Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Crime in Progress, part 12

Blame the veterans.

That's the new attitude shown today. We had a guy on one unit that developed a severe skin condition that was making him itch all over. He talked to a nurse, who talked to one of the doctors who work in another unit, because our unit doctor is on vacation. A soothing lotion was prescribed at 10am. The vet tried to get it by 1pm, and could not get it. He went to the Homes director, Sara Dunne, and tried to get it. She called the nurse who was told to go down to pharmacy and get it, because pharmacy said they could not give it directly to the veteran. When the nurse got there, it was not read for pickup. At 7pm, he still had not gotten his lotion and decided that hes had enough of the extremely poor health care that this place is NOT providing. So he got angry and told the 2nd nurse who was then on duty at 7pm, that from that point on he was refusing all health care from this facility and that from now on he would get his health care from another facility or location. He did not tell this writer where he would go, but I am guessing the Coit Street VA clinic that is located just 800 feet east of the Home for Veterans, Rankin building which is the northern most building.

Another veteran who is recovering from a quadruple bypass surgery which occurred in July of 2011, is having a relapse and is retaining fluids. He is taking lasix drugs to make him pee.
Yesterday the chow hall served what they call sloppy joes for dinner. We have mentioned these pathetic sandwiches in this blog before. Ground up meat the consistency of poarrage, with beans added. He could not eat it so he went to subway and got a ham and cheese sandwich, with lettuce, pickle, and green pepper and no dressings. A small bag of regular chips and a 20 ounce diet coke.

Today he went to the same evening nurse to pick up a new prescription for some lotion for his legs, which are dry and chaffing due to the pressure from within from the legs retaining water. He mentioned that he thought he got it figured out that when ever he eats too much salt, he retains. Well yes, the nurse said. She told him that he knew he was supposed to be on a no salt diet since he got back from the surgery, and that he was willingly not following it. She blamed the diet coke and the sub sandwich, and even though she knows the meals provided by the homes kitchen are loaded with salt, blamed the veteran for his condition because once this month he went outside the home to get a meal and because he drinks 2, 20 ounce diet cokes per day. Regular coke has 120 Milligrams of salt per 20 ounce bottle or 4 percent of the daily salt requirement. Diet coke has 70 milligrams, or 3 percent of the salt for 1 day. So if he drinks 2, he gets 6 percent. The nurse says its what is causing him to retain water. What?! 6 percent?! Bull cookies.

THIS is the level of professional "Care giving" we are getting here at the veterans home - and that from a REGISTERED nurse! Instead of doing their jobs, they are now blaming veterans for their conditions. Thank you Kathy.

And what makes it worse, is that this nurse used to work in the Michigan State prison system and is known for telling veterans that inmates at the prisons eat better than the veterans do here.

Shame shame shame..

This folks is why MICHIGAN is BROKE. They are paying fools like Kathy 60k per year for not doing her job.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Crime in progress, part 11

New Internet?

Dec14, 2011. The new "improved" internet is up and going, supposedly. It is restricting members access to you tube, some face book parts, Michigan Lottery, and government websites.

Members are told that the internet is for emails and resumes, but the 4 computers located on the end of each floor over by the duckpond elevator are not hooked up to the internet and most of the time the printers do not work.

We will give them 1 week to fix some of the "restrictions".

We are not prisoners here.. we did not surrender our rights when we came here. We want full unrestricted access (unless a court ordered restriction is in place).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Crime in progress, part 10

We had one of the state congresspeople stop in and talk to the veterans WITHOUT administration interference.

It was nice to be able to talk to the congressman directly. Unfortunately, 2 of the members were obviously drunk, and it did not make the rest of us look any better, especially the drunk that sat less than 5 feet in front of the congressman.

We did however manage to get several very important issues expressed to the congressman.

But we missed a few.

The latest crime against the veterans at this facility is this: They took away our fried eggs on Tuesday mornings.

Now that may not seem like a big thing to you, the reader, but to us it is a very very big issue. You see, we get processed eggs every morning, and hard boiled eggs too. Most people cannot eat the processed eggs. These are eggs that are separated, frozen, thawed, mixed and boiled in big plastic bags. They have the consistency of rubber and have no taste.

Fried eggs are served on Tuesday mornings. It is the only time of the week we get them. 3 weeks ago they told us the griddle where they cooked them was broken. Last night we had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, so why couldn't we have fried eggs today?

There is no excuse. Just another thing they took away from us because they are lazy, and do not want to put forth the effort to make this place a good place to be.

As I told the congressman, this place is the 4th largest veterans home in America. It should be a shining jewel in Michigan's crown, along with The Mackinaw bridge and the Great lakes. Instead it has the reputation of a dried up cow patty.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - Crime in progress part 9

"We are doing the best we can do."
That was the answer today at the Rankin 2 and 3 Member council meeting when the issue of heating the smoking area was brought up.

Under Granholm, Michigan passed a law that said there is to be no smoking in public areas and hospitals, however, there could be an exemption for retirement homes and such places.
Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRH4V) was supposed to get an exemption. Prior to the law being passed, each unit had one room, where members were responsible for its cleanup, where they could go to smoke.

Then the law got passed and a special area was set aside for smokers, out side on the Pavlovian. This area was to be heated, and enclosed.

GRH4V had it reported as being built, but when a state senator came over, and saw it was not even started, CRAP hit the fan and within 3 days it was built - minus the heaters. All the materials and labor were DONATED by outside volunteers. This did not cost the home one red cent.

THEN, they waited until February to get the heaters installed - but not running. This was after the person who donated them was contacted, and we were told that the heaters had been sitting on his dock for 2 months - and that he was waiting for a call to come in and install them.

After they were installed, they did not get the heaters certified until JUNE of this year! So last year we sent over 60 veterans to the hospital for exposure related illnesses and we didn't get 60 back. We guess we lost about 40 due to pneumonia or exposure related illnesses from having to go outside to an unheated area to have their tobacco.

The purpose of having this smoking area, was to satisfy the state requirement of NO smoking within the building, do to the fact 2 Governors now ( Granholm and Snyder) have failed to sign the exemption that would give us back our smoking rooms.

To only allow the heat to be turned on from 6am to 10pm defeats its purpose. We have people here that are up and about 24/7, at all times of the night and day. Staff members go out to have their smokes, members go out to have theres. Why should they have to spend another winter freezing their arses off?

GRH4V 's administration should be held for accessory for the deaths of the veterans we lost last year, and charged with manslaughter if any die of it this year.

One of the members talked to me today about his recent meeting with one of the social workers. He mentioned that the members were angered that the heat was off, and they felt they shouldn't have to tell the staff to leave it on - For the purpose of the outside area was to have a WARM area for people to go to to smoke. This all boils down to "feel good politics". Todays political scene is one that is smoke free, and it appears that the actions of the politicians are, that smokers are deemed to be parasites on society. Therefore no money or funding will be spent to support them or their habits. Even if that money is going for heat to keep them warm when they are outside. In other words, the politicians (and staff) could care less if we freeze our arses off during the winter when we have to go outside. And yet this place is supposed to be FOR the Veterans.

I think its clear. This administration is here to get a paycheck and does not care at all about the Veterans other than as much as it takes to keep them here so that these people have a job. The actions of the administration clearly show that they hear what they want to hear, and care only about keeping the system going so that they have a job - at the expense of the Veterans.

When told that the members are getting ready to have a protest of a "smoke in", the counselor told the member that anyone of his people who participated in the smoke in, would be kicked out, even if it meant that every member of a unit got kicked out. In other words, the Veterans would pay a price, would be thrown out on the street, if they exercised their right to protest.

The same counselor argued with the guy who told him that members were thinking that they should have to tell the staff, (administration) to keep the heat on in the smoking area. Many feel its common sense to keep it on.. I mean why bother putting it up at all if you are not going to keep it heated, right? The member was trying to tell the counselor what the members were thinking and the highly paid college educated idiot counselor was arguing with him over it! Proof that the administration hears what it wants to hear, regardless of the circumstances or the situation.

And that is why Grand Rapids Home for Veterans will fail, and why there is a crime in progress here. The crime is against the veterans by the administration with the blessings of the State congress who will not address the administration problem.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - Crime in progress part 8

Well once again the Bellview genius's (nut cases) who run this place, (the administration) has ran off yet another long time Volunteer. Bill who is a 20 year volunteer, who ran Kozy Corners and helped run 2 bingo's, was told to give up his keys today because he was accused of stealing. Many people would vouch for this mans character. He is not a thief.

This makes him yet another person, and who knows how many Veterans groups, that this administration has forced out or driven off.

Yet another long time volunteer that many veterans liked, and enjoyed, will never return here.
And since he will take with him the 2 bingo games his group sponsored, the limited activities for members here is diminished that much more.

Since I arrived here last year, too many groups have been forced out or ran off from volunteering here, or from sponsoring bingo games. We are down to about 3 a week now, when we used to have it every day. And it doesn't cost this place one dime to have one as the money given away (usually 1 dollar per bingo) comes from the volunteer organizations.

Way to go Sara Dunn and your stupid arse administration. If that's what you call loving the veterans, I would hate to see what you would call hating them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - Crime in progress part 7

The widow finally gets her due.

Finally after giving this person plenty of changes, I am happy to report that Annette, aka the "black widow" of Rankin 3, has finally gotten her just deserts by being given 10 days out.

Annette, a female veteran, has a severe drinking problem, a man hating attitude, and a big mouth that loves to cuss up a storm when shes been drinking.

Annette hates authority. Over the last year she has had numerous altercations with volunteer groups and individual volunteers. She has been banned from several volunteer bingo's, and yet despite her cussing out people, yelling threats to them, she never got any time out. She always claims it is racist based, and that people pick on her because she is black. - BULL CRAP!

Well, this last time she was again drunk. Got into an altercation with some volunteers who came in to give us a picnic and cussed them out too. She again claimed racism. But this time she also came back to Rankin and starting trying to start fights with any one she could find. She was yelling that the "men were weak" here. Yet when she needed a friend, she went to another guy's room, and talked to Wayne, a white guy. If men are weak, why did she need Wayne? Wayne knew what was going on and didn't want anything to do with it.

8 altercations in the last 9 months without any time outs. If it had been a guy, like Ronnie G., for example, he would have been kicked out immediately (and he was). He got 3 strikes and is now banned from here. She has had 8 strikes before they gave her any time outs.

And now she is gone for a 10 day period and I must say, Rankin 2 and 3 is again, nice and quiet, the way it should be. I just hope it isn't too long before they get rid of her completely.

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - Crime in progress part 6

Well, today's posting from the Rumor mill.

It has been told to me, by several members here, that a man named Albert, from Rankin 2, had 5,000 dollars stolen from him by the home, and that he got angry and told them he was moving out. These same people told me that the Home told Albert he could not leave, and he told them to watch him go, and he was out that very day. Since then I have been told by 3 others, that Albert has obtained the services of 2 very well known attorneys, and will be suing GRH4V for damages, AND he wants at least one of the people involved, to be fired and/or put in jail.

Also from the Rumor mill, Sara Dunn, the acting director has been written up for dressing unprofessionally. I.E. Wearing short skirts, so that her thong is seen when she bends over.

The girlfriend of one of Rankin 3's counselors, ( I think she is a nutritionist) should also be written up for dressing unprofessionally. She wears flip flops, the kind you wear in a shower, to work. This is not the proper dress attire for a state worker in a medical facility.

Also, the Ranking 3 Counselor Dwight and his girlfriend (mentioned above) have BOTH been caught taking tomatoes out of the members garden area. If that area is for members, then what are they doing picking fruits and taking them? What else have they taken from members, for which they have no business doing?

Fact: The problem with the Sloppy Joe sandwiches served at meals, got fixed, then the Bell View Geniuses screwed it up again. The got rid of the finely ground beef that had the consistency of baby food, and replaced it with something more to the style that should be used in Sloppy Joes. Then the idiots added Pinto Beans to the mix. When asked about it, Renee, the main nutrition person, said " well that's the way we do it now". People are again rejecting the Sloppy Joes.

Also, the same idiots decided to try to make the Sour Kraut go a little further. More than a dozen members came up to me and told me that their Sour Kraut was 3/4ths ONIONS! Mine was the same way, but I thought it was just a badly mixed batch of it. No, it now appears the home is trying to stretch the food budget by making cuts and using a lot of useless "filler" items that are changing the very food item itself.

They already use too much tomato based stuff. Now this.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is STEALING from veterans.

You think the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans,(GRH4V), is here to help Veterans? Guess again.

Caught in the act: Proof the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is STEALING from Veterans.

Let me introduce you to Fred. Fred is a 62 Year old Vietnam War veteran, with 2 purple hearts, and a Bronze star, Army accommodation medal, Republic of Vietnam service medal given by the people of Vietnam which is given directly to specific solders, Good conduct medal, and 2 overseas bars amongst other honors.

Fred is at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, (located in the northern part of of the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan,) because of his exposure to Agent Orange. Recently, Fred's dad working thru the Senate, managed to get some benefits for Fred, that was owed to him for the last 15 years. Fred got a big check for something like 90 thousand dollars, and Fred celebrated by spending about 1,000 of it, on instant lottery tickets and giving them out to friends. He did not spend 5 grand, 10 grand, only about 1, which is what 1/2, or half of his monthly disability check is.

The home got angry with him and decided he cannot do that. WHY? Who are they to tell him what he can or cannot do with his money? The money belongs to Fred, not the home. But THEY think it belongs to them. They put a freeze on his bank account and would not let him take out any of his money without their permission. (The bank here is not a real bank, I don't know what the heck it really is, but I do know that it is some how connected with Chemical Bank in Walker, Michigan). The bank is only open 2 hours a day, and does not have checking or any other basic bank service.

Now this is Fred’s money. Who are theses thieves to tell him how much if any of his money, he can take out of his account? And he is not the only one they are controlling in this manner. Another fellow, by the name of Bill, is allowed 1 dollar a day. Bill can't even pay his monthly cell phone bill because of their illegal, criminal control of his money.

Fred spent less than 1,000 of his own money on lottery tickets. Fred's monthly disability check is over 2,000 dollars. So Fred spent less than HALF of his already established benefit check.

Well today the criminals at GRH4V broke the final straw with Fred. Today Fred was served with papers, calling him to court. The home is trying to get him declared incompetent to be his own guardian, and to allow them to control his money. This is nothing short of using the system to steal Fred’s money. And it is pissing off this fellow veteran and friend of Fred’s, and his other veteran friends who look after him. We do not take advantage of him. He wanted to celebrate so he gave us 3 scratches off tickets, out of the goodness of his heart. We would have refused any more, had he offered them.

Fred says he has more money than he can spend in the last days of his life, so he wants to have some fun. Who is Grand Rapids Home for Veterans to tell him he cannot? This is ENSLAVEMENT, or unlawful detainer.

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, has committed PERJURY to the court, claiming Fred spent excessively. How can that be when he spent less than half of his normal monthly benefit check? They also claim he is an alcoholic, and drinks a lot. Fred was stone cold sober when he gave us those lottery tickets. The claim does not identify who actually filed the complaint, but the attorney on the form is the one used by GRH4V.

They gave him 3 days till his hearing, and said he must meet with their court appointed temporary guardian. We his friends are getting him a lawyer to fight GRH4V. These thieves are stealing and cheating veterans every day, and it is high time we put an end to it. And we advised him NOT to talk to anyone of them, other than to tell them to talk to his attorney.

Fred is contacting an attorney to represent him. I pray the attorney sues the hell out of GRH4V, and wins Fred a multi-million dollar settlement.

Update October 2011. Fred went to court, and won. The judge told Fred he could do as he wished with his money, and go fishing when ever he wanted. The judge then asked Fred to step out of the court room and for 10 minuets had words with the lawyers who filed the claims against Fred. We do not know what he said, but since his return from court, this place has treated Fred very very nicely. We are waiting to find out what Freds own attorneys are going to do next.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Congress guilty of destorying the American dream for anyone born after 1960.

I never thought it possible, but the proof is beyond question.
The American Dream my Grand Fathers enjoyed, which was my inheratance, was stolen from me by the office of the US Presidency, and the US congress, in 2 different acts of congress, and approved by the Presidency.

The first act was under President Johnson, who Broke open the Social Security trust fund, which at the time as OFF LIMITS to congress. Doing what he did, Johnson and the communistic liberals in Congress stole the future retirements of millions of Americans, and left even more with higher future taxes.

The Second act, is illustrated by the photograph of immigration.
The Green Tube represents the national average immigration from 1776 to 1965, about 250,000 per year. Or one quarter of a million. This represents the largest scale of immigration that any country anywhere in the world had seen since records started being kept on the subject.
Another 250,000 or quarter of a million were estimated to be illegals,
So, from 1776 to 1965, some 94.5 million people immigrated to the USA over a 189 year time period.

Then congress opened the immigration flood gates. 1 million per year, plus another million illegals. That is about 4 times the normal rate.
Since 1965 to 2010, approximately 253 million people have immigrated here lawfully in just under 47 years. And an additional 253 million ILLEGALS have also come.
That means in 47 years, we added over 506 million people in 47 years.

The new immigration rate is 5.35 times that of previous traditional immigration rates, and our country has SUFFERED because our standard of living has dropped, because we were not able to assimilate these people into our culture quickly as we did in previous years.

Now congress is demanding those of us who are the tail end of the baby boomers, and the Generation X'ers, all work longer and harder for the American Dream that THEY STOLE.

No not the current members of congress, but the idea of congress itself is responsible for what has happened. Previous members of congress responsible for this, are now old and either dead or near death. And they passed the buck on for the damage they did, as do all congress people.

And that is how your American dream got destroyed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - Crime in progress part 5

Dining at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Let us first look at the menu's.
Recently the style of meals changed, from American style to European style. Meaning that we used to have a light lunch followed by a big dinner. Now they serve a big lunch, followed by a light dinner.

In the Mornings, we have a basic schedule that is the same week in and week out.
Pancakes one day, French toast another, scrambled eggs another, omelet another, Fried eggs,one day, and various other things the other 2 days.

All food is pre-cooked, and comes from Gordons Food Service, a big supplier of foods to local businesses. GRH4V merely warms it up. Except for the fried eggs, and the hard boiled ones, the scrambled and omelets and other types contain a percentage of powdered eggs. You can taste it. The fried eggs come so cooked, the yokes are almost solid.

We also have various sausages, and breakfast meats, most of which are barely cooked and in some cases are still pink on the inside. That is not good for pork products.

Most meals are served at room temperature, on Heated plates. The only thing that is consistently hot, is the gravy for mashed (powdered) potatoes. What they call hash browns are really little square potatoes. What you and I would call a hash brown, like the kind you get at McDonalds, they call a potato pancake.

Tonight they served Sloppy Joes made out of ground up pork patties. Needless to say most people turned it down, as it tasted like crap. These were the pork pattys that most people rejected the day before.

And until recently the real Sloppy Joes were made with meat that was ground down to the consistency of gruel. The escuse for this was that some members could not chew the meat. Yet the day before they would serve chicken nuggets, chicken fritters, or something like that, which obviously required teeth to chew properly. And lately they have been using pinto beans as a filler in the sloppy joe mix.

And speaking of chicken. Chicken is a basic staple here. We get it 5 to 10 times a week, either as the main item in a meal at lunch or dinner, or as an alternate. 3 weeks ago we had it 8 times, and 7 times last week. This week it is down to 5 times.

And speaking of alternates. One of the alternates of the major item for a meal here, is a Peanut Butter sandwich. A number of times over the last 3 months, a piece of low sodium cheese was the alternate item.

The soups here are filled with tomatoes. I had vegetable soup last week. In the bowl I counted 10 pieces of corn, 9 pieces of green bean, 5 onion, 6 potato and the rest of the chunks, all 67 were tomatoes. And the pepper! OWCH.. too much damn pepper in the soups.

Too many of our meals, are Tomato based, or where tomatoes are used as a filler.
Like chicken, we are getting tired of tomatoes.

The beef stew is tomato based, not beef based.

For 4th of July special lunch we had Ribeye Steak that was 3/16ths inch thick. For dinner we had pork chops that were 1/2 inch thick, and actually tasty for a change.
We also got a wedge of watermelon, the first time this year.

The usual vegetables are Mashed potatoes, Green or wax beans, some times mixed vegetables, or broccoli, rarely do we get asparagus or just plain corn.

We get a lot of fruit cocktail, Diced pears or peaches, apple sauce,Apples, bananas, oranges and the like. SOFT FOODS in other words. Oh, and stale bread that is individually wrapped.

Rarely do we get real solid foods. That is why most of us walk around with perpetual gastritis, I.e. Flagellating tails. Everyone tooting away as if they ate a steady diet of baked beans.

The Dining hall has specific hours of operation, but the crew opens when it feels like it, usually late. They close right on time though. Some times we have waited an extra 20 minuets to be able to eat our meals.

Now not everyone here eats in the dining hall. Many members have their meals brought to their wards, where they eat. Then they come down to the main hall and get another meal, or they raid the salad bar (when we have one).

And this place complains about the amount they are spending on meals. They refuse to go to a scanner system, which can check our ID cards. Well, I guess they can go stuff it then, cause if they don't want to do what needs to be done, they should shut the F--k up and stop bitching about the costs.

Now some of our people don't even get fed during regular hours! Case in point, recently they served pizza. The second time this year, and a rare meal. Dinner goes from 4.30 to 5.30 pm, and seconds are served at 5.15pm

But some guys have activities that prevent them from getting down to the chow hall until the last 15 Min's of the meal time. One such person went in to get his pizza at 5.20, only to find out "there wasn't any left". But there was. The staff had taken some and hidden it, intending on taking it home for their families. He was told that only 6 people didn't get their pizza that night and that low number was considered acceptable. By whose standard?!! Needless to say, the member went ballistic.

This is not the only incident of staff members stealing from veterans. Because that is what they are doing. We PAY For this stuff, whether we want to or not. If we get any kind of disability payment or pension, the home takes it and leaves us 100 dollars for our own use. So we pay for these cheap meals.

And on weekends it gets worse.
Swedish meatballs(6 of them 1 inch in diameter), noodles, roll and tossed salad for dinner. For lunch polish sausage on bun, fried potatoes (1/2 inch squares) Brussel sprouts, and pineapple with peaches.

Last week we had a Bacon Lettuce and tomato sandwich, noodle soup, apple juice and ice cream. The bacon is 2 slices of 3 inch diameter think cut bacon, and a piece of lettuce. The ice cream isn't even real ice cream, its some kind of odd stuff.

Another favorite of the meal planning staff is to offer chicken salad sandwich or egg salad sandwich, neither of which can be eaten by some members, leaving them with no real alternative.

Some do not like turkey, many are tired of chicken flavored stuff. And eggs? No way.

These morons even have Omelets for dinner some times, despite having heard many complaints about it.

We get spaghetti once in a while, but with Mariana sauce, not spaghetti sauce. Let alone sauce with meat, or mushrooms or vegetables.

And finally. People have been complaining about the food service here for months. There is a nurse on Rankin 3, of whom it is being reported that she worked for the state prison system for 15 years, and claims that they eat better than we do.

It is just plane shameful.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - Crime in progress, part 4

The Smoking Tent.

I don't care what folks in general think of people who smoke. Whether or not smoking is good for you is not the point here. The issue here is Fairness and health care providers neglect because they disagree with another persons choice of living.

In 2010 Michigan passed a non smoking ban for all public areas, but made exceptions for places like nursing homes and some bars, and other places. They forgot to make an exception for the Veterans home.

The winter of 2010-2011 was filled with Veterans from all age groups, having to go outside to have their tobacco. The old guys in power chairs, the guys who were in wheel chairs, the guys who could hardly walk, all had to go out side and Freeze. Some of these people have smoked all their lives and could not quit if they wanted to.

So volunteers were called to put up a smoking shelter. One was proposed, including heat, for the Pavilion outside Kozy Corners. In December, Someone came and put up the walls. The walls were made up of awning type canvas, with one side of the tent containing clear plastic windows. 2 doors, of hanging thick plastic ribbons were put in, one at each end. And the whole thing was designed to be rolled up in the summer.
Inside the tent, the average temperature was about 5 degrees warmer than the outside air.

In April, the heaters were installed. They remained off thru out the remaining winter, due to the fact no gas was hooked up to them. The volunteers who donated them and put them in, said they had been sitting on their dock for 2 months and that they were waiting for a call to come and put them in. To this day, they still are not certified to be used, but they are hooked up to the natural gas line.

The only reason the shelter got put up in the first place, is because a State of Michigan congressperson came and asked where it was. Finding out that it wasn't even built yet, he got very angry because his office was told that it had been constructed and was up and that we were using it.

58 Veterans died of pneumonia related illnesses between January and March of 2011. Of those, 56 were known smokers. They got sick having to go outside with no heat.

I remind the reader, the gas heaters are STILL NOT CERTIFIED by the Gas company as being safe to use - and its mid summer now. When are they going to be certified, maybe next spring?

I blame the delays and lack of progress directly on the Administration of Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, currently under the temporary direction of one Sara Dunn.

GRH4V as its called, doesn't even have an acting commandant. And now the new Michigan Republican governor wants to privatize its operations.

I personally think some of the staff need to be held accountable for the premature deaths of those veterans, due to their having no warm place to go to have their tobacco.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - crime in progress, part 3.

Next lets look at the volunteers. This place is driving away volunteers, and as the result, taking away activities from Veterans. Case in point - The coffee episode that is still effecting veterans.

You see, some of the people here need special diets. Some need thickening agents added to their coffee so that they can swallow it properly. Due to this fact, each member has an ID card with a colored stripe on it. Green means they can eat anything. Blue or Red means they have restrictions. Well, one of the volunteers in Kozy Corners gave regular coffee to someone who had a restriction and as such they choked.

Because of that, all volunteers had to sign a paper saying they would check all ID cards before giving anything to any member.

At Bingo,(which is put on by outside volunteer groups such as VFW, American Legion, various church groups, schools, or whom ever wants to donate the funds to put on a bingo game), volunteers would bring treats for the members. Coffee, Juice, donuts, pizza, pretzels or chips or small candies. And after the coffee incident they had to check ID's. But some BellView genius,(BellView is the insane asylum in NYC),in the administration here, decided not to allow the bingo volunteers to give us anything because "We cannot afford to pay a staff member to be present to ensure ID's are being checked." was their excuse for taking away our treats. Bull crud.

Also, Kozy corners is no longer serving coffee after 6pm, or on weekends.

Also as a result of this Coffee incident, all coffee places on the various wards had to be locked up, with coded locks on the doors, with members being given the code only if they had a green stripe. The problem with this is many members do not close the locked doors, leaving them open. So members who cannot get coffee on their unit, are now wandering around other units trying to get coffee without having their ID's checked. So far 3 have choked because they could not get the right coffee. And 4 members got lost going to other units that they were not aware of. Many have been caught on other units, only to "claim they were confused" as they tried to get into locked rooms where the coffee pots were.

Volunteers have had to sign and resign agreement forms to be able to continue to be able to volunteer. Those volunteers that the administration does not like, get their paperwork lost and are threatened with arrest for trespassing if they continue to return to do volunteer work without permission.

Another volunteer, Don Kramer, was a volunteer with the purple heart association who spent a lot of time each day here at the GRH4V. He would bring vets down to the smoking area who were bed ridden and had to use special wheel chairs, and help them have their smoke. He was well liked, and was driven out of being a volunteer because he caught a staff member smoking inside the building in the winter time, when he had to bring his vets outside in the freezing cold. He reported her and politics ended up with him being forced out. The Nurse who he caught has never been disciplined for her violating the smoking law, that a member would be fined 100 dollars or more for violating. In fact several members were issued 100 dollar fines for smoking near doors in the winter time because the state law requires you to be 50 feet from a door, federal law 25 feet, and they were within 10 feet while trying to stay warm. Yet that nurse was never issued any such citations even though security had proof of her smoking inside the building.

Don is just one of over 15 known volunteers that have left because of the administration of this place. And countless others are refusing to return.

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - crime in progress, part 2.

Part 2, The Crimes.

Let us start with the clothing room. When I first arrived here it was open every day.
Now it is open 2 afternoons a week. A Fellow named John and his mother ran the room. Both are volunteers that do not get paid. John's mom had it opened 6 days a week. One day she came to work and found they had changed the locks. The staff told everyone that John and his mom quit. The fact is they got fired without being fired.

Since then various members have photographed and documented workers taking clothing that was meant for members. New jackets, and other things that were specifically donated for the members, ended up being worn by the staff.

The lady running it, is a good friend of Sara Dunn, then acting commandant, who was later denied the job. Sara Dunn was acting commandant when the real one, who was a vet, went on medical leave just before I arrived.

Also, Sara Dunn wasted a HUGE amount of money, some say around 8 thousand dollars, redecorating the commandant's office, thinking she was going to get the job.

Next let's go to to smoking tent. This is a sore spot in all the veterans. You see many of them have smoked all their lives. The military even promoted it until recent years. But now, Michigan passed a law about smoking in public buildings - but made an exception to nursing homes. All that is, except this one. This is home to these guys and gals, but they have no exemption.

When I arrived, there was at least 1 smoking room set up on every unit. Each room had special exhaust fans to suck out the smoke, and members kept them clean. These were taken away when Michigan passed its law. It forced the members to have to go outside - even in winter. So a Plea for help was sent out and people responded. A special smoking tent would be set up on the outside pavilion, near kozy corners, complete with heat for the winter time. The project was supposed to be done in August of 2010.

In December of 2010, a congressional representative came by and said, where is it? That his office was told that the project was done. When he saw that the walls were not even up, crap hit the fan and within 3 days, volunteers were putting up the tent walls on temporary polls that could be removed in summer time. The tent part rolled up and tied up on the ceiling of the pavilion, out of the way. Great. But no heat.
Now, the members had to come out side, thru a double sliding door, and navigate thru about 3 feet of slick sidewalk due to icing, and then another 15 feet to the smoking tent. No heat was inside, but several benches were available. The walls kept the wind down, but it was still an average of only 5 degrees difference inside the tent.
The tent had vents at the top and 2 doors with thick hanging plastic for the doors. Kind of like what you see in grocery store freezer warehouse. Come February and minus 10 degree days and still no heat. Come March and they put the heaters in, only because people were complaining. Come to find out the volunteer who bought and installed the heaters told us that they had been sitting on his dock for 2 months, waiting for GRH4V to call him to come and install them. In other words since December.

So they came and installed them in March. To this day they still have not fired them up and they are still not certified as being usable. It is now June. As far as the members are concerned, this project is unfinished.

We lost over 48 veterans due to pneumonia related illnesses this last winter, mainly due to the fact they had to go outside to have their smokes, with no warm place to go. The project should have been done before the first snow fall. Several were pulled out of snow banks and one man fell near the double doors that lead to the pavilion area and layed there in his PJ's, without any warmth for 5 min's when he fell off his wheel chair and lost his blankets, when he slipped on the ice that was known to form outside that door. You see members are not allowed to assist others who fall down. We have to get nursing staff. And they took too long to get there. We gave him blankets but he was still laying directly on the ice.

This project would have been done if the administration bothered to make sure it was done before winter, but because they don't smoke, they don't care.

Part 3, more crimes next.

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans - crime in progress part 1..

Part 1 The basics.

For those who do not know, the state of Michigan runs 2 homes for veterans. One is located in the Upper Peninsula the other in Grand Rapids Michigan. I am going to write about the one located in Grand Rapids, or GR for short. The home is called GRH4V for short. It is run by the State of Michigan, on Michigan land, funded with Federal dollars, thru the Veterans Administration and Social Security administrations, and private funding from members own retirement plans - if they have any.

First of all the name is misleading. While it may be home to some, The way it is operated makes it clear that it is definitely not FOR the veterans.

Due to the economy, my past job, and my health, I found myself with no place to live, so I was told I qualified to come here. I applied and was accepted. I have No income so to say, because when you come here, you give up your claims of Unemployment or any other government assistance - so they tell you.

Now I have been here for just over a year, and I tell you folks, this place is a criminal enterprise in action. They are defrauding the public (tax dollars) and the veterans. Cronyism is well documented here by the members (the vets are called members).

The Complex has 4 main buildings, with ruffly 750 people living here. Mann, McCleash, Main, and Rankin buildings. Rankin is where the "non income" people go. Those without any insurance or retirement or pensions.

Rankin has 3 wards, Rankin 1 is separate, on the first floor, and Rankin 2 and 3 act as one unit. These are the Temporary people who are here for the most part, while they heal up from medical issues and wait for paperwork to be processed to get Disability status from the Service or Social Security. Most move out after a few years, but a small bunch are there until they die, due to court orders. The Rankin building is the oldest in the complex, and needs updating badly. Its air recirculation system is described by members as a health hazard.

The cost of living in Rankin 2 and 3 is the cheapest of all the wards and buildings. $2,300 for a 8x10 living area where your bed, dresser and small table is, a 3x3x12 foot closet space, 4 men to a room, with shared toilet and sink for each room. The showers are 4 common showers in a separate room. They try to keep the rooms to 2 men, but many have 3 in the winter time. Other wards can cost up to $8,000 a month, depending on their level of nursing care.

The complex has a chapel, a common day room called Kozy Corners that gets locked up at 9pm and opens at 6am, an outside covered pavilion capable of seating 300 people, an APR (all purpose room) where bingo and movies are shown, 2 lane bowling alley in the basement, Ceramics, wood shop, bike repair shop, outside nature trail, Common dining room for those who can use it, A limited library, limited movie library, but no swimming pool. Bingo is played in the APR room, just to name a few things.

They have a clothing room located in another building, where donated clothing is free to members.

Part 2, the crimes, next posting.