It has been nearly two weeks since the community lost 13 year-old Alycia Nipp, brutally murdered in a Hazel Dell Field. An arrest has been made. She has been laid to rest. The family still grieves as do her personal friends. But, all too many others seem to have successfully put the murder behind them, moving on with their lives.
Fingers have been pointed at developers and owners of the field where abandoned and condemned homes remain standing. Ignored is that destruction of the buildings must be in accordance with some vague environmental regulations, causing delays as potential hazards must be inspected and assessed.
One of the most shocking revelations to me in all this was discovering that not only do we have known dangerous sex offenders freely roaming about Clark County, but that an effort by Senator Don Benton, Republican from the 17th District, to pass stronger measures dealing with these predatory sex offenders, DIED IN THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE in 2006.
Senator Benton has tried again to pass stronger measures. You can hear a Podcast of an interview with Senator Benton from his web page
I received replies from Senator Benton’s office and from Representative Ed Orcutt, who shares my outrage. Representative Orcutt said to me,
“We have attempted to pass Jessica’s law in the past, but it got watered down to Jessica’s lite. I have asked staff to draft a true Jessica’s law and will seek to get it passed this year. Since we are past committee cutoffs, it is a bit more tricky, but I will still push for it.”
From the audio linked to above, Senator Benton also continues to try to get stronger protections for our children.
Sadly, the only reply I received from Democrats was Representative Jim Moeller asking me when was Senator Benton’s Bill allowed to die, even though I stated in my message that it was 2006.
Why is it that our Republican minority in Olympia meets such strong opposition from Washington States Democrats when it comes to protecting our children from these predators?
Senator Craig Pridemore, Democrat 49th District, has a link on his web page to a pdf copy of a 2007 document, Sex Offender Sentencing in Washington, which did nothing to protect Alycia or get these predatory monsters off of our streets.
I did not find statements or comments about this from the others on their web sites about the need to protect our children. Newly elected Representative Jim Jacks seems to be living up to his campaign promise to “listen and learn,” instead of taking actions or promoting ideas.
I was particularly shocked to read the daily Letters To The Editor section of the Columbian and find so few letters published expressing outrage over so many repeat Level III sex offenders freely roaming Clark County, wearing only a GPS tracking device for satellite tracking to determine their whereabouts by Department of Corrections, not parents of children, who were not told of these predators roaming their neighborhoods.
Commenting about this confessed Level III sex offender held in the murder of Alycia Nipp elicited comments of blame to the parents and it being the parents responsibility to protect their children, not the state.
Hellooooo, keeping these monsters off of our streets and out of our neighborhoods IS protecting our children.
Today’s Columbian tells us of another Level III sex offender, who forced a 14 year-old girl into prostitution and assaulted the girl numerous times in Portland, has now moved to Clark County and is also “homeless.” He too is wearing a GPS tracking device that may place him in the vicinity of any potential crime he may commit against our children AFTER the crime is committed.
I am left wondering just why these animals feel safe and secure into move to our community in the first place and freely roam about.
I don’t want to believe or think our elected officials do not care, but when I see more effort placed on forcing us to accept Light Rail for a new I-5 Bridge, money ready to be wasted on a waterfront project, when we don’t have it and other such budgetary efforts, over passing strong legislation to protect our children and citizens first, I can’t help but wonder just where are their priorities.
UPDATE: Alycia’s Godmother, mother, aunt and others, have a facebook page up now, Mothers Against Sex Crimes and a MySpace page, MASC – Mothers Against Sex Crimes. Please lend your support to the struggle to keep these predators off of our streets.