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Dear Community Members,

Please do NOT remove plants, hunt or trap animals, or cut or harm trees in the public parks!  This is against the law and you can be charged and fined.  Only nuts, fruits and edible mushrooms can be collected BUT can NOT be sold for a profit. 

While it’s the norm for many Asian cultures to pick plants and herbs on public grounds, plants in public parks are protected under
Iowa conservation laws.  (A member of my family didn’t know it was illegal to pick plants in another state until she received a hefty fine!)

Recently, the Polk County Conservation Board contacted CAPI because individuals of Asian heritage were found illegally harvesting plant material in
Easter Lake and Thomas Mitchell Parks.  Park employees had difficulty communicating with those individuals because of the language barrier.  They are hoping with outreach and education that these incidents will stop.  However, if this continues, law enforcement may get involved and people will be charged and fined.

Please help us spread the word!  If possible, please translate this information into the appropriate languages and publish this in your community newsletter.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

Thank you for your help!

Henny (IAA)

How To Tell Your Teen Is Abusing Drugs
By Rebecca Ruiz

Signs of Abuse
Though teenagers are constantly engaged in identity building, certain signs hint at potentially harmful behavior. These signs may seem obvious, but experts say parents readily overlook them because it's difficult to accept that a child is experimenting with or addicted to drugs.

Regardless of whether or not they are abusing stimulants or depressants, says Dr. Walker, dependent teens share a common trait: irritability. Stimulants cause erratic behavior like talkativeness, agitation and lack of focus, while depressants often make teens seem slower and less motivated. Either way, the chemical influence ultimately leads to drastic mood changes.

Dr. David Lewis, medical director of Visions Adolescent Treatment Center in Malibu, Calif., says that poor performance in school is also a major clue. Numerous tardies might also mean kids are using between classes. Comments from teachers about a child's attention level may indicate that he or she is attending class under the influence.

It's also telling if a teen withdraws from an old network of friends and activities like sports, clubs and church groups.

There is hope for preventing drug abuse before it begins. Studies have shown that teens who discuss the issue with an adult are far less likely to abuse drugs.

For parents intimidated by the idea of broaching this difficult topic with their teens, Pasierb recommends asking a child his or her opinion about a drug case in the news.

"A lot of time it's about asking a simple question and then having the discipline to listen instead of preach," he says.

In Depth: How To Tell Your Teen Is Abusing Drugs

Family History

Studies have shown that drug and alcohol dependency can derive from a genetic trait, passed down through generations. Genetics can also determine behavioral risk factors that increase the likelihood of substance abuse for children and grandchildren of drug users and alcoholics. While scientists have identified a link between genetics and dependency, they have yet to single out the responsible gene.

Your Habits

Dr. Leslie Walker, chief of adolescent medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital, believes that the strongest predictor of drug abuse among children is parents' behavior. When parents take prescription medication or turn to alcohol or over-the-counter drugs to cope with life's everyday stresses, chances are children will follow their example.

School Performance

Dr. David Lewis, medical director of Visions Adolescent Treatment Center in Malibu, Calif., says that poor performance in school can be a clear sign that a teen is abusing drugs. While a flagging GPA may be cause for alarm, Dr. Lewis advises parents to watch out for a combination of indicators, including frequent tardies and complaints from teachers about attention level.

Changes in Mood

Teens are notoriously moody, but it's important to note if mood swings are persistent and accompanied by irritability and signs of depression. Drug use for longer than six months, says Dr. Lewis, has been shown to depress levels of the mood-maintaining neurotransmitter serotonin. Other mood-related signs that could indicate drug abuse include poor hygiene and a radical shift in clothing style.

Prolonged Absences

If your teen frequently spends the night at a friend's house and doesn't return home until late the next day, he or she might be engaging in drug abuse and trying to hide it by recovering from the effects elsewhere, says Dr. Walker. That’s why it's important to communicate often with the parents of your teen's friends, who can vouch for his or her whereabouts and activities.

Social Networking Sites

A recent study of 500 profiles of 18 year olds on MySpace found that more than half of the teens posted information about risky health behavior. Substance abuse was the most frequently referenced activity, with 41% of profiles including information about drug and alcohol use. While many social networking site users make their profiles private, Dr. Walker recommends that parents allow teens to use such sites on the condition that the parent can be a friend or view it regularly.

New Friends

Teens who are abusing drugs, says Dr. Lewis, often make new friends who are willing to tolerate and even engage in substance abuse with them. A rotating cast of new friends, particularly those who are not shy about wearing clothes with drug paraphernalia or listening to music that glorifies a culture of drug use, should be a clear warning sign to parents. Teens who drop out of activities like sports, clubs and church groups can also be at risk.

Missing Money or Prescription Drugs

When the addicted have been using for long enough, nothing will matter to them as much as their next hit, says Dr. Walker. If money goes missing or there are mysterious charges to your credit card, it's often a sign of drug abuse. The same is true for prescription pills that contain stimulants and depressants. If they start disappearing, it's possible your teen is using them, selling them for cash or trading them for another drug.


My Name is  Paul, I'm trying to locate my ancestors.
According to my Father, my Great Grand father was Tai and lived  in a Tai village named Sam(three) Cho( peak), or Sam chom, in Xieng Khouang Province in Laos. My great Grand Father was adopted in to a Hmong Family, later he married a Tai lady who gave birth to my Grand father, then  my Grand Father was married to my grand mother who was a Hmong Lady, so in other words  my Father is half Tai and half Hmong .
In  1972 when  I was in Laos, I noticed that some Tai people who lived in Thong Sanang Vietiane Laos, were from the same Village as my Great Grand father, but at that time , I was too young  to find out  the ancestors of my Great Grand Father.
If anyone in the Tai community in America have ancestors that lived in Samcho around 1800's to 1960's I would appreciate your help please contact me at yvang@pacbell.net or call me at (949) 981-2958.


(Credit Card Scam Alert)

Press release from DMPD reference on credit card scam alert.  Please advice your community member that if any credit card company such as VISA, Master Card or etc call them and asking for them to verify or give the 3 Digit Pin Number on the back of the card over the phone to obtain more credit.  Please advice them DO NOT TO GIVE these number  out to the credit card company.  The reason is that credit card company will never ask for the 3 Digit Pin Number over the phone, because they already have the information already on file.  These 3 Digit Pin Number is the security code number.  If anyone give the scammer the 3 Digit Pin Number, you might think that you will  get more credit.  “WRONG.”  The only thing that you will get is a statement that shows charges that you have never made and by this time it’s almost to late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.


The second thing is that we have seeing a lot of elderly folks being scam during this time.  The suspect (bad guy) will come up to door and ask to break a hundred dollar bill and pretend to be a plumber, electrician, cable man and etc from the city or local business people.  Please watch out for these kind of people due to these people are bad people.  They will come back and break into your house or stole your stuff while they are in the house to check for your electrical problem.  Please call the police (911) if you have anyone approaching you or your family like this.


Officer Lor
Asian Outreach Resource Officer
Des Moines Police Department



Harvard University
announced over the weekend that from now on undergraduate students from low-income families will pay no tuition. In making the announcement, Harvard’s president Lawrence H. Summers said, “When only ten percent of the students in elite higher education come from families in the lower half of the income distribution, we are not doing enough. We are not doing enough in bringing elite higher education to the lower half of the income distribution.”

If you know of a family earning less than $60,000 a year with an honor student graduating from high school soon, Harvard University wants to pay the tuition. The prestigious university recently announced that from now on undergraduate students from low-income families can go to Harvard for free… no tuition and no student loans!

To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making less than $60,000 a year, visit Harvard’s financial aid website at: http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/ or call the school’s financial aid office at

(617) 495-1581.

If you have any news that you want to post, please e-mail us at Tai@TaiCommunity.com