients, instead of how much care they provide," said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in a press conference.

Medicare has been experimenting with payment models for more than a decade, and the 2010 Affordable Care Act provided a broad expansion of payment models rewarding providers based on value. The programs include lump sum (or "bundled") payments for treating a patient throughout an episode of care, like a knee replacement surgery. The most high-profile effort has been with accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are groups of providers who share in the savings – or losses – for managing patients on a budget.

Medicare has also set separate goals for more traditional Medicare payments to be tied to some kind of quality program. By 2016, the agency wants 85 percent of these payments tied to programs that, for example, penalize hospitals for excessive readmissions or reward hospitals for hitting quality metrics.

"Not everyone is going to be able to move at the speed that we would like," Burwell said.

Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, a consumer advocacy organization, said these payment models will force health-care providers to better coordinate care.

"We're not just talking about payment that lowers costs," she said. "The payment changes are designed to change the way that we deliver care in ways that will make that care work better for patients and families."

This shift to value-based payments had already been taking place in the private sector before the ACA. About 20 percent of provider payments by Blue Cross insurers are through contracts that try to prioritize quality over quantity, their trade association reported last summer. Aetna says 28 percent of its reimbursements are now in valued-based contracts, and it expects that rate to jump to 75 percent by 2020.

Many have viewed this broader shift as long overdue, as health care spending has grown to about one-sixth of the U.S. economy. But it's still uncertain how well these payment approaches work.

"We still know very little about how best to design and implement [value-based payment] programs to achieve stated goals and what constitutes a successful program," concluded a 2014 Rand Corporation study funded by HHS. The report, which reviewed pay-for-performance models implemented over the past decade, said improvements were "typically modest" and often hard to evaluate.

Some early efforts to implement these value-based payment programs have shown mixed results.

Two high-profile ACA programs encouraging health-care providers to work as accountable care organizations have resulted in modest savings to the Medicare program so far, about $877 million. But at least 13 of the 32 organizations thatparticipated in the most ambitious of these efforts -- the Pioneer ACO program -- have dropped out of the program in the past two years. Most of these groups left to join programs with less financial risk.

A representative for the American Hospital Association said the trade group supports the administration's goals. Robert Wah, president of the American Medical Association, said members of the country's largest doctor's group were "encouraged" by Medicare's efforts to reform how care is delivered.

Old and Forgotten

In our youth obsessed culture we want the elderly to die and/or disappear. That is why we have retirement homes to stash our old out of the way under the belief they are getting care. Really where is this place? I have yet to actually hear about any oldster home that has not had one crisis or another when it comes to providing care that is both decent and affordable. And it appears those are mutually exclusive but it also appears that even with money the old are ripe for rip off and that is not something new or extraordinary but disturbing when it is those entrusted with your care.

For the record in Washington State you need no witness to garner a medical Power of Attorney. This entitles the holder to make all medical decisions without any secondary party to ensure said decisions are reasonable, prudent and in fact necessary. I personally love the idea of lurking outside a "home" and finding some nice elderly person who needs throat surgery. Then right before said surgery getting them to sign a legal decision making Power of Attorney, "just in case." Joan Rivers optional surgery worked out well or did it? I would love a nice bit of bijoux or a fur to warm my cold heart.

The below article demonstrates that this problem is less about care but more about money. The predator drones, whoops I mean Lawyers, who specialize in this heinous practice are duly noted and I only hope they get the same for them and theirs. Note that the wisdom of Judges seems to fall in the singular as they sign off on this shit apparently in between bullshit search and seizures, warrants and other paperwork that does little to build a community but dissolve one not a problem. (Read that crazy old asshole Judge Kopf blawg and see what I mean, he apparently has never met a Prosecutor he doesn't like)

And of course it is about Medicare and the further ripping off Government for whatever they can. And in turn jeopardizing the program. Good people kind people not my kind of people at all apparently as I have a difference in what those words mean.

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients

By NINA BERNSTEIN
New York Times
JAN. 25, 2015

Lillian Palermo tried to prepare for the worst possibilities of aging. An insurance executive with a Ph.D. in psychology and a love of ballroom dancing, she arranged for her power of attorney and health care proxy to go to her husband, Dino, eight years her junior, if she became incapacitated. And in her 80s, she did.

Mr. Palermo, who was the lead singer in a Midtown nightclub in the 1960s when her elegant tango first caught his eye, now regularly rolls his wife’s wheelchair to the piano at the Catholic nursing home in Manhattan where she ended up in 2010 as dementia, falls and surgical complications took their toll. He sings her favorite songs, feeds her home-cooked Italian food, and pays a private aide to be there when he cannot.

summer, after he disputed nursing home bills that had suddenly doubled Mrs. Palermo’s copays, and complained about inexperienced employees who dropped his wife on the floor, Mr. Palermo was shocked to find a six-page legal document waiting on her bed.

It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Few people are aware that a nursing home can take such a step. Guardianship cases are difficult to gain access to and poorly tracked by New York State courts; cases are often closed from public view for confidentiality. But the Palermo case is no aberration. Interviews with veterans of the system and a review of guardianship court data conducted by researchers at Hunter College at the request of The New York Times show the practice has become routine, underscoring the growing power nursing homes wield over residents and families amid changes in the financing of long-term care.

In a random, anonymized sample of 700 guardianship cases filed in Manhattan over a decade, Hunter College researchers found more than 12 percent were brought by nursing homes. Some of these may have been prompted by family feuds, suspected embezzlement or just the absence of relatives to help secure Medicaid coverage. But lawyers and others versed in the guardianship process agree that nursing homes primarily use such petitions as a means of bill collection — a purpose never intended by the Legislature when it enacted the guardianship statute in 1993.

At least one judge has ruled that the tactic by nursing homes is an abuse of the law, but the petitions, even if they are ultimately unsuccessful, force families into costly legal ordeals.

“It’s a strategic move to intimidate,” said Ginalisa Monterroso, who handled patient Medicaid accounts at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home until 2012, and is now chief executive of Medicaid Advisory Group, an elder care counseling business that was representing Mr. Palermo in his billing dispute. “Nursing homes do it just to bring money.”

“It’s so cruel,” she added. “Mr. Palermo loves his wife, he’s there every single day, and they just threw him to the courts.”

Brett D. Nussbaum, a lawyer who represents Mary Manning Walsh and many other nursing homes, said Mr. Palermo’s devotion to his wife was irrelevant to the decision to seek a court-appointed guardian in July, when the billing dispute over his wife’s care reached a stalemate, with an outstanding balance approaching $68,000.

“The Palermo case is no different than any other nursing home bill that they had difficulty collecting,” Mr. Nussbaum said, estimating that he had brought 5,000 guardianship cases himself in 21 years of practice. “When you have families that do not cooperate and an incapacitated person, guardianship is a legitimate means to get the nursing home paid.”

Guardianship transfers a person’s legal rights to make some or all decisions to someone appointed by the court — usually a lawyer paid with the ward’s money. It is aimed at protecting people unable to manage their affairs because of incapacity, and who lack effective help without court action. Legally, it can supplant a power of attorney and a health care proxy.

Although it is a drastic measure, nursing home lawyers argue that using guardianship to secure payment for care is better than suing an incapacitated resident who cannot respond.

Mr. Palermo, 82, was devastated by the petition, brought in the name of Sister Sean William, the Carmelite nun who is the executive director of Mary Manning Walsh. “It’s like a hell,” he said last fall, speaking in the cadences of the southern Italian village where he grew up in poverty in a family of eight. “Never in my life I was sued for anything. I just want to take care of my wife.”

A court evaluator eventually reported that Mr. Palermo was the appropriate guardian, and questioned why the petition had been filed. But the matter still dragged on, and Mr. Palermo, who had promised to pay any arrears once Medicaid completed a recalculation of the bill, grew distraught as his expenses fighting the case reached $10,000.

In the end, Medicaid’s recalculation put his wife’s monthly copay at $4,558.54, almost $600 less than the nursing home had claimed, but still far more than the $2,642 Mr. Palermo had been paying under an earlier Medicaid calculation. As soon as the nursing home cashed his check for the outstanding balance, it withdrew the guardianship petition.

“They chose to use a strong-arm method, asking for somebody to be appointed to take over her funds, hoping for a rubber stamp to do their wishes,” said Elliott Polland, Mr. Palermo’s lawyer.

Many judges go along with such petitions, according to lawyers and others involved in the process. One judge who has not is Alexander W. Hunter Jr., a longtime State Supreme Court justice in the Bronx and Manhattan. In guardianship cases in 2006 and 2007, Justice Hunter ordered the nursing homes to bear the legal costs, ruling they had brought the petitions solely for the purpose of being paid and stating that this was not the Legislature’s intent when it enacted the statute, known as Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law.


Last year Justice Hunter did appoint a guardian in response to a petition by Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale, but in his scathing 11-page decision, he directed the guardian to investigate and to consider referring the case for criminal prosecution of financial exploitation.

The decision describes a 94-year-old resident with a bank balance of $240,000 who had been unable to go home after rehabilitative treatment because of a fire in her co-op apartment; her only regular visitors were real estate agents who wanted her to sell. After Hebrew Home’s own doctor evaluated her as incapable of making financial decisions, the decision says, the nursing home collected a $50,000 check from her; it sued her when she refused to continue writing checks, then filed for guardianship.

\“It would be an understatement to declare that this court is outraged by the behavior exhibited by the interested parties — parties who were supposed to protect the person, but who have all unabashedly demonstrated through their actions in connection with the person that they are only interested in getting paid,” he wrote.
Jennifer Cona, a lawyer for the nursing home, called the decision “grossly unfair to Hebrew Home,” but said she could not discuss details because the record was sealed.

Many cases in which judges grant nursing homes’ guardianship petitions never come to light. But one that challenges the legal propriety of such petitions for bill collection is now pending before the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court. Without explanation, that record, too, is sealed from public scrutiny.
“There is no transparency in the whole process,” said Alexandra Siskopoulos, a lawyer who represents a relative of the nursing home resident in the appellate case — a relative who had wanted to take the resident home. “Unfortunately, people’s eyes are not opened until it’s their family member, and at that point, it’s too late.”

Throughout the country, data is lacking on the most basic facts about guardianships, even how many there are. In New York State, with different rules in 62 counties and no centralized database, it has taken a team of researchers more than two years to collect information from a fraction of case files in 14 counties, said Jean Callahan, the director of the Brookdale Center on Healthy Aging at Hunter College.

Preliminary findings of the center’s study are not expected until later this year, but at the request of The Times, the researchers undertook a breakdown of the petitioners in a sample of the 3,302 guardianship cases filed in Manhattan from 2002 to 2012. More frequent petitioners than nursing homes (12.4 percent) were hospitals (16.1 percent), friends and family (25.3 percent) and Adult Protective Services (40.1 percent).

New York’s guardianship statute was part of a national movement to limit guardianships to the least restrictive alternatives necessary to prevent harm. A petition is supposed to be brought only by someone with the person’s welfare at heart, and guardianship is to be tailored to individual needs, taking into account the person’s wishes.

Instead, Ms. Callahan said, “it has become a system that’s very focused on finances.”
One afternoon, Mrs. Palermo dozed in her wheelchair while her husband described their careful preparations for old age, and the shock of discovering that papers drawn up by an elder law specialist were insufficient protection.

He recalled the fear and anger he felt when he first read the nursing home’s petition, on his bus ride back to a rent-stabilized apartment on East 36th Street filled with mementos of their happy marriage. They have no children. “Who better than me, the husband for 47 years, that she gave power of attorney?” he asked.
As his voice grew anguished, Mrs. Palermo began to moan and cry out incoherently. “Are you O.K., baby?” he asked, jumping up to embrace her. “Now, don’t do that. Come on, give me a hug.”

He soothed her in Italian, speaking of the polenta he had made for her that morning. He wheeled her to the dining room. Later, he would serenade her.

But in the night, again he could not sleep for worry. He fingered drafts of his own petitions, hand-lettered pages that he debated sending to nursing home administrators. One was addressed “To God and to whom it may concern.”

“I’m trapped in a web of people and lawyers that will exhaust my 50 years of sacrifices and savings,” he wrote. “Please, dear God, grant me strength and wisdom to take care of my wife.”








Saturday, January 24, 2015

He Made Me Do It!

And now its apparently the University's fault.  There we go we are going big or go home. The school is a rape culture.

We are now officially insane in America. Whatever fucked up Lawyer came up with that one needs to be disbarred and feathered.

Perhaps the college could give credit for a rape course and provide kits - pun intended.  Wow the name of Vanderbilt I associate with quite a bit of philanthropy, yes a tad debauchery and even Anderson Cooper but rape notsomuch.


Vanderbilt gang-rape defense points to campus culture

Nov. 3, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.
Associated Press
Sheila Burke and Travis Loller


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Defense attorneys for the former Vanderbilt University football players whose own cellphones show they participated in a dorm-room sex assault have placed blame on the elite Southern university, saying their clients' judgment was warped by a campus culture where drunken sex was common.

The graphic evidence and testimony presented in court is all the more shocking because it shows that several others were at least partly aware that an unconscious woman was being taken advantage of or had enough evidence to show that something had happened to her, and did nothing to help her or report it.

That bystanders' failure to act falls well short of the university culture Vanderbilt officials say they were trying to create on campus long before the morning of June 23, 2013.

It also hints at the enormity of the challenge facing colleges nationwide as they try to establish campuses where students are safe, everyone understands the rules, and entire communities work together to make sure such crimes don't happen.

''I think we need to think about the range of bystanders who could have intervened before they got into that dorm room,'' said Jane Stapleton, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and an expert on intervention programs. And by not calling for help when the woman was seen lying unconscious and naked in a hallway afterward, the other athletes made such behavior seem normal, she said.

The U.S. Department of Education issued its most specific guidance yet for how schools should handle sex assault complaints in 2011, and colleges including Vanderbilt updated their policies. Meanwhile, college women increasingly took matters into their own hands, networking with each other and supporting a national campaign to file Title IX complaints claiming their schools were mishandling cases. After these gang rape charges were filed in 2013, Vanderbilt became one of dozens of universities subject to more intense investigation.

Sarah O'Brien, who spearheaded the Title IX complaint against Vanderbilt, said she's not at all surprised at the testimony showing how many people failed to help. Many at Vanderbilt and elsewhere tend to look the other way, she said.

The first to be tried are former wide receiver Cory Batey and star recruit Brandon Vandenburg, whose dorm room became the scene of the alleged crimes. Also charged with aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery are Brandon Banks, who played defensive back, and Jaborian McKenzie, a former receiver for the Commodores. All have pleaded not guilty.

Banks and McKenzie will be tried later, and were not provided with plea agreements in exchange for their cooperation, prosecutors said.

Defense attorney Worrick Robinson sought on Friday to prove a point he made as the trial opened: that Batey had been a promising young player before he ''walked into a culture that changed the rest of his life.''

''Is there anything in their culture that might influence the way they act or the way they think or the way they make decisions?'' Robinson asked his expert James Walker, a neuropsychologist who said Batey claimed to have had between 14 and 22 drinks that night.

''Yes, at that age peer pressure is critical,'' Walker responded, ''because you're just going out on your own, you're not fully an adult, you're not fully a child. ... You tend to take on the behavior of people around you.''

Prosecutors objected, and Walker ultimately acknowledged that he had done no scholarly work on Vanderbilt's campus culture.

But even prosecutors presented testimony and evidence showing that many people failed to intervene. Batey's defense, in particular, has suggested that drunken sex was commonplace because nobody apparently called for help when Vandenburg was seen carrying the unconscious student into the dorm.

Cameras showed a crowd gathered around as Vandenburg pulled up to the dorm in a vehicle with his unconscious date. At least five students later became aware of the unconscious woman in obvious distress, but did nothing to report it. Rumors quickly spread around campus, and still no one apparently reported it.

The assault might have gone unnoticed and uncorroborated had the university not stumbled onto the closed-circuit TV images several days later in an unrelated attempt to learn who damaged a dormitory door. They were shocked to see players carrying an unconscious woman into an elevator and down a hallway, taking compromising pictures of her and then dragging her into the room.

Prompted by the video, school authorities contacted police, who found a digital trail showing one of the players sent videos about what they were doing as it was happening.

The woman - a neuroscience student who had been dating Vandenburg before the alleged rape and returned to Nashville to testify - cried softly and the jurors stared wide-eyed as a detective narrated the videos Vandenburg shared and described the pictures taken on their cellphones.

She testified that she woke up in Vandenburg's dorm room bed the next morning with her clothes on, and still has no memory of anything that happened after Vandenburg passed her drinks the night before, some of which were purchased for the players by a team booster.

Dillon van der Wal, who just completed football season playing tight end at Vanderbilt, testified that he didn't tell anyone despite knowing the woman socially and seeing her unconscious in the hallway, with red hand marks on her buttocks.

''You thought well of her, you cared for her welfare,'' defense attorney Fletcher Long said. ''When you encountered her in the condition you found her with the marks you testified to, you called the police?''

''I did not,'' van der Wal, replied.

Vanderbilt officials say school rules go beyond federal requirements on sexual violence responses. The student handbook clearly lists resources available to victims and encourages anyone who witnesses possible sexual misconduct to take action and report it to law enforcement. However, university spokeswoman Princine Lewis said Friday that rulebook is ''meant to encourage reporting. It does not require it.''

Closing arguments are expected on Monday

Friday, January 23, 2015

FLOG

It's either my new acronym - FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - or what I want to do to the moron who thinks this shit up.

Honestly to think that you will now be "judged" as this is what that is with regards to liking something on Facebook is utterly absurd. We already have a very conformist culture with "like" hiring "like" without ever needing the official thumbs up equivalent gesture in order to do so.

So to actually have an algorithm that can assess personality based on random data that could have been a reflection of a moment in time, the need to accommodate a friend or pursue a relationship, and in turn affect your job performance and hiring is insane.

In that case my former love of Dave Matthews resigns me to white guy frat houses for life! I just spent the better part of a day deleting random shit from my ITunes, including Nickelback (God I know for certain that was my ex husband) so please tell me computer what does that say about me and my prospective employment prospects? Wheel turner at bingo?

I do know what this says about the idiots who spent needless hours doing this - they have no lives or real lives. The MEME generation is about as original and as inventive as a clock and its right twice a day. So on that note this program might as well be.

I will just call the NSA they have way more data in which to trove.



How Your Facebook Likes Could Cost You a Job

By Anna North
January 20, 2015

Liking Nicki Minaj on Facebook may not seem like a momentous decision — but one day, it could help determine whether you get hired. A new study suggests that based on your Facebook likes, a computer model can predict your personality better than your friends — and in some ways, know more about your life than you do. This also means anyone who can see your Facebook profile could one day learn about your personality, and make determinations about your future job performance, your creditworthiness and more.

Some fear that personality research will open up yet another front in the continuing battle over data privacy online. But could it also help ordinary users win that battle — or at least understand what they’re up against?

For a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Wu Youyou, Michal Kosinski and David Stillwell used a computer model to gauge subjects’ personalities based on Facebook Likes. To measure the model’s accuracy, the researchers compared its verdicts to subjects’ ratings of their own personalities. The result: Fed enough Likes, computers are quite good at judging human personality — better than the average friend or co-worker, and about as good as the average spouse. At least when it comes to a certain conception of personality (the researchers used the five-factor model, which looks at traits like extroversion and neuroticism), a computer program can know you as well as your husband or wife does.

The researchers also tested the computer model’s assessments to see how good they were at predicting 13 “life outcomes” that have been linked to personality, including health, political leanings and satisfaction with life. The model’s ratings were better than those provided by other humans at predicting all but one of these outcomes (life satisfaction). And they were better than people’s self-ratings of their personality at predicting four of the outcomes: Facebook use; number of Facebook friends; use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; and field of study.
The first two aren’t necessarily shocking, said Ms. Wu in an interview — you’d expect a Facebook-based algorithm to be able to predict Facebook behavior accurately. More surprising, she explained, is the fact that computers’ personality ratings were so good at predicting how much people drank or used drugs, and what subject they were likely to study. Using the computer model to guess at such outcomes is “basically a measure of how the judgment of personality described this person’s behavior in real life,” she said. “In that sense, computers to some extent know you better than people know themselves.”

Computer-based personality assessment could have a number of real-world uses, said Ms. Wu. Marketers could use the information (with users’ consent) to fine-tune their ads or reach out to certain groups: “A bungee-jumping company,” for example, “might want to target people who are open to new experience.” It could change online dating: Rather than asking daters to fill out site-specific questionnaires, “we can just take your digital records and make predictions about your characteristics and personality and try to pair you up with other people who are similar to you.” The model could also be used in job recruitment, perhaps making a better match between people and careers than companies are currently finding.

Dr. Kosinski, one of Ms. Wu’s co-authors, also sees computer personality testing as a possible recruitment tool. It has “the potential to completely change how we see the job market,” he said in an interview. Each person could get a computer-generated personality profile, and then prospective employers could search through the profiles for people whose personalities and skills matched their needs. Instead of posting a job and interviewing applicants, “you basically reach out to two or three people that match your profile.”

He’s not the first to suggest a broader role for data analysis in the hiring process — and that suggestion has inspired some concern. In an Atlantic analysis of what he describes as “the application of predictive analytics to people’s careers,” Don Peck asks:

“Should job candidates be ranked by what their Web habits say about them? Should the ‘data signature’ of natural leaders play a role in promotion? These are all live questions today, and they prompt heavy concerns: that we will cede one of the most subtle and human of skills, the evaluation of the gifts and promise of other people, to machines; that the models will get it wrong; that some people will never get a shot in the new workforce.”

And Danielle Citron, a law professor who has studied privacy, worries that data on people’s personalities could be stored and used in contexts they never expected. “What concerns me,” she said in an interview, “is the potential for keeping people’s assessments and scores in ways that have a much more lasting effect, can be merged, and then analyzed and propagated in ways that aren’t accountable.”

Personality assessments don’t just reveal positive attributes, she noted — “there’s also people whose personalities may have some negative implications, like they’re very absent-minded or they have short attention spans.” And if computerized personality screening and data collection become widespread, such people could lose out on jobs, be denied bank loans or even be flagged for extra security at airports. “It’s not always a good story for everybody,” she said.
Dr. Citron believes limits on the use of personality data may not be sufficient to stop it from harming us — we may need to stop it from being gathered in the first place. She noted that the United States government used census data to target Japanese-Americans for internment during World War II. “If we’re going to rely on the use restrictions, those give way to times of crisis.” Instead, she said, “maybe we need to think about limits on collection.” And personality data may be “the sort of thing we don’t want employers to ever collect.”

Dr. Kosinski agrees that Facebook-based personality assessment presents privacy concerns. “With a psychological assessment that is automated and based on a digital footprint, anyone could potentially assess your personality without asking your permission,” he said.

However, he said, if we are concerned about online privacy, Facebook shouldn’t necessarily be our biggest worry. Your Facebook activities “are the least potentially dangerous types of digital footprint” from his perspective. “Your Internet service operator, your government, a bunch of marketing companies — they’re recording all the websites you’re visiting. Your credit card company records all the purchases you’re making and when and where and what did you buy and how much you paid for it. Your mobile phone operator records places you go to, whom you talk to, how much time did you spend talking with them.” You’d have to get rid of your credit card and phone to escape such data collection, he said.

His advice: “Use those technologies as much as you can, but also exert pressure on the decision makers and policy makers to design policies that will basically be protecting you in this environment.” Regulations, he said, “should give people full control over their personal data.”
But Scott R. Peppet, a law professor who also studies privacy issues, suggests that even control may not be sufficient, if not enough people exercise it. Even if revealing your information to an employer is technically voluntary, he said in an interview, if enough people do it, those who don’t may be at a disadvantage. “Let’s say employers routinely started asking for your Facebook information because they wanted to be able to look at your Likes and assess your personality, and you’re the one person in the group who says no,” he said. At a certain point, “the fact that you won’t reveal it is itself revealing about you, and people start to draw inferences based on that refusal.”

He agrees with Dr. Kosinski that Facebook may be only the beginning. “There’s probably lots of inputs that we’re going to show over the next few years correlate or predict or assess personality,” he explained, from your Fitbit stats to your iTunes downloads. “In a world where lots of things reveal lots of things about you, it’s not so clear if you’re going to know which one you should or shouldn’t do to protect your privacy.”

Dr. Peppet isn’t optimistic about future legal protections: “The likelihood of large-scale federal privacy regulation or a new privacy statute seems pretty low to me at the moment.” But studies like the one Ms. Wu and Dr. Kosinski conducted may at least draw attention to the issue: Such research, he said, is “making people realize that there are policy implications here that need to be seriously considered. I’m not sure what format that’s going to take, but I do think there’s increasing policy interest in, ‘what uses can these kinds of inferences be put to, and what uses are just too creepy?’”

And the study’s focus on Facebook activity may be a strength. “I like this study because Facebook Likes seem kind of innocuous,” he said. “You just Like your friend’s picture of their kid’s Halloween costume.” What Ms. Wu and her team have shown, he said, is that something “seemingly very innocent really does reveal a lot about us.”

Offense is the best defense

With the strum and drang of the current climate of rape, the SPD has announced they are now testing the backlog of rape kits in custody, the NFL and the College teams under the spotlight for a myriad of criminal defenses or offenses, whatever football phrase and all overshadowded by the sad tragic bad reporting of Rolling Stone Magazine and somehow that exonerates, explains or excuses what is done in the name of fraternity or brotherhood or what I like to call typical male collective behavior.

The city of Seattle is awash with Seahawk fever. I read a great post in HuffPo that describes the maturity and well more immaturity of the 12th man nonsense overwhelming this town. I love Super Bowl Sunday as I can attend a movie in a theatre equivalent to a private screening and get home before dark.

Is it sports culture? Man culture? Or just society as it has always been and now actually somebody is paying attention? I also read an article where one woman a former rape advocate is actually concerned about this matter and thinks it will make things worse for women who "cry rape."

Isn't that all it really is? Just a bunch of crying women who now regret it? I regret the day I ever leave my home, everyday. That is what its like.

Convicted of assault and accused of rape, star player received raft of second chances
Rick Neuheisel, head coach of the University of Washington's football team, was playing golf when a cart came rolling up and someone handed...

By Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry
Seattle Times staff reporters



Stevens was booked in March 2007 in Scottsdale, Ariz., for DUI. He had just become a free agent. He signed with Tampa Bay, but the arrest cost him millions.

On the field: Oct. 7: Washington 33, Oregon St. 30 | Oct. 14: Washington 21, Arizona St. 15 | Oct. 21: Washington 36, California 24 | Oct. 28: Washington 31, Stanford 28
Nov. 4: Washington 35, Arizona 32 | Nov. 11: Washington 35, UCLA 28 | Nov. 18: Washington 51, Washington St. 3 | Jan. 1, 2001: Washington 34, Purdue 24

Off the field: Prosecutors said Stevens wouldn't be charged with rape. Stevens hit a car on I-5 and drove off, but was given only a ticket.

Husky football 2000 | Summer

On the field: A buzz surrounded the UW's football team. Media picked the Huskies to win the Pac-10. The AP's preseason poll ranked them 13th in the country.
Off the field: In July, Seattle police arrested UW tight end Jerramy Stevens on suspicion of rape.

September | Husky football 2000

On the field: Sept. 2: Washington 44, Idaho 20 | Sept. 9: Washington 34, Miami 29
Sept. 16: Washington 17, Colorado 14 | Sept. 30: Oregon 23, Washington 16

Off the field: Police and prosecutors clashed over the handling of the Stevens investigation.
Rick Neuheisel, head coach of the University of Washington's football team, was playing golf when a cart came rolling up and someone handed him a phone.

The UW's sports-information director was on the other end: One of the team's best players had just been arrested, on suspicion of rape.

Before 7 that morning — Thursday, July 27, 2000 — Seattle police detectives, accompanied by a SWAT team, had served a search warrant at the home of Jerramy Stevens and taken him away.

The UW football team was used to run-ins with the law. It even had a system, of sorts, for dealing with them. Randy Hart, the defensive-line coach, had police contacts who would tell him when players were in trouble. Other coaches had names of attorneys players could contact.

One lawyer stood out: Mike Hunsinger, a UW alumnus and longtime fan. In time, Hunsinger would represent at least 14 members of the 2000 football team — players accused of hit-and-run, animal cruelty, punching a security guard, DUI, taking part in an attack on a fraternity, sexual assault, punching windows out of cars, domestic violence, assaulting a parking attendant. He'd charge the players a few hundred bucks and let them pay over time.

Neuheisel got in touch with Barbara Hedges, the university's athletic director, to see what she wanted to do.

At 1:30 p.m., less than seven hours after Stevens' arrest, a fax arrived at the Seattle Police Department's sexual-assault unit. It was addressed to Maryann Parker, the lead detective, who had been investigating the case for seven weeks.

The fax came from Hunsinger's office. We're representing Jerramy Stevens, the message said. Please call us immediately.

The month before, just after 3 a.m. on June 4, a UW student called 911 to report a possible rape in progress.

Walking back to his dorm, he'd passed a row of fraternities and sororities and seen two people against a building. A woman, wearing only a bra and maybe underwear, leaned against a wall, arms to her side. A tall man faced her, his back to the passer-by.

The situation didn't look right, the student told police. The woman looked right at him but did nothing to cover up. She looked drugged or drunk: "Half passed out ... eyes glazed ... no one home."

"The male was controlling things," the witness said. "It wasn't a two-person interlude."

When the man turned and caught sight of the passer-by, he moved the woman behind a bush.

Seattle police responded but couldn't find the two.

Nine hours later, around noon, a 19-year-old freshman woke up at the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She had a headache, stomach pain, sore ribs, scratched legs. She could barely move. Her bra and tube top were around her waist and covered in dirt. Her underwear was missing.

"What happened to me?" she asked her roommate.

About the same time, Jerramy Stevens emerged from his room. He lived with several teammates in a house north of campus. He pulled a pair of women's underpants out of his jeans pocket and, according to a police report, told a roommate, "Look what I have."

Stevens said he'd had sex with the freshman, whose middle name was Marie. "No way," the roommate said. He couldn't believe it, because he had heard Marie was a virgin.

Stevens' story made the rounds. A friend of Marie's heard one football player ask another: Did you hear that Jerramy had sex with Marie in the dirt outside a fraternity?

Meanwhile, Marie and her friends tried to figure out what had happened. Inside Marie's room, a friend saw a fleece jacket that Stevens wore the night before. The jacket, covered in dirt, appeared to be stained with blood.

Marie couldn't remember how she got home, she later told police. She'd had three beers over dinner before going to a fraternity party, and two more drinks while there. Stevens, a friend, had been at the party, too. The last beer Marie remembered being handed had already been opened. After that, she remembered next to nothing.

She stayed in bed most of the day. Her friends searched for her underwear outside the sorority and in an alley, but returned empty-handed.

That afternoon, word of what was being said at Stevens' house got back to Marie. Her eyes "got huge," a friend said later. "She had [a] look of complete horror on her face."

Marie worried she may have been sexually assaulted. She worried about pregnancy and disease. Should I get a morning-after pill? she asked one friend.

About 9:30 that night, Marie got Stevens on the phone, she later recounted to police. What happened? she asked. Stevens told Marie he'd walked her home. "We kissed and some stuff," he told her. Did we have sex? she asked. "No," he told her. "Don't trip, it's nothing, don't worry about it."

Marie, crying, asked: Then why are you telling your friends we did? He denied saying that to anyone.

Afterward, Stevens told a roommate about this conversation. The roommate told Stevens: You have to call her back. You have to let her know you had sex. You at least owe her that.

Late that night, Marie went to the university hospital, across the street from Husky Stadium. She got a shot for nausea and was directed to Harborview Medical Center for a sexual-assault exam.

Marie's parents went with her. The medical staff found semen in her vagina and rectum, and a doctor told Marie that her anus had been lacerated.

The semen was placed in a rape kit, for testing.

On June 6, the case landed on the desk of Maryann Parker, a 14-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department.

She interviewed Marie, who suspected she'd been slipped a date-rape drug. Investigators couldn't say. Too much time had elapsed before Marie's blood was drawn for testing.

Parker interviewed people who had been at the fraternity party. They said Marie's condition changed suddenly that night. Her speech was slurred. She had trouble standing, leaned against people, and acted drugged: "Out of control."

Marie's friends told Parker they had escorted her from the party. Although the sorority was nearby, Marie was in no shape to walk home alone. Behind the fraternity, a police car pulled up, and an officer asked if Marie was all right. We're just driving her home, Marie's friends answered. On the way, the group saw Stevens in the alley. Marie's friends dropped her off at the sorority but didn't walk her in.

On the morning Stevens was arrested, Parker escorted him to the police station. She asked if he'd be willing to answer questions, but he said no.

His blood was drawn for DNA testing, and he was booked into jail.

This same day, another detective interviewed a defensive lineman who lived with Stevens. The lineman said he didn't believe Stevens committed rape. Why not? the detective asked.

"Well ... he's my best friend," the player said. "I hang out with champions." Stevens, the player said, was "the type of guy where usually when he fools around he ends up having sex cause he's a charming guy, chicks dig him."

Stevens spent that Thursday night in jail.

The next day, about 15 of Stevens' teammates showed up to support him at a scheduled bail hearing. But prosecutors said they needed more time to review the evidence and released Stevens without charges. Some of Stevens' teammates cheered when told the news.

King County's elected prosecutor, Norm Maleng, didn't know beforehand that Stevens was going to be arrested. He and two top deputies — Dan Satterberg and Mark Larson — were "livid," Parker says.

"They were mad that we had arrested him, because they had to deal with the media fallout," Parker says. "After all, he was going to be a superstar."

That Friday afternoon, a faceoff took place at the prosecutors' offices. Parker said a meeting was called — "for me to explain my actions."

Four of her superiors accompanied Parker: an assistant chief, a lieutenant and two sergeants. Six prosecutors attended, including Satterberg and Larson. Satterberg, the office's No. 2, reported straight to Maleng. Larson ran the criminal division.

Satterberg sat across from Parker. Why did you arrest him? she said he asked.

One of Parker's bosses told Satterberg: We don't need your permission to arrest someone. All we need is probable cause.

As part of her investigation, Parker checked into Stevens' background.

Stevens, 6 foot 7, 255 pounds, would be starting his third year at the UW in September. He looked to be perhaps the best tight end in the school's history — and the UW was known for great tight ends.

He'd gone to high school in Lacey, in Thurston County. Both his parents were teachers; his mother became an assistant principal.

In the spring of 1998, when he was a senior in high school, Stevens showed up at a prearranged fight in a park. There, his friend hit a 17-year-old, James Hoover, in the head with a baseball bat.

After Hoover collapsed — unconscious — Stevens jumped up and stomped on his face.

Hoover's jaw was broken. For six weeks, he ate with a straw.

When a sheriff's detective first questioned Stevens, Stevens said he hadn't been involved in the fight. But questioned again the next day, Stevens admitted what he had done.

Why'd you lie before? the detective asked. "I knew I had done something wrong, and I didn't want to get in trouble for it," Stevens answered.

Stevens was charged with felony assault. A judge let him await trial at home, wearing an electronic-monitoring device. Stevens soon tested positive for marijuana, violating the terms of his home confinement. As a result, he spent three weeks in the Thurston County jail.

At the time, Stevens had already accepted a football scholarship to the UW. The felony charge appeared to place his scholarship in jeopardy — but three UW coaches wrote the judge, saying the UW's offer was still good.

Their background checks on Stevens showed "nothing but high marks," wrote Scott Linehan, now head coach of the St. Louis Rams. "We believe this to be an isolated incident. Under our discipline and supervision I believe Jerramy will show this to be true."

Jim Lambright, then the UW's head coach, wrote: "We do believe in Jerramy."

The coaches even asked if Stevens could be released from home confinement to practice with the team before trial. The judge agreed — even though Stevens had already violated the court's orders.

Stevens went to football camp, where Lambright told reporters: "We don't give up on a player because he makes one mistake."

But a Thurston County sheriff's captain, in a written report, said Stevens may have "a propensity toward violence."

In high school, the report said, Stevens and another student allegedly punched holes in a classroom wall: "We are told the school learned of the vandalism and quietly permitted payment of the damage." The sheriff's office heard that Stevens violated school rules on alcohol and marijuana; kicked a football teammate in the testicles; and threatened referees in a basketball game after he was ejected for being too aggressive on the court.

With the assault charge pending, supporters of Stevens, including several teachers and a Mormon bishop, wrote to the prosecutor urging leniency. An English teacher described how Stevens once defended a kid with a speech impediment. "He has a gentle side," the teacher wrote.

Stevens negotiated a plea deal for attacking Hoover. He was convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to time served.

At the UW, Stevens talked of putting the assault conviction behind him. "I'm more conscious of the choices I make now because I know there are consequences," he told one reporter.

While investigating Stevens, Parker dug up an e-mail Stevens had sent to one woman he'd slept with at the UW. The e-mail said:

"i know that you are not going to beliewhat i have to say especially after satterday night but when i got your e-mail today i laughed a first but then it started to sink in and my heart started to break as i read over your words.

"i realize that i have [messed] up and I want to talk to you about being with you and how i can make it up to you. this is not a joke i want to have you in my arms and know that you are mine and ythat nothing that i have done or [a friend] has said caould ever change the way that i feel about you. when i think back to the night that i spent with you by ourselves i wish that i would have done one thing and that is, i wish i would have put ... "

Stevens then describes, in explicit terms, an anal-sex act he wanted to do to her. He closes with: "you whore dont ever utter my name again."

Stevens shared this message with a teammate, who called it a "funny ass e-mail." The teammate, when interviewed by a detective, called the woman who received the message "a typical football groupie."

Parker says the e-mail was "very disturbing to read." She placed it in her investigative file and interviewed the woman who received it. The woman broke down in tears.

Soon after Stevens' arrest, Barbara Hedges, the athletic director, told reporters that the UW would conduct its own investigation of Stevens, to see if discipline was warranted.

But the university never did. Instead, Hedges and Neuheisel waited for prosecutors to act. Hedges received updates on the case directly from Satterberg.

In early August, a week after the arrest, police sent the DNA evidence to a Maryland laboratory. Treat this as a rush job, one prosecutor wrote, saying the county would pay extra to get the results fast.

The lab was to compare DNA from the sperm with the DNA from Stevens' blood.

Meanwhile, a deputy prosecutor met with Marie's family. The decision of whether to charge Stevens would be made soon after the lab results were in, he told them.

On Aug. 17, two weeks before the 2000 football season would begin, Parker got the DNA results back. It was a match.

From the get-go, Stevens was crucial to the team's success. The Huskies' top receiver from 1999 was injured. Others were inexperienced. The UW's passing game was a question mark.

Stevens provided an answer.

In September, the UW won its first three games of the season, twice coming from behind. When the Huskies upset No. 4 Miami in the second game, Stevens recorded a career day: seven catches, 89 yards, one touchdown. The next week — on Sept. 16 — he did even better against Colorado, making seven catches for 102 yards, winning team honors as offensive MVP.

With its 3-0 start, the UW climbed to No. 8 in the national rankings.

On Sept. 21 — five weeks after the DNA results came back — prosecutors Dan Satterberg and Mark Larson met with police brass to discuss "potential proof problems" with the Stevens case.

They told John Pirak, an assistant police chief, how important it was to interview Stevens, calling his account critical to any charging decision.

The next day, a deputy prosecutor told police an interview had been arranged, according to police reports. But, he said, the prosecutor's "front office" had agreed to certain conditions negotiated by Stevens' attorney, Mike Hunsinger. First, the interview had to be in Hunsinger's office. Second, Parker, the case's lead detective, could not ask questions. Only the prosecutor would be allowed to do that.

Parker protested to her sergeant. It was her case. She knew the evidence best. She didn't want to be cut out of the questioning. Parker's sergeant didn't like the deal, either. But if prosecutors considered the interview so crucial, the sergeant was willing to relent.

But, hours later, the deputy prosecutor told Parker of yet another condition: Maleng's office had agreed to give crucial police evidence — the victim and witness statements — to Stevens' lawyers before the interview.

The Seattle Police Department's standard operating procedures allowed no such thing. If a suspect enters an interview with police file in hand, he can tailor his story to the facts already gathered. Suspects get to see the evidence after being charged, not before.

Parker called her sergeant at home to alert her. Word went up. The Police Department's legal adviser was brought in. And in late September, Pirak, an assistant chief, told Satterberg and Larson: No deal. Police would not agree to release those statements. No exception would be made for this case.

The legal adviser, Leo Poort, recently said that in 30 years in that job, this is the only case he knows of where a deal like this was offered. Larson said such offers are "not customary," but have been made in "some other cases."

Prosecutors and police never did interview Stevens.

On Oct. 5, Detective Parker submitted the police evidence to prosecutors. Now they had to decide whether to file charges.

On Oct. 19, late at night, Donald Preston was returning home to Olympia after visiting his 6-year-old son, who was being treated in Children's Hospital in Seattle for cancer.

A hard rain falling, Preston drove south on Interstate 5, using the car-pool lane. His 10-year-old daughter sat next to him in the passenger seat.

Ahead, Preston saw an accident, blocking traffic. As Preston slowed, a red Toyota pickup barreled up from behind and tried to swing around him. The truck sideswiped Preston's Dodge Daytona — smashing in the driver's side — before careening into the retaining wall, damaging its front end. The pickup's driver had been "driving like a maniac," one witness would say later, using the HOV lane as a passing lane.

The pickup's driver was Jerramy Stevens. He got out, leaned against his truck, and called something like, "Is everybody OK?" Then he climbed back into his truck and drove away — offering no name, no phone number, no insurance card.

Preston needed to kick his door to get out. His daughter was shaken up but managed to memorize the pickup's license plate.

A state trooper arrived and took down a report. "Unit 1 fled the scene," she wrote. Now she had to find out who the driver of Unit 1 was.

On Oct. 24, 2000, King County's elected prosecutor held a news conference to announce whether rape charges would be filed against Jerramy Stevens.

Norm Maleng looked into a wall of cameras and microphones. Stevens' future was at stake. So, to the mind of many fans, was the UW football team's.

Just three days before, the UW had defeated Cal to go to 6-1 and keep its Rose Bowl hopes alive. Down 11 in the fourth quarter, the Huskies had scored three touchdowns in two minutes. Stevens scored the first, on a 10-yard reception. He caught three passes in the final quarter and was named the game's offensive MVP.

Maleng had faced situations like this before. In 1999, his office had declined to prosecute three football players accused of trashing a fraternity house and assaulting its members. Prosecutors cited "confusing and conflicting statements," and said "identification seemed to be a problem."

After Maleng's office turned down the case, the Seattle City Attorney's Office reviewed the evidence and charged all three players. All three pleaded guilty to misdemeanors. One player, convicted of assault, was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

In 1998, Maleng's office was confronted with three other football players accused of beating a student on campus, with a crowd gathered around. A witness, using Husky Football magazine, identified the suspects. Maleng's office declined to bring charges, citing "some conflicting witness statements."

Now, in the Stevens case, Maleng announced: "We have concluded that there is insufficient evidence."

His office would not be bringing charges.

The memory loss suffered by the accuser complicated the investigation, Maleng said. To prove rape, prosecutors needed to show that Marie had been physically helpless or mentally incapable of consent. The evidence showed neither, Maleng said.

After the announcement, Stevens thanked his teammates for their support. Neuheisel, the head coach, had told Stevens beforehand that a felony charge would mean an indefinite suspension. Now, Neuheisel said, "My general feeling is one of relief."

Parker, the police detective who handled the case, recently said:

"I thought he should have been charged. I think most people in the Police Department thought he should have been charged. From the police perspective, I think there was overwhelming evidence that a crime had occurred. And then I think we should have left it to a jury to decide.

"I think we just felt, in our unit and in the Police Department as a whole, that this case was handled differently. And we felt it was because he was a University of Washington football star."

Larson, the head of the county prosecutor's criminal division, said he believes prosecutors made the right call. "We have no doubt she was pretty drunk that night. Real drunk," he said. But proving helplessness was another matter.

Any suggestion, he said, that Stevens escaped charges because he played football "is outrageous and untrue."

When prosecutors decide not to charge someone, they typically write a "decline" letter to police, explaining their reasons. The decline letter in the Stevens case, labeled "confidential," included some damning language that never made it into Maleng's news conference.

"It seems highly unlikely that the victim would have consented to anal intercourse with the suspect in a fraternity alley," the letter said.

But, the letter added, jurors "could find reasonable doubt."

The case hinged on Marie's mental and physical state — and whether she was capable of consenting to sex.

The decline letter says an eyewitness who called 911 to report a possible rape in progress described Marie as "conscious and standing." But, according to police reports, he also described her as "half passed out against a building ... like she was drugged or drunk."

The decline letter says Marie's friends "describe her as standing, making limited conversation, and making decisions." But, according to police reports, her friends described her as "unable to keep her balance," having "slurred speech" and "acting like she was drugged." One friend told police: "She couldn't really talk or stand."

The decline letter says: "None of her friends appeared afraid for her welfare." But, according to police reports, one friend tried to take away her keys. Two others drove her home. Marie's sorority was nearby, but she was unfit to walk, one friend told police.

The prosecutors' decision not to charge Stevens "devastated" Marie, Parker said. She "did not feel supported by the prosecutor's office at all."

On Oct. 25, one day after Maleng announced that Stevens would not be charged with rape, a state trooper wrapped up her investigation of the collision on Interstate 5.

She now knew the driver of Unit 1 was Jerramy Stevens — the UW football player who was all over the news.

In Washington, a driver involved in an accident must remain at the scene; provide his name, address and insurance information; and, if someone's hurt, try to help. Failure to do so amounts to hit-and-run. If the accident results in death or injury, fleeing is a felony. If only damage results, it's a gross misdemeanor.

But Stevens wasn't charged with any crime. Instead, the trooper wrote Stevens a ticket. Cited for driving too fast for conditions, Stevens paid a $119 fine.

Donald Preston, the driver of the car that Stevens hit, recently said: "I thought it was pretty typical. If it would have been myself, and I'm not a sports figure, I would have been put in jail."

On Jan. 1, 2001, the UW beat Purdue in the Rose Bowl, 34-24.

"They took their place among the greatest of Washington teams on a blue, balmy, postcard day," The Seattle Times wrote.

Stevens led the Huskies with five catches. Afterward, he ran around the field with a rose in his mouth.

With 43 receptions in all, Stevens had put together the finest season of any tight end in school history. Football News and Gannett News Service named him a second-team All-American.

The Huskies finished the season 11-1 and were ranked No. 3 in the country.

Contributions to the football program jumped from $5.4 million in 2000 to $6.9 million in 2001. Ticket sales jumped from $10.9 million to $11.9 million.

In donations and tickets, the football team made an extra $2.5 million coming off its Rose Bowl year.

There's no telling how much the football team's success drove other donations to the UW — ones not earmarked for athletics. University presidents like to talk football while raising money — at least they do when the football team is winning.

In 1998 — the year before Neuheisel arrived — the football team went 6-6 and brought in $23.7 million in ticket sales, donations and other revenue.

Under Neuheisel, the team put together four winning seasons. By the end, its revenue had jumped to $30.9 million a year.

When Neuheisel departed, the team went 6-6 again. Its revenue dipped by $2.3 million.

Four months after the Rose Bowl — on May 4, 2001, at a little before 1 a.m. — Stevens slammed the red Toyota pickup into the side of a retirement home, knocking a dresser onto a bed where a 92-year-old woman was sleeping.

His truck was stuck, so he used his school textbooks for traction, putting them under the tires. Then he drove off — but not before a 72-year-old man took down his license plate.

Stevens lied to police, saying he didn't know who had been driving the truck. Caught in the lie, he apologized. Hunsinger, called at home in the wee hours, agreed to defend Stevens. Neuheisel, in San Diego playing golf, issued a statement saying he'd address the team on the need to make good decisions.

A month later, Stevens pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and received a 90-day jail sentence, suspended on condition that he stay out of trouble. Stevens' parents took the truck's keys away from him. Neuheisel suspended Stevens from the first half of that season's opening game. Stevens said afterward: "It was hard sitting the first half."

Stevens has learned his lesson, Neuheisel said.

Stevens announced in January 2002 that he would go pro, leaving school a year early. The Seattle Seahawks drafted him in the first round. His coaches at the UW vouched for him, said Mike Holmgren, the Seahawks coach.

"People make mistakes," Holmgren told reporters. "I really trust that everything is behind him. ... I think the longer I'm with this decision, I'll just feel better and better about it."

Stevens promised his parents he would still get his degree. And Seahawks media guides say he did. Stevens called graduation the best day of his life, saying: "I graduated from college, got my new Range Rover and moved into my new house. All in the same day."

Stevens did get a new SUV and a top-floor condominium in Bellevue — but he left the UW without ever getting a bachelor's degree.

A month after Stevens got his Range Rover, a trooper ticketed him for going 98 mph.

Stevens signed a five-year, $6.2 million contract with the Seahawks that required him to repay $300,000 if he got into trouble. No problem, Stevens said. He blamed his past on alcohol and said he'd quit drinking.

Three months later a trooper pulled Stevens over after he veered into oncoming traffic. Stevens, who had alcohol on his breath, blew a 0.051 — below the legal limit of 0.08. He was cited for negligent driving and paid a $490 fine.

In April 2003, a Medina police officer pulled Stevens over. Two open champagne bottles were in Stevens' SUV. Have you been drinking? the officer asked. No, Stevens said.

On field-sobriety tests, Stevens couldn't walk a straight line or keep his balance. His blood-alcohol level was about twice the legal limit. He eventually admitted drinking the champagne and said he'd run a stop sign because he was preoccupied, talking on his cellphone.

Stevens pleaded guilty to reckless driving. His lawyer — a specialist in DUI cases — told the judge: "I believe that I've come to understand the character of Jerramy Stevens. He is an individual, your honor, who is growing up."

Stevens assured the judge he had no alcohol problem. The judge told Stevens: "If you do what you've always done, you will be what you've always been."

Stevens served seven days in jail — five for violating the terms of his hit-and-run sentence, and two for reckless driving.

The NFL ordered Stevens into a substance-abuse program. The Seahawks made him repay $300,000 for violating his contract but allowed him to keep playing.

Stevens' attorney complained that twice-weekly AA meetings ordered by the judge conflicted with Stevens' football schedule. The judge knocked the requirement down to once a week.

In 2003, Marie sued Stevens, the UW and the fraternity, Sigma Chi, where she believed she'd been slipped a date-rape drug.

Three other women also filed lawsuits accusing UW football players of rape. Two sued Roc Alexander, a teammate of Stevens. The other sued Eric Shyne, a player who joined the team just after Stevens left.

Shyne met a woman at a party, where she was so drunk she fell on him and later vomited. She told police that she awoke with a "goobery" fluid in her vaginal area, semen on her panties and a flash of memory — Shyne atop her, with her saying, "No, don't, I'm a virgin."

Seattle police wanted Shyne to be charged with rape, but Maleng's office refused, saying there wasn't sufficient evidence of sexual contact. Prosecutors also questioned whether the woman was impaired enough to be incapable of consent.

Only one of Alexander's two accusers had gone to police — and police didn't believe the evidence warranted charges.

Mike Hunsinger, Stevens' lawyer from the criminal case, represented him in the civil suit as well. He also defended Alexander. He had also represented Shyne in the criminal investigation.

Becky Roe, a Seattle lawyer and former prosecutor, represented the four women, all UW students. To Roe, her clients' allegations were linked. By failing to hold Stevens accountable, she argued, the UW suggested to players that "they were invulnerable to charges of sexual assault."

In 2004, Roe deposed Rick Neuheisel and Barbara Hedges, the coach and athletic director when Stevens was arrested on suspicion of rape. When prosecutors decided not to charge Stevens, Neuheisel and Hedges agreed that Stevens should not be disciplined.

Neuheisel's test was this: If a player embarrassed himself, his family or the university, he should be punished. This episode embarrassed the UW, Neuheisel said, but "given the prosecution's decision not to go forward, it looked as if Jerramy was not the reason for the embarrassment."

Hedges said the UW could have disciplined Stevens no matter what prosecutors did, but she saw no grounds for that.

Do you understand, Roe asked Hedges, that a decision not to charge someone is not the same thing as declaring the person's innocence?

Hedges said she believed that if someone avoided charges, he had been cleared. "The person has been exonerated," she said.

She had no evidence to suggest Stevens' conduct was "inappropriate," Hedges said. Did you ever review the police reports? Roe asked. "I don't recall," Hedges said.

Roe deposed Jim Lambright, the former coach who brought Stevens to the UW despite an assault charge. Lambright told Roe that Stevens came from a good family and his high-school coach had vouched for him.

Roe also deposed Keith Gilbertson, the UW's new head coach. She asked: "Do you believe that there is a perception among people in the public that [football players] are protected?" Gilbertson said: "I don't know, but it is not true. It's the other way."

In her lawsuit against Stevens and the UW, Marie identified herself by her initials, not her full name. That's not unusual in lawsuits alleging rape or molestation.

But the UW filed a motion in October 2003 demanding that her full name be disclosed in the court file, which would be available to the public. The UW argued that the public has an interest "in knowing all the facts involved"; that transparency is crucial when the defendant is a public entity; that "centuries of law ... forbid secrecy (to any degree) in our judicial proceedings."

A freshman when the incident occurred, Marie had become "extremely depressed" and left the UW soon after. She couldn't face the possibility of seeing Stevens or his friends on campus. She couldn't stomach how the UW had taken no action against him, letting him continue to play football. She attended a community college for five quarters, and returned to the UW after Stevens left.

Now, she couldn't fathom what the UW would gain from making her name public. The university knew her identity. It could dig into her background all it wanted. Her claims would be tried in open court. But she didn't want other students staring at her, whispering about her. She also feared "physical danger" from people upset at what she was alleging.

"I am dismayed that the University of Washington, where I am a student, would so deliberately and needlessly make my life difficult in this manner," Marie wrote.

Two weeks before filing this motion, the UW made the opposite argument in a case in which it paid millions to settle a medical-malpractice claim. The entire file of that lawsuit was sealed, with the UW and other parties extolling the value of privacy.

In the Stevens case, the judge denied the UW's motion to out the plaintiff.

In the spring of 2004, the lawsuit was settled. The agreement was confidential, barring Roe and Marie from disclosing its terms.

But in a letter to the UW's attorney — obtained through a public-records request — Hunsinger described part of the deal. The agreement allowed the UW to be dismissed from the case, while Stevens and the fraternity would settle.

The deal also allowed Stevens to avoid questions about what happened on that June night four years before.

"One of the elements of the settlement is that Jerramy not be required to participate in any other litigation involving the UW, specifically the lawsuits filed by [Roe] regarding Eric Shyne and Roc Alexander," Hunsinger wrote. "He does not want to be contacted by anyone, let alone deposed, or testify at trial."

A month later, in June 2004, Hunsinger sent Roe a check — for $300,000 — to settle the case on behalf of Stevens and the fraternity.

Alexander, now in the NFL, settled the claims against him for an undisclosed amount.

Shyne didn't show up to defend himself. A judge reviewed the evidence and ordered him to pay $350,000.

In Bellevue, at Stevens' top-floor condo, neighbors complained of fireworks set off from his deck, of vomit raining down from above, of loud parties deep into the night. They had to go to court in August 2004 to get Stevens, by then a Seahawk, to pay his monthly dues of $420. Police kept getting called out to Stevens' condo, because of noise complaints.

In March 2006, Stevens was caught driving with a suspended license. Prosecutors said they'd forgo charges if he enrolled in a re-licensing program. One month later, Stevens was caught again, driving with a suspended license. He was convicted of a misdemeanor and sentenced to 90 days in jail — all suspended, on condition that he stay out of trouble for a year.

In Stevens' first four years with the Seahawks, his coaches waited for him to be the player they thought he was. His fifth year, Stevens played well in the regular season — only to drop three passes in the Super Bowl.

Still, he was poised to cash in. When he became a free agent on March 2, 2007, Stevens seemed likely to draw contract offers of $10 million and up. All he had to do was stay out of trouble.

Eleven days after he became a free agent, Stevens was stopped just after 2 a.m. by a police officer in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Stevens' car had drifted over the lane marker three times. Stevens, alone, was not wearing a seat belt. His eyes were bloodshot and his speech slurred. He told the officer he'd had "a little" to drink. "Four or five margaritas."

Getting out of the car, Stevens dropped his cellphone and wallet. Asked to do a walk-and-turn sobriety test, he stumbled and nearly fell.

His blood-alcohol level registered at 0.204 percent, 2 ½ times the legal limit.

That night, when the handcuffs clicked around his wrists, Stevens lost millions of dollars. He went from a sought-after free agent to a criminal defendant.

Stevens was convicted of extreme DUI, a crime that carries a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail.

A judge instead gave Stevens 12 days, suspending the other 18 because he was enrolled in the NFL's substance-abuse program. This is the same program Stevens entered in 2003, after being stopped with two open champagne bottles in his car.

The DUI in Arizona appears to have violated the terms of Stevens' suspended sentence in King County — and could have led to more jail time here. But nobody in King County flagged it.

The NFL handed Stevens a one-game suspension — his only suspension as a pro.

Seven weeks after his arrest in Arizona, Stevens landed with another team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him — on the cheap — for $600,000, which was $5,000 above the minimum for a player with his experience.

"He is a big, powerful, speedy tight end," said general manager Bruce Allen. "He has had some off-the-field issues that have hampered him a bit. We had a very serious talk with him today. I think Jerramy Stevens is a good young man."

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren had vouched for Stevens, Allen said.

"Sometimes," Allen said, "you have to give people a chance."