Top 5 Facts About the George Washington Bridge

Tourists and history buffs alike love George Washington Bridge interesting facts. There are certainly no lack of fun facts about the George Washington Bridge. Here are five of the most unusual.

1. Radio Fans Save Jumper

Howard Stern fans were called into action on December 7, 1994. A young man called Stern’s radio show and announced that he was about to jump from the George Washington Bridge. Westbound listeners stopped their cars and tried to dissuade him. A Port Authority police officer, who also happened to be listening to Stern, rescued the man, then used the would-be jumper’s cell phone to tell Stern and his listeners that the man was safe.

2. Deviations From Flight Plans

Christmas Day of 1965 shocked motorists on the George Washington Bridge as a small plane sputtered down over the westbound lanes. A young pilot had skimped on his pre-flight and left the fuel cap off. An old pilots’ adage is, “A good landing is one you walk away from. A great landing is one where you can use the plane again.” This was a good landing, since the pilot and his passenger walked away with only minor injuries. It fell short of a great landing, though, since the plane was demolished. It also clipped a truck, whose driver must have had fun explaining to his dispatcher why he was late and his rig was damaged. Motorists got another aviation surprise on January 15, 2009, when US Airways Flight 1549 came bearing down on them. Pilot Chesley Sullenberger managed to clear the bridge by a mere 900 feet before ditching in the Hudson.

3. What’s in a Name?

Local newspapers called for a more inventive name than the original Hudson River Bridge. Among their suggestions were Bistate and Mother’s Bridge, Bridge of Prosperity, Gate of Paradise, and Pride of the Nation. It was the children of the New York City schools, however, that managed to lobby for a rechristening in honor of George Washington. The name is particularly apt, since the Manhattan end of the bridge is near Fort Washington, whence Washington once withdrew his forces to Fort Lee – near the New Jersey end of the bridge.

4. World’s Heaviest Traffic

The day the George Washington Bridge was opened, it hosted over 55,000 vehicles, 33,000 pedestrians, and one equestrian on a horse named Rubio. Now the bridge carries roughly 106 million vehicles annually – an average of nearly 300,000 a day, the most of any motor vehicle bridge in the world. Pedestrians, as well as roller skaters and cyclists, still traverse the upper deck.

5. Unintended Dumping Ground

With all that traffic, mishaps are inevitable. Occasionally trucks have overturned and spilled their cargo. Among the unscheduled deliveries were beer, frozen chicken parts, and watermelons. One truck liberated a herd of goats that trotted off down the lanes. Another truck treated motorists and bridge employees to free fertilizer when it failed to contain its load of manure.

Getting Rid Of Political Corruption in Washington DC – The Way to Clean House In Government?

How is it possible to drain the swamp in American Politics? I sometimes wonder if that is even possible. My personal view is, yes, I'd like to drain the swamp too, I just want to drain the left-side of the swamp first, not sure how that would work. Back in late 2015 we discussed the issues with political corruption at our think thank and how to go about it, we determined it was necessary to 'clean house' or what Donald Trump calls; draining the swamp.

One of our think tankers asked; "What if the release of findings are to the people via an honest media source that reports on news as they really should?"

Yes, expose the corruption, kind of like WikiLeaks attempted to do with the DNC. Of course, one of the challenges is that much of the shenanigans going on in American Politics are not even considered serious by the masses (more so business as usual), as long as they get their free stuff or the politician is of their party, they do not care. In the case of a reporter, if they lean-left they down play the allegations of Democrats and act as apologetics, then attack Republican politicians and leaders.

As a writer, I have no need for a Pulitzer, and I do not always place a lot of value on self-corrective whistleblowers, especially those who are involved and want immunity or have done something dishonest to do the whistleblowing. I especially dislike traitors.

Our thinker also stated; "You know findings will also make their way to giant news corporations as well through the backdoor pipeline."

I suppose, and yet how will this information be derived? Remember Rupert Murdock scandal? Remember the HP scandal with the board members getting cell phone call records? Although there is some immunity, theoretically from the media not to reveal sources, that would mean being dishonest in the process. Can we even trust the media? I do not.

Another issue I see is that if this were not totally nonpartisan, it would not work. I bet there are many very political animals on both sides of the aisle and secondary parties that would want the NSA information for instance to clobber their political rivals. In fact, that could change history, even destroy the country if done wrong or un-orchestrated. (Remember: this was a conversation in late 2015).

Our thinker now notes: "We need good agents, and backed by a think tank (which can provide targets), it could prove effective."

Boy you've got to have some super people on your team, integrity beyond reproach, and you've got to have the command and control of the organization stay out of sight and out of mind (invisible almost). I do not know anyone I can trust at that level, only one, and I am unconvinced I'd want to do it, even if I understand the need.

You see, I also understand the animal, the political animal. I understand the competitive aspects and the type of person needed to do the job. Have you ever participated in politics? Some of these people are worse than stock brokers at the wire house, selling penny stocks, or working in boiler rooms. Last liar wins.

Indeed, I believe the United States Supreme Court has been compromised by corporations giving jobs and high-paying consulting gigs to immediate family members of our Supreme Court Justices. We can not allow this. We must remove and replace those members on the Supreme Court who've allowed these compromises to affect their decision making. We need to look too at the Executive Branch, the Senate, and all Congressional Members of BOTH parties not just one.

We need to look at ALL governors, and ALL top bureaucrats at the Federal and State Levels, once we do this, we need that serious commitment to anti-corruption to make it all the way down to the municipal level. Think on it.

No One In Washington DC Seems To Be Happy With the 2017-2018 Trump Budget – That’s A Good Thing

Not long ago, I was talking with a fellow think tank type, a real intellectual, who seemed to be worried about the proposed Federal Budget. We had both recently listened to a National Public Radio (NPR) segment on what exactly was in the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Trump Administration Budget. There were some good things and some not-so-good-things depending on your preferences and political leanings and ideology. Let’s talk shall we?

You see, personally, I believe we should immediately defund NPR, as their anti-American, anti-Trump, pro-Global Socialist Agenda is all wrong for this country – they do not deserve the US Taxpayer to offset their budget, not one dollar. I think we ought to also consider cutting funding to PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) as I see it is also akin to the NPR leftist slant in commentary, chosen interviewees and ideology of staff and reporters on air. Still, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “Fake News” like CNN, but rather one-sided and always putting the Democrat Perspectives in the most positive light – and often crossing the line in my view.

I believe we should limit government spending – as anytime you limit government, you help growth in the private sector as you reduce the bureaucracy, which slows down the flows of money, capital, jobs, investment, so in that regard it will help jobs. The foreign wars have been quite wasteful, agreed, but we still need the best and strongest military in the solar system. Increasing military budget is necessary for readiness, we need to bring everything back up to readiness and reliability – otherwise all our ‘redlines’ will ring hollow and we invite challenges.

First things first, our government must protect the American People, that’s the first job, without that all is for not. Government must first prove it can do that right, before doing ANYTHING ELSE. A 6-month Federal Government shutdown would be great, people would immediately see how little we need the Federal Government in our lives.

The Trump Budget also cuts out a lot of foreign aid. You know, we spend endless dollars in foreign aid bribing countries to serve our will and then these supposed client nations spit into our faces, fine, they have the right to serve their own interests, go for it then, they can do that without our assistance, without MY Tax Dollars. I like to recommend “Bureaucracy” by Ludwig van Misses to those who call for bigger government, sure we need a government, but not much of one, and no bigger than we can drown in the bathtub if it gets out-of-line, or someone once said. Please consider all this and think on it – until then; Don’t Hesitate – Be Great.

Bail Jumping for Beginners in Washington State

BAIL JUMPING:

In Washington State, a person commits the crime of “Bail Jumping” if he or she has been released on their personal recognizance, or on bail, and released with the knowledge they are required to return to court for a subsequent hearing. Revised Code of Washington 9A.76.170(1). A person is also guilty of bail jumping if they have knowledge of the requirement to report to a correctional facility to serve a sentence and fail to do so. Id. In layman’s terms, if you are charged with a crime and do not show up to court when you know you are supposed to, or if you do not report to jail (or prison) to serve your sentence when you know you are supposed to, you are guilty of the crime of bail jumping.

The crime of bail jumping can be a felony or a misdemeanor. The class, or level, of the bail jumping charge depends on the offense you are originally charged with and fail to appear for. Bail jumping is:

(a) A class A felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of murder in the first degree;

(b) A class B felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a class A felony other than murder in the first degree;

(c) A class C felony if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a class B or class C felony;

(d) A misdemeanor if the person was held for, charged with, or convicted of a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor.

Revised Code of Washington 9A.76.170(3).

DEFENSES:

Is there any defense to bail jumping? Yes. There is an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense means you admit that you committed the act, but it was legally justified. The defense is laid out in the bail jumping statute. It states:

It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section

that uncontrollable circumstances prevented the person from

appearing or surrendering, and that the person did not contribute

to the creation of such circumstances in reckless disregard of the

requirement to appear or surrender, and that the person appeared

or surrendered as soon as such circumstances ceased to exist.

Revised Code of Washington 9A.76.170(2).

The question is: What is considered “uncontrollable circumstances”? Uncontrollable circumstances mean you have no control over the circumstances that caused you to miss court. An act of God may qualify. For example, if you miss court because a tornado picks up your car (or you) and smashes it (or you) to the ground, then you may have a pretty good defense that you missed your required court date based on uncontrollable circumstances. If you are in the hospital, that may qualify if you can get a note from your doctor that you were hospitalized and were physically unable to go to court. Be careful, however, if you were in the hospital because of something you did, the prosecutor may argue that you “contributed to the creation of such circumstances”. If you are kidnapped and being held hostage, that may also qualify as a defense. Whatever the uncontrollable circumstance that keeps you from making your court date, just make sure that as soon as you are able, you get yourself on the court calendar so that you comply with the requirement of appearing or surrendering as soon as your uncontrollable circumstance, ceases to exist.

There may be other defenses that would fall under the category “burden of proof”. That means the prosecuting authority simply does not have enough evidence to prove each element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, they may not have any record that you were given notice of the required court date and therefore, could not prove the element of knowledge.

Generally speaking however, proving a charge of bail jumping is relatively easy for the prosecutors. All they need is 1) a certified copy of the promise to appear to court on the specific day that was signed by the defendant when they received the court date, and 2) a witness, such as a court clerk who can testify that on the date the defendant was required to appear, the court record indicates he or she did not appear.

A copy of the promise to appear signed by the defendant shows knowledge of the requirement to appear. In the county where I practice, the language in the order setting the next mandatory court date states:

The Defendant is ordered to appear at all Fit for Trial Hearings

[a pretrial or status hearing]… The Defendant’s failure to appear

at Trial or at the Fit for Trial or any other hearings set by the

Court may result in issuance of a Bench Warrant, Forfeiture of

Bail and/or criminal prosecution for Bail Jumping pursuant to

Revised Code of Washington 9A.76.170.

A bail jumping charge can be very difficult to defend against. Simply forgetting your court date is not a defense. Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals held that based on a plain reading of the statute, “I forgot” is not a defense. The prosecution only has to prove that he received knowledge of the court date, not that he had knowledge of the date everyday thereafter.

For the defense attorney, they must research the law and the records in the case. They must determine whether the hearing was one for which the defendant was actually required to appear. There are different types of hearings and not all require mandatory appearances. They must research and determine if the defendant actually had knowledge of the requirement to appear at the hearing and if so, if there is any actual evidence to prove it. Is there a live witness like a clerk that will be called by the prosecution? Is there a certified copy of a signed promise to appear? Finally, they must investigate the reason for the failure to appear and determine if it was an “uncontrollable circumstance”.

SENTENCES FOR BAIL JUMPING:

As stated above, bail jumping is a misdemeanor if the defendant “was held for, charged with, or convicted of a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor.” Revised Code of Washington 9A.76.170(3)(d). The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. In those cases, the sentencing judge has the authority to sentence the bail jumper anywhere from 0 to 90 days in jail and up to a $1000 fine. In addition, the defendant may be placed on probation and be required to pay probation fees.

If the bail jump offense falls into one of the felony classes, it becomes a little more complicated. In Washington, the sentencing scheme basically works on a grid system. The vertical edge of the grid is the “seriousness level”. The horizontal edge is the “offender score”. There are 16 levels of seriousness in the Washington system. Level sixteen has only one offense: Aggravated First Degree Murder. The only two penalties for that offense are Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole and the Death Penalty, regardless of your offender score. The lowest seriousness level is One. That level includes crimes such as Second Degree Theft (theft of property valued between $750 and $5000) and Forgery. The offender score consists of qualifying prior felony convictions. When you determine the seriousness level of the offense and the offender score, you will find the “standard range” sentence the court must impose. There are exceptions to imposing a sentence within the standard range but that is a discussion for another day. Generally, the court must impose a sentence within the standard range. If that happens, no one may appeal that sentence. If the court imposes an “exceptional” sentence outside the standard range, either party may appeal.

Bail Jumping on a charge of First Degree Murder has a seriousness level of six. With an offender score of 0 (zero), the standard range sentence is twelve months plus one day (which means prison) to fourteen months. The offender score only goes to nine on the sentencing grid. Anything higher than nine will fall into the standard range for an offender score of nine. The standard range for Bail Jumping with First Degree Murder with an offender score of nine is 77 to 102 months in prison.

Bail Jumping on an original charge of a Class A felony has a seriousness level of Five. The standard sentencing range begins with 6 to 12 in your local county jail. For an offender score of nine-plus, the range is 72 to 96 months in prison.

Finally, Bail Jumping on a Class B or C felony has a seriousness level of Three. With an offender score of 0, the range is one to three months in jail. The range for an offender score of nine-plus is 51 to 60 months. Sixty months, or five years, is the maximum sentence.

CONCLUSION:

As you can see, the offense of bail jumping is easy to commit. If you simply forget your court date, you can be charged and convicted of bail jumping. You can also see it is easy to prove for the prosecution and difficult to defend against for the defense and the consequences are serious.

So, the word to the wise is DO NOT MISS COURT! The wise will not even be late. If they call your name and you are not there, you risk getting a Failure To Appear, a bench warrant and a charge of bail jumping. Assist in your defense, not your prosecution; do not miss your court date.

Washington Is Creating a Perfect Economic Storm

I grew up in a conservative political household.

My parents met as members of an early ’60s organization called Young Americans for Freedom. They went on to have careers in politics and government service.

The high point of their political lives was the Reagan administration of the 1980s… the culmination of decades of effort to put a “true” conservative in the White House.

The core beliefs that defined their version of conservatism included anti-Communism, right to life for the unborn and a limited role for government.

Those were long-term goals. The issue that dominated their day-to-day political activities – and our dinner-table discussions, as I recall – was the federal government’s fiscal policy… above all, debt.

Given the behavior of congressional Republicans in recent months, it’s clear that my parents’ brand of conservatism has disappeared. The combination of unfunded tax cuts and last week’s deficit-busting budget deal worries them greatly.

It should worry you too… in fact, our irresponsible representatives in Washington are creating a perfect economic storm.

Just When Things Were Looking Better

Thanks to our representatives in Washington, we face a future of higher interest rates, a falling dollar and falling stock prices.

Over the last six weeks, Congress has added trillions of dollars to future federal budget deficits.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed at the end of December added an estimated $1.5 trillion to 10-year deficit projections. Last week, Congress and President Donald Trump added another $300 billion to that figure with a budget deal lasting until 2019.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget forecasts that the federal deficit could hit $1.2 trillion next year.

The Congressional Budget Office forecasts a doubling of federal deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in the next few years, reaching as high as 7% to 8% in some estimates.

Long-term data suggests a 1% increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio corresponds to a 3 to 5 basis point rise in the 10-year Treasury yield.

How can we be so sure of this? After all, the government has run deficits over the last decade, and we haven’t seen a rise in bond yields, right? What’s different now?

The answer is something the central bank mandarins blithely call “extraordinary monetary policy.”

In the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, the world’s major central banks stepped in to purchase U.S. Treasurys and other government debt as part of a deliberate strategy to keep interest rates low. The Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank now hold more than $14 trillion of securities in their portfolios.

But the Fed has largely stopped buying those securities. Starting late last year, it initiated a so-called “orderly wind-down” of its Treasury position.

So, unless another source of demand for Treasurys emerges, the influx of fresh supplies of Treasury bills to finance rising deficits will create a buyer’s market. That will drive down the prices of Treasurys and drive up yields.

Projections suggest the Treasury Department will sell more than $1 trillion of debt in 2018 alone.

Th-Th-That’s Not All, Folks

Washington’s fiscal irresponsibility will work through the economy in other ways, too.

The president continually reminds us that the U.S. economy is in growth mode. Employment is rising and so are wages.

In that context, a massive economic stimulus in the form of deficit spending – larger even than the emergency stimulus package of 2009 – will rapidly turn growth into inflation. Inflation will lead to higher bond yields as buyers of Treasurys factor it into their future returns.

Those higher interest rates will force the government to funnel more of its funds into ever-growing interest payments. That will leave the economy with a smaller share of federal spending, depressing growth.

Complicating matters is a weakening dollar. The dollar has weakened sharply, shedding about 10% of its value in 2017.

The combination of a weaker dollar and higher U.S. deficits will lure overseas investors looking to add to their stockpile of Treasurys. Those buyers will want bigger yields to compensate for inflation and the risk of higher U.S. debt. That will further drive down bond prices… raising U.S. government interest payments even more.

Finally, rising bond yields and inflation will lower the future value of anticipated corporate earnings and stock dividends. Lower future income streams mean lower prices for stocks. In that way, U.S. government deficits will deflate the U.S. stock market.

Give Me That Old-Time Conservatism

Vice President Dick Cheney famously said that the Reagan presidency proved that “deficits don’t matter.”

But he was talking about politics – voters of the day simply didn’t punish the Republicans for running up deficits.

The U.S. government deficits of the Reagan era were the largest since World War II, save for the immediate aftermath of the 2008 crisis.

But the current crop of Republicans who claim to venerate Reagan are on track to create the biggest deficits this country has ever seen. In the eight years since they won control of the House, the national debt has skyrocketed from $13.5 trillion to $20.4 trillion today.

Here’s the future they’re creating: rising inflation. A declining stock market. Oh, and one other thing… your taxes will inevitably have to go up to pay for it.

President Trump calls himself the “king of debt.” His courtiers in Congress certainly seem to agree.

There’s A Secret In Washington County, Texas, You Should Know About

When you think of Texas, you might find yourself collectively thinking about the stand-by stereotypical things such as cowboy boots, big hair, and a lot of people using the word, “y’all”. And while these little quirky things may be all in fun, it can be easy to lose track of the things about Texas that are really something, and this is certainly the case with Washington County, Texas.

It may seem oddly specific to point out one of the many counties in the Lone Star State, but when you dig a little deeper into Washington County, it becomes pretty clear that it is, arguably, the most important area of Texas.

Take a look at a map of Texas & find Washington County tucked in the eastern part of the state. The first thing that stands out is the proximity to some of the major cities of Texas. In fact, you’re a short drive away from cities such as Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. As such, Washington County has done its best to build up its reputation as a tourist hub for day-trippers looking to leave the big-city behind if only for a short time.

Washington County is also brimming with Texas history. Washington-on-the-Brazos in the county is where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in 1836 and is named after George Washington, one of the nation’s founding fathers. In fact, Washington-on-the-Brazos even bears the tagline “Where Texas Became Texas”. Visitors can also interact with the home of the last president of the Republic of Texas before statehood with the U.S.. History fanatics will be blown away, and even if you’re not the biggest history buff, it’s not everyday you have the chance of getting up close to such a unique state’s background.

One would be remiss if there was no mention of the staggering amount of modern flair and artistic value of Washington County. The primary thoroughfare in the area is U.S. Highway 290, and as such, there is an established scavenger hunt aptly named #Adventure290. It’s a family-friendly activity that gives folks the chance to check out communities along the way, collect information for your ‘passport’, and a completed adventure lets you collect a prize! The area is also famous for its prominent role in geocaching in Texas. There’s also the very popular WineTrail which gives visitors the chance to visit prominent, award-winning wineries. As if this weren’t all enough, there is also the Bluebonnet Trail & Wildflower Watch, as well as the #BrenhamArtWalk, which gives visitors a chance to explore some of the best mural works anywhere in the state.

Washington County, Texas may seem to some as nothing more than just another bump on the log. The truth is, though, is that these folks are missing out on some of the finest historical, cultural, and artistic offerings that the state of Texas has to offer. There certainly is a secret to know about Washington County, and one you’ll be glad you’re in on.

Debunking Three Myths About George Washington

George Washington, our nation’s first president is one of the most dominant figures in American history. For many Americans, he is known as the “Father of our Nation” because he became the greatest American legend involved in the freedom and development of our country in numerous ways: military hero, first president, a signer of the American Declaration of Independence, just to name a few.
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What happened to such men like Washington is that myths were created that enhanced fame and honor. However, most myths become such tall tales that they become exaggerations or lies. Such is the case with three of the most popular myths about Washington’s life.
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1. The Cherry Tree: Young George Washington used his new hatchet and chopped down his father’s prized cherry tree. When his father found his tree had been cut down, he asked his son if he was the perpetrator. George said that he did indeed chop it down and his father embroidered him as an act of forgiveness.
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This story is probably the most popular myth about Washington, but it is a fable. This tale originated in a book written by a minister named Mason Locke Weems, or “Parson” Weems who was an American author who wrote several biographies of historical figures.
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His most famous biography was The Life of Washington, written in 1800. Weems also wrote about other less-known myths about Washington. Most who read the book thought they were absent.
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2. False Teeth Made of Wood: Washington’s false teeth were not made of wood. Our first president appeared to be cursed with chronic problems with his teeth most of his life. He wore denture made of human, and probably cow and horse teeth, ivory, lead-tin alloy, copper alloy (sometimes brass), and silver alloy.
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So, it seems he was just about every alternative type of element that could have been made into a tooth. At his home in Mount Vernon, visitors can see a display of his last set of dentures, apparently made of ivory. Interestingly, these dentures are the most prominently displayed items there.
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3. The Silver Dollar Thrown Across the Potomac River: Did Washington throw a silver dollar across the Potomac River? The width of the river runs from 1,300 feet to 11 miles. It is humanly impossible to throw a coin from one side to another.
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Also, the colonial government did not mint silver “dollars” until 1794. Before that date, the Spanish dollar, or “Piece of Eight” had circulated in the original colonies. Beside Washington was 67 years old when he died in 1799. So he would have been a fairly old man, at 63, when the first dollar was released.
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Myths about famous men and women are invented to make their lives seem greater and more interesting than they already are. Whatever myths begin as tales written in books, or are created among drunken men in taverns, it is unnecessary gossip.
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Washington was such a famous American figure, creating myths that did little to enhance the deeds that made him such a legendary American hero. These three myths spread about him certainly pale in comparison to his enumerated list of achievements.

Domestic Violence No Contact Orders in Washington State

In Washington State, there is no crime of Domestic Violence. Rather, Domestic Violence is a tag that is put on other crimes indicating that there is a family or household relationship between the parties involved. Most jurisdictions will impose a No Contact Order that violates the defending in a Domestic Violence (“DV”) case from having contact with the alleged victim of the crime. The order will often prohibit contact with the victim’s children, residence and place of work too.
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Family or household relationship

According to RCW 10.99.020 (3), family or household members is defined as:

[S] pouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are currently living together or who have survived together in the past, persons sixty years of age or older who are already residing together or who have maintained together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixty years of age or older with someone a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.
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As you can see, this definition is extremely broad. It is far more inclusive then what most people would expect it to be. The same is true for the types of crimes that are labeled “Domestic Violence.” Most people only think of Assault when it comes to domestic violence, however there are many other crimes that can carry the DV tag.

Mandatory Arrest
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According to RCW 10.31.100 (2) (c), an officer must make an arrest if: The person is sixteen years or older and within the precedent four hours has asserted a family or household member as defined in RCW 10.99.020 and the officer believes:

(i) A felonious assault has occurred;

(ii) an assault has occurred which has been substantiated in bodily injury to the victim, whether the injury is observable by the responding officer or not; Egypt

(iii) that any physical action has occurred which was intended to cause another person reasonably to fear imminent serious bodily injury or death. Bodily injury means physical pain, illness, or an impairment of physical condition. When the officer has probable reason to believe that family or household members have assailed each other, the officer is not required to arrest both persons. The officer shall arrest the person who the officer believes to be the primary physical aggressor. In making this determination, the officer will make every reasonable effort to consider:

(i) The intent to protect victims of domestic violence under RCW 10.99.010;

(ii) the comparative extent of injuries inflated or serious threats creating fear of physical injury; and

(iii) the history of domestic violence between the persons involved.

If you get arrested for a crime involving domestic violence, a No Contact Order will slam into place almost immediately.

No Contact Orders

There are two types of No Contact Orders in Washington State: Pre-Trial and Post Conviction. Both types of orders prevent the defender from having contact with the accused victim. However, neither type follows the victim from trying to have contact with the defender, since only the defensive goes to jail if the order is violated. In other words, the No Contact Orders limit only the defensible’s behavior.

Pre-Trial

Pre-Trial Orders are issued against the defender (sometimes called a Respondent) before he or she is denied of having done anything wrong. These orders can preclude contact between the Respondent and the accused victim of the crime, the victim’s children (even if they are the Respondent’s children too), the victim’s place of work and the victim’s home (even if it’s the Respondent’s home too).

In other words, these orders can force you away from your home and your kids before you have even been convicted of a crime. This is true even if the victim says that nothing happened or that whatever did happen was blown all out of proportion.

Pre-trial orders stay in place until there is a resolution to the criminal case or until a Judge lifts it.

Post-Conviction

A No Contact Order issued after conviction can carry the same types of restrictions that a Pre-Trial order does. Post-Conviction Orders are generally good for a year, however a judge can extend that if he or she fees that the fact warrants it.

Civil Standby

Since a No Contact Order can preclude you from going to your own home, the Courts will generally allow you one trip home to get clothes and a few personal items. However, you must be accompanied by a Law Enforcement Officer. This process is called a “Civil Standby.” You must contact the law enforcement agency and schedule a time for the Civil Standby. Be aware, however, that this is a low priority action for most law enforcement agencies, so the civil standby will only be done when they have the time to spare.

Violating a No Contact Order

A willful violation of a No Contact Order is a gross misdemeanor; which means that you can get up to a year in jail and a $ 5,000 fine. Since violating a Domestic Violence No Contact Order is itself labeled a crime of domestic violence, your rights to own or possess firearms will be forfeited upon conviction – even if no gun was used, possessed, stated or in any other way used or contemplated. This is true even where the underlining criminal case, which caused the No Contact Order to be issued, is dismissed.

Being in a public place, even the courthouse, is not a defense to violating the order. This means that if an order is issued against you and you see the protected person at a grocery store then you must leave. Inadvertent contact may technically not violate the order, but you may well have to go in front of a Judge to defend yourself. Besides the stress involved, you may have to spend more money in order to hire an attorney.

Even if the victim invites the contact, the respondent can face jail time if the order is violated. What I see most often in my cases, is the following scenario:

Two people have a relationship. Something happens and the police are called. Because of everyone’s sensitivity to “Domestic Violence” the police err on the side of charging someone. A No Contact Order then slams into place, preferring the two people from having contact with one another. It may also make one of them unexpectedly homeless – but that is a different issue. People, being people, want to work the problem out and the accused victim contacts the defendant and says something to the effect of “I’m so sorry that all of this is coming. Come home and I’ll make it worth your while. ” The problem, of course, is that the defensive takes the injured victim up on the offer. Generally, legal problems multiply for the defender shortly thereafter as the happy couple go out to celebrate their rekindled relationship only to pull a “slow and go” at a stop sign – or some other minor traffic infraction. They then get stopped by the police. When the officer runs the occupants’ information, up jumps the No Contact Order and the defender is arrested then taken to jail where he is now facing an additional charge.

Removing the Order

It is very difficult to remove a Pre-Trial No Contact order once it is in place. Even if the victim comes in and testifies before the Judge that the order is not needed, most Judges will leave the order in place.

One strategy is to have the defensive evaluated by a Domestic Violence Treatment Agency. If a counselor is willing to tell the Judge that the defensive would not pose a danger to the victim if the order is removed, then the Judge can eliminate the order. The Treatment Agency may want to get the defender into classes before agreeing to make a recommendation to the Judge.

Another strategy is to ask the Court to modify the No C0ontact Order to allow marriage counseling. Some Judges will require that contact only be allowed while monitored by a third party from the treatment agency.

Once a No Contact Order has been modified to allow conditional contact, a Judge is more likely to remove the order later, unless there is a new problem.

Victim Rights

Most Prosecutors’ Offices have a Domestic Violence Advocate. It is this person’s job to help the victim of a domestic violence oath understand what services are available to them and help keep them informed as the court process moves along.

I have seen numerous cases where the victim does not want the No Contact Order to be in effect. Going through the victims advocate person can sometimes be helpful.

Most courts have a form that the accused victim can fill out requesting that the Judge drop the No Contact Order. In my experience, most Judges will maintain the order even after the victim requests to have it dropped. Even though the order remains in place, having the victim ask for it to be removed is still valuable, since it may be useful on a later attempt to remove the order.

Gun Rights

Conviction for a crime claimed Domestic Violence will cause you to loose your right to own or possess firearms. This is a lifelong ban.

Example

In one case I had, the husband was arrested for a Domestic Violence charge when, during an argument, he thread a bowl into their kitchen sink, chipping it. The argument was overheard by a nearby neighbor who called the police. The police arrived and when they looked in the sink, they found the chipped bow and arrested the husband for domestic violence malicious mischief. There was no allegation that the husband tie the bow at, or even near, his wife. Since Washington is a Community Property state, both the husband and the wife had an ownership interest in the bowl, thus by chipping his bowl, the married damaged property belonging to another (ie his wife) and was there before liable under Malicious Mischief. Without counsel, the husband (who had no prior criminal history) pled guilty at arraignment. He was given a one year No Contact Order which preverted him from going home for a year or having any contact with his wife.

Had the husband contacted an attorney prior to pleading guilty, he may not have had a conviction at all. Even if there was a conviction, an attorney could have helped him avoid such a long No Contact Order.

Copyright (c) 2007 The Cahoon Law Office – All rights reserved.

Spring In Washington, DC – Our Top 10 Things To See

1 NATIONALS PARK

This isn’t your dad’s baseball stadium, the Washington Nationals play in one of the nation’s top state-of-the-art parks that make everything very convenient and memorable. The biggest feature that stands out is the digital displays used for the park’s concession stands. Orders come in faster and with less mistakes, which means less time standing in lines and more time spent watching the game.

2 NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

There is no central location for this particular festival, as there are events and festivities carried out all over the city during the spring. The hues of pinks and whites fill the peripheral view, making even the grayest of paved tourist spots look happy.

3 TRUCKEROO

Foodies unite! Truckeroo is fast food done right. Food trucks gather around every spring to show off their menus while music and entertainment kicks off the fun as you feast on new and delicious eats. There’s something for everyone here, not just fried foods and hamburgers.

4 DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

Take a trip down the Potomac River to experience a great showing of Chinese arts and cultural demonstrations, culminating with the main event of competitive dragon boat races.

5 WHITE HOUSE EASTER EGG ROLL

This spring tradition speaks for itself. Each year, tens of thousands of people converge at the White House lawn to take part in the annual egg roll, as well as games and activities for the whole family.

6 PASSPORT D.C.

This is what Washing D.C. should be most known for: multi-cultural celebration. Each year in May, there is a collective “festival” that brings embassies together and teaches the public about various cultures and relations with a sampling of various arts and traditions.

7 SMITHSONIAN JAZZ APPRECIATION

There’s almost always something going on at the Smithsonian, but in the spring they dedicate the month of April to the art and heritage of Jazz. You’ll find plenty of special guests speaking and performing, it’s a must for any fan of music, let alone jazz.

8 USA SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FESTIVAL EXPO

Held at the Washington Convention Center, this festival holds hundreds of activities and workshops for anyone even remotely interested in science and technology. The envelope of what science and engineering can accomplish is constantly being pushed, you can get a glimpse of what the future may hold at this expo.

9 FILMFEST DC

The oldest and most popular film festival in DC comes around every year at the end of April to bring audiences the most anticipated and newly discovered gems from around the world. Some venues are cheaper to get into than others, so don’t think it is a festival only open to the elite.

10 FREDERICK DOUGLASS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

This is another must-visit place while you’re in Maryland. The famous slave who escaped slavery to become one of the most revered black scholars and activists, step into the humble home that once housed one of America’s strongest minds.

Slave and Slave’s Literature: Booker T Washington and Lorraine Vivian Hansberry

Slavery refers to the condition in which individuals are owned by others who control where they live and at what they work. Simply, to be a slave is to be owned by another person who is known as his master. A slave is a human being classed as property and forced to work for nothing. Slavery had existed throughout the history in many places and many times. The ancient Greeks, the Romans, Incas and Aztecs all had slaves.

Slavery in United States of America began during the colonial period in 1619 when 19 black Africans were brought to the North American colony, Jamestown, Virginia by Dutch traders as labourer to work mostly in the production of tobacco crops and later, cotton. Slavery was practised in American colonies throughout the 17th and 18th century and it prevailed almost 250 years.

According to the historians David Brion Davis and Eugene Genovese, the treatment of slaves in America was harsh and inhumane during the work and outside of it. Slaves suffered physical abuse and the striking fact is that the government allowed it. Though the treatment of slaves varied by time and place; but it was generally brutal and degrading. Most masters viewed their slave as objects like their lands, a thing to be “worn out, not improved”.

Slaves were allocated on area of the plantation for the living in quarters. On some plantations the owners would provide the slaves with housing, while on others slaves had to build their own houses. They lived crowded together in rough cabins. One recalled: “We lodged in log huts, and on bare ground wooden floors were an unknown luxury. In a single room we were hurdled like cattle, ten or a dozen persons, men, women, and children… we had neither bedsteads, nor furniture of any description and our beds were collection of straw and old rags”.

Slaves wore clothes made of coarse material and were often ill-fitting. Moreover, slaves were punished by whipping shackling, beating, mutilation, and imprisonment. Punishment was often meted out in response to disobedience but masters sometimes abused or punished them falsely to assert their dominance. The ill-treatment didn’t end here; it also included rape, the sexual abuse of women, beating the pregnant women, and such type of cruelties were more prominent in Southern States than in North.

Teaching slaves to read was discouraged. However in the 18th century, the abolitionist movement began in the North and the country began to divide over the issue between North and South. In 1820, the “Missouri Compromise” banned slavery in all new western territories, which Southern States saw as a threat to the institution of slavery itself. In 1857, the Supreme Court’s decision known as the “Dred Scott Decision” said that the Negroes were not the citizens and had no right of citizenship; hence the slaves that escaped to the free States were not free but remained property of their owner and they must be returned to them. The election of Abraham Lincoln, a member anti-slavery Republican party, to the Presidency in 1860 convinced many Southerners that slavery would never be permitted to expand and therefore, it should be abolished. Some Southern States reacted against it and this led to the Civil War. During the War, Abraham Lincoln issued his famous “Emancipation proclamation” freeing slaves in all areas of the country that were at that time in rebellion. Ultimately, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution officially freed the American slaves.

African-American literature is literature written by, about, and sometimes specifically for African-Americans. The vogue began during the 18th and 19th century with writers such as poet Philis Wheatley and Orator Frederick Douglass reached on early high point with the Harlem Renaissance and continues today with authors such as Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou being among the top writers in United States. African-Americans literature tends to focus on themes of interest to black people, such as the role of African-Americans within the larger American society and issues such as African-American culture, racism, religion, slavery, freedom, and equality. The focus began with the earliest African-American writing, such as the slave narrative, a type of literary work that is made up of written account of enslaved Africans. The slave narrative contains a detailed account of the aforesaid conditions of slaves.

The first prominent African-American author, poet Philis Wheatley published her book “Poems on Various Subjects” in 1773, three years before American independence. Born in Senegal, Africa, Wheatley was captured and sold into slavery at the age of 7. Brought to America, she was owned by a Boston merchant. Even though, she initially spoke no English, by the time she was 16, she had mastered the language. Her poetry was praised by many of the leading figures of American Revolution

Despite this, many white people found it hard to believe that a Black woman could be so intelligent as to write poetry. As a result, Wheatley had to defend herself in court by proving she actually wrote her poetry.

To present the true reality of slavery, a number of former slaves such as Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass wrote slave narratives. After the end of slavery, a number of African authors continued to write nonfictional works about the conditions of African-Americans in the country. Among the prominent witers is W.E.B Du Bois. Another prominent author of this period is Booker Taliaferro Washington(1856-1915) who in many ways represented opposite views from Du Bois. He was from the last generation of black African leaders born into slavery and became a leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. He is well-known for his speech “Atlanta Compromise”. He called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to challenge directly the “Jim Crow” segregation and disenfranchisement of black voters in the south.

In contrast to Du Bois, who adopted more confrontational attitude towards ending racial strife in America, Washington believed that Blacks should first lift themselves up and prove themselves the equal of whites before asking for an end to racism. His autobiography ” The Story of My Life and Work” was published in 1900 for a largely African-American audience. Meanwhile, during the years 1900-1901, Washington began publishing “Up From Slavery” a serialised account of his life in the popular magazine ‘Outlook’. “Up From Slavery” traces his journey from slave to educator. The book opens with Washington’s boyhood hardship, beginning with his life as a slave on a Virginia Plantation where the lack of family name and a history that would give identity to his existence was painful and difficult to understand. He mentions the slaves’ fidelity and loyalty to the master, but he stresses brutality of the institution: a lack of refinement in living, a poor diet, bad clothing, and ignorance were the slaves’ lot. A struggle for literacy is the focus in the immediate chapters. In the final chapter of “Up From Slavery”, Washington describes his career as a public speaker and civil rights activist. He was an educator and the founder of Tuskgee Institute, a black college in Alabama. Among his other published works are “The Fortune of American Negro”(1899), “Tuskgee and its People”(1905) and “My Larger Educ”(1911).

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best-known work “A Raisin in the Sun”, highlights the lives of black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. Hansberry’s family struggled against segregation, challenging a restrictive covenant and eventually provoking the Supreme Court case Hansberry Vs., Lee.

In New York city, Hansberry work at the pan-Africanist newspaper ‘Freedom’ where she dealt with intellectuals such as Du Bois. Much of her work during this time concerned the African struggle for liberation and their impact on the world. Hansberry has been identified as a lesbian, and sexual freedom is an important topic in several of her works.

Her play “A Raisin in the Sun” was translated into 35 languages and was being performed all over the world. “A Raisin in the Sun” is rife with conflicts: generational conflicts, gender conflicts, ideological conflicts, and perhaps most important, conflict of dreams which are at the center of the play. Dream is one of the characteristic theme of the play. Each character in the play has a very specific dream. Walter dreams of success, Mama dreams of a proper home for her family to thrive, Beneatha dreams of becoming a doctor. These dreams both spur the characters on and frustrates them, as each passing day fails to bring about a plan to achieve these dreams.

African-American people, who suffered a lot physically and mentally produced fantastic literary works that earned honor not only in America but also all over the world. Their works reflect mostly their suffering and struggle for achieving an identity in the white society. They rendered immense service to English Literature and are continuing to do the same.