Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Lauren's Kids received $10,000 from controversial dispersement of civil forfeiture funds

Israel gave Lauren's Kids ten grand and Ron Book gives Sheriff Israel $3000. This is the literal definition of a quid pro quo.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-ne-bso-trust-fund-audit-20200722-mppdluzrijc3tig6c3vp5acks4-story.html

Broward Sheriff’s Office trust fund had lax oversight, auditors find
By SKYLER SWISHER
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL
JUL 22, 2020 AT 5:52 PM

A trust fund overseen by the Broward Sheriff’s Office has been plagued with lax rules on conflicts of interest and missing documentation, according to an audit made public Wednesday.

Sheriff Gregory Tony commissioned the forensic audit in September.

The investigation conducted by Carr, Riggs & Ingram LLC examined the agency’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund, which consists of money forfeited during criminal investigations. Auditors examined records from Jan. 1, 2008, through June 30, 2019, when former sheriffs Al Lamberti and Scott Israel oversaw the program.

Tony said he requested the audit because the agency did not have a consistent process for distributing hundreds of thousands of dollars seized during criminal investigations to community groups.

We have been reviewing and analyzing all expenditures in this agency,” he said. “I would be a fool not to.”

Tony is facing his predecessor, Israel, in the Aug. 18 Democratic primary. Israel led the agency from January 2013 until his suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January 2019.


Trust fund dollars are passed on to charitable organizations, but auditors found the Broward Sheriff’s Office did not require grant applicants to disclose potential conflicts of interest with the sheriff or BSO personnel. In several cases, the agency did not perform conflict-of-interest checks.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants were handed out under the Israel and Lamberti administrations to nonprofit organizations with officers who had made political contributions to the sheriff, according to the audit.

More than $790,000 in grants were distributed to 14 organizations with officers who had given Israel’s campaign just over $17,100 in political donations, according to the audit.

The list includes several well-known charitable organizations in the community, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County and Women in Distress of Broward County.

Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit focused on child sex abuse prevention, received $10,000 through the trust fund.

That organization is headed by the powerful lobbyist Ron Book, who had given $3,000 to Israel’s campaign. His daughter, state Sen. Lauren Book, serves as the organization’s chief executive officer...

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Ron Book's defense has largely been denied in his DUI case

Motions in Ron Book's DUI case were largely denied on July 15th, 2020 (Note: Motion In limine #2 apparently involved an attempt to exclude testimony from the officer who gave Ron Book the Field Sobriety Test.)





Monday, June 29, 2020

Lauren Book's "expert witness" actually proves that Senator Lauren Book is a menace to society

We at Floridians For Freedom (F3) are over the moon seeing FloriDUH State Senator Lauren Book lose her blatant SLAPP Suit. But while it was great that the viuctory was overwhelmingly in Logue's favor, the news medua instead focused heavily on the dissenting opinion.

Judge Mel-UGH-nie G May (What does the G stand for? Goober? Goof? Germ? Grungy? Gullible? good-for-nothing?) decided to focus on the words by one of Lauren Book's witnesses:

"So if you have all those factors together, someone with an agenda, somebody who affiliates with others with that same agenda, somebody who increases their approach, somebody who's angry or has angry outbursts, somebody who announces their intentions in terms of what they're going to do, all of those things together can significantly increase an individual's risk potential."

Do you know anyone like this? Well I do. In fact, this fits Senator Book to a T.

"Someone with an agenda": Lauren Book has a single agenda, namely the passage of tough sex offense laws. She's willing to lie to the public as well as use her status as a professional victim to advance her cause. She doesn't do anything else, as evidenced by her antipathy towards the Parkland shooting victims. She had no problem, however, with using the Parkland shooter

"Somebody who affiliates with others with that same agenda": Lauren Book runs a charity to advance her cause and surrounding herself with like-minded people, including her father, who really runs the charity.

"Somebody who increases their approach": Lauren Book began with her charity, growing it into a multimillion dollar industry, then started a yearly march across the state, which got bigger and gaudier until a protest made her change her approach. Now she claimed an unopposed state senate seat.

"Somebody who's angry or has angry outbursts" When anyone dares to question Lauren Book on her questionable fundraising efforts, she hides behind her abuse narrative angrily, as noted in the Miami New Times in 2015:

"Political points?" Lauren asked incredulously. "I want to be clear about one thing. I was raped every day for six years, and they were the six most horrible and horrific years of my life. I felt guilty, ashamed, invisible, bad, dirty, hurt, and afraid every single day from the time that I was 11 until I was 16... Children in every community on the planet are also enduring the pain I suffered. I am trying to turn my personal pain into something positive and hopefully prevent this from happening to others."

In her BBC interview, Lauren Book admits to lashing out at her husband and gets very angry when she hears registered persons say they deserve a second chance.

Lauren Book is angry and has angry outbursts.

"Somebody who announces their intentions in terms of what they're going to do": In an interview with the BBC, Lauren Book stated, "We take away their civil rights... but if you commit a crime against a child... you shouldn't have a seciond chance... Why, because I, Lauren Book, is not willing to allow you to have a second chance."

"All of those things together can significantly increase an individual's risk potential."

What does this say about Lauren Book? She was willing to drag an innocent man through the mud for years, making false allegations, comparing him to mass shooters, and filing SLAPP suits against him. She's willing to force people to live in squalor while she eats rich foods from her ivory tower. She believes certain people dio not deserve a second chance and takes active stepd to deny them that chance. Now tell me who is the REAL danger here?


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Head of Miami-Dade Homeless Trust Ron Book thinks feeding a homeless persion is "selfish" and "self-serving"

Ron Book's war on Miami's homelessness has reached Trumpian levels of absurdity. Yet, he's still running the Homeless "Trust."

Seems to me, Ron and his daughter take sick pleasure in harming as many human lives as possible, be it by assisting in bringing up false allegations against people or by slamming his lambroghini into another car while drunk then blaming the other driver for it.

Ron Book is a real danger to society.

#LockHimUp

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article243789187.html

Miami passes ordinance requiring permits to feed large groups of homeless people
BY MAYA LORA
JUNE 25, 2020 06:49 PM ,

Miami city commissioners on Thursday voted 3-1 to pass an ordinance restricting when and where individuals and organizations can feed people experiencing homelessness.

The ordinance, sponsored by Commissioners Joe Carollo and Manolo Reyes, is against “systematic street feeding,” Reyes said. But the ordinance drew opposition from District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell, the only dissenting vote, as well as from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ordinance requires individuals and organizations to obtain permits for feedings that will attract 25 or more people experiencing homelessness in a public place. Carollo was absent for the vote.

“We are organizing street feeding and making it more efficient,” said Reyes, who represents District 4 on the commission. “We are creating a program that really, if you want to help the homeless, you should be in favor of it, because we are going to have them as a group under a roof and we are going to supply them all of the support that they need.”

The ordinance states that groups of of houseless people tend to “gather, live and sleep” where food distributions take place daily. The ordinance argues this results in “an increase in unsanitary conditions and breeding conditions for outbreaks of communicable disease, which negatively impacts the health, safety, and welfare of surrounding businesses and residents.”

Additionally, in an op-ed published in the Miami Herald, Reyes argued public feedings produce “harmful side effects,” citing “garbage left on the streets, little attention paid to social distancing measures and volunteers exposed to the potential spread of COVID-19.”

Those who wish to feed large groups of homeless people must obtain a permit at least two days before a scheduled feeding from the Department of Human Services. A person or organization can provide only one feeding per week.

Additionally, feedings are restricted to five “designated feeding locations,” to be determined by the city manager. The ordinance states the locations must be “within easy walking distance to locations where large groups of homeless are known to congregate,” paved and have adequate parking and lighting. Each location may host only one feeding per day.

The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.

Earlier in the meeting Thursday morning, Narciso Muñoz, of the nonprofit Hermanos de la Calle, said he supported the ordinance and thought it was important for the city to create spaces where people experiencing homelessness could get meals and connect with other social services. Muñoz said the city should also work toward moving people into housing.

“More than food, what the homeless need is housing,” he said. “Not a shelter. A house.”

The ordinance also lays out punishments for those who violate the new rules: a $250 fine for the first occurrence and $500 for each following occurrence. Russell said he supported the general idea of the ordinance but was against the included punishment, saying it sent the “wrong message.”

“We’ve talked about this for years. And step one to me is to create the program, not the punishment,” Russell said. “We’re taking the right steps in creating a program but we’re undermining it by creating the stick portion of this at this point.”

Russell proposed approving the ordinance without the section outlining the fines, but was shot down by Reyes.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union agreed with Russell, arguing in a letter to the commission that the requirements would make it too easy to penalize people or groups who are offering food to a few dozen people.

“The City of Miami should invest in constructive alternatives to end homelessness, instead of punishing unhoused persons and the charitable organizations that seek to feed the poor,” the letter reads.

In the letter, the attorneys criticized the proposal as “simply cruel and inhumane” and said the feeding ordinance “would effectively serve as an unlawful ban on all public food service to the homeless throughout the city.”

“During the current economic crisis and resultant reduction in food services to the poor, it is likely that all organizations that serve food to the homeless would attract at least 25 hungry persons, thus always triggering the operation of the proposed ordinance whenever anyone seeks to feed the poor,” the letter reads. “Given the proposed ordinance’s severe restrictions on the sites, instances and times in which food can be served to the homeless, this ordinance would therefore effectively operate as an unlawful ban on serving food to the vast majority, if not all, of the homeless throughout the entire City.”

Those watching the meeting via YouTube livestream seemed overwhelmingly against the proposal, based on comments in the chat that accompanied the stream. Commenters criticized the proposal, saying it “criminalized” helping the homeless population.

But Ron Book, head of the Homeless Trust, spoke in support of the ordinance Thursday.

“The most selfish and self-serving thing that we can do is hand someone a meal, leaving them to languish in their current circumstances. There is no humanity in that,” Book said. “What Commissioner Reyes’ program is going to do is give us an opportunity to give those people that are civic-minded to coordinate and to help participate in an organized way to sync it with our efforts to get people off the streets.”

Advocates assisting those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis have criticized Book and the Homeless Trust for not providing more housing and testing. Book has rebutted arguments that the organization isn’t doing enough to help, citing the trust’s efforts to place people in hotel rooms the organization acquires.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Derek Logue soundly defeats the evil Lauren Book AGAIN in Florida 4th Court of Appeals

FloriDUH Judge Mel-UGH-nie May,
who wrote the dissenting opinion
Bimbo Book defeated by an overwhelming 8-3 majority (the dissenting opinion was writeen by  by a Jeb Bush appointee who volunteers for children's charities so her opinion is worthless). She apparently Can't Understand Normal Thinking, much like the Bimbo she's defending.

A lawsuit against Bimbo Book seems to me like a reasonable next step.

At any rate, the media never gets Derek Logue's opinion on the matter, and this article by the Sun SLANTinel is trying to spin the story, but that's par for the course. A win is a win is a win.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-nsf-lauren-book-injunction-overturned-20200624-rbb7tuxjizboleebxboepnz3by-story.html

Cyberstalking injunction obtained by Sen. Lauren Book overturned by appeals court
By JIM SAUNDERS
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
JUN 24, 2020 AT 6:10 PM

The 4th District Court of Appeal, in an 8-3 ruling, said a Broward County circuit judge improperly granted an injunction that, in part, was designed to prevent Derek Warren Logue from having contact with Florida Sen. Lauren Book and from publishing any statement threatening her.
The 4th District Court of Appeal, in an 8-3 ruling, said a Broward County circuit judge improperly granted an injunction that, in part, was designed to prevent Derek Warren Logue from having contact with Florida Sen. Lauren Book and from publishing any statement threatening her. (Phil Sears/AP)
TALLAHASSEE — Citing First Amendment rights, an appeals court Wednesday overturned an injunction that state Sen. Lauren Book obtained because of alleged cyberstalking and harassment by an activist who opposes laws dealing with sex-offender registries.

The full 4th District Court of Appeal, in an 8-3 ruling, said a Broward County circuit judge improperly granted an injunction that, in part, was designed to prevent Derek Warren Logue from having contact with Book and from publishing any statement threatening her.

Book, who was sexually abused as a child by a nanny and is a prominent advocate for victims’ rights, pointed to actions by Logue at events in Tallahassee and New York and online posts in seeking the injunction. But the appeals-court majority, while describing Logue’s posts as “vulgar and insulting,” said Logue did not violate a state stalking law and that his actions were protected by the First Amendment.

“As tempting as it might be to force some civility into the matter by stanching respondent’s (Logue’s) speech against petitioner (Book) with a court order, to do so would ignore the protections of the First Amendment and the wording of the stalking statute,” said the 19-page majority opinion, written by Judge Mark Klingensmith. “There was no evidence presented to the trial court that respondent incited action by urging people to threaten harm to petitioner or her family. Claims of threatening speech or harassing action are actionable if the speaker threatens, harasses or intimidates, and intended targets would reasonably perceive that intent. Merely posting public information, or potentially embarrassing and annoying content, without more, is not conduct within the stalking statute and does not entitle petitioner to an injunction.”

The opinion also cited Book’s status as a public figure.

“Respondent’s offensive vulgar and insulting posts are part of that friction and grist of public discourse intended by our Founders when forming this nation,” wrote Klingensmith, who was joined in the opinion by Chief Judge Spencer Levine and judges Robert Gross, Dorian Damoorgian, Jonathan Gerber, Burton Conner, Alan Forst and Jeffrey Kuntz. “Petitioner may feel discomfort by respondent’s anger as expressed in his postings, but discomfort is not tantamount to being threatened or harassed. His speech advocates for citizen-led political change and seeks to influence the legislative process. Though his words may be base and insulting at times, it is also pure, political, and protected protest deserving of the broadest possible First Amendment protections.”

But in a dissent, Judge Melanie May wrote that she agreed with the circuit judge that Logue “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly harassed the petitioner through a course of conduct which caused her substantial emotional distress and served no legitimate purpose.”

“Must we wait until someone commits some violent act before our system can protect its citizens? Haven’t we witnessed enough tragedies to know that our failure to address precursors of violence often leads to a more egregious tragedy?” wrote May, who was joined in the dissent by judges Martha Warner and Cory Ciklin. “Today we live in a culture where social media postings, like those involved here, have led people to lash out and wreak havoc on our children, families, friends, and communities. Social media posts, which direct attention and can motivate others to act, are threatening and dangerous. In fact, perhaps more so as the subject of the postings has no way of knowing who reads or may act upon them.”

A three-judge panel of the South Florida appeals court also ruled against the injunction in August, but the full court agreed to take up the case.

Book, D-Plantation, heads the nonprofit group Lauren’s Kids, which works on issues related to preventing sexual abuse of children. Wednesday’s majority opinion said Logue is a co-founder of what is described as the Anti-Registry Movement, which opposes sex-offender laws.

Part of the lawsuit involved Logue’s actions protesting a children’s march in Tallahassee and at a film festival in New York. The film festival included the screening of a documentary about sex offenders. Book answered audience questions after the documentary, and Logue took the microphone and asked a question that a law-enforcement officer testified was in a loud, aggressive manner, according to court documents.

All of the judges on the appeals court agreed that Logue’s conduct at the Tallahassee and New York events was protected by the First Amendment. But the judges focused on online posts by Logue that included Book’s address and a picture of her home, a video of a song with vulgar lyrics and a cartoon depicting a headstone, May wrote.

“The majority suggests the respondent’s ‘rants’ were simply vulgar expressions that he is entitled to make under the First Amendment,” May wrote in the dissent. “We disagree. When such rants are posted on social media, they take on a more global reach. In short, the petitioner proved the respondent willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly harassed her.”

But member of the majority focused on free-speech rights.

“While the drafters of the First Amendment did not conceive of the internet, they know the paramount importance of freedom of speech,” Gross wrote in a concurring opinion with the majority. “Since the dawn of the Republic, it has been the responsibility of voters to exercise political judgment, to examine political speech and to separate truth from fiction in casting a vote. If the First Amendment stands for anything, it is that courts should rarely, if ever, interfere with the political process by punishing or penalizing political speech.”

Jim Saunders writes for the News Service of Florida.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

It's time for Ron Book to Retire (and I can think of a gated community he can retire to)

... and he can take his bimbo daughter with him.

This article from Miami's Community Newspaper shows Ron Book has TOTAL control over the Homeless Trust.

https://communitynewspapers.com/coral-gables-news/its-time-for-ron-book-to-retire/

It’s Time for Ron Book to Retire

By Grant Miller, Publisher -May 23, 2020890

“Retiring” and “Ron Book” are words that never appear in the same sentence. It’s time that they did.

Ronald Lee Book made his name in South Florida as a powerhouse lobbyist. Every year, he prowls the halls of the Florida Capitol working on behalf of those who pay him well.  Very, very well. How do we know?  He lives in very nice house in Plantation, up in Broward County.

And he has a Lamborghini. Or at least he had one. In February 2019, the Florida Highway Patrol responded to an accident on I-595 near Nob Hill Road. Book was driving a Lamborghini which was involved in an accident where it was damaged on the front left side. Book was given three roadside sobriety tests and then booked on charges of DUI, DUI with property damage, and refusing to take a breathalyzer test.

Who are the clients whose generosity allows Book to enjoy this kind of lifestyle?  We don’t know all of them, but we do know the 91 clients  that he disclosed prior to this year’s Florida legislative session. They include companies like 7-11, Coca-Cola, 1-800-Contacts, and AutoNation. They also include charities like Casa Familia, Inc., Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, and his daughter’s charity for abused children, Lauren’s Kids. Then there are the counties, Miami-Dade, Broward, Seminole, and Brevard. He lobbies for Miami-Dade Public Schools, Jackson Health System, and the University of Miami.

He represents a conglomeration of cities and towns, such as Aventura, Bal Harbour, Cooper City, Coral Gables, Dania Beach, Davie, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers Beach, Lauderdale Lakes, Marathon, Marco Island, Margate, Miami Beach, Miramar, North Bay Village, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Palm Bay, Sunrise, and Tamarac.
It’s no wonder that Ron needed a Lamborghini. He needed a fast car to meet up with clients spread all over the state.

Ron even represents The Geo Group, Inc., which has a contract with Florida to run private prisons, a rock quarry in north Miami-Dade County whose blasting jars the nerves and foundations of the folks in Miami Lakes and Miramar.

There is no question that Ron is a busy guy. But is he too busy to head up the Homeless Trust here in Miami-Dade?  The Legislature’s two-month session means that he’s based in Tallahassee during those weeks, as well as the weeks that the House and Senate committees meet to mark up and consider bills.  That, and given that he lives in Broward County, means that he naturally can’t focus on the homeless issue like he should.
Yet. Book admits that he is more than a “hands-on” chairman. Although the Trust has hired Victoria Mallette to be the Executive Director, no one is authorized to speak on behalf of the Trust except Ron. I’m not the first person to say that Ron Book has an outsized ego. That’s probably a necessary quality as you prowl the corridors of the Capitol looking to buttonhole a freshman legislator to get enough votes to pull something out of a committee.

It’s not necessary or desired for someone who wants to be the sole voice of an agency that has spent over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money over the last decade. Book often comes across with an attitude that he is doing the County and the people a favor by hanging onto the chairmanship long after ordinary mortal would have been shown the door.

The Homeless Trust is composed of 27 leaders in the County. (The Homeless Trust website appears to be a bit out of date because it still lists Tomas Regalado as Mayor of the City of Miami and Francis Suarez as a Miami Commissioner.)  The Trust isn’t a direct service provider. Its 16 employees don’t scour the streets and underpasses daily, recruiting the homeless into programs to get them off the streets.

The Homeless Trust Board is supposed to meet monthly but there was no meeting held in January of this year. More troubling is that the Board and its committees don’t publish an agenda or the minutes of its meetings online. Even an agency as toothless as the Commission on Ethics and the Public Trust has been able to figure out how to do both.

The Homeless Trust lives on an extra one-percent sales tax slapped on the bills at some restaurants, except for establishments in Miami Beach, Surfside, and Bal Harbour. That, together with federal and state grants, comes to about $90 million a year. Its job is to determine which private programs merit support. It is a filter through which our tax dollars flow.

Book has served on the Trust’s Board since 1994 and has been its chairman since 2006. The County Commissioners has repeatedly waived the board’s six-year term limit so that Book can retain his seat. Why? It could be that Book is a prodigious fundraiser for County Commission candidates.

For years the Trust has been criticized for attempting to solve a long-term problem like homelessness using short-term solutions like temporary housing.  Ron’s been at this for over a quarter of a century. While he’s done some good, the problem is no closer to being solved that it was when he was a founding member of the Homeless Trust Board.

It’s time that we thanked Ron Book for his service and looked for new leadership to solve this old problem.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Ron Book sued over February 2019 DUI accident for $30,001

Case Detail - Public     

Deryk Luis Rivera Plaintiff
vs.
Ronald Lee Book Defendant
Broward County Case Number: CACE20005775
State Reporting Number: 062020CA005775AXXXCE
Court Type: Civil
Case Type: Auto Negligence
Incident Date: N/A
Filing Date: 04/01/2020
Court Location: Central Courthouse
Case Status: Pending
Magistrate Id / Name: N/A
Judge ID / Name: 12 Frink, Keathan B.

You can read the documents filed in this case by doing a case search at browardclerk.org

The case is in the early stages, and there has been noting posted as of yet that isn't already known based on the news reports about the DUI. No court dates on this civil suit have been scheduled at this time.

Ron Book's DUI criminal trial is currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 9:30am.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

When will the media stop pretending Ron Book cares about the homeless?

A couple years back, I tried getting assistance to get a homeless registrant in Miami a wheelchair. The Homeless Trust seemed eager to help until it was discovered it was for a homeless registrant.

This is a good article but it forgot to mention that Ron Book CREATED much of Miami's current homeless crisis.

https://www.miamitimesonline.com/covid-19_hub/two-sides-of-a-homeless-plight-in-the-wake-of-covid-19/article_277c0a30-84a2-11ea-b335-671b43e0fbf7.html

Two sides of a homeless plight in the wake of COVID-19
A two-sided fight may cost the vulnerable a win
Penny Dickerson Apr 22, 2020 Updated Apr 23, 2020

The Miami-Dade County community learned that a public citizen known to be homeless passed away from coronavirus on April 17. He was a 26-year-old resident of the Chapman South Homeless Assistance Center in Homestead, Florida. At his family’s request, his name was withheld. His life not only mattered, he represents a vulnerable population in dire need of COVID-19 testing and shelter. While homeless advocates are aligned in their intent, an unkind divide exists between two influential men. Their reconciliation could leverage all efforts to provide for the homeless.

My job is to guard the money and stretch it as far as any rubber band. I am cheap and frugal, but I refused an offer of 2,000 rapid antibody tests because it is not FDA approved. Everything Dr. Henderson is saying about me is a lie.”
-Ron L. Book, Esq.,
Chair of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust
Book oversees a $68.5M budget to implement the homeless plan

Ron L. Book, Esq. is arguably misunderstood. Raised in North Miami, the former track star studied law at Tulane University and is now over 60 years old and a voluminous presence. He has triumphed cancer and says he is “the poster child for the immunocompromised." He has not been tested for coronavirus, but is ensuring that his approximate, 165 sheltered-seniors and 476 staff are able to access COVID-19 testing.

Book has reigned as a community leader representing the underserved for 25 years and is current chair of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. The position holds him accountable for overseeing a reported $68.5M budget to implement the county’s homeless plan. He is an avid storyteller who wields words with speed, but Book admits his entire world stopped when he learned one of the Trust’s “own” had died.

“I publically cried most of the day Saturday,” Book told The Miami Times in an exclusive interview on Sunday, April 19. “We thought we were past the peak one week ago and had made it without losing any of our homeless people. I received a call from my staff at about 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. and was just devastated.”

Pandemic planning

According to Book, the deceased male had underlying health issues including “serious diabetes,” and when it was discovered a male in the public-private partner, Chapman Partnership male dorm tested positive, every known Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention protocol along with mandates provided by the Florida Dept. of Health and division of emergency management.

“We started negotiating four or five weeks ago with hotels to make sure we had shelter reserved if we needed it,” said Book. “We know you can’t just snap your fingers and make things happen if the need arises and you need to evacuate hundreds of people, so we’ve been planning ahead since the pandemic’s onset.”

That planning began mid-March with the dissemination of information on social distancing and the threat of coronavirus in English, Spanish and Creole to as many of the 1,024 homeless individuals who dwell outdoors in the county that could be reached. Families and individuals at the Salvation Army, Lotus House, Camilus House, Chatman Partnership and beyond were, too, included and given masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

Hands-on, street testing

Who launched an initiative to test the homeless and the preferred methodology remains a debate, but Book said he was on the street with his Project Lazarus and Camilus House team last week.

“I wasn’t satisfied with the pace. Why in a five hour period, could we only complete seven or eight tests?” Book wondered. “In one day, we still only did 20 tests, and the main reason is that it takes a great deal of time to convince a homeless person to take the test, complete paperwork and acquire signatures. I have begged, and they shake their heads and say, ‘I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna.’”

According to Book, testing is ongoing with more than 3,500 more swab kits on order. The  culmination of much of Book’s efforts are marked in the Trust negotiating a contract with Dunns-Josephine Hotel to house clients who have been tested and need to remain quarantined pending results.

“The last guy I touched was a 77-year-old man who lives in the underpass of Jose Marti Park,” said Book. “He tested, but then refused to accept a hotel room.

That’s not uncommon and people don’t factor those situations into the equation when seeking to understand the Trust’s dilemma.

“People’s perception of the homeless is jaded, discriminatory and unfair. We are grateful, humble and appreciative to be here.”
-Metris Batts-Coley, sales and marketing director, Dunns-Josephine Hotel.
Black-owned business bridges the gap
Historic Overtown welcomed Dunns-Josephine Hotel to the neighborhood  in December of 2019. The Harlem Renaissance-themed bread and breakfast is adjacent to cruise ports and the airport with 50% of the clientele being international travelers.

It is also situated blocks from  tent city occupied by the homeless community, their new clientele. Owner Kristen Kitchen and the Miami Dade County Homeless Trust have engaged a contract to assist the greater good.

COVID-19 contract with Homeless Trust

The Miami Times reported April 1 that the business first experienced pandemic-related occupancy following the cancellation of the Miami Gardens Jazz in the Gardens music festival scheduled March 13-15.

Kitchens was quoted to have said, “We had 42 cancellations in 24 hours that weekend…it was a train wreck you couldn’t stop.” The Dunns-Josephine is one of few, local Black-owned businesses who have experienced an economic reprieve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We signed an initial, one-month contract on March 25 for $32,000,” Metris Batts-Coley told The Miami Times April 18. “The room rate is $76 and our maximum occupancy is 15 rooms in a two-story dwelling. The Southside of the second story, houses eight rooms and  opens up to a breeze way that allows clients to smoke.” 

Book said he entered negotiations for the short haul, but expects he may have to extend to meet needs.

“We need to ensure that people have access to housing during the testing period and beyond,” Book said. “I am guessing the contract will last 60-90 days or longer.”

Public health expertise

Batts-Coley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing from Johnson & Wales University and met Kitchen through economic development circles. But her background in public health proved to be the link need to successfully collaborate and meet a critical need during an unexpected pandemic.

“I was the HIV/AIDS minority coordinator for Palm Beach County,” Batts-Coley said. “I have worked for Catalyst Miami, and I am rooted in continuum care. To pull this off, I didn’t solicit the help of residential workers, but rather those in behavior health who had been furloughed or laid off.”

An expertise in protocol development helped Batts-Coley transition the hotel to emergency accommodations where social distancing and all CDC guidelines were followed. A television, Netflix and Wifi are also provided in each room along with a coffee pot, microwave and refrigerator.

“We are not offering a hotel experience, this is isolation. The clients who come here are quarantined until their test status is known,” Batts-Coley explained. “There is no room service or turn-down. Rooms formerly named Josephine Baker, Marcus Garvey and Zora Neale Hurston now have numbers and clients who check in are from Chapman, Lotus or various shelters and arrive with masks and gloves, but we also have N95 masks and bleach cleaning.”

“Ron Book is a prison lobbyist. I am a doctor not funded by the Trust nor am I afraid of Book’s power. During this pandemic, I felt compelled to do more.” -Dr. Armen Henderson
Henderson was handcuffed last week-- now, his work continues
Armen Henderson became an unwitting media darling the week of April 13 when he made national headlines for being racially profiled. He was handcuffed in front of his own home while his wife and two young children sat nearby. A city of Miami police officer suspected Henderson of dumping trash. He was actually loading tents to distribute to the homeless as part of his ongoing street advocacy.

Henderson also offered The Miami Times an exclusive interview on Sunday, April 19 and made clear he was more than a Black man in handcuffs and a headline. And don’t let the baby face fool you. The 34-year-old Philadelphia native is a graduate of the city’s renowned Central high school and excelled at hoops as a Mansfield University undergraduate. Meharry medical college followed along with a residency at Jackson South where he currently practices as a licensed physician of internal medicine through the University of Miami Health System.

Verbal handshake to backtracking

“On March 20th, my friend Mario Bailey, who is a Tallahassee lobbyist and familiar with my community work, encouraged me to reach out to Ron Book,” Henderson said. “I was then referred to Vickie Mallette, executive director of the Homeless Trust. I told her I was going to start testing the homeless  and she said, ‘Great! Let me know if any test positive and we’ll house them in hotels.’”

“Vickie seemed amenable, but two days later when I identified symptomatic homeless people needing quarantine according to CDC guidelines, the conversation ended. She said they didn’t have any hotel rooms,” Henderson explained.

Henderson is an experienced street soldier in disaster management whose training includes three stints in Haiti and working stateside following hurricane Irma. His alliance of cohorts includes the Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority, Smile Trust and Dade County Street Response Disaster Relief team.

An evolution of distrust ensued that included Mallette allegedly reporting Henderson to the Florida Dept. of Health. Brought into question was both his medical credentials and who approved him to pursue county testing? That was March 22 and while Henderson provided text messages, The Miami Times reached out directly to Mallette.

In a statement provided to The Miami Times April 21, The M Network provided the following on behalf of the Homeless Trust: “Thank you for reaching out to the Trust for a comment. We really do appreciate it, however, at this critical point in time, opening up this conversation does nothing to advance efforts to serve homeless individuals in Miami-Dade. No one benefits.”

Public demand for change

On Friday, April 17, Henderson was front and center at lot 15 of the Miami Parking Authority where he held a press conference in conjunction with community organizers, clergy and medical providers.

His call for action was the very charge Book claims he has championed all along. According to the press release, Henderson is calling for Book and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to take immediate action and announce an expansion of the group’s efforts to provide resources to Miami’s homeless community.

“We wouldn’t be out here if the Homeless Trust, which receives millions of dollars in tax revenue every year, we’re doing what needs to be done to protect the homeless,” said Henderson who dually serves as director of health program for the Dream Defenders.

“Chairman Ron Book has left our most vulnerable communities out on the streets, without testing them, without giving them a place to shelter, wash and eat. This negligence is putting our entire city at risk in the face of the pandemic. The way I was racially profiled and arrested on Saturday is business as usual in Miami Dade County. Their response to a pandemic in our communities is to criminalize, rather than protect, the most vulnerable, especially poor, Black people.”

Henderson is equally advocating for what he deems unwarranted and exorbitant arrests of homeless people in the county, an activity he believes is directly related to Book’s lobbyist activity on behalf of the for-profit prison company, the GEO group.

“In my public data search of Miami-Dade jail bookings between March 12, which was the start of the emergency pandemic period, and April 18, there were 264 arrests where the address is listed as homeless, that’s out of 2,708 entries,” Henderson told The Miami Times. “That’s 9.75% of all arrests and 21 of those entries were second and third arrests for the same person. So, in reality, 243 homeless individuals have faced arrest since this pandemic began.”

Henderson is passionate in his quest to seek resolve and it is his belief that the Trust just started testing the homeless “three days ago,” indicating they launched April 16.

“We should all be working together, but the Trust could be doing more,” Henderson said. “I want to get everybody who wants to be off  the streets, off the streets, and now that we have Ron Book’s attention, he can do more too.”

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Ron Book tells critics to "Kiss My Butt" as Homeless Trust ineptitude leads to first COVID-19 death among Miami's Homeless

Having Ron Book run the Homeless Trust is like having a KKK member run a race relations program.

As an aside, Miami arrested a Doctor for putting boxes out on the street to help the homeless.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article242118561.html

26-year-old man becomes first Miami-Dade homeless coronavirus death, Homeless Trust says
BY DEVOUN CETOUTE
APRIL 18, 2020 11:01 PM

As Miami-Dade nears 200 novel coronavirus deaths, a 26-year-old man has become the county’s first homeless person to succumb to the illness, reported the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.

The man was a resident at the Chapman South Homeless Assistance Center in Homestead. The trust said the man, who it did not identify, visited Chapman’s health clinic on Friday with a fever.

He was immediately taken to Jackson South where he passed away a few hours later.

“We are devastated and crushed. I am so proud of the work we are doing, which makes this news incredibly difficult to swallow,” Ron Book, chair of the Homeless Trust, said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies go out to this young man’s family, who really lost their son, brother, and friend first to homelessness and now to this.”

The Homeless Trust cares for more than 8,000 homeless people and another 1,020 sheltered. Seven homeless people have tested positive for COVID-19, the trust said.

As of Saturday evening, the Florida Department of Health reported 25,492 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide and the death toll at 748. Miami-Dade County reported 9,045 cases and 198 deaths.

While Book emphasizes the aggressive work the trust is doing for the homeless, a coalition of advocates criticized the trust for its inaction during the pandemic.

Book denied these claims and said the Homeless Trust has been handing out brochures, masks, hand sanitizer and food for seven weeks now; it has been moving people into hotel rooms for more than a month.

“It’s obvious from the conditions that I’ve seen of humans living out the street in Miami-Dade County, that we’re not prepared and that we’re not doing enough,” said Armen Henderson, a University of Miami doctor who leads the coalition. “We should absolutely do more.”

Henderson and the coalition, which includes Dream Defenders, the Circle of Brotherhood, Miami Workers Center and Struggle for Miami’s Affordable and Sustainable Housing, has been distributing food, tents and toiletries during the pandemic. The organizations have also been collecting swabs and samples from the homeless for testing.

Henderson was recently handcuffed by Miami police for placing used boxes on the curb for pickup in front of his home.

Miami’s police chief said the incident would be investigated.


CORONAVIRUS
‘We’re not doing enough.’ The race against COVID-19 to test and house Miami’s homeless
BY JOEY FLECHAS AND ALEX HARRIS
APRIL 18, 2020 07:02 AM 

A moving pad, a magenta blanket and a few pillows separate the Bachmans from the concrete sidewalk on Southwest First Avenue in Miami. The coronavirus pandemic has rendered this stretch of downtown quiet, save for a few vehicles through the day and the occasional pedestrian. Anyone on foot can easily walk down the middle of the street.

Ashley Bachman, 34, has multiple sclerosis. Her 36-year-old husband Robert Bachman has epilepsy. The couple have been sleeping on their makeshift bed on the concrete near the intersection with South Miami Avenue for almost two months.

Ashley Bachman and her husband, fearful of contracting COVID-19, have been able to get into a Camillus Health program that allows them to get mental health evaluations and housing. But they are stymied by delays as shelters move people around in an effort to create distance between them and isolate those who might have been exposed.

“Ain’t no telling how long it’s going to take though,” Robert said.

“Because of the virus, that’s the major problem right now. Everything is on hold,” Ashley said.

Bachman is one of a few dozen people experiencing homelessness on this block of downtown. She’s one of hundreds in downtown and Overtown who have seen the pandemic manifest in ways that people with housing don’t experience. On the street, feedings have decreased, access to shelters and programming have become more difficult and the stream of people who would normally offer a helping hand no longer walk by.

Several weeks after the COVID-19 crisis upended daily life for people across Miami-Dade County, advocates are working to address the challenges faced by people sleeping on the street. They are frustrated that more people are not being provided housing and testing and they blame the Homeless Trust.

That frustration has drawn advocates from different corners of the area’s social safety net into a coalition that is taking on work they say the Trust and its chief, the powerful lobbyist Ron Book, should be doing.

Book paints a different picture, one of an agency whose employees are working aggressively on behalf of the homeless and that is dipping into its reserves to help them.

On Friday, a coalition of advocates led by University of Miami doctor Armen Henderson called a press conference to announce new measures to serve the homeless, from expanded COVID-19 testing to showers and portable toilets in Overtown.

Henderson and members of other community groups, including the Dream Defenders, the Circle of Brotherhood, Miami Workers Center and Struggle for Miami’s Affordable and Sustainable Housing, criticized the Trust for what they considered inaction in the face of the pandemic. Henderson said his offers to collaborate with the Trust were rebuffed. In response, he took matters into his own hands.

“It’s obvious from the conditions that I’ve seen of humans living out the street in Miami-Dade County, that we’re not prepared and that we’re not doing enough,” Henderson said. “We should absolutely do more.”

Henderson has distributed food, tents and toiletries for several weeks during the pandemic, and he’s tested 30 homeless people since mid-March. He said all 30 tests have come back negative. The physicians had 25 more swab tests to offer Friday.

The doctor also made headlines when a Miami police officer handcuffed him in front of his home while he was placing used boxes on the curb for pickup. The doctor said he could not discern any reason for why he was handcuffed. Miami’s police chief said the incident would be investigated.

Henderson and the coalition, which includes a team of physicians and medical students, on Friday handed out more tents and food to people living on downtown’s sidewalks. They also collected more samples for COVID-19 tests, swabbing people who wanted to get tested.

“I think it’s awesome what these volunteers are doing, coming out here to help us,” said Silvia Stagg, a woman who was tested under the overpass on Southwest Second Street.

Natalia Echeverri, a South Miami Hospital physician who administered COVID-19 tests Friday, said she was one of multiple local doctors who were using the little time they have between shifts to volunteer on the street. She called on the government agencies to put all of the homeless in housing immediately to truly enact the “stay-at-home” orders that are in place statewide.

“I am here because as a physician, I took an oath to help others,” she said. “This is a public health emergency for all, not for those with homes, not for those with insurance, but for every single human out there.”

Book refuted the claim that the Trust isn’t doing enough. He said staffers have been handing out brochures, masks, hand sanitizer and food for seven weeks now; they have been moving people into hotel rooms for more than a month.

“I have been moving people into hotels for days and days and days,” he said. “These folks want you to believe we’ve done nothing.”

A new contract for 200 beds at the Red Roof Inn in Homestead kicked in on Friday, bringing the Trust’s total available beds to 649. Of the total, 161 are occupied — some by families. The rooms cost the Trust $35 to $78 a night, on top of cost of three meals a day and staff to monitor the residents to make sure they don’t leave the hotels, as the first few isolated guests did weeks back. Thursday, Book said, a man threw his TV out the window of his hotel room in frustration from having to stay inside the hotel.

“Can I put everybody [in a hotel room]? I can’t afford to do that,” he said.

Book said he has no idea how much it would cost to house everyone on the streets, but said the Trust’s board gave him permission to tap into the reserves, so he is. He’s also counting on federal cash to fill in the gaps. The Trust’s plan is to triage housing — starting with senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions. The end goal is to get each of those people in hotel rooms permanent housing afterward and not just send them back to the street when the pandemic abates.

“For somebody to come in and say we don’t have a plan? Kiss my butt,” Book said.

More than 1,500 people currently live in one of the Trust’s shelters and another 4,734 live in more permanent, affordable housing that comes with regular access to social services.

The Trust is working off a batch of 144 nasal swab tests and 100 throat tests. Book said he doesn’t have a total count for how many tests have been completed since they began swabbing people last week, but said on Thursday alone 20 people were swabbed.

Staff is focusing on people who live downtown as well as senior citizens inside the shelters.

Some people have refused shelter, fearing they may be at greater risk entering dorm-like lodgings. Some have also refused a hotel room. Book, who went along for the testing on Thursday, said they encountered multiple people who refused a test or a hotel room.

“There was this 77-year-old-man. I got on my knees and begged him to go to the hotel, but I couldn’t get him to go,” Book said. “But I got two older women to go.”

The Trust has so far found six homeless people — some sheltered, some not — who have tested positive for the virus. An employee has as well. Book said he plans to test all 426 employees at the Trust.

Henderson told reporters he called Victoria Mallette, the Trust’s executive director, four weeks ago to advocate for housing four individuals he’d met who had symptoms. He said Mallette belittled him over the phone before calling the health department to check on Henderson’s credentials and verify that he was really a physician.

Book denied that Henderson had reached out with an offer to help “recently,” but said they did speak weeks ago. He also denied that Henderson had spoken with Mallette, the director, recently.

“We have an obligation anytime we’re taking someone into our continuum to do our due diligence on them,” Book said. “I don’t know whether she asked them about his credentials.”

DEBATE OVER PUBLIC TOILETS
The COVID-19 crisis has also reignited a debate over public bathrooms, redrawing battle lines between Book and advocates for more public facilities. Book has ardently opposed opening public bathrooms in downtown, a position firmly at odds with activists and the city of Miami’s government.

The city, the tax-funded Downtown Development Authority and homeless shelter Camillus House helped pay for a $300,000 public toilet near the downtown library. Advocates and government leaders say they favor more permanent bathrooms that would serve the whole public, not just the homeless, and prevent public urination and defecation.

Other places with bathrooms people could use, such as restaurants and the library, are closed during the emergency. In unfortunate timing, that toilet was removed and placed in storage in February when the county began staging redevelopment of the civil courthouse on Flagler Street and Northwest First Avenue. One permanent bathroom at Bayfront Park remains open. Downtown Development Authority executive director Christina Crespi said it is being staffed 14 hours a day. The agency will manage the installation of at least three more permanent toilets in downtown within the next six weeks.

But a pair of portable toilets city crews placed at the northeast corner of South Miami Avenue and First Street became unusable because they weren’t maintained. On Tuesday, soiled clothing lay on the floor of one of the stalls, and feces were smeared on the ground.

“The other day it rained, and there was a stream of feces running down the street,” said Star Lee Black, a 50-year-old man who sleeps around the corner.

By Friday, the portable toilets had been moved. Milton Vickers, director of the city’s human services department, said the toilets were relocated to Southwest First Street and First Court. The city is looking to buy them from the vendor and service them with city workers, though the toilets would be available for use only between certain hours, which have not been determined.

“We are working on it,” Vickers said.

Henderson has been handing out tents to help people create boundaries between themselves on the sidewalks and encourage social distancing. In late March, when he tested 15 people and fed more during a stop under I-95 on Southwest 11th Street in Overtown, volunteers distributed more than a dozen tents. Tuesday afternoon, it looked like all of those tents were pitched, and people who would otherwise be sitting in close proximity were inside their tents.

Several people in downtown on Friday said Miami police have been telling the homeless that they need to take their tents down during the day and can only put them up at night, an order that made no sense to people on the street and the volunteers serving them. The tents allow people to have some level of shelter, with physical separation from each other, to protect against the spread of the virus.

Miami’s police department did not respond to a request for comment Friday night.

Book has always been clear about his housing-first stance, arguing that providing toilets and tents makes it harder to move unhoused individuals into housing. He also said people shouldn’t hand out tents because he worries it encourages tent cities where the disease could be easily spread.

However, he does not think areas where several tents are set up should be broken up because that disperses people — and potentially, the virus. He pointed to guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which cautioned that encampments should be left in place but residents should be encouraged to increase their distance from each other.

Henderson announced the volunteers will be working to place people in motel rooms arranged by his volunteers and collaborating with Bishop James Adams at the St. John’s Baptist Church in Overtown to set up showers and portable toilets in the church parking lot.

Access to a shower, which has been cut off for people outside shelters, would be a godsend for Ashley Bachman. As she spoke about how badly she wanted to move off the street, steps that are stymied by the virus crisis, a handful of daisies poked out of her pink bag. Slightly wilted, the symbols of purity and new beginnings could be seen over her shoulder as she spoke emotionally.

“I’m going through a lot because ... it’s just hard. I don’t like looking like I’m filthy, looking like I’m dirty,” she said, tears welling in her eyes as her voice shook. “I like to be presentable, even being homeless. It’s hard.”

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Just who is "educating" Lauren Book?

Even during this COVID-19 crisis, Lauren Book is still promoting her organization, and with April typically being child abuse awareness month (which is pointless amidst a global crisis), there are plenty of opportunities for people to get educated. FloriDUH is paying State Senator Lauren Book millions to educate the public on sexual abuse, but has anyone actually educated Lauren Book?

Recently, Lauren Book's latest publicity stunt, walking on a treadmill for 42 hours for the dubious claim of 42 million abuse victims. But where did she pull that stat from? It is interesting Lauren Book's organization, Lauren's Kids, does NOT post original sources for her dubious claims. Instead, like so many victim advocacy groups, each organization cites other advocacy groups rather than any actual research.

Lauren Book's statistical claims are many. These claims are:

#1 - Lauren's Claim: "There are more than 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in America. (National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse)":

It is hard to track down the origins of this stat, but the oldest reference I can find is a book written in 1987 entitled BY SILENCE BETRAYED The Sexual Abuse of Children in America by John Crewdson, a Chicago Tribune reporter. The LA Times noted that Crewdson relied heavily on a single 1985 LA Times poll that found 24% of the 1145 men and 1481 women claimed to have been sexually abused. Crewdson then assumed that 38 million Americans had experienced sexual abuse as a child.

Part of the problem is the survey had a 24% refusal rate, so it is likely many did not take the survey because it was irrelevant to them. It must also be noted that this survey also asked opinions on the McMartin trial and it was still a time where people associated homosexuals with pedophilia.

The site Lauren's Kids cites is a fellow child victim advocacy website which did NOT offer a reference at all.

#2, another of Lauren's favorites:
1 in 3 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. (The Advocacy Center)
1 in 5 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. (The Advocacy Center)

The source for this stat is NOT The Advocacy Center. The origin of this stat is from a handful of stats from feminist groups circa the 1970s/1980s. In the 1988 book "The Right to Innocence" by Beverly Engel, she attributed the stat to a survey of cases from one Hank Giaretto, who promoted his own advocacy center he founded in 1971 until his death in 2003. But similar claims could be found before then: Elizabeth E Cobey of Parents United told a congressional subcommittee in 1977 she saw stats that 25% of American women were molested as children. These surveys were conducted primarily by feminist groups with relatively small numbers.

This is a good time to discuss validity versus reliability. Something is reliable if it gives the same results. Something is valid when something gives the right result. Let's say you rig up a device that shoots a gun at a target. If it hits the bullseye all 5 times, it is both valid and reliable. If it shoots in the same spot five times but hits 5 inches from the bullseye, it is reliable but invalid.

Many of the tests used to make estimates on the prevalence of sexual abuse suffer from the same issues with validity. Back in the 1980s, repressed memory was taught by numerous victim advocates, and that stuff taught back then is believed by the current generation of advocates. It goes like this -- if your life sucks in any way, such as being depressed, trouble meeting a good man, or trouble at work, then you were probably abused, even if you don't remember it. Repressed memory has long since been debunked (think about all the terrible experiences you've ever had and you'll discover it is very hard to forget) but we never forget even bad advice we were taught, like stranger danger.

This is a major problem among victim advocates but they like to repress such facts. 

#3: Lauren's Claim: 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the Internet before the age of 18. (National Children’s Alliance: Nationwide Child Abuse Statistics) --

Surprise! Lauren's Kids fails to cite the original resource. Instead, she promotes another victim advocacy group that took down the page she cited. 1 in 5” stat: came from a 2008 Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS); 19% received a broad  term "sexual solicitation," which included anything from sexual spam to someone asking if a person “got  lucky” on a date. Only one in 33 experienced an "aggressive sexual solicitation," or a request to contact offline. Of those who actually solicited a teen online, 24% came from adults, 48% came from other juveniles, and 24% from unknown people. One cannot assume all solicitations came from "online predators" implied by Lauren's Kids.

#4: Lauren's Claim - 30% of sexual abuse is never reported. (Child Sex Abuse Prevention and Protection Center) --

Any discussion about sex offense inevitably lead to claims of widespread underreporting. It is the classic appeal to ignorance; we simply can't disprove claims of widespread underreporting so we can't easily debunk such claims. By the same token, claims of widespread underreporting cannot be proven, either. There is already a lengthy discussion about underreporting online; to summarize the article for the sake of this article, the National Crime Victimization Surveys are the largest surveys on this topic, but even they rely on incredibly small numbers (less than a hundred unreported cases) and broad definitions of what constitutes sexual assault, which can lead to wide variations in results. One year, it is 30%, the next year, it is 90%, depending on the resource. These underreporting surveys rely on self-reports from common citizens, which means no investigation was made to determine if an event or fear of an event qualifies as abuse in the eyes of the law.

#5: Lauren's claim: Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children age 17 and under. (Children’s Advocacy Center)

-- This stat is actually verified by legitimate studies but is a pretty useless stat simply intended to incite fear. On average, there are only about 100,000 to 200,000 sexual assault reports in America annually in a nation of roughly 330 Million people. But this stat is like a stat saying 10% of manufactured cars are colored red.


#6: Lauren's claim: 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. (U.S. Department of Justice)

-- This one is true but is also a valid argument for the uselessness of sex offense registries, since they were designed with Stranger Danger in mind.

#7: Lauren's claim: Approximately 20% of the victims of sexual abuse are under age eight. (Broward County)2

This is a stat from just one county, so it is not necessarily indicative of the entire state of Florida. This is another "10% of cars are red" stat. It is an emotionally charged stat but is not useful for anything else.

#8: Lauren's Claim: 95% of sexual abuse is preventable through education. (Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute)

-- I agree (albeit knowing the 95% is an arbitrary number created merely as a talking point) but the education has to be FACTUAL, not based on the tired myths propagated by Lauren Book. Lauren's kids is the equivalent to Jim Bakker's Silver Solution for COVID-19. There are far better programs out there.

Also, I wonder what 5% cannot be prevented by educating the public and how this conclusion was made.

#9: Lauren's Claim; 38% of the sexual abusers of boys are female. (Broward County)

-- Again, a single county stat.It is good to point out not everyone accused of sexual offenses are men. Wll, good for Lauren Book, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

#10 Lauren's Claim: There is worse lasting emotional damage when a child’s sexual abuse started before the age of six, and lasted for several years. Among child and teen victims of sexual abuse there is a 42 percent increased chance of suicidal thoughts during adolescence. (American Counseling Association)

-- The article she links to DOES NOT make this claim. This report is merely a brief of POTENTIAL, not ACTUAL, impacts of abuse, and warns not everyone will have reported problems that Book claims will happen. On this I say this a blatant lie by Lauren Book.

#11: Lauren's Claim: “More than 90% of individuals with a developmental delay or disability will be sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime.” (Valenti-Heim, D.m Schwartz L.)

-- This report is not available online but is from a very obscure book from 1995; despite a few sources quoting this (and by a few I mean less than a dozen), there is no way to verify the outlandish claims made here. Judging by the lack of citation, I'm willing to bet Lauren Book does not actually know where this stat came from. If I was in search of a stat, I'd provide the actual reference.

#12: Lauren's claim: “There are nearly half a million registered sex offenders in the U.S. – 80,000 to 100,000 of them are missing.” (The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) --

This myth came from a 2003 poorly devised telephone survey conducted by another dubious victim advocate cult, Parents For Megan's Law. Legitimate studies have found this number is not even a tenth of PFML's false claim. A lengthy discussion on this persistent claim can be found at oncefallen.com.

#13 Lauren's Kids claims: “A typical pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in a lifetime.” (National Sex Offenders Registry)

-- Lauren's Kids cites this dubious stat to a private registry company that sells advertising space on their websites and was conjured from a blatant misread of a single quote by Gene Abel in a book. This stat was posted on Yellodyno, another advocacy site. Interestingly enough, the original citation cannot be found anywhere. It was attributed to Gene Abel (1985) “The Evaluation of Child Molesters: Final Report to the Center on Antisocial and Violent Behavior.” Rockville, MD: National Institute of Mental Health. No one has a copy of the original study! But, as written in“The Stop Child Molestation Book: What Ordinary People Can Do In Their Everyday Lives To Save 3 Million Children” by Nora Harlow and Gene G. Abel, “On average, a pedophile molests 11.7 children compared to a non-pedophile molester, who molests, on average, 2.9 children… On average, a molester with pedophilia commits 70.8 molestation acts. On average, a molester without pedophilia commits 6.5 acts.” Somewhere along the way, the stat was misread!

To borrow WaPo's Pinocchio scale, Lauren's statistical claims are a solid THREE Pinocchios and barely a fact from four. If a person lies as frequentrly as Donald Trump how can we trust her "education" curriculum to provide factual information?

Friday, April 10, 2020

Some is finally running against corrupt State Senator Lauren Book, but there's a catch

Notice that last statement- in 2016, when Bimbo Book was running for District 33, the districts miraculously change and Bimbo Book's house became part of District 32 where no one was running against her. I wonder if Bimbo Book will be rezoned again.

https://www.wogx.com/news/republican-jumps-into-race-to-replace-sullivan

"Also in recent days, Davie Republican Diana Bivona Belviso opened an account to run in 2022 against Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, in what is now Broward County’s Senate District 32. Book, who was first elected to the Senate in 2016, had raised $55,300 for her campaign account as of Feb. 29. The district is expected to change in 2022 because of the once-a-decade reapportionment process."

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Ron Book's DUI trial rescheduled for May 19th


05/19/2020 Jury Trial Hearing Time: 9:30 AM
Judicial Officer(s):Levy - MP, Jill K.
Location: Room 6170
XX/Special Set. Continuance granted from 4/14 in open court


04/14/2020 Reset by Court to 05/19/2020 - Rescheduled

02/18/2020 Reset by Court to 04/14/2020 - Rescheduled


I assume this is due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Members of the Homeless Trust along with Miami's homeless have already been exposed to coronavirus.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Can Ron Book be trusted even during the Coronavirus outbreak? I beg to differ

Ron Book is claiming his Homeless Trust "Green Shirts" are giving needed sanitary supplies to the homeless, but there is a group of people he MADE homeless that are likely not getting any services from the Homeless Trust.

How can you trust a county whose own commissioner proposed infecting first responders with the virus to build up immunity to the virus?

https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/coronavirus-scare-hits-miamis-homeless-population-11598427

At Least Three Homeless People in Miami-Dade Are Quarantined
TAMICA JEAN-CHARLES | MARCH 18, 2020 | 10:47AM

Five people affiliated with the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust — three clients and two employees — have been ordered to self-quarantine amid a coronavirus outbreak in South Florida, according to chairman Ron Book.

The homeless clients are a woman in her mid-40s and a man and woman in their 70s. All five people may have been exposed to someone with the virus but did not meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing, according to Book.

"We were not going to wait around for guidance," he says.

The Homeless Trust sent out a press release Friday detailing its plan of action for homeless clients. Like many other establishments, the Trust says it is educating staff on how to screen for symptoms. Workers are regularly cleaning the organization's facilities, vehicles, and other touchpoints.

Seniors and clients with underlying health conditions — some of the people most vulnerable to COVID-19 — are being pre-identified, the press release says. Members of the Homeless Trust Outreach team, otherwise known as green shirts, are visiting various parts of Miami to take the temperature of homeless people and passing out educational materials and hand sanitizer.

The vast majority of people living on the streets have underlying health conditions, Book says. The Homeless Trust is working with the Lazarus Project, a medical-based outreach team that operates out of Camillus House, to identify and treat those with exhibiting symptoms. If a person at a Homeless Trust shelter has symptoms, he or she is to be quarantined at the shelter. If a symptomatic person is living on the streets, he or she will be sent to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Book says he has been taking the situation seriously. The green shirts have already reached out to more than 1,000 people since they began coronavirus-specific outreach missions earlier this month.

"I would not have had an all-hands-on-deck situation two and a half weeks ago if I had just thought this was just a virus or that it wouldn't have impacted one of the most vulnerable populations that society knows," Book says.

But for other local homeless outreach groups, it's been business as usual.

Frank Diaz, a pastor who ministers to homeless sex offenders, says he has not halted outreach operations through his organization, United We All Can. Diaz says many of his homeless clients already engage in social distancing and isolation practices.

"We know who they are; we see them on a daily basis," Diaz says. "We go there because we have a purpose to rescue and recover them."

United We All Can is reaching out to homeless communities all over Miami-Dade County, minus those downtown, where other homeless organizations are centralized.

In Miami Beach, Valerie Navarrete has been volunteering with the homeless for several years. Like Diaz, she says she will continue her outreach. Despite the challenge of finding essential products such as hand sanitizer, she says she will stop at nothing to raise awareness about and give aid to the homeless.

"We don't have a newspaper for the homeless or somewhere where they can get information, so they're depending on someone like the Homeless Trust and volunteers to give them that information," Navarrete says.

Across the county, shelters are taking precautions. Chapman Partnership has suspended all of its volunteer services. Camillus House is continuing operations but enforcing social distancing among clients, as directed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced more than $118 million in grants to aid local homeless assistance programs and its most vulnerable individuals and families; Florida is expected to receive more than $6.5 million in grants. A recent article by the Washington Post  says HUD is finding ways to allow "maximum flexibility" for communities to use their grant money to curb the outbreak.

Book says the Homeless Trust is in partnership with HUD but is not using HUD dollars for the pandemic yet.

"But that could change, because [now] everything is subject to some change," Book says.

The rest of the nation also is scrambling to help the homeless during the outbreak. The Hill reported Monday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom blocked off 400 hotel rooms in Oakland for the homeless moments after news of a homeless person in Santa Rosa County died of COVID-19. And Anchorage, Alaska, is transforming two of its arenas into mass shelters for homeless people, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

This story has been updated as more information has become available.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Lauren Book voted against raising the legal age for smoking

If you love to see our youth smoking and vaping, then you'll love Florida's resident bimbo, Lauren Book.

Lauren Book does not care about the health of youngsters so much as she cares about the tobacco lobbyists, which will make them more susceptible to diseases like the coronavirus. Seems FloriDUH and daddy Ron had their own coronavirus scare.

https://floridapolitics.com/archives/323206-legislation-to-raise-smoking-vaping-ages-awaits-ron-desantis-signature

Legislation to raise the smoking and vaping age to 21 heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ desk after Senators approved the House’s changes to their proposal.

House members approved a version Wednesday evening punting the start date of the age hike three months to the start of next year. A mixed bag of Republicans and Democrats dissented as it passed 27-9 in the Senate and 99-17 in the House.

The House language also ensures permitted store employees below 21 years old can sell tobacco and vape products and clarifies that vape product permits don’t carry a $50 fee, an original intent of the bill. Additionally, foods like tomatoes and potatoes, which contain trace nicotine, were carved out of the bill.

Reps. Jackie Toledo and Nicholas Duran carried the bill (SB 810) through the House. They and Simmons believe youth vaping has become an epidemic and a crisis in middle and high schools.

Raising the age to 21 helps the state comply with new federal regulations. And the bill bans all vape flavors but menthol and nicotine until they receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

But there was no appetite for an accompanying measure by Simmons (SB 1394) to tag vape products licenses with the $50 fee. Floridians in 2018 passed a constitutional amendment that the Legislature needs a two-thirds vote to raise taxes and fees.

Like on Wednesday, references in the existing statute to third degree misdemeanors, which do not exist in Florida, cased a brief moment of contention. A drafting oversight left that language in, and lawmakers didn’t want to risk the bill’s survival on an additional amendment to fix it when it hasn’t caused problems before.

Senators voted 34-4 last week to send the primary bill to the House, with Republican Sens. Aaron Bean and Jeff Brandes and Democratic Sens. Audrey Gibson — the Minority Leader — and Linda Stewart casting the dissenting votes. But Thursday, Democratic Sens. Lauren Book, Randolph Bracy and Jason Pizzo and Republicans Sens. George Gainer and Joe Gruters joined the four.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Ron Book's DUI trial rescheduled for April 14, 2020

Ron Book's trial date was rescheduled for Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 at 9:30am. I have little doubt Ron Book is stalling for time to get a sweetheart deal because everyone knows he is guilty as sin.

Here's a reminder, courtesy of WPLG Local 10 --


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Ron Bok is such an asshole, even his daughter is glad to talk to him less

This is probably the only intelligent thing the airheaded bimbo has ever said publicly, even if only jokingly:

https://floridianpress.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/03/trump-gun.jpg

Papa Book aka “Bapa” is the butt of his daughter Lauren’s jokes

We caught up to Sen. Book in the state Capitol, where she jokingly expressed how happy she was not having so much contact with her pops, Lobbyist Ron Book.

“Luckily, I don’t have to work with him…Had I known that I would talk to him less, I would’ve run for office far, far before the legal age to do so.”- Sen. Lauren Book

With Ron Book's DUI trial coming up in on the 18th, maybe he'll spend a little time in a place where he'll be talking a lot less to EVERYONE.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The political shitstorm over public toilets renews in Miami

I'd start cleaning up by removing Ron Book and his shit head daughter Lauren from any political office. They are a cancer upon all of South FloriDUH.

https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/commissioner-ken-russell-pushes-for-more-public-toilets-downtown-miami-11465055

Fight Over Public Toilets and the Homeless Reignites in Miami

JESSICA LIPSCOMB | JANUARY 29, 2020 | 10:41AM


For years, human waste has been a problem in downtown Miami. With nowhere to relieve themselves, homeless people have resorted to urinating and defecating in public corridors. It's a disagreeable situation for nearly everyone who frequents the area, including business owners, downtown workers, visitors, and, of course, the homeless population.

City leaders have been discussing the merits of public toilets for at least six years. In 2015, the debate ramped up when the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), which markets the area to tourists and investors, unveiled a so-called poop map showing where human excrement had been found. That same year, over the objections of Miami-Dade Homeless Trust chairman Ron Book, who said his only responsibility was to find housing for the homeless, the DDA and the City of Miami funded a pilot program and installed two public toilets.

Five years later, DDA chairman and Miami Commissioner Ken Russell says it's now well past time to build more public restrooms. Earlier this month, Russell held a meeting with city leaders to begin identifying funding and sites for additional toilets.

"There is not enough shelter and not enough services and not enough affordable housing to have people to move out of the shelters," Russell tells New Times. "We don't have the perfect system yet, so if that's the case, you have to deal with what's happening on the streets."

Russell, who became chairman of the DDA shortly after the agency released the poop map, says he believes that idea was the wrong approach to the problem. "I realize it's an issue, but you're taking someone in their moment of least dignity and creating some joke about it," he says.

Since then, the commissioner says, he has tried to shift the rhetoric regarding the public toilets, noting they can benefit anyone visiting downtown. The permanent restroom installed under the Metrorail station at Flagler Street and NW First Avenue is staffed by a bathroom attendant who was once homeless and is now paid $15 an hour to keep the facility clean and safe for use. An average of 130 people now use the toilet every day.

"This wasn't a homeless toilet; this was a public toilet," Russell says.

Owing to poor planning, Russell notes, the permanent restroom cost about $312,000 — a price that includes the structure, the platform, and the land beneath it. But Russell hopes that by partnering with the county to identify free sites, future toilets could be installed for $100,000 to $200,000.

That price might still seem high, but Russell says the city spends "a significant amount" of money pressure-washing the streets daily to keep excrement from building up. "There's potential savings here through this investment in terms of cleaning," he says.

Nevertheless, Book continues to balk at the notion of the Homeless Trust putting any funding toward public toilets.

"We're in the business of ending homelessness," he says. "Bathrooms and showers do nothing but sustain homelessness. It keeps folks out on the streets. It does nothing to end it."

Although the Homeless Trust and other groups have helped to reduce the city's population of unsheltered homeless people drastically over the past 25 years, the number of "street homeless," as Book calls them, has hovered around 1,000 in Miami since 2015.

To Russell, that reality calls for a compassionate response.

"I fully support the housing-first model if you have the housing, but we still have that 1,000 on the street," he says. "We need to address that."

Book holds fundamentally different beliefs. He says he's committed to housing as many homeless people as possible but won't do anything to help them continue to live on the streets.

"[Three-quarters] of those left on the street are chronic, and we are certain that chronic individuals are shelter-resistant and they want housing," he says.

For the past several months, Book adds, he has been working on a plan to secure mass housing for single homeless men and for homeless sex offenders — two populations that have proven difficult to place in permanent housing.

"I have a plan for some immediate housing, and I am confident that that solution is beginning to get closer," he tells New Times.

In the meantime, Russell says, the DDA is looking for other funding sources and partnerships in hopes of erecting at least three other toilets downtown.

"Homeless people are people first and homeless second," the commissioner says. "Getting them back on that first rung of the ladder is so key, and helping them with compassion is also key."

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Senator Lauren Book sat on $1.5 MILLION in 2018 and did little to help her own political party.

Why does Bimbo Book need to sit on money when she ran unopposed twice? hopefully, someone will oppose her for the next election.

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2018/11/01/democrats-defend-book-after-she-takes-heat-from-her-own-party-678437

Democrats defend Book after she takes heat from her own party
By MATT DIXON 11/02/2018 05:02 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE — After taking heat for what some Democrats see as her lackluster midterm fundraising help, state Sen. Lauren Book’s allies are swinging back, defending her support for her fellow Senate Democrats and lamenting the late-cycle party infighting.

On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that some Senate Democrats in key races and party consultants were annoyed by what they said amounted to Book (D-Plantation) not following a main tenant of politics: it’s a team sport. They were unhappy that Book was sitting on a political committee with more than $1.5 million in the bank but had only given $50,000 to key races as Democrats push to flip the Florida Senate.

In response, Democratic consultant Steve Vancore, who works with Book, sent statements to POLITICO from Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo and outgoing state Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon defending Book. He also sent another statement from Book, who did comment in POLITICO’s previous story about her colleagues' concerns.

“Senator Lauren Book has been extremely helpful in supporting the Party and the Winning Ticket coordinated campaign,” Rizzo’s statement read. “All Democrats are on the same team working to elect Democrats up and down the ticket and this is no time for any of us — unnamed political consultants included — to be sowing divisiveness within our party.”

Book did not return a direct request from POLITICO for comment. Because she is running to lead the Senate Democratic caucus, there is an expectation that she step up fundraising for other candidates. The fact that she has not to date has left some speculating she no longer has leadership aspirations but hopes to maintain sway in a GOP-controlled Florida Senate.

Braynon’s statement blasted the “anonymous consultants” quoted in the previous POLITICO story and said they should be “worried about winning races.”

In an interview Thursday, Braynon said his biggest concern was the party infighting less than a week from Election Day.

“It’s just this circular firing squad,” Bryanon said. “We don’t need to have that. We just need to work together and get this done.”

To flip the Senate, Democrats would need to win five seats. That is unlikely in 2018, but the party hopes to chip away at the Republican majority. Those bemoaning Book’s midterm performance say it is hurting the party’s ability to capitalize on the favorable maps.

“People are growing frustrated because the map favors us in several seats, and it is a resources game and Lauren Book is sitting on almost $1.5 million,” a Democratic consultant working in Senate races said Tuesday. “She is really doing no money. What’s the reason? No one knows.”

In her statement sent Thursday, Book was critical of the “absurd gripes of anonymous consultants.” She noted that she has been fundraising for key races, which would not show up on a committee expenditure report.

“I am proud of the work I have done and the funds I have raised to help flip the Senate,” Book said in the statement. “I am also proud to support and raise dollars for our nominee for Governor Andrew Gillum.”

On Tuesday, the day of the POLITICO story, Book did give $5,000 to state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat in a reelection fight against Republican Marili Cancio. In her Vancore-issued statement, Book made clear she was part of that fight.

“If someone has an issue with my work, I suggest they contact me directly and not enlist the services of paid proxies,” Book said.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Ron Book and his Miami-Dade cronies spend Homelessness Awareness Week by evicting homeless folks from camp

"Helping the homeless", Miami-style.

https://www.local10.com/news/2019/11/19/miami-dade-county-closing-down-homeless-camp-while-promoting-awareness-week/

Miami-Dade County closing down homeless camp while promoting awareness week
Homeless camp on stretch of 37th Avenue being shut by county

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A group of people living in a Miami homeless camp is being told to leave. 

This is happening in the middle of Homeless Awareness Week. 

Some of those people built shelter out of whatever they could find.

Others are living in their cars, and some in makeshift trailers.

The homeless camp is located on a stretch of Northwest 37th Avenue in Miami.

It's now so large that the county is deeming it a sanitary nuisance and a safety issue, sending cease and desist notices to dozens who call the street home.

The order comes into effect as the county is promoting its hunger and homelessness awareness week, asking the public to be more considerate of residents without roofs over their heads.

Homeless advocate and Pastor Frank Diaz says most of the men living at the camp are registered sex offenders who have virtually nowhere to go.

"Everyone considers this a hot potato," Diaz said.

According to Diaz, unless the mayor and county officials can help these people find a permanent place to live, they’re not just going to go away.

"For the last six months, I’ve been trying to sit down with the mayor, but apparently he’s very busy," Diaz said.