Saturday, August 18, 2012

Isabel Celis...What Are We Doing to Find Her?

Isabel Celis, age 6, has been “gone” over 100 days now.  Precious little is heard about her in the local media the last couple of weeks.  Why?  Shouldn’t we keep her face front and center to remind everyone this little girl is still missing?

According to a 7/27/2012 newscast by KVOA TV-Com (Tucson local channel 4), the Celis family was together on 7/27/2012 at a prayer vigil, despite a previous voluntary agreement with Child Protective Services in Arizona that Sergio could not be around his family and sons. 

KVOA reporters asked the Celis family about this and they refused to comment.  The news station attempted contact with CPS but were not given a response.  That seems to be the extent of the local updates.

However, national media outfits are saying or “hypothesizing” more about the hoax call on July 22 made by two local girls.  According to Jane Velez-Mitchell, who has a talk show airing weekdays on HLN, (locally this is channel 23 on Comcast) Sergio Celis has been allowed to move back into the Celis home and to have contact with his sons. 

The children, aged 9 and 11, called law enforcement pretending to be Isabel.  This was reported locally.  According to TPD (Tucson Police Department), the investigation cost them $5000 in police manpower and overtime.  It always seems to boil down to money and we are generally informed of costs incurred. 

The result of this big money inquiry?  The siblings, who were at home with their mom, used their cell phones to call police.  Why?  Who knows?  Nothing much more was said about it on the local news and the Police released no new information.  The girls were taken to Juvenile Detention and released pending a hearing. 

Now, national media (particularly Jane Velez Mitchell on HLN) is questioning whether these girls have a link to Isabel, knew her, overheard something or knew something.  It doesn’t seem this is being looked at here…or at least it isn’t publicized by law enforcement.  Big news theory is that these girls are acting out something they knew about or were afraid of. 

However, even Ms. Velez-Mitchell acknowledges that as a girl she made prank calls.  So have many others.  Most of us made a prank call as a child, but tell me, have you ever pretended to be a missing child?  Would you have done that as a youngster?  I think not.

Everything in Arizona seems to come down to money, transparency in government operations and distaste for including the public and/or employees in on things that maybe --- just maybe -- they could be helpful with. 

In Arizona, there seems to never be enough money for education, for strategic planning, for funding child protective services -- not enough for health care for poor people and the working poor and their children; not enough for police services, support/training and hiring new officers…not enough money for needed community services.

We have money for prisons.  They have a powerful lobby.  People are afraid of dangerous prisoners escaping; so we pay up.  Maybe if we put more money in the front end we wouldn’t need to spend so much to incarcerate people and to build and maintain the infrastructure that a commitment to punishment demands. 

Don’t get me wrong…criminals should be held accountable and I don’t care what happened to them when they were young – many of us have had rotten childhoods but we don’t go around hurting people and taking whatever we want…without paying.  

But, if we put more of our tax dollars into early childhood education, civic responsibility programs, daycare, mental health care, child protective services, basic health services for poor working people…maybe…almost certainly we have to have a different result and maybe…just maybe…less prisoners…less people resorting to crime.

If you live here you know what I am talking about.  Haven’t you wondered why and aren’t you tired of hearing that we are at the bottom of the list of states for spending on education and other important human social service issues? 

Don’t most of you want more money put into those areas?   We often blame our legislators and maybe we should…certainly we should.  However, it seems a lot of people here just vote no – even if a legislator comes up with a new plan - if it means any more tax money out of their pockets.

Guess what, we only pay our state legislators about $24,000 a year to represent us and create laws.  Of course, most have other jobs because they can’t survive on this.  Who could?  Don’t you wonder if part time law makers are really able to do the job needed?  Do you wonder about what kind of people, with what kinds of skills and abilities, with what kind of agendas are attracted to this meager paying position?

So many have come out to comment on the two little girls who made the call, ranging from those who say they did prank calls as a child; these are just children, and those who say the 11 year old at least, had the ability to tell truth from fiction and both girls should be prosecuted for their action. 

Nationally, psychologists, reporters and others are saying this should be investigated to the fullest as maybe the girls know or are connected somehow to Isabel and know what may have happened to her and are acting out about it because they’ve been told to be quiet.

Who knows?  But don’t you think those of us who live here in this community should know all the latest information about this case?  Is Sergio really back home now with his family and what changed things?

Where is Isabel?  How come we don’t see anything about her in the news lately?  What is up here?  We don’t have volunteers combing the bushes for her because it might muck up things.  Let’s have another news conference and ask law enforcement to update the community.  Tell us what we can do aside from raising money for the family’s Isabel Celis fund (see Facebook) and having volunteers sell things to raise money and putting up pictures on our streets, storefronts, and every available crack and crevice in Tucson. 

You would think news about a missing baby girl, in our midst, in our hometown of Tucson, would be up, front and center beyond a month.  Hmmm…part of our Tucson culture or what?

Tucson is suffering and wants to know what is going on.  Let’s put our money where our mouths are, too.  Don’t keep voting down tax increases for necessary services…if you do, don’t complain about the quality of life here, the dangers, whatever.  You get what you pay --- or don’t pay for.

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