October 8th, 2008
07:54 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Save the best for last

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Confession: I’m a little nervous about the teenage years, though not as worried as I would be if I had a daughter instead of a son. I was a teenage girl once, and while I wasn’t a complete horror show, I do remember those years…and I shudder a bit when I look back. Frankly, my behavior makes me love and respect my parents even more. While no teenager is a joy all of the time, I also know neither I or my sister were so terrible that my parents felt they couldn’t handle us.

Some parents don't have it so easy.

In Nebraska, a new law is making it a little easier for parents who do feel they can’t deal with their children, but this isn’t what lawmakers had in mind. The state’s "safe haven" law allows parents to anonymously hand over a child to a hospital and protects the parent from prosecution. One problem: the law was intended for infants, but it lacks an age limit, and parents know it. Since this bill became law in July, only four of the 17 children left by their parents are under the age of 10. One 14-year-old girl was even brought across state lines from Iowa.


Nearly 80 percent of Americans are stressed about their personal finances and the economy, according to an annual survey from the American Psychological Association. That stress, understandably, is often directly tied to their family’s well-being. Half of the respondents say they’re increasingly stressed about their ability to provide their family’s basic needs, while a little more than half say they’re worried about job stability. Sound like anyone you know?


Let’s round out the doom and gloom with a chuckle…and a REALLY good idea. Google’s new Mail Goggles could save you a lot of headaches the morning after. A new setting for Google Mail lets you decide when you’re most likely to drunk-email or drunk-text (drunk dialing is soooo 20th century). If you try to send a message in that window – say, between 8pm and 4am on a Friday or Saturday night – Gmail will ask you a series of questions before allowing you to hit send. If you’re not sober enough to answer the questions correctly, the message won’t be sent. Just one more reason to thank those Google guys, especially when you realize what you could have done.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I feel this safe haven law has given the green light for "parents" to give up the responsibility of raising a child whether it's an infant or in recent cases-much older. It's just a sad situation all around that there are people procreating without thought.

    October 8, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  2. Jack

    When I heard of of this new law I remember my parents who are still alive and who adopted me when I was only a few months old. I can't imagine birth parents dropping-off hheir children at a Hospital when they can choose to keep their children or put them up for adoption legally. Love is the core iniside all of us and once that leaves people as a whole, there will be nothing left on this earth, only souls going in different directions.

    October 8, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  3. Bret Peters

    After scanning the proposed law, I must say that some of American's moral responsibility is all but none. There are so many Gov. run programs to help deal with this, boot camp, etc. But the real problem I feel is the enormous amount of working single family homes. The stress of competing jobs, trying to educate yourself while working full time 2 better provide for the children's future, leaves very little quality time. I lied to my parents to get away with things, as did most. I got away with little because my parents had the time to(see first hand)what and who was in my life. That crucial time is gone in a two job, or single working home. The solution is not abandonment. There must be some other way for these kids, sad.

    October 8, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  4. Maureen / Newman, California

    Parents get to obtain help by abandoning their kids? What about all of the abused kids that need help? There should be a safe place for all children to go any time and receive help, especially those that are abused by their parents or relatives.

    October 8, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  5. Wendy

    God bless Google guys! They should develop in future a new soft to protect them customers against sending dark or drunk- thoughs , not just drunk-emails;)

    October 8, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  6. Alexander

    Another interesting news note, Erica. Glad you could share.: )

    October 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  7. Bill Wachunas

    Why doesn't Obama and McCain answer the questions posed to them. They talk all around the issues, make a political statements, and never answer the questions.

    I could do better...it ridiculous...tell them for me to just answer the questions.

    Also why doesn't CNN dig up some old footage from when the primaries were going on and the FOX network seemed like the biggest Obama supporters...hidden agenda...I wonder?

    October 8, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  8. Larry Robinson

    Tragedy is not exclusive to Iraq. And it is time tragidies at home need some dollars. Its moral. Its nation-strengthening. And its just plain right.

    October 8, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  9. Annie Kate


    I hate to tell you but my boy was worse in his teenage years than all of my daughters (4) put together. There were times I wondered whether he would get to his 18th birthday from some of the stunts he pulled or whether the heart attack he was going to give me would be quick and merciful. Needless to say, we made it through. My mother-in-law has a nice saying when going through a difficult time – I didn't appreciate it much when I was younger but now....well now I see its wisdom – you just keep telling yourself that "This too shall pass". Of course, she didn't tell me that what followed might be worse!

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 8, 2008 at 9:24 pm |
  10. Heather,ca

    When I read about that man who basically felt he had no other alternative than to leave his young children at a hospital, I was very sad. Yes the safe haven law is for newborn babies, but there has to be something fundamentally wrong with a state, a county,a city, the community when a parent and in this case a single parent a widower who felt he had no family or friends or community resources to turn to. The trauma the father went through and the trauma these children have gone through. Nothing we say and nothing that is done to help them will ever take that away. Its so very sad. We can never let this happen again! We have to help each other and support each other.

    October 8, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  11. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Erica!
    You know what they say about teenagers don't you? When your children become teenagers you understand why animals eat their young!
    Ok~ that was in jest but having raised a boy AND a girl I think girls are easier. Let's take a poll! Ask Anderson if he was trouble 😉
    About the drunk e-mailing, texting and dialing. All I have to say is "GUILTY" as charged and I'll be the first to admit my PC needs a breathalyzer on some occasions. Not today though 😀
    Thanks for the refreshing blog sister!

    October 8, 2008 at 9:09 pm |
  12. larry

    What are we in for when the dems are running WH, Senate & House?

    October 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  13. Ellie

    I have been around for years and have seen many elections. I get so tired of every election one party or the other has to attack eachother in order to feel they can get the advantage. Heres what I think. If the candadates act in this kind of behavior then they don't deserve to be president. What we need is a leader and someone who really cares about this country. Someone who will learn from the past and build on our future. I wrote this and I believe in it. "One person can't change the world, but one person can make a difference, and its that difference that in fact changes it. " Hmmmm I wonder has anyone learned that yet. Signed tired of the same old politics.

    October 8, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  14. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    So google stops the tipsy fingers from sending a message to who? As long as it's not blocking a message to a sober person who might drive tipsy fingers home. Lets hope. Good Wednesday evening.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    October 8, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  15. Barbara

    Senate McCain has mention that he would give the US citzens $5000. for health insurance ... with all of the needs that most citzens have don't you think that most people will spend it on gas, food and other things; then who's going to take care of them with no insurance. Sounds like us, the american people.

    As I drive back to Louisiana on highway 59 on a regular basis to visit friends and family I notices that there are thousands of mobile trailers that were brought for hurricane Katrina, rows and rows of decading trailer on lease properties; I believe that;s where thousands of dollars of waste is still happening from the Bush administration.

    October 8, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  16. JC-Los Angeles

    Although I don't approve of the safe haven law in Nebraska unless it entails an infant, I do believe they should seek an amendment to the law that allows horrid executives to be dropped off at any hospital.

    Just think how much better we would all be if the employees and shareholders could simply round up all the worthless executives and deliver them to hospitals for a long overdue psycho analysis.

    Keep up the great work.

    October 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  17. Lilibeth

    My parents (particularly my father) were so strict to me and my sister. Because of that, we were so good, we were like Miss Goody Two Shoes. Looking back though, I’m glad they were strict. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for their “tough love.”

    When we’re down to worrying about providing our families their basic needs, we’re in trouble. Not only that, the rest of the world is in trouble too. One of the many ways the US economy affects the economies of the rest of the world is through remittances. The local purchasing power of remittances received by foreign workers in the States is adversely affected by the weak dollar. If we see poverty on the rise here, it’s even worse in other countries because some of these countries are already poor to begin with. So it behooves the US to have a strong economy because the rest of the world benefits, too. An end to this crisis can’t come soon enough.

    Those Google guys sure think of everything…LOL.

    See you tonight,

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  18. Patricia Chance

    In looking at the financial mess that both Dems and Repubs created/encouraged/allowed, it would be wise to consider the following comment from Albert Einstein:
    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
    One of the greatest indicators identifying who a "real" man or woman is, is to acknowlege their mistakes, own their errors and resolve to change for the better. Let's get off this partisan politickin' and get to the real work.

    October 8, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  19. mike - moreland, ga

    Erica, thanks for ending on a cheery note, we can certainly use some good cheer these days!

    October 8, 2008 at 8:22 pm |

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