Friday, February 26, 2010

Closing In Upon Level Three Sex Offender Addresses In North Minneapolis...

Minnesota DOC photo, therefore in the public domain, Kenneth Anthony Hughes, 3519 Irving Ave. N., blog post by John Hoff

Ever since this blog announced a mission of finding THE SPECIFIC ADDRESSES NOT JUST BLOCK NUMBERS of every Level Three sex offender in North Minneapolis, and publishing those addresses, and then systematically going after the slum-of-the-slum landlords who assist in stockpiling this "deviant reserve force" in North Minneapolis, information and substantive discussion has been flowing this-a-way to Johnny Northside bloggy blog world...

Some of this information comes by emails, some of it is taking place on the Minneapolis Issues List, but in all ways the details are being gradually filled in. I believe I will either get those addresses ONE BY ONE, the hard way, or (and this is what I'm really hoping for) somebody inside the system will just kick 'em my way anonymously.

Consider that a tempting solicitation. You know who you are, and you know these sick puppies should be locked up for life at the facility in Moose Lake. Help ME to help YOU help SOCIETY.

In the meantime, three pieces of information have come my way which are very interesting, and can be summarized as follows:

First, there is a common belief--and I can't actually verify it as fact--that South Minneapolis used to have a much larger number of Level Three sex offenders, but allegedly their numbers have dropped in recent years. Right now, it appears the 55407 zip code has 7 sex offenders. Compare to the number for 55411, which has--I assert--20. (Nineteen of them are on the state website, one is being moved in, click here for more info)

In recent years, South Minneapolis has become more affluent. So it makes sense their numbers of Level Three sex offenders would drop, since deviants dumping tend to accumulate in poor, vulnerable neighborhoods. This is an emerging issue on a national scale in neighborhoods like North Minneapolis.

But now North Minneapolis is changing, and super-involved citizens are waking up to the realization we deserve no more and no less than other neighborhoods. For too long, North Minneapolis has shouldered this unspeakable burden. It is now time for this burden to be shifted away and for the city wards of North Minneapolis (5, 4, and part of 3) to look more like Ward 9 in terms of sex offender distribution.

Second, somebody gave me a great map, click here, which shows the location of all the L3SOs in our neck of the woods. Wow, lots of little blue upside-down teardrop tabby things right there on Golden Valley Road! I sure am interested in the specific address of that facility. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

The third piece of information I obtained comes right off the Minneapolis Issues List, and it's a breakdown by zip code with a comparison to the zip code of Jordan Kuschner, a prominent and ultra-liberal civil rights attorney. (For the record, I like many of the things Kuschner is doing and I personally respect the man)

Here's that interesting discussion about sex offender distribution by zip code, as follows, with credit to South Minneapolis activist Barbara Lickness:
I worked on the issue regarding concentration of "well, you name it" during the past 20 years in a few selected neighborhoods in Minneapolis. One of them was the concentration of registered sex offenders.

I went to the DOC web-site curious to see how many zip codes in Minneapolis had level 3 registered sex offenders living in them. I checked 12 zip codes in Minneapolis in addition to the zip code Jordan lives in. Here were my results:

55427 - Jordan Kuschner's zip code. 0 registered sex offenders living there

Minneapolis zip codes

55401 - 0
55402 - 0
55403 - 11 - 1 in Loring Park. The remainder registered from Salvation Army shelter or homeless in the vacinity of the Salvation Army shelter.
55404 - 8 1 in Elliot Park, 2 in Phillips West on same block, 1 Whittier, 1 Midtown Phillips and 1 homeless. (My guess is the homeless one is registering from St. Stephens shelter)
55405 - 10 - All but 2 at the same address on Glenwood in Harrison
55406 - 0
55407 - 7 Most in Midtown and East Phillips. 1 in Corcoran 2 in Midtown are registered on the infamous block of 26th and 13th. There is a long and sordid story about this address. It is 1/2 block from a city park and school.
55408 - 3 Whittier
55409 - 1 Kingfield
55410 - 0
55411 - 19 (Note: JNS blog asserts the number is 20, click here for more info)
55412 - 6
55413 - 3 - 2 at the same address (JNS blog says, oh, that ain't good)
55414 - 0
55415 - 11 All registering homeless. My guess is from one of the downtown shelters
55416 - 0
55417 - 1
55418 - 1
55419 - 0

From my math there are 81 total. 32 are either in downtown shelters or registering homeless from a downtown zip code. 48 are living in impacted neighborhoods. That leaves 11 that reside in zip codes that are in neighborhoods not considered impacted. 7 zip codes in Minneapolis have no registered sex offenders living in them.

Anyway, there you have it. Back to Olympic skating.


JNS says: Back to Olympic Skating, indeed. I just got the address of one of those Level Three Sex offenders, and it's Kennth Anthony Hughes, 3519 Irving Ave. N.

More to follow on THAT, but here's a big thanks to a helpful, involved North Minneapolis neighbor I haven't met quite yet. 


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

John, the more I look at this issue, the more I think you're flat-out wrong.

You are now characterizing a landlord who rents to a sex offender as "slum-of-the-slum" solely on that basis. Lord knows I've got no qualms about throwing around the "slumlord" label when appropriate. But calling someone slummy based solely on the criteria of having such a person as a tenant doesn't meet the bar in my book.

If your end game is to find out if--IF--there are landlords out there with multiple sex offenders as tenants, you could do this WITHOUT publishing the exact addresses. Once you've compiled the complete list - and I have little doubt that you eventually will - you could THEN analyze it and publish the name(s) of such landlords.

The other end game I see for this is to decrease the concentration of sex offenders in north Minneapolis, but I don't see the ends justifying the means here.

Ranty said...

I agree with Jeff's comments for the most part, and I would also like to point out one other thing:

Just because an address is associated with these folks doesn't mean they are ACTUALLY living there, as I believe we have already seen, right?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

And let me put one more thing out there:

If I'm a landlord looking for a tenant, and having trouble filling a mortgage payments are coming due and I could really use another stable tenant.

Along comes a guy with a felony, happens to be a level 3 sex offender. But he's checking in with his probation officer, trying to make his way after a mistake, and the rent's coming in on time. In this scenario, tell me why I should turn that opportunity down, especially if I'm close enough to the edge that the one unoccupied unit could start a domino effect of foreclosures on my properties.

You can say "We're oversaturated" all you want, but if I'm a landlord with a bottom line to meet, that's probably not going to matter a whole hell of a lot.

Anonymous said...

So, it isn't OK for Paul Koenig to have problem tenants who sell pot out the back door, but Level 3 offenders are OK as neighbors? I disagree with that. People who are interested in buying a house to raise a family look at things like what the schools are like, what the crime stats for the area are, and whether or not there are Level 3s in the area. Seriously.

I have been to numerous notification meetings, often on the same offenders. This happens (a) if they move or (b) if they violated the terms of their probation, were incarcerated for a period of time and re-released. Usually it's (b).

I used to have a Level 3 living a couple of blocks from me. He chased kids down the street brandishing a tire iron. Not a violation of his probation, apparently. Everyone in the area knew who he was, and no one threatened him or behaved inappropriately, regardless of HIS inappropriate behavior.

If you say that we, as residents of Nomi, should be OK to have them as neighbors, fine. These are people who, regardless of their intentions, are deeply compelled to behave in the ways they do. They can't be fixed, only monitored. I say the greater the public information available, the better they can be monitored. Think of it as the puplic helping them keep to the terms of their probation. If they don't want people staring at them as they walk down the street, they should have thought of that before they decided to rape a woman - or a child.

But, I will give you this much - wherever they live, word gets around that they are there. What people often don't know is who the parole officer is and how to contact that person. The parole officer should be required to mail their business card to every resident on the block where a Level 3 lives.

Anonymous said...

Why not propose a city ordinance, or state-wide law limiting the number of level III sex offenders by proximity to each other?

They already can't live too close to schools, or any other place children frequent in number. Why should we inversly allow children to be endangered by allowing level III sex offenders to saturate specific geographic areas?

The northside is an especially bad area to have this problem, as the median age is very low (on the northside) compared to many other geographic areas. There are a LOT of children on the northside.

Johnny Northside said...

Good point, Ranty, about whether they are actually living at the address...but once I get the address, I might be able to get more info from neighbors contributing who might say, "Oh, but they don't actually live there."

Hawkman, I am indeed saying a landlord who rents to sex offenders is "slum of the slum" and solely on that basis, but I think you should both consider my deep feeling about living in a neighborhood that is safe for children, specifically MY CHILDREN. I wouldn't rent to a Level Three. I wouldn't take their money, and to hell with the precious mortgage.

As for the idea of limiting saturation by a rule proposing how near a sex offender can live to ANOTHER sex offender...great idea. I put forward the same idea at Dessert With Don some days ago.

Oh, and to the anonymous commenter who talked about the guy brandishing a tire iron...well, that's anonymous commentary and I have no proof of it. Could you be more specific about the address you are talking about? But this is precisely the "off the leash" behavior I'm talking about, the myth of the "closely monitored" Level 3 sex offender.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't landlords who rent to Level 3 offenders "the slummiest of the slum lords"? There are classes for landlords to attend where they are encouraged to do criminal background checks on prospective tenants. The reason to do a criminal background check is that a person with a criminal background (whether drugs, armed robbery or whatever) is both likly to reoffend and have friends who also engage in a lifestyle involving criminal acts. The idea being that if a prospective tenant has a criminal background, the landlord is supposed to DISCRIMINATE against the person with the criminal background and not rent to them. There it is. I took all the semantics away.

Why is it that as a community we are encouraging landlords to discriminate against criminals (who have presumably done their time for the criminal acts for which they have been convicted) but we are all supposed to make a huge exception for Level 3 offenders?

To say that a landlord may be pushed up against a financial wall and therefore should not be considered slummy for renting to a Level 3 offender is like saying that a landlord backed up against a financial wall who rents to someone with a lenghthy record for drug dealing and prostitution isn't slummy.


Margaret said...

I just posted the MN statute on sex offender location on the crime watch blog. It does say that "concentration" of sex offenders is supposed to be taken into account as well as a bunch of other things. Since "concentration" is not defined in the statute, perhaps there is some additional legislation possible here.

Somebody suggested in my comments that what Johnny is doing here is illegal. I couldn't find a statute on that (although it might be part of some other chapter and didn't come up in searches). This statute basically holds the state and it's agents harmless if a sex offender should come to harm due to the publicly released data. Of course if someone should misuse the info that Johnny posts, it could open him up to civil action by either the ex-cons, their families or the landlords if they suffer damage as a result.

In general, I agree with Hawkman and Ranty. I see what he is trying to do, but I don't see what publishing the actual addresses of the individuals gets you other than potential trouble.

veg*nation said...

i have mixed feelings about all of this.

on one hand . . .

a) a level 3 sex offender is by definition not someone who has just "made a mistake," like a shoplifter or a pot smoker: he/she is someone who has been determined by the legal system to be at high risk of re-offense--in other words, to be of high risk to those around them. i would be seriously pi$$ed off if a level 3 sex offender moved in next door to me. but then, personally, i don't have a lot of faith in "supervision."


b) i don't think that a decent human being would inflict a level 3 sex offender on a neighborhood by renting their property to one. doing so shows a massive disregard for the people in our neighborhood. would these slumlords object to a level 3 sex offender moving in next door to THEIR family? i'm guessing "yes."

but on the other hand . . .

c) i do think that there are legal risks to PUBLISHING their exact addresses, and i'm not remotely convinced that that the benefits are specific enough to be worth the risk. the SHAC 7 went to prison for publishing the addresses of Huntington Life researchers.

and probably most importantly . . .

d) i'm appalled by a few mob-mentality type comments that have appeared, and i'm afraid that they're just extreme examples of a mindset that it is easy for anyone to slip into when they think about protecting their family and loved ones. it's important to fight to improve our neighborhood, but without slipping into a paranoid or vindictive frame of mind, and i'm afraid that the focus on exact addresses feeds into that. i'm not at all concerned about the feeling of level 3 sex offenders, but i am very concerned about not letting them turn me into somebody i don't want to be.

e) i like Hawkie's idea of using the blog to COLLECT this information, and then use it in a targeted way, esp. vis a vis the landlords

that's my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Just a few comments to follow up on other comments. Right now there are no legal restrictions on where any sex offender lives. Corrections may be able to place restrictions but risk level is somewhat irrelevant. Sex offenders living by others is not a huge factor. In the vast majority of offenses, sex offenders work alone. Most communities believe they are at the greatest risk from level 3's and that is not always the case. There are a larger number of offenders in most cities who are not evaluated or assigned a risk level. Just by removing the anonymity of these offenders and making more infomation public, we have already increased the safety of the community.

According to some research, level 3's actually commit less future sex crimes than other sex offenders. Most are not stranger crimes and did not often happen near where the offender lived.

Johnny Northside said...

To Margaret,

It is my position that EVEN IF SOME LEVEL THREE OR LANDLORD COMES TO HARM, I am not responsible for that. Free speech is subject to the "clear and present danger" test. This is the same legal standard which allowed Al Flowers to get away with saying "Kill the house n****" in reference to Don Samuels.

I am not urging anybody to do any specific thing. I am printing information which is useful to the community and I am NOT IN ANY WAY encouraging illegality.

Furthermore, contacting a landlord is not "harassment." We contact landlords all the time to object to the slummy crap they do, though discovering the landlords and the slummy crap might take time. But if I find out who a landlord is, and contact him myself, or somebody else contacts him...where is the illegality? Ya'll are talking like a bunch of chickens.

But don't worry. It's me. It's me doing this. You're not doing this. Nobody is doing this but me, me and the anonymous people who are feeding me information, whose identities I will protect.

In regard to Veg Nation's comment, and the idea of becoming somebody you don't want to be...

Don't worry about that. I am already who I want to be. And I take pleasure in being the guy who is willing to get my hands dirty in the sewer so others can live in a less filthy, stinky world. And I'll say this, and I'll say it loud: I understand the need of my friends to distance themselves from my efforts. I understand, and I love you, and I am a man on a mission. So just watch.

I reiterate the plea to the universe at large: give me the names. Give me the names of the Level 3s and where they live, specifically. Give it to me and I will publish it upon verification. This plea goes, especially to individuals "inside the system. I am addressing these folks now:

You can change the whole course of history. All you need to do is give me a few score names and addresses. I don't even need to know where the stuff came from. Just give me the info...

Margaret said...

I get it that that's your position Johnny, just saying that you could still be sued or possibly charged with a crime if there were damages of some kind. Not even assault, more like an intimidation type of act. 4th degree assault has a pretty low threshold. But since you want to put yourself out there, you go guy.

Anon 1:17 It's not actually correct, Statute says they are not supposed to be concentrated in an area. It doesn't define what "concentration" is. That law could be tightened. Rather than getting up in people's grills, a more direct approach to changing the situation would be to approach Rep. Mullery, who, represents part of the Northside and happens to chair the Public Safety Committee in the MN House. I think he wouldn't be too hard to convince to get a bill on this. Hop to it though, the legislative session only lasts a few months.

Johnny Northside said...

Honest to god, Margaret, you need to start thinking more like a blogger-journalist and less like a layperson who worries about lawsuits every time they serve somebody coffee.

I still live in a free country with a free press and free speech, and I will act accordingly. Just because the state chooses to print only block numbers does not mean that information is protected from disclosure if I can dig it up, or that we must all somehow bend, bow and scrape to the alleged "privacy" of these deviant sick f*** sex fiends who, honestly, all need to be locked in jail and throw away the key.

The names. The addresses. Kick them this-a-way, everybody. Give me enough information to verify. I'll take care of the rest. And, hopefully, in other zip codes, other cities, other states people will figure out that we are not hostages in our own homes to rabid, dangerous dogs who have been left free to wander around, not even monitored as well as certain tagged game fish or migratory waterfowl.

Anonymous said...

Keep yourself judgement proof, and it's all good.
May not always be fun, but you know that.

Margaret said...

I respect what you do Johnny, but I don't think of myself as a journalist. I write commentary and I try to spread info around. I leave the activism to others who are better at it, like you.

And also I'd just hate to see you get in trouble or bogged down with legal matters when there are so many other constructive things that you are involved in. I may be too meek but I think threatening to expose landlords who recruit L3SOs is hot enough stuff that you don't even have to go after the individuals. But, hey it's your life, your blog and your choice.

Jasper said...

you get 'em Johnny! and if people would just think about it..what is the difference if its a 'block' or a specific address? it doesn't take much to figure it out. its a simple process of elimination & really, John is just saving everybody else the headache of the 'I wonder if it's.... or if its.....' people need to think before they speak (or type-in this case) ALL THESE SEX OFFENDERS HURT and they'll hurt again and again and again!...they hurt women,they hurt kids, they hurt the neighborhood...they don't belong out in public. they all be put in a town named 'CHO-MO VILLE' with an electric fence around it! let them hurt eachother..not us or any of our loved one!

Johnny Northside said...

Just found a block with FIVE LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDERS. What happened to the law which was supposed to protect my neighborhood from having them concentrated in one area like this?

Margaret said...

According to Brian Reichow's map, There are a bunch living on Sheridan and Golden Valley Road. There is an apartment building there so I imagine that's where they live. Nice little ready made club for them where they can swap stories and share tips. Also in statute: felons break parole if they associate with other felons so you would think corrections would already be limiting concentration of these folks. Unless it is some kind of L3S0 halfway house.

Anonymous said...

Johnny says: "Honest to god, Margaret, you need to start thinking more like a blogger-journalist and less like a layperson who worries about lawsuits every time they serve somebody coffee."

To me that sounds like, Margaret, you need to be more like me, and less like you. I say let Margaret be Margaret and let Johnny be Johnny. Both have valuable purposes.

MeganG. said...

Jasper is right - why would the state notify the neighbors of the close proximity but NOT the exact location? That is an INSULT to their well-being and safety.

"There is a dangerous predator living near you, but his privacy trumps your well-being and safety, so we aren't going to tell you WHERE he is living".

Everyone should be OUTRAGED that the state is playing a hide-n-go-seek game with the well-being and safety of community members and children while they deem it necessary to dump the garbage on top of us.


We CAN NOT GO NUMB TO THE DYSFUNCTION THAT SURROUNDS US. We must call out the injustices that we are being forced to live amongst, dare I say, like a sex offender would FORCE his sick agenda on his victims. In this comparison the STATE is the offender and this community is the victim!!

Get Mad People!

Anonymous said...

I encourage all citizens to get involved. However, take some time to learn about the history of sex offender registration and notification. After being told about a predatory offender in your neighborhood, what real difference is knowing the exact address over the block address going to do to increase your safety. Individuals and families should be working to keep themselves safe, hopefully even before an offender moves into to community. As more of a curious note.....why is there no outrage about the gun violence in North Minneapolis. I would be that more people have been affected by gun violence in the last week than will ever be affected by a level 3 sex offender.

Johnny Northside said...

If knowing the exact address doesn't make any difference, then why does the State of Texas publish the EXACT address and not just the block number?

People need to know not only what house it *is* but what house it is NOT. When you live on a block with, oh gee, six five offenders it's probably a good idea to know which neighbors are the sex offenders, and which ones are potential allies.

I'm not doing this for the folks out in Jordan Kuschner's zip code. I'm doing it for the folks who are nose-to-nose with these sick puppies and need to make a life for themselves on the same block.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:26-
Who says there's no outrage regarding the gun violence in North Mpls? You obviously have not payed attention to previous posts on this blog.
There is much outrage regarding gun violence in North Minneapolis. The outrage, however, is not coming from the segment of our community that continues to experience the most gun violence. Perhaps you should pose your question regarding outrage to gun violence to Insight News.

With respect to the release of the exact address of a L3 Sex Offender, having the exact address enables the outraged residents of our community to express their outrage to the exact landlord who has chosen to rent to these guys.

Based on your comments, I wonder if you have ever called 911, or a problem landlord. I, for one, have called both 911 and problem landlords over 1000 times in the past five years. You should try it. Things actually do change. We can actually have a positive impact on our neighborhood by channeling our outrage.

veg*nation said...

@JNS 3:42: ok, speaking as an (ex) texan, i'm pretty sure the only things they have that we need are roasted poblano salsa, joe king carasco lps, and dill pickle popsicles.

i grew up in the north dallas suburbs, and believe me, NoMi is better. oh yeah.

i think this topic raises a much better issue of what is the NoMi 'tude? what do we show about our character in the way that we respond to these pressures? how do we want to be perceived?

Anonymous said...

Re the tire iron brandishing sex offender story: that anecdote is about 4/5 years old now. He was living at 4001 Colfax/1001 39th. The property has two house numbers because it looks like two old houses, one oriented north/south and the other oriented east/west that were spliced together in an "L" configuration at some point.

Anyway, I think the guy's name was Knutson or similar. There is a Knuteson in the DOC sex offender database, and he lives in Nomi, but the guy I remember wore tinted glasses and had a mustache and ponytail. These are certainly easy physical characteristics to change.

I will say this in "defense" of the tire iron brandishing: I know a person who worked with sexual violence victims (and therefore had some kind of training about sexual criminals), and she opined that the odd behavior of this fellow may have been a misguided effort to avoid any kind of even superficially compromising situation involving children.

That having been said, if kids are such an issue, then the guy should find some place to live that doesn't have so many youngsters around.

Anonymous said...

Back to anonymous abouty anonymous post. I was trying to communicate that put forth whatever effort you want or need to keep your community safe and that level 3 sex offenders do not pose that same threat level as gun totin' folks. I not live in NoMi but work very hard at keeping your community safe. Several and perhaps JNS may testify to that. I also happen to have a bit of knowledge, actually much much more than most about sex offenders. I would like to believe that every landlord is aware if a probationer or parolee sex offender lives in their property. Also remember that some sex offenders actually own their homes or live with friends and family.

Anonymous said...


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

I really hate this whole sex offender issue. Having a rational discussion about it seems almost impossible.

Look, I'm no apologist for these pervs and if we locked 'em up for good I wouldn't mind a bit. But the flip side of the L3SO designation of "most likely to re-offend" is that these people have served their time and have been deemed as fit to re-enter society under certain terms and restrictions.

In that case, they have to live SOMEWHERE. Yes, we're oversaturated in NoMi and I'm glad to see that aspect of the issue being brought to the forefront. I want to know more about the concentration of quite a few offenders on one block, as that doesn't seem right. But ultimately where are the offenders supposed to live?

Megan, your comments about stirring up outrage are specifically what I protest most about this issue. The frenzy that gets whipped up around sex offenders is, in my mind, disproportionate to the risks they pose. Gun violence and recidivism in this area, as has been mentioned already in this comment thread, is far more harmful to our community than L3SO's. I know it's not an either/or proposition, and that we can focus on more than one thing at a time. Still, I have my reservations about the nature of this discourse.

By the way, does anyone have information about the ACTUAL recidivism rates of L3SO's in NoMi? Minneapolis? Minnesota?

One proposal that I REALLY liked quite a bit is making the names of the L3SOs' probation officers widely known. I like that approach as a way to take concrete steps to make our community safer.

The L3SO issue is a thorny one, but I hope we can address it without a mob mentality. Unfortunately, I feel like that's exactly what is happening here.

Anonymous said...

Good to see that Hawkman is open to some intelligent discussion on sex offenders. The MN DOC website has a couple of reports on sex offenders and a published report by either the Legislative Auditor and/or the Governor's Commission on Sex Offender Management should also have some good info. Nationally, the rate of reoffense is about 10%. That same DOC site has the Parole Officer's name and contact info. If you have questions try calling one of them.

MeganG. said...

Jeff - sorry that outrage is uncomfortable!

Pushing the tough issues to the front burner and causing change may not be comfortable for everybody. Sorry you are so concerned about the "privacy" and well-being of a L3SO that you are willing to protect him from some mythical "mob" that may form - when in reality - the little old gramma that I met today with 3 grandbabies living with her, and several more that visit her often in her home of 40 years has so many L3SOs living in every single direction around her that she doesn't even know about all of them. Nor does she know WHERE. She can just merely point and say "Well they told me it was somewhere that way".

So while we sit here and wring our hands about keeping a mythical mob from forming, the L3SOs have already formed their mob - and it's headquartered in 55411, and while we may not know what houses THEY are in, you can better believe THEY know what houses the CHILDREN are in. They know whose parents are home at what time, they know the patterns of the people on their block.

I'm outraged. OUTRAGED. My community is filled with predators in many costumes. Some tote guns. Some tote drugs. Some push illegal sex. Some push their slummy-slumified homes on to people with few choices. Some walk amongst us at community meetings, purporting to be do-gooders while they rob and steal from non-profit coffers and their names come up in criminal complaints.

And all the while this is going on, our elected officials from the local level on up to the most powerful office in the world are all in a tizzy over HEALTH CARE. Here's a novel idea: how about we start by stopping the bullets and unstacking the L3SO's. Let's call that health care reform.

Ranty said...


I am 90% with you on almost everything, as you know.

However............... I need to say that I am SO SICK of the "they have to live SOMEWHERE" argument, I could seriously vomit.

If you want to debate this, you can do better than THAT tired old rhetoric.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Megan, whether your outrage makes me uncomfortable (which it does not, by the way) isn't the issue. The issue is that the outrage in this case often eclipses a rational examination of what's really the issue. Action taken with such a process as its starting point often feels good because it alleviates the outrage but has a high chance of being factually wrong.

In terms of the statute regarding concentration, I agree that the Glenwood block seems to pretty clearly violate that. I don't think, however, that having a higher-than-average concentration in certain zip codes would meet the legal bar. Politically, yes, let's push that issue though.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...


Yes, the argument that they have to live somewhere is tired and old and I do not like it any more than you do. That sentiment also is misguided if it is used to concentrate sex offenders in geographical areas.

But what is the counter-argument then? It appears to be, "They have to live somewhere, but not in my community." Who really wants a L3SO on their block? Not me, that's for sure, and I've been pushing back on this issue from day one.

So if I drop the "they have to live somewhere" line, then we're still left without an actual solution.

Anonymous said...

Here is one very practical advantage of knowing exactly where a sex offender lives: If you know that a L3 lives at a given address you can tell your little child to stay away from that person and to tell mommy or daddy if that person ever talks to the child or does anything to frighten the child. There's a difference between saying "stay away from strangers" and "stay away from that person." It creates heightened vigiliance in the child with respect to specific individuals and addresses, which I think is important in a neighborhood where, due to small yards, kids tend to play in the street and run through strangers' yards.

L3s may be at a low rate for reoffence as far as actual sexual assults are concerned. However, they often violate the terms of their release by failing to advise their supervisors if they move, and having materials they should not (such as the fellow who sparked one of JNS' first posts). They hopefully get yanked in before they have the opportunity to escalate.

veg*nation said...

maybe my issue with the term "outrage" is more semantic than anything, but i just think we can do better than that. i think we have more than enough free-floating outrage in our community. also, i think it's never to early to start being who we want our community to be--especially since we're already winning on so many fronts.

and i don't want us to be all pitch-forky. if we wanted that, we'd be living in the burbs, right?

in that way, i think that the way we talk about what we're doing matters.

what i've come to admire about so many of my NoMi neighbors who have lived here for decades is how they fight without giving in to anger--a lesson i'l admit i've been really slow to learn.

bev roberts has said several things over the years that have really stuck with me, and one of them, when we were at a real low point with the Uncle Bill's situation was "don't let it eat at you."

i just think the rhetoric of "outrage" is not nearly so powerful as that.

la_vie_en_rose said...

I have experience with what a sex offender goes through because of an in-law of mine in Indianapolis. While he's as low on the totem pole as you can get for a sex offender (as in "he believed the guy when he said he was 18;" not "he keeps screwing around with kids"), he can only rent in Indy's "hood" (a place comparable to NoMi) because the landlords there don't really care what kind of background you have as long as you don't destroy the place, and you pay your rent on time.

You're better off doing what you can legally to keep areas from being overfilled with them than trying to push them out of here altogether. You can argue that NoMi doesn't deserve to have so many living here (of course it doesn't), but as long as this is considered "the hood," you're going to get the same old "they have to live somewhere" routine. I've seen it in every city I've lived in.

MeganG. said...

About the outrage & pitch-fork mentality - let me be clear - my outrage is at the State and the DOC for allowing this. Allowing anyone area to be dumped upon with an over concentration - especially when there is a statue that says proximity to other L3SO needs to be taken into consideration.

And my outrage and the outrage of others will be channeled to spur and instigate CHANGE to the system and the disregard for the statute that was set in place to avoid this.

The outrage is not at the
L3SOs themselves, and I realize they "have to live somewhere" - yes, they have to live somewhere so let's set up a system so that they are evenly dispersed, they are living in locations that allow them the best chances at success, and let's set up a system that allows the neighbors around them to have every useful tool to protect themselves and their children - i.e. SPECIFIC LOCATIONS.

Why can't the gramma that I met yesterday know exactly where to tell her grandchildren to stay away from, exactly what house is a dangerous house and what house is a safe house?

Why are logical and useful statutes and tools NOT being used to the fullest extent?

Why are we allowing our community to be used as "Moose Lake South"???

Anonymous said...

Are these Level 3 houses actual problem properties. An earlier comment mentioned that previous tenants were drug dealing criminals robbing their neighbors. Are these scarey Level 3 houses actually causing a problem or is it just the "idea" that they're here that upsets so many people. Aren't there enough real problems without wasting our time on the perceptions of bad guys. I'll take a quiet former sex offender over a current drug dealing thief anytime. If the sex offender is actually doing bad things then he's a problem but give me someone with a rap sheet over someone with a gun and a current drug habit any day.