“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” - Mark Twain
Sexual abuse prevention
As the trial and sentencing of Jerry Sandusky come to an end, I can honestly say that I am relieved. The details of this case have been spread across front pages, sports pages, magazines, radio, television and through all forms of social media. The image of his face is now seared across my imagination. I feel ready to move on.
But in good conscience, I can’t do that.
The courage these young men evidenced in coming forward with the details of Sandusky’s crimes demands that we match their courage with our own. What does that mean? We can pass laws that require every youth-serving organization to establish clear policies that will better protect children and youth. We can make sure every organization working with children and teens—as well as parents themselves—know how and where to report a suspicion or allegation of abuse.
To that end, Committee for Children, in partnership with the Raynier Institute and Foundation, is bringing the nation’s top experts in child sexual abuse prevention to the University of Washington on October 10. Why? We want to open a discussion about ways to transform the very latest research into the most effective practices that will help keep the children of our community safe. Drs. David Finkelhor, Charol Shakeshaft, and Keith Kaufman will share their expertise with over 200 professionals from across Washington State, representing a unique gathering of top leaders in this critically important field. Our goal is to let research inform and catalyze improvements to sexual abuse prevention policies and procedures in our state, including those that guide the actions of schools and other youth-serving systems.
The Sandusky sentencing marks the end of the case, but it can also be a beginning for all of us to transform the pain this one man has caused into actions that will make our communities safer for all of our children.
Joan Cole Duffell, Executive Director
Committee for Children
Improve Union Street intersections
One of the biggest things the city could do would be to resolve the bizarre ways that East Union Street intersects with 12th Avenue, Broadway, and Harvard Avenue.
At 12th Avenue, there is no way to make a left turn safely westbound from Madison (which carries the westbound traffic from Union).
At Broadway and Union, two eastbound lanes on Union from the west side of Broadway suddenly become one lane east of Broadway (the right lane belongs to bikes and a bus stop). This problem sort of goes away during the hours when parking is allowed in the right lane on Union.
To continue westbound on Union at Harvard, one must first turn right around a huge curb bulb, maneuvering through bikes and pedestrians, then make an immediate sharp left onto a street where parking takes up most of the right lane (there is much less than a car’s width between the parked cars and the painted center lane). Heaven help you if there is a vehicle coming eastbound on Union!
The “improvements” over the past few years have only made bad matters worse.