Articles Posted in Learn

Societal issues, world events, and things to think on.

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Carolyn Woodruff

The fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution creates the Parental Rights Doctrine. It is fundamental to our society that parents have the right to raise their children and the average American, I believe, has a longstanding commitment to parental rights. Except in extreme circumstances, parents have the fundamental right to parent a child and decide what is in the best interests of their own child (this article doesn’t address custody disputes between two good parents each of whom has a fundamental right to parent). This article does address the fundamental rights of parents over CPS.

In further advancement of the Parental Rights Doctrine, the United States Supreme Court has had moments of brilliance on this issue. For example, in Troxel v. Granville, 530 US 57 (2000), the United States Supreme Court aptly stated: “The liberty interest at issue in this case—the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children—is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.”

So where has the societal shift happened that has placed CPS so squarely in the middle of this fundamental right to parent? I believe the shift happened with the passage of the Adoptions and Safe Families Act of 1997 during the Clinton administration. In my opinion, that Act needs to be abolished and we need to return to the Social Worker Model for CPS, as contrasted to the current Law Enforcement Model. The Social Worker Model is “working with others to accomplish a goal.” Perhaps the CPS worker would suggest a needed service, such as counseling through Family Service of the Piedmont, a great organization.

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Venn Crawford

This year, Dwight and Carolyn have embarked on a new adventure – vegetable gardening. Far from any farmland, the dynamic duo has set up shop on their two balconies, where they’re growing shishito peppers and tomatoes.

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What are Shishito Peppers?

Shishito peppers are a mild Asian variety of pepper. When sautéed, they make for a delicious, healthy appetizer. As a result, they’re quickly gaining popularity with vegetable gardeners and foodies alike.

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Venn Crawford

How many things went into your trash can last night? How many of them were plastic?

On average, Americans throw away 4.4 lbs of trash a day. That ends up being about 1600 lbs a year. Now, think about what’s in that trash: packaging for food, empty bottles, napkins, clothing tags, broken toys, and so on. Most of that stuff is made of plastic.

Plastic is forever.

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Venn Crawford

Easter is just around the corner! Pastels, bunnies, and eggs are the order of the day this weekend, and I’ve collected some DIY Easter crafts, activities, and recipes to help you spice up your celebrations this year. And with the long weekend from Good Friday, you’ve still got plenty of time to try these out with the kids!

Origami Paper Bunnies

These origami bunnies are adorable! All you need is printer paper cut into squares, and you’re on your way to a whole family of them. Because they’re made from plain white paper, your kids can decorate the bunnies as well as their Easter eggs. Alternatively, you can let your kids decorate the paper before folding the bunnies, so that the final product is a surprise.

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Venn Crawford

On Tuesday, we covered the basics of event planning, including choosing the venue, arranging for catering, and hiring a decorator. Today, I’d like to look at what needs to be done as the event approaches.

Two Months Before Event

At this point, you should send out your invitations and request guests RSVP (you’ll need these RSVPs later to give your caterer a headcount). You should also order any items you’ll need for the event, such as programs, prizes, or décor. Vendor plans should be finalized, and all documents received from vendors should be kept on file.

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Venn Crawford

For the past several weeks, our firm has been attending event after event – Big Hair Ball, Operation Smile, JDRF, and coming up, the PTI Run on the Runway. We even had a baby shower in February. Today I’d like to take some time to talk about what all goes into planning an event.

Decide the Budget

This is the biggest part. Before you set your heart on that spacious ballroom or the bottle of Port Sandeman that needs to be on the dessert menu, you have to know how much room there is in the budget for it. This is one of the first constraints you need to consider when making your choices.

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Venn Crawford

On Saturday, January 27, our firm attended Big Hair Ball, an event benefiting Family Service of the Piedmont. The highlight of the night was a circus-themed fashion show, which as you might have guessed, featured extravagant hair. Woodruff Family Law Group sponsored three models – Ashley Yates, Sloane Hoefle, and Anna Sardzinski.

Designer Brian Atkins created a stunning ringmaster costume for Yates, complete with a shimmering silver coat. A purple W nestled in the tulle atop her hat, which was created out of hair by artist Pepper Bendel. Makeup artist Emily Jackson built on Atkins’ imposing silhouette, creating a subtle, clown-inspired look. Yates’ lips, painted purple and lined with a bold black, split into a jester’s grin, winning her Best Makeup.

Designer Brian Atkins created this ringmaster costume for Woodruff Family Law Group. IMG_20180127_204140-768x1024

Ringmasters need a performer to introduce, and so Atkins dreamed up a lion costume for Hoefle. Her bodysuit gleamed silver, fringe cascading down from her collar like fur. Jackson used warm neutral tones to give the impression of a lion’s snout, while dark browns in her lips and nose created contrast with the pale outfit. A massive lion’s mane, crafted by designer Brandi Burns, unified the piece. As the biggest hair of the evening, it’s only fitting the mane won Best Hair.

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Venn Crawford

It’s almost a new year – the days are already getting longer, sunlight stretching out a little further every evening. You can feel a fresh sort of energy in the air. And, like many, that energy might inspire you to think about how you’ll change this year, how you’ll make efforts to be a new, better, you. You might even make a New Year’s resolution.

But, in two weeks, or a month (or for some of us the third day of January), most of us will give up on our New Year’s resolution. That inspiring energy fades, and life gets in the way. We just can’t make our resolution stick.

The thing is, changing our habits is hard, and New Year’s doesn’t change that. But if you approach it right, you can make a change any time of the year.

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Venn Crawford

Today marks a turning point – it is the winter solstice, the day of the year with the least light. Our days have been waning since the middle of the summer, growing shorter and shorter with each nightfall. Think of the winter solstice as the sun’s version of a new moon – we will see the least of its light today, but tomorrow, it will wax once again.

Scientifically speaking, the winter solstice is caused by the Earth’s tilt. When the northern hemisphere tilts closer to the sun, we have summer, but when it’s tilted away, we have winter. The winter solstice is the point when the northern hemisphere is tilted the furthest away from the sun, which causes us to receive the least sunlight.

The solstice (and winter itself) is one of the origins for our holiday season. Before we had greenhouses, refrigerators, and 24/7 supermarkets, our food supply was inescapably tied to the changing of the seasons. Winter was an unforgiving time of year – food, warmth, and light were all scarce. The entire year was essentially spent preparing for the winter. Cows were slaughtered so they wouldn’t use up precious food during the winter, and the wine that had been fermenting all year was finally ready to drink. The solstice festival was the last feast and celebration of life before winter.

Published on:

Venn Crawford

On October 5, 2017, The New York Times released an article exposing decades of sexual abuse perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein, a well-known film producer and powerful player in Hollywood. After the article’s publication, a stream of new accusations surfaced, and journalists dug deeper, discovering a network of employees and private investigators who gathered information on victims and used non-disclosure agreements to intimidate them into silence.

The world looked on, many shocked by how sinister the story became as it deepened, others appalled that someone could get away with abuse for so long. But for survivors, each development just proves long-held truths about sexual violence.

Weinstein’s Hotel-Bathrobe-Massage Routine