Friday, April 08, 2011

Assembly skills required (or just desired)

I just got a great new computer desk (see pic below) yesterday and Glenn and I spent a couple of hours putting it together. Well, mostly I handed out the parts and felt confused. I remember in college taking those vocational tests that rank your aptitude and interest on various tasks. Assembly jobs and working as a plumber were dead last. It's depressing. I wish I had those skills--building stuff is great, feeling confused when looking at diagrams is not. Is there a talent you wish you had, but don't?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Boston Herald: Group Home Horror (H/T to Jules Crittenden):
Boston area group homes housing drug addicts and the mentally ill have been lightning rods for court actions involving residents accused of violent eruptions that have resulted in a broken jaw for one staffer, a slashing, a torched home and caretakers being terrorized, a Herald investigation found.

In the wake of the horrific January slaying of a young Revere social worker, the Herald reviewed dozens of lawsuits involving several state-contracted group home providers and found several involving violent Department of Mental Health clients. The findings raise safety concerns for staffers, residents and even neighbors of these homes, which are often tucked into residential neighborhoods.

The "system" often does not want to keep these violent types in jail, and often sends them out to facilities that do not keep good tabs on what the residents are doing. Some of the homes have people who run them who do not have experience with the mentally ill (or violent for that matter) and do not oversee meds very well, meaning that those who are psychotic can be left without much treatment. Another problem?:

Group home providers don’t run criminal background checks on prospective residents and the DMH also does not conduct Criminal Offender Records Information checks on clients.

A blue-ribbon panel convened by DMH Commissioner Barbara Leadholm after the Jan. 20 slaying of Revere group home worker Stephanie Moulton is mulling whether criminal screenings should be done. The panel is also probing staffing levels and training.

It is amazing to me how little attention is paid to the mentally ill or drug addicts who have past criminal records. It is outrageous to place them in group homes in residential neighborhoods--public safety should be the first concern, not the last.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ask Dr. Helen: Should Prince William wear a wedding ring?

I have a PJM column up on Prince William's wedding ring: should he wear it or not?:
The English street is up in arms over William's choice not to wear one.

You can read the column and comment here (or here, of course!).


Monday, April 04, 2011

This should come as no surprise: "Duke Lacrosse rape accuser charged with stabbing boyfriend."