Update From the Editor, Friday, Nov. 18
Hi everybody. Let me start by thanking everyone again for their posts. Carol Fox noted in one of her posts that we hadn't put several of her comments up on the site. Let me explain how this system works, so you don't think we're ignoring your posts. When you post comments, they come in on a list that we review. Since we do not edit posts, we cannot publish comments that contain factual allegations, or personal attacks, or foul language. But just because a post isn't published doesn't mean we haven't read it. Robin Fields, Evelyn Larrubia and Jack Leonard, the reporters who wrote Guardians for Profit, are reading every post. If they see information that they feel needs to be pursued, they will get back to you. So please don't get frustrated if you don't see your post on the public blog. By the same token, if seeing your comment is important to you, leave out allegations and other references to specific people--they are almost certain to keep your comments behind a veil, for the reporters eyes only. Either way, we very much appreciate your feedback. It is invaluable to us. Many of you have asked how to help the state's senior citizens who are being victimized by conservators. One sure way to do so is to keep in touch with us.
Many others have asked about how to help Helen Jones, the woman highlighted in the beginning of Part 1 of Guardians for Profit. The best way, in my opinion, is stay involved--tell your elected officials that you are concerned about the elderly and that you want to see more vigorous oversight of conservators. Ms. Jones, I should add, is doing fine, and awaiting a Dec. 2 court hearing where a judge will consider whether she really needs a conservator. Janey R. asked in a post whether we plan to cover that hearing. We do, as well as every other hearing involving Ms. Jones until her objection to her conservatorship is resolved.
One poster said she thought our series slighted the honest and hard-working conservators whose efforts greatly benefit their clients day in and day out. The Times reporters who reviewed every case in Southern California over a seven-year period felt it was urgent to highlight the abuses--and they found hundreds. But let me also say for the record that we agree there are many fine, honest conservators working with the elderly in California today. I, for one, believe that they would also benefit from licensing and greater regulation.
Finally, one poster, Scott Whyte, asked which non-profit agency took over Pearl Inferrera's care (Part 4) after her professional conservator relinquished her case. I will check with Robin Fields, our expert on the case, and get back to you.
I'll keep following your comments, and we can chat again tomorrow. Cheers, Vernon Loeb