Positively 4th Street

positively-4th-street

My theme song of the day. Maybe the week. Oh heck, why not the whole month.

You gotta lot of nerve to say that you are my friend
When I was down, you just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve to say you gotta hurt to live
You just want to be on the side that’s winning

You say I let you down, you know it’s not like that
If you’re so hurt why then don’t you show it?

You say you lost your faith but that’s not where it’s at
You had no faith to lose and you know it

I know the reason that you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd you’re in with

Do you take me for such a fool to think I’d make contact
With the one who tries to hide what he don’t know to begin with?

You see me on the street, you always act surprised
You say, How are you? Good luck, but you don’t mean it

When you know as well as me you’d rather see me paralyzed
Why don’t you just come out once and scream it?

No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief perhaps I’d rob them

And now I know you’re dissatisfied with your position and your place
Don’t you understand, it’s not my problem

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment, I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes
You know what a drag it is to see you

Bob Dylan

That felt good. I think I’ll stop here. Peace and Love.

(Unforgiven Pt. 2)

unforgiven-pt-2

Three years ago I discovered my wife, the mother of my three wonderful children, dead in the shower. The whole thing was a mess. Somehow I made peace with the death of my ill wife. Friends and family tell me I handled it with grace. My children have exceeded my expectations and are thriving. Alexandra is a wonderful soulmate. I am in a good place.

There are a handful of people who did all things possible to make her death difficult for any decent human being to handle with decency and dignity. They went above and beyond their way to write comments that were so vile, so untrue and shockingly disgusting. Their comments were posted anonymously. That made it twice as painful for me. Who were these people. Did I know any of them? Why didn’t they talk to me instead of stabbing me in the back. What did I do to deserve their hate? What if these anonymous cowards had regular contact with my children. What if it was someone that I considered a friend? Could I could trust anyone? After reading this?:

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS FROM SLOTRIBUNE.COM

Posted by stoptheinsanity

Feb 24, 2012 – 1:36 PM

A word of caution, SLO Kenny. Anyone caught up in the circumstances that you experienced, needs to practice anger management or you’re going to find Child Protective Services on your doorstep.

Feb 24, 2012 – 2:06 PM

A word to the wise, SLO Kenny.  For someone caught up in your circumstances, you need to practice anger management. You are not a victim of CCN. No one will ever consider you a victim. Get over it and provide a nice life for your kids.

Posted by fedup

Feb 24, 2012 – 8:50 AM

Crawl back under your rock in Santa Margarita, Ken. You don’t already have enough enemies after what happened almost 2 years ago?

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS FROM CALCOASNEWS.COM

Posted by Chris Volbrecht aka as sportmom

June 19, 2010 – 4:17 PM

No disrespect Easymoney because I do feel for this family, especially the children.

However you are painting a slanted picture here- the investigation is still ongoing, while the coroner released the Body and has been flown back to Ohio for funeral services, this case is far from over and those kids are not safe if they return to the area with their father.

The coroner only released the body because he was done with his part and only a few causes have been completely ruled out at this point. Toxicology is not complete nor are other tests. I do not want to believe he did it, but the thought is still in the back of my mind.

If you do know them like you say you do- then this is a known fact to you. Most of us while greiving(sic) over the loss of our dear friend, fear for those kids even if the father is found to have nothing to do with this.

His mental problems and verbal abuse alone have those children terrified of him.

My prayers go out to them, but we as Janet’s friends must step forward and do what we can to protect those children. Many of us have given statements to the police about what we have been told by Janet or have witnessed, so any of you out there that have knowledge about this- I urge your to report it to the lead investigator on this case. He already has many letters and statements so you will not be alone in your testimony nor will you have to fear that “he” will find out what you said and why.

Please do the right thing for these kids…please!

July 1, 2010 – 9:39 AM

Sorry you feel this way. Anyone who knows Janet will know these facts- this is not a secret or insider knowledge. I did not state here what any of us discussed with the police- not sure where you got that from?

I am merely making a plea for the childrens(sic) safety in this very sad and dangerous situation! The more of us who come forward – the better off the children will be- in this instance I don’t feel this is gossip for a blog- it is real and the children need to be protected from their father whether or not he did anything to Janet- if you knew what some of us know you would be reaching out in every way possible.

July 2, 2010 – 12:50 PM

I did step into help many times- I will protect the kids from Ken anyway I can- her letters and texts and emails are all turned into the detectives now. If you all were Janet’s friends you would know this and know that verbal abuse is just as bad- if not worse than physical abuse which I myself and many others witnessed on numerous occaisons(sic). I will stand by every word I have written here!

Even if Ken was not the cause of Janets(sic) death- the kids are in danger of returning to California with their father. Janet was running away for more than one reason. I adored her and her children and would never do anything to harm them- I suggest you all do the same and protect them.

July 30, 2010 – 1:40 PM

fattynskinny I am not sure where this information came from regarding the children only with their grandparents for a total of 3 hours since coming to Ohio? They have been with grandparents and other relatives most of the time they have spent there time in Ohio, and not with the father! I can assure you that what PaulJones states above is more accurate than what you have heard.

Posted by Karen Velie aka as pauljones

June 17, 2010 – 10:07 PM

I’ve got to wonder who or what easymoney is really trying to protect?

June 18, 2010 – 9:35 AM

I noticed that a concerned neighbor stopped by to let us know that you are down playing the facts and that you’re also playing the roll of a self appointed hallway monitor. This appears to be something that is a concern to some people who are neighbors. This situation sounds like something that frequently spilled out into the streets and wasn’t so private as you suggest.

July 23, 2010 – 3:40 PM

It’s my understanding that the McCarthy children are all currently physically safe in the arm’s of their loving grandparents in Ohio. All three children opted to continue with their original plans to travel to Ohio preceding the passing of their mother less to 2 hours prior to their scheduled departure. All 3 children had been in the home during the fight that had ensued at 4AM that morning between Kenny and Janet. It was nothing new for them. Actions speak louder than word’s. Those were the actions of the children while Kenny immediately “lawyered up”.

Just the fact folks………….

July 23, 2010 – 3:50 PM

and the toxicology testing portion, looking for the strange cause of death, continues……………

Posted by Cindy Sasur aka as cindy

June 14, 2010 – 12:37 AM

“Janet Lucille McCarthy had planned to take flight from a tumultuous marriage” This is a bit different than I read in the Tribune today. They mentioned that she had suffered from health issues but if they were talking about the fact that “McCarthy had recently won a battle against breast cancer,” I would hardly consider this a possibility as the cause of her sudden death.

“we cannot rule anything out at this point, in an abundance of caution, we have chosen to fully process the scene,” said San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Investigations Commander”

Well oh, gee, I should hope the Sheriffs Dept would fully process the scene! What the heck sort of statement is that?

The Sheriffs make the statement that ““There is some medical history with the decedent” but fails to mention a recent “tumultuous marriage” where she was on her way back to visit her parents with her children in tow, only to be found dead the morning of her departure.

June 15, 2010 – 11:58 AM

I posted the facts over at the Tribune letting people know that something here sounded very fishy. If some people didn’t like it, of well! I stand by my post and don’t believe I shouldn’t have alerted people.

June 15, 2010 – 12:00 PM

I find that doubtful. It’s a known fact that she was having troubles in her marriage and that she was on her way to Ohio with her children for a while. There is nothing here that wasn’t known to the neighbors, family and friends.

June 16, 2010 – 11:18 AM

I agree with you, the catalyst driving my post was/is the following:

“in an abundance of caution, we have chosen to fully process the scene,” said San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Investigations Commander”, I was incredulous upon seeing that statement and but for that statement would not have said anything here or over at the Tribune.

The facts behind this story carries some rather clear oddities. I, like others would prefer to wait and see what comes of an investigation particularly for the sake of the three children. I can not and will not make any apologies for having noted that this was a “high alert” case. Especially since I know someone who knew this family and I can tell you that there is far more than has been discussed or mentioned in these articles or posts.

June 16, 2010 – 3:37 PM

I suggest that go back and read my post again. This has nothing to do with what he said – she said. It’s obvious that this needed to be investigated, as well as, all deaths that occur under these circumstances. Sorry that you seem to have a problem with that. Maybe your grieving and aren’t thinking straight or can’t comprehend what you read, I don’t know but you sure seem hell bent on keeping it all hush, hush, rather than noting the nonchalant position that the Sheriff’ expressed.

Like I said, go back and read my post and by the way you “are hiding” when you post here unless your name is easymoney.

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS FROM SLOKENNY.COM

Posted by the Tomko Family aka as a_long_silent_witness

Sep 3, 2011 – 3:47 PM

How do you put this last bit of pain away? Reflect on the things you did and the things you didn’t do and then pray for forgiveness. If you happen to find someone else as wonderful as Janet to share your live with, history will repeat itself unless you learn from it.

★★★★★

Love and Hate are two sides of the same coin. Love can be intensely intoxicating, your thoughts become consumed with thoughts of that person(s). Hate behaves the same way. They are powerful emotions that if you chose to, can consume your thoughts and actions.

I cannot forgive those who have vilified me. That would take an act of love on my part. Anonymous cowards don’t deserve my love. They don’t deserve to share my thoughts of love that I have for everyone else.

Nor can allow myself to hate them for that would consume my thoughts and emotions just as love does. The way I look at it, I don’t have room in my mind for hate. I tell myself these people don’t deserve to be a part of my mind. They are not important to me.

We have only so much room in our mind for our emotions. I consciously choose to fill that space with love, with Savannah, Courtney, Douglas, Alexandra, my family and friends. This is how I am able to put this in the past.

Last year one of my fellow Tumblr bloggers gave me some advice. He wrote “Just don’t let negative people bring you down and I’m sure you and your kids will be just fine.”

Unforgiven

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What is forgiveness? As a devout Roman Catholic in my formative years I was taught that forgiveness was necessary to heal when someone hurts you. The act of forgiveness was to lift the burden of resentment, anger and thoughts of revenge. The past couple of years have taught me otherwise.

June 13th, 2010. It was the day after my wife passed away. Karen Velie posted Questions Surround Santa Margarita Woman’s Death on her website. The article implied that I had something to do with my wife’s death.

The aftermath of the article was swift and painful. The story and some of the unmoderated comments posted contain false statements. These statements have caused great harm to my family and me. These statements were made without adequate consideration as to the truthfulness of the story/comments. It took a toll on me. I lost eighteen pounds that week.

I met with Karen Velie on March 11, 2011 at the Black Horse on Higuera. My purpose was multi-faceted: to have a retraction article published that clarified that there was no foul play in my wife’s death; to ascertain the identity of several of the slanderous posters in order to protect my children from those who had personal vendettas; to identify the positive supporters on the site so I could express my personal gratitude to those who stood up for my family, and to open back up the comments so that my supporters could defend me. (The comments were disabled soon after the coroner released the report absolving me of any foul play. What a coincidence!)

Karen was thirty minutes late for our meeting. I offered her a cup of coffee, she declined. I spent the next thirty minutes rebutting a litany of libelous, untrue accusations about me. It took my grief-wracked mind a while to realize Karen was there just to get an “incriminating” statement to run with on her site. What was weird was I was the one who initiated the meeting, only to see it descend into a fury of verbal abuse and accusations. I ended the meeting saying “we have nothing more to talk about”.

Several weeks ago Karen was arrested on a DUI charge. She ran a story on her site that cherry picked the facts and allegations on her arrest. She got called on it. First by The Rock a bastion of journalism. The City of San Luis Obispo chimed in with a Press Release rebutting Karen’s version of her arrest. The New Times published an article and a column taking down Karen Velie. I’m amused there are people who vehemently defend her in this affair. They are stupid.

That’s her mug shot above. She looks like a drunk. She doesn’t have a face for TV. She doesn’t have a pleasant voice for radio. Karen has no journalistic chops. She doesn’t make any attempt to get both sides of the story. Her entire basis for the hatchet job she did on my family was one sole disgruntled neighbor. She tried prying my friends for anything derogatory. My friends read her the riot act. She made zero attempt to get my side, violating the #1 rule of journalistic integrity. She bragged that she had “confidential sources” in the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s department regarding the investigation into my wife’s death, a flat-out lie.

She’s in love with her self-portrayed image as a “crusader for the truth”. She’s arrogant, envious, and exploitive. She sees herself as perfect and projects shame on others.

Forgiveness is not about releasing others. You need to separate raw emotions from feelings, if you don’t the emotions will consume you. Feelings are about one’s self. Realizing your feelings clarifies everything. My feelings are me.

My emotions about her are not ambivalent. She hurt my family. That I know, and that I leave behind. I learned my feelings are about how I see the world and others and myself. My feelings allow me to separate that offensive act from my emotions, to let go of the anger. My feelings protect my precious self. My feelings bring me life.

It all boils down to this: there is no penance Karen Velie can act upon to rectify the harm she has purposely inflicted onto my family. She is a vile piece of shit. And with that, I’ll leave it there. Peace.

She’s Doing It Right

she's-doing-it-right

I’m sitting on the back patio, and I am exhausted.

Yesterday was Savannah’s move-in day at Berkeley. The moment I anticipated since the day Savannah was born. It came and went in a flash. Not fast in the sense of the past 18 years. More like a wedding day, where you spend months planning out and when the big day arrives it blurs into a melange of breakfast / dress / limo / wedding / limo / pictures / reception / dinner / dance / cake / shots / limo / hotel madness. You never have a moment to think about what exactly it is that’s going down. Yesterday was the same sensation. One minute I’m packing up the car in the pre-dawn and the next moment it’s near midnight and I’m putting Douglas to bed. That’s when it hit me.

Truth be told, Savannah was ready to move on. She is an adult, mature and confident. It’s her job to move out of the house, to strike it out on her own. I’m very proud of Savannah. I hope she sees the world around her. I hope she experience all the beauty this world contains. I hope Savannah find what she loves, at her work and with herself and with someone special. But the natural progression of children moving on still hurts. Because your children are running around out there carrying a bit of your heart with them.

This photo Alexandra took is analogous of what’s going on in our lives. Savannah emerging into the sunlight and I, transitioning into the background.

I’m looking forward to the days Courtney and Douglas go off to school. That’s when I know I’ve done my job.

Death of a Thousand Cuts

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Six years ago my neighbor offered to sell me his Ducati for $1,300, a steal. I wanted it. I had the cash. Janet said no. I acquiesced.

Why did I cave in?

I don’t understand what attracted me to her.

I don’t understand what she saw in me.

I don’t understand why I married her.

I don’t understand why I stayed married to her.

I don’t understand why I didn’t do more to protect my children from that darkness.

I don’t understand why I gave up on my dreams.

The SeaBees

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The SeaBees are a construction battalion, tasked to build bases, roads, airstrips and docks during wartime. SeaBees were often on the front lines, fighting and building. Sometimes the SeaBees went behind enemy lines, at great risk, to build stuff.

I remember Grandpa talking about the War. He saw a lot of action and he told me some stories that I’d rather not share. Shell Shock became Battle Fatigue and then PTSD. It’s a serious problem for our returning Vets. I think about the price our servicemen are paying in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think about the toll it takes on them and the families it impacted. I think about what if there wasn’t any war, how these families, mine included, would have been different. Then there is this.

It’s a photo of Grandpa Frank’s SeaBee Company on the Solomon Islands campaign. Grandpa is in the front row on the far right, next to the CO and 1st Officer. Of the 32 men pictured, only 5 of them made it out alive. Grandpa was one of the lucky ones, if you want to call it that. A bit of him died back there in the South Pacific.

Band of Brothers

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Mom brought some old pictures when she visited last week. We had the opportunity to go through them and talk about them. Some of them I want to share with you. This is a photo of my Great Grandmother Burns and her six sons. All the boys served in World War II, most of them seeing heavy action. It was a miracle they all returned home alive.

Going from left to right:

John Burns – Navy

John was the only Uncle I never met, I don’t know anything of him. He passed away when I was very young. I don’t know where he served, if he ever got married, had kids or how he died.

Bob Burns – Army

Uncle Bob came back from the war and married his sweetheart Vera. They lived a simple life on the South Side near Idora Park. They were a private couple. One year the family got together at one of Uncle Clarence’s birthday bashes and I found myself sitting down with Bob over a few beers. He started talking about the War. Turns out he spent the war as a Captain of an Army unit in Burma. Burma was the longest campaign in the war and arguably the most ferocious. Bob told me stories about operating hundreds of miles behind enemy lines and ruthless hand-to-hand fighting. His unit was the model of the formation of the Army Rangers. His most horrific story, by far, was about the end of the war when he entered and released starving American GI’s from Japanese POW camps.

Lillian Burns – Mom

I never met her for she passed before I was born

Jim Burns – Army

Uncle Jim and his wife spent a lot of time together with Grandma and Grandpa. Whenever we visited their house on the West Side, it was always a happy place. The ladies meet every month to play Bridge for over 50 years. Jim and Grandpa shared their love of fishing. Uncle Jim spent time in the European Theater, including, I think, heavy action at the Battle of the Bulge.

Clarence Burns – Navy

We called him Uncle Monk. He and his wife Mildred both lived into their ’90s, having being married together for over 60 years. Both of them had incredible senses of humor. I don’t know much about his service in the war because he never talked about it. I think he served in the Pacific.

Floyd Burns – Army

Sadly, I don’t remember anything about Uncle Floyd. Someone once mentioned he was at Anzio. Mom recalls him fondly.

Frank Burns – Navy

My Grandpa. Look up the definition of a crusty seaman and you’ll see a picture of him. He was a tough little guy who could build and fix nearly everything. I guess that’s why they made him a Sea Bee. He said that when the Marines bragged about landing in the Solomon Islands his unit had built an airstrip and piers before their arrival. Once he told me of seeing his best friend take a shell, killing him instantly.

Strange Days

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This past week was a huge one. Savannah’s High School Graduation was going off. I had lots of family flying in from Ohio to celebrate the occasion. I was nervous. Too nervous to write in my blog.

Mom flew in for the week. So did my Mother in-law, two of my Brother in-laws, my Sister in-law and two nieces. I hadn’t seen any of them since the Funeral in Ohio three years ago. I have not spoken to the in-laws for two years.

The last two years have been very good for me. Meeting Alex is a blessing for the both of us. My therapists have done wonderful work, I see things now without the prism of PTSD. And it has been eye-awakening.

Mom doesn’t listen to much of what anyone tries to tell her. Many times she’s blown off people who were only trying to help her. We didn’t get along well in the ’80s. I had chalked it up to just her Irish stubbornness. Since then I’ve discovered Dad and learned about the heartbreaking events in her life. And for the first time ever I saw her in a new light. She is the strongest person I have ever known. She has purposely submerged in her mind all the bad things that happened. To Mom, they didn’t happen. Maybe I am wrong to try to dredge up the past with her. This is her way to peace.

My In-laws? Well, they are different. Not different in the sense of good vs bad. Just different. I realized that my lifestyle just doesn’t mesh with theirs. Perhaps I was foolish to try. Don’t get me wrong, they are fabulous people, honest, ethical, hard-working. Just the type you want to be neighbors with. Trustworthy, caring. After all, they flew X-Country to see Savannah’s Graduation. We thank them for being here.

I held the In-laws to a standard to which they do not share. We grew up differently. We have different appetites for life. We evaluate risk differently. We see religion differently. None of us have anything to apologize for because none of us did anything wrong. We responded to Janet’s demise in our own way. I hope my In-laws understand.

MotoGP Time

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Alex and I are going to Laguna Seca tomorrow to watch MotoGP. I haven’t been to a Moto race since I moved to CA 9 years ago. Janet never let me go to Laguna Seca. This years, things are different. I’m really looking forward to an awesome day of racing with Alex.

Big Brother is Watching You

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The 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If you haven’t been paying attention to the shenanigans of the NSA, you should. Their unwarranted search of our telephone and internet activity is violating your rights. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue. Don’t blame Obama or Bush for this. This permutes every level of government – Federal, State and Local.

As one who had my 4th Amendment rights trampled on by the San Luis Sheriff Detectives, and my digital life ripped to shreds, I know. I know how it feels to be subjugated by law enforcement. I know how little I meant to the criminal justice system. I know what it’s like to have your digital devices and assets seized without a warrant properly served. I know how violated I felt having my email and browsing and Facebook activity searched.

Write to your Senators and Congressmen today and tell them to start protecting our rights. The first step is to repeal the Patriot Act.