Category Archives: News and Current Events

Use Red Dog

The Little Red Dog dramatically “cancels” balloon release, sparks further frustration

Oh my, what did I get myself involved in?  When I wrote a blog yesterday about The Little Red Dog I thought to myself that I wanted to find a way to voice my opposition to their planned balloon release, which they did have formally planned as can be seen on the screenshot to their advertisement here, which the CEO of The Little Red Dog has admitted to posting (email below) and since has edited it to remove the offensive inclusion of a balloon release after we exchanged a number of emails.

After speaking with the CEO I feel that I was not wrong in the posting of my blog.  The organization did plan to host a balloon release as part of their celebration of having saved 300 dogs in the past 3 years.  I applaud the work they have done to rescue these dogs, but I stand by my belief that there are better ways to celebrate the saving of 300 dogs lives than threatening the lives of thousands of wild animals and marine life.

The CEO has stated they will not be participating in a balloon release. I applaud the organization for this decision.  While the CEO did try to pass this situation off as a simple idea that was floated out in the planning phases of this event and never was formally decided on, it simply appears to not be true. Why did he advertise the balloon release if it was never decided upon? (click here for a screenshot of the ad as of this morning, July 29th).

Regardless it sounds like the balloon release is off. Thank you! I am proud of the organization for making this decision.

With that said, since I wrote a blog strongly advocating against the decisions that were made by this organization I feel it’s only fair to allow them to defend themselves. In an email sent out to their list serve (and myself) the CEO makes the following claims:

I wanted to let you all know about our Founder’s Day on August 2nd.
We are celebrating saving 300 dogs in the last three years and placing
them into loving homes.

I thought it best to address the hate email campaign started by ________. We did float the idea of doing a balloon release as a small
part of our celebration. ____________, who was not copied on our email immediately screamed at me all in CAPS, throwing a tantrum that is unacceptable for anyone past the age of four. It continued, I asked her to stop emailing me. She continued anyway.

When ________ got no response from us, she launched a full assault
campaign, never bothering to consider that the release may not still
be a part of our plans. After we floated the idea, we didn’t get a
lot of interest so we scrapped it. Many of you have written professional and kind emails, seeking only to inform, we appreciate that and the kind words about the good work we do. Some of you have made this a personal attack. I would defend your right to think and say anything you want, but we don’t do drama and like many of you, we do try to professionally and positively educate and would never do to anyone what has been done to us.

Most of all, I am sorry for _____ that she has nothing better to do
with her time than to try and smear a charity who does good work and that only wished to take one afternoon to celebrate the good work our volunteers and fosters do. Again the release would have been a smart part of that celebration.

Now ______ is likely to defend her actions as concern, but there is a
right and a wrong way to inform people. Funny, I have never see ________ forward any of our emails that asked for a volunteer or foster or a donation for a sick or injured dog. I only heard from Marie once this year before this, she was seeking help in finding a dog for one of her adopters, and help placing a military dog. We immediately offered to take the displaced military dog and offered a dog that fit what she
was looking for. That is what we do; help. It is too bad that Marie
cannot use her energy and resources for good rather than bullying
people who don’t deserve it.

Wonder if ______ will tell people she was wrong with as much
zeal-guessing not.

I have attached a flyer, we would love to see you there.

PJ Rosch
CEO & Top Dog,
The Little Red Dog, Inc.

My mind was blown by this response. I received this same email from Mr. Rosch and I didn’t honestly feel comfortable with it.  I am not here to participate in petty personal attacks. I simply wanted to know whether they planned to go forward with a balloon release and if so I wanted to let them know my personal feelings about the issue as a resident of Southern California. Not only was it rather unprofessional, regardless if it is true or not, but it equates a persons passion to save all living creatures as a hate campaign.  That’s just not right. It’s also not right to send out an email personally attacking an individual for standing up for something they believe in.

That’s why I’ve hidden the name of the person Mr. Rosch is accusing of making this all up, even though there is proof that The Little Red Dog had planned to move forward with their balloon release as recent as this morning.

 

The woman who Mr. Rosch references in his email wrote back to all involved in a great way:

Dear Ms. Rosch,Your plan was ill-fated because it would harm animals.  That was a statement of the fact and will always be.You did receive information from us, but you ridiculed them all and showed no interested in being educated about how harmful balloons are to wild animals and environment.  

You clearly stated that you had no plan to forego the balloon release; this is what you wrote to someone who also asked you to stop, thus your new claim that it was not a final plan is false:  ” Do a little research on the material that is used at these events before you express your concern.  Neither plastic nor rubber are used.  Why not take the time to foster, volunteer or donate next time instead of voicing your concern?”

I have nothing to defend myself about.  There was no “campaign” organized by me as you allege, Mr. Rosch.  I shared my concerns with my fellow animal advocates.  I sent them ONE email about your horrid plan, which they also became concerned about and took actions on their own.  

I’m glad that this outcry from the community eventually became a wakeup call for you — a call to withdraw your ill-planned balloon release.There’s only one person who’s running a defamation “campaign” here, and it is you, Mr. Rosch.  Your personal attack and false accusations are not only immature, but slanderous and merely reflect your lack of dignity.
ONWARD.

The personal attacks are unnecessary and I couldn’t agree more with this response.  I was personally attacked and accused of conducting a hate campaign against The Little Red Dog last night on twitter due to the blog I posted last night. My blog states two things clearly:

1. I support The Little Red Dog’s mission 100%

2. I don’t support their decision to host a balloon release

None-the-less I received countless tweets from the organizations twitter account @littlereddoginc accusing me of not caring about the dogs they save and for conducting a hate campaign. Maybe they should read what people are actually saying. There is nothing involving hate written by me. There is nothing but support for the dogs the organization rescues and the wild life the organization threatened.

Let’s pull our acts together and realize that all sides of the situation want the same thing… to make the world a better place for a living animals.

It’s funny because Mr. Rosch also wrote me saying:

Bobby, thank you for our response. I did not realize our event on OC Register still listed the release. I have augmented it.
 
All of our social media is handled by volunteers who work full time (we hope to be big enough that one day that we will have these people on staff), I am sure of them will get back to you if you have asked a question. We take our mission very seriously, and would never attack anyone, while I understand your networks may take issue with the release, we find it better to get all of the information up front, inform & educate professionally and politely, and be accepting of everyone. That how I was raised and how we raised our kids. We do not like discrimination of any kind and I think it is safe to say there are always many sides to the story.
 
Again, I appreciate you reaching out. Best to you
 
PJ Rosch
The Little Red Dog, Inc

 

While I am sure Mr. Rosch does work professionally, I have yet to see professionalism by the organization in the responses to this issue. All that had to be answered was the question, “is your organization going to be participating in a balloon release.” 

These responses weren’t necessary.

Use Red Dog

 

Did you read what I actually said? Where is the hate? Read my blog, I 100% said I support your work. Implying that I do not find the rescue of 300 dogs in 3 years to be okay is just disrespectful and flat out false. I’m disgusted by this organizations misrepresentation of what people are saying and their inappropriate response to civil disagreements.

I wish I had been responded to as calmly as I had reached out to them about the issue. No personal attacks were made by me and I went as far as to offer to brainstorm alternatives to replace the balloon release.

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Tell The Little Red Dog That Releasing Balloons is not okay!

It’s always a sad day when a great organization makes a bad decision. We know that it happens everyday because organizations are run by individuals and individuals are only human. None-the-less it takes other individuals to make change. I hope you will join me in writing and calling The Little Red Dog, an organization based out of Laguna Hills, CA,  to tell them a balloon release event is not acceptable.

The Little Red Dog has a mission that I stand behind with all my heart.  They claim the following:

Dogs are man’s best friend, but it is not always the other way
around. The Little Red Dog was founded in memory of a little red American Pit Bull Terrier who did not make it. If you are familiar with the Michael Vick dog fighting case chronicled in The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption. The Little Red Dog was brutally beaten to death by Vick and his cronies because she had the audacity to not to want to fight.

The Little Red Dog fights for all the dogs, red, blue, tan, white, brown, black and all colors in between. We do not discriminate against ANY breed; that’s because we are a real rescue, and we will help as many animals as we can. Our primary goal is to get them into loving homes. Our hope that some day all of
them make it out, but most of all, we will never forget the Little Red Dog and many others who did not.

I was living in Richmond, VA when Michael Vick was arrested and taken to trial. I value the efforts of all those who tried to rescue the dogs victimized by Vick and his dog fighting ring.  None-the-less one right doesn’t cover a wrong.

On August 2nd at the organization’s Founder’s Day event they plan to sale biodegradable balloons for $5 to be released into the air by participants. This is wrong!

This is an event hosted by an animal rescue organizations that take on kill shelters, but now are participating in an activity that can kill countless marine life from fish and turtle to birds and other animal life.

As I explained an in email to the organization I support their mission with all my heart as an animal lover, owner of two beautiful dogs (one of which I rescued this year) and a supporter of no kill shelter.  With that said I do not understand how an organization that doesn’t believe in harming, endangering or killing innocent animals would participate in a balloon release endangering marine wildlife.

With an organization having many dogs waiting to be loved and all of the dogs are said to have recently been rescued from kill shelters across Southern California (according to their website) I feel that the organization should care about the well-being of all animals and not just a select handful of dogs, as important as it is for them to be rescued?

I appreciate that The Little Red Dog has let it be known that they will not be using plastic or rubber balloons and do not wish to harm the environment.

Too bad they still will be harming the environment.  Using “biodegradable” balloons doesn’t erase the problem you are creating. They don’t disappear overnight. Not to mention if you have ribbons or any plastic clips to close the balloons those also pose significant risk to marine life and birds.

To help The Little Red Dog straighten out their priorities, I strongly suggest they read the article “Plastics and Their Impacts in the Marine Environment” by Anthony L. Andrady, Program Manager and Senior Research Scientist, Chemistry and Life Sciences Division, Research Triangle Institute, North Carolina. He states:

“Latex rubber balloons are an important category of product in the marine environment.  Promotional releases of balloons that descend into the sea pose a serious ingestion and/or entanglement hazard to marine animals.  Based on the fairly on the fairly rapid disintegration of balloons on exposure to sunlight in air, the expectation is that balloons do not pose a particular significant problem.  In an experiment carried out in North Carolina it was observed that balloons exposed floating in seawater deteriorated much slower than those exposed in air, and even after 12 months of exposure still retained their elasticity.”

Biodegradable doesn’t mean the materials vanish overnight. By releasing balloons into the air this nonprofit organization is trying to good but is actually doing a very bad thing. There are a hundred ways to remember those animals that may have passed away or to make a statement for your organization.  Try bubbles for instance!

I have a lot of experience in the area of events like this and if you need help brainstorming last minute alternatives I would go as far as offering my help.

I, in good conscious, could never support this organization as long as it aligns itself with such reckless actions. I will also ask my friends, family and social networks to spread the word of this potentially horrible event that threatens our coastal animal life.

To let The Little Red Dog know that you are against the balloon release write info@thelittlereddog.com or call 949-378-6103. There is also a contact form that can be found on their website here: http://thelittlereddog.com/contact.

You can tell them on twitter at @littlereddoginc or on Facebook here! 

 

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Virginia, soon to be for ALL LOVERS, and not just the selected few!

When I woke up this morning I was struck with excitement.  It’s an excitement that I use to feel back when I was studying political science in undergrad at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  It’s an excitement I get every time I realize how great of a country we live in.

We have our faults in America, but we also have a system of government, while frustrating, that is structured in a way that is intended to protect the basic civil and human rights of all citizens.  Our government, its officials and guiding principles are there to make sure no population, whether gay, straight, black, white, Muslim, Christian or otherwise are marginalized and treated as a lessor human-being than all other American Citizens.

Back in 2006 when I was finally old enough to vote in the United States I got to vote against the Marshall-Newman Amendment, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any other form of legal family status.  The amendment passed and I felt rejected by the very state I called my home.

Virginia, a state that has the slogan, Virginia is for Lovers decided to deny love between two people simply based on their sexual orientation.  Virginia was no longer for lovers no matter what the state wanted to project.

I moved away in 2007 and swore to never look back.  I wanted to live where I was accepted. I wanted my tax dollars to go to a state that valued my citizenship.  I wanted any revenue from a future wedding I may have to go to support local businesses in states that support same-sex couples and our basic civil right to marry the partner we love.

Now, years later, my heart is starting to race with excitement. The political process has played out.  While a majority in the state, back in 2006, were bullying the minority into accepting their religious views against same-sex marriage as our reality by using our voting system as a method of intimidation, the state is firing back by ruling against the ban.

This day, July 28th, will be a day I will never forget.  The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in my home of Richmond, VA ruled in favor of same-sex couples’ freedom to marry upholding the previous marriage ruling that came out of Virginia in February.  

Soon, LGBT individuals in the state of Virginia will see their civil rights realized, but even more importantly we will now be equal to the other citizens of our state. No longer will we be told we are not good enough to be recognized for our love. No longer will we be told that a straight couples love for one another is any more or less valid than ours.

What makes me more excited, if LGBT couples are allowed to marry in Virginia I will no longer have to worry about hospital visitation issues if I am ever sick and in Virginia.  Hospitals in the state currently have the right to deny same-sex partners from visiting loved ones in the hospital due to family only rules.

According to Freedom to Marry’s website:

The decision is not effective immediately. Buzzfeed‘s Chris Geidner explains, “According to the court’s judgment in the case, the judgment will take effect after the mandate is issued in the case. The mandate, under the court’s rules, will be issued ‘7 days after expiration of the time to file a petition for rehearing expires, or 7 days after entry of an order denying a timely petition for panel rehearing, rehearing en banc, or motion for stay of mandate, whichever is later.’

Here are just a few of the social media photos that made my morning a bit brighter.

 

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A photo compliments of Southerners for the Freedom to Marry
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Photo credit: Freedom to Marry
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Photo Credit: Equality NC
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Photo Credit: Human Rights Campaign #MarriageMomentum #Virginia

 

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And the case goes on for Laurence Einuis

I’ve received a few questions about what is going on with Mr. Laurence Einuis and the ongoing case against him.  Rumors have swirled for a few weeks that an attorney review was scheduled for July 2nd, but no one seems to be able to find information on that court date.

CoverAccording the Criminal Case Details provided by the General District Court of Fairfax County Virginia Laurence Einuis was charged under code section 18.2-374.3 which accuses him of using communications systems to facilitate certain offenses involving children (for a full explanation of the charge click here). This charge is a class 5 felony charge which means if found guilty Einuis would face a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

The offense date was filed as June 2, 2014 and the arrest date was June 5, 2014 by Detective Nick Boffi.  According to Detective Boffi’s LinkedIn profile he has been with the Fairfax County Police Department just shy of 22 years having joined the force in October of 1992.  With close ties to the high school world of Northern Virginia, having graduated from Chantilly High School in 1990, it comes as no surprise to me that he works to protect children in the wonderful county of Fairfax.

On June 6, 2014 Einuis was arraigned in courtroom 2k at the Fairfax County Court.  On July 2nd he was scheduled for an attorney review which is listed as having been continued.  His next court date was scheduled for 2:00 pm EST for the preliminary hearing, but it has been continued already.  The continuance is listed as agreed upon by both the defendant and prosecution.

 

The next preliminary hearing is now scheduled for August 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM EST.  Einuis will be represented by Defense Attorney Gary Moliken.  Not much information is available on Mr. Moliken at this point, but I will do some investigation.

 

For those of you just learning about this case Laurence Einuis was the director and teacher for West Springfield High School’s band program.  He was arrested in early June after a parent found inappropriate messages sent from Einuis to an underage student. A second victim has stepped forward, but information is not yet available on those additional charges.

Stay tuned for more information and to read about the allegations against Mr. Einuis check out my previous postings here!

To read the case details visit the Fairfax County Court website or you can review a PDF of the case details here: Laurence Einuis Case Information as of 7/25/2014.

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Human Trafficking In Your Backyard! Washington State Girl Possibly Trafficked!

Human trafficking is becoming ever more common in modern-day conversations.  Thanks to mainstream media, films like Taken, Governments around the world and nonprofit organizations the horrid underworld that is the selling of human beings has had a light tilted on it.  The problem is that we still aren’t opening our eyes enough.

I was talking to an acquaintance earlier today who pointed out the last time he saw human trafficking discussed on the news it focused on foreign countries or people being trafficked into the United States.  It rarely, if ever, discusses the reality of human trafficking here in the United States.

Thanks to Taken I will forever be vigilant when I travel to a foreign country.  The movie has shaken the fear of God into me, but why don’t I have that same awareness here at home? Do any of us?

I started asking myself these questions when I saw an article in my Twitter newsfeed that caught my eye, Angelic Dean Disappears After Leaving Cryptic Message.  My first thought was, what the heck is an “Angelic Dean”.  Then I was intrigued by the rest of the title.  It sounded like a James Patterson novel plot.

I learned that Angelic “Anji” Dean is a 17-year-old girl who went missing in Camas, Washington on June 23rd.  According to the Huffington Post that is about 25 miles Northeast of Portland, Oregon.   She had apparently been hinting to people in her life, like her teachers, that something wasn’t right with her life.  Then she left a note in her journal that read, “if you’re reading this, then I am either missing or dead.”

My first thought was that this so-called cryptic message was nothing more than what a girl would write in her private journal.  A message stating that under no other circumstance should anyone ever read her journal.  That just seems or seemed typical to me.

Then I read further into this Huffington Post article and learned that she had also sent a strange text message to her boyfriend prior to her disappearance stating that someone or some group of people were going to kill him and her family.  The family thinks she is in a human trafficking type situation.

It was eye-opening to me.  A girl living in the United States may have been abducted and trafficked.  Am I ignorant or is this somewhat shocking?  The last 60 Minutes I saw that involved trafficking talked about Asian sex slaves in San Francisco or some other city like that. It’s unbelievable to me that something like this could have possibly happened.

While we wait to hear more about the case, the police have not yet even stated that Angelic has been abducted, my heart breaks for her family.  My head freezes in shock that a teen girl living in a town much like the one I did when I was in high school could possibly have been trafficked. Not while traveling in a foreign country, but in our own backyard.

If anyone knows anything about her disappearance I hope you do the right thing and contact the authorities. According to the Official Help Anji Dean Facebook Page set up to help find Angelic “Anji” if you know anything or see Anji you should contact:

Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Detective Scott Kirgiss
(360) 397-2028 – Case #S14-7073

Media and Family Inquiries: Michelle A. Bart
National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation
Office: (360) 852-8019 or Cell: (626) 644-3472
michelle@nwcave.org or shelley@nwcave.org
http://www.nwcave.org/

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No, But Seriously… Possible Logical Reasons for Laurence Einuis Possessing 15 Computers…

It's just creepy...
It’s just creepy…

Is anyone else starting to feel like we have to tap into the Carmen San Diego in us as we try to piece together the little bit of information that has been released about the Laurence Einuis accusations and investigation?  15 computers were seized and two victims have come forward. We only know what he is accused of from the first victim.  What is on those computers?

Yes, it will all come out in the end, but for now a lot of us seem to be asking the same question.  Why would one man own 15 computers and why didn’t the police notice them the first time they went through his home? That’s right, they only found them because he asked his wife about them while on the phone and a guard listening in heard.

I ask again, what is on those computers? Our minds can run wild, but until I hear anything I have to say there are some possible logical reasons and innocent reasons for his having that many computers and hard drives in his possession.

First, according to the Fairfax Times, Laurence Einuis had spent about 15 years in different positions involving engineering and technical management in the broadcast television industry and 5 years as the director of operations and engineering for the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach.  I could see how working in this industry could result in you owning more than one computer. 15 still seems a stretch, but I could  see some logic here.

Second, I was informed by a former colleague of his that she believes he helps run registration for the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) and those computers possibly were VMEA computers and used for registration purposes.  That sounds innocent enough, but that is a hypothetical answer as well that I could not find evidence of on the VMEA website.

Yet, I still have to keep asking in the back of my mind why he cared if the police found these computers if he had nothing to hide. We will just have to wait and see, but you try getting my brain to stop asking the question why! I can’t help it.  I want so bad for there to be a logical and innocent reason for owning those computers.  If there is something on them that he doesn’t want the police to know about I have to admit I am terrified because my mind goes straight to the scariest places I do not dare mention yet.

 

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The Silent Victims of the Laurence Einuis Allegations

images (2)When the news first broke about accusations against West Springfield High School (WSHS) Band Director and Teacher Laurence Einuis I was floored.  Simply shocked by what I had heard.  As the days have come and gone since his arrest I’ve sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the next bit of news. What is going on?

I have so many questions about the case and what the police are finding.  I have so many thoughts flying around in my head because I simply am having trouble digesting the news and figuring out how to feel about it. With that in mind, I took to my blog.  I realized that the people around me now, 10 years after graduating from West Springfield High School and moving away, don’t have the same emotional attachment to this situation as I do.  None-the-less I needed an outlet.

Slowly I am learning that I am not alone.  I’ve received so much private feedback on this blog, emails, Facebook messages and calls from current students at WSHS, past students I’ve never met, teachers I use to have when I was a student at the school and former classmates who were in Mr. Einuis’ band class with me.  I’ve been overwhelmed trying to think what to do next. How do I respond.  It wasn’t my original thought that so many people would be reaching out to me so I had no plan on what to say to them.  What should I say? I’m not involved in this issue, I’m just a former student of Mr. Einuis’ who feels very emotional about all that has been going on.  Well, that’s what I can do. I can let all those other past and current students, past and current colleagues of Mr. Einuis’ and past and present family members of his students share their thoughts and talk. I ask that if you feel like you need an outlet to find one.  Reach out to anyone until you find that person that you can talk to about all that is going on.  If you are a current student at the school, from what I have seen recently, the counselor’s and staff deeply care about you and want to be there for you.

I wanted to share a note I received from a current student at West Springfield High School.  While I have received his/her permission to share this email I am omitting any information that impedes upon this students privacy including gender, name, and grade level:

I’m so sorry that this Einuis thing has been affecting you too. I was googling Einuis’s name again to see if any new information had popped up when I saw your blog. I’m a [STUDENT'S GRADE LEVEL HAS BEEN OMITTED] at West Springfield, and [OMITTED IDENTIFYING  INFORMATION]. I wish that I could say that we know more here in Springfield than you do in California, but we don’t. Only that we were just as shocked. There were no warning signs that anyone could see. I don’t even remember if I saw him pass a note to anyone in class, but I’m sure that it would have seemed so common it wouldn’t have merited remembrance. The day that all of this broke out, the administrators took him in the middle of our wind symphony rehearsal 3rd period to arrest him in the parking lot so that we couldn’t see. I didn’t believe that it could be anything more than a misunderstanding at first. Certainly he has an off-color sense of humor, and I initially assumed that he finally told the wrong joke to the wrong student. I have to agree, however, with the most recent information that as much as all that I know of this man from my time in high school makes me want to defend him, I’m afraid that he probably isn’t worthy of that defense. I’m not really sure why I’m writing this, partially to inform you if your friends and family aren’t as connected to the school as someone currently enrolled, and partly because it’s comforting to know that others are feeling the same way even years after leaving high school and while living on the other side of the country. Thank you for blogging about this, and I hope that for all of the students’ and alumni’s sake that all of this is resolved soon.

I think this student said it best when s/he wrote, “partly because it’s comforting to know that others are feeling the same way even years after leaving high school and while living on the other side of the country.”  That’s what I think a lot of us are looking for. Comfort to know we aren’t alone in the feelings we are having.

I’ve said it in various ways before, but I feel adamant about the importance in community and keeping in mind just how many people are being affected by this situation and hurting from it. The numbers of victims in this situation seem never ending when you step back.

Obviously my heart aches for the alleged victims and their family members who are directly affected by this situation. I can’t imagine what they are going through, but I also ache for the silent victims and people having to cope with this.  From Mr. Einuis’ family, to Mr. Einuis himself, to  WSHS current and past students and staff and anyone else that feels distraught by this. And yes, I do consider all of the people who are hurting or confused by this as victims.  Not that I need to explain why, but the definition of a victim is “someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event.” To me that is all of you.
Rest assured that if you are upset with this story you aren’t alone and no matter when you knew Mr. Einuis or were involved with WSHS you have every right to feeling distraught by this.
I think the current and past teachers and staff I have spoken to at WSHS have said it best to me when I asked, and I have asked multiple people, why we are all so upset by this (current students, current staff, past students, past staff and the general public) when I was told by one person:

 

I agree that it feels very personal [to all of us past and present].  This is someone we once considered a friend… someone who was invited into our homes, lives, etc.  We feel betrayed, and I think, really, most of us should because we trusted him. This makes students and those who have trusted and worked with him in the past and present question the motivation in every conversation we’d ever had… I get the feeling of having someone you respect fall “off the pedestal” so to speak. It stinks, for everyone.  So it makes sense it feels personal. It’s personal for everyone who feels their trust has been betrayed.

 

I think, as we continue to wait for more information to be released the best thing to do is to:
  1. Know you aren’t alone. A lot of people have strong emotions about these allegations.
  2. Talk to anyone you can about your feelings. Don’t question these types of situations alone.  Talk to your parents, classmates, teachers, counselors, therapists or do what this girl did and write someone and share your feelings for the sole purpose of being heard.  Sometimes we just need to know our feelings are heard and that there are people out there who relate to our feelings.
  3. Setup a Google alert for Laurence Einuis. So many of you have written me saying you came across my blog Googling Laurence Einuis.  Save yourself some time and have any new information added on the web emailed directly to you or check back here as I will try to keep updated as well.

Thank you for all your input, comments, feedback and support.  I have great memories at West Springfield High School and as I’ve started reconnecting with people from my High School past and connecting for the first time with many people who are now actively involved with the WSHS community I remember why. We are a caring, compassionate, loving, and smart community of people.

 

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15 MORE computers seized from home of Laurence Einuis & The facts we know.

images (4)If you are sitting in prison accused of wrong doing let me give you some advice.  Don’t open your mouth and say anything that can incriminate you further to anyone except your lawyer. It’s the only time you know you are speaking in 100% privacy. I thought this was known by everyone.  When in prison you can’t trust the other inmates, the guards, what you write is subject to review and your phone calls are subject to monitoring.

Why in the world did Mr. Einuis open his mouth this week?  What am I talking about? Apparently, while on the phone with his wife, he asked her if the police had seized computers tucked away in his garage.  They had not.  Unfortunately for him the call was being monitored by a guard and now police have seized the computers in the garage.  15 computers to be exact. I am sure they are very thankful for Mr. Einuis tipping them off.  I hope he is kicking himself!

When Mr. Einuis was arrested on June 5th for soliciting a minor, a 14-year-old boy who was a student at the school where Mr. Einuis taught band and marching band classes a lot of us were in shock.  It was the school I attended. He was the band director I had my senior year of high school.  I have repeatedly stated that I didn’t want to believe the accusations against him.  Even when a second alleged victim stepped forward a part of me wanted to continue to defend him.

Now I have to open my eyes to reality.  Why would Laurence Einuis ask his wife about these specific computers unless he had something to hide? What scares me more is what the police may find on these computers.

Mr. Einuis was arrested for inappropriate text messages that involved soliciting a minor. My question is if these computers hide other communications with students or if they hide more.  My mind is running wild.  I have a million what ifs.  What if he tricked other students into sending him inappropriate photos over the internet by posing as a younger guy? It’s possible! Or what if he just has 100 emails exchanged with former students all soliciting them for sex?  Or what if they have nothing and he just was worried about the cost of losing 15 computers?

You want to ask why he owns 15 computers, but if I remember correctly he worked in the technology field before following his passion of teaching teenagers how to make beautiful music. I still have to defend his owning the computers.

What about everything else? Living on the other side of the country in Los Angeles now I know I am not receiving all information.  I am fortunate enough to have plenty of old friends and family in the area keeping me updated, but the story still seems extremely strange. What I know so far:

  • Mr. Einuis was arrested after he sent a string on late night text messages to a student. The student was 14 years old and his father found the text messages. The father turned the phone over to the authorities who continued the conversation with Mr. Einuis as if they were the 14-year-old student.  This is CONFIRMED.
  • Mr. Einuis followed up on those text messages by giving a note to the student trying to tempt him further into inappropriate behavior. This is CONFIRMED.
  • Mr. Einuis then texted the students phone number a few days after the first conversation with the undercover officer that was posing as the young teenager. The text said he wanted to kiss, touch and other things. This is CONFIRMED.
  • Mr. Einuis was arrested 4 days after the father of the 14-year-old boy notified police. This is CONFIRMED.
  • A second alleged victim stepped forward. The police and media, as far as I know, have not released any details about this victim. As an outsider of the investigation we don’t know how old the alleged victim is besides the fact that he is under the age of 18.  We also DO NOT know what the victim is accusing Mr. Einuis of having done. This is PENDING.
  • Police seized a number of items including a couple of computers from Mr. Einuis’ house the first full week of June. This is CONFIRMED.
  • Mr. Einuis asked his wife about computers in his garage that the police didn’t know about while speaking to her on a phone while in prison. A guard heard and 15 additional computers have been seized. This is CONFIRMED.
  • We do not know what is on the computers. This is PENDING.

downloadThis case is strange. A mystery. Especially if you know Laurence Einuis.  He isn’t the type of man you would expect to be caught up in a story like this.  The farther it goes on the more confusing it gets as a person following the story closely.

I mentioned in a pervious blog that I feel like this is a personal case.  A former colleague of Mr. Einuis’ has since made me feel a bit better by explaining why I have every right to take it personally.  Now, I am just frustrated.  Mr. Einuis, you seem more and more guilty every day.  You are acting like an idiot and not thinking anything through.

What I want moving forward:

  • More facts and details. This case affects hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Former colleagues and students of Mr. Einuis’, their families, his family and many others.  I think we are all asking, “what the heck?”
  • I also want him to not ask his wife stupid questions. Think about it. Her husband has been accused of inappropriate behavior with a minor and the story keeps growing.  I think it’s amazing that she even is still supporting or talking to him.  She is a strong woman.  I was pleased to learn that she has some good friends with her right now.  I feel for her.  I don’t pray often, but she is in my prayers.
  • I want any victims, if these accusations are found to be true, to get all the help and support they need.
  • I really want this all to be a dream, but I’ve come to the realization that they aren’t going to rule this a misunderstanding and just release Mr. Einuis. Nope, he is going to court. Especially if he keeps making himself look more and more guilty.
  • Lastly, I want Mr. Einuis to be held accountable to the full extent of the law if found guilty.  I’m just getting angry now, as a former student who did look up to this man even if we butted heads from time to time.

Let it end!

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Teacher, Laurence Einuis, arrested at West Springfield High School – Second Alleged Victim Comes Forward

hqdefaultReally? This is where it is going? I should have seen this train wreck coming down the rails last week, but I didn’t want to believe it. I refused to believe it. There is still a big part of me that doesn’t believe it and hopes this is all a misunderstanding, but dear goodness. Somethings just can’t be ignored!

Laurence Einuis was the band director and a teacher at the high school I attended a decade ago.  He has been accused of soliciting a 14-year-old boy inappropriately via text message.  I have been deeply bothered by this for days. I haven’t wanted to believe it. Worst of all, I’ve been taking it personally.  Since I last wrote about the situation surrounding these accusations against Mr. Laurence Einuis new developments have been released.

I may not be a spoiled 17/18-year-old boy sitting in the back of Mr. Einuis’ band class holding my trombone, but 10 years later I still feel personally let down by everything I am hearing.  Now, less than a week since Mr. Einuis was arrested a second alleged victim has stepped forward. No useful details seem to be available beyond noting there is a second alleged victim. I am sure this will change rapidly.

As I hear that there is more and more possibility of damning proof and evidence against Mr. Einuis I feel a bit more devastated.  Why though? Why is it so personal?

I wish I could go on from here writing about why I think I am taking it so personally, but I can’t.  That just makes my mind spin even more.  If I can’t figure all of this out. If I can’t figure out what I am exactly feeling about this news. If I can’t figure out why I do have any feelings about this situation then how can all the current students who Mr. Einuis teaches deal with this?

brunsell-claim-evidence-reasoningI am a 28 year old man living in Los Angeles, California. I have been removed from Northern Virginia for most of those 10 years, so my attachment has been pretty distant.  None-the-less I am a bit emotional.  It scares me.  What about the kids living this live an in person?  How are they being helped?  What do you say to them? What do you say to anyone in this situation?

The questions are endless. Innocent of guilty a lot of people are affected by this.  What now?

 

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Say it ain’t so Mr. Einuis!

Caught_Red_Handed_by_naybabeSay it ain’t so Mr. Einuis!  I was hoping as the investigation continued and details about this case were released we would learn that this entire ordeal has been a misunderstanding.  A large part of me still holds onto this hope.

Last week when I heard Mr. Einuis was arrested on charges stemming from allegations made by a 14-year-old boy claiming Mr. Einuis was soliciting him inappropriately my heart was broken.

Having known Mr. Einuis I have to say I would never have expected such a situation.  He taught me in band, marching band and color guard my senior year of high school so I spent a lot of time around the man.  These acts seem extremely out of character for the man I once knew.  I simply didn’t want to believe it until I felt there was so much evidence I wouldn’t have a choice.

What has been in the media for the past few days has been very vague.  They’ve not released a lot of information about what evidence was found and resulted in this arrest. With that in mind, I continued to believe, innocent until proven guilty. Mr. Einuis, guilty or not, has the same basic civil rights that we all do.  He should get a fair investigation and fair trial.

Today, the media has started to release a bit more information.  As evidence is starting to slip out into the public domain I have to say my standing behind Mr. Einuis is starting to slip away.  I wanted to stand behind him and say that he is innocent and I haven’t heard anything to convince me otherwise.  Now I am starting to shake on that stance.

After a recent NBC Washington article I have to admit, it isn’t looking good for Mr. Einuis and his defense.  The article shed some light on the days leading up to Mr. Einuis’ arrest.  He wasn’t just arrested because some allegations were made.  He was arrested because it sounds like they caught him red handed.

According to NBC 4 Washington:

A Fairfax County Police detective later took over the teen’s online persona and was contacted by Einuis, court documents state.

During their conversations, the undercover officer says the suspect “spoke about liking” the teen and wanting to “make out and touch.”

At one point, the teen’s parents said the suspect approached the teen with handwritten note that read, “SHRED WHEN READ,” the affidavit states.

 

If this is true then my heart has turned from being just broken to also being angry and disappointed.  No child should be put in the position that this 14-year-old boy is in.  While Mr. Einuis still deserves a fair trial and to be seen as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

What a sad day. I hope this kid gets the help and attention he deserves.  I hope, if found guilty, Mr. Einuis gets the penalty he deserves.  Also if found guilty, I hope Mr. Einuis’ wife gets all the love and support she needs.  We have to remember that this situation is affecting and touching many people.  Not just the one or two names we are seeing in the press.

Lastly, if this isn’t true and Mr. Einuis is an innocent man I hope the West Springfield High School community can come together to support him as he reenters his life after this ordeal.

Only time will tell us what the truth is and time goes by slowly.

 

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